Updated Walkthrough: Booking a COVID-19 Test at Chaoyang Hospital
Spring Festival may be over, but if you're planning on traveling before Mar 15, you may still need to get a nucleic acid test for COVID-19, both before leaving Beijing and once you arrive back in the city.
Chaoyang Hospital remains one of the most convenient places to get a test in downtown Beijing, but since we last blogged about it, the process for booking via WeChat (which remains essential – there are no walk-ups) has changed substantially. The process is all in Chinese, so we have put together a handy annotated walkthrough below. Strap in, it's going to be a long journey...
Step 1. Search for 北京朝阳医院 Běijīng zhāoyáng yīyuàn beijing chaoyang yiyuan on WeChat. On the WeChat account homepage, click "services," and then "本部预约"
Step 2. On the next page, click the blue text that says "确认" at the bottom of the pop-up to get rid of it, then select "核酸检测门诊" on the bottom left-hand side of the page and again on the right-hand side of the page.
Step 3. On the next page, select a test date – if there are slots available, it will say 有号 in blue text below the date – and then choose either the morning (8am-noon) or afternoon (1-5pm) session by clicking the blue box on the right.
Step 4. On the next page, you'll get a pop-up asking you to complete real-name registration. Click the blue text that says "去实名" to continue.
Step 5. Now, you'll need to access the page for passport holders, so click the text that says "使用其他有效证件" under the big blue button.
Step 6. Fill in your information: Full name in the first box, select "护照" from the drop-down menu in the second box, and ID (passport) number in the third box. Finally, upload a selfie holding your passport. Then click the big blue 提交 (submit) button. Note you only have to do this the first time that you use the platform.
Step 7. On the booking confirmation page, click "添加就诊人" at the top to add your details.
Step 8. Fill in your personal details (again) to register as a patient. At the bottom of the page, you'll need to fill in the details of a contact person (the boxes are name, ID type, ID number, and mobile number, in that order) – if you're booking for yourself, this seemingly can just be your own details again, or it can be an emergency contact. When you're done, click the big blue button at the bottom of the page and you'll be sent a one-time passcode (OTP) to confirm your mobile number. Again, you'll only need to do this step the first time you use the platform.
Step 9. Back on the booking confirmation page, click "添加就诊人" again and then select your name, which should be highlighted in blue. You'll then get a pop-up asking you to add a "medical card" — in this case, you'll be paying for your own test, so select the second option, "自费就诊."
Step 10. Almost there. Scroll down the page and you'll see three boxes: one with a medical card number (it should have given you a temporary number since you're paying your own fees), one with your mobile number, and one for a passcode. Click the text in blue that says "获取验证码" on the right-hand side to get another OTP, enter it in the adjacent box, then click the big blue button at the bottom to confirm your booking.
Then, simply turn up during your allotted time slot. There will usually be a few people there on-site to help you out.
[Editor's note: This process is both complicated and new to us, so we apologize if we missed any steps. We didn't book a slot to complete the process or attend a test because we didn't need one and we didn't want to take up a slot that could have gone to someone else, nor did we fancy having our tonsils poked and prodded with a cotton swab for no reason. Anecdotally, once you get to the testing site – at the north end of the plaza at the east entrance to Chaoyang Hospital – the process remains the same as before (as a non-Chinese ID card holder, you will probably have to fill in a paper form prior to testing).]
Images: Pixabay, Robynne Tindall