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Shanghai Lockdown: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This information is valid as of May 31, 2022

Table of contents

The information is compiled to the best of our knowledge, based on the current situation in Shanghai. Changes could take place with very limited or even no prior notice. Please consult regularly for updates.

The Consulate General of Canada encourages you to consult official sources for the latest information.

Impact of the lockdown

Is the Consulate open?

The Consulate General of Canada in Shanghai closed to public on March 18, 2022 because of COVID‑19 measures implemented by local authorities.

Although our office is currently closed for all in-person services, our team is hard at work providing essential services remotely, including services to Canadian citizens requiring assistance.

Please note that the Canadian Embassy in Beijing, as well as the Consulates General in Chongqing and Guangzhou are open and operating normally. 

When will the Consulate reopen?

We have no certainty as to when the Consulate General of Canada in Shanghai will be able to reopen. 

We are monitoring the situation closely, and we are in regular communication with local authorities. As soon as circumstances permit, we will resume our regular operations.

Where can I find the China Travel Advice issued by the Government of Canada?

Travel advice issued by the Government of Canada can be found on www.Travel.gc.ca  

Find travel advice specific to China 

How can I reach the Consulate if I have questions?

Canadian citizens residing in Shanghai and within our territory of accreditation, including Jiangsu, Anhui, Zhejiang, and Hubei provinces, should send their request for Consular Services by email to Shanghai.consular@international.gc.ca.

Emergency contacts  

In an emergency, please telephone +86 (21) 3279-2800. Press “1” (for English), and press “1” again for emergency assistance. Your call will be forwarded to our 24-hour Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Canada. This Emergency Centre can also be reached directly at +1-613-996-8885, by SMS at +1-613-686-3658, via WhatsApp at +1 613-909-8881, or by email at sos@international.gc.ca. This Centre can communicate with and mobilize appropriate Canadian Citizen Consular Services on the ground in China. 

Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) 

We strongly encourage Canadians to register their trip/location with the Global Affairs Canada Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) to be able to receive pertinent local information from our offices.

Transportation

How can I leave my residence under lockdown?

Should you and your family need to leave your compound, we encourage you to communicate with the neighbourhood committee responsible for your area for up-to-date advice and permission, and to confirm with your destination city on entry (and quarantine) policies. Starting June 1, residents living in low-risk areas and precautionary zones will regain free access to own residential compounds. If there is a positive case in your building, it will be difficult to leave. However, for those with confirmed imminent travel to the airport, we can provide a Facilitation Letter (not a guarantee that you will be released in this circumstance).

Is public transportation in Shanghai operational?

Taxis and private vehicles are now permitted to circulate in some areas of the city. As of May 22, metro lines 3, 6, 10, and 16 as well as a limited number of bus lines have resumed operations. Consult your neighbourhood committee for up-to-date information on transportation in your district. Starting May 25, an additional 2,000 taxis have been released into operation to meet growing transportation needs associated with medical appointments and railway/flight departures. Shanghai announced on May 30 that all public transportation, cruising taxis and private car services will resume normal operations starting June 1.

Due to the fluid nature of the current situation in Shanghai, the information on public transportation is subject to change at any time with limited or even no prior notice. We encourage that you check the latest information prior to your travel at sh.bendibao.com or at Shanghai Bendibao (上海本地宝) via Wechat.

Can we travel to another city in China?

The government of Shanghai advises its residents to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Shanghai. A negative PCR test report within 48 hours is required to exit or enter Shanghai via the train stations and airports.

With the evolving situation in Shanghai, restrictions on travel to other cities may be subject to change at any time with limited or no prior notice. Should you and your family decide to depart the city, we encourage you to communicate closely with the neighbourhood committee responsible for your area for up-to-date advice and permission to leave the compound, and to confirm with your destination city on entry (and quarantine) policies.

For further information on train and plane services, please contact your chosen travel agent, national rail service 12306 or airline companies.

Can we travel outside of China?

International travel is still possible, although significantly reduced. 

Please note that the commute to either of the 2 Shanghai international airports may be challenging and requires preparation ahead of time. Private drivers are available, but strongly recommend proper vetting to ensure reliability of such services. For further information on how to reach the airport, contact us at Shanghai.consular@international.gc.ca.

We also encourage you to check with your travel agent and airline company to confirm your flight schedule as cancellations may occur at the last minute.

COVID‑19 testing and management

Are COVID‑19 tests mandatory?

Shanghai is currently implementing multiple rounds of city-wide COVID testing. All residents of Shanghai, regardless of their nationality, are subject to local regulations and are required to undergo the tests. We encourage you to cooperate with local authorities.

Can I request door-to-door PCR test instead of going to the designated testing site in the compound? Can I choose to take an antigen test instead of a PCR test?

Due to the current resource constraints and limited capacity of medical staff, the request for door-to-door PCR tests may not be accommodated. If you have special requests or issues with the testing arrangement, you should raise them with the neighbourhood committee responsible for your compound.

How long will the lockdown last?

Shanghai has announced updated follow-up prevention and control measures, following its extended, phased lockdown that began March 28, 2022. Based on the results of previous screenings and risk levels, local areas are classified as either "locked down," "controlled" or "precautionary." Please check with your neighbourhood committee for your particular status and how it is implemented.

Precautionary areas – residential communities, villages, companies or sites that have reported no positive COVID‑19 cases within the past 14 days – will allow residents to move around within these subdistricts and towns, but gatherings will be limited. People in these areas are prohibited from traveling to locked-down or controlled areas.

Controlled areas are those which had no positive cases in the past seven days. Residents of these areas are asked to conduct weeklong self-health monitoring. They are allowed to move around within their neighborhoods and coordinate with their neighbors to pick up online orders from designated areas.

Locked-down areas are those where positive cases have been reported within the past week. A 7-day lockdown plus another week of health observation will be imposed. If no positive case is reported in the next week, residents can walk around within their neighborhoods.

As COVID cases hit new low and the city edges closer to an exit strategy of easing lockdown, Shanghai unveiled on May 29 a new 72-hour rule on PCR test results for residents to access public transport and areas. Such changes will take effect from June 1. Starting the same day, public transportation, private car services as well as free access to residential compounds will be restored for residents living in low-risk areas and precautionary zones.

The Consulate General will continue to closely monitor the situation and provide consular assistance to Canadian citizens in the region.

Please monitor the local news and public authority announcement for the latest updates.

Isolation centre and hospitalization

If my child were tested positive, can I accompany him/her to the Isolation Centre of the Hospital?

Parents can apply to accompany their children during central quarantine, irrelevant of their own test results.

Parents are required to sign an acknowledgment of the potential health risks during central quarantine and need to safeguard their own health.

Please make sure you submit your request to the health authorities as soon as you are notified of the intent to transfer to a centralized quarantine facility.  

Can I refuse to be transferred to a government managed facility?

According to local procedures, every individual who tests positive must be transferred to a designated facility. Please note that all residents of Shanghai, regardless of their nationality, are subject to local laws, policies and regulations, and are advised to collaborate with the authorities. We encourage you to cooperate with local authorities.

Should you find yourself in this situation, you can contact the Consulate General by email (Shanghai.consular@international.gc.ca), with details of your individual circumstances for awareness and follow-up, as required. Please inform us of medical conditions and provide contact details.

The Government of Canada is unable to prevent the transfer of our citizens to treatment facilities, however, the Consulate General will endeavour to advocate with local authorities on your behalf for your fair and equal treatment, and in cases where there are concerns that you may be treated at a disadvantage because of your citizenship. If you are concerned about the conditions of the facility where you are staying, we encourage you to raise the issue directly with employees of the facility or local public health authorities.

If transferred to a government managed facility and readying for discharge, effective May 24, residents in Shanghai will receive a Permit to Release from Quarantine for Medical Observation issued by such facility, then are transferred door-to-door back home as arranged by respective districts for a 7-day home-based health monitoring.

Medical emergency

What do I do in a medical emergency?

In case of a medical emergency, please contact local law enforcement authorities and emergency responders (110 on your phone), and notify your building management or neighbourhood community, if applicable.

Effective April 18, 2022, residents in Shanghai can now reserve a taxi for transport to medical treatment at a hospital, which is administratively managed by communities and supervised by each district. Contact your neighbourhood committee to arrange transport.

We also encourage you to subsequently inform the Consulate General of Canada in Shanghai of your situation, as officials will be able to provide you with consular services, depending on your situation, and monitor your case closely.

Food, water & supplies

Is the tap water potable?

Running water in Shanghai complies with national regulations when leaving treatment plants, but there are risks of microbial pollution when it passes through the pipes. Thus, it is not recommended to drink the water directly from the tap.

However, once boiled for a sufficient time, tap water is considered potable. The risk of heavy metal pollution is low and only has a potential effect on health in the event of long-term accumulation.

Who is responsible for food and supply deliveries? Can the Consulate organize food delivery for me?

The local government provided public reassurance that food delivery to the residents of Shanghai was a priority and that they were managing.  The Consulate is not in a position to organize or deliver food supplies.

At this time, we understand food deliveries sometimes require group buys from compounds and may not be accepting individual orders. We encourage you to reach out to your community managers and/or neighbours so that you can participate in these group purchases.

More platforms and retail outlets are  operational. Among  English-language APPs, Epermarket is providing specific lockdown boxes (generally delivered within 72 hours)  and Aldi may have group order options for certain locations. Food delivery APPs such as Eleme have resumed  services, although options are limited.

There are also various local Chinese-language options including ‘Dingdong Maicai’, Hema App and JD.com. We encourage you to reach out directly to these vendors for the latest information.

Evacuation

Will the Consulate General organize evacuations of Canadian citizens and families to Canada?

An evacuation is done in very exceptional circumstances and would normally only be considered when there are not viable commercial options for our citizens to leave the country. At this time, Air Canada as well as some other carriers are still operating to and from Shanghai International Airports. You should contact your travel agent or your carrier to get the details on flight availability should you decide to travel.

Please note that the commute to either of the two Shanghai international airports may be challenging and requires advance preparation. For further information on how to reach the airport, contact us at Shanghai.consular@international.gc.ca.

Due to the fluid nature of the situation in Shanghai, the travel restrictions within the city may be subject to change at any time with limited or even no prior notice. Should you and your family decide to depart the city, we encourage you to communicate with your neighbourhood committee responsible for your area for up-to-date advice and permission to leave the compound for airports. 

We would also encourage our citizens to register using the Registration of Canadians Abroad service if you have not done so. It is a free service that allows the Government of Canada to notify its registered citizens in case of an emergency abroad, including if an evacuation is being arranged.

Pets

If I tested positive, can I bring my pet with me to a quarantine/isolation centre?

As per current policy, it is not possible to bring pets into an isolation centre or centralized quarantine facility. Pet owners are encouraged to explore their options within their community and support circles ahead of time. Some commercial options exist but are often oversubscribed.

What can I do for my pet if I test positive?

The authorities have not yet released any specific guidelines on pet accommodation under these circumstances.

Pet owners may enquire with their neighbourhood committee as well as volunteers in their residential area to see if any arrangements can be made to help feed the pets in the absence of the owners.

Pet owners are advised to stock up on the necessary pet supplies and make arrangements in advance with their vet, friends, neighbours or other emergency contact(s) to pick up and look after the pets, in the event pet owners are required to move to centralized quarantine.

How can I bring my pet back to Canada?

If you are successful in booking a flight with an accompanying pet ticket, it is your responsibility that your pet has the necessary supporting documentation and vaccinations. Please note that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible for regulating all animals and animal products entering Canada. At this point, Canada has not relaxed its requirements for entry of domestic animals. For the latest information, please consult the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and/or Bringing your pet to Canada

From June 1 to September 30, Air Canada will suspend its pet transportation services, due to the temperature. If you are leaving Shanghai, with the limited number of pets allowed per flight and summer stoppage, it may take longer than expected to have someone accompany your pet in person.

Pet associations, such as the Shanghai Pet Industry Association and Second Chance Animal Aid (SCAA) may be able to assist in situations where the owner needs to depart or has departed. Consider a neighbour, friend or pet hotel to foster your pet during your absence.

Official information

Below is a list of WeChat forums you can access for the latest updates from the local authorities.  Note that most of these references are only available in Chinese.

Notarial services

If I need a notarial service, can I book an appointment?

If you are currently residing outside of Shanghai and in need of an urgent notarial service, you can contact our Embassy in Beijing or the Consulate General of Canada in Guangzhou.

The Consulate General of Canada in Shanghai reviews its position for cancellation of existing appointments one week at the time to minimize the impact.

If you are in Shanghai and require notary services, please monitor our website and watch for the announcement that we are resuming our operations: from that day, our appointment system will be reactivated. Appointments can be made via the online appointment system once our office re-opens for notarial service.

Passport services and citizenship services

Clients requiring urgent citizenship/passport application services are asked to contact the Canadian Embassy in Beijing or the Consulate General in Guangzhou.

The Consulate General of Canada in Shanghai reviews its position for cancellation of existing appointments one week at the time to minimize the impact. Clients are encouraged to monitor our website and watch for the announcement that we are resuming our operations. Appointments can be made via the online appointment system once our office re-opens for passport and citizenship services.

Clients are encouraged to use mail-in services to submit passport applications. 

Clients who wish to withdraw applications or retrieve documents previously submitted can contact the Consulate via email and we will follow up once we resume regular operations.

All couriers to the Consulate General sent on/after our office closure (March 18) are with the courier companies. You may contact the courier companies to see whether your packages can be retrieved.

If you require your passport for other administrative reasons to exit the country (such as banking, housing), please contact Shanghai.consular@international.gc.ca and we may be able to provide you a Facilitation Letter for your situation.

My Canadian passport was previously submitted to the local Exit and Entry Administration Bureau for Chinese visa applications/renewals. Can I get it back during the city lockdown?

As announced on May 31, the Exit and Entry Administration Bureau in Shanghai (EEAB) will resume normal operations starting June 1 . The bureau advises to book an appointment in advance and make sure you have all necessary supporting documentation.

To access EEAB, you will need to show a green health code, itinerary code and a negative PCR test report valid within 72 hours of testing time.  

In case of enquiries or questions, EEAB can be reached at their service hotline 12367 (if calling from a local number): Follow the voice menu and press "1" for Chinese language (to connect to the Bureau in Shanghai) -- "2" for enquiries regarding documents/applications -- "2" to speak to an officer.

Migration, visa and permanent resident

Enquiries related to Canadian visa applications, immigration to Canada and Canadian permanent residency should be directed to the Migration Section via email at shanghai-im-enquiry@international.gc.ca.

I previously submitted my Chinese passport to the Canadian Visa Application Centre. Can I get it back during lockdown?

Please contact the Canadian Visa Application Centre (VAC) once they are open and request them to return your passport to you.

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