Daily Life During Coronavirus: What Expats Need to Know

People are returning to work after an extended “holiday” due to the novel coronavirus. Find out some must know information for returning to work, as well as other policies implemented in day-to-day life. The policies are subject to change, and these are the most recent ones as of February 12, 2020.

Work Rules

What precautions should an employee take?
  • Employees should wear a disposable medical mask when in the workplace and wash their hands before entering the office and putting their mask on or taking it off.
What precautions should an employer take?
  • Every employer should set up a body temperature detection site at the entrance to the office. A person’s temperature should not be above 37.2°C.
  • The person who takes the temperature of those entering the workplace should be in good health and wear a surgical mask.
  • Offices should be ventilated every 2 to 4 hours with the windows open for 20 to 30 minutes each time.
  • The time spent in meetings and trainings should be reduced.
  • Pay attention to each employee’s health condition.

What does an employer need to provide?
  • Employers need to provide surgical masks (enough for three times the number of employees), temperature checks, hand-washing facilities for employees, disinfectant for the office and an isolation room.
Who can enter the office?
  • Employees and visitors can enter the office so long as they follow the regulations in place.


Service and Restaurant Industry

Are there any dine-in options?
  • Restaurants cannot open for dine-in. (Factory and company canteens are not included.)
What are the rules for delivery?
  • Delivery providers cannot enter residential areas and items must be collected at the gate.


Borders and Flights

How many flights have been canceled to mainland and Hong Kong?
  • On February 4, 65.4 percent of domestic flights were canceled, 36.28 percent of international flights were canceled according to the International Air Transportation Association. See updated list here.
What borders are open and how do you get there? 
  • The Shenzhen Bay border crossing is the only land-based crossing for those traveling from Mainland China to Hong Kong. However, note those entering Hong Kong will be placed in 14 days of quarantine.
  • Ferry options are available for those traveling to and from the Hong Kong International Airport. Check schedules here.

What is required to get back into China?
  • To enter or return to China, check with your airline about your flight and any possible cancellation.
  • Standard visa requirements are needed to enter China.
What is required when you leave? 
  • Those who exit China should know the entry restrictions of the country they are going to. Most countries are adopting 14-day quarantine regulations.


When do students return to school?
  • Students cannot return to school before March according to the Guangdong Education Bureau. An exact date has not been confirmed.

Residential Garden Rules

What are the garden rules?
  • Garden entrances and exits have been minimized.
  • Residents must have their temperatures checked before entering the garden.
  • Guests or their vehicles can only enter gardens if they are recorded and have special permission.
What happens if you have a fever at the gate?
  • Anyone with a fever will be sent to a designated hospital for treatment and testing.
  • Garden management will report the case to the community and the health department immediately.

What happens if someone in your garden/building is confirmed?
  • The whole building is put under strict supervision once a case is confirmed.
  • Notices are put up around the building.
  • Every resident in the building must have a throat swab taken for the novel coronavirus testing.
  • If there are multiple cases, the building is placed under 14 days of quarantine.
  • Building management must help those in quarantine buy groceries and properly dispose of used face masks and trash to prevent secondary contamination.