Authorities in Macau and Zhuhai have again extended by seven days, to December 14 inclusive, the existing requirement that all people crossing between the two cities hold a nucleic acid test certificate issued within 24 hours proving they are ‘negative’ for Covid-19 infection. Zhuhai, in mainland China’s Guangdong province, is normally a key overland gateway for mainland tourists.
The cross-border liaison system responsible for the initial tightening of travel protocols – known as the “Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism between Zhuhai and Macau” – announced the extension in a Wednesday update.
The 24-hour test rule had been introduced from November 16, in response to an uptick in Covid-19 infections in Guangdong, and has since been extended every week.
Macau has recorded in recent days fresh cases of Covid-19 among people who at the time of diagnosis had been present in the community, rather than in quarantine. These infected people included casino workers, and mainland Chinese tourists that stayed and visited the city’s casino resorts.
Across the border, there has been a sequential spike in new Covid-19 infections in the past week. The Zhuhai health authorities reported an aggregate of 247 new cases in the seven-day period up to Tuesday, inclusive.
Zhuhai has since December 2 eased some of its Covid-19 control measures, including making home quarantine available for close contacts of a confirmed Covid-19 patient, and waiving the requirement to present a ‘negative’ test result to enter most public places. Some restrictions however remain for people taking public transportation for cross-province travelling, entering “enclosed” public spaces, as well as indoor venues such as Internet cafes, clubs, karaokes, bars and saunas, as well as hotels and tourist attractions.
On Tuesday, Macau’s Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Elsie Ao Ieong U, said local policies against Covid-19 would be progressively eased and that Macau would “gradually reopen”.
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