Netizens unhappy about returnee residents

At the weekly coronavirus press briefing on Monday, the government for the first time officially admitted to and announced the return of 115 Macau residents, expected to arrive tomorrow evening, from Europe via stops at several locations.
Although the government has pledged to pay extra attention to guard against any possible new infections, netizens expressed their rage and resentment over the matter on the social media post of Macao Daily News.
A social media user criticized the 115 people for “not remembering Macau when the world was fine, but getting attached to Macau when the world is not.” The comment received 32 positive reactions.
Another user questioned why Macau should receive these people: “I want to know if the action is improvised, why should we take them?”
According to the Basic Law, Macau residents not only have the right of abode in the city, they also have the right to return to Macau. Article 33 of the Basic Law of Macau stipulates that “[Macau residents] shall have freedom to travel and to enter or leave the [Macau Special Administrative] Region”.
In legal sense, no law made by the Macau government can have the power to overrule the Basic Law, because the legal position of local legislations is lower than that of the Basic Law, the mini-constitution of the city. In terms of legal position, the Basic Law is only below the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China.
In fact, Dr Alvis Lo of the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Center, has reiterated these legal stipulations, saying that the government has no right to bar Macau residents from returning to the city.
“They are best to be banned from entering,” another social media user replied.
Under current policies, returnees from risky areas are all sent directly to quarantine hotels from entry checkpoints, under supervision. The measure has proved its effectiveness in the past year, especially when batches of returning students arrived from Europe and America in May last year.
Although infections were detected in some of these students, due to the “close-loop administration,” they did not bring the virus into the community.
The 115 individuals will be quarantined in isolation for 21 days, according to the current policy, before being allowed to enter the community. A social media user jested and asked the government to quarantine them for two months “to ease public worries.”
Comments showing opposition to the residents received positive feedbacks generally. AL

Categories Macau