Q&A on foreigners’ concerns about COVID-19

During the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia (COVID-19) epidemic, the Exit and Entry Administration Bureau of Public Security Department of Jiangsu has sorted out the top ten questions that foreign friends living and working in Jiangsu concern the most.

Q: I have a permanent residence in Jiangsu, but I am not in Jiangsu at present. Can I return to Jiangsu now? 

A: Sure, you can come back at any time. However, if you have recently traveled to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent such as Hubei province, or you have contacted with confirmed patients of COVID-19, you will be put under quarantine at home for 14 days.

Q: What documents shall I submit or what procedures should I go through if I return to Jiangsu now? 

A: Firstly, you shall go through the registration within 24 hours upon your arrival. Secondly, you shall register and report your situation to your company (school) or the community you live in.

Q: My visa(residence permit) will expire soon. How can I extend it during the epidemic? 

A: You can follow WeChat public account “江苏出入境” and make appointments by dialing the 24-hour hotline of local Exit-Entry Administration department.

Q: I am not in China now and I am not able to return to Jiangsu for residence extension before its expiry date. What should I do? 

A: Please go to enquire Chinese embassy or Consulate General in the country you are about visa application.

Q: How to deal with the situation if my visa, stay or residence permit expires during the epidemic prevention and control? 

A: Foreigners entered with valid documentation will not be penalized for their overstay due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

Q: What should I do when I am in urgent need of departure in China? 

A: Follow WeChat public number “国家移民管理局” or “江苏出入境” and read Reminders on recent entry control measures of relevant countries to get the latest entry control measures of the country you will enter. Or you can contact the embassies and consulates in China for help if you are in difficulties.

Q: Can I go to see doctors during the epidemic? Can I buy medicines from pharmacies? 

A: Yes. But currently, the pharmacies in Jiangsu have stopped selling medicines related to allay fever or cough. If you have such symptoms, please go to fever clinics in designated hospitals while wearing a mask. Better not to take the bus or metro. Call 120 if necessary.

Q: How to buy necessities during the epidemic? 

A: Large supermarkets operate normally. You can use the online platform such as “美团” or “饿了么” to order food or other necessities and choose home delivery services.

Q: When can I buy masks? Can masks be reused? 

A: National Development and Reform Commission responded recently, the production capability of masks in China has been restored to 76% of normal level. However, as many enterprises have gradually resumed production and people have returned to work, the demand for protective equipment is surging dramatically. China is still in a shortage of masks. China is making every attempt to speed up production and increase market supply. Local authorities will try their best to solve the urgent need for work-resumption enterprises. Experts from China CDC suggest that in case of shortage, masks can be reused after drying naturally, but cannot be washed.

Q: I have to return to work recently. How can I protect myself during work? 

A: Try not to use public transport. It is recommended to walk, ride, take private vehicle or take shuttle bus to work. If you have to take public transport, you must wear a mask and try not to touch things on the vehicle by hand. In the office, it is recommended to ventilate three times a day for 20-30 minutes each time. Keep a distance of 1 meter from other people. Wear a mask in the office when there are others in the room. Have meals separately to avoid gathering. Wash hands often and stay hydrated.