by Cody on July 14, 2020

Obligatory Covid-19 safety testing for Macau casino staff

The government of Macau made a statement on Tuesday, July 14 saying that the city’s casino staff will have to be tested for the new coronavirus as part of the new requirements set in place for safety reasons that are especially important for things like entering casinos to gamble. As of July 15, all casino operators will have to apply the new step regarding test certification according to the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, also known as DICJ. According to their statement, the fresh requirements were intended to ensure the health and safety of casino employees and patrons. But the certification for casino employees won’t be required from Wednesday. The cost for what termed a “one-off test” for casino workers would also be supported by the Macau government.

Nucleic acid testing has been set up in batches for casino employees by the gaming regulator and the city’s regulator and the city’s health authorities. According to the statement during the testing front-line workers, such as casino dealers and security staff would be prioritized. And according to the DICJ, the authorities would conduct a one-time test for the city’s casino workers which means that they will not have to be tested every time they enter the casino to work.

On Monday, the gaming regulator said that all people who intend to enter the city’s casinos would be required not only to have their body temperature measured and to display a health-declaration statement but also have to present a certificate of a valid nucleic acid test proving freedom from Covid-19.

The Macau government’s task force on Covid-19, known also as the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre, said that on Tuesday the government had to suspend the system for people to register for a nucleic acid test, due to a huge demand from Macau locals. The service is expected to resume on Wednesday. In Tuesday’s press conference, the Macau health authorities said they were mulling the possibility of launching one more Covid-19 testing facility,  in addition to the two existing testing stations.

Leong Iek Hou, an official of Macau’s Health Bureau, revealed at the press conference that the government hoped to conduct the nucleic acid tests for front-line casino staff very soon. The official also stated that no dates had yet been confirmed for such tests, adding that the authorities were currently in discussion with the city’s six gaming operators in order to carry out the testing in an efficient way as soon as possible.

The Macau government has already said that it has the capacity to conduct 16,000 nucleic acid tests per day and currently, it does between 4,000 to 6,000 tests per day. The steps have been announced with the easying up of quarantine arrangements from 6 am on Wednesday between Macau and Guangdong province.

On Monday it was stated that a 14-day quarantine rule that applied to the majority of people traveling from Macau to neighboring Guangdong province in the mainland would end from July 15.

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