China’s Macau has closed the doors of all its casinos due to the outbreak of the latest coronavirus pandemic to date. Otherwise, more than 90 percent of the 600,000 inhabitants of this city are fully vaccinated.
Macau has closed all casinos for the first time in more than two years due to the largest outbreak of new corona virus infections to date. For at least five days, 30 areas in the city have been completely closed, no one is allowed to enter or leave.
The city, which has more than 30 casinos, closed all casinos for a week and ordered people to stay at home, but exits were allowed for emergency services. The government has announced that the police will control people in public, and severe penalties have been announced for breaking the rules.
Although many casinos have already been closed for the past three weeks, and only a minimal number of employees are working, the drastic measures of closure have greatly shaken the confidence of investors. Some analysts predict that gaming revenue will not return to normal levels until the end of the third quarter or the beginning of the fourth.
Since mid-June, around 1,500 people infected with the new corona virus have been confirmed in Macau, and around 19,000 people are in quarantine. More than 30 areas in the city are under complete lockdown, meaning no one can enter or leave them for at least five days, as authorities follow Beijing’s zero-tolerance policy on Covid.
Macau casinos were last closed in February 2020 for 15 days. The government previously opposed the closure to protect jobs. Most of the jobs in the city are directly and indirectly related to the gaming industry, which also accounts for more than 80 percent of state revenues.
The authorities are facing increasing criticism for their handling of the epidemic. Fights broke out at some testing centers and some residents waited more than 20 hours to access health services. Residents will have to be tested for the new corona virus four times this week, and six times from mid-June. An increase in rapid tests is expected, according to Reuters.