Cyprus has reportedly become the latest nation to order its casino industry to temporarily shut down so as to help stop the spread of a potentially-deadly coronavirus strain that has so far been contracted by 49 locals.
According to a report from GGRAsia, the island nation of some 1.2 million people is home to five C2-branded casinos that have now been ordered to close until April 13 so as to counter the global coronavirus pandemic. This purportedly came after the government had earlier limited the number of people simultaneously allowed in any one of these venues to 75 and implemented a mandatory 14-day quarantine period for all arriving tourists.
Situated in the communities of Limassol, Nicosia, Larnaca, Ayia Napa and Paphos, the five Cypriot casinos are run under a 30-year license granted to local concern ICR Cyprus Holdings Limited in 2017. This enterprise is reportedly a joint venture of Asian gaming giant Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited and homegrown conglomerate Cyprus Phassouri (Zakaki) Limited and had been additionally hoping to open its 500-room City of Dreams Mediterranean gambling-friendly development in the small village of Tserkezoi by the end of next year.
GGRAsia reported that the government of Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades has furthermore ordered the temporary shuttering of all local shopping malls, museums, coffee shops, bars, restaurants, clubs, bookmakers, sports facilities and cinemas while instituting a freeze on all new hotel bookings until April 30.
ICR Cyprus Holdings Limited reportedly released a statement in which it declared that the decision to temporarily bolt the five casinos was down to the fact that these facilities ‘tend to attract larger groups of individuals’. It purportedly detailed that this could result in the spread of the highly-contagious coronavirus strain, which is officially known as 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and has to date killed in excess of 8,200 people across 55 nations.
The move from the government of Cyprus does not reportedly apply to local markets, pharmacies, service stations and bakeries while ICR Cyprus Holdings Limited proclaimed that it intends to use the month-long closure to ‘continue the stringent cleaning and disinfection protocols taken for the past weeks’.
Andy Choy, International Chief Operating Officer for Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited, reportedly told GGRAsia that the shuttered casinos now intend to ‘rally behind the government of Cyprus’ and its efforts ‘to curb the spread’ of coronavirus.
Reportedly read a statement from Choy…
“We fully support the decision to temporarily suspend the operation of entertainment facilities across the country in the best interests of all. We are also standing alongside our local partners and the entire tourism industry who have prioritized the safety of their personnel and guests with the utmost responsibility to safeguard their health.”