2021-10-10 17:57


COVID-19 deals heavy blow to Macao's "Golden Week" holiday

The just-concluded week-long National Day holiday, often dubbed the "Golden Week" holiday, was an extraordinary one for the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) due to the blows dealt by COVID-19.

Since Sept. 24, the SAR has reported 10 COVID-19 cases. Starting Sept. 26, travelers who enter Zhuhai city in the mainland neighboring Macao via the land border between the two cities are required to take 14 days of quarantine.

The epidemic dealt a heavy blow on Macao, a city highly dependent on tourism and is also home or destination to a large number of workers who commute between Macao and the neighboring mainland cities every day.

The epidemic left Macao a quiet holiday, which is in sharp contrast to the same period of previous years. Few people were seen at famous tourist spots such as the Ruins of St. Paul and the Senado Square which used to be crowded with tourists.

Official figures showed that only around 35,000 people crossed the border during the holiday. Last year, over 156,000 travelers visited Macao during the eight-day "Golden Week" holiday from Oct. 1 to Oct. 8.

Nevertheless, the average daily number of visitors during the holiday last year dropped by 86 percent from the figure of the same period of 2019.

Fong Kin Fu, board chairman of the Federal General Commercial Association of Macao Small and Medium Enterprises, said business owners had expected this holiday to make up for the losses they suffered earlier this year due to the epidemic.

However, the new cases, reported near the end of September and again on Oct. 4 and 5 respectively, made their plans fall through. Some small and micro businesses had to close temporarily or even permanently.

"This was the most painful 'Golden Week' holiday for Macao," Fong said.

Macao conducted two rounds of mass testing for COVID-19 on Sept. 26 and Oct. 4 respectively, with the results all coming out negative.


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