Macau is cancelling with effect from Sunday (January 8) most of its travel restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic, dropping all testing requirements for inbound travellers from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
People arriving in the city from overseas destinations however will still have to present a ‘negative’ result of a nucleic acid test or a rapid antigen test from a sample obtained 48 hours before departure. All health management measures upon entry into Macau will be scrapped.
The announcement was made on Thursday by Elsie Ao Ieong U, Macau’s Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture. She was speaking at a press briefing organised by the city’s Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre.
“January 8 marks the end of the transition phase” regarding Covid-19 management in Macau, stated Ms Ao Ieong.
Macau faced a wave of Covid-19 infections starting from mid-December. That had coincided with relaxation of preventive measures, led by changes to mainland China’s Covid-19 policy.
Thursday’s announcement was made after the authorities on the Chinese mainland announced earlier in the day that travel restrictions with Hong Kong and Macau would be eased from Sunday, with most Covid-19 controls due to be dropped.
According to the announcement from the central authorities, from this Sunday people travelling inbound to the mainland via Macau will no longer need to present a ‘negative’ result of a nucleic acid test or do a rapid antigen test, provided they have not been to any regions or countries outside Macau in the prior seven days.
Those inbound to the mainland from Hong Kong will need a ‘negative’ result from a sample obtained 48 hours before departure.
The Macau authorities had, starting from December 23, lifted quarantine requirements for people arriving in the city either from overseas, Hong Kong, or Taiwan.
Transport options for people wishing to journey between Macau and Hong Kong have been gradually increasing, with more bus services now available via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.
A limited number of ferry services between the Pac On ferry terminal in Taipa and Hong Kong International Airport resumed on December 30. Ferry operator TurboJET has said it is ready to resume limited sailings between Macau and Hong Kong once it receives the green light from the authorities on both sides.
Representatives of Macau’s travel trade stated in recent comments to GGRAsia that it might only be at the Chinese New Year break – starting on January 21 – that Macau will see significant volumes of mainland tourists, and the return of meaningful numbers of Hong Kong tourists.
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