Macau has added four more countries – Japan, Germany, France and Spain – to its list of “high-prevalence” countries for COVID-19, with all arrivals who have visited any of the four in the past two weeks required to enter quarantine for 14 days as of midday on Tuesday 10 March. Those arriving in the meantime will be required to undergo a six to eight-hour medical observation upon arrival.
The addition of Japan, Germany, France and Spain takes the total number of nations to have quarantine restrictions placed on them by Macau to seven, joining South Korea, Italy and Iran.
“We assume the situation in Europe will become worse and worse, and we might include all of Europe on the high-risk areas list in coming days,” said Director of Macau’s Health Bureau, Lei Chin Ion.
Several countries have also implemented entry restrictions on Macau, including Japan, which announced late last week that all arrivals from Macau, Hong Kong, mainland China and South Korea will be subject to a 14-day quarantine period as of midnight of 9 March. Those to be quarantined include both visitors and Japanese passport holders. However, Japan’s officials have since hinted that the requirement is more of a “self-quarantine” model, with all arrivals from those countries to quarantine in their homes or hotel for two weeks. They are also requested to use only a private car or rental car to travel to their home or hotel from the point of entry.
In conjunction with the quarantine requirement, the Japanese government has suspended visa-free arrangements for Macau, Hong Kong and South Korea, while visas issued for mainland Chinese residents has been suspended. Japan estimates that around 2.8 million visas related to mainland China, Macau and Hong Kong will be affected by the requirement.
Flights departing from mainland China, Macau, Hong Kong and South Korea are only allowed to land at Tokyo’s Narita Airport and Osaka’s Kansai Airport.
Meanwhile, Thailand has confirmed the implementation of similar self-quarantine requirements for visitors from mainland China, Macau, Hong Kong, South Korea, Italy and Iran.
“The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to recommend travelers from these territories that if the travelers feel these measures will be inconvenient for travelling in Thailand, they may consider postponing travel to another period and await further advice from Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health regarding the health measures involved,” the TAT said.
Hong Kong media has reported that tourists and tour groups who have already departed for Thailand are not yet required to quarantine.