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Global Times

Macao to close amusement venues, second time since epidemic began

Global Times

By Global Times Published: Aug 04, 2021 06:17 PM

Starting from Thursday, Macao Special Administrative Region will close some of its amusement venues after four COVID-19 infections were discovered. This marks the second time the city has shut down its amusement facilities since the epidemic began.

Amusement venues including cinemas, theaters, massage parlors and night clubs in the city will be closed to prevent the virus from spreading, the COVID-19 coordination center in Macao announced on Wednesday.

Ho Iat Seng, Chief Executive of Macao SAR said casinos are not included into the policy as the SAR government will not take one-size-fits-all policy. The reason for closing amusement venues and not casinos is because wearing masks in former places cannot be guaranteed. If any casino reports a new case, the government will immediately close it.

Macao will likely return to normality in 14 days if the city has no unidentified source of transmission, Ho said.

The last time Macao closed its amusement venues, including casinos, was in February 2020, it lasted for 15 days.

Gaming stocks suffered a setback on Wednesday morning in the wake of the Macao local infections. Wynn Macau Ltd (01128) fell 6.39 percent; SJM Holdings (00880) fell 5.82 percent; Galaxy Entertainment (00027) declined 5.2 percent; and Sands China Ltd (01928) fell 4.82 percent as of press time.

The four COVID-19 infections are from one family. Prior to their confirmation, the father and the mother had been to Zhuhai and Zhongshan in South China's Guangdong Province and their daughter had travelled to Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

The gene sequencing showed the four were infected with the Delta mutated variant, according to the official website of the Macao SAR government.

Macao acted swiftly after the four infections by rolling out mass nucleic acid tests throughout the city. A total of 41 testing stations will run 24 hours starting from Wednesday to test all residents and tourists in Macao within three days.

Before Macao announced the shutdown, activities within museums, libraries and cultural venues were immediately cancelled.

People who intend to leave Macao must hold negative nucleic acid test results taken within 24 hours. Media reports said long queues in front of testing stations were seen on Tuesday night.

Along with the city-wide tests in Macao, Zhuhai, where the confirmed patients in Macao had been to, also started to test all its residents starting from Tuesday night, the anti-epidemic team in Zhuhai said.

Starting from Wednesday, Hong Kong SAR also announced those from Macao or had been to Macao in recent 14 days will face a 14-day home quarantine and mandatory testing for five times.



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