Macau Casinos Cleared to Reopen After Coronavirus Shutdown

  • City's government has given the green light for casinos to reopen on Thursday, February 20
  • 15-day shutdown was enforced to stop the deadly coronavirus spreading throughout the region
  • Other entertainment premises like bars and cinemas will remain closed
  • No new cases have been confirmed in Macau since the casino closure was announced
open blue door and sunshine
Macau casinos will reopen on February 20 after being closed for 15 days due to fears of the deadly coronavirus spreading. [Image:]

Reopening on February 20

Macau casinos have been given the green light to reopen their doors after a 15-day shutdown due to the coronavirus epidemic in the region. As no new cases of the virus have been confirmed in the region since casinos were closed on February 5, gaming venues can open for business on February 20.

no new cases of the virus have been confirmed in the region since casinos were closed on February 5

Casinos are the biggest business sector by a long way on the island, which is why they are reopening. Around 60% of the local economy is directly attributable to the casino sector. The likes of nightclubs, cinemas, gyms, beauty salons, game rooms, and internet cafes will remain closed. 

Ten confirmed cases of coronavirus prompted the temporary closure. While some people are still undergoing tests, the lack of new confirmed cases is a good sign. It allows the island’s 41 casinos to get back to business.

Welcome news for operators

Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai-nong confirmed that the closure would not be extended.

The news was welcomed by operators as they have been losing out on significant revenue each day that their casinos have been closed. If any casinos are not ready to reopen their doors, these facilities can apply for a 30-day delay, according to a statement issued by the local government. 

Li Weinong also outlined some measures that casinos can take to protect patrons going forward. This includes a larger distance between gaming tables and a system to check the body temperatures of patrons who enter the premises. Fever is one of the main symptoms of coronavirus. As well as these measures, patrons are being urged to wear masks. 

71,000+ confirmed cases

The battle against the coronavirus epidemic is ongoing in mainland China. To date, more than 71,000 cases have been confirmed. The majority of these cases are can be traced to the province of Hubei. 

Over 1,700 people have died from coronavirus in China to date. Of the 10 people confirmed to have the virus in Macau, five of them have made a full recovery, with the remaining five people continuing to receive medical attention. All five are in a stable condition.

It is inevitable that Macau casino revenues will continue to be severely impacted by the epidemic. There are strict restrictions on people entering the island and the Hong Kong ferry has also been suspended. 

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