The Macau government has begun on Thursday (July 16) the testing for Covid-19 virus for the city’s casino staff, industry insiders confirmed to GGRAsia. The testing, starting with so-called front-line workers, was part of new precautionary measures for anyone entering gaming venues in Macau, according to the local authorities.
Cloee Chao, head of local gaming labour activist group New Macau Gaming Staff Rights Association, told GGRAsia that she understood some of the city’s casino employees had already taken on Thursday the government-arranged virus test at their respective place of work.
“The virus testing is taking place at exposition halls or ballrooms” within the casino resorts run by the city’s gaming operators, said Ms Chao.
“What we understood is that gaming staff that have direct contact with customers – including dealers, security officers, cage workers and gaming floor waiters – have all been informed by their companies to take the test,” she added.
The nucleic acid testing for casino staff will be done in batches, and front-line workers, such as casino dealers, cage workers and security staff, would be prioritised, according to a previous government statement. The Macau government has so far not released an official list detailing the “front-line” casino employees that will be prioritised for the first round of testing.
“The Health Bureau, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau and the gaming operators are in close contact, and are working to conduct the virus testing gradually. We can conduct the tests the soonest by tomorrow [July 16] on the first batch of front-line [casino] staff,” said a Health Bureau official, Leong Iek Hou, during a Wednesday regular press briefing on Macau government’s response measures to Covid-19.
On Monday, the gaming regulator said that all patrons entering the city’s casinos would be required not only to have their body temperature measured and to display a health-declaration statement, but also have to present a certificate of a “valid nucleic acid test” proving freedom from Covid-19. The new measure was applied from Wednesday.
These new steps have been announced concurrently with relaxations of quarantine arrangements – in effect from 6am on Wednesday – between Macau and Guangdong province.
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