Macau looking to ease travel restrictions from Hong Kong within two weeks

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Hong Kong residents could be allowed to enter Macau without having to enter hotel quarantine in less than two weeks after authorities on Monday reached an agreement on easing travel restrictions between the two SARs.

A video conference between the two governments resulted in Macau agreeing to conditionally relax current restrictions if Hong Kong does not report any local cases of COVID-19 for 28 consecutive days. With Hong Kong last recording a local case on 5 June, it has been slated that restrictions could start to be relaxed on 6 July 2021.

However, Macaus Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre confirmed Monday that a much longer period without any local cases would be required before restrictions could be fully lifted.

Macaus Health Bureau Director, Alvis Lo Iek Long, said the plan would see restrictions eased in phases, with an initial quota system that would also ask initial arrivals from Hong Kong to be vaccinated.

Virus tests would be required before departing and after arriving in Macau. A circuit breaker mechanism would also be implemented under which medical quarantine would be reintroduced should cases remerge in the future.

According to a Monday note from Credit Suisse analysts Kenneth Fong, Lok Kan Chan and Jasmine Wang, the initial impact on Macau GGR would be minimal.

Gamblers travelling from Hong Kong to Macau used to contribute around 10% to 15% of Macau’s GGR based on our estimate, they wrote.

The criteria are also stricter than our expectation as: (1) it will come with a quota, (2) travellers need to be vaccinated; as of 20 June , only around 18.8% of Hong Kong citizens are fully vaccinated, so the net benefit to GGR would be lower than the total 10% to15% of GGR; (3) the current proposed rule may limit family tourists (parents going with kids) as they may not able to go to Macau without their children already vaccinated in HK; (4) a circuit breaker mechanism could also mean that, in case there is one domestic case in HK, the re-opening may have to be suspended.

Meanwhile, Guangzhou city reached two consecutive days with no new local infections but Dongguan city and Shenzhen city reported one infection each on Monday. As of 21 June, Macau requires individuals who have been to any of the following areas in mainland China to quarantine for 14 days:

Guangdong Province

  • Guangzhou City: Liwan District, Haizhu District, Yuexiu District, Panyu District, Nansha District, Yongping Subdistrict of Baiyun District
  • Shenzhen City: Fuyong Subdistrict (excluding Shenzhen Airport and Fuyong Ferry Terminal) of Baoan District
  • Dongguan City: Nancheng Subdistrict, Dongguang Campus of Xinhua University in Machong Town
  • Foshan City: Dormitories of Yingkang Packaging Co. Ltd., Nanhai District, Chancheng Distirct
  • Zhanjiang City: Xiarong Village in Tanba Town of Wuchuan City
  • Zhejiang Province

  • Wenzhou City: Wanquan Town under Pingyang Country