As close as the world was to defeating COVID-19, the virus has proven to be more resilient than anticipated. Despite global vaccinations now being administered, there are pockets of outbreaks occurring that are causing stress levels everywhere to increase once again. The casino industry doesn’t want to have to suffer through another pandemic – nor can it afford to, so close to the previous one – and has tried to do what it can to keep the coronavirus away. The efforts have worked to a certain degree, but not entirely, and Marina Bay Sands (MBS) in Singapore is now taking another major step backward. Casino operations at the resort are off-limits until early next month.
Marina Bay Sands Back On Alert
An increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Singapore has forced MBS to take action. The Las Vegas Sands-backed property has turned off its gaming equipment and covered the tables, submitting its gaming floors to a massive deep-cleaning. If everything goes well, according to the operator, the lights will be turned back on sometime on August 5.
While casino operations are now halted, some other amenities at the resort will remain open, but with new restrictions put in place. MBS indicates on its website that its retail space, Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, will only allow one patron per 16 square meters (172 square feet) and the hotel will allow a maximum of two people per room. Restaurants won’t offer dine-in service until August 18, but takeaway orders can be placed. The Banyan Tree Spa will be open; however, no facial services will be provided.
Marquee, Avenue, Spectra, SweetSpot, db Bistro & Oyster Bar, KOMA, LAVO, Spago, Waku Ghin, Club55 & Club at Renku are all closed until further notice. The resorts attractions, such as the ArtScience Museum, Digital Light Canvas, SkyPark Observation Deck and Sampan Rides, will operate at 25% capacity.
Singapore On a Tightrope
Singapore brought back its “Phase 2” COVID-19 restrictions this week as new cases have begun to emerge. Tuesday saw 182 new cases, with another 178 reported on Wednesday. Tuesday’s figure was the highest single-day total since the beginning of the year. In addition to MBS implementing its restrictions, Resorts World Sentosa is also taking new precautions, reducing its capacity and closing its restaurants to dine-in service – only takeaway is available.
MBS was forced to close last month, as well, because of COVID-19 issues. Two dealers had tested positive for COVID-19 in May, leading to sweeping tests being given to 7,450 employees and 800 contractors. None of the cases resulted in a positive case of the virus, but the resort is going to remain vigilant. It explains, “Marina Bay Sands has placed regular testing of our staff and contractors as a top priority. We have an enhanced polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing regime for all team members working on [the] property. Rostered Routine Testing (RRT) takes place every 14 or 28 days, based on job profiles and risk exposure.”