Hong Kong has extended its mandatory 14-day quarantine measures for visitors from Macau and mainland China to 7 August.
However, the government added that it continues to work with Macau and Guangdong Province authorities on mutual recognition of COVID-19 test results and subsequent exemptions for certain travelers. Hong Kong’s quarantine regulations had been set to end on 7 July.
“Subject to the epidemic situation, we will consider relaxing the restrictions on cross-boundary movement of people among the three places within certain limits in order to facilitate those with essential needs to travel between Guangdong and Hong Kong or between Hong Kong and Macau,” the Hong Kong government said on Tuesday. Chief Executive Carrie Lam added that details of such arrangements could be announced as early as this week.
While extension of quarantine measures comes as a blow to Macau’s gaming and tourism operators, JP Morgan analysts DS Kim, Derek Choi and Jeremy An suggested broader exemptions could still be implemented between Macau and Guangdong Province.
“All eyes should now be on the pace and scale of border re-opening between Macau and Guangdong Province (Guangdong accounted for 46% of Chinese visitors to Macau last year), which might happen on a wider scale (such as including leisure travelers with negative COVID-19 test results), though the visibility remains low,” they said in a note.
“Hopefully we will get some clarity soon, as Macau’s Chief Executive, Ho Iat Seng, said last week that he expects ‘good news’ in July.”