Macao, Guangdong mull easing travel curbs
NAT validity for travel between Macao and its neighbouring province could be extended to those who have had at least one Covid-19 jab.
Guangdong and Macao are planning to extend the current 48-hour validity of the negative nucleic acid test (NAT) result for those travelling between the two regions if they have received at least one Covid-19 jab.
Tai Wa Hou, a clinical director of the Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre, explained that the new measure was being considered as the novel coronavirus epidemic in the provincial capital of Guangzhou has eased.
Previously, the Macao government shortened the validity of the negative NAT result for those travelling between Macao and Guangdong without having to undergo quarantine to 48 hours from seven days.
The timeframe was cut in response to the Covid-19 threat to Macao due to the province’s then “somewhat serious” virus situation, particularly in Guangzhou which was being hit by the delta variant.
Earlier this month, Macao imposed a 14-day hotel quarantine on those who had been to Haizhu, Liwan, Nansha, Panyu or Yuexiu districts in Guangzhou, and Chancheng or Nanhai districts in Foshan, within the past 14 days. On Friday last week, the government lifted its quarantine requirement for arrivals from Guangzhou’s Haizhu and Yuexiu districts and Foshan’s Chancheng district.
Since July last year when Guangdong lifted its quarantine requirement for arrivals from Macao, the negative NAT result for those travelling between the two regions had been valid for seven days, prior to early this month.
Tai said that the two governments have reached a “preliminary” consensus, so travellers who have received at least one Covid-19 jab could have the validity of their NAT certificate extended.
Guangdong has not recorded a new local Covid-19 case for about a week, while its provincial capital of Guangzhou has not reported a new local case for about 10 days. Guangzhou has reported 153 new local Covid-19 cases, including asymptomatic ones, in the latest wave of Covid-19 transmissions since 21 May when the first new local case was detected.
Tai pointed out that the Covid-19 epidemic in Guangzhou had been caused by transmissions of the delta variant, which has a “very short incubation period, very fast transmission speed, and very high viral load”, adding that observation of Covid-19 cases in Guangzhou has indicated that those infected with the delta variant are more likely to suffer serious conditions.
Tai added that the Covid-19 epidemic in Guangdong “is still not completely over” as new local cases have been reported in Dongguan and Shenzhen. Consequently, Tai said, for the time being it “would not be suitable to return to the previous Covid-19 measures [which were more relaxed] for those travelling between Guangdong and Macao”, reported The Macau Post Daily.