December 2, 2022

Macao shuts most businesses as Covid cases surge, but casinos stay open

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But while most businesses are closed, casinos remain open.

The trial of about 600,000 Macau residents is expected to end on Tuesday. The former Portuguese colony under Chinese rule adheres to China’s strict zero-cove policy aimed at eradicating all epidemics at any cost.

The Macau government announced in a Facebook post that 31 cases were recorded at the casino center on Sunday, ending eight months of zero infections.

City officials have begun closing schools, tourist attractions, cultural sites and all unnecessary businesses. The restaurant has been ordered to suspend food services.

Casinos have been allowed to remain open, however, analysts say their bottom line will still be affected as the government urges residents not to visit recreational areas.

Macau is completely closed to all visitors except residents of Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China. Most of them should be quarantined for 10 days upon arrival, although there are some exceptions to low-risk areas in mainland China.

The sanctions threaten the business model at the heart of Macau’s economy, which is traditionally dependent on millions of visitors from mainland China.

Shares of Macau Casino fell on Monday morning. Sands China led the slide, falling more than 8% in the biggest decline since March 15.

The Macau government relies on casinos for more than 80% of its income, with the majority of the population working directly or indirectly in the casino industry.

Macau’s chief executive, Ho It Seng, said in a statement on the government’s website that the outbreak was “sudden, the cases are spreading rapidly, and the source is still unknown.”

In response to Macau’s outbreak, the neighboring city of Zhuhai in southern Guangdong Province – where many Macau residents live and work – has imposed a seven-day quarantine on everyone coming from the gambling center. Gave



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