Shanghai government announces holiday extension

Ke Jiayun
For most local companies, the official Spring Festival period will be extended until at least February 9. The move does not apply to vital personnel in key industries.
Ke Jiayun

In an effort to keep people at home and contain an ongoing novel coronavirus epidemic, the Shanghai government has announced that this year's official Spring Festival holiday period will be extended to at least February 9 for most local companies.

A notification issued by the government on Monday afternoon said local companies should not resume work prior to February 9. The move does not apply to organizations involved in certain vital services; including utility operators, communications companies, food suppliers and those in key industries related to civil affairs.

All schools — including universities, middle and primary schools, vocational schools, kindergartens and nurseries — cannot reopen before February 17. Schools and private education companies are also prohibited from organizing events before this date.

According to Gu Honghui, city government's deputy secretary general, enhanced inspections and quarantine checks should be implemented for those returning back to work.

Liu Ping, chief engineer at the local Economy and Information Technology Commission, said in a press release that there are four major types of companies not covered by holiday extension.

"The first are enterprises guaranteeing the city's running, like those in industries related to water, power and gas supply and communication. Then are those ensuring residents' daily lives such as supermarkets, wholesale markets and farmer's markets, housekeeping service providers, food suppliers, catering and logistics service providers."

Liu said the third are those necessary to epidemic prevention and control, including makers of medical equipment, drugs and health products. The commission has urged some important companies to cancel the holiday and work overtime to produce needed supplies.

The last are organizations relevant to the national economy and basic livelihood, and some involved in major construction projects which require continuous work.

Implicated companies should try to make appropriate work arrangements and reduce the movement of staff.

They should work out solutions to delay the return of employees from key epidemic-stricken areas like Wuhan. For the very few in urgent need to return, they should collect these employees' information and keep them in quarantine at home before going back to their positions.

Measures like home-office plans are also encouraged.

Companies should prepare health products like thermometers, masks and alcohol pads. Those with high temperatures should be reported and placed under quarantine if necessary.

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