Macau began its mass COVID-19 vaccination on Monday, with hopes that the current COVID-19 virus tests requirements between Macau and Guangdong Province might be cancelled if herd immunity is reached in Macau.
The SAR had opened priority vaccination for front line health personnel and people with high-exposure occupations at the beginning of February, with 37,000 people having already received the vaccine. On the first day of the mass vaccination plan, about 2,500 residents were vaccinated while over 15,000 residents registered to receive it.
The health authority encouraged residents to receive the vaccine spontaneously, not only for the benefit of preventing infections and reaching herd immunity among the community but in the hope that entry barriers between Macau and mainland China might be eased.
“There is no clear guidelines to say whether vaccination could replace part of entry and quarantine requirements,” said Clinical Director of the Public Hospital, Alvis Lo Iek Long.
“The situations in Macau and Guangdong Province are very similar, and we can see that travelling between cities within Guangdong Province does not require virus test certificates. It could be discussed whether the virus test requirements should be relieved after vaccination, however, there is no actual plan at this stage.
“But it has to be equal between Macau and the mainland, that mainland visitors are also exempted from the tests. We have not started any discussions, but anything is possible.”
Mainland China has not reported any locally transmitted cases of COVID-19 for over a week now and the situation in previous areas of concern has become stable. As of 23 February, Macau no longer requires visitors from the mainland to undergo 14 days of quarantine upon arrival.