Macau carries out mass COVID-19 tests, but casinos remain open
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The world’s top gambling hub today, Macau began mass testing of COVID-19 this week, following numerous locally transmitted cases over the weekend. Most of the businesses closed their doors, however, Macau’s casinos remain open.

The expectation is that the testing of the 600 thousand residents will end this Tuesday, 21. Remembering that the region has adhered to the strict zero COVID-19 policy imposed in China, which intends to eliminate all outbreaks.

The casino center recorded 31 cases last Sunday, 19, ending an eight-month period without infections, according to information from the Macau government. Authorities began to act by closing tourist and cultural attractions, educational institutions and other non-essential businesses.

However, the casinos were allowed to remain operating, but analysts point out that results are yet to be achieved, as the government has asked residents not to frequent leisure places.

The region is completely closed to all visitors except residents of Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China. Most are quarantined for 10 days on arrival, although some low-risk places in China are exempt from this requirement.

Impact of COVID-19 outbreak on Macau casinos

These regulations threatened Macau’s economic model, which depends on millions of visitors from China. Shares in local casinos plummeted on Monday. According to CNN Brasil, Sands China led the way, registering 8% in the biggest loss since March 15. MGM China, Wynn Macau, Galaxy Entertainment, Melco and SJM Holdings were all down between 4% and 7%.

It should be noted that the Macau government depends on casinos for more than 80% of its income, with most residents working directly or indirectly in the gambling sector.

The growth in cases occurred suddenly, spreading rapidly, and the source is still unknown, according to a statement on the government website signed by Macau’s Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng.

In parallel with the outbreak in Macau, the neighboring region of Zhurai in southern Guangdong province – where many Macau residents live and work – imposed a mandatory one-week quarantine for anyone arriving from the gambling centre.