Migrants to face financial hardship if they stay put in town

It will be expensive for foreign workers to stay in Macau during the Spring Festival as the city’s cost of living and cost of accommodation will be higher, local associations voiced the opinion on a TDM radio program Macau Forum yesterday.
Some in Macau society have suggested that local enterprises offer accommodation subsidies as an impetus for their employees to stay in town during the festival.
However, the founder of the Macau Businesswomen Association, Kong Mei Fan, who was on the program, said that this will impose an extra burden upon local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who have been hit hard by the economic fallout of Covid-19 as they already have a fixed payroll to process during Lunar New Year.
The chairman of the Macau Overseas Worker Employment Agency Association, Ao Ieong Kuong Kao, said there conditions are unfavourable for foreign workers staying in Macau during Chinese New Year. There will be no place for them to sleep if they stay, he said.
Some in the community proposed that the government roll out financial incentives to keep the blue cardholders in the city during the festival.
However, others opposed the idea, saying there is no guarantee that foreign workers will stay in Macau even they are given fiscal stimulus, as it is impossible to track and monitor their whereabouts.
Last week, the government appealed to both locals and mainland workers to avoid unnecessary travel and spend the festival in Macau in order to minimize the risk of infection.
The announcement was made two days after China reported its first three-digit case count on January 10, the highest daily Covid-19 case count for the last five months.
Some of China’s municipal governments, such as Beijing, Shanghai and Anhui, have also urged residents to spend the Lunar New Year in their towns and to avoid traveling.

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