Govt toughens health code requirements.
The Macau government announced yesterday that it has toughened its requirements for people to present their Macau Health Code when entering different kinds of premises in the city, which is facing a serious COVID-19 threat due to Guangdong’s ongoing novel coronavirus transmissions.
According to the announcement, an oral health declaration by those without a smartphone is now no longer accepted.
Instead, electronic devices have to be available at the respective premises for those without a smartphone to generate their Macau Health Code.
Yesterday’s announcement also said that now all those with a yellow or red Macau Health Code are strictly barred from entering a wide range of premises.
Now a green Macau Health Code is required for patrons to enter all restaurants and eateries in the city.
In addition, those with a yellow or red Macau Health Code are now barred from taking public transport – public buses, taxis and the Light Rail Transit (LRT).
During yesterday evening’s press conference about Macau’s novel coronavirus situation, the Health Bureau’s (SSM) Control of Communicable Diseases and Surveillance of Diseases Department Coordinator Leong Iek Hou announced that her bureau has revised its guidelines for operators of various kinds of premises, requiring them to check the Macau Health Code of all those entering their property.
Leong said that her bureau has decided to toughen the guidelines, which took effect yesterday, due to the latest COVID-19 developments in neighbouring cities.
According to the revised guidelines, Leong said, operators of casinos, hotels and guesthouses and those in charge of border checkpoints and medical institutions “must” require all those entering their premises to present their Macau Health Code, while those in charge of public administration premises, shopping centres, restaurants and other kinds of eateries as well as pubs “should” require all those entering their premises to present their health code.
According to the new version of the guidelines, Leong said, operators of certain premises can decide, in light of the respective circumstances, whether to require those entering the premises to present their Macau Health Code.
Such premises include wet markets, large-scale supermarkets, karaoke bars, hair salons, gyms, health clubs, beauty salons, ballrooms, public saunas, massage parlours, amusement arcades, bowling alleys, snooker parlours, cybercafés, cinemas, theatres, museums, exhibition halls, libraries, sports pavilions and swimming pools, according to Leong, who said that such premises also include service points of any particular entities where customers (or service recipients) are expected to need to stay for at least 20 minutes.
Leong said that according to the revised guidelines, those entering general retail outlets, such as small-scale supermarkets and convenience stores, are not required to present their Macau Health Code, as these kinds of premises normally have a smaller flow of people and their customers are expected to stay there for a short period of time.
According to Leong, those without a smartphone can present the print version of their Macau Health Code valid on the day they enter the respective premises.
However, operators of the various premises are required to provide electronic devices for those without a smartphone who have not printed their Macau Health Code to generate their health code on the devices, Leong said, adding that an oral health declaration is now no longer accepted.
According to the revised guidelines, Leong said, all those with a red Macau Health Code are barred from entering any of the premises, without any exemptions.
Concerning those with a yellow Macau Health Code, operators of any of the premises should refuse their entry, Leong said.
However, Leong said, if anyone with a yellow health code urgently needs the service provided by the respective premises, their operators can allow that person to enter them but are required to carry out special COVID-19 prevention measures for him or her.
Leong said that the staff members should provide the respective person with the urgent service as quickly as possible.
After the person leaves, the staff members should carry out proper disinfection.
If the holder of a yellow Macau Health Code is an employee who works in the respective premises, he or she can enter the premises after submitting a medical certificate confirming that they have not been infected with COVID-19.
However, Leong said, operators of the premises can still decide whether to allow them to enter – despite the fact that the employee has submitted such a certificate.
Yellow or red code barred from public transport
Meanwhile, the Transport Bureau (DSAT) announced in a statement yesterday afternoon that those with a yellow or red Macau Health Code are now barred from taking public transport – public buses, taxis and the LRT.
The statement said that bus drivers and cabbies “have the right” to check potential passengers’ Macau Health Code, and they “can” refuse anyone with a yellow or red health code from getting on or in the respective vehicle.
The DSAT statement also reaffirmed that the bus drivers, cabbies and LRT staff members “have the right” to refuse anyone not wearing wear a facemask.
The DSAT statement also said that those with a yellow or red Macau Health Code are not allowed to catch the casino shuttle buses.
No spectators for dragon boat races
Meanwhile, Health Bureau (SSM) Director Alvis Lo Iek Long announced during yesterday’s press conference that this year’s Macau International Dragon Boat Races, which will take place this Sunday and next Monday, will have no spectators due to the latest COVID-19 developments in neighbouring cities.
This year’s Dragon Boat Festival falls on June 14, next Monday.
Lo also said that the family carnival event for the dragon boat races, which was initially scheduled to be held on Saturday, has also been cancelled.
Lo also noted that all the 2,000 dragon boat racers and staff members will have to present a valid nucleic acid test (NAT) certificate confirming that they have tested negative for COVID-19, or a certificate confirming that they have been fully (twice) inoculated against COVID-19 at least 14 days before.
Jabs may be needed to cross border
Meanwhile, Lo also said that the Macau government does not rule out the possibility of requiring those who cross the border – entry and exit – to be fully inoculated against COVID-19, in line with the latest COVID-19 developments in Macau and in neighbouring cities.
According to Lo, all those whose state of health does not make it possible for them to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and those who because of their age are not covered by the vaccination drive can present a medical certificate confirming that they are unable to be vaccinated against COVID-19 so that they still can cross the border even if the government decides to go ahead with its vaccination requirement for border crossings.
According to recent announcements by the Health Bureau, those who have been in Guangzhou or Foshan within the past 14 days have their Macau Health Code change to yellow.
The colour will change back to green 14 days after they had left the two cities.
Normally, a red Macau Health Code indicates that the holder is a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patient.
Moreover, the Macau Health Code of all those who have been in Guangzhou or Foshan in the past 14 days and have not undergone the required one-off nucleic acid test will also change to red.
A green Macau Health Code indicates that the holder doesn’t have COVID-19 symptoms, hasn’t been in contact with COVID-19 patients and hasn’t visited any area affected by COVID-19.
Visit the COVID-19 Information Centre for vaccine resources.
Get Vaccine Info