Macau has tightened its entry requirements for international air arrivals after announcing a 14-day ban on all civilian flights from foreign countries.
With COVID-19’s Omicron variant spreading like wildfire around the world, Macau’s Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Center announced on Wednesday that all civilian flights are prohibited from carrying passengers to Macau from all countries and jurisdictions except mainland China. The Center explained that the latest policy is aimed at reducing the risk a potential COVID-19 outbreak poses to public health in Macau, with the prohibition order being implemented from midnight on the morning of 9 January to 23:59 on 23 January.
Macau has reported several positive cases of COVID-19 in recent days, all while in hotel quarantine after arriving from the UK, Singapore, the Philippines or Thailand. Cases of both Omicron and Delta have been detected.
It comes as the Chinese city of Xian finds itself in an extended lockdown after authorities detected around 1,800 cases of COVID-19 during a recent mass testing blitz. Macau authorities currently require any individuals who have visited Xian or a handful of other cities to undergo quarantine upon arrival.
The ban on all international arrivals is even stricter than measures imposed by Hong Kong on Wednesday, which announced a ban on arrivals from eight countries – Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, the United Kingdom and the United States.