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Macau opens its borders to 41 countries, but imposes a seven-day quarantine

For the first time since isolating the Chinese casino centre shortly after COVID-19 became a global pandemic, Macau is opening its borders to nonresidents.

Macau's borders were closed to non-residents in early 2020. Despite few exceptions for frontline health care professionals and foreigners with family members in Macau, the Chinese Special Administrative Region (SAR) is now solely accessible to inhabitants of mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

Macau will allow nonresidents from 41 nations to enter beginning this Thursday, September 1. However, before a foreigner may play baccarat or a slot machine in one of the region's several casinos, they must first undergo seven days of medical observation at a government-approved quarantine hotel.

Through Executive Order No. 166/2022, Macau Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng abolished the restriction on foreigners. The decree authorises visitors from 41 nations, including the United States, Japan, and South Korea, to enter the SAR.

“Foreign passport holders are still required to present a negative nucleic acid test certificate at the time of boarding the plane, vehicle, or ship and at the time of entry,” the Macau Health Bureau explained of Ho’s order.

Those arriving from countries and areas other than the mainland, Hong Kong, or Taiwan must present a negative coronavirus test as well as a confirmation for a hotel quarantine booking at the border gate.

All tourists must also show border patrols a booking for another COVID-19 test at some time during their isolation period. The quarantine was described by the Health Bureau as "seven days of intensive medical observation in isolation," followed by three days of "self-health management."

Visitors Are Required

The announcement by Ho of the return of international travel into and out of Macau is the most welcome news for the city's six commercial casino operators. A massive epidemic on the mainland earlier this year, followed by Macau's most widespread spread during the summer, has rendered the SAR's multibillion-dollar integrated resorts almost lifeless in 2022.

Gross gaming revenue (GGR) was $3.28 billion until July 2022. This is nearly $3.7 billion less than the corporations earned in the same seven months in 2021. Macau casinos require a significant increase in patronage before a real gaming revival can begin.

In the year preceding the epidemic, Macau received almost 39.4 million visitors. This figure fell below 5.9 million in 2021 before rising marginally to 7.7 million last year. This year, Macau saw less than 3.5 million visitors through July.

Vaccines are available.

Macau is making COVID-19 vaccines available to mainland visitors as part of its pledge to Beijing to vaccinate as many people as possible. BioNTech's mRNA-based coronavirus vaccination will be administered by Macau health officials.

While the immunizations are free for Chinese citizens, they are also available for foreign visitors to Macau. However, such jabs will cost 1,000 patacas ($125).

The immunizations can be obtained from Macau University Hospital. The complex is near numerous high-profile casinos, including Wynn Palace, MGM Cotai, and City of Dreams, and is located just off the Cotai Strip.


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