Macau to reopen as no COVID-19 cases detected for 9 days
MACAU will reopen public services and entertainment facilities, and allow dining-in at restaurants from today, authorities said, as the world’s biggest gambling hub seeks a return to normalcy after finding no COVID-19 cases for nine straight days.
Beauty salons, fitness centers, and bars too will be allowed to resume operations, the government said in a statement yesterday. The announcement came as authorities also reported that July monthly casino revenues dropped 95 percent year on year to 0.4 billion patacas (US$49.5 million), the lowest on record.
Casinos were closed for 12 days in July, reopening on July 23 as authorities began unwinding stringent measures which required most businesses and premises to shut.
Macau has reported around 1,800 infections since midJune when it was hit with its worst coronavirus outbreak that forced the closure of casinos and locked down most of the Chinese city.
Despite reopening, there is likely to be no business for at least a few weeks, analysts said, due to strict restrictions still in place.
Health authorities will require residents to wear masks when they go out and must show a negative coronavirus test within three days to enter most venues.
“There have been no community infection cases in Macau for nine consecutive days ... and the risk of the
spread of the coronavirus has been greatly reduced,” the government said.
This is the first time Macau has had to grapple with the fast-spreading Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
More than 90 percent of Macau’s residents are fully vaccinated against COVID19.
Meanwhile, Groups deemed having higher risks of infecting the virus will continue to
take free nucleic acid tests for six days starting Tuesday, the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Center of Macao said on Monday.