Casino hub Macau locks down landmark hotel amid COVID surge | Business and Economy

Restrictions come as former Portuguese colony sticks to China’s “zero-COVID” coverage aimed toward eradicating infections.

Macau has locked down one of many metropolis’s most well-known resorts, the Grand Lisboa, after greater than a dozen COVID-19 circumstances had been discovered there on Tuesday, with infections spreading quickly on the planet’s largest playing hub.

At the least 16 different buildings throughout the particular Chinese language administrative area are additionally locked down, with nobody allowed to exit or enter.

The authorities have positioned greater than 13,000 folks below quarantine orders as the town battles to comprise its largest outbreak for the reason that pandemic started. Macau has recorded greater than 900 coronavirus infections since mid-June. Previous to that, it had largely been COVID-free since an outbreak in October 2021.

The Grand Lisboa is the second on line casino lodge locked down in current weeks. Owned by SJM Holdings, which was began by former Macau kingpin Stanley Ho, the Lisboa is likely one of the metropolis’s most well-known landmarks.

Native media confirmed images of the lodge sealed off with folks in safety gear and hazmat fits standing outdoors. The Grand Lisboa was not instantly obtainable for remark.

Whereas the federal government has stopped wanting imposing a full-scale lockdown within the former Portuguese colony, seen in Chinese language cities equivalent to Shanghai, most services are shut, and eating places can solely present takeaway.

Residents have been requested to remain at house as a lot as potential and are required to participate in three citywide COVID-19 checks this week. Individuals are additionally required to take fast antigen checks in between.

Solely Macau’s casinos have been allowed to remain open in a transfer to make sure job safety. The federal government depends on the trade for greater than 80 p.c of its tax income, with many of the inhabitants employed straight or not directly by the on line casino resorts.

Whereas casinos are bodily open, there are few patrons inside and solely a small variety of workers, with many staff requested to remain at house to adjust to the federal government’s request.

Macau adheres to China’s “zero-COVID” coverage which goals to eradicate all outbreaks at nearly any price, working counter to a world pattern of making an attempt to co-exist with the virus.

It nonetheless has an open border with mainland China, with its financial system firmly hinged to the influx of Chinese language guests.