Macao residents may soon be able to visit European Union (EU) countries as travel restrictions are gradually eased.
The EU announced that the bloc’s 27 member states should gradually lift restrictions on non-essential travel for passengers from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, without requiring the three territories to reciprocate, but did not reveal a specific timeframe.
Mainland China is also on the exemption list, though its inclusion is subject to “confirmation of reciprocity”, meaning that Beijing would also have to ease restrictions for EU citizens. New additions to the list include the United States.
The EU reviews its travel restriction list every two weeks, taking into account the pandemic situation in the country or territory in question, and their vaccination progress.
Brussels’ recommendation is not legally binding on its member states, which maintain their own individual rules on admission.
In France, one of the most popular destinations for Macao residents, vaccinated travellers from the special administrative region are only required to produce a negative nucleic acid test (NAT) before departure.
Unvaccinated travellers must have an urgent reason to enter the country. They also have to take a Covid test on arrival and self-isolate for a week after arriving in France.
In Italy, all travellers from outside the EU may only enter for specific reasons which do not include tourism. They have to test negative for Covid-19 before arrival and self-isolate for 10 days, before taking another test.
Macao has barred all foreign nationals without a residency or work permit from entering the city since March last year.
Macao has confirmed 53 Covid-19 cases since 22 January 2020, with zero fatalities, The Macau Post Daily reported.