Manila’s Entertainment City casinos will have to wait a little longer to resume operations after Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte maintained General Community Quarantine (GCQ) measures for the National Capital Region for another two weeks, until 15 July.
But there is better news for operators in the Clark Freeport Zone with Duterte implementing Modified GCQ in Pampanga, among other areas, allowing for some restricted casino operations. The new measures impact a number of casinos in the region, including Widus, D’Heights, Royce and Fortunegate.
Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR has previously told Inside Asian Gaming it expects operators will be able to adjust to a “new normal” and welcome back most employees under MGCQ conditions.
On Tuesday, Duterte explained that areas under MGCQ were still required to implement “localized community quarantine, zoning, strict enforcement of minimum health standards, scaling up of health system capacity, and isolation of overseas Filipinos, locally stranded individuals and close contacts.”
While Metro Manila remains under GCQ for the time being, Duterte did at least offer some hope that restrictions might be eased sooner rather than later, noting there had been “substantial compliance” by residents.
According to Philippine News Agency, this means there is a “very good chance” the city can avoid a major COVID-19 outbreak.
“Manila and the rest of the greater Manila area, there was a substantial compliance,” Duterte said. “I wouldn’t say that there was no violation. There were violations but not in a scale I saw in other places. Here in Manila, we have a very good chance of at least avoiding it.”
It’s a different story in Cebu City, which remains under Enhanced Community Quarantine.
“Cebu is now the hotspot for COVID,” Duterte said. “Why? Because no one is following. Many of them are not following.
“I am here to run government. I am not here to stay forever. As a matter of fact, I am on my last two years. But you better shape up.”