The government of Hong Kong has reportedly announced that it will be extending its current raft of coronavirus-related border controls until at least July 7 after recording six new local cases of the potentially-lethal ailment in the last week.
According to reports from Inside Asian Gaming and GGRAsia, the recent infections ended a two-week run in which the former British enclave had recorded no new instances of coronavirus and brought the historical number of residents that have so far been struck down by the highly-contagious ailment to 1,094 with four resultant deaths.
GGRAsia reported that the extension means anyone travelling into the city from Taiwan, Macau and mainland China will continue to be required to enter a 14-day quarantine period in which they must stay indoors at all times. Sophia Chan Siu-Chee, Food and Health Secretary for Hong Kong, purportedly detailed that the territory is to also keep current social distancing restrictions in place for a further two weeks until June 18.
Local brokerage firm JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Limited reportedly told GGRAsia that the news will come as a ‘disappointment’ to casino operators in the nearby territory of Macau as they have been struggling since February to reinvigorate an industry suffering from the impacts of coronavirus. The Hong Kong-headquartered firm purportedly explained that many had expected such restrictions to begin being loosened from later this month although the latest extension could have the unwanted consequence of significantly limiting travel between the former Portuguese possession and China’s neighboring Guangdong Province.
Reportedly read a statement from JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Limited…
“We do think Macau is suffering ‘collateral damage’, as it has been free from coronavirus for 55 days.”
For its part and Inside Asian Gaming reported that the casino industry of Macau is particularly vulnerable to this latest extension because it welcomes large numbers of gamblers from Hong Kong and mainland China. The source pronounced that city officials have routinely been reticent about giving any concreate timeline regarding when their own border controls with Guangdong Province and Hong Kong may be eased despite the fact that they have not recorded a case of coronavirus since early-April.