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Macau’s Health Bureau to provide one-off COVID-19 test to all frontline casino staff as Guangdong border reopens

Macau’s frontline casino staff will not be required to receive a new COVID-19 virus test every seven days, but all must undergo a one-off test before returning to the casino floor, according to Health Bureau officials.

Details on health protocols for employees were revealed on Tuesday following this week’s announcement that arrivals to Guangdong Province from Macau would no longer be required to undergo mandatory 14-day quarantine. With eased restrictions expected to see significant mainland Chinese visitation return to Macau for the first time since late March, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) has stipulated that all people entering casinos must submit a negative COVID-19 virus test certificate obtained within the previous seven days, and present valid “green” health codes, from midnight on 15 July.

On Tuesday, the DICJ and Health Bureau confirmed those same restrictions will not apply to casino employees although all will be required to pass a one-off COVID-19 test. The test will be provided free of charge and apply to all dealers, cashier workers, security staff and other frontline staff, as well as junket workers.

The Health Bureau will arrange for staff to do the test in batches, according to clinical director of the public Conde de S. Januário Hospital Centre, Alvis Lo Iek Long. The government is currently conducting around 5,000 tests a day but has capacity for 16,000.

“The Health Bureau will analyze practically how to arrange the timeline for the casino employees to do the test,” Lo said.

“We are still discussing [details] with the DICJ. The direction is epidemic prevention. So far dealers, cashier workers, security staff are confirmed, but regarding other frontline staff we have no information yet.”

The DICJ has said it will also require gaming operators to install temperature screening devices at over 400 entrances to casino floors and 47 entrances for employees.

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