An International Student’s Long Journey Return to China

I was getting ready to celebrate my birthday on March 23, 2022. I had been back in Syria for about two years, but I was unable to return to China because of travel limitations brought on by the COVID-19 prevention strategy. I learned that I had been waiting for two years on that particular day.

The message stated, โ€œWeโ€™ve acquired the list from CSC concerning students allowed to return back to China to finish their education and your name is on the list,” and came from the foreign office of my university, โ€œXX University of Technology.โ€ The lengthy trek then began.

When I phoned the Chinese embassy in Damascus, they advised me to hold off until they received instructions regarding the visa application process because the window for visa applications had closed and I was the first person permitted to do so.

I should get my paperwork ready and get my immunisation booster shot within that time. I completed all the procedures and applied for the visa in around two months, and on June 15, I received the visa in my passport. I often glance at it to convince myself that I am once again permitted to enter China.

The hardest part of my journey was the second chapter. There are a very small number of flights to China, and they are highly expensive. In addition to the quarantine fees when I get to China, the cost of a single one-way ticket is around 7000 dollars.

I began to track airline costs every day and was confident that they would go down, especially after numerous announcements from Chinese officials about increasing the number of flights and gradually lowering travel restrictions.

On July 1st, I got a call from a travel agent in Syria stating that there was an Etihad airline ticket to China available for $1200. I made a direct reservation on that flight and got ready to travel back to China.

I had to complete all of the Chinese governmentโ€™s requirements, including the nucleic acid tests, for the third part of my voyage in order to apply for the green code. Before 48 hours of boarding and before 24 hours of boarding, respectively, I must submit to two PCR tests. When I received the results, I used the designated URL (https://hrhk.cs.mfa.gov.cn/H5/) to apply for the green code and waited a few hours for my code to become green.

I was now prepared to board the aircraft. I have a connection in AbuDhabi, United Arab Emirates. I must perform the same PCR tests during the connection and apply for the green health code in order to board the flight to Beijing.

My journeyโ€™s final chapter officially began when we arrived at Beijing International Airport. I was thrilled to see China once more, but I was unsure of what to expect or how the quarantine and entry processes would work.

The medical personnel was ready for us to complete all of the criteria, including the health statement, PCR test, and passport verification, when we arrived at the airport. A bus was then waiting to take us to the quarantine facility.

That location was roughly 45 minutes from the airport. When we arrived, additional medical personnel were waiting for us to register our details and select the room where we would spend the quarantine period. The location was quite clean and new.Not like a hotel, more like an apartment.

They added us to a WeChat group where we may discuss all quarantine-related issues and adhere to the daily updated instructions. I was given three meals a day and was woken up every morning by medical personnel banging on my door for a PCR test. Up until the tenth day, when the quarantine ended, it was the everyday routine.

I was quarantined for ten days before I was supposed to fly to Wuhan. People who reside in Beijing only stayed for 7 days plus 3 days of home surveillance.

On the final day, I applied for the green code using the โ€œBeijing Health Kitโ€ app, and once it turned green, I was able to leave the quarantine with a certificate proving that I had completed the 10-day quarantine.

For 10 days of quarantine, it cost 4800 RMB totalโ€”380 RMB for lodging and 100 RMB for food (20 breakfasts, 40 lunches, and 40 suppers). I went to the Beijing train station to reserve a train to Wuhan at that time, and four hours later I arrived in Wuhan.

A medical team was waiting for incoming tourists at the Wuhan railway station.They questioned me about the district I was heading to, took down my information, and then let me to leave the station and head home. After ten days in Beijing, there was no quarantine in Wuhan. According to Hubei health rules, an application named โ€œe hui banโ€ shall be utilised daily in Wuhan for doing the PCR test and according to the green health code.

Your code will be green with a negative outcome following the nucleic acid test. If youโ€™re new to Wuhan, donโ€™t be concerned if your code appears grey.After you register at the police station and they approve your personal information, the light will turn green. You cannot access any public space without this programme with a green code and a negative PCR test.

It was a long voyage, but when I finally arrived in Wuhan after all these years, I had forgotten everything and was prepared to carry on with my life in China in order to complete my PhD.

Sources: the internet

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