109 residents arrive after difficulties coming back home

Screenshot from TDM’s live broadcast

Two flights carrying a total of 109 returning residents arrived last night from Tokyo-Narita via Air Macau’s NX861 and NX867.
The flights arrived at around 7:50 p.m. and 9:20 p.m., bringing back stranded Macau residents, mostly from Europe.
Originally, the flights were supposed to carry a total of 115 residents. However, five chose to not board the flight for personal reasons, while one tested positive in the U.K., which barred the resident from flying.
The first flight had 63 local residents on board, with people coming from high-risk countries such as Portugal and the U.K., while the second flight carried 46 passengers.
The 63 passengers on the first flight tested negative for Covid-19.
The flights were divided into two in a bid to reduce passenger contacts.
In a TDM live stream last night, once the passengers, who were in full personal protective equipment (PPE) and wearing masks and face shields, got off the airplane in groups, they were then required to wait their turn for two swab tests.
Upon arrival, authorities will collect two samples simultaneously – one for a rapid test and another for routine testing. If the rapid test result is negative, the passenger is directed to a hotel where they will quarantine for 21 days.
If the rapid test result is positive, the passenger will be sent to the Public Health Clinical Centre in Coloane for treatment.
The returning residents were separated into groups according to origin to avoid transmission of infection to others on the part of those coming from high-risk countries.
Some netizens were not so welcoming however, saying that the returnees will only put the city at risk after 298 Covid-19 free days in the SAR.
Prior to the arrival of these flights, health authorities were seen allocating staff, who were also wearing PPE to prepare for the arrival of the passengers, to tasks such as setting up the Covid-19 testing site outside the immigration building.
Those who managed the cargo of the planes were also required to wear full protective gear.
One of the passengers who arrived on the first flight described the flight as “smooth,” adding, “the PPE is quite uncomfortable but ultimately we’re all happy that we’ve managed to return.”
The use of PPE for all passengers and crew was among the common protocols that were enforced last year during the peak of the pandemic when flights with returnees arrived in Macau.
Meanwhile, family members of the passengers were refrained from going to the airport as part of the government’s restrictive measures.

Categories Headlines Macau