Macau has eliminated quarantine for all people entering the territory, ending a years-long policy which has tanked the city’s economy and put massive pressure on gaming operators.
Starting from today, those entering the territory from anywhere except mainland China will be given a Yellow health code for five days, but will not be subject to any type of quarantine.
The Yellow code allows for entry into almost all of Macau’s venues, except certain public facilities.
The measure comes less than a week after Macau implemented home quarantine for arrivals from outside China who could prove residency in Macau. The move was welcomed by locals but operators called for a full elimination of quarantine and easing of testing requirements for mainland Chinese visitors in order to actually boost the economy.
During the five-day period of Yellow code, entrants are required to conduct daily rapid antigen tests and upload them to Macau’s health code. If all results are negative, the code changes to Green. If the result is positive, home isolation will be required.
Despite the change, anyone arriving to Macau by plane, boat or other vehicle will be required to present a negative nucleic acid test result taken within 72 hours of departure, before departing.
Entrants will no longer be required to take a nucleic acid test at the borders and the previously mandated NAT on the third day after arrival has been canceled.
All entrants to Macau will be allowed to depart immediately to Hong Kong, Taiwan or other foreign countries, but must stay eight days in Macau before entering mainland China.
Reversal and revival
Macau’s entry requirement change comes amongst a large wave of infections in the SAR, with the government previously predicting that up to 80 percent of the population could become infected.
Daily cases average between 80 and 100, a figure which would have previously placed the entire city under lockdown and resulted in the likely closure of the SAR’s casinos.
Under the current wave, the city’s Health Bureau director said that expectations are for the peak to be reached within one to two weeks.
The estimate could bode well for visitation during Chinese New Year, one of Macau’s peak Golden Week periods, giving a strong boost to January GGR, as the holiday falls during the month.
It could also give a much-needed impetus to the gaming concessionaires in the first month of their new gaming concessions, which come into effect on January 1st.