Macau announces a definite no to travel bubble plans for the moment
In a report from Inside Asian Gaming, Macau Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng said there has been no talk of any travel bubbles between Macau and foreign countries despite moves by neighboring Hong Kong with Singapore to establish new travel agreements.
On Saturday, Ho told the media at a public event that “Foreign visitors would be a great pressure for us. The government has to consider the health and safety of our residents."
“We have not had any discussions about this with any countries or regions.” He added.
Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau announced on Thursday that Hong Kong and Singapore have reached an initial “travel bubble” agreement that would eliminate the need for people travelling between the two jurisdictions to undergoing 14-day quarantine or stay-at-home measures.
Specific flights would transfer people between the two cities and would only carry residents of Hong Kong and Singapore.
There had been no announcement in regards to the launch date and further details of the “travel bubble” arrangement, however, the Hong Kong media suggested it would likely launch in December.
According to Ho, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared that the SAR’s priority should be on preventing any new outbreak of COVID-19 despite the results Macau achieved in combating the spread of the virus through its approved preventive measures.
The Chief Executive stated earlier this month that Macau is to consider extending the validity period of COVID-19 virus for tourists tests to 14 days as visitor numbers stay low.
Currently, visitors crossing the border between Macau and mainland China must hold a negative virus test certificate obtained within the previous seven days.
Macau’s Golden Week failed, which aims to reignite the casino industry, failed to deliver with just 139,280 visitors to the SAR during the usually bustling holiday period, representing a fall in visitation of 85.7 per cent compared to last year. Seeing the lack of recovery and combining this with the absence of any real gambling action in almost all of 2020, many analysts are predicting a long road to recovery for Macau. As a result of the decline in traffic, Macau casinos are still unable to launch a major rebound following the chaos caused by COVID-19.
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