The Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre announced in a statement Monday afternoon that all those arriving in Macao from Hong Kong via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) – including “Golden Bus” passengers – must present a NAT certificate confirming that they have tested negative for COVID-19 within the past seven days, otherwise they will be refused entry.
The measure started at 6 pm Monday. The statement pointed out that all arrivals who have been in Hong Kong within the 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” – irrespective of their NAT certificate. The Macao government has implemented its 14-day quarantine on arrivals from Hong Kong since 25 March.
The normal ferry service between Hong Kong and Macao has been suspended since early February due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
During Monday’s 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 the Macao government has decided to implement the nucleic acid test (NAT) certificate measure on arrivals from Hong Kong as that city’s COVID-19 epidemic has become serious.
Alvis Lo Iek Long, a clinical director of the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre said that the COVID-19 situation in Hong Kong was “worrying” as “many” new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed there in the past few days, and that’s why the Macao government has to implement further tougher measures on arrivals from Hong Kong.
Hong Kong on Monday confirmed 52 new COVID-19 cases, including 41 locally contracted cases. Hong Kong recorded its eighth novel coronavirus death on Monday.
Lo said that the new NAT certificate measure on arrivals from Hong Kong was needed to protect the safety of “Golden Bus” passengers and all Macao residents.