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Banquets hit with complex new Covid-19 restrictions

NATs for staff and guests and reels of red tape turn what should be frill-free celebrations into an obstacle course as threat of new virus wave looms.

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NATs for staff and guests and reels of red tape turn what should be frill-free celebrations into an obstacle course as threat of new virus wave looms.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:46 am

Banquets and other big lunches and dinners have become the latest victims of Covid-19 with the introduction of strict new rules for both guests and staff.

The Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre said that because Macao is facing a “very high” risk of being affected by an outbreak of novel coronavirus, anyone at a catering event with over 200 guests must be tested for Covid-19 first, regardless of their vaccination status.

The government is urging anyone who has not had a Covid-19 booster jab to stay away from banquets altogether.

The centre said that due to the latest Covid-19 developments globally and in neighbouring regions, there is a “very high” risk that the novel coronavirus could spread to Macao, so the Health Bureau (SSM) has drawn up new guidelines for catering events. 

Previously, those attending banquets and other catering events with over 400 guests had to present a nucleic acid test (NAT) certificate confirming a negative Covid-19 result valid for seven days, or display a certificate confirming that they had been fully (twice) vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.

According to the new guidelines, participants and staff members who have been fully vaccinated must present an NAT certificate confirming a negative Covid-19 result valid for seven days, if the negative Covid-19 NAT result for those commuting between Macao and Zhuhai is valid for seven days. However, participants and staff members who have not been fully inoculated must have a negative Covid-19 result valid for just 48 hours.

In case the negative Covid-19 NAT result for those commuting between Macao and Zhuhai is valid for just 48 hours or even shorter, fully-vaccinated participants and staff members of banquets with over 200 guests must hold a negative Covid-19 result valid for 48 hours, while those who have not been fully inoculated must show a negative Covid-19 result valid for just 24 hours.

According to the new guidelines, the organisers of banquets with less than 200 guests can decide themselves whether to require participants and staff members to present an NAT certificate confirming a negative Covid-19 result after assessing the risk of the possible Covid-19 spread.

The centre also said that the organisers of banquets are required to collect the contact information of participants when they sign up for the events. The organisers must ensure that guests sign the attendance records when they enter the banquet venues, and keep the list of the guests and the number of the table where each guest sat for 28 days.

The organisers of banquets also need to check participants’ temperature, and require them to present a green Macao Health Code and scan the contact-tracing-function QR codes with their Macao Health Code mobile app. The organisers must refuse admission to anyone with a fever or any respiratory symptoms and those with a yellow or red Macao Health Code, The Macau Post Daily reported.

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:46 am

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