Authorities in Macau and Zhuhai have again extended by seven days, to December 21 inclusive, the existing requirement that all people crossing between the two cities hold a nucleic acid test certificate issued within 24 hours proving they are ‘negative’ for Covid-19 infection.
That was despite the recent relaxation of Covid-19 countermeasures in Macau and in mainland China. Macau is entering a “new phase” in its approach to dealing with the pandemic, according to local officials.
Zhuhai, in mainland China’s Guangdong province, is normally a key overland gateway for mainland tourists.
The cross-border liaison system responsible for the initial tightening of travel protocols – known as the “Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism between Zhuhai and Macau” – announced the extension in a Wednesday update.
The 24-hour test rule had been introduced from November 16, in response to an uptick in Covid-19 infections in the mainland, and has since been extended every week.
Macau’s health authorities said on Tuesday that the city had identified 382 Covid-19 infections as of midnight on Monday, 369 of them in the community. That was up from 204 confirmed infections on Sunday.
Across the border, there has been a sequential spike in new Covid-19 infections in recent weeks.
Earlier this week, the Macau government scrapped guidelines regarding capacity limitations and entry restrictions at the city’s casinos, as part of its city-wide move to roll back existing measures against the pandemic.
The local authorities announced last weekend that from today (Wednesday, December 14), individuals who are infected with Covid-19 – that are asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms – will be permitted to isolate at home. Hotels in Macau are also from today allowed to take in guests that are ‘positive’ for Covid-19, as well as their close contacts.
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"The six Macau casino operators should not be penalised for upping expenditure on player incentives, so long as their EBITDA margins are not materially diluted”
George Choi and Ryan Cheung
Analysts at Citigroup