Casinos in Manila and Uruguay Close due to COVID-19
Casinos in Manila and Uruguay have shut down for another quarantine period due to COVID-19.
After a year of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, it seemed that maybe there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps with the vaccinations now being distributed around the world, business closures would be over, and life would eventually get back to normal. Unfortunately, this week has signaled casino closures yet again. Manila casinos have shut down along with state-operated venues in Uruguay as positive cases increase once again.
Manila Integrated Casinos Shutdown
In Manila, there are four integrated casino venues in operational. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has given the order for the casinos to close through April 4. An Enhanced Community Quarantine order was issued for the metro area of Manila and other cities including Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan, and Rizal.
Mass gatherings are banned, and all non-essential business has been suspended. There is also a curfew in place from 6 pm until 5 am. The order resulted in the City of Dreams, Resorts World, Okada, and Solaire shutting down services. Hotel reservations were canceled, and travels provided refunds. Restaurants can function but only via takeout.
The Philippines have seen an increase in virus cases plus new strains of the coronavirus. Other areas of the country are under a Modified General Community Quarantine. While still in some form of quarantine, it is less restrictive than the Enhanced order.
The area of the Enhanced order affects more than 25 million people and occurs during the Easter holiday. Duterte has been criticized for his actions due to the gaming industry having suffered greatly since the beginning of the virus in March 2020. To his critics, the president pointed out that many other countries are taking the same action including France, Poland, Ukraine, and Germany.
Duterte said that if he were able to make the problem go away, he would and that he is the last person that would want to ‘inflict suffering on Filipinos’.
Uruguay State Casinos Shut Down
The government of Uruguay has decided to close all state operated casinos through April 12. Private operators have been asked to close as well as the region has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases. The uptick is due to a new variant called P1 that was developed from Manaus, Brazil.
Ministers signed a new decree that stated casino venues who are reliant on the Ministry of Economy and Finance must stay closed until April 12. The government would like to see the private venues do the same so that the new variant does not spread quickly and cause further harm.
The National Association of State Casino Officials commented on the matter, stating that not one casino has caused an outbreak of the virus. Because of this, the venues that remain operational will do so with strict sanitary protocols in place. Regulations created by the Ministry of Public Health and the Office of Planning and Budget will be followed.
The closures in both areas of the world is troublesome. Is it that the virus has come back with a vengeance in other variants, and it dictates such as closure? Or are officials just being cautious? Will the United States follow suit or see even more positive cases of COVID-19 as new strains start to show up in the country?
Only time will tell but it seems that the US is done with mask wearing and closures for the moment. Many areas across the country are getting ready to end mask mandates and people have already stopped wearing them. However, immunizations are taking place, so it could be that enough people will be immunized that the nation will not have to worry about new variants or new outbreaks.