The Macau SAR Government appears to be relaxing its attitude towards pandemic prevention, with the latest uptick in confirmed COVID-19 cases failing to result in any large-scale lockdowns.
There were 16 new cases were confirmed in Macau on Monday, and 56 new cases in the past eight days, spread across all regions of the city. However, the government has not imposed a large-scale lockdown in stark contrast to situation during the previous 18 June outbreak.
The government has not held any press conferences to explain the outbreak, nor has it detailed the addresses of the confirmed patients or the places they had visited.
This was most evident in the early hours of Monday morning. As per local news reports late Sunday, there were still three “red code areas” in Macau under lockdown, but two hours later the government released new information and suddenly removed these three red code areas.
At time of writing there were no more red code areas in Macau, only yellow code areas where people need to be tested four times over five days.
In addition, the government has recently announced the availability of RAT tests for public purchase at a price of MOP$4 per packet. Although authorities have not given any explanation, many people believe Macau is preparing to move away from universal NAT testing to personalized RAT testing instead.
Macau’s current pandemic prevention policies mirror those of the mainland. Even though mainland China reported 27,000 new cases in a single day on Monday, several regions have recently announced the lifting of control measures, allowing close contacts to isolate at home and eliminating the previous measures of sealing off entire buildings. The mainland seems to be using a more relaxed epidemic prevention policy.
However, Macau also remains consistent with the mainland’s quarantine policy, which currently requires a 5-day stint in hotel quarantine followed by three days isolating at home for visitors entering from all foreign countries, Hong Kong and Taiwan.