Macao eases COVID mask mandate as virus situation stabilizes

Feb 26, 2023, 9:59 PM | Updated: 10:00 pm

HONG KONG (AP) — Macao, the world’s biggest gambling hub, has eased its requirements for people to wear masks after mandating them for most of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting Monday, people no longer have to wear masks when outdoors, the statement by authorities in the Chinese territory said. They’ll still be required in places like elderly care homes and hospitals and on public transit, but indoor venues such as casinos have the discretion to decide themselves whether to require masks.

The statement said the policy was eased because the virus situation in Macao “has continuously remained stable for the past two months.”

In neighboring Hong Kong, authorities last week extended its mandate until March 8 to reduce the spread of respiratory viruses in cold weather, although they have signaled they may ease the requirements soon. Violators of the mandate requiring masks be worn in indoor and outdoor public areas can be fined 5,000 Hong Kong dollars ($637) on the spot.

Both territories had followed China’s “zero-COVID” strategy using travel restrictions and quarantines to try to stamp out the virus for much of the pandemic. The strategy was abandoned late last year as more virulent viral strains spread.

Both cities later reopened to tourists, and China on Jan. 8 dropped mandatory quarantine for inbound travelers.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

3 days ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

4 days ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

11 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

12 days ago

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, and Kenya's Defense Minister Aden Duale, left, listen during...

Associated Press

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin hospitalized with bladder issue

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been hospitalized following symptoms pointing to an “emergent bladder issue."

14 days ago

Joel Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church, stands with his wife, Victoria Osteen, as he conducts a...

Associated Press

Woman firing rifle killed by 2 off-duty officers at Houston’s Lakewood Church run by Joel Osteen

A woman entered the Texas megachurch of Joel Osteen and started shooting with a rifle Sunday and was killed by two off-duty officers.

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.


Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.


Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Macao eases COVID mask mandate as virus situation stabilizes