Macau residents hoping to travel to neighbouring Zhuhai in Guangdong face a continued cycle of new rules, mass testings and restrictions, as the SAR sticks by its zero-tolerance strategy.
The border between Macau and China had closed on 26 September after two Covid-19 cases were detected, with a target reopening three days later — although that was pushed to 1 October with no end date confirmed.
Then, on 3 October, Zhuhai health authorities had announced that travellers from Macau could be exempted from the 14-day mandatory quarantine so long as they could produce a vaccination certificate, and negative results for Covid-19 in the last 48 hours.
However, a new case on 4 October put a halt to plans, as the Macao SAR Government announced a third round of mass testing since August — and the second in nine days — for all people over the next 48 hours.
This latest pause in border reopening was especially crucial, falling in China's Golden Week, traditionally one of the busiest periods for Macau's tourism sector.
Despite a record of zero Covid-19 fatalities and under 100 caseload per million population according to Worldometers.info, Macau has pressed on with a zero Covid-19 strategy.
In the latest press briefing on 7 October, the Macau police stated that plans for opening to Zhuhai will depend on recording zero new Covid-19 cases for 14 consecutive days, results of the ongoing mass testing exercise, and results of close contacts of newly confirmed infected cases.
This is despite a 6 October statement by Zhuhai which indicated that while the city would retain mandatory hotel quarantine measures for travellers from Macau, it would not be necessary to see a 14-day Covid-free status before considering a border reopening.