Macau will quarantine for 14 days all visitors who have been to Kashgar in China’s north-western Xinjiang Province after more than 100 new cases of COVID-19 were detected in the mainland city over the weekend.
Kashgar authorities have detected 164 asymptomatic cases since Saturday after conducting more than 4 million virus tests in response to one original local case being found last week.
On Monday, the Macau SAR government reacted to the outbreak by announcing that anyone who had visited Kashgar in the past 14 days would be immediately quarantined for two weeks. According to the Macau Health Bureau, a total of 15 people were found to have been to Kashgar in that time, although 14 of those had since returned to mainland China with only one person remaining in Macau.
The authority believes the risk of them having spread the COVID-19 virus in Macau was low.
This latest measures follows a similar announcement two weeks ago regarding visitors from Qingdao city in Shandong Province.
As a result of the outbreaks, further easing of virus control measures – including the mandatory wearing of masks in certain places such as casinos – has been postponed.
“In the past few weeks, Qingdao, Guangzhou and Xinjiang had found new cases to different extent, therefore we will not adjust policies of wearing masks,” it said.
With Macau having not recorded any new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 for 212 days, the government had previously considered easing some preventive measures after the October Golden Week holiday in order to attract more visitors.
However, the Beijing government had reminded Macau to focus on maintaining its preventive works to avoid any resurgence of the virus.
As a result, Macau has not reached any agreement with the mainland government regarding an extension of the validity period of negative COVID-19 tests for those entering Macau from seven days to 14 days, nor has it initiated discussions with any other countries over potential travel bubbles.