Singapore’s two casino resorts are to be closed for a period of four weeks, as the government beefs up its efforts to contain the further spread of the Covid-19 disease there. The significantly stricter safe-distancing measures will be in place from April 7 to May 4 inclusive, said on Friday the city-state’s Ministry of Health in a written announcement.
Singapore has two casino complexes: Resorts World Sentosa (pictured), operated by Resorts World at Sentosa Pte Ltd, a unit of Genting Singapore Ltd; and Marina Bay Sands, operated by Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd, a unit of United States-based Las Vegas Sands Corp.
The gaming venues at each of the casino resorts were due to be closed on Monday (April 6), said their respective operators in separate statements.
Marina Bay Sands said in a notice on its website that it would be suspending all “integrated resort services and operations” with effect from April 7 to May 4.
“The casino will close earlier on Monday, 6 April – gaming activities will stop at 6am, the sale of entry levies will cease at 7am and the venue will close at 8am,” said the property’s promoter. The closures involve also the hotel, the shops and all attractions, including the ArtScience Museum, it added.
Hotel bookings for the period between April 7 and May 4 “will be cancelled and refunded accordingly,” said Marina Bay Sands.
Market rival Genting Singapore said in a press release that it would “temporarily suspend” all guest offerings at Resorts World Sentosa, from Monday until May 4, “in line with the Singapore government’s directives”. The shutdown includes the gaming venue, Universal Studios Singapore, the S.E.A. Aquarium, the Adventure Cove Waterpark and Dolphin Island, said the company.
“Only selected restaurants and food and beverage outlets, which can support necessary daily living needs of residents, will remain open for takeaway and deliveries,” stated Genting Singapore. Hotel reservations during the closure period “will be cancelled and fully refunded,” it added.
Genting Singapore announced in mid-March a raft of pay cuts for staff at managerial level or above, due to the “massive disruption to the travel and tourism industries” caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. It also issued a profit warning for the first half this year.
In a Friday announcement, what was termed a “multi-ministry taskforce” in Singapore said the “heightened measures” were aimed at reducing “much more significantly movements and interactions in public and private places”. Such measures involved the closure of all workplaces except those running essential services, as well as the shift to full home-based education for all school curriculums. From Tuesday and until May 4, restaurants are only allowed to provide takeaway and delivery services.
Singapore reported on Sunday its highest daily increase of coronavirus cases, as infections rose among foreign workers housed in massive dormitories, according to the government.
Authorities said an additional 120 cases were confirmed, bringing the total to 1,309 in the city-state. Of the new cases, only four involved patients with recent travel history, officials said at a briefing on Sunday.
The Singaporean authorities had already banned from the city-state all foreigners who would otherwise be entitled either to short-term visitor visas or the right to transit via Singapore.
Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said in a social media post on Saturday that the government would announce on Monday more financial measures to support businesses and households. The additional supports comes less than two weeks after the government announced a SGD48 billion (US$33.3 billion) stimulus package to buffer the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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