A series of new policies and measures have now been formally adopted and come into force. Let’s see how they will affect your everyday life in China and check the updates of important news! 

01 Updates of Current Epidemic Situation

Chinese health authorities announced Sunday that 14,380 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus had been reported in the country by the end of Saturday. 

As of Sunday afternoon, here’s what we know so far according to DingXiangYiSheng (丁香医生) whose source is from health authorities: 

  • Confirmed cases: At least 14,482 in China, 145 abroad 
  • Deaths: 305, mostly in Hubei 
  • Recovered cases: 346 globally 
  • Human-to-human transmission confirmed 
  • Incubation period: no more than 14 days

For more info about the situation and measures taken to curb the spread the spread of virus, please click the following links to read read our previous articles:

02 Novel Coronavirus Advice for Expats in Guangzhou

In response to the outbreak of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus, Guangdong Province has activated a Level I public health emergency response since 23rd January.  

Foreign students who are studying at Wuhan University shout “Wuhan, Jiayou”

The GZ Municipal Government has mobilized resources and is engaging in prevention and control efforts. We recommend the following practices to all of Guangzhou’s international residents. 

03 Phone Numbers Required to Buy Train Tickets

Starting on Saturday, passengers will be required to provide their phone numbers when buying train tickets. 

Passengers must submit their mobile phone numbers when purchasing tickets in order to help authorities get in touch with passengers in a timely manner amid the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak. 

Those without mobile phones, including juveniles and senior citizens, are allowed to provide the mobile numbers of their guardians or relatives. 

Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan residents can provide e-mail addresses instead, as well as foreign passengers. 

The railway department will protect the personal information of passengers in accordance with the law, and verify the authenticity of mobile phone numbers when necessary. People who fail to pass the verification will not be able to purchase tickets. 

04 Cities Process Foreigners’ Work Permit Application Online

Guangzhou Municipal Science and Technology Bureau announced that foreigners’ work permit application will be processed online temporarily, regarding to the current situation of fighting against the novel coronavirus-infected pneumonia. 
Foreigner’s work permit application will be reviewed based on their digital materials submitted when applying, and expats do not need to visit the office to submit materials by themselves. 

In principle the work permit and related legal materials will be sent via EMS, and delivery fee will be paid by applicators. If applicators insist to collect the work permit in the office, they should wear a surgical mask. 

According to the announcement, applicators should sign a letter of commitment, declaring the materials’ authenticity and validity. Additionally if applicators agree to collect the permit via EMS, they should submit an application letter. 

The announcement also indicated that this measure will be valid till further notice. 
In addition, similar adjustments of the work permit application process will apply in many regions across the country, such as Shanghai, Tianjin city and Zhejiang Province. Please check the local policies if you need to apply it. 

05 China Extends Tax Declaration Deadline in Feb

Due to the epidemic situation caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak, State Taxation Administration of China decided to extend the deadline for tax declaration in February to Feb 24. 

For regions such as Hubei, where the epidemic situation is severe, the deadline could be further extended. That depends on the specific situation. According to Hubei authorities, the deadline in Feb for taxpayers who declare monthly will be extended to March 6, 2020. 

Besides the extension, the notice advocate taxpayers to file tax return and pay their taxes online as possible. 

06 Green Channel for Forex and Cross-border RMB Businesses!

China has rolled out a raft of measures to strengthen its financial support for epidemic control, with the battle against the novel coronavirus at a critical stage. 
More efforts will be made to strengthen credit support for the manufacturing sector, small and micro enterprises as well as private firms, according to a circular jointly released by the PBOC and several other departments. 

It added that certain fees will be reduced or exempted for listed companies in areas worst hit by the epidemic. 

The PBOC also supports financial institutions to make flexible repayment arrangements when necessary on individual credit loans when those who temporarily lose sources of income due to the epidemic cannot pay back loans in a timely manner. 

Repayments can be deferred during the outbreak while late repayments will not affect credit records. 

The circular also required the establishment of a “green channel” to make forex and cross-border renminbi businesses more effective, urging more efforts to facilitate the imports of anti-virus supplies and support enterprises in cross-border financing for epidemic control. 

07 More Provinces Extend Business, School Suspension for Coronavirus Control

More Chinese provinces and cities have declared they are postponing the resumption of business and school semesters to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. 
On Friday, the municipal government of Wenzhou, in east China’s Zhejiang Province, announced that civil servants and employees of public institutions shall start work from Feb. 9. 

According to the government, Wenzhou enterprises shall not start work earlier than at midnight on Feb. 17, except for those related to epidemic control. All levels of schools, colleges and universities shall not start their spring semesters before March 1. 

A growing number of Chinese provinces and cities including have taken similar measures by asking enterprises, except those involved in key sectors, not to resume their work earlier than at midnight on Feb. 9, in a move to reduce crowds and prevent the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Regions have taken these measures include Hunan, Shanghai, Guangdong, Shandong, Beijing, Zhejiang, Hubei, Jiangsu, Hebei, Fujian, Tianjin, Guizhou, Heilongjiang and Xi’an. 

08 Now You Can Cancel Train Tickets without Charging Fees

China’s railway operator begins to allow passengers to cancel their tickets nationwide without charging fees as part of the efforts to control the novel coronavirus outbreak. 

Under the policy, passengers who have previously purchased train tickets at railway stations, online railway ticket-booking platform 12306 or other channels may cancel their tickets and get refunds for free. 

BTW, some trains between the Yangtze River Delta region and cities in Hubei Province have been suspended. The suspension will last at least until February 25 for some trains. So please check the schedule in advance if you have recent travel plans. 

09 Multiple Countries and Regions Adopt Entry Restrictions

Due to the current epidemic situation, some countries and regions have adopted entry restrictions over the novel coronavirus to curb the spread. 
New Zealand on Sunday became the latest country to impose restrictions on travelers from mainland China, saying it would deny entry to visitors departing from or transiting through the mainland for two weeks starting on Monday. 

Citizens and residents will be allowed entry to New Zealand, but will required to quarantine themselves for 14 days. 

The Philippines, the US and Australia have also expanded travel restrictions, temporarily banning non-citizens who have recently traveled to China. 

South Korea and Japan are barring non-citizens who had recently traveled to Hubei. 

Vietnam recently barred almost all flights to and from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao until May 1. 

According to the NIA, it is advised that foreigners who need to exit from China, should learn in advance entry requirements of destination countries or regions to avoid financial and time losses in case of any entry refusals. 

SOURCE | China Gov / NIA / NY Times