Starting from noon on Tuesday (October 19), Zhuhai-bound travellers from Macau are only required to hold a nucleic acid test certificate issued within 48 hours proving they are ‘negative’ for the virus, according to a Monday notice issued by Zhuhai’s Covid-19 prevention and control authority. Such travellers will no longer be required to do a 14-day quarantine on arrival in Zhuhai.
Zhuhai is the main land-travel route to Macau for visitors from mainland China. The Zhuhai authorities had, starting on September 26, an inbound compulsory quarantine for most travellers from Macau, due to the risk of a community outbreak of Covid-19 in the latter city.
A number of investment analysts had mentioned that the imposition of the Zhuhai quarantine on arrival when travelling via Macau was likely to have been a major disincentive for mainland tourists to attempt a visit to Macau as long as the rule was in place.
Brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd said in a Monday note that included commentary on easing of travel rules to Zhuhai: “Given that mainland China and Hong Kong together contributed 90 percent” of Macau’s visitor volume in 2019, “it’s important that Macau maintains tight border control and zero-Covid policy as long as [mainland] China does, during the early phase of recovery.”
In other developments, it was announced on Monday via a dispatch from Macau’s Chief Executive, Ho Iat Seng, that starting from noon on Tuesday, the city would no longer require people travelling outbound from Macau, to present a ‘negative’ Covid-19 test certificate issued within the prior 24 hours.
Individuals in Macau that have had “close contact” with Covid-19 confirmed cases are nonetheless barred from entering Zhuhai until they have waited for seven days after completing a quarantine process within Macau, the Monday notice issued by the Zhuhai health authorities said.
People living in Macau’s so-called “red-” and “yellow”-coded zones – areas deemed to be respectively either high- or mid-risk for infection due to their proximity to confirmed Covid-19 cases – are also barred from entering Zhuhai until they have waited for seven days from the time the colour-code alert is lifted from their residential zones, the notice also mentioned.
Macau has reported no additional Covid-19 cases since October 10. Before that, Macau had confirmed a number of fresh cases, starting in late September. It took the city’s aggregate of identified Covid-19 cases to 77.
On Friday, the Macau government said the city’s “immediate pandemic prevention” mode had ended. That alert level had been in place since September 25, as a countermeasure against Covid-19.
(Updated 9.15am, Oct 19)
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"The resurgence of Covid cases in China is again delaying a market recovery [in Macau] and is a credit negative"
Vice president and senior credit officer at Moody’s Investors Service