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New ‘10+7’ quarantine unlikely to boost visitor numbers

Tourism chief stresses need to protect residents against Covid-19, and open up Macao in a cautious manner while maintaining quarantine-free travel with mainland China.

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Tourism chief stresses need to protect residents against Covid-19, and open up Macao in a cautious manner while maintaining quarantine-free travel with mainland China.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:45 am

Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes has warned that the new “10+7” Covid-19 quarantine measure is unlikely to boost visitor arrivals.

The tourism chief noted that travellers will still need to remain in a hotel guestroom for 10 days before they can move around the city, and she did not believe that they would be willing to undergo quarantine for such a long time.

The new “10+7” arrangement starts today. Hotel quarantine for arrivals from Hong Kong, Taiwan and foreign countries had hitherto lasted 14 days.

Senna Fernandes was speaking following a seminar on the Integration and Innovative Development of the Culture and Tourism Industry in Hengqin and Macao, organised by the Macao Institute for Tourism Studies on its Mong Ha campus.

Senna Fernandes said that the government will monitor whether the new “10+7” measure will raise the number of arrivals who are required to undergo hotel quarantine, to enable it to increase the number of quarantine hotels from the current total of five.

Senna Fernandes said that with the introduction of Sheraton Grand Macao in Cotai as a quarantine hotel earlier this month, the number of quarantine hotel guestrooms in the city is expected to be enough to accommodate arrivals in the near future.

After saying that the “10+7” arrangement was not expected to help raise visitor arrivals, Senna Fernandes noted that the new measure could benefit local residents returning to Macao and other travellers who need to come here for important reasons.

Asked whether neighbouring regions’ ongoing relaxations of entry curbs on visitors would undermine Macao’s competitiveness in the tourism industry, Senna Fernandes replied that the Macao government needed to protect residents against Covid-19, adding that the Health Bureau needed to gradually relax Covid-19 measures for arrivals in a cautious manner.

Furthermore, Senna Fernandes noted, only if Macao continues to carry out its Covid-19 measures in conjunction with mainland China can the quarantine-free travel arrangements between them be maintained. 

Senna Fernandes underlined that Macao cannot open its borders to tourists in a hasty manner, adding that only a cautious and gradual relaxation can reassure residents. She stressed that only a responsible, gradual and careful approach towards opening Macao’s borders to visitors could maintain the city’s image as a Covid-19 safe destination.

Macao is one of the world’s nine countries and territories with zero novel coronavirus fatalities, among 228 that have been affected by the pandemic, The Macau Post Daily reported. 

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

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:45 am

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