Legislator Agnes Lam asks Gov’t for more flexibility in allowing non-resident entries for family reunion reasons

Legislator Agnes Lam has indicated to newspaper Ponto Final that she has received between 30 and 40 complaints from families separated due to the current entry restrictions imposed by Macau authorities.

“There are families separated because they cannot enter because they have a passport from another country […] there should be rules for families to be reunited […] There should be a more humane treatment”, the legislator indicated.

“What we need is a policy with more possibilities. We don’t have enough possibilities now. China says foreigners cannot enter, but that is the general rule. But we can ask for special arrangements so that there is space for people who need a visa for special occasions”.

Macau currently prohibits the entry of non-resident foreigners, whether they have been in foreign countries, or have been in Hong Kong, Taiwan or in Mainland China.

Lam also regretted the fact that there are Chinese nationals who can enter Macau, in contrast to foreigners who have also been inside China, for example, whose entry into Macau remains barred.

“They [government officials] want to do things in a simple way, so that when you are a foreigner, you are denied entry. It is easier than knowing if you have always been in China. But we must have a more detailed and flexible policy ”, she urged.

The deputy says she has already sent several letters to the Government, namely to the Health Bureau, so that these cases can be resolved, however generally the official response is to wait until the situation is better and expect the pandemic situation in other countries to be better.

One of the cases assisted by lam includes a local Macau woman married to a French citizen holding a Hong Kong non-permanent residence permit.

He husband was handling the application for residency in the MSAR when he was caught by the entry restrictions and has waited in neighbouring SAR for about six for a solution.

The woman is seven months pregnant and fears that her husband may not be present when the baby is born, however, local authorities have only responded to her requests that no exceptions are made.

“This is scary for me because this is our first child and I don’t see myself without my husband to support me and take care of me during and after birth”, she lamented.

The woman also criticised why authorities have indicated they would give entry exemptions for drivers taking part in the Macau Grand Prix between November 19 and 22 out of public interest, who would then have to complete a 14 day quarantine before the competition.

“The procedure for my husband to come to Macau would be the same, and in addition he comes from Hong Kong, which is a less risky place in relation to Covid-19 than Europe […]I don’t understand why pilots can get in, but my husband about to be a father can’t come back,” she stated in the report.