The Macau SAR Government has declared it will quarantine any visitor who has been to Qingdao in Shandong Province within the past two weeks after the eastern Chinese city reported nine cases of COVID-19 within the community on Sunday.
The mini-outbreak led local Qingdao authorities to announce on Monday that they would implement mass community testing for six million citizens within the next three days in an effort to quickly halt any further spread and isolate those affected.
In response, Macau will place any recent visitor arrivals to have visited Qingdao into quarantine for a period of 14 days, starting on Tuesday 13 October.
The move comes after Macau traversed the Golden Week holiday period without recording any new cases of COVID-19 – extending its streak to 109 days. It is also 188 days since Macau’s last community transmitted case.
Health Bureau officials said Monday that communication about COVID-19 prevention measures with various areas in mainland China was still ongoing, but no details could be discussed at this stage.
However, they noted that the requirement for all mainland Chinese visitors to show a negative COVID-19 test result obtained within the past seven days before entering Macau remained in place for now and that extending the period to 14 days could only be done upon agreement from both sides.
Nationwide applications for the Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) to Macau resumed from 23 September and Macau had previously revealed it is looking at easing some preventive measures in order to boost the SAR’s depressed gaming and tourism industries. However, the latest development in Qingdao might influence the recovery of IVS applications as well as the adjustment of these preventive measures.
The Health Bureau said some measures still being looked at were certain requirements around wearing masks and the ongoing ban on foreign visitors entering Macau.