Whilst there is a form of release from lockdown in Shanghai now, everyone still has to test and show the results to update their health QR codes every 3 days. Without the correct QR code, entry into public transport, malls and the small shops that are open is forbidden. Many places are still closed and intercity travel requires at least seven days quarantine.

Further to this, schools are still closed and likely to be so until at least August. In order to reopen, schools will need to deep clean and then have a certificate submitted from the inspectors to the Education Bureau, together with future plans for the Bureau to approve reopening; this is for every school and kindergarten. Anyone entering the premises will have to scan their QR code every day (students and teachers), which for foreign teachers is linked in to their passport and residential permit (work). Again, if testing is not up to date, entry will be refused, and all information goes to the government database (where everyone’s address is also stored).

Many people ask when schools will reopen, to which the answer is firstly, when they are given the go ahead from the government to implement the above procedures, then secondly, have the actual permission from the Education Bureau. It could take weeks to complete, so there is no definitive answer for each school.

Border restrictions are easing for those wishing to enter mainland China, mainly those with the necessary open residential visa permit, vaccine proof and 24 hours testing results. However, the teacher shortage will likely continue, tempered slightly by the closure of some education institutions and businesses. Therefore, Panda’s salary rates reflect how we think the market will be as and when our schools are permitted to open for the next academic year.

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