The firms behind the 41 casinos in Macau have reportedly upped their campaigns against coronavirus by comprehensively implementing new rules that require employees to be fully vaccinated or present weekly negative viral diagnostic tests.

According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the new regime has been implemented by operators Sands China Limited, MGM China Holdings Limited, Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited, Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited, SJM Holdings Limited and Wynn Macau Limited following a small local outbreak of coronavirus late last month that decimated business during the city’s recent ‘Golden Week’ holiday period. The source detailed that these companies have all earlier run vaccination drives aimed at their workforces although this latest move represents the first time such a two-jab obligation has been explicitly mandated.

Considerable carrot:

Macau is home to some of the world’s most iconic casinos including the 430-room Casino Grand Lisboa and has recorded 77 positive coronavirus cases since February of 2020 but without any related deaths. The former Portuguese enclave reportedly has a general vaccination rate that is hovering around 59% with its Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre having earlier disclosed that it may consider easing a range of related travel and public health restrictions should this proportion rise to beyond 80%.

Serious repercussions:

Inside Asian Gaming cited an internal memo from one unnamed Macau casino operator as declaring that unvaccinated members of staff unable to present a weekly ‘negative nucleic acid test result’ are to now be ‘prohibited to work and will be considered as unjustified absence with disciplinary action in place.’ This communication purportedly went on to pronounce that such workers could receive an exemption to this new obligation only if they ‘applied for their own leave in advance’ and had such a break ‘approved by their department.’

Financial fallout:

The move from the Macau casino operators is to moreover reportedly oblige any employee in need of a coronavirus test to pay for such a procedure themselves unless they have already been fully immunized or received a first vaccination over the course of the previous 30 days. Workers in this latter group are to now purportedly also be required to undergo regular testing until two weeks after having had their second jab.

Determined drive:

The casinos in Macau are reportedly not alone in increasing their fight against coronavirus as Singapore’s giant Marina Bay Sands facility, which is run by the Marina Bay Sands Private Limited subsidiary of American casino behemoth Las Vegas Sands Corporation, last week stated that 97% of its staff had been fully vaccinated. Further afield and Australian operator Crown Resorts Limited is soon purportedly set to introduce a similar mandatory immunization policy while the 800-room Solaire Resort and Casino in the Philippines recently disclosed that all of its employees had been double jabbed.