Chief executive reiterates borders stay open; asks casinos to close for 15 days

Macau’s Chief Executive, Ho Iat Seng, has taken the bold decision to ask all casinos and related entertainment facilities to close for 15 days. The instruction went into effect at midnight on Tuesday, Feb. 4.

At the same press conference, Ho reiterated that Macau’s Customs clearance facilities will not be closed entirely. He did not rule out closing some border points, and this will be further studied. But other derivative issues must be considered, such as the supply of live products and waste disposal.

The casinos will re-evaluate the situation after 15 days and if it is stable, they will be able to immediately resume operations. It is expected that the Macau economy can bear the losses at this stage.

Ho said that in response to the development of the epidemic and reducing cross-infection, it had been decided to retain only emergency services, suspend basic services of government departments, and keep civil servants working from home.

He reiterated that the public should not go out unless necessary, and business people should appropriately reduce economic activities in order to fight the epidemic. He reiterated that food and other key supplies are normal and the public need not worry.

The government is also concerned about how to revive the economy after the epidemic, and stimulate domestic demand and employment. In the future, infrastructure will be increased, which will drive employment and the economy.

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