Addressing Monday’s press conference about Macao’s novel coronavirus situation, Betty Fok Wai Lan, who heads the Destination Marketing Department of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), announced that from next month, Macao residents who undergo their 14 days of quarantine and medical observation at one of the government’s “quarantine hotels” will also have to pay a fee of MOP 5,600 (US$700) from the second time onwards.
All those arriving in Macao from any areas other than the mainland – namely Hong Kong, Taiwan and foreign countries – must undergo 14 days of hotel quarantine upon their arrival here. While non-locals have to pay a fee of MOP 5,600 for their 14-day hotel quarantine, Macao residents’ stay currently is still free of charge, irrespective of how many times they have stayed at a “quarantine hotel”.
According to Fok, from 1 September, locals can apply for exemption from the 5,600-pataca fee after their first free stay at a “quarantine hotel” if they needed to pay a visit to Hong Kong, Taiwan or a foreign country for official purposes or other special reasons.
Fok said that the new arrangement, which will start next Tuesday, aims to ensure the prudent use of public money, urging residents to carefully consider whether they really need to visit COVID-19 high-risk countries or regions. “Macao’s COVID-19 prevention work has now become routine, but the COVID-19 epidemic in many countries and regions has still not stabilised,” Fok said.
According to Fok, the new measure will be applicable also to those who underwent their 14-day hotel quarantine for the first time before 1 September.
Currently, there are four government-arranged “quarantine hotels” – the Golden Crown China Hotel, Treasure Hotel, Regency Art Hotel in Taipa, and Pousada Marina Infante in Cotai.
There were 12 “quarantine hotels” during the local COVID-19 peak in late March.
Over 10,000 people have undergone their 14-day quarantine and medical observation at government-booked “quarantine hotels” since early this year when the COVID-19 epidemic emerged.