Updated: Tuesday, June 2, 6:20PM local time
This article was getting quite long, so we have split it into three: this one with Chinese government and business updates, one with Covid-19 news and health information and one with travel information — borders, flights, embassy information etcetera. We hope this is helpful in finding the information you need.
These articles will be updated live — see date and time above — with verified news from trusted and official sources regarding the Coronavirus situation and how it impacts the lives of people living or travelling in Kunming and the rest of Yunnan. A lot of misinformation has been spread through WeChat groups and we hope that this article can provide a stable reference point.
We are working with a small team of news gatherers and verifiers, both foreign and Chinese. We are checking Chinese government information, national and international news sources, social media, academic resources and information from a couple of foreign embassies in China.
Below information is organized by topic which you can quickly access through the menu above. We will update the publishing date and time of this article as it is updated, so you will know how old the information in the article is.
If you have important news please email vera [at] gokunming [dot] com or contact us through the contact form. After verification it will be added to the article if relevant for Kunming and Yunnan residents.
Hotline phone numbers
Kunming has established hotlines in several languages for epidemic response. If there is any confusion about the application of the rules, try contacting them:
Kunming Municipal Health Commission：0871-63967196
Foreign language hotlines
English：13668707810 / 18988476143
Chinese government advice
Wednesday April 15 update: Foreigners are advised to strictly abide by official rules and regulations aimed at containing the virus. Failing to do so could ultimately result in a ten-year ban on travel to China. The guidelines have been translated to French, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Spanish and can be found here, scan the QR codes for the multiple foreign language versions.
Sunday April 5 update: It is now mandatory to show a 'green code' on your phone before entering the subway. This color code system — which basically proves you are not at risk of spreading the virus based on your recent travel and health history — was already implemented in other cities in China, and it will likely get requested at more places around Kunming. You can get the code through Alipay (see 'health code' option in the picture below) or scan the code in the picture below to access the form through WeChat. When you open the health code app you can choose 'English' in the top left corner, but there seem to be some issues with the English version — not being able to enter a travel date before March 22 for instance. The Chinese version has no issues. Enter your details and recent travel history and you get the code. You only have to do this once, you'll be able to access the code as needed from then on.
On Saturday April 4 at 10:00AM a three-minute moment of national mourning will be observed across the country. Please respect this and join in keeping the silence in memory of the deceased.
Friday March 20 update: Foreigners might face more scrutiny from the authorities. Please be sure to carry your documents — passport, registration slip — with you at all times when out and about, wear a mask and comply with their instructions. Carrying your passport was already required by law, but it was rarely checked until now. Please report to us if you are stopped by the police or are refused entry anywhere: via the contact form or email vera [at] gokunming [dot] com. You can also call the phone numbers below if you have any questions.
Closed businesses and institutions
The national Spring Festival holiday dates have been extended (Source: The official Weibo account of Yunnan Province).
Government services, utilities, necessities such as supermarkets, food production and delivery services have resumed on Monday, February 3
Visa and residence permit administration
Friday May 15 update: We have received several reports that earlier this week a government decision has been made concerning current tourist visa holders who are at the end of their stay. 30-day extensions will be given on an individual and month by month basis for as long as the pandemic persists and international travel is not an option. Existing multiple-year (tourist) visas will not be affected by this. The fee for this extension varies by country. For student and work visas that are about to expire some more documentation from the ex-employer or school may be required. Same applies as before: go with your documents to the Entry and Exit Bureau before your current visa, residence permit or stay permit expires. They only give information regardig extensions on a case-by-case basis when you present in person — with your paperwork — at the bureau.
Friday May 8 update: Here is a pretty comprehensive write-up of what do at the end of the automatic 60 day extension, including an explanation of the difference between visa, residence permit and stay permit. In short: go to the entry and exit bureau before your current visa, residence permit or stay permit expires.
Friday April 3 update: here is a useful link with information about what exemptions could possibly apply to the ban on foreigners entering the country.
Wednesday April 1 update: There is still some confusion around the automatic and free 60 day extension on their current visa. We have received reports of employers or schools giving false information to employees or students and in one case even trying to charge money for this FREE extension. At the end of your current visa you receive an automatic and free extension of 60 days. This is a blanket government policy, and not up to schools or employers to make any decisions on or charge money for. If you are in doubt whether you will get this automatic extension, please call the Entry and Exit Bureau hotline: 63197353. If you feel your employer or school is not being truthful about the free and automatic extension please report to us: vera [at] gokunming [dot] come. Even after the 60 day extension expires you are not required to leave the country, see next paragraph. In all cases the Entry and Exit Bureau will discuss options on an individual basis so please call them if you are not sure what will happen with your visa.
Tuesday March 31 update: Over the last few days a notice has circulated about foreigners having to leave China at the end of the 60 day 'grace period' that gets automatically added after the current visa expires, and not admitted back into China. This notice has caused worry among the foreign community and was quickly taken down. One PSB officer in Shenzhen has written a clarification in order to stem the confusion somewhat. Today we called the Kunming Entry and Exit Bureau. The take-away from this is that everyone who is near the end of their current visa or near the end of the 60 day automatic extension should contact the Entry and Exit Bureau — see hotline phone number below — as cases will be discussed on individual basis.
Monday March 2 update: The Entry and Exit Bureau has reopened, as well as all PSB's.
Important notice: People who are at the end of their visa stay or residence permit validity but who can not leave China because of virus restrictions will automatically get a two-month extension on their residence permit, to allow for extra time to leave the country and go back to their home country or next destination without overstaying their current (and last) residence permit or visa. Please note that this does NOT apply to people who intend to renew their residence permit — they can apply for the extension as per the usual procedure at the Entry and Exit Bureau. If you are not sure, please contact the Entry and Exit Bureau at tel. 63197353.
Thursday February 20 update: The Entry and Exit Bureau service has not resumed.
Anyone whose visa stay will expire soon should call this number to report their situation and begin the process of filing an extension.
Latest notice from the Entry and Exit Bureau: Foreigners in Kunming who cannot leave China or apply for extension of their visa/stay/residence due to quarantine or medical observation, permit and registration of the change of items of their residence permit in time should report to the Exit and Entry Administration Bureau through telephone or Wechat in advance and with permission, they can either make an appointment or reapply those formalities afterward.
Your company or school may be contacted by the local authorities and asked to give information about the number of foreign employees or students, whether they are in China or not, potential health issues, plans for returning if they are not in China, etc. Please cooperate if you get asked questions by your employer, your school or the local authorities.
Official WeChat account of Kunming Entry and Exit Bureau: kmgacrj
Wednesday April 15 update: An announcement has been made about the start of Spring semester. The opening dates are planned as follows — considering the school meets the requirements, which will be evaluated case-by-case:
April 20: Ordinary middle schools and vocational schools will reopen.
April 26: the 4th, 5th, and 6th grades of elementary school will reopen.
May 6: The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade of primary school will reopen.
May 6: Graduate classes of colleges and universities will start again.
May 11: Non-graduate classes of colleges and universities will start again.
Pre-school and special education schools will be notified separately about starting dates.
March 28 update: the scheduled start for elementary school and non-graduate middle school on March 30 has been postponed. The new start date is pending until notification from the education department..
March 11 update: Schools will gradually resume classes
On March 16, teachers and staff who meet the requirements of returning to school will to work to prepare for teaching and ensure that epidemic prevention and control measures are in place.
On March 23: Zhongsan (中三) junior high third grade and gaosan (高三 ) senior high third grade resume classes.
On March 30: Primary and remaining high school levels resume classes.
Institutions of higher learning and secondary vocational schools start school according to relevant requirements.
About one week after the opening of colleges and universities, kindergartens and special education schools will open.
The specific opening times will be communicated separately and in batches. All schools (including training schools) are not allowed to start school on their own before receiving the formal notice.
Wednesday May 20 update: As of today, large gatherings with catering are now allowed, with measurements in place such as registration of attendees and checking attendees' Yunnan green health codes.
Tuesday April 7 update: We have received reports from several cafe and restaurant owners that customers have not been complying with them and that this may have serious consequences for them — meaning (temporary) closure. Restaurants and cafes have recently reopened, but please understand that there are still certain measures in place and that foreigners are facing extra scrutiny. The consequences for the businesses that we love can be serious if we wear no masks, make a lot of noise, stay beyond closing time or are disrespectful towards (police) officials. Some businesses have received warnings already. Everyone, have a good time but please maintain a level of understanding for the situation, listen to business owners and comply with their requests. We are not back to normal yet and we have to be at our best behaviour as guests in this country.
Friday April 3 update: Live music performances have been suspended for the time being.
Thursday March 19 update: As of today all 'social service enterprises' — apart from clubs, KTVs, spa's, beauty salons and swimming pools — may open. Bars, museums, libraries, cinemas, theaters, chess and card rooms can open again, considering they use preventative measures such as 1 meter distance between customers and operate at half capacity.
Please see this article for restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs and museums that are opening again.
Most bars, clubs and cafes in Kunming have closed although some are opening again, sometimes with limited hours. Most of them have closed on their own accord and/or because of Spring Festival. Some have been closed by official order. More info on closing times of Kunming businesses in this article, including updates in the comments below the article.
Friday April 3 update: delivery can once again be delivered to your door, and no longer needs to be picked up from the gate of your community.
Supermarkets and shops — and services like water delivery — are open again after Spring Festival closure and generally restocked with fresh produce.
Meituan and other delivery services are operational and are coming into the communities again.
Jingdong Home Delivery (京东到家) can also be used to deliver groceries from Walmart and Carrefour, but the delivery time can be several hours.
Food delivery services have taken preventative measures to avoid spreading contamination
Thank you everyone in the international community in Kunming for sticking together in this difficult time. A special thanks to our Chinese friends who are helping to make Chinese news accessible and therefor being a true bridge between cultures.
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If you have important news please email vera [at] gokunming [dot] com or contact us through the contact form. After verification it will be added to the article if relevant for Kunming and Yunnan residents.© Copyright 2005-2020 GoKunming.com all rights reserved. This material may not be republished, rewritten or redistributed without permission.