In a twist that will surely dishearten many across the world and especially those in Europe and the US, Macau is bringing back its lockdown. In February, this Chinese enclave already instituted a virtual stop to all everyday life. After the two-week shutdown, the officials stated that the territory is virus-free.
Now, however, a month after that, new cases are appearing. This is forcing Macau to once again take on drastic measures to stop the spread. For some time now, all Chinese territories appear to be in bigger danger from outside visitors than in mainland cases. Recently, a businessman from Spain landed in the territory. Soon after, the 47-year-old got his test results, which showed the presence of COVID-19.
This was the 12th patient on the island. A day later, on Tuesday, the authorities noted the 13th patient. This is why Macau is undertaking a quasi-isolation decision. The territory will stop taking in visitors, excluding the countries of Taiwan, but also Hong Kong and mainland China. The casino industry will once again be hit hard as soon as the measures take place.
Macau was a location that was able to go a full month without any additional coronavirus positive patients. This provided hope for many other places, especially those in the grip of the pandemic, that things can get sorted. Now, however, it appears that many realize this is a much harder process. Now, travellers from outside of China or Taiwan will go through a mandatory 14-day isolation. This means that nothing similar to a casino revival will be able to take place.
Yet, there is not only sombre news from Macau and its casino economy. Some are still pinning their hopes on a stimulus package. It is a big part of the plan of the Macau government to create a measure worth over 274 million USD. The same stimulus will provide the local citizens with what they call an electronic consumption voucher. Each of these will be around 3,000 MOP, which is around 374 USD.
The money will definitely help, but with another round of lockdown and tourist exclusion, the rebound is not even on the radar. Instead, many analysts believe that the third quarter or even possibly the fourth one will be the first chance for getting the economy back on track. This includes the Macau casinos more than anything else, being that all of them are heavily dependent on foreign visitors. In their case, the stimulus package will play a minor role, so before the tourists start rolling it, they will continue to lose money.
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