Cyprus Casinos says its gaming operations in the Republic of Cyprus have been suspended from Monday (March 16) for a “period of four weeks,” as part of measures to contain the further spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The measure is “in full compliance with the decision of the Council of Ministers, announced on 15 March 2020, to suspend operations of certain private businesses including casinos, which tend to attract larger groups of individuals,” said the company in a statement.
Cyprus Casinos 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. It has a 30-year exclusive licence to run casinos in Cyprus.
The Financial Mirror news outlet had reported that on Tuesday the Republic – the part of the Mediterranean island with an ethnic-Greek majority – had recorded three new cases of Covid-19 infection, taking the total to 49 cases, according to data from the Health Ministry.
Cyprus Casinos’ latest statement on the topic quoted Andy Choy, chief operating officer international of Melco Resorts, as saying: “In these challenging times that call for extreme measures, we rally behind the government of Cyprus and the actions implemented to curb the spread of Covid-19.”
He added: “We fully support the decision to temporarily suspend the operation of entertainment facilities across the country in the best interest of all. We are also standing alongside our local partners and the entire tourism industry who have prioritised the safety of their personnel and guests with the utmost responsibility to safeguard their health.”
Before the suspension of operations, Cyprus Casinos had announced a maximum limit of 75 people at any one time – guests and staff – for its casino premises.
Cyprus Casinos 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 a large casino resort, to be called City of Dreams Mediterranean.
In the most recent release, the company said it would “continue the stringent cleaning and disinfection protocols taken for the past weeks” during the period of temporary closure.
Following government instructions, all shops, malls, restaurants, bars, clubs, coffee shops, sports facilities, betting shops, museums, theme parks, movie theatres, and libraries in the Republic of Cyprus are closed for four weeks, starting from March 16. Hotels will suspend operations until April 30.
Pharmacies, grocery stores, open markets, bakeries, petrol stations, and kiosks will remain open but with restrictions on the number of customers at any one time.
People wising to enter the Republic will have to submit a medical certificate that they have been tested for coronavirus by certified medical centres in their place of origin. Even so, they will be placed under a 14-day compulsory quarantine at accommodation facilities designated by the Republic of Cyprus.
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