This article is about a current disease pandemic where information can change quickly or be unreliable. The latest page updates may not reflect the most up-to-date information. (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|2020 coronavirus pandemic in Macau|
Map of parishes with confirmed (red) or suspected (blue) coronavirus cases (as of 28 January)
|First outbreak||Wuhan, Hubei, China|
|Arrival date||22 January 2020 – present |
(2 months, 1 week and 4 days)
|Macao Government Special webpage against Epidemics|
On the morning of 26 January, the Macau Health Bureau confirmed three additional cases: that of a 58-year-old woman arriving from Hong Kong on 23 January after travelling to Wuhan, and of two women, aged 21 and 39, both arriving in Macau on 22 January via the Lotus Bridge; all three were residents of Wuhan. The Macau government has since temporarily closed all schools and universities, and has imposed border controls with temperature checks. The government also declared the closing of several venues to limit the possible spread of the virus, including several entertainment venues and planned Lunar New Year performances.
On 27 January, a 15-year-old boy, the son of one of the previously confirmed patients, was declared the sixth case of the virus in Macau. The next day, the seventh case was announced, that of a 67-year-old woman, a resident of Wuhan who travelled to Guangzhou before entering Macau through the Barrier Gate checkpoint.
On 6 March, all 10 confirmed patients with the virus had recovered. According to authorities, however, there are still 224 people in isolation, 6 in quarantine, and 58 Macau residents who have been to South Korea and Italy also isolated.
On 7 March, the Philippines announced that an airlift operation will be launched to bring home 167 Filipinos working in Macau.
On 15 March, the city registered a new COVID-19 case imported from Portugal, the first new case in over a month. The patient is a Korean migrant worker who visited her boyfriend's family in the city of Porto. The woman departed Macau on January 30. She flew back to Hong Kong from Dubai on March 13 on flight number EK380, taking seat 31J. She returned to Macau on the same day via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge. Later in the day she started experiencing coughing and went to the hospital on Sunday afternoon, March 15, with fever.
On 17 March, two new cases were reported. The first patient, a 47-year-old male, is a Spanish national doing business in Macau; he took the SU2501 flight from Madrid to Moscow on March 15, and then the SU204 flight from Moscow to Beijing. On 16 March, he took the NX001 flight from Beijing to Macau, arriving at Macau Airport at 8:00 pm of the same day. The second patient is a 20-year-old woman, a Macau resident who was studying in the United Kingdom. The patient left London and arrived at the Hong Kong International Airport via Kuala Lumpur on the night of March 16. Upon arrival at the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, she was detected to have a fever and was immediately taken to the hospital. Further testing revealed she was infected with the novel coronavirus.
On 19 March, the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau announced the re-postponement of its plans to resume primary and secondary education as a response to the second wave of COVID-19 cases beginning with the 11th case. This is after the bureau's class resumption plans starting on 30 March, announced on 11 March.
On 27 March, the government of neighbouring Zhuhai announced that anyone returning or travelling from outside Mainland China (including Macau and Hong Kong) would undergo mandatory 14-day quarantine with a few exceptions. This caused large crowds and chaos at the Lotus Checkpoint in Cotai, which was the only border checkpoint open at the time.
On 31 December 2019, the Health Bureau was notified by the National Health Commission of an outbreak of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan. Residents were asked to avoid excessive panic but to be conscious of personal hygiene and the hygiene of their environment. Those traveling to Wuhan were advised to avoid visiting local hospitals or having contact with sick people.
On 1 January 2020, the Macao Health Bureau asked Macau International Airport to implement body temperature screening for all passengers on flights coming from Wuhan. Starting 5 January, the Health Bureau raised the pneumonia warning level to 3, medium risk, and on the same day established the "Interdepartmental Working Group Against Pneumonia of Unknown Cause" (應對不明原因肺炎跨部門工作小組).
Starting January 10, people bought large quantities of masks, leading to shortages in some pharmacies. Macao Daily News reported that, according to the Health Bureau, the city's supply of masks was sufficient. On the day that the first case in Macau was confirmed, the Health Bureau announced at a press conference that starting in the evening of January 23, Macau residents and foreign workers could use Macau Resident Identity Cards and foreign worker identity cards respectively to purchase up to 10 masks per person every 10 days. Director of the Health Bureau Li Zhanrun (李展潤) said that out of 294 pharmacies in Macau, 160 did not have masks and that out of eight mask suppliers, one had 150,000 masks remaining in stock whereas the others were out of stock.
On 21 January, Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng ordered the establishment of a 24-hour "Novel Coronavirus Emergency Coordination Center", replacing the "Interdepartmental Working Group Against Pneumonia of Unknown Cause", to operate directly under the chief executive, with Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture as vice chair. In response to the city's first imported case, steps were taken, including: border control points implemented health declarations, resort workers had to wear masks, Macau residents were not encouraged to travel to Wuhan, and tour groups between Wuhan and Macau were suspended.
On 23 January, Macau confirmed its second imported case, leading the Government Tourism Office to cancel all Chinese New Year celebrations, including the Macau Chinese New Year Parade. On the same day, Ho Iat Seng announced that anyone with fever symptoms should not leave Macau. On January 23, Ho Iat Seng announced that Macau had ordered 20 million masks to sell to Macau residents and foreign workers at cost. The Correctional Services Authority announced precautions against the virus.
On 24 January, the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau announced that all non-tertiary schools would extend their Chinese New Year holiday, not resuming classes until February 10 or later. The bureau also asked other private tutoring and continuing education centers to delay the resumption of classes. On the same day, the Tertiary Education Bureau also announced that ten tertiary institutions would delay classes until February 11. The Sports Bureau later announced that sporting facilities would be closed from that afternoon (24 January) at 4PM.
On 25 January, the government of Macau announced that the opening hours at the Portas do Cerco border crossing with Zhuhai would be reduced by three hours, to 6AM–10PM, until further notice. Opening hours at other border crossings with Zhuhai and Hong Kong would not be affected for the time being. On the same day, the Macau government announced that they would donate 50,000 urgently needed medical masks to the city of Zhuhai, to be used for the prevention and treatment of the virus.
On 26 January, the government announced that starting on the 27th, all non-residents who were from or had been to Hubei in the past 14 days were required to have a doctor's note certifying that they did not have the virus in order to be allowed into Macau. In addition, anyone who had been to Hubei in the past 14 days was prohibited from entering casinos. That evening the government of Macau announced that starting at 9AM on the 27th, the 1,113 travelers from Hubei who had entered Macau between December 1 and January 26 and remained in the territory would be quarantined.
On 28 January, Secretary for Administration and Justice Zhang Yongchun (張永春) said that in accordance with the decision of the central government, endorsements for mainland Chinese visitors to Macau would be suspended.
On 30 January, the Tertiary Education Bureau accounced that the resumption of classes would be delayed further, and that a schedule for resuming classes would be released one week before classes were to resume.
On 3 February, the government of Macau announced that starting at noon, all bus and taxi passengers were required to wear wear masks; otherwise the driver would have the right to refuse boarding. Starting at 13:00, all light rail passengers were required to wear a mask; otherwise the driver would have the right to refuse boarding.
On 4 February 2020, all casinos in Macau were ordered to shut down for 15 days. The following facilities were also required to close: cinemas, theatres, indoor amusement parks, arcades, internet cafes, pool halls, bowling alleys, steam baths, massage parlours, beauty salons, gyms, health clubs, bars, karaoke bars, nightclubs, discos, and dance clubs.
On February 7, the government of Macau announced that government workers were to stay home from the 8th to the 16th, except for emergency services.
On 11 February, at the daily press conference, the government announced the third face mask safeguarding plan and provided masks for children for the first time, but due to limited quantities, each child was only permitted to buy five. The government also announced that testing would begin for groups at high risk of infection, and that the highest-risk group was tour bus drivers, of which 103 were to be tested that day.
On 13 February the government announced economic relief measures, including: (1) reduction of taxes and fees to relieve the burden on businesses and residents; (2) assistance to small and medium enterprises and interest subsidies, to support the continued existence of enterprises; (3) measures to enhance people's livelihoods and support vulnerable families; (4) technical training, providing work, and protecting wages; (5) putting out electronic coupons to accelerate economic recovery. The government also announced that it would cooperate with a local research team in Macau to establish production lines in the mainland and safeguard the supply of face masks.
On 14 February, the government announced that, after balancing epidemic prevention with citizens' need for public services, starting 17 February, basic public services would be restored.
On 17 February, the government announced that effective 20 February, casinos could reopen but other entertainment facilities such as cinemas and bars were to remain closed. The government also announced that migrant workers entering Macau who had been to mainland China in the past 14 days would need to undergo 14 days of medical observation at a designated location in Zhuhai. At a press conference, the Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong (李偉農) mentioned that when casinos reopened, they would have to follow government measures in order to protect employee and guest safety. If casinos were unable to prepare adequately for reopening, they could apply to delay reopening for up to 30 days.
On 18 February, due to the global face mask shortage, the government began providing masks with ties instead of ear straps.
On 19 February, the government announced that effective 20 February, passengers coming from COVID-19 hotspots would need to undergo medical checks upon entering Macau. Medical checks might also be conducted on Macau residents who made multiple trips back and forth to Zhuhai every day. It was also announced that some parks would reopen and government broadcasts would be adjusted.
All casinos reopened on 20 February 2020, but visitor numbers remained low due to the pandemic, with hotels at less than 12% occupancy at the end of February. Macau's casinos suffered a year-on-year revenue drop of 88% during February 2020, the worst ever recorded.
Starting on February 20, the government of Macau restricted entry from mainland China.
On 21 February, the government announced that the following week, 24–28 February, the public sector would still provide basic services. The fourth face mask safeguarding plan would begin the following day, 22 February.
On 25 February, the Health Bureau announced that people entering Macau who had been to South Korea in the past 14 days would be required to undergo 14 days of medical observation. The Maritime and Water Bureau announced that the opening hours of the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal and Taipa Ferry Terminal would be changed to 07:00–20:00 until further notice.
On 27 February, the other venues that had been closed on 5 February along with the casinos were permitted to reopen. However, the government of Macau recommended that they implement epidemic control measures; if an outbreak occurred in such a place, they would require site control measures in accordance with Article 19 of the Infectious Disease Prevention Law. The government of Macau announced that effective 2 March, public services would return to normal. Private tutoring and continuing education institutions that meet health guidelines could also resume operations. The Education Bureau announced that, subject to the conditions that Macau and Guangdong Province had no new confirmed cases for 14 consecutive days and Macau schools did not resume classes before Zhuhai and Zhongshan, it would be possible to announce the resumption of classes at non-tertiary schools. The Correctional Services Authority announced that visiting services would partially resume on 4 March.
On 29 February, it was announced that passengers who had been to Italy or Iran in the past 14 days would need to undergo 14 days of medical observation in isolation. Macau residents would be permitted to undergo medical observation at a home location deemed appropriate by authorities.
On 8 March it was announced that starting at noon the same day, people entering Macau who had been to Germany, France, Spain, or Japan in the past 14 days would need to undergo a health check. In addition, starting 10 March at noon, passengers coming from those locations would need to undergo 14 days of isolation and medical observation at a designated location. Macau residents would be permitted to undergo medical observation at an approved home location. The Tertiary Education Bureau announced measures to help students from Macau studying abroad to purchase face masks.
On 9 March, the Sports Bureau announced that sports facilities under its authority had gradually resumed opening starting March 2, and that other facilities would be able to gradually resume opening starting 11 March. These facilities had been closed since 24 January. The Blood Donation Center announced the suspension of blood donation by at-risk individuals for 28 days.
On 13 March, the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau announced a contingency plan for resuming classes in stages, with different grades gradually going back to school on different dates from 30 March and 4 May.
On 14 March, it was announced that people entering Macau who had been to the COVID-19 hotspots of the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Russia, Brazil, Egypt, Australia, or New Zealand in the past 14 days would be required to undergo medical observation at a designated location.The Tertiary Education Bureau announced that some classes meeting certain conditions would be allowed to resume on 1 April. In addition, it was announced that students returning to Macau from abroad would have to undergo 14 days of medical observation at home and a nucleic acid test.
On 15 March, it was announced that New Zealand is not considered a COVID-19 hotspot. The Tourism Bureau announced that from 17 March to 22 March the government would arrange transportation from Hong Kong International Airport for Macau residents and students coming from European countries to bring them to a designated location for 14 days of medical observation.
On 16 March, it was announced that starting 17 March at midnight (00:00), people arriving in Macau from any countries outside China (meaning mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan) would have to undergo 14 days of medical observation at a designated location. The Tourism Bureau announced that transportation from Hong Kong International Airport to a designated location would be arranged for Macau residents and students coming from the United States as well as European countries.
Effective March 18, the government banned entry of all non-residents, with exceptions for mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
On 18 March, the Tourism Bureau announced that from 19 March to 31 March, transportation from Hong Kong International Airport would take Macau residents and students coming from all countries to designated locations for medical observation.
On 19 March, the plan for resuming classes in stages was cancelled.
On 24 March, the chief executive announced that starting 25 March, connecting flights would no longer be permitted at Macau International Airport; any residents of Hong Kong, Taiwan, or mainland China who had been to other countries in the previous 14 days were prohibited from entering Macau; and Macau residents who had been to Hong Kong, Taiwan, or other countries in the past 14 days would be required to undergo 14 days of medical observation at a designated location.
On 25 March, the Health Bureau expanded restrictions on blood donations.