Hong Kong-listed gaming and hospitality operator Melco Resorts & Entertainment has closed its casinos in the Republic of Cyprus for four weeks as the tiny Mediterranean island nation grapples to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Melco was forced to close its properties in Cyprus after the nation’s Council of Ministers ordered that certain private businesses suspend operations for the next four weeks as part of a wider set of measures adopted on the island amid the global Covid-19 crisis.
In Cyprus, Melco operates a temporary casino in the City of Limassol that will remain operational while its €550 million City of Dreams Mediterranean integrated resort is under development as well as four satellite casinos in the capital Nicosia, Larnaca, Ayia Napa, and Paphos.
The gaming and hospitality giant was forced to temporarily shut its Cypriot casinos just several weeks after the opening of its fourth satellite facility in Paphos.
In February, Melco had to shut its properties in Macau for two weeks as China, where the dangerous coronavirus is believed to have originated, was struggling to contain the Covid-19 outbreak.
Earlier this month, the major integrated resort operator had to also close the casino at its City of Dreams Manila property in the Philippines after lawmakers and regulators in that country ordered the closure of all gambling venues and other non-essential businesses in the face of the coronavirus crisis.
Strongly Alongside Local Partners amid Major Crisis
Commenting on the closure of its five casinos across Cyprus, Melco Chief Operating Officer International Andy Choy said that “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.”
Mr. Choy went on that they fully support Cypriot lawmakers’ decision to order the temporary closure of entertainment facilities across the nation and that this measure is in the best interest of all.
The Melco COO also pointed out that they are “standing alongside our local partners and the entire tourism industry who have prioritized the safety of their personnel and guests with the utmost responsibility to safeguard their health.”
The company said that it would continue to follow strict cleaning and disinfection protocols at its Cypriot properties over the next weeks.
The Republic of Cyprus was one of the last EU countries to report its first case of the dangerous virus. So far, there have been 58 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the tiny island nation.
The Cypriot government has ordered the closure of shops, malls, restaurants, bars, clubs, coffee shops, hairdressing and beauty salons, sports facilities, betting shops, museums, theme parks, movie theaters, and libraries for at least the next four weeks.
Pharmacies, grocery stores, open markets, bakeries, gas stations, and kiosks remain operational but there are limits on the number of customers that can be present. Hotels have been ordered to suspend operations until at least April 30.