People intending to travel out of Macau by any route, are now required to present a nucleic acid test result – proving they are ‘negative’ for the Covid-19 virus – issued within 24 hours of departure, with the new rule in effect from the start of Wednesday (October 6), according to a dispatch on behalf of the city’s Chief Executive, Ho Iat Seng.
It is part of Macau’s efforts to prevent Macau’s recently-reported Covid-19 infections spreading “outside the city” said the government.
There are some public-interest exemptions to the 24-hour test rule: people dealing with disease prevention and control, and emergency rescue; those ensuring the proper operation of public services in the community; and those involved with meeting the basic day-to-day needs of the Macau public. That is according to Macau health official, Leong Iek Hou, speaking on Tuesday in a government press briefing on the city’s Covid-19 situation.
Prior to that new rule, all travellers leaving Macau by air, had been required to hold a nucleic acid test certificate issued within 48 hours proving they were ‘negative’ for the virus.
Those exiting to travel by land to neighbouring Zhuhai in Guangdong province, are still subject to a 14-day quarantine, in addition to an already-existing requirement that such travellers hold a nucleic acid test certificate issued within 24 hours proving they are ‘negative’ for the virus.
Macau also has fresh controls on anyone inbound via foreign countries, with effect from the start of Thursday (October 7).
Those aged 12 or over, intending to take a “non-stop flight or the first flight of an… itinerary” to Macau, must on boarding, present either a certificate proving that they have completed “the whole course of Covid-19 vaccination,” at least 14 days prior to travel, or a certificate proving they are unfit for such vaccination. In addition, they are required to present proof of a Covid-19 nucleic acid test ‘negative’ result issued within 48 hours.
Travellers via countries deemed “high risk”, face even tougher rules. People arriving via either Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, or Turkey are each required to present a proof of three ‘negative’ Covid-19 nucleic acid test results issued within seven days and at least 24 hours apart, with the most recent one within 48 hours of travel.
The local health authorities said on Tuesday they had identified a potential link between a Covid-19 case confirmed on Monday – involving a Vietnamese working as a decorator, and another case confirmed in late September, involving a Nepali security guard employed at a local quarantine hotel, according to the Health Bureau’s Ms Leong.
(Updated 5.15pm, Oct 6)
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President of junket trade body, the Macau Association of Gaming and Entertainment Promoters