Macau Tightens Restrictions for Hong Kong Arrivals

Asia’s gambling hub has updated its entry rules to avoid imported Covid-19 cases from its easterly neighbor.

Macau’s skyline and Guia Hill as seen from Macau Tower. (Photo: Macau Photo Agency/Unsplash)

Hong Kong residents craving a quick getaway to Macau will have to wait a little longer, as new immigration restrictions have just come into force. Starting today, anyone entering the former Portuguese colony from Hong Kong must have a medical certificate showing a negative result through a nucleic acid test done less than 24 hours before arrival, down from three days as announced earlier this week.

For the moment, Macau is barring all visitors from outside mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, as well as residents of the three aforementioned jurisdictions who have visited a foreign country within the previous 14 days. That said, only those from mainland China can enjoy quarantine-free travel; most will be allowed to enter Macau so long as they carry a negative test result issued less than seven days before arrival. But fresh outbreaks in Liaoning province and the Xinjiang region mean that anyone who has been to the cities of Dalian or Urumqi within the last two weeks will be quarantined as a precaution.

According to the website of Macau’s tourism board, arrivals from Taiwan and Hong Kong must also undergo a 14-day period of medical observation at designated locations. So far, the city of 700,000 has logged a total of just 46 confirmed coronavirus infections; the last remaining active case recovered last month and the gambling hub has been free of the virus since July 17.

Macau updated its entry rules for Hong Kong residents barely a day after neighboring Guangdong province did the same. All those coming in via the Shenzhen Bay border checkpoint or the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge—the only two crossings between Hong Kong and mainland China that have remained opened throughout the pandemic—must now be tested less than a day before the journey. As in Macau, a two-week mandatory quarantine also applies to travelers entering Guangdong from Hong Kong.

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