The Macau authorities have over the weekend added locations spread across four Chinese provinces to the list of places where departing travellers must do a 14-day quarantine on arrival in Macau.
The measure comes amid a rise in the number of local Covid-19 infection cases reported on the mainland.
In a Sunday update, the Macau government listed several communities in, respectively, Jiangsu province, Yunnan province, Liaoning province and Sichuan province, as among Macau’s quarantine-on-arrival list. Nanjing Lukou International Airport in Jiangsu province is included in the list.
Anyone that had been at Nanjing Lukou International Airport from July 14 onwards will need to do a quarantine in Macau. The Macau authorities said on Monday they estimated 150 people were covered by that requirement.
Nanjing city, the capital of Jiangsu, has reported a fresh string of Covid-19 infections starting from July 20 – the day when several staff that worked at Nanjing Lukou International Airport were confirmed as infected, according to mainland China media reports.
During the past week, infection cases linked to Nanjing’s new cluster have been gradually identified in Suqian city in Jiangsu, Zhongshan city and Zhuhai city in Guangdong province, Shenyang city in Liaoning province, He County and Wuhu city in Anhui province, and Mianyang city in Sichuan province, mainland media reports said.
Zhongshan city in Guangdong province has not been added to Macau’s quarantine-on-arrival list, but those travelling via that place will be required to submit a Covid-19 test certificate with only 48-hour validity on arrival in Macau.
On Monday morning, Macau’s neighbouring mainland city Zhuhai, in Guangdong, announced identification of a Covid-19 case where the patient was asymptomatic. The 29-year-old man had travelled to Zhuhai from Nanjing Lukou International Airport on July 19.
The Macau government said on Monday – citing the Zhuhai authorities – that the man had been staying in the Xiangzhou district of Zhuhai from July 19 to 21, before being placed under quarantine there.
The Macau authorities said at a media briefing on Monday afternoon, of the Novel Coronavirus Coordination and Response Centre, that they have some concerns that – due to the number of people commuting daily to Macau from Zhuhai for work – the person might have had contact with people that have entered Macau recently.
The Macau government is therefore urging anyone commuting from that district of Zhuhai to Macau during that time, to undergo – free of charge – virus testing. Three tests will be required, within seven days, added the Macau authorities.
Zhuhai mass testing
Zhuhai has already started citywide Covid-19 testing for its residents, a task due to be completed by Tuesday (July 27). The Zhuhai government has also imposed a 14-day lockdown in certain areas in its Xiangzhou district starting from Monday; the partial lockdown order does not cover the city’s boundary crossings with Macau.
Macau residents should be alert to “increasing risk of community outbreak”, said the Macau Health Bureau’s director, Alvis Lo Iek Long, in a Monday interview with the Chinese-language public broadcaster TDM. The health official reiterated his call for the Macau population to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
Commenting on the matter, brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein analysts Vitaly Umansky, Louis Li and Kelsey Zhu said in a Monday note: “We expect the local transmission likelihood to be low. While it is possible an infection pops up out of this and causes a few days of disruption in Macau, an outbreak at this stage that would close Macau or significantly disrupt travel is a low probability”
The analysts also said that they expected the new wave of Covid-19 infections reported in Nanjing city would be brought under control.
“Assuming the Zhuhai Covid[-19] case remains under control, visitation and gross gaming revenue [GGR] in August should pick up. But any larger GGR improvement will need to wait [for] greater travel opening between Macau/Hong Kong/China,” the Sanford Bernstein team wrote.
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