It may only be a small step forward, but it’s still progress. Macau casinos will take whatever they can get to bring operations back to normal levels, and will receive some help next week. Officials from Macau have announced that the ban on civilian flights from other countries for 14 days will be lifted as of Monday, January 24.
Inbound Travel Into Macau Gets a Boost
The ban was put in place on January 9 in response to the spreading of the omicron version of COVID-19. Macau’s Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Center had previously banned civilian flights from Macau carrying passengers from any country or jurisdiction other than mainland China.
A government announcement explains that individuals can enter Macau from other countries, provided they have received a negative PCR test result within the last 48 hours. They will also need to be quarantined for 21 days in a designated quarantine facility. Only Macau residents can enter without being subjected to quarantine.
Individuals arriving from countries considered high-risk will need to show three negative COVID-19 tests from a five-day period. The tests also have to be taken at least 24 hours apart. Those individuals will still have to adhere to a 28-day quarantine policy.
Currently, Macau identifies the high-risk countries as Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, Turkey, the US and Zimbabwe.
Travel Restrictions From Mainland China Tightened
The relaxation of commercial air traffic follows closely on the heels of tighter restrictions between Macau and mainland China. Last weekend, Macau authorities introduced new travel restrictions for inbound travelers from Zhuhai, Guangdong and Macau’s neighboring city Zhuhai.
According to an announcement by Macau’s Novel Coronavirus Respond and Coordination Centre, inbound travelers from Zhuhai need to present a negative COVID-19 nucleic acids test result from the previous 24 hours.
Travel restrictions were tightened after Zhuhai authorities discovered an increase in COVID-19-related infections since Friday. According to Zhuhai health authorities, a mass test in the entire city began on Sunday and was completed on Tuesday.
Separately, Macau health authorities have added more locations across mainland provinces to the list of places where travelers must quarantine on arrival in Macau. According to Macau’s Health Bureau, these new locations include several communities within Napping, Zhuhai and two communities in Yuhang, Hangzhou city.