Macau to Introduce Quarantine Measure for Hong Kong Travelers After COVID-19 Spike
Rising case numbers in Hong Kong
Anyone going from Hong Kong to Macau will have to quarantine at the Treasure Hotel. The new measure goes into place on Friday in response to rising COVID-19 case numbers in Hong Kong. The Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Center in Macau announced the new measure on Thursday. Daily virus case numbers in Hong Kong are above the 8,000 mark.
a quarantine facility for people who are deemed to have a high chance of having the virus
The Treasure Hotel is a quarantine facility for people who are deemed to have a high chance of having the virus. This hotel is next to the Macau International Airport and is one of four such facilities in the special administrative region of China. The other locations are the Pousada Mariana Infante Hotel, Grand Coloane Resort, and the Regency Art Hotel.
Ongoing struggles for Macau casinos
There are concerns that the new quarantine measure for Hong Kong travelers will negatively impact Macau’s gaming industry. Historically, Hong Kong visitors have accounted for between 15% and 20% of business at Macau casinos. However, travel restrictions have been in place for people arriving from Hong Kong for most of the pandemic.
about 93% of Macau’s total arrivals were from mainland China
During the recent Chinese New Year holidays, about 93% of Macau’s total arrivals were from mainland China. Currently, only people from mainland China are generally able to travel to Macau without being subject to quarantine. In January, almost 700,000 people visited the city.
Macau casinos are hoping for a strong 2022. With COVID-19 rampant for most of 2020 and 2021, properties have been struggling. Total gaming revenue in 2020 plummeted. Revenues were 44% better year-on-year in 2021, but were still 70% below pre-pandemic levels.
A big year for the region
One of the other major issues looming for Macau authorities is the renewal of casino licenses. The current six concessions are set to expire on June 26; it is not clear if the current holders will get the chance to renew their existing concessions or if there will be a public tender.
Finally, lawmakers in Macau have been working on a gaming bill that will tighten regulations on the region’s gambling sector. One of the proposals is to halve the license term from 20 years to ten years. There would also be changes to how casinos can operate to make sure that they are safeguarding national security.
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