Hotel rooms at the Sheraton Grand Macao hotel (pictured in a file photo) at the city’s Sands Cotai Central casino resort, have again been allocated for Macau government use amid the city’s response to the Covid-19 emergency. A novelty is that Sheraton Grand Macao can now decide how much it will charge to those inbound to Macau and choosing to stay at the property under a compulsory 14-day medical observation period before being allowed into the community.
The hotel is operated by Sands China Ltd, a unit of United States-based casino group Las Vegas Sands Corp. Sands Cotai Central is currently being revamped and rebranded as the Londoner Macao.
The use of some of the Sheraton Grand Macao’s facilities was outlined in a Monday announcement by the Macau government. The role of that portion of the hotel will take effect on December 20.
The hotel at the yet-to-open Lisboeta Macau will also be used for medical observation in Macau starting December 20, according to the local authorities. That property’s management will also be able to decide its pricing strategy for people staying at its facilities for medical observation.
Lisboeta Macau, a resort project next door to the under-development Grand Lisboa Palace, is by an entity called Macau Theme Park and Resort Ltd, fronted by Arnaldo Ho Yau Heng, a son of co-chairman and executive director Angela Leong On Kei by late Macau gaming entrepreneur Stanley Ho Hung Sun. Both Ms Leong and Mr Arnaldo Ho are part of the leadership setup at casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd, the developer of Grand Lisboa Palace.
The Macau government had already given an operating licence and four-star rating to the hotel portion of Lisboeta, according to an official statement published in August. In comments to local media in June last year, SJM Holdings’ chief executive, Ambrose So Shu Fai, had acknowledged the possibility of gaming being offered at Lisboeta Macau, under a so-called service agreement that would make use of SJM Holdings’ Macau gaming licence.
Sheraton Grand Macao and Lisboeta Macau will be the only authorised sites in Macau for visitors to undergo medical quarantine; inbound travellers cannot choose to stay elsewhere. According to a government estimate, the average daily rate – including three meals – should be around MOP700 (US$87.50) based on market prices. Visitors will be able to choose the type of room in which they wish to stay: that can increase the overall cost of their stay.
Macau residents and their family members returning to the city can also opt to be accommodated in one of six other hotels selected by the government, at a lower rate of MOP5,600 per overall quarantine (or free of charge if it is their first quarantine in Macau). That includes Regency Art Hotel and Royal Dragon Hotel, each with a casino licence: Royal Dragon Hotel was added to the list on Friday, according to the Macau government
The local authorities did not specify how many rooms respectively at the Sheraton Grand Macao and Lisboeta would be used for the 14-day quarantine protocol. Half of Sheraton Grand Macao’s 4,000 hotel rooms had been used for the same purpose between late March and late April. The property was again used for Covid-19 quarantine purposes by the Macau government in June.
Macau’s borders remain closed to visitors coming from outside Greater China. Those using either Mainland China, Hong Kong or Taiwan region documents to travel, and who have visited Hong Kong or Taiwan 14 days prior to arriving in Macau, must hold a certificate showing a negative result for a Covid-19 nucleic acid test – issued within the previous seven days – and need to go to a designated hotel for a 14-day quarantine period of medical observation.
Travellers coming from Mainland China – except from areas labelled as of higher risk for Covid-19 – must hold a certificate showing a negative test result for Covid0-19 issued within the previous seven days, but do not need to undergo medical observation on arrival to Macau.
Data from the Macau government showed that as of Monday there were around 1,700 people undergoing medical observation in Macau.
Macau has not had a Covid-19 case since late June. All 46 confirmed patients have been released from hospital care, and the city recorded no death from the disease.
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