Around 14,100 visitors arrived in Macau from mainland China on the first weekend since the resumption of the Individual Visit Scheme (IVS), only slightly more than the 11,200 who arrived a week earlier.
According to figures released by the Public Security Police Force, Macau welcomed 7,500 people on Saturday and 6,000 on Sunday compared with 6,000 and 5,200 on the previous Saturday and Sunday respectively.
Macau and Guangdong Province authorities had previously announced the resumption of IVS for residents of Zhuhai from last Wednesday 12 August, with the rest of Guangdong to follow from 26 August and all of mainland China from 23 September. Continuation of the scheme is dependent upon Macau continuing its run, now stretching more than five months, of recording no new cases of community coronavirus transmission.
As gaming and tourism operators now turn their focus to 26 August, Guangdong Province revealed it had recorded three new local cases last Friday. Three staff who had been working in a Shenzhen supermarket tested positive to COVID-19 from over 34,000 people tested the previous weekend.
Officials of Macau’s Health Bureau stated on Monday that the current IVS resumption schedule would not be impacted by the latest cases in Guangdong Province, however Macau will pay close attention to developments in Guangdong.
“Guangdong reacted to the latest situation of COVID-19 rapidly and conducted a large-scale virus test and epidemiology surveys on the masses,” said coordinator of the Disease Prevention and Surveillance Center, Leong Iek Hou. “It did not find any more cases during the last weekend.”
She added visitors would likely wear masks and follow current preventive works when visiting Macau.
Gaming industry analysts have stated they expect resumption of IVS to start to show some impact by late August, due in part to the fact that visas on average take around seven days to process.
Can the number growing as expected? Nobody knows.