Macau to establish special blue health code system for Hong Kong visitors

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Macau authorities are planning to implement a special blue health code system for visitors from Hong Kong as part of a plan to reopen borders between the two Special Administrative Regions.

According to information gathered by Inside Asian Gaming, the blue health code would apply only to visitors from Hong Kong and allow those who are vaccinated to skip hotel quarantine requirements. Anyone displaying a blue code would be allowed to enter Macaus hotels and resorts although they would be required to remain within designated gaming areas and hotel rooms.

IAG understands the Macao Government Tourism Office sent a letter to hotel operators earlier this week in which they were asked to arrange separate floors for anyone visiting from Hong Kong. The letter also states that Hong Kong guests would not be permitted to use swimming pools or water facilities, although restaurants appear to be free of such restrictions. It has been suggested to IAG that a strict quota will be put in place on the number of daily arrivals under the blue code system.

Reports out of Hong Kong indicate the system could be in place by mid-July, despite Hong Kongs recent run of 16 consecutive days without any cases of COVID-19 within the community having come to an end late last week. Macau had previously stated it would only reopen the borders once Hong Kong recorded a 28-day COVID-free run.

In a Wednesday note, JP Morgan analysts said any such opening would be incrementally positive to sentiment as it suggests the 28-day rule is not a fixed policy and the pace ofreopening could be more flexible.

As reported by IAG, Macau has also been in discussions with the Guangdong government over resetting the validity period for negative test results shown by arrivals into Macau back to seven days after it was reduced to just 48 hours on 8 June.