Macau To Ease Lockdown Saturday If Virus Conditions Allow

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Jul 21, 2022 - 02:40 AM

The world's largest gambling hub, Macau, will reopen businesses as soon as this weekend "if the current pandemic situation remains stable or improves," reported Macau Business

Macau authorities revealed lockdowns would ease on July 23 and end on July 30, with essential and non-essential businesses allowed to resume limited operations. All casinos and non-essential businesses were shuttered on July 11 after the autonomous region on the south coast of China reported a flare-up in COVID-19 infections. 

"The reduction in daily reported cases allowed for the advancement of a new consolidation period and the relaxation of some restrictions. We hope we can quickly regain normal life," Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Elsie Ao Ieong U said in a press conference on Wednesday.

There was no mention of when casinos would reopen via the Macau Business report. However, sources with direct knowledge of reopening plans told Reuters that casinos "will reopen on Saturday." 

Macau adopted China's disastrous COVID Zero strategy of lockdowns and mass testing -- one way to crush the economy. The quick, partial reopening appears to be a move by the local government to protect the casino industry since many jobs in the city are directly or indirectly dependent on gaming resorts. 

The government still recommends that residents stay home and avoid crowded areas for "necessary reasons," such as work or grocery shopping when restrictions ease Saturday. 

News the gambling hub will reopen sent shares of Macau casino stocks listed in the US higher premarket. Wynn Resorts climbed 2.5%, and Las Vegas Sands rose nearly 2%.