The Macau government has revealed it will now allow foreigners to enter the Special Administrative Region for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, subject to fulfilment of certain requirements.
According to Executive Order No. 43/2021, which came into effective as of midnight at the start of Tuesday, foreigners will be allowed into Macau via mainland China only and provided they hold a mainland China visa issued by the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao SAR.
They must also return to Macau within the visa’s validity period and cannot have been anywhere outside of mainland China or Macau in the previous 21 days.
Prior to this new Executive Order taking effect, the only foreigners permitted to enter Macau were those who were deemed to serve a public interest such as disease prevention and control or emergency rescue, and those who had a specific need to enter Macau such as being a child or spouse of a Macau resident, a registered non-resident worker, a student registered to a local institution or to attend for other business or academic reasons.
The ability for foreigners to enter Macau (albeit via a minimum 21 day stay in mainland China) represents one more small yet significant step on the road back to normality following the resumption of the Individual Visit Scheme for mainland Chinese visitors from last August.
While Macau is still pushing for the return of e-visas for IVS in order to help expedite the process for mainland Chinese visitors, authorities earlier this month removed a requirement for anyone entering any of the SAR’s casinos to provide a negative COVID-19 test result.