Authorities in Macau and Zhuhai say they will continue up to and including December 7, a requirement that all people crossing between Macau and Zhuhai, the next door city in mainland China’s Guangdong province, hold a nucleic acid test certificate issued within 24 hours proving they are ‘negative’ for Covid-19 infection.
The measure had been introduced from 3pm on November 16, in response to an uptick in Covid-19 infections in Guangdong, and had been due to run until November 23. It was then extended for a week until Wednesday (November 30).
The cross-border liaison system responsible for the initial tightening of travel protocols – known as the “Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism between Zhuhai and Macau” – announced the extension in a Wednesday update.
In recent weeks, Macau recorded some cases of Covid-19 infection among people who at the time of diagnosis had been present in the community, rather than in quarantine. One of the latest involved a 33-year-old man from mainland China that had visited the casino at StarWorld, a property run by Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd.
Across the border, there has also been a spike in new cases of Covid-19. The Zhuhai health authorities reported an aggregate of almost 100 new cases in the seven-day period ending on Tuesday.
On Wednesday (November 30), the Macau government announced that everyone living in Macau needs to do a rapid antigen test (RAT) for three consecutive days inclusive of that date, in case of “hidden” Covid-19 infection within the local community and to lower the risk that any pool of infection might otherwise spread.
Last Friday, the Macau government tightened its Covid-19 testing requirements for front-line casino staff. Table games dealers, as well as security staff and cleaners working inside any casino, are now required to do a nucleic acid test every four days, proving their Covid-19 ‘negative’ status. These workers also must do a rapid antigen test every four days.
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"We [estimate] that these illegal [currency exchange] transactions account for somewhere between 50 percent to 60 percent [of Macau's annual gross gaming revenue]”
Managing partner at IGamiX Management and Consulting