HKSAR may announce end to quarantine as Macau continues to adhere to policy

US-listed gaming operators’ casino stocks in the city climbed earlier this week following reports that Hong Kong could announce the end of mandatory quarantine this week, in a move that could revive the financial hub.

The neighboring region currently requires three-day hotel quarantine with seven-day home surveillance. With this move, travelers will only have to home-quarantine for a week.

The move will be out-of-step with China’s zero-Covid policy, which has retained some of the strictest Covid measures in the world despite most countries dropping restrictions and freely allowing international travel. 

“Ideally if we can do this by November – zero days of quarantine – it will be very much helpful for us to organize these huge events,” Holden Chow, a lawmaker and vice chairman of the largest political party in Hong Kong’s legislature, previously said.

“Our final goal is to reach zero days, so they [may] also do it on a step-by-step or gradual basis.”

It is still unknown whether Macau would cut its quarantine period. It took Macau two months to decide to reduce the quarantine period to seven days from the former 10+7 days.

Last week, local authorities doubted the optimistic words of the World Health Organization (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus who announced that the end of the Covid-19 pandemic “is in sight.”

The local government said it prefers to wait and keep observing the development of the pandemic as well as following the guidelines coming from both the WHO and China’s central government on the matter.

Further, big-six shares yesterday slightly dropped except for Galaxy Entertainment Group. 

Casino operators have been bleeding cash every day and have been in turmoil due to the pandemic that has been lingering for two and a half years, amid the city’s adherence to Beijing’s zero-Covid policy. 

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