As Covid-19 cases subside in Guangdong province, individuals who have received their first Covid-19 vaccine are expected to enjoy relaxed cross-border travel regulations, with the validity period for their certificates of a negative Covid-19 test result extended.
Tai Wa Hou, coordinator of the Health Bureau’s Covid-19 vaccination operation, revealed the plan at yesterday’s Covid-19 briefing where he disclosed that Macau and Guangdong authorities have already exchanged views on the proposed scheme.
“The initial consensus [reached by authorities of both sides] is that people who have received at least one jab can be granted an extended valid period on their Covid-19 test,” he confirmed.
However, authorities have not outlined the specifics as to how many extra days test results may stay effective for travel purposes. The exact length of the extension will be announced after the authorities conclude technical discussions, he added.
This travel facilitation scheme was first floated by the governemnt on June 24.
Tai stressed that the outbreak in Guangdong province prompted the Macau government to lift the previously enforced cross-border regulations, reducing the validity period for negative SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results from seven to two days for arrivals entering Macau from Guangdong province.
No vaccine list for foreign arrivals yet
The Macau government has not yet created a list of approved vaccines which would enable foreigners who have received the relevant shots to enter Macau without the need to undergo quarantine.
When asked by the media about the likelihood of this policy, Tai said that there has no “favorable condition” yet for that to be realized, considering the global pandemic situation is still unstable.
He reaffirmed his confidence in the inactivated vaccine developed by China’s state-owned pharmaceutical company Sinopharm Group, especially after the vaccine was granted emergency usage approval by the World Health Organization.
One-stop procedure for airport arrivals
In anticipation of an influx of returnees during the summer holiday, the government has enacted a one-stop arrival procedure for those who return to Macau via the airport.
From June 26, all arrivals at the airport, along with their belongings, are being transported directly to an unused zone at Pac On terminal to undergo a set of required procedures, which include ID checks and Covid-19 tests, before being admitted to the quarantine facilities.
The arrivals will be sent to quarantine hotels after receiving a negative test result. The one-stop system is intended to shorten the waiting time for the arrivals.