I have been in Sweden for the past months and during my time back home my residence permit for China expired, so first step in the process of returning to Shanghai was going to Stockholm and apply for a new visa to be able to enter China. Turns out now to apply for a visa you handle everything via e-mail, so after a couple of days e-mailing back and forth with the helpful people at the visa center in Stockholm I finally got an appointment to go there to hand in my passport and application.
So next step is taking the early morning train from Skövde to Stockholm. Arriving in Stockholm I masked up and went on a walk to the visa center to hand in my application. I avoided the metro on purpose, during these type of times it is important to avoid crowded spaces even though wearing a face mask.
Fast forward one week. I got the new visa. Next step getting an appointment IdrKliniken in Gothenburg to do the dreaded PCR test again. After another train trip and quick walk I arrived at the PCR clinic, this time doing the test was awful! The pain was unbelievable! I can not understand how it can be so different from lab to lab, last time at Hedda Healthcare I almost didn't feel it at all. Anyway, with a painful nose I left the clinic and went back home.
Later that day I received the negative test report and then right away filled in the health declaration from the Chinese embassy and sent it in along with my test report. Next day I received a chopped version of the declaration and just like that I had all my papers ready to fly back to China.
Another fast forward. A few days later I am at Arlanda Airport ready to get going. Everything was pretty normal, just more masked and fewer travelers. And obviously less restaurants open.
Next stop, Vantaa Airport in Helsinki. The presence of a pandemic was more obvious in Finland than in Sweden, but still pretty normal atmosphere. The big difference was the process of getting all documents checked before boarding the flight to Shanghai. Several people, both Europeans and Chinese, were denied boarding due to missing or incorrect documents. I was approved.
8.5 hour flight. Mask on all the time except when eating and drinking obviously. Very tough actually to keep the mask on for +24 hours basically. But necessary.
Arriving in Shanghai then the arrival process started. I will write a separate post about this when I am out from isolation and have better Internet connection, but in short I can say it is painfully clear why COVID19 still is a big issue in Europe and not so much of an issue here in China anymore.
10 days left in isolation. Then another update will come.