China urges people to avoid travel during holiday periods

China's Mid-Autumn Festival takes place September 10 to 12.
China's Mid-Autumn Festival takes place September 10 to 12.

Authorities have warned citizens should avoid travel during the upcoming holidays in a move that could affect Macau’s tourism and gaming sectors.

China.- Wu Liangyou, a senior health official at the National Health Commission, has warned Chinese citizens to avoid long-distance travel during the upcoming holiday periods in order to control the spread of Covid-19.

China’s Mid-Autumn Festival takes place September 10 to 12 inclusive and October Golden Week from October 1 to 7. The two holiday periods are highly anticipated by Macau’s tourism and gaming sectors as they tend to attract a large number of tourists and visitors.

Lei Wai Nong, Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, has told local media that authorities will continue to promote discounts on flights and hotel stays in order to help the sector. Wu, however, said local authorities should promote the idea of ​​”travelling locally”, restricting travel to “surrounding areas”.

He said that national authorities will implement several Covid-19 countermeasures from Saturday until the end of October. These include requiring a negative Covid-19 test result obtained no more than 48 hours before boarding a plane, train, ship or long-distance bus.

Macau has recently taken some modest measures to ease tourism, but it has also been affected by other factors, including Covid-19 cases in mainland China, the city’s main source market for tourists. Mainland China remains the main source of tourism for Macau, although the city has reopened its borders to 41 countries.

Wai Nong said that for October Golden week Macau would align its Covid-19 precautions with those of mainland China. He said he was hopeful that China would soon authorise the resumption of outbound mass-market package tours if the Covid-19 situation was judged to be “under control”. However, at least for now, that idea seems remote.

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