Macau Bans Overseas Civil Flights Out of COVID Concerns

With COVID-19 cases on the rise once again, the Macau Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China has prohibited all kinds of passenger flights arriving from outside of China.

Macau Closes Its Borders for International Flights

COVID-19 continues to prove itself one of the worst disasters befalling contemporary humanity. Each time it seems that things are quieting down another spike in cases arrives. This is also the case for Macau as the special administrative region has seen a sudden rise of people falling ill from the virus.

As everyone already knows how disastrous COVID-19 can be, the local government was quick to react – the Macau Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Center quickly began to figure the issue out and announced a two-week-long ban on civil flights. The center announced that no civil aircraft from overseas will be allowed to enter the country between January 9 and 23.

The goal is to inhibit the virus’ spread and to avoid it spiraling out of control. Macau’s Health Bureau hopes that stopping non-Chinese passengers from entering the region will help lower the overall number of cases.

Macau’s actions mirror those of Hong Kong which also announced a ban on flights yesterday. Hong Kong was more specific in its new rules and prohibited any flights coming from the United States, Canada, Australia, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, France, India, and Pakistan. In Hong Kong’s case, no such flights will be allowed between January 8 and 21.

Hong Kong and Macau Are Treading Carefully

Luckily for Macau, the new COVID-19 wave is yet to cause any serious damages. Not a single death has been recorded among the 79 total cases. Out of those cases, at least two people were confirmed to be affected by the new Omicron variant.

Even before the flight ban, Macau and Hong Kong had some pretty heavy travel restrictions in order to ensure the safety of their own citizens. Both regions have banned non-residents from entering the city. Residents who return from another country, on the other hand, are required to pass a certain time in isolation, even if their COVID-19 tests turn out negative. The government usually requires such returning residents to stay isolated for three to five weeks.

Both Macau and Hong Kong are very densely populated areas which is why extreme vigilance is needed in order to avoid a tragedy. If the virus’ spread continues, it is possible that more measures will be implemented.

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