SkyCity’s New Zealand casinos lift Covid-19 restrictions

New Zealand has lowered its Covid-19 alert level from red to orange.
New Zealand has lowered its Covid-19 alert level from red to orange.

SkyCity Entertainment Group has announced its New Zealand properties will operate without physical distancing requirements from today.

New Zealand.- SkyCity is from today (April 14) operating with no capacity limits or physical distancing requirements after authorities in New Zealand dropped the country’s Covid-19 alert level to “Orange” under its Covid-19 Protection Framework.

According to a filing from the casino operator, mask-wearing is required for staff, but not customers and there is no requirement to provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination nor scanning of QR codes at entry.

At its casino in Adelaide, Australia, operating restrictions are also being progressively relaxed, with no density limits or social distancing requirements currently in force. The capacity for table games has been increased from three players per table to six, with back-betting allowed. Mask wearing will no longer be required at SkyCity Adelaide for staff or customers from April 15.

The company reported that its performance in the second half of the current fiscal year was significantly impacted by Covid-19 disruptions and operational restrictions due to cases of the Omicron variant in New Zealand and South Australia. However, trade steadily improved, especially local gambling. Even during the peak of cases in February and early March, the Group’s EBITDA and cash flow remained positive.

In later March and early April, there was a steady increase in visitor numbers at properties in New Zealand, particularly in Auckland and Hamilton.

SkyCity’s chief operating officer, Callum Mallet, said the company expected to hire “hundreds of staff” as New Zealand prepared to reopen its borders for fully vaccinated foreign visitors after two years of insulation due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mallett said: “From a tourism perspective, particularly those in the entertainment and hospitality space, it has been a challenging two years, so the return of the majority of New Zealand’s international markets is a real boost for our sector.”

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