Macau eases entry curbs for foreigners arriving from HK

2021-09-10 03:58     Comment:0

The Health Bureau (SSM) announced yesterday the easing of COVID-19 entry curbs for foreigners arriving in Macau from Hong Kong that will take effect on September 20.

Leong Iek Hou, coordinator of the bureau’s Control of Communicable Diseases and Surveillance of Diseases Department, announced the relaxation during yesterday’s regular press conference by the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre.

Leong said the measure would benefit foreign nationals who don’t have the right of residence in the Chinese mainland and the Chinese regions of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan (“non-resident foreigners”) but have stayed in Hong Kong for a long period of time.

According to Leong, foreigners who have stayed in Hong Kong for at least 21 days prior to their intended arrival here can apply for a special permit to enter Macau. The application period starts next Wednesday.

Leong said the measure would comprise five groups of non-resident foreigners: 1) Those who hold a Macau stay permit; 2) Non-resident workers (“blue card holders”) or holders of special entry permits for professional purposes and their accompanying family members who have been granted, or conditionally been granted a stay permit; 3) spouses or parents of Macau residents; 4) Those engaged in important commercial, academic and professional activities; 5) Those enrolled in tertiary education institutions in Macau.

Leong underlined that applicants aged 12 or over must prove that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with a vaccine recognised by the Macau government or present a medical certificate confirming why they have not been inoculated against the disease.

Upon arrival they must present a negative nucleic acid test (NAT) certificate, after which they must undergo 14 days of medical observation quarantine.

Leong said the applications will be processed in line with the existing entry exemption regulations for foreign nationals.

Generally speaking, foreign nationals have been barred from entering Macau since March last year.

Entry applications for spouses or other family members must be submitted by local residents. The applications for those seeking to enter Macau for important commercial, academic or professional activities must be submitted by local institutions or enterprises, Leong said, who was quick to add that she didn’t expect many applicants as they needed to prove that they have “objective reasons” for entering Macau.

Leong underlined that the mainland, Hong Kong and Macau authorities continue to maintain close communication on the anti-COVID-19 front, such as by “systematically assessing” their respective border entry rules.

Leong said that as of yesterday 1,411 people were in quarantine in Macau, 1,409 at government-designated hotels and two at Health Bureau facilities.

Health Bureau (SSM) Control of Communicable Diseases and Surveillance of Diseases Department Coordinator Leong Iek Hou speaks during yesterday’s press conference about the city’s novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Photo: GCS

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