Macau’s Chief Executive (CE), Ho Iat Seng (pictured in a file photo), said on Wednesday that he hopes that “as soon as possible” the city will achieve an 80 percent vaccination rate among its population, to make it easier for the local authorities to negotiate with “other regions, and revitalise the tourism sector”.
Speaking in a meeting with local officials in Hangzhou in mainland China, Mr Ho said the Macau vaccination rate had been rising and described that city as a “healthy and safe” destination that can attract more tourists from mainland China.
According to the October 28 press conference of Macau’s Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre, a total of 456,368 people in Macau had been vaccinated as of 4pm that day, of which 108,777 people have only received a first dose.
That meant approximately 50.9 percent of the city’s population had been fully vaccinated as of that date, up from 49.1 percent a week earlier. Macau had a population of 682,500 as of June 30, according to data from the city’s Statistics and Census Service.
In comments on September 29, Mr Ho had said reaching “80 percent” vaccination would make it “easier” to negotiate with the mainland authorities, the resumption of inbound package tours, and applications for eVisas to be issued to independent travellers.
China is the only place currently to have a mostly quarantine-free travel arrangement with Macau. The exception are people coming from specific places in 16 mainland provinces, regions or municipalities, which must quarantine on arrival.
No place in Macau’s neighbouring mainland province Guangdong – the largest-single source of the city’s tourists this year – is currently on Macau’s inbound-quarantine list.
The latest places to be added to Macau’s inbound quarantine list in the 24 hours up to Thursday were: the Lanling subdistrict in Tianning district, and the Yongding neighbourhood in Hutang subdistrict in Wujin district, both part of the city of Changzhou, in Jiangsu province; and the Jiayu village in Xingyang district in Henan province.
Macau’s leader said on September 29 that Guangdong and Hong Kong had been discussing easing of travel restrictions between the two places. Once that happened, Macau’s travel rules with Hong Kong were likely be eased “in tandem”, he said at the time.
Technically, the border between Macau and Hong Kong is not closed, but travel restrictions including quarantine rules, render impractical short-term travel between the places.
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