Posted on: November 28, 2022, 10:06h.
Last updated on: November 28, 2022, 10:48h.
Macau casino employees who work directly with guests have been told they must undergo testing for COVID-19 every four days.
Customer-facing casino workers in Macau had previously been required to undergo testing only once a week. The more stringent testing protocol comes after China battles yet another major COVID-19 outbreak on the mainland.
China on Monday confirmed more than 40K new COVID-19 cases. Though the vast majority of the infections are reportedly asymptomatic, with only 4,000 individuals presenting complications from the respiratory virus, China is again ordering severe lockdowns in numerous cities across the mainland. That’s resulted in sporadic protests against the draconian pandemic response measures, a rarity in the People’s Republic.
Mainland authorities dispatched large numbers of law officers to several cities where protests of the government’s lockdowns were initiated. The demonstrations were held in several large cities, including in Beijing and Shanghai.
The bulk of the roughly 50K people who work at Macau’s casinos will need to undergo two COVID-19 tests every four days to determine if they’re safely able to perform their duties.
Two Tests Every Four Days
Asian-focused gaming media outlet GGRAsia broke the news on Monday that Macau casino workers will now be subject to testing every four days instead of every seven days. Each employee must undergo a rapid antigen test and a nucleic acid test every 96 hours.
The regulatory change was relayed by the New Macau Gaming Staff Rights Association, the largest gaming labor union in the enclave. Once the individual receives their negative test results and uploads the findings to the Health Code online application, the person is cleared to work.
The testing mandate applies to all casino floor workers, including table game dealers, slot machine attendants, cocktail servers, cage workers, and floor supervisors. The testing requirement was put in place effective immediately.
The testing measure comes after Macau on Saturday announced that its six current casino operators will be permitted to continue running their operations for at least another 10 years through Dec. 31, 2033.
Macau health authorities over the weekend confirmed that a 33-year-old male visiting the casino hub from the mainland tested positive for COVID-19. The man reportedly visited and gambled at the StarWorld Hotel, a casino resort operated by Galaxy Entertainment.
The infected tourist only checked into StarWorld but did not spend the night there,” said Elsie Ao Ieong, Macau’s secretary of Social Affairs and Culture. “In our opinion, he did not have contact with many people, nor did he visit many places. Therefore, we did not think it was necessary to place the hotel under control measures.”
StarWorld has remained open despite the man walking through the casino with COVID-19. MGM Cotai wasn’t granted such a privilege late last month after a table game dealer tested positive.
MGM Cotai was shuttered for three days in response to the employee’s positive test result. The cessation of operations applied to the casino, as well as the resort’s restaurants, spa, fitness complex, swimming pools, and retail shops.