Elsie Ao Ieong U, Macau’s secretary for social affairs and culture, has confirmed the reopening of borders between Hong Kong and Macau will happen next week.
Macau.- Elsie Ao Ieong U has told local media that a travel bubble between Hong Kong and Macau will start within a week. Speaking at a ceremony to celebrate a new anniversary of the founding of the Macau Special Administrative Region, Ao Ieong U said the travel bubble will initially apply only for those who have been fully vaccinated. Priority will be given to those with medical or personal reasons.
The reopening of the border between Hong Kong and Macau could be a crucial step for the city as Hong Kong has historically accounted for 15 per cent to 20 per cent of Macau’s total gaming revenue.
The reopening plan needs to be approved by Beijing, and authorities are also paying close attention to the Covid-19 status in the neighbouring province of Guangdong, which has seen a rise in Covid-19 cases. Since this region is Macau’s largest feeder market, a new outbreak could have a serious negative impact on the city.
Hong Kong has not had any local Covid-19 cases since October, but the opening of the border with mainland China was prioritised ahead of Macau.
According to Fitch Ratings, Macau’s economic growth rate in 2022 will increase from 25 per cent in 2021 to 36 per cent. Analysts highlight the impact of higher vaccination rates and the phased resumption of the electronic version of the Individual Visit Scheme (IVS).