Casinos in South Korea extend Covid-19 closures

Casinos in South Korea extend Covid-19 closures

The South Korea government has strengthened measures against the pandemic in large cities like Seoul.

South Korea.- Casinos in South Korea are preparing to extend their closures for at least two more weeks after the national government strengthened measures against Covid-19.

According to media reports, Grand Korea Leisure is planning to extend the lockdown of its Seoul and Busan properties until January 18.

The subsidiary of the Korea Tourism Organisation had first extended the lockdown of Gangnam Coex Seoul and Gangbuk Millennium Seoul Hilton from December into January 4, but it has now decided to prolong it.

The closure of the Paradise Co foreigner-only casino in Seoul, Paradise Walkerhill, began on December 15 and was also due to remain in place until January 4.

Kangwon Land, the only casino in South Korea where locals can legally gamble, remains shut down since December 8 and will reportedly continue to be closed until at least January 18.  

According to Gambling Insider, casinos in Jeju island are under a less strict level of alert, but out of eight casinos more than half of them have suspended operations.  

In the island, tourist facilities can now operate at up to 30 per cent capacity and hotels can use up to half of their total room inventory.

New restrictions for gatherings and venues

Casino closures were restarted last December, after a spike in Covid-19 cases and the raising of the level of alert from 2 to 2.5.

Last Saturday, January 2, a government report banned private gatherings of over four people across the country, and extended social distancing rules in Seoul and neighbouring areas until January 17.

Health minister Kwon Deok-cheol told a briefing that the measures were necessary to reduce a prolonged surge in infections that has led to a spike in deaths.

The country reported 824 new cases as of midnight on Friday until Saturday, down from 1,029 a day before, a drop that officials said was likely due to less testing over the New Year holiday.

As much as 40 per cent of recent cases have been linked to small gatherings, Kwon said.

The country also has restrictions on churches, restaurants, cafes, ski resorts, and other venues, Nikkei Asia reported.

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