Macau’s Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre announced on Monday an updated Covid-19 test protocol for all people travelling from anywhere in mainland China to the city, and said the measure was in response to the “severity” of Covid-19 outbreaks on the Chinese mainland, including the neighbouring city of Zhuhai in Guangdong province.
Now those inbound to Macau via anywhere in China must take a nucleic acid test on the third day from their date of arrival in Macau, the response centre said. Failure to do so would result in the individual’s Macau-issued electronic health code turning ‘yellow’, meaning they could not enter certain places including government offices, restaurants and leisure facilities, which is understood to include casinos.
That is in addition to those people arriving via Zhuhai that have since last week needed proof of a ‘negative’ Covid-19 test with 24-hour validity, just to enter Macau.
Under the new protocol, if after a ‘yellow’ warning, an individual still fails to be tested during their stay in Macau, his or her electronic health code will turn ‘red’, meaning they would be unable to use either public transport or public venues.
The new test rule is retroactive, to cover visitors that had arrived in Macau from mainland China since November 17, the Macau Covid-19 task force stated.
As of Sunday (November 20), mainland China had seen over 26,800 new Covid-19 infections within a 24-hour period. Of that number, 9,085 were in Guangdong province, according to statistics reported by China’s National Health Commission.
The ongoing Covid-19 outbreaks in Guangdong province, including the cities of Zhuhai and Guangzhou, had already moderated the city’s recent tourist arrival numbers, which had hovered around “16,000” daily, a senior tourism official told local press last week.
Under Macau’s Covid-19 prevention measures, any mainland community deemed as “high risk” for Covid-19 transmission is added to Macau’s quarantine-on-arrival list, applicable to inbound travellers from that place.
Although mainland China remains the only place with a largely quarantine-free travel arrangement with Macau, as of Monday, a total of 30 of mainland China’s 31 provinces, autonomous regions and major cities had communities on Macau’s quarantine-on-arrival list.
A total of 16 cities in Guangdong province now has localities on Macau’s quarantine-on-arrival list.
(Updated at 1.27pm, Nov 22)
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