Domestic workers

Domestic workers not residing with their employer will be required to undergo a daily test

Domestic workers not residing with their employers will be listed as a key high-risk work group and will be required to perform nucleic acid tests and rapid antigen tests daily from tomorrow (Saturday), the authorities announced. health authorities.

Domestic helpers who have been living with employers since July 11 will not be listed in key work groups and exempt from this testing requirement.

Domestic workers who have not spent the night at their employer’s home since July 11 will be required to take the nucleic acid test and rapid antigen test daily, with their employer responsible for overseeing whether they have carried out the tests .

Virtually all of the city’s domestic helpers are nonresidents, with Macau law allowing them to reside in residences separate from those of their employers.

Macao SAR authorities have ordered the suspension of all commercial and industrial activities in the city – including casinos – for seven days from midnight on July 11, except for those maintaining the normal operation of the society.

Domestic helpers have been allowed by authorities to move around the city for work and other essential tasks. To board public buses or move around the city, they must present non-resident work cards describing their employment.

Those who only have a receipt can apply for a temporary work card at Migration which will allow them to travel by bus.

The coordinator of the Novel Coronavirus Coordination and Response Center, Dr. Leong Iek Hou, told the press conference that the authorities do not have a list of domestic helpers who live outside the home of the employer while stressing that employers should ensure that aids are tested every day as this measure is launched “for the safety of their families”.

Leong also said that it is recommended to perform the covid test every day, even for domestic workers who have not returned to work because their residence is often very crowded.

Domestic workers often rent dormitories with a very crowded living environment that accommodates people of different types of work, and it’s easy for the virus to spread during residency, health authorities noted.

If domestic helpers are infected, the virus can be transmitted to employers, who may include young children or the elderly, with more serious consequences, Leong added.

Among the first 1,675 positive cases found in Macau, 95 cases were of people whose occupation was classified as domestic work, accounting for 5.7 percent of the total.

As of May this year, there were 24,543 non-resident domestic helpers in the Macao SAR, with the majority coming from the Philippines, Vietnam or Indonesia, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Affairs (DSAL).