The Macau government has extended border entry restrictions – that were already of unspecified duration – in order to prevent the entry of any non-resident worker registered in the city and hailing from an overseas country. The ban is with effect from Thursday (March 19) according to an official dispatch published on Wednesday.
The ban will not cover those registered non-resident workers who at the same time are residents either of mainland China, Hong Kong or Taiwan.
Exemptions to the ban might be permitted in “exceptional cases” if the situation involves either disease prevention, emergency rescue or other purposes that serve the city’s “normal operation” and “residents’ basic living needs”, according to the dispatch. Discretionary power of decision making on such exceptions would rest with the local health authorities, said the announcement in the Official Gazette.
The Macau government had already announced on Tuesday an entry ban – with effect from Wednesday – on all “non-local residents”, with exceptions for residents of either mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan. Such ban in fact covers general visitors from overseas countries, according to the authorities. When the original ban was announced, it also exempted people who were registered in Macau as a non-resident worker.
Entry restrictions that have been applied incrementally over recent weeks and days are based on the Macau Special Administrative Region government’s wish to prevent the city from importing infection cases of the novel coronavirus, a global public health threat that had now reached pandemic proportions. That reasoning – as applied to the latest measure – was mentioned in a separate Wednesday statement issued by the local government.
The tightened rules on who is allowed into Macau was announced as the city reported seven new cases of Covid-19 infection, between Sunday and Wednesday. All of the new infections were imported cases, some involving non-resident workers returning to the city, and others involving Macau residents studying abroad.
Hong Kong announced on Tuesday that it was to quarantine all people arriving from abroad for 14 days, starting on Thursday (March 19). The restrictions will not apply to people from Macau and Taiwan, while since February, those arriving in Hong Kong from mainland China have been required to isolate themselves at home.
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Aggregate number of visitor arrivals to Macau in October