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Zhuhai grants quarantine waiver for up to 1,000 Macao residents

Zhuhai will exempt up to 1,000 Macao residents per day from its 14-day quarantine requirement who need to cross the Macao-Zhuhai border.

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Addressing Monday’s Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre press conference, Ma Chio Hong, who heads the Operations and Communications Division of the Public Security Police (PSP), announced that Zhuhai will exempt up to 1,000 Macao residents per day from its 14-day quarantine requirement who need to cross the Macao-Zhuhai border for official purposes, business activities or other special reasons.

According to Ma, those who have been granted the new quarantine waiver by the Zhuhai government can only cross the Macao-Zhuhai border via the Hengqin border checkpoint – which is open 24/7 – or the Macao-Zhuhai checkpoint on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) – which operates between 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The new measure starts at 8 a.m. today, Ma said.

Ma read a statement that was issued by the Zhuhai government shortly before Monday’s press conference and lays out details on how to implement the new measure.

The exemption jointly carried out by the Zhuhai and Macao governments was first announced during Wednesday’s Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre press conference. The Macao government launched the online application on Thursday for the new measure, before suspending the process on Sunday after receiving a large number of applications.

Ma quoted the statement as saying that the Zhuhai government provides 1,000 places per day for Macao applicants. The Macao government will first assess and approve the applications, after which the Zhuhai government will “confirm” the list that the former has approved, Ma said. The quarantine waiver is valid for seven days each time.

According to the Zhuhai government’s statement, applicants must confirm that they have not been in any regions other than Macao and the mainland (i.e. Hong Kong, Taiwan or a foreign country) within the past 14 days before their intended entry into Zhuhai. Those who have been granted the waiver must have no fever, cough or other respiratory symptoms and show their green Macao Health Code and valid nucleic acid test (NAT) certificate when crossing the Macao-Zhuhai border, Ma quoted the statement as saying.

A valid NAT certificate refers to either a certificate proving that the holder has tested negative for COVID-19 within the past seven days, or a certificate indicating that he or she had their sample collected at least 24 hours previously.

In addition, those who have been granted the quarantine exemption must present a self-filled health declaration e-form to mainland customs officers when crossing the border, according to the Zhuhai government’s statement.

No travel allowed beyond Zhuhai

Those who have entered Zhuhai under the quarantine waiver are not allowed to travel beyond the city, and those who travel to any other cities in Guangdong province “may” be required by the respective local governments to undergo “concentrated” quarantine there, Ma quoted the statement as saying, adding that the Zhuhai government will cancel the quarantine exemption of anyone who has left the city and travelled to other Guangdong cities.

Previously, when announcing the new exemption measure during Wednesday’s press conference, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Elsie Ao Ieong U had said that the Macao government aimed for the new measure to allow Macao residents who have been granted the quarantine exemption by Zhuhai to travel within Guangdong during the exemption period.

7,611 applications

Meanwhile, Alvis Lo Iek Long, a clinical director of the public Conde S. Januário Hospital Centre, said during yesterday’s press conference that the local government received 7,611 applications from Thursday – when the application process was launched – to Saturday from residents for the Zhuhai government’s new exemption measure. Pointing out that the waiver for the first 1,000 Macao residents will only start today, Lo confirmed that the Macao government will not resume accepting applications for the quarantine exemption, at least today, underlining that it will announce when it will resume accepting applications at least a day in advance.

Lo also pointed out that Macao has not confirmed a new COVID-19 case for 68 consecutive days. All of Macao’s 45 COVID-19 patients have been discharged from hospital.

Quarantine on travellers who have been in high-risk areas in Beijing

Meanwhile, the Health Bureau’s (SSM) Control of Communicable Diseases and Surveillance of Diseases Department Coordinator Leong Iek Hou said during Monday’s press conference that upon arrival in Macao, the Macao Health Code of travellers who have been in Beijing within the past 14 days will indicate yellow. Upon arrival in Macao, Health Bureau (SSM) officials will assess the travellers’ health status, Leong said, adding that those who have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in high-risk areas in Beijing, including the Xinfadi Wholesale Market of Farm Products in Fengtai District, will now have to undergo 14 days of quarantine and medical observation in one of the government’s “quarantine hotels”.

Leong said, concerning those who have not been in high-risk areas in Beijing, Health Bureau officials will regularly call them to understand their latest health status during their stay in Macao.

(The Macau Post Daily/Macau News)
PHOTO © Government Information Bureau (GCS)

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