The Chief Executive of Macau SAR, Ho Iat Seng, said he hopes Macau and Zhuhai can resume normal border interactions on 1 October, but he expects Golden Week will still be greatly impacted by the latest COVID-19 outbreak in the SAR.
Macau has reported eight new cases of COVID-19 since last Saturday 25 September with six of those being local cases, resulting in Zhuhai implementing a mandatory 14-day quarantine measure for all individuals entering Zhuhai from Macau until the midnight at the start of 1 October.
However, while those positive cases were linked to one of the city’s quarantine hotels, a mass testing blitz of all Macau residents returned no further positive results.
Ho said at a press conference on Wednesday that the Macao SAR government would negotiate with the Zhuhai government on Thursday 30 September for easing of the current border policy.
“If we do not find more cases in these two days (until 30 September), we hopefully can resume the original border policy with Zhuhai from 1 October (dropping the 14-day quarantine measure and restoring the 7-day validity period for virus tests),” he said.
“Unfortunately this outbreak occurred in the last week of September which will greatly impact gaming revenues as well as the operations of local SMEs during the Golden Week holidays.”
Ho said the government will again need to adjust its 2021 GGR forecast and financial budget since this is the second such outbreak in the space of two months.
However, he has chosen not to close gaming floors and entertainment venues. During an outbreak in early August, the government kept casinos operating but closed clubs, cinemas and swimming pools for 14 days.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong and Guangdong Province are currently negotiating the resumption of normal border interactions, with Ho stating that Macau will also resume interactions with Hong Kong once its two nearest neighbors settle on an agreement.