Asian countries once again close their borders


Asian countries once again close their borders

The Asian gaming market might experience another setback as several countries once again close their borders.

A recent spike of cases in Hong Kong halted plans to reopen the border between the city and Macau, where Hong Kong citizens bring in close to 10-15% of gross gaming revenue.

The Philippines announced foreigners are banned from entering the country from 20 March to 18 April. The decision came after a surge in new Covid-19 cases, with new variants being discovered. “We need to implement this decisive action to prevent the further spread of this virus and its new variants,” said a Government spokesperson. The travel restriction applies to Philippine nationals working overseas, although there can be some exceptions.

Cambodia also banned outgoing travels for its citizens, but GGRAsia reported it’s unclear if the ban applies to land borders alone, or if air-travel is also forbidden. The travel ban was implemented due to the spread of the pandemic; provinces where the country’s casinos are located recorded a large number of positive cases.

Travel to Japan was also affected by the global situation. The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) reported the number of visitors in February 2021 dropped to 7,400, a 99% year-on-year decrease and 17th straight month of decline.

“Due to the spread of COVID-19 late in January, many countries imposed overseas travel restrictions and Japan imposed stricter quarantine restrictions and invalidated visas among other measures,” said the JNTO.

The organisation noted that international tourist travel remains stagnant due to the pandemic, and Japan continues close observation of each country’s travel restrictions and market trends.