The government has revealed strict new entry requirements for visitors crossing into Macau, including mandatory medical tests for those from “high risk areas” for spread of the Coronavirus.
The new measures, introduced to coincide with the re-opening of casinos on Thursday following their 15-day closure, will see the Health Bureau check the recent travel history of all visitors entering Macau by land, air and sea. Anyone found to have been in so-called “high risk areas” will be sent for medical tests and observation at designated checkpoints, a process expected to take between six and eight hours. Should symptoms show, the visitor will be sent to the hospital for further tests.
Guangdong, Henan and Zhejiang Provinces, as well as major cities Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing, are currently listed as “high-risk areas”, suggesting a majority of visitors will require testing. Hong Kong and other foreign countries are not on the list, however the Health Bureau emphasized that the list will be adjusted day-by-day depending on latest Coronavirus developments.
The policy is likely to further impact tourist arrivals, which had shown slight gains this week before dropping again from 3,454 on Wednesday to 2,920 on Thursday following implementation of testing. More than 500 people arriving from Guangdong Province refused to take the test and returned home instead.
This latest policy will operate alongside the government’s 14-day quarantine restriction for non-resident workers crossing into Macau from mainland China, aimed at reducing passenger flow across the border.
It is now 16 days since Macau last recorded a positive test to the virus, with six of the 10 confirmed cases having since fully recovered and been discharged from hospital.