Macau’s Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Elsie Ao Ieong, has revealed that the SAR is working on a plan to allow non-residents from selected foreign nations to enter, with Portugal named as first choice.
Ao Ieong told media at an event on Wednesday that the government is analyzing which countries are most suitable to add to the pilot program, with preference to be given to nations with a large number of family residents or countries with many Macau students studying abroad.
Asked if Portugal would be included, the Secretary said this was the first country being looked at.
Such a plan represents the first, albeit very tentative, steps towards Macau eventually reopening to the world after Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng issued an order in March 2020 prohibiting foreigners from entering due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The government announced last week that some selected foreigners could apply for entry to Macau under certain conditions – a measure largely aimed at opening the doors for foreign domestic helpers. Such measures do, however, still require arrivals to undergo mandatory hotel quarantine.