Macao will embark on a six-day Covid-19 stabilisation period tomorrow, which will see anti-virus precautions greatly relaxed. The city is now seen as low-risk, after nine consecutive days of zero community cases.
Key Groups who need to take a daily nucleic acid test (NAT) have been cut from eight to four: cleaners, food delivery personnel, public transportation drivers and taxi drivers and interior renovation workers. Employees who need to leave home to go to work will need to take a NAT every three days, as will domestic helpers.
All adults and children aged three and above must wear a mask when outside except when they are eating.
From next Monday, NATs will not be required to enter specific places, however NATs for Key Groups will remain in place.
Once again, the mood at the daily Covid-19 briefing was upbeat, with health officials outlining a road map pointing the way out of the Omicron variant outbreak.
Health Bureau Director Alvis Lo Iek Long said: “When we enter the normality [pre-18 June] phase on 8 August, NAT tests will no longer be required to enter restaurants. Until then, anyone who wants to dine in needs to have a NAT test taken three days before. Government officials will verify the situation together with the restaurant owners.
“Although we will relax most of the anti-virus measures, we still have to remain alert because we never know when the pandemic will come again. So we need to always remember things such as no gatherings, wearing masks properly, and maintaining social distancing.
“We can say this outbreak has come to an end. And we are sure that this outbreak was not caused by imported cases.
“We do not put aside the possibility of having more tests in order to safeguard the safety of the population if there is any change in the epidemic conditions.”
Lo said that all children’s parks, football pitches and basketball courts will open tomorrow. Rapid antigen tests are no longer required, however residents are advised to keep them at home in case of future need.
As Macao came to the end of a 10-day consolidation period, 67 more patients were released from hospital today, bringing the total to 1,506. Just over 1,000 people remain under medical observation in hotels. Two thousand travellers crossed the borders yesterday, of which 600 were departures.
The relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions spells better news for Macao’s prisoners too. From 8 August, inmates, who have been confined to their cells for a month, will be allowed out to take part in indoor activities.