The Macau government tightened its border restrictions with neighbouring Zhuhai on Thursday, with anyone entering Macau from mainland China required to show a negative test result obtained within the previous 48 hours.
The new measure, which reduces the testing time frame from seven days, comes after a positive COVID-19 case was detected in Tanzhou, Zhongshan city, located in Guangdong Province.
Zhongshan city borders Zhuhai city and many residents and workers in Macau live in the city from where they commute each day.
Tanzhou was immediately locked down to prohibit anyone from leaving and Macau has also implemented a 14-day quarantine measure on travellers arriving from Tanzhou.
Macau’s Novel Coronavirus Coordination and Response Center said it had located 2,898 people who had been in Tanzhou in the previous 14 days, with those people now required to undergo self-health management for 14 days and receive up to five virus tests. Eighteen people found to have been in the same residential district as the positive case have been quarantined.
Two people in Macau have also been deemed close contacts of the case with a 59-year-old Macau resident and a 45-year-old Chinese non-resident worker having attended the same dinner party in Tanzhou on 9 January before returning to Macau.
The duo tested negative to COVID-19 on Thursday. However, as they work at a nursery and in a nursing house respectively, both in Taipa, the government has quarantined all people who came into contact with them – including children and the elderly.
Zhuhai also reacted quickly on Thursday, closing all entertainment venues including hair salons, cinemas and gyms.
The actions of the three cities are based on the fact that authorities have not been able to determine how the positive case contracted COVID-19. The patient did not leave Guangdong Province in the previous two weeks but visited several public places in Zhongshan and Zhuhai.
Health officials warned the risk of transmission in the community is high because of the wide range of social activities in Zhongshan. However, all close contacts with the patient have tested negative.