MGTO expects package tours from mainland China to resume in November

Mainland China is the only place with a basic quarantine-free travel arrangement with Macau.
Mainland China is the only place with a basic quarantine-free travel arrangement with Macau.

Macau’s government has been in communication with Chinese authorities on Covid-19 prevention and contingency measures.

Macau.- Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, director of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) has expressed confidence that package tours from mainland China will resume in phases from early November. She said the Macau government has communicated with Chinese authorities on Covid-19 prevention measures to facilitate the move.

The director of the MGTO said the discussions dealt with measures to be taken in the event of another Covid-19 outbreak in Macau once tourism resumes, including how local authorities will deal with mainland group tourists already in the city.

In September, Macau’s chief executive, Ho Iat Seng, said the Chinese government was going to resume issuing electronic visas for mainlanders to visit Macau in November. Package tours are expected to resume in phases starting with Shanghai, Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang provinces.

Mainland China suspended the issuance of individual travel visas to Macau at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in January 2020. Tour groups from China to Macau were suspended around the same time. Individual visa issuance was later reinstated but only for in-person applications.

So far, mainland China is the only place with a basic quarantine-free travel arrangement with Macau. The Macau government has repeatedly said that its Covid-19 prevention policies are in line with those of mainland China.

For the first eight months of 2022, visitor arrivals were down by 25.8 per cent year-over-year to 3,806,263. The tally of same-day visitors, at 2,341,772, and overnight visitors, at 1,464,491, fell by 6.5 per cent and 44.2 per cent respectively.

In September, casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) was up 35.4 per cent month-on-month from MOP2.19bn (US$270.8m) to MOP2.96bn (US$366.3m). However, when compared to the previous year, the figure was down 49.6 per cent. The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) reported Q3 GGR of MOP5.55bn.

Macau eases Covid-19 measures for people arriving from outside mainland China

The city’s Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Center has reported that since October 15, arrivals from outside mainland China are no longer required to undergo a four-day period of so-called “self-health monitoring” after completing the “self-management” phase. 

Authorities have also reduced the total number of Covid-19 nucleic acid tests that travellers from outside mainland China must undergo in the days after they are released from quarantine. 

People are now required to take four tests in the first four days after being released from quarantine. Currently, five nucleic acid tests are required within seven days.

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