Macau’s Transport Bureau, DSAT, announced on Wednesday a reduction in all bus services, including casino shuttle buses and buses transporting passengers via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, as the city’s tourist numbers reached new lows.
According to updated statistics from the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), total visitor arrivals over the first five days of the Chinese New Year “Golden Week” are now down 73.6% year-on-year to 221,620, including an 87.3% fall on Day 5 to 27,099. Mainland visitor arrivals are down 79.2% to 127,149 with Day 5 numbers down 90.6% to 15,426.
By comparison, Macau welcomed a total of 1,213,487 visitors during the seven days of the Chinese New Year holiday in 2019 including 899,290 from mainland China.
With border controls tightening by the day to control the spread of the Coronavirus into Macau, the Transport Bureau said it has now ordered a sizeable reduction in bus services in response to moderate passenger flow.
“Taking into account the development of ‘new coronavirus pneumonia’ and the decrease in out-of-person flow, public buses have gradually reduced the number of shifts in response to a moderate passenger flow since yesterday to ensure the provision of certain services, so as not to waste public resources,” DSAT said.
“In addition, casino shuttle buses, shuttle buses to and from the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, cross-border buses and airport buses will gradually reduce their frequency.”
As previously reported by Inside Asian Gaming, authorities have also cut back ferry services between Macau and Hong Kong, while updated information from Macau Airport shows around 60 flight cancellations per day through to next Wednesday 5 February – most to and from mainland China but also to Cambodia, South Korea and Taiwan.
The number of confirmed cases of the Coranavirus in Macau has held steady at seven in recent days, with the Health Bureau stating on Wednesday that all seven will remain in hospital indefinitely. Of the 114 suspected Macau cases so far, 101 have been cleared of the virus while six more are awaiting the results of tests.