China Extends Lunar New Year Holiday to February 2, Shanghai to February 9

China’s State Council announced on January 27 that the Lunar New Year / Spring Festival holiday will be extended to February 2 across the country; the holiday week was originally from January 24 to January 30. (The official notification can be accessed here.)

Meanwhile, local governments have been taking the lead in the respective provinces and cities:

  • For anymore new updates as they come in, please see our article, Managing Your China Business during the Coronavirus Outbreak: Ongoing Updates and Advisory, here.
  • On January 30, Jiangxi Province and Shandong Province announced non-essential enterprises will be closed till February 9.
  • On January 29, Hubei Province announced that enterprises in the province will be closed till February 13.
  • On January 29, Anhui Province announced the delay in resumption of work for non-essential enterprises to February 9.
  • On January 28, Chongqing also announced that non-essential enterprises in the administrative area will remain closed till February 9.
  • On January 29, the provinces of Jiangsu and Yunnan announced that non-essential enterprises must delay work to February 9 (see here for official announcement) for Jiangsu and here for Yunnan).
  • On January 28, Guangdong Province announced that it will delay resumption of work and school to after February 9 and February 17-24, respectively. (See official announcement here.)
  • On January 27, Zhejiang Province announced it is delaying return to work and school to February 9. (See official announcement here.)
  • On January 27, Shanghai announced that all enterprises will remain closed till February 9. (See official notification from the Shanghai municipal government here.)

The move to extend the New Year break has been expected as government and healthcare authorities double down on efforts to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak by restricting public movement and large gatherings.

Postponing the end of the holiday from Friday to Sunday means people are expected to resume work starting Monday, February 3.

However, various businesses have directed their employees to work from home if they show signs of feeling unwell, or if they are returning from cities that are subject to transport restrictions or lock-down, or if they have had interaction with friends / family / relatives traveling from affected areas.

HR departments are advised to monitor for notifications from local governments regarding the implementation of city-wise policies or if any areas have to be quarantined. Open communication with all employees is also crucial to avoid any situation that promotes confusion or panic. Hygiene measures should ideally be stepped up.

Employees will be able to seek compensatory leave as per the country’s labor law if they have lost vacation days due to the prevention of the epidemic and performing other control duties.

Similarly, wages and salaries for lapsed or unused holidays will be guaranteed as per respective labor policies.

Finally, the start of the spring semester for colleges, schools, and kindergartens has been suspended. Separate notices will be issued by the Education Department on when institutions will reopen.