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China – Some travel restrictions lifted as Macau falls 97 per cent in April

By - 5 May 2020

Two of the main entry points into Macau, the Gongbei border and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HZMB), have resumed their normal hours of operation, sparking hope that this could kick-start the flow of people into the region’s casinos.

The flood of visitors from mainland China though, will have to wait with travel restrictions still in place.

Anyone passing through a Macau border into the city will be quizzed about their recent movements and assessed from a health perspective. A new ‘health code system’ has been introduced with each visitor declared as either ‘green, red or yellow.’

Macau hasn’t had any reports of new coronavirus cases since the start of April. Its gaming revenues in April fell to US$95m down 97 per cent from April 2019.
Credit Suisse equity analyst Kenneth Fong said: “Looking ahead, we believe VIP should see a faster recovery. “We estimate the pent-up demand will help the VIP business to recover to 50 per cent once borders reopen and likely reach 100 per cent of the pre-virus level in summer time. On the other hand, mass recovery is likely to be more gradual. We expect mass GGR to back to around 70 per cent to 80 per cent by summer holidays as China may reopen IVS visa in phases, and 90 per cent to 100 per cent by end of the year.”

With Macau recently bring criticised for an overreliance on gaming, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Elsie Ao Ieong U has said there are plans being put in place for the city to host an international sports competition or event every month.

The FIVB Women’s Volleyball Nations League, the Macau Grand Prix, the Macau Marathon and the annual dragon boat race are already ‘very successful events.’
“We also want to invite European national teams to compete at the Taipa Stadium but it will depend on the evolution of the pandemic,” the Secretary said.

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