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Covid-19: Macau may reopen on Tuesday after registering zero new cases

Leong Iek Hou, of the Contingency Coordination Center for the New Type of Coronavirus, argued today that “we must wait” for the testing of the entire population, scheduled for the weekend, “to know the situation clearly.”

In a press conference, the official announced that the so-called “consolidation” phase, which ended on Saturday, will be extended by three days, until August 2, to allow the analysis of all samples collected during the test.

Also read: Gaming industry in Macau will have to get used to living with less profits

Macau came out on Saturday from a partial confinement, enacted on July 11, in line with the zero-case policy determined by Beijing.

If no new infections are detected, Leong said the authorities are “evaluating” the possibility of allowing nurseries and shopping centers to reopen and construction work to resume in closed areas.

The official also said that the government is considering allowing people working outdoors to wear surgical masks. Currently, all adults are required to wear “KN95 type or higher standard” masks when they leave the house.

Also read: Covid-19. Macau records daily record of cases, but rejects total containment for now

In this transitional phase, in addition to “companies and entities that provide essential public services and services necessary to ensure the indispensable functioning of society,” establishments that “have access to the public road” and can guarantee the ventilation of the space can operate.

But if the consolidation phase ends already on Tuesday, the population will also be able to return to lunch in restaurants, said Leong Iek Hou. However, she stressed, the authorities will be able to impose a limit on the number of people according to the area of the restaurant, or force customers to show a negative nucleic acid test.

The population will still be required to perform daily antigen tests and upload the image with the result to an ‘online’ platform. But, Leong said, groups considered to be most at risk will be able to switch to having nucleic acid tests every three days, instead of every two days.

The territory, which had recorded about 80 cases since January 2020, was hit in June by the worst outbreak faced since the pandemic began, which infected 1,816 people, mostly asymptomatic cases, and caused six deaths, all elderly people with chronic illnesses.

Casinos are the only exception to this rule.

Read also: Macau’s gambling industry will have to get used to living with fewer profits – analysts
Some recreational areas have already reopened and residents are allowed to walk their pets near the area where they live, unlike what happened during the partial confinement, something that prompted strong protest from the population.

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