Manila casino closures to reach one month as MECQ extended to 7 September

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Manilas casinos will stay closed for another week after the government announced an extension to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) measures for the National Capital Region until 7 September.

Previously scheduled to remain in place for just 10 days from 21 to 31 August, Malacaang said the The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases had opted to retain the status quo after the Philippines recorded a record high of 19,441 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday the third time in nine days the previous record has been surpassed.

Under MECQ, most entertainment facilities, including casinos, are required to suspend operations. This latest extension will take the current closure period of Manilas casinos to a month after shutting their doors on 6 August due to implementation of the strictest Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) measures for two weeks.

However, spokesman Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the government is eying a move away from the community quarantine system in September, with granular lockdowns to be imposed instead. These granular lockdowns would see local government units isolate specific buildings, streets or zones where COVID cases were spiking rather than the entire city.

I have tasked police commanders to start coordinating with local government officials and initiate discussions regarding the possible implementation of granular lockdown starting next month, Roque said.