The Hong Kong government announced in a statement on Tuesday that it has extended its 14-day mandatory quarantine for all arrivals from the mainland, Macao and Taiwan for one more month to 7 August.
Since 25 March, all those arriving in Hong Kong from Macao or Taiwan – both Hong Kong and non-Hong Kong residents – must go into 14-day mandatory quarantine. The Hong Kong government had already imposed the same quarantine measure for those arriving from the mainland on 8 February.
Also since 25 March, Macao residents as well as the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan residents who have been to Hong Kong or Taiwan within the past 14 days prior to their entry into Macao must undergo 14 days of quarantine and medical observation at one of the government’s “quarantine hotels” upon their arrival here.
Foreign visitors have been barred from entering Macao since 18 March, and the entry ban was extended to cover all foreign nationals – including foreign non-resident workers – the following day.
Arrivals from the mainland – except from Beijing as well as non-resident workers not living in Zhuhai – do not need to go into quarantine in Macao upon their arrival here.
Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng announced the Macao government’s quarantine measure for arrivals from Hong Kong and Taiwan during a press conference on 24 March, after his Hong Kong counterpart Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced the Hong Kong government’s quarantine measure for those arriving from Macau and Taiwan during a press conference on the previous day.
The Hong Kong government’s 14-day mandatory quarantine for arrivals from the mainland, Macao and Taiwan was initially slated to expire on 7 May, but afterwards, it was extended for one month to 7 June and then extended by one more month to 7 July, before Tuesday’s announcement which said that it would be extended for one more month to 7 August.
Tuesday’s statement said that “in addition to implementing social distancing measures in the community, limiting the movement of people between Hong Kong and other places and implementing compulsory quarantine or other infection control measures are integral parts of Hong Kong’s strategy for combating the [COVID-19] epidemic.”
“The [Hong Kong] government has been working closely with the relevant authorities of Guangdong province and the Macao Special Administrative Region on the mutual recognition of [COVID-19] test results and the mutual exemption from compulsory quarantine under the framework of joint prevention and control. Subject to the [COVID-19] epidemic situation, we [the Hong Kong government] will consider relaxing the restrictions on the cross-boundary movement of people among the three places within certain limits in order to facilitate those with essential needs to travel between Guangdong and Hong Kong or between Hong Kong and Macao,” the statement said.
The statement pointed out that the Hong Kong government will still need time to amend its quarantine rules for arrivals from Guangdong and Macau for the implementation of the possible new arrangements concerning the cross-boundary movement of people among Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, adding that therefore it has decided to extend the quarantine measure for one more month to 7 August.
The statement also said that “It has come to our [the Hong Kong government’s] attention that the [COVID-19] epidemic in many overseas countries has rebounded with a drastic increase in new cases after the relaxation of social distancing measures, necessitating reintroduction of such measures. As such, we [the Hong Kong government] will continue to closely monitor the development of the epidemic situation and review the various measures in place from time to time with a view to making suitable adjustments taking into account all relevant factors. We [the government] also strongly urge the public to stay vigilant, maintain an appropriate social distance with other people as far as possible in their daily lives to minimise the risk of outbreak clusters emerging in the community.”
(The Macau Post Daily/Macau News)
PHOTO © Florian Wehde