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No timetable yet for mutual recognition of Macao Health Code by more mainland areas

Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak said on Wednesday that for the time being the conditions were still not ripe for the mutual recognition of the Macao Health Code and the health codes of more provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in the mainland, as their respective governments were “not keen” on the matter, aside from technical issues.

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Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak said on Wednesday that for the time being the conditions were still not ripe for the mutual recognition of the Macao Health Code and the health codes of more provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in the mainland, as their respective governments were “not keen” on the matter, aside from technical issues.

The Macao Health Code and the Guangdong Health Code have been mutually recognised since May so that those travelling between Macao and Guangdong can switch their nucleic acid test (NAT) certificate between the two health code systems. As the Macao Health Code and the health codes of all the other provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in the mainland are not currently mutually recognised, those travelling from Macao to any of those areas, and vice versa, have to present a paper NAT certificate when passing through the immigration.

Wong made the remarks while speaking to reporters at the Macau Chamber of Commerce (ACM) in Zape where he attended a National Day reception.

Wong pointed out that travel between Macao and Guangdong is smooth as the Macao Health Code and the Guangdong Health Code have been mutually recognised, adding that the technical teams in Macao, Guangdong and Zhuhai are monitoring the operations of the two health code systems every day so as to ensure that they were proceeding normally.

Wong also said that as the Macao Health Code and the health codes of all the other the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities have not been mutually recognised, Macao’s health sector workers still have to check the paper NAT certificates of the mainland visitors from all these areas upon their arrival here, adding that this situation requires the Macao government to deploy more human resources for COVID-19 measures at its border checkpoints.

Wong underlined the “difficulties” for the mutual recognitions of the Macao Health Code and the health codes of all the other provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities. Wong said that in addition to the technical issues concerning the maturity and stability of the technology of their health codes and the mutual exchange of information and data, their respective governments haven’t shown much enthusiasm about the matter, partially due to the fact that there are still not many visitors from these areas to Macao.

Wong said that therefore the conditions were not yet ripe for the mutual recognition of the Macao Health Code and the health codes of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities other than Guangdong.

Wong pledged that in response to the mainland’s eight-day National Day Golden Week holiday period, which starts today, the Macao government will deploy more staff to check the paper NAT certificates of the mainland visitors from other provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities upon their arrival here.

Wong also said that the Macao government was “very willing” to discuss with the governments of other provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities the possible mutual recognition of the Macao Health Code and their respective health codes “once the necessary conditions are in place”.

The issuing of Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) and group tour permits for all mainlanders to travel to Macao resumed on Wednesday last week. The issuing of the travel permits for Zhuhai residents resumed on 12 August, after which the resumption was extended to all Guangdong residents on 26 August.

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

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