Stricter policies for arrivals from countries hard hit by coronavirus

Hu Min
People entering Shanghai from key coronavirus-affected countries will now be subject to new testing and home quarantine standards, say authorities.
Hu Min

Shanghai will impose stricter quarantine measures on people arriving from key countries seriously affected by the coronavirus, authorities announced on Tuesday. 

"People who have lived or traveled in key countries in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Shanghai at the Hongqiao and Pudong international airports will be taken to districts' temporary checking and observation sites upon arrival by district staff," Zeng Qun, deputy director of the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau, said during a press conference. 

In the past, private vehicle pick-up at the two airports was allowed. 

The 16 key countries are South Korea, Japan, Italy, Iran, France, Spain, Germany, the United States, UK, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and Norway.

After arriving at temporary observation sites in each district, they will then undergo nucleic acid tests for the coronavirus, which is a new procedure, said Zeng. Those with negative test results will be escorted to their residences or designated sites by district officials to undergo 14-day quarantine, while people testing positive will be transferred to designated medical treatment institutions, the bureau said.

"Stricter measures on quarantine conditions will also be imposed," Zeng said.

Subdistrict officials will check whether arriving passengers from key countries meet home quarantine conditions by visiting their living spaces while they wait for the nucleic acid test results, and they will be quarantined at designated spots if conditions don't allow home quarantine, he said. 

"The move will reduce the number of frequent to-and-fro trips and transfers of those who don't meet home quarantine criterion, and prevent the risk of cross infection," he said. 

Home quarantine standards were also adjusted and people quarantined at home are required not to live in the same apartment with other family members who don't need to be quarantined, the bureau said. 

If they promise to undergo quarantine together, they will be allowed to share the same apartment, according to the bureau. 

"The measure will also help avoid the risk of cross infection," said Zeng.

Stricter home quarantine management will be imposed by police, health authorities and community officials to ensure that those quarantined for 14-day medical observation do not leave home, the bureau said. 

People breaking quarantine will be held responsible according to the law, authorities said. 

For those who were already under quarantine at home before the upgraded measures, neighborhood and village committees are ordered to implement strict management and check the temperature of those living under home quarantine daily, the bureau said. 

People arriving from key countries who are quarantined at designated sites need to cover accommodation and meal fees themselves, the bureau said. 

The same expanded measures apply to those who arrive in Shanghai via other ports in China from key countries, the bureau said. 

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