Offbeat

Covid-hit Macau reopens beaches but bans swimming – Offbeat News – Report by AFR

Macau beachgoers stayed high and dry as the Chinese gambling hub reopened two beaches on Saturday but banned swimming and water sports, citing coronavirus concerns.

The city is gradually recovering from its worst outbreak yet, which earlier this month prompted officials to close casinos and most businesses for almost two weeks.

When temperatures hit 34 degrees Celsius (93 degrees Fahrenheit) on Saturday, Macau residents were “allowed to enter the beach to walk and relax,” but officials drew a line in the sand by banning water-based activities.

Beachgoers must “wear masks of the correct specification at all times, maintain social distancing, avoid gathering in crowds and refrain from strenuous exercise,” the government said.

Families flocked to Macau’s Hac Sa beach on Saturday morning, with a beachgoer expressing his understanding of the restrictions, public broadcaster Teledifusao de Macau reported.

The city on Wednesday reported no new infections for the first time since the outbreak began in mid-June, with a total of just over 1,800 cases recorded during this coronavirus wave.

Macau is strictly enforcing anti-epidemic regulations, with a would-be beachgoer being fined 3,000 patacas ($370) last week after driving against regulations on Hac Sa, according to local media.

Macau adheres to China’s zero-Covid policy, which quells outbreaks with strict lockdowns, border controls and social distancing measures.

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