Health authority confirms entry restrictions for foreign arrivals will not be eased

Director of the Health Bureau Lei Chin Ion reiterated the significance of not easing entry restrictions imposed on foreign arrivals, as a heightened risk of spreading infection in the city still remains for foreign nationals.
“It cannot be 100% guaranteed that foreigners will not spread the virus to [Macau’s] medical staff and workers in the quarantine hotels,” Lei emphasized in a written reply to lawmaker Sou Ka Hou’s earlier query about whether the SAR government will consider relaxing entry for foreigners who are family members of local citizens.
The city’s healthcare system cannot handle a large number of Covid-19 cases. Hence, the government has temporarily barred entry for all foreigners until the pandemic subsides. This is intended to “ensure public safety,” he added.
All foreign visitors have been banned from visiting Macau since March 18 last year, and the ban was extended to foreign non-resident workers the next day. Since then, some locals have been forced to be apart from their spouses or children who are non-Macau residents living overseas.
The situation has been less gloomy since December 1, when the government started to grant exemptions on the entry ban for foreigners who have “essential public interests” to Macau, including those who are important to the city’s battle against Covid-19 and emergency services, or those who are influential in sustaining the daily operation of the city.
The exemption scheme also applies to foreigners who have stayed in China for three consecutive weeks before coming to Macau. However, they must have a justifiable reason for entry.
In the same query made in November 2020, Sou also asked why the government has resumed travel with China since mid-August but not with Taiwan, which has kept their number of locally transmitted cases at zero for months.
“The city’s pandemic situation and preventive measures against Covid-19 are consistent with that of China,” Lei explained. Hence, cross-border travel flow between Macau and China can be resumed.
Lei added that Macau’s prevention policies against Covid-19 have been in line with China’s. As of now, China is still imposing a 14-day mandatory quarantine on all arrivals from Taiwan. Honey Tsang

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