HK extends quarantine measures until March 31, 2022

Courtesy of HK Gov

Hong Kong is extending its compulsory quarantine requirements and various other mandates under the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance until March 31st of 2022 on concern about imported cases of Covid.

The measure covers the compulsory quarantine measures, including entry from Macau. However, under the measure, Hong Kong may specify different entry requirements from Macau, as has happened numerous times over the course of the pandemic.

Eligible individuals entering Hong Kong from Macau, who have passed 14 days in the gambling hub are currently required to spend 14 days in quarantine.

The extended regulations mandated by Hong Kong authorities also apply to arrivals from foreign locations, prohibitions of group gatherings, compulsory testing, mask regulations – all of which can be subject to modification under government mandate.

Although Hong Kong has now got the pandemic situation largely under control, it’s concerned about imported cases, in particular the Delta variant.

On Wednesday, one imported case was reported in a passenger arriving from Bangladesh. In the past 14 days, the Center for Health Protection reported a total of 40 confirmed cases, including one untraceable local infection and the rest were imported.

Macau and Hong Kong are seeking to lay the groundwork for an easing of travel restrictions between the two cities, although local outbreaks in both have complicated the situation.

Analysts see a reopening with Hong Kong as a key potential driver for the recovery of Macau’s gambling industry. However, given both governments’ cautious approach, coupled with low vaccine rates, mean that in the short-term at least the impact on gross gambling revenue may be muted.

Macau in early July said one of the issues up for debate in easing border restrictions was whether Hong Kong residents would be allowed onto the casino floors in a possible reopening, as well as restrictions on numbers visiting.