New Services for Foreigners During the Epidemic Period

New Services for Foreigners During the Epidemic Period

Shanghai government has opened two new service channels to help foreigners in Shanghai stay informed in the battle against the novel coronavirus.


The official website of the foreign affairs office of Shanghai government has launched a multilingual column on epidemic prevention and control


Since February 1, the official website of the foreign affairs office of Shanghai government ( has launched a column on epidemic prevention and control. The contents of the daily press conferences and updates about the virus protection tips are published in five languages: Chinese, English, French, Japanese and Korean. Normally, the content of the news release on the day will be online on the same day after multilingual compilation.


Foreigners in Shanghai for information about the epidemic can call Shanghai public service hotline: 12345


Since February 2, 12345 hotline has cooperated with Shanghai foreign affairs office in providing multilingual counseling services for foreigners in Shanghai, the languages include English, Japanese, Korean, French, German, Spanish and Russian. Aiming at answering the FAQ in the prevention and control of the epidemic in Shanghai.


In addition to the two original staff of 12345 foreign language service, Shanghai municipal foreign affairs office has selected 16 volunteers as a backup team to provide remote online translation support. If a Japanese called in for consultation, and the English customer service staff was unable to answer in Japanese, the staff would connect the Japanese volunteer on the spot for real-time communication. These volunteers will make sure their phones are on and able to translate all the time during the service hour.


According to statistics, as of February 4, 12345 had received 63 inquires from foreigners, mainly including hotline service time, work visa, the entry and exit problems, etc., among which 52 inquires are about the epidemics, such as what hospitals foreigners can go if they find they are infected with coronavirus, how to pay the medical fees, whether the downtime would affect their entry and exit schedule and so on.


At present, the multilingual service hour for foreigners is every day from 8 am to 8 PM. During the non-multilingual service hour, the center will automatically transfer the call to the duty room of Shanghai municipal foreign affairs office.


The cooperation between 12345 hotline and Shanghai foreign affairs office won’t be limited only during the period of the epidemic. The two sides has expressed that they will establish a long-term cooperation mechanism to better provide consultation services for foreigners in Shanghai.


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