As reported by all of the major news outlets, Macau-based brick and mortar casinos were the first to be negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic. As a direct result of the virus outbreak in China, all Macau casinos were forced to temporarily shut down their doors for fifteen days as one of the measures employed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus outbreak in the area.
As of today, Macau-based casino operators are facing new challenges following the local government imposing entry limits to visitors to these casinos in order to minimize the spread of the coronavirus. In late March, Macau’s officials and the government announced that they have decided to bar entry to all visitors to Macau casinos who are not residents of Macau and to those who have visited other countries in the previous two weeks.
New Measures to Minimize Spread of the Coronavirus
Very similar restrictions related to visitor entry limits to casino facilities were imposed on all international arrivals just last week, but visitors from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China had not been included in these measures. However, Macau’s government has been forced to employ new measures and to act quickly after it was confirmed that several new cases of COVID-19 were brought into this area of China.
As reported, these new COVID-19 infection cases were brought by individuals who had contacted the highly-contagious virus outside of the special administrative region of China. Before Macau’s government employed these measures, Hong Kong announced that it will employ similar restrictions concerning international arrivals including visitors from Macau. As of late March, returning residents of Macau, as well as residents of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China who have visited any foreign counties in the past fourteen days, have to spend fourteen days in quarantine after arriving in Macau.
Eight Hotels Turned to Temporarily Medical Facilities
Residents of mainland China who have not visited other countries including Taiwan and Hong Kong will have to undergo medical checkups at facilities that are operated by Macau’s government. Moreover, Macau’s government also announced that the Grand Lapa Hotel will act as a temporary medical facility for observing patients infected by the virus and for observing those who may be infected.
This temporary medical facility or the four hundred and the thirty-five-room hotel is actually the eighth venue of this kind to be designated by Macau’s government as a medical facility which brings the number of rooms at the disposal for treating COVID-19 patients to almost two thousand and two hundred. All of these two thousand rooms are used for treating critically-ill COVID-19 patients who have developed serious complications such as pneumonia.
Commenting on the news about entry limits to visitors to casinos in Macau, chief executive for the region Ho Iat Seng decided to cast some shade at hotel facilities who had not offered their hotel rooms for medical use despite the fact that Macau’s government is willing to pay the full room fees. He said that the government does not want to utilize hotel venues in those integrated resorts until necessary and until the last minute, but it is really challenging to deal with the shortage of medical facilities today. He also added that the government would appreciate every hotel that agrees to give its space for medical purposes.