Mixed news for Macau as Covid outbreak offsets eVisa return

Posted: Oct 31, 2022 12:07 Category: Asia , Casino , Land-Based , Posted by Sharon Singleton

There was mixed news for Macau’s operators on Monday as a new outbreak of Covid locally offset the positive from China’s decision to reinstate electronic visa issuance.

The gambling hub will begin a round of mass testing on Tuesday after new local cases were found. Macau, like China, has a zero-Covid policy when it comes to the virus.

MGM China’s Cotai resort was locked down on Sunday, with all staff and guests inside after a female dealer tested positive for Covid. They will be forced to stay in the location until Nov. 1st.

The fresh outbreak in Macau has also forced the reimposition of travel restrictions with the neighboring city of Zhuhai. Anyone crossing the border will need to have had a negative Covid test within 24 hours.

Macau operator stocks gain

Despite the latest Covid setback, stocks in Macau’s operators were higher on Monday on news of the long-awaited return of electronic issuance for individual visit scheme visas. Although China reopened its borders with Macau in September 2020, it did not reinstate e-Visas, which analysts said was a major hindrance to recovery of visitation. 

China’s Immigration Bureau said Chinese will be able to apply online for the visas from Tuesday. 

It said its decision had been taken due to stable pandemic conditions in Macau and the increased demand for travel.

Analysts noted that the move would be likely to improve visitation to Macau from China, although there is still no visibility on broader border opening to the rest of the world.

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