Manila gaming venues still closed under two-week trial of new quarantine scheme

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The Philippines will trial a new quarantine scheme in Metro Manila from this Thursday, but there is no relief in sight for the citys gaming and entertainment venues which will remain closed until at least the end of September.

The new scheme will include five Alert Levels Level 1 being the mildest and Level 5 the most strict complemented by a granular lockdown system whereby individual villages, streets or even houses can be sealed off if deemed high risk by their local government unit.

By limiting full lockdowns to specific areas of concern rather than the city, it is hoped a better balance can be achieved between reducing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping businesses open.

However, there will be no immediate respite for many of those businesses with the government announcing Tuesday that the Manila would be placed under the second strictest Alert Level 4 from 16 to 30 September.

Businesses and activities prohibited under Alert Level 4 include casinos, horse racing and cockfighting, indoor tourist attractions, MICE venues, bars, cinemas, amusement parks, social gatherings, internet cafes and many more.

People aged under 18 or over 65 must stay at home unless shopping for essential goods and services.

Introduction of the new scheme comes after the Philippines notched a record daily high of 26,303 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday.