Macau Adds Japan, Germany, Spain, France to Quarantine List, Tells Casinos to Avoid Layoffs

Posted on: March 9, 2020, 09:57h. 

Last updated on: March 9, 2020, 11:03h.

The Macau Health Bureau is requiring those arriving in the enclave from Japan, Germany, Spain, and France to enter a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Macau coronavirus casino revenue
Entering Macau during the ongoing coronavirus crisis is no easy process. (Image: Reuters)

Anyone arriving in the Chinese Special Administrative Region (SAR) who has recently spent time in those four countries – which join South Korea, Italy, and Iran on the list – must isolate themselves in an approved hotel room at their own expense. The mandate falls under the “Law on the Prevention, Control, and Treatment of Infectious Diseases.”

COVID-19 continues to rapidly expand in the aforementioned countries. The novel 2019 coronavirus has been confirmed in 795 cases in Germany, 706 in France, 455 in Japan, and 430 in Spain.

The Macau Health Bureau says individuals arriving from those countries will be monitored by medical professionals.

Reeling Gaming Industry

Macau is taking no chances with the deadly virus that’s responsible for 3,100 deaths in China. The enclave has reported 10 confirmed cases, but no new cases in 34 days.

Casinos in the region have paid a price for the enclave’s strict health safety response. The 15-day mandatory closure cost the resorts roughly $2.5 billion in lost gross gaming revenue (GGR), and lengthy entry examinations on anyone attempting entry have resulted in vacant guestrooms and casino floors.

Gaming industry analysts are forecasting a 70 percent GGR reduction in March. That means casino win this month would come in around $970 million.

With the multibillion-dollar casino resorts remaining largely abandoned, government officials are warning the operators to avoid laying off workers. In a letter to the six licensed casino companies, the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau said that “maintaining social responsibility is one of the priorities of the Macau SAR Government.”

“In this difficult period, companies should make every effort to ensure the employment of employees and maintain a stable labor market,” the regulatory agency added.

Macau in Clear

The coronavirus has infected more than 110,000 people worldwide. Over 62,000 have fully recovered and no longer present any symptoms, but 3,800 others have died as a result.

Of the 10 patients confirmed to have had the disease in Macau, all have since been cleared and discharged.

Now, Macau has zero patients, zero serious cases, zero deaths, and zero infections in hospitals,” declared Macau Health Bureau Director Lei Chin Ion. The last confirmed case in the SAR was diagnosed on February 4.

Along with the strict entry procedures, Macau’s rationing policy has been credited with its safeguarding of the disease. While customers in Hong Kong cleaned out shelves, including protective gear such as face masks, Macau limited the number of supplies each individual could purchase.

That allowed the elderly and those most at-risk, including people with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes, to obtain the precautionary supplies.

Being a SAR in China means Macau has border entry points, which has also helped limit the coronavirus spread. While Macau has reported only 10 cases and no deaths, in nearby Hong Kong, the other SAR in the People’s Republic, there’s been 109 cases, and two deaths.