Macau Implementing Mandatory 14-Day Quarantine on Travelers From Beijing

Posted on: June 17, 2020, 08:53h. 

Last updated on: June 17, 2020, 10:57h.

Macau officials will require anyone arriving in the enclave who has recently been in Beijing to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine in a government-designated facility.

Macau casino entry Beijing coronavirus
Sanitation workers disinfect streets in Beijing, as a new wave of COVID-19 cases arise. As a result, Macau is further restricting entry to people coming from China’s capital city. (Image: Global Times)

The decision comes in response to the Chinese capital elevating its public health emergency response from “level three” to “level two” (the lower the number, the more critical the situation). Anyone seeking entry into Macau who has been in Beijing within the past 14 days will be quarantined.

Level one represents ‘especially serious’ in the four-level scale of the public health emergency response system,” the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) government explained of Beijing moving closer to that classification.

A recent outbreak in new COVID-19 cases prompted Beijing officials to revert back to the graver public warning. More than 130 coronavirus positive test results were received in recent days.

The increase in COVID-19 cases in Beijing is yet another setback for Macau, as the casino hub desperately needs to get its tourism industry back up and running. Gross gaming revenue (GGR) in May totaled just $221 million – down from $3.2 billion in May of 2019.

Travel Rebound

Macau has already been requiring anyone arriving from mainland China to undergo a two-week quarantine. The difference in today’s announcement is that no longer will people coming from Beijing be afforded the option to self-quarantine. Instead, they’ll be required to stay in quarantine centers overseen by the Macau government.

Travelers from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the rest of China are able to enter Macau, but must also underdog a 14-day quarantine. Entry officials determine whether the individual can quarantine on their own, or whether they require government supervision.

No other country is currently able to access Macau.

Despite the strict entry processes, Macau Government Tourism Office Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes says May visitor arrival numbers were better than April. She said approximately 20,000 people made their way into the SAR last month, up from just 11,041 who arrived in April.

The coronavirus resulted in Macau experiencing its worst year in terms of visitor arrivals since such data began being collected in 2002. Free of a pandemic, the SAR typically welcomes more than three million visitors every 30 days.

Macau casinos remain open, but in greatly reduced capacities. Aside from the mandatory 15-day shutdown in February, government officials have encouraged the region’s six licensed casino operators to remain open and keep workers employed during the global health crisis.

Casino companies are bleeding cash as a result. Wynn Macau and Galaxy Entertainment each say it costs them roughly $3 million a day just to keep their lights on.   

Still Slow

Though the government tourism official says visitor arrivals are slowly rebounding, the region remains quiet and barren. Fernandes said pedestrian traffic has been “thin” on the Cotai Strip, where Macau’s glitzy five-star integrated resorts occupy the main drag.

The Macau Statistics and Census Bureau reports that the hotel occupancy rate throughout the enclave fell 78.6 percent in April to just 12.9 percent. Five-star rooms were occupied even less at 6.6 percent.

A total of 110 hotels and guesthouses were open during the month.