Covid-19 test still needed for some events, says Health Bureau

The Health Bureau, on behalf of the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Center, reiterated at yesterday’s press conference that the requirement for Covid-19 nucleic acid testing in the case of certain events has been stipulated in one of its guidelines.
The guidelines give instructions regarding measures implemented at collective festive or ceremonial, cultural and entertainment events, as well as recreational and sports activities. It was published on May 6 and amended on August 28.
Item 1.3 of the guidelines stipulates: “In the event that the nature of the activity does not favor the contestants or performers to wear a mask (e.g. physical trainings, sports competitions, performances), and a minimum distance of 2 meters cannot be maintained during the activity, a nucleic acid test for Covid-19 should be performed before participating in such collective training or rehearsal.”
The government notified journalists participating in the National Day celebration on October 1 to obtain a negative Covid-19 nucleic acid test in order to facilitate their entry to the event.
Meanwhile, the Sports Bureau yesterday notified athletes competing in the Mid-Autumn Dragon Boat Races to take the test.
There are concerns as to whether a negative test result is really essential, judging from the city’s current risk level.
Dr Alvis Lo of the Coronavirus Center said that the decision was being driven by safety concerns. He reiterated that if all goes well, the mainland travel endorsement to Macau would resume on September 23.
Regarding the National Day Reception, he pointed out that testing is necessary because the event will be held in an indoor venue. It is also inevitable that guests will take off their masks for drinks and refreshments.
As for the Dragon Boat racers, Dr Leong Iek Hou, coordinator of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, pointed out that the proximity of racers and impossibility of mask-wearing will pose a risk of infection.
However, racers told the Times that the Sports Bureau, the organizer of the event, has been vague about the requirement during the registration process, if it had been mentioned at all.
Athletes at the Mid-Autumn Dragon Boat Races, however, are required to pay for their test if they have used up their first-
time free-of-charge quota. In addition, they will have to book their own slots.
Preliminary data shows that more than 1,000 athletes, coaches and supporting personnel will be required to take the test.
Meanwhile, the Coronavirus Center has announced good news for families with children. After reviewing its stocks, the Center announced that from today, a Macau child ID will render one eligible to purchase 30 children’s facemasks in each round of the centralized mask supply scheme. It is crucial to clarify that the ID’s owner must be at least 3 years old and not older than eight years old. The masks will be sold at MOP24 per 30 pieces.
Currently, the authority is running the 21st mask supply round. The Coronavirus Center noted that if parents have already purchased a combination of adults’ and children’s facemasks in the current round, and decide to exchange the adults’ facemasks for children’s facemasks, they may do so at any Government Health Center. Facemasks will be exchanged upon presentation of the adults’ facemasks purchased in Round 21, as well as their children’s ID cards.

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