An Irishman living in China has said life is back to normal there and that the firm adherence to lockdown rules, as well as strict border controls, has been central to keeping Covid-19 under control.

Mark Murray, who works as a teacher, told RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne that people in China only wear face masks on public transport now, where they are regularly required to present a QR Health Code on their phone.

The QR code is a colour-based system, and people’s health status became similar to a traffic light system - green, yellow and red. 

Red: You have to stay quarantined for 14 days and provide regular check-ins on a chat app called DingTalk. Yellow: You have to stay inside for seven days. Green: You are allowed to travel freely.

With the QR Health Code people's health status became similar to a traffic light system

Mr Murray said people are allowed on public transport if the QR code turns green, but they will be refused entry if it is yellow or red as that indicates a higher temperature.

He said he also was asked for this health code at the cinema last week, which is considered a high risk building.

Mr Murray said border controls are still in place and noone is allowed back into China. He said that he could leave the country, but would not be allowed return there.

He said they are "waiting for the rest of the world to catch up so we can completely get back to normal".

He said he has no fear of Covid-19, saying that it is like a thing of the past and people can go to restaurants and shops now without face masks or being stopped outside premises for temperature checks.

He said their initial lockdown lasted from six weeks to two months at the beginning of the breakout, that it was taken very seriously as there was great fear of it.

Mr Murray said people in China were "kind of shocked" that the virus was taken so lightly in Europe, that people were still having parties and get-togethers. However in China, they had "a much bigger fear of the coronavirus when it hit" but he said "nobody, not even teenagers, noone was risking getting together in groups at the beginning".

Mr Murray said he began teaching online in March and returned to the classroom in June.


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