The highly anticipated New Year could be the new start Macau really needs. The SAR – special administrative region – is likely to get its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines right before the Chinese New Year.

To start with, the gaming center will get 100,000 vials from the China National Pharmaceutical Group. There are several plans ongoing to roll out the COVID 19 vaccine. Additional doses are projected to land sometime later in the month, and there may be another batch that may land in the third quarter of the year.

In the pandemic update press conference held today, Conde S. Januario Hospital Doctor Alvis Lo Lek Long said
“We are negotiating with the suppliers so that the vaccine arrive as fast as possible. Vaccination is not just purchasing the doses, we still need to conduct many preparatory works. Establish appointments, registry, etc […] We will start vaccination around the CNY period,”

However, taking the vaccine is optional, and people who get shots will choose to go for the vaccine they want, but it’ll be done in order of priority.

High occupational exposure groups, front line health personnel, and people who visit high-risk areas will be given preference. As luck would have it, casino workers are in this group because of their exposure when performing their duties to the public.

Although the first shots will be given to people just close to the long New Year’s weekend, it is already too late to save Macau from having another bad run in terms of revenue.

John DeCree of Union Gaming said “With a number of isolated COVID cases throughout China and the region we expect travel will remain moderate over the coming months, including during the Chinese New Year (CNY) period.”

China is still restricting cross-province travel to forestall further outbreaks, no one is anticipating a great outing for February.

Credit Suisse predicts revenues to be 20 percent below what was gotten in the Golden Week of October.

Bernstein analysts had this to say, “Travel impediments will lead certainly to reduced visitation (vs earlier forecasts) into Macau for the next few weeks at least, with Chinese New Year visitation being impacted.”

Everything may not seem so bad in the end, but there is no telling when things will turn around. Decree further had this to say “In the long run, we expect the offshore gambling crackdown could accrue to Macau’s benefit; but for now, the ambiguity of the new law will likely continue to deter some VIP customers and limit junket operations in Macau.”

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