Macau could end Hong Kong quarantine requirement as early as July 3rd
Macau, the leading gambling hub controlled by Chinese government, is widely expected to end its mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement on visitors coming from Hong Kong by early next month. Just like Macau, Hong Kong is also a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, but the casino hub currently requires any visitor coming from Hong Kong to undergo quarantine for a period of two weeks or 14 days as part of its efforts to prevent the deadly COVID-19 pandemic from spreading into the enclave.
However, government officials from the two SARs recently met and discussed easing entry protocols between the two regions. They agreed to ease entry protocols, as long as new COVID-19 cases don’t arise.
Following the discussions, officials said that Macau could end its mandatory quarantine requirement on people coming from Hong Kong as early as 3rd of July.
Alvis Lo Iek Long, director of Macau Health Bureau, explained that Macau would lift the two-week quarantine requirement on visitors from Hong Kong once the neighboring SAR achieves 28 uninterrupted days without confirming a new case of COVID-19 infection. As Hong Kong has not reported any new case of the deadly infection since 5th of June, Macau could lift the medical observation necessity on 3rd of July this year.
But, gaming analysts said that a quick influx of visitors from Hong Kong should not be expected even if the quarantine requirement is lifted by Macau. Earlier this week, Bernstein further reduced its June GGR expectations. The research firm warned that Macau’s casino revenue could be down 70 per cent from June 2019.
In a fresh note to investors, the Bernstein analysis explained, “The new wave of COVID-19 cases in Guangdong (the largest feeder market) has subsided; as the province’s daily local cases have dropped to single-digits. But new Delta (Indian) variant cases were detected that led to continuous lock downs.”
According to the research firm, Macau will likely experience headwinds through 2021, but it will take time for GGR to improve. Prior to the pandemic, Hong Kong used to generate around 10 to 15 per cent of Macau’s annual GGR.
Echoing Bernstein’s views, Credit Suisse said family trips from Hong Kong would be less likely even it Macau lift the quarantine requirement because children largely remain unvaccinated. Moreover, the quarantine requirement could be reinstated if just a single new case of COVID-19 arises.