Marina Bay Sands casino reopens with new measures after 2-week closure due to Covid-19 cluster

The entrance of the Marina Bay Sands casino at around noon, on Aug 6, 2021.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - The Marina Bay Sands (MBS) casino reopened on Thursday (Aug 5), following a two-week closure after a Covid-19 infection cluster was traced to it on July 21.

MBS said its casino has implemented various precautionary measures with the reopening, which include an enhanced rostered routine testing regime for staff members who interact with guests.

Employees will undergo swab tests ranging from every three days to every 28 days, depending on their vaccination status and job risk profile, it added.

"The reopening comes at a time when vaccination rates among our staff have reached nearly 90 per cent," said MBS in a statement on its website.

The casino was closed from July 22 for cleaning after 11 cases were linked to it, and investigations found there was likely ongoing transmission at the premises.

As at Thursday night, the casino cluster has grown to 60 coronavirus cases, with one new case added on Thursday, according to the Health Ministry's daily update.

Other measures the casino has put in place ahead of its reopening include limiting the number of patrons in private salons and at each gaming table, while electronic gaming machines and slots have been spaced at least 1m apart.

Each gaming table can have not more than two patrons, and only one patron is allowed at each slot or electronic gaming machine, it said.

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Eating, drinking and smoking are not allowed on the casino grounds at this time, said the integrated resort.

Casino staff who interact with visitors will sanitise their hands before and after their shifts at gaming tables, while high-touch surfaces and equipment will be cleaned more frequently.

At 11.30am on Friday, there were fewer than 10 patrons entering the MBS casino, and they had their temperatures taken before they were allowed to enter. 

Other attractions at MBS, such as the ArtScience Museum, Digital Light Canvas, SkyPark Observation Deck and Sampan Rides, are running at 25 per cent capacity.

MBS' shops and retail outlets are also open to the public, with a capacity limit of one person per 16 sq m.

The integrated resort also said it is aware of websites and messages being circulated that claim to provide online gambling on behalf of MBS.

MBS said it "does not offer any online or remote gambling services, nor ( is it) associated with any gambling website service providers", and that it "will never request membership-related information or other personal identification info in text messages or by e-mail".

Marina Bay Sands said its casino has implemented various precautionary measures with the reopening. 
PHOTO: The Straits Times

"The casino joins other venues and attractions at Marina Bay Sands that are currently operating, adhering to the highest safety, hygiene and testing standards, often going beyond regulatory guidelines," said MBS on its website.

The website added: "The integrated resort... is committed to being vigilant on all fronts, working closely with the authorities to respond and adapt quickly to the evolving situation."

It also reminded visitors to wear masks, follow safe management measures and use the TraceTogether app or token.

This article was first published in The Straits TimesPermission required for reproduction.