The authorities of the Chinese district of Macau, which is the largest gambling center in the world, have abandoned the requirement to wear masks against coronavirus for most places, with the exception of public transport and hospitals.
This is stated in a statement on the website of the district government.
“It is no longer necessary for all people who are outdoors to wear masks. Drivers and passengers of vehicles (except taxis) should continue to wear masks, for other enclosed spaces and vehicles, the competent authority should make a decision in accordance with the current epidemic situation,” the Macao administration said in a statement.
At the same time, the requirement to wear masks remains for visitors to nursing homes and rehabilitation institutions. The competent authorities have the right to introduce a private requirement to wear masks — for example, for people with symptoms of SARS. Infants and children under three years old are not required to wear masks when entering anywhere.
Macao residents were advised to have masks with them so that they could be put on if necessary, that is, when symptoms of coronavirus appear — sore throat, cough, runny nose and others.
In 2021, Macau casinos fell by $14 billion due to the expectation of new rules for gambling establishments announced by Beijing. The shares of the Sands China casino operator collapsed by 30%, the Wynn Macau securities fell by 27.5%, which was the sharpest drop in the company’s history. Then the authorities introduced new restrictions for casino operators, including the appointment of representatives of state bodies to “supervise” the companies. In July 2022, Macau casino shares fell again amid the closure of almost all premises due to coronavirus.
The Hong Kong district neighboring Macau is in no hurry to give up masks against coronavirus infection. The Hong Kong authorities plan to test the entire population for this infection in March — up to 1 million people will take the test per day with a population of 7.5 million, while each resident will have to take the test three times within three weeks. Hong Kong has upheld the requirement to wear a mask, introduced in 2020.