Macau’s six gaming concessionaires have agreed to a request from the Macau SAR government to provide accommodation in Macau for employees living in Zhuhai, with the aim of curbing the potential spread of the Coronavirus by limiting cross-border passenger traffic.
At a meeting between the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) and representatives of casino industry on Sunday, the six operators agreed to provide adequate accommodation for non-resident workers required to work in Macau, while those not needed on the ground will be granted permission to stay in Zhuhai and return to Macau once the virus epidemic is under control.
The latest measure, a policy of Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lei Wai Nong, follows revelations of the first recorded case of Coronavirus in a local Macau resident, taking the total number of confirmed cases in the SAR to eight.
According to information from the Public Security Police Force (CPSP), around 35,000 non-resident workers live in Zhuhai with 80% of them entering Macau through the Gongbei checkpoint.
The SAR’s gaming regulator had previously instructed gaming operators to adjust staff rosters to allow mainland residents to cross the border in time after the government changed the daily closing time of the Gongbei checkpoint from 1am to 10pm.
Visitor numbers to Macau have plummeted since the start of the virus epidemic last month, with visitation numbers during the Chinese New Year “Golden Week” falling 78.3% year-on-year.