Certain frequent mainland travellers will have to take a MOP 70 nucleic acid test (NAT) every time they cross the border into Macao, starting today.
The new ruling targets all mainlanders holding a travel permit for visiting relatives in Macao who enter via the Barrier Gate or Qingmao checkpoints three times or more per day. They must undergo a paid NAT upon arrival here every time, despite holding an NAT certificate confirming a valid negative Covid-19 result.
Currently, the negative Covid-19 NAT result for those entering Macao from Zhuhai is valid for 48 hours, while the negative result for those entering Zhuhai from Macao is valid for seven days.
Mainlanders holding travel permits for visiting relatives in Macao, which are issued by the authorities in the mainland, are allowed to commute between the two regions during their permitted stay in Macao.
Macao’s Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre announced the new measure, which took effect today, on Saturday.
The new measure aims to reduce the Covid-19 risk to Macao resulting from the frequent crossing of the border via the Barrier Gate or Qingmao checkpoints.
The centre said that all mainlanders holding a travel permit for visiting relatives in Macao who have made three or more entries into Macao between midnight and midnight on the same day via the Barrier Gate or Qingmao checkpoint must, upon each entry, immediately undergo a Covid-19 nucleic acid test at their own expense “regardless of the time of sampling on their proof of negative NAT result”.
According to the centre, the affected travellers must wait for their negative NAT results after having their swabs collected, before being allowed to enter Macao.
The centre said that it may take up to 12 hours for the NAT results to be available after the travellers have their swabs collected. The negative result of such a compulsory test will not be displayed on the Macao Health Code.
The centre underlined that for the time being the new measure is only applicable to mainlanders holding a travel permit for visiting relatives, adding that those crossing the Macao-Zhuhai border via all checkpoints other than the Barrier Gate and Qingmao are not affected by the measure.
In related news, Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre reported that six more returnees, from Dubai, Hong Kong, Australia, Myanmar, Singapore and the US, had been diagnosed as Covid-19 positive.
The Dubai patient, a 39-year-old woman, had previously been infected and recovered, so was classed as “repositive”, while the others were graded asymptomatic and imported, The Macau Post Daily reported.