Macau Tightens Covid Controls Before Weeklong China Holidays


Macau is stepping up travel restrictions as the city tries to prevent a Covid-19 outbreak that could threaten its gaming industry ahead of a weeklong holiday in China.

The government will require all residents and visitors to undergo a Covid test as part of a three-day mass screening exercise, according to a statement Saturday. It also advised members of the public not to leave the city unless necessary and outbound outbound travelers to present a valid negative Covid test. Ferry services with mainland cities including Shenzhen and Zhuhai have been canceled.  

The measures come after the Chinese casino hub this week reported two new cases related to a quarantine hotel, weeks after the city’s first domestic cluster in more than a year. The local gaming regulator said it will cancel a public consultation session on revising the city’s gambling law originally slated for Wednesday.

Mainland China and Macau have opened their borders for almost a year but the latest infections could hurt gaming demand during the Golden Week holiday starting Oct. 1. 

“Players may also cancel their trips ahead of time on concerns that they may need to be quarantined when they return to China,” Credit Suisse analysts led by Kenneth Fong wrote in a note.