China is to end from January 8 inbound quarantine for those arriving to the country from overseas, reported on Monday mainland media, citing guidance to mainland provincial authorities provided by China’s National Health Commission.
China’s latest relaxation measure for the mainland came as the country is set to downgrade Covid-19 from a ‘category A’ to a ‘category B’ infectious disease; the latter requiring only “necessary treatment and measures to curb the spread”.
Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan, who has been in charge of the Covid-19 response, was reported on Monday as urging authorities across the country to focus on treatment. It was also reported the same day, that the National Health Commission was to stop announcing daily Covid case numbers.
With effect from Friday, Macau dropped even home quarantine for inbound arrivals from either Hong Kong, Taiwan or overseas. The Macau authorities have still required however, five days of “self-management” of health by those inbound. It was also announced on Friday, that such arrivals would have a ‘yellow’ Macau health code for those days, rather than a ‘red’ one.
GGRAsia has approached Macau’s six casino operators, asking whether a yellow health code would acceptable by those firms, to allow such arrivals to visit casino floors during their ‘self-managment’ period. We had not received replies from any of them, by the time this story went online. But some of the operators require a ‘green’ health code for people to be allowed into their premises, according to their corporate websites.
At the time Macau’s inbound quarantine was dropped, it was said that restaurants and “leisure facilities” – a reference understood to include casinos – could decide whether to allow inside their premises any guests with a ‘yellow’ health code.
The Macau authorities had – since the relaxation of rules began earlier this month – said that even red-code people could visit and stay at Macau hotels. Most Macau casino resorts have hotels.
It has separately been announced over the past few days, that bus services across the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge were to be ramped up, and that certain Hong Kong-Macau ferry services would be resumed.
Prior to the pandemic, Macau government data indicated that many tourist visits to Macau via Hong Kong were on a day-trip basis, so any ongoing restrictions on movement upon arrival in Macau offer a potential hurdle to resumption of such business.
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