Fast Track, Green Channel: What are the special procedures?
On April 30, 2020, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Gen Shuang confirmed during a press conference that China and Korea have agreed to establish a “fast track’ entry system for travelers who have essential or urgent trips. These travels would come from various sectors of business, logistics, production, and technical services. The spokesperson also added that China was already in talks with other countries about this system.
Thus, the fast track channel intends to support the economic growth and stability of the international industrial and supply chains.
Since May 1, 2020, Korean nationals traveling to China for business purposes may qualify for the said fast track channel. This is possible if they meet the following conditions:
- Sponsored by a Korean or Chinese firm permitted to use the channel;
- Has a letter of invitation from the sponsoring firm.
Moreover, China and Singapore also agreed to facilitate personnel exchanges via a “fast lane” for the re-opening of trade and supply chains.
Other countries that are reportedly on the list of the “fast track, green channel” program include Japan, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Switzerland. Thus, airlines from these countries can schedule business chartered flights to China. The special channel will allow companies to send their employees back to China given that they are deemed essential or urgent to business operations.
Special entry procedure for Shanghai-based companies
On May 22, 2020, the Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office detailed the special procedures involving the normal and fast track channels for foreign employees into Shanghai. Below are the steps for the normal channel:
Under the fast track channel, employees who are taking quarantine measures must abide by a closed-circuit requirement. This involves the place of residence, transportation, and work conditions of the employee or invitee. Following this requirement, the employee or invitee is NOT allowed to do the following:
- Live in a residential compound
The employee needs to have a separate toilet, ventilation, etc.
- Take public transportation
The company should have a designated mode of transport for the employee.
The closed-circuit rule also states that the company should implement safety measures to avoid contamination once the employee is back at the workplace. The arriving personnel should strictly follow the said requirement when the result of the test comes negative. If the result is positive, the employee shall be taken to a designated medical facility for observation or treatment.
Besides, China’s Center for Disease Control will also inspect and validate the NAT results of the employee from his or her country of origin.
In its bid to reopen the economic activity, Shanghai city has implemented a city-wide virus testing available to companies and individuals at assigned hospitals.