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Bus passengers, bank clients must wear facemasks

Bus passengers and bank clients must wear facemasks from Monday onward, both sectors have announced.

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Bus passengers and bank clients must wear facemasks from Monday onward, both sectors have announced.

Macau’s banks also require all customers entering their premises to undergo body temperature checks.

The local banking sector restarted its operations Monday after a weeklong extended Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday. The CNY holiday had been extended by two days last week (Thursday and Friday) because of the novel coronavirus threat.

Meanwhile, bus drivers can refuse passengers who do not wear facemasks from Monday onwards. The measure took effect at midday, according to a statement by the Transport Bureau (DSAT). A DSAT urged other segments of the public transport network to follow suit.

The bureau has ordered Macau’s public bus operators to regularly clean and disinfect all bus stops.

The Macau government announced last month that it plans to buy 20 million facemasks that are being sold at the fixed price of 8 patacas for 10 facemasks every 10 days to local ID cardholders and holders of work permits (informally known as “blue cards”) at designated pharmacies and other outlets. Macau has a population of around 680,000 including some 190,000 non-resident workers, about two-thirds of them from the Chinese mainland. People can also buy facemasks from other outlets at market prices.

Macau has so far confirmed eight novel coronavirus cases comprising seven tourists from Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, and a local woman.

The Gaming and Inspection Coordination Bureau (DICJ) has urged casinos to require all gamblers to wear masks. All casino workers have been required by the bureau to wear facemasks since last month.

Observers say that “close to 100 per cent” of pedestrians are wearing facemasks. Unlike in Hong Kong, there has been no panic buying of facemasks.

After a weeklong break, government offices opened again on Monday but only for “basic and urgent” services. Anyone wearing government premises is also required to wear a facemask and have their body temperature scanned. The government has said that its offices will only provide limited services this week.

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