Macau’s CE says casinos to stay open for now

Macau, Ho Iat Seng
Macau Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng

Macau Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng said there is no plan to close Macau’s casinos despite the four new Delta variant cases discovered on Tuesday.

The SAR’s Chief Executive said Wednesday that the four new patients had not been infected at a casino or integrated resort, differentiating the conditions from those resulting in the casino closures in February of 2020.

Asia Gaming Brief asked Macau’s gaming watchdog if it was coordinating with Macau’s gaming operators in the event that their properties (or part thereof) were declared Red or Yellow zones. The bureau noted that it would “strictly abide by the SAR government’s anti-epidemic policy” and that if there were any updates on the prevention guidelines the bureau would “coordinate with the companies to make timely adjustments”.

The closure of the casinos would require a mandate from the chief executive similar to that which comes into effect at midnight on Wednesday, which closes all cinemas, bars, saunas, gyms, nightclubs and similar entertainment and leisure establishments.

Macau is now requiring a negative nucleic acid test result, taken within 12 hours, for entry or exit to Macau via any land-based border. Negative nucleic acid test results taken within 48 hours are required for entry via the airport. China is the only region from which Macau is allowing quarantine-free entry, with numerous restrictions on regions which are deemed to be of medium or high risk.