The Macau authorities are lowering from 10 days to seven days the amount of time people arriving from either Hong Kong, Taiwan or “overseas” places must spend in quarantine before being allowed into the community.
The measure takes effect from Saturday (August 6), according to a Tuesday update by the city’s Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre.
The news comes as Macau winds down from a so-called ‘stabilisation’ period following the largest community outbreak of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic crisis in 2020.
The outbreak period coincided with a 12-day shutdown in July of the city’s casinos as a Covid-19 countermeasure. July’s casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) was MOP398 million (US$49.2 million), a monthly low not seen in decades.
The outbreak that started in June 18 and went on to generate 1,821 infections up to now, saw tougher rules on movement out of, and into, Macau via neighbouring Zhuhai in mainland China, the latter jurisdiction the main feeder market for Macau tourists.
Also on Tuesday, a statement in Macau’s Official Gazette confirmed that the city’s Chief Executive, Ho Iat Seng, had that day ordered an official end to the so-called ‘state of immediate prevention’ regarding Covid-19 countermeasures, and which had been in place since June 19.
The issue of any potential easing of travel arrangements between Macau and Zhuhai is separate from Tuesday’s announcement about quarantine easing for those arriving from either Hong Kong, Taiwan or overseas.
Under the new inbound quarantine arrangements, voyagers must on arrival – as before – test ‘negative’ for Covid-19 to qualify for quarantine, otherwise they would go into isolation in a medical facility.
Under the more relaxed seven-day quarantine rule, inbound travellers will need to do immediately after, three days of so-called “self-management” of their health, and keep watch for any Covid-like symptoms.
During those three days, the individual’s electronic health code would be ‘yellow’, meaning they could not enter certain places including government offices, restaurants, and leisure facilities.
Such individuals are also subject to five nucleic acid tests after they finish their quarantine.
The new quarantine protocol applies also to anyone who has been either in Hong Kong, Taiwan or overseas in the 10 days prior to their intended arrival in Macau.
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