All Macau Casino Staff Must Undergo COVID-19 Testing From July 15

  • Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) announced new measure on Tuesday
  • Tests will be done in batches, with priority given to casino dealers and security staff
  • Macau government will be supporting one-off testing costs, could conduct 16,000 tests daily
  • Casino patrons subject to extensive checks before entering facility, must present test certificate
  • Quarantine restrictions for Macau-Guangdong travelers eased, Hong Kong “health passport” plan under review

woman in car wearing mask about to be swab tested for coronavirus by a health professional wearing PPE
Macau’s government has mandated a one-off COVID-19 test for all casino workers on the island. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Taking precautionary measures

The gambling regulator in Macau has announced that all casino staff will have to get tested for COVID-19 as a precautionary measure. The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) said on Tuesday that coronavirus testing will come into effect on July 15. 

priority given to those workers who interact with the public

The DICJ will be working together with Macau’s health authorities to organize nucleic acid testing for all casino employees. Tests will be administered in batches, with priority given to those workers who interact with the public, such as table game dealers and security personnel.

Coronavirus testing capacity

The Macau government will be supporting the cost of these one-off tests, which will not be administered to staff every time they enter the workplace. While no timeline was announced, a Health Bureau official did say that testing will begin “very soon”. 

the ability to conduct 16,000 tests daily

The authorities are still liaising with the six major gaming operators about the most efficient way to test. The government says it has the ability to conduct 16,000 of these tests daily. It is currently testing between 4,000 and 6,000 individuals every day.

The Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre is the task force in charge of COVID-19 testing in Macau. There is talk of the possibility of adding a third testing facility on the island.

Additional measures announced

The DICJ also announced Monday that any person entering a casino in Macau will have to get their body temperature taken, provide a health-declaration statement, and hold a certificate for a recent “valid nucleic acid test” proving they do not have COVID-19. Test certification will be required from patrons starting Wednesday.

The goal behind the latest requirements is to help stop the spread of the virus and to protect casino workers and patrons alike. 

most people headed to Guangdong from Macau will no longer have to undergo a 14-day quarantine

Quarantine restrictions for people traveling between Macau and the Chinese mainland province of Guangdong will also be relaxed. This means that most people headed to Guangdong from Macau will no longer have to undergo a 14-day quarantine period upon their return. Last year, 46% of all visits to Macau came from this neighboring province.

Macau is also working with the authorities in Hong Kong to ease travel restrictions, with a “health passport” plan currently under review.

To date, there have been 46 confirmed cases of the virus in Macau, with no reported deaths. The casino sector has seen its visitor numbers and gaming revenue figures tumble as a result of the travel restrictions that were imposed following the outbreak of COVID-19.

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