Macau closes casinos as city enters week-long lockdown

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Residents line up to get tested for the coronavirus in Macau last week.



Hong Kong-Macau’s Gambling Enclave Will enter citywide lockdown early MondayAs officials seek to stop a spiraling Covid-19 outbreak.

Apart from restaurants selling essential services such as supermarkets, healthcare facilities and takeaway, all other businesses have been ordered to close for a week, requiring residents to stay at home. City officials urged the public not to panic, buy food, asking people to shop in queues at staggered times to enable social distancing.

The order issued on Saturday by the region’s chief executive officer Ho Iat-seung reads Macau struggles to contain outbreak Which had already closed down places like cinemas, salons and swimming pools. The Chinese gambling center has reported hundreds of cases in recent weeks, most in keeping with China’s zero-Covid strategy for the pandemic as its worst outbreak.

Previously, Mr. Ho had said that closing all casinos “will affect many employees,” and thus the city’s more than 40 casinos were allowed to continue operating. Macau gambling depends on the region for most of its economic growth and employment.

Macau has a population of about 650,000. During the pandemic, it has maintained strict COVID-prevention measures. At one point, the quarantine for travelers from what it deemed to countries at high risk was up to 28 days.

The lockdown order specified that all adults who need to step out of their homes will be required to wear a KN95-standard or above mask. Those violating that order could be jailed.

write to Natasha Khan

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