Macau to close casinos for a week amid COVID-19 outbreak
BEIJING (AP) — Macau’s Asian gaming center will close all of its casinos for a week starting Monday and largely restrict people to their homes as it tries to stop a COVID-19 outbreak that has infected more than 1,400 people in the last three weeks
BEIJING (AP) — Macau’s Asian gaming center will close all of its casinos for a week starting Monday and largely restrict people to their homes as it tries to stop a COVID-19 outbreak that has infected more than 1,400 people in the past three weeks.
All businesses have been ordered to close, except supermarkets and others providing essential services. Residents should stay home unless they need to go out, such as to shop for food or to work in an area deemed essential.
Macau, a semi-autonomous Chinese region like nearby Hong Kong, is facing its first major outbreak of the pandemic. The city of 680,000 people recorded 93 new cases on Saturday, bringing the total for the ongoing outbreak to 1,467.
The former Portuguese colony has followed a version of China’s « zero-COVID » strategy, locking down buildings that have cases and carrying out repeated rounds of mass testing to find and isolate those infected.
Authorities have warned that police will patrol the streets and that violators will face penalties, according to Macau media. Everyone going out must wear a mask, adults must use an N95 or equivalent.
The measures, announced on Saturday, extend the restrictions in place since June 23. The previous order closed hair salons, gyms, cinemas, bars, nightclubs and other places of entertainment and banned eating in restaurants, limiting them to takeout or delivery.
Macau’s economy is heavily dependent on its casinos and related businesses, which have been hit hard by the pandemic. Gambling revenues recovered somewhat last year, but remain well below pre-pandemic levels.
The Associated Press