Manila’s casinos will continue to operate at limited capacity for at least the next two weeks after the Philippines government opted to maintain the current COVID-19 alert level at Alert Level 3 from 16 to 31 January 2022.
The nation’s second highest alert level will be in place for the National Capital Region plus 82 other areas due to a recent spike in cases attributable to the Omicron variant. Case numbers had fallen to just double digits in mid-December but hit 39,000 over the weekend.
Under Alert Level 3, activities considered high-risk for transmission are technically not allowed, among them “casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments, except those that will be allowed by the IATF or Office of the President.”
However, as reported by Inside Asian Gaming, Manila’s integrated resorts have been granted permission to continue casino operations at 75% capacity provided they maintain strict COVID-19 safety measures.
Operators IAG spoke to earlier this month all said their facilities would be open only to fully vaccinated individuals, with indoor dining, hotel gyms, spas, MICE venues and hair salons all operating at 40% capacity and outdoor dining at 60% capacity.
An advisory sent by the Department of Tourism confirmed that certain tourism establishments in Manila are permitted to continue operating at Alert Level 3 provided they “diligently check the vaccination status of their respective patrons/guests to ensure that only the vaccinated are allowed access to the property.”
Heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Manila’s casinos were previously granted permission to reopen to the public at 30% capacity on 16 October when the government reduced the NCR’s alert level from Level 4 to Level 3.
The Alert Level was lowered from Level 3 to Level 2 on 5 November 2021 before being raised again on 5 January.