Special channel for local residents returning through HK maybe reinstated in late June – Gov’t

Local authorities indicated today (Wednesday) that they have been discussing with Hong Kong authorities for two weeks on how to reinstate the special channel between the two SARs in the second half of June that would allow local residents to return to the city.

There are still about 400 local students abroad wanting to return to Macau during the Summer break, with local health authorities evaluating methods to allow them to return.

The special channel previously used to transport local residents arriving at the neighbouring SAR airport to Macau through the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge would have to be reinstated so that these residents would not have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine in Hong Kong.

“We don’t have an exact date yet, we are still discussing some details with the Hong Kong government […] It’s not a simple as just having a bus from the Hong Kong airport it involves many public departments,” Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Head of Licensing and Supervision Department, Inês Chan, said in today’s pandemic update press conference.

“We’re negotiating some exceptions for Macau residents […] it involves workers from both sides that need to be exempt from quarantine, all these factors are problems we need to solve. We are discussing these details every day.”

Macau has not reported any new Covid-19 cases for 56 consecutive days.

No updates were provided on the discussions with Hong Kong and Guangdong for a future easing of entry restrictions.

Hong Kong authorities also announced this week that compulsory quarantine for travellers from mainland China, Macau and Taiwan will be extended by one month until July 7, and until September 18 for overseas arrivals.

This week, Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng held a meeting with Communist Party Secretary of Guangdong province, Li Xi, and the province governor, Ma Xingrui, in which customs clearance and Covid-19 pandemic containment efforts were discussed.

“We ask for your patience when we have exact policies we will announce it. We have to evaluate the risk in neighbouring regions,” Conde S. Januario Hospital Doctor Alvis Lo Iek Long said today.