A negative PCR test result obtained within the last 72 hours is currently a must in Shanghai should you wish to take part in 'normal life.'
To facilitate this, the city has built around 15,000 nucleic acid sample collection sites across the city for its "normalized COVID-19 prevention and control."
The target is for all citizens to be within 15 minutes' walk of a PCR testing site, be they at home or workplace, with all PCR tests in Shanghai free until June 30.
So how do you find the closest / most convenient / least busy one in your vicinity?
Simply follow these steps:
First of all, open the Suishenban App (search 随申办 if it's not already there)...
Then select the PCR Test Site / Hesuan Caiyang Dian / 核酸采样点 option...
And there you have it: the address, operation hours and waiting time of the closest sites...
This bit is IMPORTANT though...
Keep an eye on those boxes below the test site name; they tell you who is eligible to get tested at each site.
If it says: 面向社会 / mianxiang shehui / open to public – then everyone can get tested here.
If it says: 面向所在小区 / mianxiang suozai xiao qu / open to community – and it is located in a compound or office building, it may be that only residents or workers of that compound or office building can get tested here.
(Although we've already come across test sites that say 面向所在小区 / mianxiang suozai xiao qu / open to community – yet seem to be testing all comers, so... let's just move on, shall we?)
Here's some more facts and figures on the PCR test sites:
There are three kinds of testing sites across Shanghai – fixed, convenient and mobile. Fixed testing sites have been set up in local hospitals and medical institutes; convenient testing sites are the kiosks that have appeared on the street; and mobile sites resemble breakfast carts, and can be quickly set up in response to any emergency situation.
Nucleic acid sample collection sites include some 4,000 spots for residents at local communities, 6,000 for companies, schools and construction sites, as well as 5,000 for any citizen.
All PCR tests in Shanghai are free until June 30, after which they will be RMB16 per person, or RMB5 for a mixed test.
Shanghai can test at most 8.5 million tubes of nucleic acid samples every day.
More than 50,000 people have received training and are qualified to work as PCR sample collection assistants.
Ladies and gentlemen, we give you your new 'normal life' – be sure to follow us for any updates on what that constitutes:
[Cover image courtesy of Xinhua]