As of Feb. 27

Macau Gov. drops Covid-19 mask mandate for most locations, casinos no longer requiring them

Reading time 1:28 min

Authorities in Macau said on Sunday they would drop COVID 19-related mask requirements for most locations, except for public transportation, hospitals and a handful of other areas. The rule change took effect today, Monday, February 27.

Casino operators are dropping requirements for clients and staff. The six concessionaires – Melco Resorts, MGM China, Galaxy Entertainment Group, Sands China, SJM Resorts and Wynn Macau – are no longer requiring masks in their facilities, with experts noting the change is positive, but that some workers may still proactively choose to keep their masks on. 

"The epidemic situation in Macau has continuously remained stable over the last two months," the government said in an official statement. "Making reference from the anti-epidemic experience worldwide, the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre will adjust its mask-wearing requirements."

Among the gambling hub's licensees is Wynn Macau, which confirmed the lifting of mask measures via a newsletter to all employees. However, the company stated that workers with COVID symptoms are still required to wear one, and most customers are still seemingly choosing to wear masks even though they are no longer required to do so.

Stephen Lau, head of the Power of the Macao Gaming Association, noted that gaming workers are reacting positively to the new measure. However, Lau said that casino workers have gotten used to wearing masks, as the space in the casino is confined and there are a lot of people, meaning many of them may still opt to wear them.

The neighboring Chinese special administrative region of Hong Kong, one of the last places globally that still imposes a mask mandate, extended its requirement until March 8, although the authorities have said they hope to drop it as quickly as possible.

Hong Kong and Macau both followed China's zero-COVID policy for much of the past three years. Hong Kong started unwinding its stringent COVID rules last year but mask-wearing has remained constant since 2020.

The easing of anti-pandemic measures in Macau has coincided with a surge in the number of visitor arrivals and business in the city’s casinos. Macau recorded nearly 1.40 million visitor arrivals in January, up 101.3% year-on-year and 259.0% month-on-month, according to official data.

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