Macau’s public security chief announced today a raft of exemptions from Guangdong’s 14-day mandatory quarantine for arrivals from Macau.
Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak announced the exemptions during the daily press conference of Macau’s Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre.
The mandatory quarantine requirement for border crossers from Macau was announced by the Guangdong provincial government last night.
Wong said that the Zhuhai-Macau Novel Coronavirus Epidemic Prevention and Control Working Group agreed the exemptions today.
Wong said that certain groups of people could apply to the authorities at the Zhuhai border checkpoints for exemption from the quarantine requirement, such as all those involved in activities ensuring Macau’s normal business activities as well as Macau residents aged at least 70 and those no older than 14, pregnant women, the disabled, the chronically sick and those seeking medical treatment. However, all of them must undergo a nucleic acid test before being allowed into Guangdong and also sign a declaration confirming that in the past 14 days they have not been in Hong Kong, Taiwan or a foreign country.
The new measure was announced by the Guangdong government at 9 p.m. Thursday and took effect at 6 a.m. today.
A statement released by the working group before the press conference listed various segments of people that may be exempted from the new measure: public emergency personnel; businesspeople; drivers of vehicles of Guangdong-Macau dual licence plates and those of vehicles with Macau licence plates only by permitted entry into Hengqin Island; locals working in the Guangdong-Macau Industrial Park and those working for Macau companies in Hengqin and the Zhuhai-Macau Cross-border Industrial Park, local employees involved in ensuring Macau’s normal business activities.
According to the daily press conference, some 11,000 people crossed Macau’s border checkpoints to Zhuhai between 10 p.m. Thursday and 6 a.m. today to avoid the mandatory quarantine requirement in Guangdong.
Wong said police had to be deployed to maintain public order at the Ilha Verde and Cotai checkpoints.
Local media reports quoted official sources as saying that the number was 10 times higher than normal during the current COVID-19 epidemic.
The measure caused a run on local supermarkets today.
However, government officials insisted that Macau’s foodstuff supplies and prices were sufficient and stable, pointing out that Macau’s frozen meat stock was enough for a month.