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Further delays on opening of Hong Kong border likely but Macau continuing negotiations with Guangdong

Macau officials have admitted that the reopening of borders between Macau and Hong Kong are likely to be delayed once again as Hong Kong faces its third wave of COVID-19 infections, but the phased relaxing of restrictions between Macau and Guangdong Province is set to continue.

In a blow to hopes of a three-way travel bubble between Macau, Hong Kong and Guangdong, Hong Kong has recorded 65 new cases of COVID-19 since Sunday, including 31 by community transmission, with the government now considering reintroducing lockdowns and social distancing.

Macau health officials said Hong Kong’s latest situation was definitely a “relevant factor” that needed to be considered before reopening any borders.

“The premise of launching new border policies is that the epidemic situations of two places are similar. If one place has apparent risk factors, we have to consider the reality as the health of citizens is the priority,” said Alvis Lo Iek Long, clinical director of the Conde S. Januário Hospital Centre.

Lo said the Macau and Hong Kong governments would continue to negotiate border policies depending on the development of the pandemic in Hong Kong.

However, he emphasized that Macau was also continuing discussions with the governments of Zhuhai and Guangdong Province about further facilitating their cross-border interactions.

Macau has not recorded any local transmissions of COVID-19 for 102 days. The latest confirmed case was 12 days ago when a resident returned from the Philippines. The patient was sent straight to a quarantine hotel upon arrival in Macau and to hospital immediately upon confirmation of a positive test.

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