Addressing Sunday’s daily press conference about the local government’s ongoing fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) threat, Inês Chan Lou, who heads the Licensing and Inspection Department of the Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO), announced that from Tuesday to next Sunday, the Macau government will offer Macau residents who arrive at Hong Kong’s airport from Europe transport to Macau, adding that those who want to join the measure will have to register with the Macau government either by phone or online.
Sunday’s announcement of the offer by the local government to transport locals arriving from Europe at the airport in Hong Kong to Macau came after the Hong Kong government announced on Friday that with effect from tomorrow all those who have been to any of the 26 nations in the Schengen Area within the past 14 days prior to their entry into Hong Kong will have to go into quarantine for 14 days there.
Macau’s airport does not have direct intercontinental flights, because of which most residents flying home from destinations outside Southeast and East Asia transit in Hong Kong.
The 26 Schengen Area countries are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
According to Chan, the new measure by the Macau government covers all Macau residents – those who are studying in Europe and those who have travelled to Europe.
According to Chan, under the measure, Macau residents who are in Europe have to register by calling the Macau government’s Tourism Crisis Management Office (GGCT) on 2833 3000, or by registering on the dedicated website of the Higher Education Bureau (DSES) https://aeees.dses.gov.mo/HKMAC/. The residents have to provide their ID and flight information (including transit flights) in the registration. The residents have to hold a valid air ticket for a flight arriving at Hong Kong’s airport on or before March 22, according to Chan.
Chan said that the new measure could only get off the ground after repeated discussions between Macau’s Public Security Police (PSP) – which run Macau’s immigration service – and Hong Kong’s Immigration Department.
Chan said that the local Tourism Crisis Management Office has sent 671 SMSes to mobile phones in Europe being used by Macau residents, informing them about the special transport measure.
Under the arrangement, after a Macau resident who has registered for the measure arrives at Hong Kong’s airport, they will be transported by the Macau government from there back to Macau via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HZMB). Ferry services between Macau and Hong Kong have been suspended since early last month.
The Macau government announced on Saturday that with effect from tomorrow all those who have been to any of the 26 nations in the Schengen Area within the past 14 days prior to their entry into Macau will have to stay under medical surveillance for 14 days.
Arrivals from four Schengen Area countries – France, Germany, Italy and Spain, as well as Iran, Japan and South Korea have been subject to the 14-day quarantine measure for some time already.
Saturday’s announcement of the extension of the 14-day quarantine measure also covers the United Kingdom and Russia in Europe, as well as Canada, the United States, Brazil, Australia, and Egypt.
Non-Macau residents – visitors and non-resident workers – have to go into 14-day quarantine at a government-designated hotel (Pousada Marina Infante in Cotai) at their own expense, while local residents can choose to go into the 14-day quarantine either in their home or at the hotel, depending on whether their flat can meet certain requirements, such as whether they need to share a bedroom.
The Macau government has announced that starting from March 14, all Macau pupils and students enrolled overseas must go into mandatory home quarantine for 14 days after returning to Macau.
During yesterday’s press conference, SSM Control of Communicable Diseases and Surveillance of Diseases Department Coordinator Leong Iek Hou said that the local government mistakenly announced on Saturday that tomorrow’s extension of the 14-day quarantine measure would cover New Zealand, actually this measure will not cover New Zealand. She said that the local government made the mistake due to having to deal with “a lot of” epidemic information and statistics from around the world.
(The Macau Post Daily/Macau News)
PHOTO © Government Information Bureau (GCS)