The Chief Executive of Macau, Ho Iat Seng, says he hopes daily visitation during Golden Week can push above 20,000 – admitting genuine recovery from the impact of COVID-19 will take time.
Outlining some further measures that could be introduced to help fast track such a recovery while speaking at the annual gala celebrating the People’s Republic of China’s 71th anniversary on Thursday, Ho admitted it was too early to get excited about eased border restrictions just yet.
“The e-visa for the Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) has only just resumed on the mainland,” he said. “Recently, visitor arrivals in Macau have reached around 18,000 and I hope it can be over 20,000 during Golden Week. But it’s still a low level compared with last year.”
However, Ho revealed the SAR government has held talks with China’s health authority about extending the effective period of COVID-19 virus tests to 14 days.
Currently, visitors crossing the border between Macau and mainland China must hold a negative virus test certificate obtained within the previous seven days, so extending the test result period could provide greater encouragement for cross-border travel.
Speaking at the same event on Thursday, Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lei Wai Nong, said gross gaming revenues (GGR) would remain unstable in the short term but added he was confident GGR would improve in the long term.