Negative test results must be reported to the authorities to be reflected on health codes.
Macau.- The Macau government has tightened Covid-19 testing requirements for casino workers in a bid to avoid a new outbreak like that which led to the temporary closure of casinos in July. Table game dealers, security and cleaners are now required to undergo nucleic acid testing and a rapid antigen test every four days. For the past month, testing had only been required every seven days.
Workers must report test results to authorities for them to appear on their personal electronic health codes. The change comes after a visitor at the StarWorld Hotel tested positive for Covid-19. Authorities decided not to seal off the venue as the tourist did not spend the night there.
Elsie Ao Ieong, Macau’s secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, told broadcaster TDM that the visitor did not have contact with many people, nor did he visit many places. Despite new measures, Elsie Ao Ieong stressed: “We can see Macau is actually a very low-risk place.”
At the end of October, the MGM Cotai closed for three days after a casino table croupier tested positive for Covid-19. All casino staff, hotel staff and guests were isolated until November 1. Something similar happened at the Harbourview Hotel at Macau Fisherman’s Wharf. All staff and guests were confined to the property for testing.
Morgan Stanley cuts Macau GGR forecast again
New Covid-19 cases both in Macau and China have led Morgan Stanley Asia to further cut its predictions for Macau’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) for this year, 2023 and 2024. Analysts have reduced their forecasts by 15 per cent, 13 per cent and 13 per cent respectively, to US$5.6bn, US$16bn and US$26bn.
New Covid-19 cases mean that the resumption of e-visas since November 1 has not offered that boost that was hoped for. Analysts pointed out that since the reopening of the e-visa channel, the online search volumes for “Macao Individual Visit Scheme (IVS)” has not increased, and searches by Guangdong users have dropped significantly.
Macau’s GGR for the first ten months of 2022 combined stands at MOP35.72bn, down 50.5 per cent year-on-year.