Macau tightens Covid-19 controls before week-long China holidays

The government will require all residents and visitors to undergo a Covid-19 test as part of a three-day mass screening exercise.
The government will require all residents and visitors to undergo a Covid-19 test as part of a three-day mass screening exercise.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - 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 week-long holiday in China.

The government will require all residents and visitors to undergo a Covid-19 test as part of a three-day mass screening exercise, according to a statement on Saturday (Sept 25).

It also advised members of the public not to leave the city unless necessary and outbound travellers to present a valid negative Covid-19 test.

Ferry services with mainland cities, including Shenzhen and Zhuhai, have been cancelled.

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 wrote in a note.