Cyprus Casinos will be permitted to resume its gaming operations in the Republic of Cyprus on July 14, as the local government announced a phase reopening of the economy starting on May 4. But the relaunch timetable would depend on the trend in the number of Covid-19 cases in the coming weeks, said the nation’s President Nicos Anastasiades in a prepared speech.
Cyprus will start easing its coronavirus lockdown by allowing some businesses to reopen from May 4, with restrictions on citizens’ movement to be lifted on May 21, according to a government statement. Construction and related companies would be allowed to reopen in a first phase, as would retail businesses apart from shopping malls and large stores.
From June 9, hotels, shopping malls and airports would be added to the phased reopening, but under what the government termed strict conditions and social distancing rules. Casinos, theatres and indoor cinemas would be part of the last stage of reopening the economy, starting on July 14, according to the official statement.
Cyprus Casinos (C2) is controlled by ICR Cyprus Holdings Ltd, a joint venture by gaming entrepreneur Lawrence Ho Yau Lung’s Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd and Cyprus Phassouri (Zakaki) Ltd, a Cyprus-based conglomerate. The venture has a 30-year exclusive licence to run casinos in Cyprus.
The group currently operates four licensed satellite casinos – called respectively Cyprus Casinos Paphos (C2 Paphos), C2 Ayia Napa, C2 Nicosia and C2 Larnaca – and a C2 Limassol, described as the temporary main casino property in that market. The current Cyprus Casinos operation is to be supplemented by the launch of a large casino resort, to be called City of Dreams Mediterranean.
That complex is being built in Limassol, a city on Cyprus’ south coast, and is due to be finished in 2021. The venture has said operation of the temporary venue C2 Limassol will cease when City of Dreams Mediterranean is launched.
The government in the Republic of Cyprus – the ethnic Greek portion of that Mediterranean island – took measures early on, to prevent the spread of Covid-19: it partially sealed its borders on March 14, and ordered the temporary suspension of all non-essential businesses. The government also imposed a curfew to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
In his speech, President Anastasiades repeatedly emphasised the need for caution, saying the easing of restrictions would depend on people continuing to follow the rules.
Cyprus had recorded 850 Covid-19 infections as of May 1, with 20 deaths, according to official data from the Ministry of Health.
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