Macau Shuts Down Malls and Casinos Over COVID Outbreak

Macao authorities on Tuesday shut down shopping malls, casinos, and several zones or buildings in a race to control the biggest outbreak in the biggest gambling hub in the world. 

Macao, under China’s “zero-COVID” policy, has reported over 1,000 COVID-19 infections since mid-June and over 14,000 people in mandatory quarantine.  

According to reports, authorities locked down a famous shopping mall adjacent to China’s MGM casino resort on the city’s main peninsula, One Central shopping mall, the Grand Lisboa with more than 500 people inside, a shopping mall inside the Four Seasons hotel, and over a dozen zones or buildings. 

Authorities also asked more than 600,000 residents to stay at home when possible and required them to take part in three citywide COVID-19 tests this week and to take rapid antigen tests in between the laboratory tests. 

Reports said the city is effectively closed, with most facilities shut and restaurants only providing takeaway. 

Government officials said Macau casinos with few patrons and only a small number of staff were allowed to stay open to protect jobs as most of the population directly or indirectly work for the casino resorts. 

Macao had been COVID-free since the October 2021 outbreak. 

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