Starting on January 6, 2022, visitors flying in from high-risk countries will be subject to a 28-day medical observation, announced Leong Iek Hou, coordinator of the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Center, at yesterday’s press conference.
Passengers on direct or connecting flights to Macau from these countries must present three negative nucleic acid tests (NAT) across five days with 24 hours between tests, and must undergo a 28-day quarantine in designated hotels. Countries included in the high-risk category are: Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Turkey, United States, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, and Malawi.
For those departing from other countries, individuals will need to present a valid negative NAT within 48 hours and undergo a 21-day quarantine period in a hotel, plus a 7-day self-isolation period at home.
Earlier this week, a 62-year-old resident returned to Macau from the United States. The patient was diagnosed with the Omicron variant, following genome sequencing of the virus. At the time, he did not present with any symptoms, and was thus classified as an imported case of asymptomatic infection. He remained asymptomatic until yesterday, and has now been added to Macau’s coronavirus tally, which is now at 79.
The center reaffirmed that the Omicron variant is more contagious than other variants of Covid-19, and that health officials urge residents to get vaccinated to help reduce the possibility of another outbreak. The Health Bureau has continued to keep up with the pandemic and has updated prevention measures in accordance with emerging variants since the beginning of the pandemic.
With the emergence of the more readily transmitted Omicron variant, frontline workers – including those working at hotels designated for medical observation – are now subject to a higher frequency of nucleic acid tests in order to better detect asymptomatic cases and prevent a possible outbreak, stated Leong. Staff reporter