Casino hub Macao heads toward business as usual after COVID-19 tests find no new infections

HONG KONG: Authorities in Macao said the world’s biggest casino hub, blighted by a COVID-19 outbreak, is on track to return to relative normality after two rounds of mass COVID-19 tests last week found no new infections.

The Chinese territory had been observing COVID-19 safety measures without any strict lockdowns until it found an imported coronavirus case on Oct 26. In a statement on its website on Sunday (Nov 6), it said it recorded 10 cases in the current outbreak, two of which it considered imported.

“The current round of the epidemic has been effectively controlled … Community safety of Macao has been safeguarded,” the government said.

Authorities allowed casino MGM Cotai, operated by MGM China Holdings, to reopen on Nov 2 after locking it down for three days with more than 1,500 people inside due to a casino dealer who had been infected with COVID-19.

The territory closely follows the “dynamic zero” coronavirus policy of China’s central government in Beijing which seeks to immediately curb any outbreaks.

The city has an open border with mainland China and many people live and work in neighbouring Zhuhai. People crossing the border still require testing for the virus, and all international arrivals are subject to seven days hotel quarantine.