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Macau's future looks bright following scrapped Covid restrictions

The Chinese government has announced an end to quarantine measures for all foreign travellers from 8 January, meaning that the gambling province of Macau will no longer be subject to heavy entry restrictions.

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The move marks the end of China’s zero-Covid policy, which has had a catastrophic effect on Macau’s gambling business and has seen hordes of players flock to other destinations such as The Philippines and Singapore.

2022 saw Macau closed off for large parts of the year due to Covid-19 outbreaks and decimated the casino operators' financial intake in the province.

For November, Macau reported a gross gaming revenue (GGR) of MOP$2.99bn (US$370m), down 56% annually on 2021.

In recent months, all six of Macau’s current concessionaires chose to extend their licences for 10 years, displaying a large amount of faith in Macau’s future. Now, that faith appears to have paid off with the near-complete easing of all entry restrictions for foreign travellers.

Last week, Macau’s SAR Government abolished its home confinement requirement for incoming travel as of Friday 23 December, with the health code for incoming travellers from Hong Kong, Taiwan and other foreign destinations updated to a required five days of self-health management.

However, from 8 January, China has decided to reclassify Covid as a Class B infectious disease, and the cap on incoming flights will be scrapped – while the only restriction in place for incoming people will be mandatory PCR tests.

The zero-Covid policy has ended in China following widespread demonstrations by Chinese citizens opposing lockdown measures taken by the government, as many watched other countries scrapping Covid laws and adopting a ‘living with the virus’ policy.

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