Macau Reopens After Nine Days Of Zero COVID-19 Cases, Reinstates Quarantine-Free Travel With Mainland China

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Macau has reopened beauty salons, fitness centres, bars, and other entertainment facilities along with public services from 2 August, after nine straight days of no COVID-19 cases.

On 1 August, the Macau government said in a statement, “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.”

People in the Special Administrative Region will also be allowed to dine in at restaurants.

Macau reopening but with caution

Casinos suffered heavy losses

Image credit: Renato Marques/@renatomarques/Unsplash

Macau (or Macao), the world’s biggest gambling hub before the pandemic, suffered heavy losses due to the stringent shutdown of the city following a sudden rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in mid-June 2022.

Casinos began reopening on 23 July, after remaining shut for 12 days as part of a strict Macao government policy, which is in line with China’s zero-COVID mandate.

According to Reuters, the government said that July monthly casino revenues were the lowest on record. Revenues dropped 95 percent year on year to 0.4 billion patacas (USD 49.5 million).

The report also says that the licenses of Melco Resorts, MGM China, Galaxy Entertainment, Sands China, SJM Holdings and Wynn Macau — the six current casino license holders in Macau — will expire by the end of 2022.

A year before the outbreak of COVID-19 around the world in 2020, the casinos earned USD 36 billion in revenue.

Restrictions not completely removed

Since mid-June, Macau has reported around 1,800 infections. But despite the reopening, several restrictions will remain in place.

Over 90 percent of the residents are fully vaccinated but are required to wear masks whenever they go out. They will also have to produce a negative coronavirus test report taken within three days to be able to enter most of the open venues.

At the moment, Macau is open only to residents from Hong Kong SAR, Taiwan and mainland China. It resumed its quarantine-free travel with the neighbouring mainland city of Zhuhai only today. Those departing Macau for Zhuhai must produce a certificate stating a negative COVID-19 test within the past 24 hours, and take two additional tests within three days of arriving.

This story first appeared on Travel + Leisure India

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