Macau partially resumes government operations, Feb. 18. Casinos to reopen from Feb. 20. Quarantine in place for workers from mainland China.

Severity: Warning Alert

This alert began 18 Feb 2020 04:36 GMT and is scheduled to expire 02 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Preventative restrictions
  • Location(s): Macau (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business closures, reduced government services, transport disruptions; possible protests

Summary
Authorities in Macau have partially resumed government services as of Feb. 17 amid ongoing concerns of the spread of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Government officials also announced that casino operations in the gambling hub would resume from 0001 Feb. 20; however, operators have the option to seek a 30-day closure extension. All other entertainment venues in the territory will remain closed. Authorities continue to encourage other businesses to reduce operations and have warned residents to stay at home as much as possible.

Though Macau has not reported any new cases of COVID-19 since Feb. 5, officials are taking additional measures to limit daily cross-border travel and prevent the spread of the disease. From Feb. 20, all workers from mainland China will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine at facilities in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, and receive medical clearance from Zhuhai health authorities before entering Macau. Authorities will quarantine or return foreign workers to their point of origin from other areas in mainland China at their own expense. The border restriction will not impact Macau residents. Travel between Macau and Hong Kong remains available only via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge due to transport restrictions in Hong Kong. Macau is also maintaining a ban on residents from Hubei Province from entering the territory, and passengers from mainland China must provide a health declaration form upon arrival. China halted the issuance of personal visas to the territory Jan. 28.

Macau authorities continue to implement enhanced health screenings; thermal scanners are in place at all points of entry into the territory. Thermal scanners are also in place at all casinos. Increased security is also likely at border crossings in mainland China. Commercial disruptions are likely to continue, especially at entertainment venues and other tourist-focused businesses, despite the latest government announcement. While demonstrations are rare in Macau, small protests cannot be ruled out, particularly if officials report additional cases of COVID-19.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Plan for transport disruptions, especially if traveling between Macau and Hong Kong and mainland China. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings, especially if traveling from mainland China. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Confirm reservations and business appointments.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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