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NAT for arrivals from Zhuhai valid for 24 hours only, amid COVID-19 outbreak there

2022-01-17 03:13     Comment:0

The validity of the negative nucleic acid test (NAT) result for those entering Macau from Zhuhai has been further shortened to just 24 hours, which took effect yesterday, in the wake of the current COVID-19 outbreak in the neighbouring city, which had detected 10 new positive cases as of last night.

In addition, from today all those entering the local government’s public service facilities and other public entities’ offices must scan the contact-tracing-function QR codes in order to record that they have visited the respective premises. 

The validity of the negative COVID-19 NAT result for those entering Zhuhai from Macau remains unchanged at seven days.

The validity of the negative NAT result for those entering Macau from Zhuhai was first tightened to 48 hours from seven days on Friday after the Zhongshan health authorities reported a new COVID-19 case on Thursday, a 24-year-old woman who lives and works in Tanzhou (坦洲) town in Zhongshan city.

Tanzhou neighbours Zhuhai and lies some 10 kilometres northwest of Macau. Tanzhou is much closer to central Zhuhai than central Zhongshan city.

In the wake of the Tanzhou COVID-19 case, the Zhuhai government started its mass NAT campaign, which detected seven positive cases on Friday. Preliminary viral genome sequencing indicated that they were infected with the Omicron variant. Their sources of infection have still not been identified. All of the seven patients live in Nanping (南屏) town in Zhuhai.

The Zhuhai government reported one more COVID-19 positive case from Nanping on Saturday.

Two more positive cases were detected from Nanping yesterday. Consequently, as of last night, Zhuhai had reported 10 COVID-19 positive cases during its current novel coronavirus wave.

In addition, the Zhongshan government reported one more COVID-19 positive case on Saturday, a close contact of the 24-year-old case which was detected on Thursday.

Zhuhai’s mass testing campaign will continue for a few more days.

The new 24-hour-validity NAT requirement for those entering Macau from Zhuhai, which took effect at 6 a.m. yesterday, was announced in a statement by the Macau Government Information Bureau (GCS) on Saturday night, which said that all those entering Macau from Zhuhai must present an NAT certificate confirming a negative COVID-19 result valid for just 24 hours.

The Macau-Shenzhen ferry service has been suspended since early last week after new local COVID-19 cases had been reported in Shenzhen at that time. In the wake of Zhuhai’s current COVID-19 wave, the ferry service between Macau and Wanzai in Zhuhai has now also been suspended since Friday. Consequently, Macau’s border checkpoints with Guangdong that are currently operating only comprise land border checkpoints with Zhuhai.

Currently, all those arriving in Macau after visiting Tanzhou town in Zhongshan must practise “self-health management” for up to 14 days from the day they left the town. They will have to undergo up to five nucleic acid tests during their respective “self-health management” period, and their Macau Health Code colour will be yellow, which will be valid until their respective “self-health management” period ends.

All those arriving in Macau after visiting a certain residential neighbourhood in Tanzhou – where the 24-year-old lives – must undergo hotel quarantine for up to 14 days from the day they left there.

The Macau government announced on Friday morning that all those arriving in Macau after visiting Nanping town in Zhuhai must undergo hotel quarantine for up to 14 days from the day they left the town. The measure took effect at 6 a.m. on Friday. Those who had previously entered Macau after visiting Nanping before the measure took effect have had their Macau Health Code colour become yellow.

The Macau government said on Saturday night that some 6,200 people in Macau who had visited Tanzhou or Nanping have had their Macau Health Code colour change to yellow.

Those with a yellow Macau Health Code are barred from entering various premises and facilities such government offices and facilities, restaurants, cinemas and casinos. They are also barred from taking public transport such as public buses and taxis. 

Meanwhile, the Public Administration and Civil Service Bureau (SAFP) said in a statement on Saturday that from today all residents and public servants entering the government’s public service facilities and other public entities’ offices must use the contact tracing function of the Macau Health Code mobile app. The statement said that those who refuse to scan the contact-tracing-function QR codes will be barred from entering the premises.

Staff members will help those who still do not have the Macau Health Code mobile app on their smartphone download the app so that they can scan the QR codes, the SAFP statement said.

Those who don’t have a smartphone can present their Health Code in print, in which case staff members will scan the code on the paper. 

The Macau government is extending the use of the Macau Health Code mobile app’s contact tracing function to more venues and facilities in the city.


A health worker takes a swab sample from a man for a nucleic acid test (NAT) at a sampling site in Zhuhai late last week. Photo: Zhuhai People’s Government

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