Gambling Hub Macau Drops COVID Mask Mandate For Most Locations

Gambling Hub Macau Drops COVID Mask Mandate For Most Locations


Macau has implemented a COVID mask mandate across most of its locations, in line with China's zero-COVID policy. Hong Kong remains the exception to this rule, having enforced it since 2020.

Analysts forecast Macau's casinos to remain weak for years to come as their non-gaming operations struggle to make up for lost income. To remain competitive against Las Vegas in the future, Macau must boost non-gaming revenue by 30%, according to analysts.


Macau's world-renowned casino resorts are a major draw for tourists. Aside from the numerous gaming floors, visitors can also enjoy luxurious shopping, dining and accommodation options.

Though gambling revenues have been hit hard since COVID-19's outbreak, the industry has seen a resurgence thanks to major investors like SJM Holdings, Wynn Macau, Sands China, Galaxy Entertainment Group, MGM China Holdings and Melco Crown Entertainment who have opened or are building large new properties along the reclaimed Cotai Strip. While it will take some time for the city's tourist numbers to recover fully again, analysts anticipate that activity should begin again around mid-2022.

Macau offers more than gambling - it boasts an Unesco-World Heritage-listed old city centre on the Peninsula; former islands Taipa and Coloane with their charming boutiques, beaches, shipyards and hiking trails; plus an energetic nightlife. Plus there are two golf courses in Macau as well as plenty of places for relaxation in one of Macau's hotels or spas.

After decades of growth, Macau has emerged as a major international destination for casino games. It has overtaken Las Vegas to become the second-largest casino market worldwide with revenue now accounting for more than 80 per cent of the territory's GDP.

However, the gambling industry remains vulnerable to changes in Chinese policy and an uncertain economy. To support non-gambling tourism, the government is working hard to build more MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) facilities while encouraging visitors to visit mainland China.

Many residents of Beijing have been encouraged by the steady influx of tourists during the Lunar New Year, believing that normalcy is on its way. Yet even with casinos re-opening, gaming revenue is expected to decrease by 80 per cent in February and 50 per cent in March.

Macau has faced a major COVID outbreak, and the local government is taking an active stance. They've taken numerous measures to safeguard public health while still allowing businesses to open and trade. Furthermore, they implemented "health codes" - mobile phone apps that alert authorities if people's wellbeing is at risk.


Macau, China's gambling mecca, has announced the removal of their COVID mask mandate for most locations - a move which many observers view as an indication that the territory is recovering from the coronavirus pandemic that hit in late 2020. The rule change takes effect Monday and is seen as evidence of this progress.

The city's Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre noted that while people no longer need to wear masks outdoors, they must still do so in certain indoor situations such as public transportation or visiting medical institutions.

However, the centre also stressed that these changes would not prevent the spread of the virus and recommended Macau citizens keep a two-week supply of masks at home in case they need them in an emergency.

Hong Kong, a close neighbor to Macau, is one of the few places in the world that requires face coverings to protect against the coronavirus. But that mandate may soon be relaxed.

According to a South China Morning Post report, Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan stated that the mandate could be lifted "at the end of this season." He indicated this move would help attract tourists eager for new casino openings and attractions in the city.

After nine days without reports of a Covid-19 outbreak in the city, government authorities are allowing casinos and public services to resume. Restaurants, bars and fitness centers can all reopen.

It also means the Grand Lisboa Hotel, which was shut down for the past month due to a Covid-19 cluster outbreak, can finally reopen its doors. This iconic Macau hotel is renowned for its lavish decor and luxury suites.

Before arriving in Los Angeles, visitors must get fully vaccinated against the coronavirus to guarantee they won't become sick. In addition, several measures have been put in place by the city such as mandatory hotel quarantine and requiring travelers to take a COVID 19 nucleic acid test and produce a negative result before entering most venues.


Macau is not only known for its casinos and luxury entertainment, but the city also has much more to offer. Beyond the flash and glamour, Macau boasts a vibrant colonial past with plenty of Portuguese-themed buildings. Furthermore, it is one of China's most culturally diverse regions.

Macau is an autonomous region within China that enjoys some Western-style liberties such as freedom of speech and an uncensored internet. It is divided into three main areas - Macau peninsula, Coloane and Taipa - each with their own personality.

Macau was one of the earliest European colonies in East Asia and its heritage is steeped in Chinese and Portuguese influences. This can be seen everywhere from cobblestone streets in the old city to maritime-themed tile designs on temples.

Chinese food is the staple of restaurant menus around the world, but international cuisine can also be found - particularly along the popular Cotai Strip where upscale Cantonese seafood dishes are the order of the day.

Macau is renowned for its variety of dishes, from standard noodles and rice dishes to roasted meats, fresh seafood, and Chinese dim sum. The 'Vegas of China' boasts an abundance of eateries serving these delectable treats - from casual street stands to high-end Cantonese seafood restaurants.

Local Macanese dishes such as Bak Kwa (Chinese pork jerky), almond cookies and egg rolls are popular delicacies available in shops throughout the city; it's worth stopping by one for a taste before you purchase.

Macau's cuisine is more traditional than its neighbor Hong Kong's, but due to the casinos and booming economy there has been an uptick in fine dining options.

With a Michelin star, this chic restaurant is the go-to for those seeking the best of Macau's culinary scene. From creative Cantonese fusion dishes to decadent dim sum, this place can accommodate romantic dates, large gatherings or corporate events alike.

Macau has a rich cultural heritage from centuries of Portuguese rule that is visible throughout every aspect of life here. Its buildings, cobblestoned streets and Portuguese names serve as reminders of this special time in Macau's development.

Entertainment Venues

One month after lifting the COVID mask mandate for most locations, gambling hub Macau is back to full operations, attracting tourists and revenue. On Monday alone, Macau welcomed more than 71,000 visitors - an increase of 2217 percent over last year.

Due to a global outbreak of coronavirus, Macau has been facing low tourism numbers and declining gaming revenues as mainland China's Covid Zero policies restrict travel there. However, since Jan. 8th Macau has seen an uptick in visitors from mainland China and Hong Kong who no longer need to complete Covid-19 testing requirements upon entry.

Unfortunately, Macau's economy remains stagnant despite an uptick in tourists. Beijing's crackdown on high-rolling gamblers and a new law that tightens government control over the industry have not helped revive Macau's fortunes.

Macau's casinos and hotels are major sources of revenue, yet most local residents are poor or low-income households that put them at greater risk for unemployment and social hardships. Furthermore, these individuals lack basic rights such as holiday leave, job transfers and compensation for work injuries or illnesses.

However, despite the negative effects of casinos, their presence within society has helped create an invisible sense of stability and order that is imperceptible to outsiders. Gambling-related events and cultural and social assets (events, art galleries, free concerts, parenting seminars and discounts for residents) help prevent discontent and minimize workplace disruption by keeping residents busy.

Macau's political system is highly centralized and dependent on the coordination of key individuals and associations. With limited suffrage and an election/appointment system, decisions are typically made by either the Central People's Government in Beijing, local elites or the powerful Sociedade de Jogos de Macau (STDM) group.

Bureaucratic practices that lack transparency and depend on consensus-building between secretariats, businessmen and government officials have hindered citizens from exercising their political rights and challenging local governments. This reluctance has created a climate of corruption and cronyism which has severely hindered social and economic development in many developing nations.

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