Macau ups quarantine rules, little impact on mainlanders

Macau ups quarantine rules, little impact on mainlanders

The Macau government has imposed stricter quarantine requirements on people arriving to the city. The new rules came into force on Monday evening.

The new rules state people arriving Macau from locations except mainland China and Taiwan, will be required to undergo a 21-day medical observation upon arrival, versus the previously-mandated 14 days.

People from ‘low risk’ cities in mainland China – the vast majority – can continue to enter Macau quarantine-free, as long as they provide a valid negative Covid-19 infection certificate and meet other requirements.

Those who have been to ‘medium-risk’ cities on the mainland, or to Taiwan, in the 14 days immediately prior to arriving in Macau, will still be subject to 14 days of medical observation in Macau.

Macau’s boundaries are still closed to foreign visitors. They may apply to the authorities for exemption for special cases related to public interest or family reunion.

Visitors from mainland China, Hong Kong or Taiwan that have been to foreign countries in the 21 days preceding their arrival in Macau are, since Monday, also barred from entering the city. Previously, the measure only applied for those who had been abroad in the previous 14 days.

The new steps were in light of the latest developments overseas regarding Covid-19, said the Macau government. It mentioned in particular, reports of a new strain, found in the United Kingdom, of the coronavirus linked to Covid-19. The Macau government said it also had taken into account reports in other places regarding patients being confirmed with Covid-19 infection, even after completing an initial 14-day period of medical observation.

Macau’s annual visitor-arrival tally for this year was expected to be below 6 million, said earlier this month Macao Government Tourism Office director, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes. Around half of that tally would be from January alone, which recorded just above 2.8 million visitor arrivals. Visitors form the majority of gamblers in Macau, although investment analysts have said there is no direct link between the number of visitor arrivals and the city’s casino gross gaming revenue.

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