The iconic Grand Lisboa casino and hotel property of SJM Holdings in Macau has been locked down by the local authorities, after they found over a dozen cases of Covid-19 there on July 5th. Reportedly, the infection has been rapidly spreading across the world’s largest gambling destination, with no less than 16 other buildings across the special administrative region (SAR) also shut as a result.
So far, over 13,000 people were placed under quarantine orders by Macau authorities, as the SAR is trying to tackle its largest coronavirus outbreak since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Since mid-June, the former Portuguese colony has recorded over 900 coronavirus cases, while being largely free of the infection since the latest coronavirus outbreak in October 2021.
The Grand Lisboa has become the second casino hotel subject to a lockdown cover over the last few weeks. The gambling and hospitality complex, owned by SJM Holdings, is currently one of the most popular landmarks in Macau. Now, the property has been sealed off, with people dressed in protective suits and equipment standing outside.
As CasinoGamesPro previously reported, the Macau Government has decided not to go as far as a full-scale lockdown in the special administrative region such as the one in other Chinese cities, most facilities here remain closed.
Macau Government Calls for Residents to Stay at Home, While Casinos Remain Open
Since the beginning of the latest outbreak of the coronavirus, the Government of Macau has asked local residents to stay at home as much as possible, with mass-testing has been taking place across the city. People are required to take Covid-19 and rapid antigen tests weekly.
Recently, CasinoGamesPro revealed that Macau casinos have been among the few entities allowed to remain open as part of the Government’s efforts to ensure job stability, not to mention that the special administrative region’s coffers are still very much reliant on the local gambling industry, as the later generates over 80% of the overall tax revenue. In addition, most of Macau’s population is currently employed directly or indirectly by the local casino resorts.
The situation, however, remains serious for the gambling industry as well. While most casino venues in Macau are physically open, few people now visit them, and the staff number has been reduced to a minimum, with a large number of employees asked to stay at home in line with the Government’s policy. As previously reported, the former Portuguese colony sticks to the zero-Covid policy of China’s Central Government that is aimed at tackling all coronavirus outbreaks as efficiently as it can, as opposed to a global trend of other nations that are trying to learn how to co-exist with the virus without excessive restrictions and new shutdowns at all levels of the economy.
Although the country has been following a strict zero-Covid policy, the coronavirus cases in some cities continue to grow, with the Government of mainland China reporting 527 new cases on July 5th, in comparison to 413 on the day before.