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Casinos Threatened as China Bans Tourism After Coronavirus Reappears

By Rich Duprey - Mar 18, 2020 at 10:50AM

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Returning travelers tested positive for COVID-19 after a month with no new cases reported.

After two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the region, Macau has increased its border restrictions, barring visitors from all nations except mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan from entering. 

MGM Resorts (MGM 2.71%) recently said visits to Macao were not rebounding even after its casinos were allowed to reopen, and this new order likely ensures that not occur now anytime soon.

Macau skyline at night

Image source: Getty Images.

Tourists causing a coronavirus rebound

Macau had gone a month after the shutdown without having any new confirmed cases of COVID-19, but a businessman from Spain who arrived in Macau on Monday through Beijing tested positive for the illness. That was followed on Tuesday by a female resident who traveled from London to Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong, and entered Macao over the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge who was found to have a fever when she arrived. She was sent to a hospital where the virus was confirmed.

Macau imposed mandatory visitor testing upon arrival following the original outbreak.

The new tourist ban does not apply to residents returning from the mainland or from Hong Kong and Taiwan, though visitors from certain high-risk areas of China are required to undergo six to eight hours of medical observation. Those returning from high-risk areas elsewhere will be placed under medical surveillance at appointed hotels, or they may self-quarantine for two weeks.

MGM had previously said it was losing $1.5 million a day during the shutdown while Wynn Resorts (WYNN 1.97%) said the shutdown cost it as much as $2.5 million daily.


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