The government has drafted a plan for gradually reopening the borders to allow for the return of some people of non-Chinese nationalities to Macao, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Elsie Ao Ieong U revealed on Wednesday on the sidelines of the groundbreaking ceremony for the Macao Polytechnic Institute’s new building.
Questioned by the media on the requests made by society to allow non-resident workers (TNR) of non-Chinese nationalities and foreigners living or having family in Macao to re-enter the city, the secretary said the government was working on a solution.
“We have a plan for easing the restrictions according to the epidemic situation,” said Ao Ieong. “We know that there is this need, namely from non-resident workers of foreign nationality and family members of local residents that have also foreign nationality. We are working on this step by step.”
Despite acknowledging that there is such a plan, Ao Ieong did not disclose a concrete date for when such measures could be expected.
In the last few days, the government has been criticised by several people for authorising the entry of foreign racers into Macao for the annual Macau Grand Prix as a matter of “public interest” while a large number of TNR, namely from Southeast Asia, have not yet been allowed to return to their jobs after having exited Macao during the COVID-19 outbreak. The same applies to many families with members holding non-Chinese passports who, according to the current rules, are not able to reenter Macao under any conditions.
During the pandemic, only residents of Macao and TNR residing in the mainland have been authorised to return to Macao, with the majority undergoing 14-days of isolation in a designated hotel facility.