Asia and Oceania

Macao (SAR of China) Macao flag

Still current at: 11 June 2008
Updated: 16 May 2008

This advice has been reviewed and reissued with an amendment to the Summary and Terrorism section.  The overall level of the advice has not changed.

(see travel advice legal disclaimer)

Travel advice for this country


Travel Summary

  • There is no formal British Consulate in Macao.  If you require assistance when you are in Macao you should contact the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong.  See the Contact Details section of this advice for more details.

  • Although Macao has separate immigration controls from Mainland China and separate legal and law enforcement systems, it could still be vulnerable to both terrorism directed at China, and the global threat from terrorism. Particularly in the run up to, and during the Olympic Games, attacks cannot be ruled out. They could be indiscriminate including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.

  • 78,523 British tourists have visited Macao in  2007 (Source: the Macao Tourism Board).  Most visits are trouble-free.  The main type of incident for which British nationals required consular assistance in 2007 was for replacing lost and stolen passports.  You should take sensible precautions against pickpocketing and other street crime.

  • The typhoon season in Macao normally runs from April to October.

  • We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake.   See the General (Insurance) section of this advice and Travel Insurance for more details.

Safety and security

Terrorism

Although Macao has separate immigration controls from Mainland China and separate legal and law enforcement systems, it could still be vulnerable to both terrorism directed at China, and the global threat from terrorism. Particularly in the run up to, and during the Olympic Games, attacks cannot be ruled out. They could be indiscriminate including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.

For more general information see Terrorism Abroad.
 
Crime

The incidence of violent crime to foreigners is low but pickpocketing and other street crime can occur in some areas.  You should take extra care of passports, credit cards and money in crowded areas.  You should be careful of your belongings when checking out of hotels.  Take extra care when visiting casinos late at night.

For more general information see Victims of Crime Abroad.

Political Situation

Macao Country Profile

Local laws and customs

You should not become involved with illicit drugs of any kind.  Possession of these drugs can lead to imprisonment.

As a general precaution do not take photographs of military installations in Macao.
 
For more general information for different types of travellers see Travel Advice Relevant to You.

Entry requirements

Visas

Although Macao is now part of the People's Republic of China, it remains a Special Administrative Region with its own immigration controls.  You can stay in Macao for up to three months without a visa.
 
If you intend to work in Macao you must obtain an appropriate visa before arrival.  For more information you can contact the Embassy of the People's Republic of China.
 
Passport validity
 
Your passport must have a validity of one month on entry to Macao but if you are staying longer than one month your passport must be valid for the duration of your visit.
 
Visits to Mainland China
 
If you intend to travel to Mainland China via Macao on a British passport you must obtain a Chinese visa before arrival at the border.  Failure to do so could result in a fine and possible detention by the Mainland Chinese authorities.  If you are entering Macao via Mainland China and leaving again via the mainland you should note you will need to be in possession of a double or multiple entry visa for mainland China.  If you are entering Macao via Mainland China and leaving again via the mainland you should note you will need to be in possession of a double or multiple entry visa for mainland China.
 
Travelling with children

Single parents or other adults travelling alone with children should be aware that some documentary evidence of parental responsibility may need to shown to local authorities before allowing lone parents to enter or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave. 

Health

Dengue Fever is common to Macao and you should take precautions against mosquito bites.
 
You should exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS.  For more general information on how to do this see HIV and AIDS.

You should seek medical advice before travelling to Macau and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up-to-date.  For further information on vaccination requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention you should check the websites of NaTHNaC and NHS Scotland's Fit For Travel or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. 
 
For more general information see Travel Health.
 
Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

There have been no reported cases of Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) in Macao during the current series of outbreaks.  But the World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed cases elsewhere in the region.  There have been some human fatalities in China.  Please view the China Travel Advice.

Natural Disasters

The typhoon season in Macao normally runs from April to October.  Typhoons very occasionally hit Macao and may cause flooding and landslides.  Warning is given in advance.  Public offices shut down when the 'Typhoon 8' signal is hoisted.  You are advised to remain indoors.

You should monitor local and international weather updates from World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).  You can also access:  http://www.nhc.noaa.gov for updates. 

General

Insurance
 
We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling, as the cost of medical care in Macao is high.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake.  For more general information see Travel Insurance.
If things do go wrong when you are overseas then this is How We Can Help.
 
There is no formal British Consulate in Macao.  If you require assistance when you are in Macao you should contact the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong, who will put you in contact with our Honorary Consul in Macao if necessary.
 
Registration
 
Register with our LOCATE service to tell us when and where you are travellng abroad or where you live abroad so our consular and crisis staff can provide better assistance to you in an emergency.  More information about registering with LOCATE can be found here.

Travel advice for this country

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contacts

Hong Kong, British Consulate-General

Address:

British Consulate-General
No 1 Supreme Court Road
Central
Hong Kong
(P O Box 528)

Telephone:

(852) 2901 3000

Fax:

(852) 2901 3066 General/Commercial
(852) 2901 3007 Management
(852) 2901 3008 Press and Public Affairs
(852) 2901 3204 Consular
(852) 2901 3347 Visa
(852) 2901 3420 Fiscal & Drugs Liaison Office
(852) 2901 3143 BC Passport
(852) 2901 3195 Other Passports
(852) 2901 3295 Airport Liaison Office

Office hours:

GMT:
Mon-Fri: 0030-0915

Local Time:
Mon-Fri: 0830-1715

Website: http://www.britishconsulate.org.hk/