Macao’s hopes of raking in tourist dollars during Golden Week suffered a hammer blow today after authorities in Guangdong and Zhuhai told residents to stay at home during the week-long holiday.
According to the Chinese newspaper South China, the authorities, in a bid to adhere to zero Covid-19 targets, also asked citizens from Guangdong province who plan to travel to other provinces and cities to follow strict instructions regarding nucleic acid tests (NAT).
The Guangdong Provincial Centre for Disease Control and Prevention called on residents of the province to spend the national day holiday at home, while asking tourists to conduct self-health management when arriving in Guangdong and take the initiative to report their information.
The Department of Culture and Tourism of Guangdong Province also indicated that citizens are required to present a negative NAT result conducted within 48 hours when travelling by air, train and inter-province passenger vehicles.
Individuals are also required to hold a negative NAT result conducted within 72 hours to enter hotels or tourist attractions.
According to the announcement “before and after the National Day holiday, all inter-provincial and inter-city travellers should take two NATs in three days immediately after returning” to Guangdong.
Zhuhai health authorities followed the same decision and called on citizens to stay in Zhuhai during the upcoming holiday, minimise travel to other cities or provinces, and avoid travelling to medium-risk or high-risk areas.
Zhuhai residents who travel to other places are advised to only travel between their residences and workplaces for the first three days after returning to Zhuhai, and to avoid taking public transportation and participating in large events or parties.
Sources from Macao’s tourism sector told Macao News that they are concerned that these measures could affect the entry of visitors from mainland China with negative consequences for the economy which has already suffered extensively following the 18 June outbreak.
The Macao government had previously said it expected that the Golden Week holidays, which start on the 1 October, would encourage a substantial number of tourists to visit the city.