Macau’s Health Bureau has underlined the necessity of requiring casino guests to submit negative COVID-19 test results before entering the gaming floor, stating Macau’s casinos would need to close again if any confirmed cases are found.
Guangdong removed mandatory quarantine on visitors returning from Macau on 15 July, with Macau authorities announcing at the same time a requirement for all guests to provide negative test results from the previous seven days when entering casino floors or VIP rooms.
The policy has created some unrest among local citizens, who argue the policy is unnecessary because Macau has no active cases and visitors require a negative test just to enter the SAR in the first place.
But Health Bureau officials explained on Tuesday that even though Macau has not recorded any new locally transmitted cases for over four months, the global situation remains concerning.
“The gaming industry is the most important industry in Macau,” the Health Bureau said. “Generally, people stay on casino floors for a longer time than other places, so that the risk of spreading the virus would be higher than in other places.
“Many infected people do not show obvious symptoms. It is hard to guarantee that Macau does not have any hidden patients at this moment.
“We have the conditions to keep a close eye on the preventive works of casinos.”
Despite requiring negative virus test results, all casinos must also check each guest’s body temperature at entrances while enhancing disinfection measures on casino floors.
Between 50,000 and 60,000 casino frontline workers will also receive a one-off virus test, with all 25,000 workers from Sands China and SJM Holdings having completed their tests last week.