A total of 37 casinos and 80% of Macau’s gaming tables have now resumed operations after the 30-day grace period announced by the government upon the re-opening of casinos on 20 February came to an end overnight.
Around 5,400 gaming tables have now been officially allowed permitted to open for use of a total 6,739 tables city-wide, with the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) having originally limited the number of tables allowed to open on any casino floor to no more than half to ensure adequate space between tables.
That followed an enforced 15-day closure of all gaming operations, including casinos, across the city from 5 to 20 February in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The DICJ revealed Thursday that Macau Jockey Club Casino has since applied to remain closed in order to undergo renovations, while the gaming licenses of Macau Palace and Greek Mythology casinos have long been suspended.
Casino Taipa was also shut down on Thursday, and the government requisitioned the Regency Art Hotel as one of its mandatory quarantine stations.
The re-opening of Macau’s casinos on 20 February saw operators granted a 30-day grace period to resume operations, while the limit on gaming tables allowed to open was one of numerous measures introduced to improve health and safety amid coronavirus concerns. They included leaving adequate space between each table and activated slot machine to avoid mass gatherings, limiting the number of players allowed to sit at any one gaming table to four, a requirement for all staff and guests to wear a face masks on gaming floors, mandatory temperature scanning at all entrances, prohibiting eating and drinking on gaming tables, increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting gaming facilities, and guests having to declare their health status and travel history before entering.
The DICJ said these restrictions will remain beyond the grace period and will strengthen inspections to ensure operators and guests comply with all restrictions.
The Tourism Crisis Management Office has issued a Level 2 Travel alert to all overseas countries or territories strongly urging residents to avoid non-essential travel during this period.
As for the mandatory 14-day quarantine, residents returning from any overseas country will be sent to the Pousada Marina Infante, Golden Crown China Hotel or the Regency Art Hotel once arriving in the city, with homestay self-quarantine no longer allowed. At least one more hotel will be announced as a quarantine venue in the coming days.