UPDATE (March 5 2.58pm CST): On Wednesday afternoon, the Guangdong provincial government confirmed that travelers from South Korea, Italy, Iran and Japan will be quarantined for 14 days upon entering the southern province.
The Guangdong provincial government recently announced that all travelers who have visited countries and regions severely affected by COVID-19 are required to undergo quarantine for 14 days either in designated facilities or at home.
A representative from the Guangdong Office of Foreign Affairs told That’s that the location where an incoming traveler will be quarantined is decided by public health officials – dependent on the health condition of the traveler as well as other factors. She also said that there is no specific list of countries considered ‘severely affected’ by the new coronavirus, apparently leaving the decision to quarantine travelers up to public health officials’ discretion. For an updated list of all countries currently with confirmed COVID-19 cases, click here.
The Guangdong Health Commission said that the rule was put in place to combat the spread of the disease caused by the new coronavirus. Recently, there has been an increase in the number of imported cases from outside of China, as the epidemic has spread across the world. Chinese media reported that 6,728 inbound travelers have shown symptoms of COVID-19, with 75 travelers testing positive for the disease, as of March 4.
One traveler who recently returned to Shenzhen said that an officer called to confirm their current address. The traveler noted that they did not speak Chinese, so the officer asked them to text their address in order to corroborate with the information on the traveler’s health declaration form.
According to the US Consulate General Hong Kong and Macau’s official website, Hong Kong’s compulsory 14-day quarantine, which started on February 8, includes any traveler – regardless of nationality – who arrives in Hong Kong and visited the Chinese mainland within a 14-day period. (The quarantine does not apply to travelers transiting through Hong Kong International Airport.) As for Macau, the local government started enforcing medical checks for travelers who’ve visited areas severely affected by the new coronavirus within a 14-day period.
However, during a press conference by Macau’s Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Center in mid-February, officials ruled out implementing a 14-day quarantine. “Fourteen days of quarantine, how to do that?” Lei Wai Nong, Macau’s secretary for economy and finance, asked rhetorically, as cited by Macau News. “We have to consider more concrete problems,” the policy secretary added. A city largely reliant on tourism, Macau temporarily closed all 41 casinos as well as other entertainment venues for a 15-day period in early February.
For those with concerns or questions regarding the mandatory quarantine in Guangdong, you can contact Guangdong Provincial People’s Government Foreign Affairs Office at 1258088. The 24-hour hotline is in both Chinese and English.
[Cover image via Pixabay]