The Portuguese ambassador to Beijing said today that there is still no solution to allow foreign residents of Macau to travel to China.
The issue was discussed with the Macao authorities and “it was talked about at length, but it has not been resolved,” José Augusto Duarte told Lusa at the end of a four-day visit to the territory, in which he held meetings with local authorities, including the chief executive, Ho Iat Seng.
The ambassador defended that the issue requires a “global and equitable approach, so as not to discriminate against any passport” and recalled that it depends not only on the Macau authorities, but also on the central government, which closed the borders to foreigners in March.
It is necessary to find “the best way to respect safety standards widely to avoid contagion [of covid-19], making this compatible with the circulation of the community”, he stressed, at the end of a press conference at the consulate general of Portugal in Macau and Hong Kong.
In March, China closed its borders to foreigners, including Macau’s foreign residents, only allowing entry at the time in cases considered essential.
Last month, Beijing officials announced that foreigners with a still valid residence permit could re-enter the country, including a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
The measure covers residence permits valid for three categories: work, personal affairs and family reunification.
However, foreigners whose Chinese residence permit expired during their stay abroad must continue to apply for a new visa at the consulates and embassies of the People’s Republic of China.
The other restrictions on the entry of foreigners into the country, announced in March, remain in force.
In a joint statement, the Chinese Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Administration said that the Government “will continue to resume exchanges between people in an orderly and step-by-step manner, while ensuring effective control of the pandemic” of the covid- 19.
The covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 1.1 million deaths and more than 40.8 million cases of infection worldwide, according to a report by the French agency AFP.
The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China.
After Europe succeeded China as the center of the pandemic in February, the American continent is now the one with the most confirmed cases and the most deaths.