Macao to extend casino closures due to COVID lockdowns

The casino closures in Macao that were expected to expire on Monday will now be extended until Friday, July 22.

The casino shutdown went into effect on July 11.

A COVID-19 outbreak has largely restricted people to their homes.

All businesses have been ordered to shut with the only exceptions being supermarkets and essential services.

MACAO TO SHUTTER CASINOS FOR A WEEK

Residents must stay home unless they fit into food, shopping or essential categories.

Croupiers stand at a Sic Bo gaming table inside a casino at the Sands Cotai Central in Macao. ((AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File) / AP Newsroom)

Macao, a semi-autonomous Chinese region like nearby Hong Kong, is following a version of China’s “zero-COVID” strategy.

That involves locking down that have cases and rounds of mass testing to find and isolate infected individuals.

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Macao, a city of 680,000 people is facing its first sizable outbreak of the pandemic.

Venetian Macao casino

The Venetian Macao casino resorts in Macao. The Asian gambling center of Macao will close all its casinos for a week Monday, July 11, and begin largely restricting people to their homes as it tries to stop a COVID-19 outbreak that has infected more t ( (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File) / AP Newsroom)

Macau has recorded around 1,700 coronavirus infections since mid-June. More than 20,000 people are in mandatory quarantine, according to Reuters.

Anyone going out must wear a mask, with adults required to use an N95 or equivalent one.

The measures announced a week ago expanding on restrictions that have been in place since June 23.

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The casinos now join an earlier order that closed hair salons, gyms, cinemas, bars, nightclubs and other entertainment venues and banned dining in restaurants, limiting them to takeout or delivery.

Macao gaming

FILE – A croupier counts the chips at a baccarat gaming table inside a casino at the Sands Cotai Central in Macao, Sept. 20, 2012. The Asian gambling center of Macao will close all its casinos for a week starting Monday, July 11, and largely restrict ( (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File))

Entering 2022, six licensed operators run 42 casinos in Macao, including Sands China, SJM Holdings, Wynn Macau, Galaxy Entertainment Group, MGM China Holdings and Melco Crown Entertainment.

Macao’s economy is heavily dependent on its casinos and related businesses.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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