Addressing Wednesday evening’s Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre press conference, the Health Bureau’s (SSM) Control of Communicable Diseases and Surveillance of Diseases Department Coordinator Leong Iek Hou said that two travellers who arrived in Macao on Wednesday who had been in Beijing within the past 14 days were immediately transferred to 14 days of quarantine and medical observation at one of the government’s “quarantine hotels”, as the local government’s 14-day mandatory quarantine for all arrivals from the nation’s capital started at midday on Wednesday.
The centre announced in a statement on Wednesday morning that with effect from noon on Wednesday all arrivals who have been in Beijing within the past 14 days prior to their entry into Macao must undergo 14 days of quarantine and medical observation at one of the government’s “quarantine hotels”, considering that the capital has raised its COVID-19 emergency response to Level 2 from Level 3.
Currently, two government-designated hotels for quarantine and medical observation purposes are operating, namely the 298-room Pousada Marina Infante hotel in Cotai and a section of the Sheraton Grand hotel in Cotai comprising 500 rooms.
During Wednesday’s press conference, Leong pointed out that while there have recently been no flights from Beijing to Macao, a number of travellers who had been in Beijing have recently entered Macao via Macao-Zhuhai land border checkpoints. Leong said that the Health Bureau will call and ask them whether they have been in high-risk areas in the nation’s capital, and continue to follow up on their latest health status during their stay in Macao, or up to 14 days from the date they left Beijing.
Applications for Zhuhai quarantine waiver resumed
Meanwhile, Alvis Lo Iek Long, a clinical director of the public Conde S. Januário Hospital Centre, announced during Wednesday’s press conference that the Macao government will resume accepting applications from local residents today for the Zhuhai government’s new quarantine exemption.
Since Tuesday, the Zhuhai government exempts up to 1,000 Macao residents per day from its 14-day quarantine requirement who need to cross the Macao-Zhuhai border for official purposes, business activities or other special reasons. Those who have been granted the new quarantine waiver by the Zhuhai government can only cross the Macao-Zhuhai border via the Hengqin border checkpoint – which is open 24/7 – or the Macao-Zhuhai checkpoint on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) – which operates between 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
The exemption jointly carried out by the Zhuhai and Macao governments was first announced during last Wednesday’s Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre press conference. The Macao government launched the online application last Thursday for the new measure, before suspending the process on Sunday after receiving a large number of applications.
Eligible Macao residents have to fill in the online application, which runs from 10 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. daily, five days prior to their intended entry into Zhuhai. The Macao government will first assess and approve the applications, after which the Zhuhai government will “confirm” the list that the former has approved. The quarantine waiver is valid for seven days each time.
Macao residents whose application for the quarantine exemption has been approved will have to undergo a nucleic acid test (NAT) – which has a validity of seven days – two days prior to their intended entry into Zhuhai.
During Wednesday’s press conference, Lo pointed out that the local government has received 7,611 applications from residents for the Zhuhai government’s new exemption measure since last Thursday’s launch of the online applications – until the process was suspended on Sunday, adding that 6,667 of them have been approved by the Macao government and its Zhuhai counterpart.
Lo also said that those who successfully submit their applications today will start their seven-day exemption period from next Tuesday – if their applications are approved.
Lo also pointed out that if all the 1,000 places per day have already been booked, the online application system will show a message telling the applicants that the places that day have been fully booked, urging residents to try to apply from 10 a.m. the next day instead of repeatedly attempting to apply before. Lo also revealed that some 700 residents started to use the online application system simultaneously “from the first second” of last Thursday’s launch of the application process.
Meanwhile, Lo also pointed out that Macao has not confirmed a new COVID-19 case for 70 consecutive days. All of Macao’s 45 COVID-19 patients have been discharged from hospital.
(The Macau Post Daily/Macau News)
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