The Hong Kong government has extended until March next year, from an original end date this month, the 14-day quarantine rule for arrivals from Macau, mainland China and Taiwan. The extension of the rule took effect on Wednesday, according to the city’s Official Gazette.
The step follows an ongoing autumn spike in Covid-19 infections in the city (pictured), which has been referred to in the local media as a “fourth wave”. The Hong Kong government also extended to March next year the quarantine rule for persons arriving in the city from overseas, according to Wednesday’s announcement.
Those Hong Kong ID holders that qualify for the city’s so-called ‘Return2hk’ system are exempt from the extended quarantine rule.
On November 11, the Hong Kong government said all Hong Kong people arriving back in the city from either neighbouring Guangdong province in mainland China, or Macau, would be exempted from a 14-day quarantine if they arrive via a land border, and possess a valid negative nucleic acid test result.
Any Hong Kong ID holders working in Macau would however still require a 14-day quarantine if they wished to re-enter Macau from Hong Kong.
According to some investment analysts covering Macau casino stocks, visitors from Hong Kong had before the crisis supplied at least 10 percent of Macau’s annual casino gross gaming revenue.
The Hong Kong government website carried news on Wednesday that two more patients – respectively in their 80s and 70s – in the city had died from Covid-19, taking the total fatalities in public hospitals to 112.
The same day, the city’s Centre for Health Protection said it is investigating 104 additional Covid-19 cases. Of those, 99 were described as “local”, with 35 of unknown origin.
Other data from the Centre released on Wednesday said that since December 31 last year, Hong Kong had recorded 7,180 cases of Covid-19, including 7,179 confirmed cases and one ‘probable’ case.
Of the tally, 5,783 people had already been discharged from treatment. There was a total of 114 fatal cases, and 1,253 cases involved people either still hospitalised or pending hospital admission.
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"There is still no clarity about when border easing for Macau will occur. In the end these changes are needed to see a rebound for Macau business"
Vitaly Umansky, Louis Li and Shirley Yang
Analysts at brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein