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Casinos in Manila have been ordered to close their doors by Jan. 15 to combat an increase in Covid-19 cases.

In response to a sharp rise in infections, including the first local cases of the Omicron variant, authorities have upgraded the Philippine capital’s alert status to Level 3, the third-highest in the East Asian country’s five-tier alert system. .

While certain companies may remain open at level 3, albeit with limited capacity, casinos are not counted among them and will be forced to close.

According to the Asia Gaming Brief, Acting President’s Spokesperson Karlo Nograles said: “The epidemiological investigation into the three local cases indicates that there is a high possibility of local Omicron transmission. active”.

A Tough Time for Manila Casinos

Manila is a major gaming hub and is known for its ‘Entertainment City’ complex which is home to several major gaming facilities such as Solaire Resort and Casino, Manila Dream City and Okada Manila.

While the rest of the Philippines will remain at tier 2, detection of the country’s first three local Omicron variant cases has prompted authorities in Manila to tighten restrictions further.

Manila casinos are closed by Covid

In a statement published on December 31, 2021, the country’s Department of Health announced that it had identified the three local cases, as well as seven cases imported from Omicron. Of the local cases, one was a 42-year-old man from Metropolitan Manila.

“In this festive season, we continue to remind local government units to conduct an active case search to identify cases and clusters of cases. They can also implement granular blockades as needed,” said Secretary of Health and Chair of the Interagency Task Force ( ITAF), Francisco T. Duke III.