EPA/Jerome Favre

Non-resident workers coming from Mainland China will have to undergo 14-days quarantine

According to a Chief Executive order issued today, in order to prevent the transmission of Covid-19, starting from midnight of February 20, all non-resident workers wishing to enter Macau SAR and who have visited Mainland China in the 14 days prior to their entry, need to undergo medical observation for 14 days in Zhuhai.

The information was announced by Secretary for Administration and Justice André Cheong Weng Chon at today’s 5:00pm daily press conference, confirming information firstly advanced by MNA.

Non-resident workers will also have to obtain a medical certificate of non-infection with the new type of coronavirus issued by health services in Zhuhai before being able to enter Macau.

According to the Secretary for Administration and Justice André Cheong Weng Chon if a non-resident obtains the health certificate, enters Macau, but then returns to Mainland China, he will be required to undergo the process again.

The number of crossings in the city borders has decreased by 81.4 per cent year-on-year between January 27 to February 16.

Authorities indicated that about 11,000 entries by non-resident workers were recorded on average to cross the city borders daily in recent days, with the measure said to have as its purpose to reduce that flux.

When asked why the quarantine measures did not include Macau residents, Secretary André Cheong stated that according to the Basic Law, authorities are required to guarantee the freedom of movement of local residents.

The Macau government indicated they have informed local companies about the measures in advance, suggesting employers should look to provide non-resident employees with accommodation so they do not have to leave the city.

Instructions were given to construction companies to build temporary accommodation quarters for non-resident workers, with all required energy and water amenities.

The enforcement of the measure will coincide with the announced re-opening of casino operations, after a 15-day suspension.

Although no new confirmed coronavirus case has been reported in Macau in the last 12 days, authorities considered that fears the number of border crossings would increase as businesses resume work in the city justified these restrictions.

It was also indicated at the press conference today that authorities are considering a possible 14-day quarantine at home for Macau residents coming from Mainland China.

Non-resident workers unable to obtain the medical certificate and who cannot return to the place of origin, upon entering the Macau SAR need to undergo medical observation at a place and date defined by health authorities.

This would involve, for example, a non-resident worker that was in mainland China who arrives by plane in Macau.

The govenrment release also indicated that for reasons of public interest, in exceptional cases of maintaining the ‘normal functioning of the Macau SAR or the basic living needs of residents’, the health authority may waive the measures referred to some non-resident workers.

[To be updated]