Preparations for return to work clarified

Yuan Luhang Ding Yining
Authorities and companies are stepping up efforts to ensure safe working, as many people will return to work on February 10.
Yuan Luhang Ding Yining

Government authorities and companies are stepping up efforts to ensure safe working, as most work recommences on February 10.

The Shanghai Commission of Economy and Informatization said on Sunday that enterprises involved in epidemic prevention and control, the national economy and urban operations will be a priority.

All enterprises should have temperature measurement points and temporary isolation rooms; epidemic prevention and control teams equipped with protective masks, disinfectants, infrared thermometers; and other epidemic prevention and control supplies.

Attempts should be made to stagger commuting with staff form the same companies, office buildings, or parks forming carpools instead of taking public transportation.

Enterprises should continue to require employees from most affected regions to suspend their return to work. All employees returning from outside Shanghai should be in self isolation at home for 14 days from the date of return.

No companies may use central air-conditioning unless they have a ventilation system.

On February 7, the city government issued measures to help ease the effect of the epidemic on businesses, with reduction and exemption of corporate rents being one of the important measures. All small and medium sized companies in Shanghai will be exempted rents in February and March.

Most companies have formulated measures to ensure work and epidemic control and prevention at the same time. Multinational companies such as Siemens, Covestro, and Solvay allow most employees to work from home.

New material firm Covestro allows its employees to work from home, and for those must work on site, the company will offer surgical masks and other hygiene products.

To ensure safety, chemical firm Wacker said it has suspended all business travel in China until the epidemic situation takes a turn for the better.

Tencent has postponed work resumption by one more week to February 24.

Alibaba, which was originally scheduled to restart work on Monday, will also delay at least one more week with the majority of employees already working from home.

Some consultancy companies are still making plans about sending employees to business trips inside the country.  Advertising firms have already started working but most of them are working from home.

Almost all companies have set temperature measurement points, required to disinfect the workplace regularly, formed crisis management team and emphasized provision of protection materials.

They also ask employees to take meals in turn or only provide packed lunches.

As for lifts, one of the most dangerous areas, Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute (Group) Co Ltd requires employees below the fourth floors to walk upstairs and will half the number of  passengers allowed per lift.

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