More Casinos Shut Down in Australia as COVID-19 Variant Spreads

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When COVID-19 first began taking control a little more than a year ago, Australia didn’t seem to be as affected as some other areas of the world. That could be changing now, though, as new cases are beginning to appear that are forcing government and health officials to take drastic measures. The Star Sydney shut down last Friday as a result of coronavirus spikes and three more casinos are going to take a short break, as well, hoping the outbreak is short-lived.

Australia Back on Lockdown

The Star Sydney shut its doors last Friday when New South Wales reinstated COVID-19 health measures. The casino is planning on remaining out of commission for two weeks, and three casinos in Queensland are going to take a break, as well, but not for as long. The Treasury Brisbane, The Star Gold Coast and The Ville Resort-casino will close for just three days starting today. Initially, the properties had expected to only reduce their operating capacities.

Queensland’s government brought back anti-COVID-19 health measures in response to what has been dubbed the Bondi cluster, an outbreak of cases appearing in the Sydney suburb of Bondi. There have been over 100 cases as of yesterday afternoon and more are being reported in all of Australia. In addition to the Queensland casinos, Mindil Beach Casino Resort will close until July 2, responding to a lockdown order implemented in its home state of the Northern Territory.

Catching COVID-19 Before It Spreads

By implementing the short break, government and health officials hope contact tracers will have enough time to identify any other carriers or infections before Australia reaches a critical level. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk asserts, “With the new Delta strain now in the Queensland community, we can’t afford to take any chances. This highly infectious strain means that a three-day lockdown in South East Queensland, Townsville and Palm Island is our only choice. I’m asking all Queenslanders and all visitors to these affected areas to abide by the lockdown – this is absolutely vital to keep us all safe.”

As if it weren’t already dealing with enough bad news, Crown Resorts is having to adjust its operations once again, as well. It has been forced to backtrack at its Crown Sydney property, suspending food and beverage service and closing its conference facilities. Crown Melbourne, has been a little luckier, recently emerging from a lockdown it was forced to implement at the end of May. Social distancing measures are now back in place once again, with gaming machines and table games separated by five feet. Capacity limits have also been reduced.

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