Macau to resume Covid-19 countermeasures

The province of Guangdong is dealing with a new wave of Covid-19 cases.
The province of Guangdong is dealing with a new wave of Covid-19 cases.

Amid a rise of Covid-19 cases in Guangdong, Macau has ordered casino operators to reintroduce safety measures at their venues.

Macau.- Macau’s government has reimposed Covid-19 countermeasures at casinos and other tourism venues due to the increase in Covid-19 cases in neighbouring Guangdong province.

People who enter the casinos must wear masks and have their temperature checked. They will also have to present the Macao Health Code, the government document that classifies health status by colour: red, yellow, and green.

According to the new measures, holders whose Macao Health Code is red or yellow will be denied admission to casinos and other venues.

Other venues covered by the countermeasure include hotels and guest houses, restaurants, bars, karaoke lounges, nightclubs, saunas, massage parlours and health clubs. 

Although the situation seems to be controlled, the government fears the low rate of vaccination could lead to a rise in Covid-19 cases in the city.

Several casino operators have launched vaccination programmes.

Galaxy Entertainment is hosting a vaccination point inside its property to vaccinate 1,500 to 1,800 team members and their family members between June 10 and June 12.

All Galaxy Entertainment employees who get vaccinated with the first and the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine will get up to two days of “special vaccine leave” to rest.

Casino operators MGM China and Sands China have already hosted vaccination servicesMGM saw 1,200 of its employees vaccinated.

Melco Resorts launched an “immunity incentive programme” to encourage its employees to get vaccinated against Covid-19. It will give each employee a bonus of MOP1,000 (US$125) after getting the vaccine.

Those who get the vaccine could also win MOP1m once the company has reached certain immunity targets.

Macau tightens controls for arrivals from Guangdong

The government of Macau has started to implement quarantine measures for arrivals from Guangdong after new Covid-19 cases were registered in recent weeks.

Macau health authorities have imposed a 14-day quarantine on people who have been in the districts of Haizhu, Liwan, Nansha, Panyu or Yuexiu in Guangzhou, or the Nanhai and Chancheng districts of Foshan.

The government announced those who had been in Guangzhou or Foshan within the previous 14 days are required to undergo a nucleic acid test. From June 8, people who want to enter Macau from Guandong must show a Covid-19 negative test issued within 48 hours.

The news was received with some unease from the tourism sectorMainland China is the only country to have a largely quarantine-free travel bubble with Macau, and the majority of tourists who have come to the city in recent months are from Guandong.

Macau GGR to fall 30 per cent, analysts say

Although Macau GGR was up 24.3 per cent month-on-month in May, it declined in the last week of the month. 

Between May 31 and June 6, tourist entries and exits declined by 22.6 per cent to an average of 40,000 visitors.

Bernstein Research reported GGR of MOP1.35bn (US$169m) during the first week of June, down 26 per cent when compared to the previous week. Analysts predicted GGR for June will be down 30 per cent month-on-month.

Bernstein Research added that Macau’s GGR is usually weak in June when compared to other months. They expect a further recovery within July and August during the summer holiday period.

Morgan Stanley also cut its forecast for Macau gross gaming revenue (GGR) this year by 19 per cent to US$16.3bn.

Previously, analysts had said Macau GGR could reach MOP189bn (US$23.6bn), about 65 per cent of GGR in 2019. However, it’s lowered its forecast to just 45 per cent of 2019 levels, although that would still be an improvement of 115.4 per cent in 2020.

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Covid-19 Macau casinos