Guangdong-Macau border measures eased, air traffic to return by Golden Week

Macau Skyline, GGR

Authorities in Macau are aiming to further boost visitation to the city from the Guangdong province, its main tourism driver, by relaxing the border entry requirements.

Starting on Wednesday, the mandate for entrants from Guangdong to present a negative nucleic acid test result issued within 48 hours will be relaxed to 7 days. The move comes after authorities dropped the “immediate prevention” measures and lifted its Red and Yellow zones, measures imposed after four new cases of the Delta variant were found in the city.

Authorities on Monday indicated that tourist visitation between the 16th and 22nd was up by over 65 percent compared to the previous week, with over 30,000 entries and exits daily during the period.

The new measures are likely to increase border crossing by land, but air traffic is still expected to remain slow.

The airport authorities announced on Monday that the number of daily passengers in July was about 7,000, the highest figure registered this year, as Macau saw a 50 percent overall monthly increase in tourist numbers.

However, currently the airport is only handling about 200 to 300 passengers per day, with a significant reduction in the number of flights from August 4th to 15th.

The new cases in Macau were first reported by authorities on August 3rd, leading to the drastic reduction as the SAR implemented its “immediate prevention” measures.

Currently the airport operator says it expects that airline companies “will gradually restore market confidence in October and improve the flight recovery to the expected target”.

Although border crossing measures with Guangdong will be eased on the 25th, the mandate that all air travellers must display a negative nucleic acid test issued within 48 hours will remain in effect.

The expectation for flight numbers to normalise in October also coincides with the Golden Week, starting October 1st.

The head of Macau’s tourism bureau has reportedly said she’s expecting more than 25,000 tourists per day during the period.

Authorities have also announced that they are going ahead with the Macao International Trade and Investment Fair (MIF) in October, taking place between the 21st and 23rd.

The fair will see restricted offerings, however, as non-Chinese residents are still prohibited from entering Macau.