Starting from the stroke of midnight on Friday (January 14), all those arriving in Macau from mainland China via either inland or maritime checkpoints must possess a ‘negative’ Covid-19 nucleic acid test result obtained in the prior 48 hours, said the city’s Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre in a Thursday announcement.
Those that do not hold Macau ID could be refused entry if they do not comply, said the local Covid-19 task force. Up until Friday, visitors have been allowed entry with a test result obtained within the prior seven days.
The upped testing rule for inbound travellers coincides with news of a fresh Covid-19 infection case only 10 kilometres (6 miles) from Macau, in Tanzhou Town, part of Zhongshan in Guangdong province. Chinese-language media said on Thursday it involved a 24-year-old woman living and working in Tanzhou. Reports did not mention what strain of Covid-19 the woman was thought to have.
The same day, Macau’s Health Bureau stated that it had identified several individuals in Macau that had “close contact” with the Tanzhou infection case, and was checking them.
They were initially tested on Thursday, and there were no reports of ‘positive’ results. Their Macau contacts were being placed in quarantine, the Health Bureau added.
Local media reports on Friday morning mentioned news of fresh Covid-19 cases in Zhuhai, the mainland city next to Macau, and also close to Tanzhou Town. By the time this story went online, it was not yet clear how many cases – if any – had been detected in Zhuhai.
The Zhuhai authorities announced that they would begin testing the entire population on Friday.
Macau also added Tanzhou Town and Nanping – a town in Zhuhai – to the list of mainland China places where departing travellers are covered by Macau’s quarantine-on-arrival requirement.
Currently, mainland China remains the only place to have a largely quarantine-free travel arrangement with Macau.
As of Friday, air passengers via the mainland to Macau require a ‘negative’ Covid-19 test certificate issued within the prior seven days.
(Updated at 9.50am, Jan 14)
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Deputy chairman of Success Universe Group, promoter of casino-hotel Ponte 16