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Everything you need to know about Covid-19 quarantine in Macao

The Macao News Covid-19 quarantine guide to where you’ll stay, what you’ll eat, when you’ll be tested and much more.

The Macao News Covid-19 quarantine guide to where you’ll stay, what you’ll eat, when you’ll be tested and much more.

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ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 6:40 am

 

Last updated: 15 September 2022 at 10:30 am

Need to leave Macao for family purposes, medical tourism or a much-needed vacation? Returning from abroad to visit family? Relocating here for a new job? Visiting the city for a vacation?

Whether returning to Macao after a holiday or entering the city for the first time, all arrivals must undergo mandatory quarantine at a designated hotel upon arrival. At the moment, Macao is mainly accessible by air or via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) for all travellers coming from outside mainland China. If you are entering Macao via the HZMB from Hong Kong, you will need to take a Golden Bus which has four daily itineraries (departing from Hong Kong at 1 pm and 3 pm; departing Macao at 3 pm and 5 pm).

At the moment, only ferry services between Macao’s Inner Harbour Ferry Terminal and Wanzai in Zhuhai are operating with one ferry service every 30 minutes, while other ferry services to and from Macao remain suspended.

In this article, you will find everything you need to know about Covid-19 quarantines in Macao, from which hotels are available to what kind of food is on offer and what happens after check-out. 

As with many Covid-19 related issues, regulations can change at short notice. We strive to keep this page updated. However, in case of any last-minute updates, we recommend travellers consult the Macao government’s dedicated Covid-19 website prior to arrival.

CONTENTS

1. Who is eligible to enter Macao?
2. Who is not eligible to enter Macao?
3. What are the entry requirements?
4. Does everyone need to quarantine?
5. What is considered a “high-risk” area?
6. How are quarantine hotels classified?
7. Which hotels are available for quarantine?
8. How do I book a quarantine hotel?
9. Do I have to pay for quarantine?
10. What is hotel quarantine like?
11. What is the food in hotel quarantine like?
12. What happens if I have other dietary requirements?
13. How often will I be tested for Covid-19 during quarantine and who will pay for it?
14. How much does a NAT cost?
15. Can I go outside during quarantine?
16. If I test negative, can I leave quarantine early?
17 What happens if I test positive?
18. What is the emergency hotline in case I need a doctor?
19. Can I decide to leave quarantine in case of an emergency?
20. What happens if I leave my room or breach quarantine orders?
21. Can I bring food with me? Or order food and goods online?
22. What happens when I finish quarantine?


1. Who is eligible to enter Macao?

– Macao residents (holding permanent and temporary resident ID cards)

– Mainland Chinese, Hong Kong and Taiwan residents
 

Foreigners from 41 countries can enter Macao directly from anywhere without the need to apply for entry beforehand (as of 1 September 2022):

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States (subject to change at any time)

Foreigners living in mainland China or Macao* and Hong Kong ID holders, including:

– Those who have not visited any places outside mainland China, Hong Kong or Macao at least 14 days prior to arrival Spouses or next of kin of a Macao resident**
– Individuals with Authorisation to Stay (non-resident workers) or Entry Permit for Work Purposes, and their accompanying family dependents who have obtained or are qualified to obtain an Authorisation to Stay
– Students admitted to one of Macao’s higher-education institutions
– Those planning to visit Macao for important academic or professional activities (subject to government approval**)

Foreign domestic workers: As of 30 May, the Macao government has launched a pilot scheme that allows domestic helpers from all foreign countries to apply for entry to the city.

Portuguese nationals have been allowed to enter Macao as of 27 May (as long as they have only been to mainland China, Hong Kong or Portugal within the past 21 days, and not to foreign countries, although transit is permitted). They are still subject to standard entry regulations.

Non-resident workers coming from Taiwan, Hong Kong and foreign countries (whose nationalities are not included above) can apply for entry. 

Non-resident foreign spouses and children of Macao residents 

Diplomats: As of 12 September, diplomats are allowed back into Macao without prior authorisation from the health authorities. 

*Foreigners living in Macao in possession of a mainland China visa (issued by the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in Macao) may return to Macao within the visa’s validity period, but they are still required to observe certain health-monitoring requirements.

**Macao residents should apply on behalf of their spouses or next of kin.
Companies or entities in Macao should apply on behalf of those attending important business events or academic or professional activities.

2. Who is not eligible to enter Macao?

Foreigners residing outside mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao are in general barred from entering the city*, with the exception of those mentioned above.

*Foreigners living outside mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao, whose nationalities are not mentioned above, can apply for an exemption to the entry ban for certain purposes, such as serving Macao’s public interest (disease control and prevention, or emergency rescue); ensuring the proper operation of public services in the community; or meeting the basic day-to-day needs of the Macao public. 

3. What are the entry requirements?

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Note: Those who have been infected with Covid-19 within the past two months will only be allowed to board Macao-bound transport at least 14 days after having tested negative for Covid-19 in three consecutive Nucleic Acid Tests*** that must be carried out at least 24 hours apart. 

*Test requirements vary by point of departure and travel history

**Subject to change at any time 

***NAT includes the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method

To inquire about nucleic acid tests (NAT), contact the Health Bureau’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention at (853) 2870 0800 or [email protected].

4. Does everyone need to quarantine?

Only those coming from non-high-risk areas in mainland China are not required to quarantine. Contact Health Bureau’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention by telephone at (853) 2870 0800 or via e-mail ([email protected]) for more information about high-risk areas.

5. What is considered a “high-risk” area?

The Macao government classifies high-risk areas in mainland China and other countries/regions based on the severity of Covid-19 outbreaks. This list is subject to change at any time and we recommend consulting the government’s dedicated website for the latest updates. 

6. How are quarantine hotels classified? 

There are four basic hotel classifications (aka quarantine):

General designated: Primarily earmarked for Macao residents and travellers arriving from Hong Kong and areas in mainland China affected by local Covid-19 cases. Macao residents can apply for a fee exemption from the government, although it is not guaranteed. (Please find more specifics under “Do I have to pay for quarantine?”) 

General optional: If Macao residents and non-resident workers travelling from Hong Kong stay at these hotels, they must settle the fee on their own. 

Special designated: Available for arrivals from foreign countries, Macao residents or non-resident workers from Taiwan. Macao residents can apply for a fee exemption from the government, although it is not guaranteed. 

Special optional: Primarily for arrivals from Taiwan and foreign countries.   

7. Which hotels are available for quarantine? 

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**Only those with the Macao government’s approval
*The maximum capacity per room is two adults and one child or one adult and two children.

Note: Travellers from areas in mainland China that are affected by Covid-19 cases must contact the Health Bureau’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention at (853) 2870 0800 or [email protected] to find out at which hotel they must do their quarantine. 

8. How do I book a quarantine hotel?

Travellers from mainland China may contact MGTO by telephone at (853) 2833 3000 or via email ([email protected]) to find out if quarantine is required. Other travellers who are eligible to enter Macao may make a direct booking with the quarantine hotel. 

9. Do I have to pay for quarantine? 

All travellers must pay for quarantine, with the exception of Macao residents staying in “designated” hotels who may apply for an exemption:

– Macao residents will be exempt from charges for 10 days of medical observation in a designated hotel the first occasion. For subsequent quarantines, they will be charged, except for official or special reasons (see point 3).

– To qualify for an exemption, Macao residents must have been in the city for at least 183 days of the previous 365 days in total before re-entering. In other words, you must have spent about six of the past 12 months in Macao.

– Macao residents who do not meet these requirements may still apply under the following exceptions, though approval is not guaranteed. They are:

– Attending primary, secondary or tertiary schools (such as universities, colleges and post-graduate schools) recognised by the Macao government.
– Require hospitalisation or medical treatments.
– Working outside of Macao for employers registered with the Social Security Fund
– Visiting Macao on official duties

To inquire about an exemption, contact MGTO at (853) 2833 3000 / (853) 2831 5566 or email [email protected].

10. What is hotel quarantine like? 

Depending on the hotel, your experience may vary. Some rooms have basic food and overlook a parking lot, while others offer premium meals and breathtaking views. Some guests find the hotel service satisfactory, if not exceptional, while others have voiced complaints. 

Most people agree, however, that being stuck in a hotel room for days or weeks can be lonely, boring and stressful, although most manage to come up with activities to keep busy and entertained – working, exercising, bingeing Netflix, meditation, reading, or growing onions, to name a few.

11. What is the food in hotel quarantine like?

You can expect basic breakfast, lunch and dinner meals for most hotels. Some hotels offer in-room dining services and all let quarantine guests order food online for delivery (see below). Some examples of basic meals are congee for breakfast and rice with meat and vegetables for lunch or dinner, with some hotels also providing some fruits. 

Other food arrangements:

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12. What happens if I have other dietary requirements?

Contact your hotel if you have special dietary needs (such as food allergies or health issues).  

13. How often will I be tested for Covid-19 during quarantine and who will pay for it?

All travellers to Macao who are required to undergo hotel quarantine upon arrival must pay for their own compulsory Covid-19 NATs.

– Those coming from high-risk areas in mainland China: 5 times (MOP 1,250)
All other travellers: 7 times on day 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 10 (MOP 1,750 in total)

14. How much does a NAT cost? 

MOP 250 per test; MOP 125 per test for students.

15. Can I go outside during quarantine? 

You are not allowed to leave your room at any time, for any reason. Yes, even the corridor is off-limits. In case of an emergency, please contact the hotel reception. 

16. If I test negative, can I leave quarantine early? 

No, sorry. 

17. What happens if I test positive? 

You will be transferred to the Health Bureau’s (SSM) Public Health Clinical Centre in Coloane for isolation and treatment until you test negative for Covid-19. After testing negative, some people may still have to complete the quarantine period in a quarantine hotel, depending on the results of a government health evaluation.

18. What is the emergency hotline in case I need a doctor?

– Macao emergency hotlines: 999, 110 or 112
Hospital Centre S. Januário: (853) 2831 3731
Or contact hotel reception

19. Can I decide to leave quarantine in case of an emergency? 

No. In case of a health-related emergency, authorities will make any and all necessary arrangements.

20. What happens if I leave my room or breach quarantine orders?

You may face legal consequences for breaching Macao’s pandemic and public health laws. Penalties could include fines and jail time. 

21. Can I bring food with me? Or order food and goods online?

Yes, you can pack food for quarantine, so long as it does not violate customs requirements. You can order food from the hotel’s restaurants (if available) or outside restaurants and shops. 

Between 5 and 7 pm daily across all quarantine hotels, your family and friends can deliver food and goods to the hotel lobby, from which the hotel staff will arrange to have them delivered to your hotel room door. You are also allowed to order from food delivery services such as MFood and Aomi (澳覓). All items must be non-perishable, while bags must be clearly labelled with your name and room number. 

22. What happens when I finish quarantine?  

Ahead of your check-out day, the hotel will inform you of next steps. There will be requirements, such as a temperature check and briefing by health authorities, before you are cleared and released. Once you leave the hotel (provided you have a green health code), your family and friends can pick you up or you can as easily take a taxi or bus.

For the next seven days after completing quarantine, your health code will be green (if you have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and are not a close contact of an infected Covid-19 traveller). You must however complete the remaining NATs on days 11, 12, 14, 16 and 17 (book on this link).

The Macao Health Code is a required health document for both travellers entering Macao and those who are already in the city. It classifies people’s health status in three colours: red (a confirmed or presumed Covid-19 case or a close contact of confirmed Covid-19 cases), yellow (a general contact of confirmed Covid-19 cases and those with a fever, cough, sore throat and/or shortness of breath) and green (cleared of any suspected Covid-19 case). 


Did we miss anything? If you have any further questions or comments, please send us an email at [email protected].

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 6:40 am

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