Macau is considering a shift in public policy whereby entry to certain local indoor venues, including restaurants, would require either proof of vaccination against Covid-19, or possession of a certificate showing a ‘negative’ Covid-19 nucleic acid test result, said the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Elsie Ao Ieong U, (pictured in file photo) in comments to the local press on the sidelines of a Legislative Assembly meeting on Friday.
This concept was first mentioned by a senior Macau health official, Leong Iek Hou, in a Thursday press briefing on the city’s Covid-19 situation. At the Friday occasion, Ms Ao Ieong said the government was considering the feasibility of such requirements for entry to certain indoor facilities, and had not yet set any timetable for doing so.
A test certificate giving the all-clear for Covid-19 is already required for certain forms of cross-border travel from Macau. At an earlier stage of the pandemic crisis, a ‘negative’ test had been required for entry to the city’s casinos, but that was discontinued in early March last year.
In her Friday comments, Secretary Ao Ieong urged the public – especially the elderly – to get vaccinated against Covid-19, in view of the emergence of the highly infectious Omicron strain.
GGRAsia approached respectively the city’s Health Bureau, and Macau’s casino regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, asking officials to clarify how likely was the Macau government to adjust entry rules for the city’s casinos. We had not received a reply by the time this story went online.
As of 4pm on Thursday, 494,698 individuals in Macau had received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, said Ms Leong in a press briefing the same day. A total of 427,494 individuals have had two doses of Covid-19 vaccine, representing about 63 percent of the city’s population of 682,300.
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