Crown Resorts’ flagship property in Melbourne isn’t reopening for at least six weeks, dealing the company a major blow. Crown hoped to welcome back customers a couple of weeks ago but those plans lay in tatters because Melbourne is re-entering lockdown procedures.
Victoria recorded a record 191 new cases of COVID-19 in only a 24-hour period. Only eight other cases occurred across Australia’s other seven states and territories. The drastic rise prompted the state government to force Melbourne residents back into lockdown.
Stage 3 lockdown measures came into force on July 8 and remain in place for at least six weeks. Lockdown rules prohibit any Melbourne resident from leaving their home for all but essential business. Retail businesses remain open, although with strict density limits enforce. Residents can only leave their homes for work, food, exercise, and medical care.
Australia has only seen approximately 9,000 COVID-19 cases and 106 deaths. The worldwide figures are horrendous with more than 12 million confirmed cases and 553,571 deaths. A large percentage of Australia’s cases stem from Victoria, hence the return to lockdown.
Victoria Premier Explains The Need For Lockdown
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews addressed the state on July 8.
“Ultimately, we have to take this as seriously as we take a bushfire. This is binary. It is life or death. If it gets away from is – and I don’t want to hear any more of this stuff from younger people or healthy people regardless of their age, that it won’t affect me. Well, it will affect you.”
“There are people across the world who have died who are otherwise healthy. Not one or two. Significant numbers. All of us are part of families. Loved ones being gravely ill and potentially dying, that will affect you too. And the restrictions affect you, of course. It’s not about singling out one group. I think there’s been complacency and a sense of frustration, and I get that and I’m not really criticising it. I understand it. It has to change. It just has to change.”
Andrews explained to Victorians how the virus spreads rapidly. One person can easily infect dozens of people who, in tun, infect dozens more.
“The mildness of it is the real devil to it. The fact so many people can have it and not even feel unwell or, if they do, the symptoms are so mild they’re not as prompt to go and get tested.”
The Victorian Premier also revealed the government considered a shorter lockdown period. They chose to impose a six-week lockdown in order to ensure the number of infections is falling.
Crown Resorts issued a short statement on the afternoon of July 8.
“This afternoon the Victorian Government announced that it will reintroduce Stage 3 lockdown restrictions across metropolitan Melbourne. Crown’s first priority is the health and safety of its employees, guests, and the community.”
Crown Perth Opens; Star Sydney Back In Business
New lockdown measures are a hammer blow to Crown Resorts. It’s Melbourne property closed on March 23 and is yet to allow any customers to enjoy their facilities. Crown’s thousands of staff are also affected as they were temporarily laid off during the first lockdown. They hoped to return to work during late June and return to some sort of normality. That hasn’t happened.
The gambling giant’s Perth hotel and casino complex is open again and accepting guests and customers.
Star Entertainment, Crown’s biggest rivals, reopened its Sydney property on July 1. Up to 5,000 people are allowed inside the property at any one time. Strict social distancing measures and hygiene standards are in place.
Approximately 3,000 of Star’s 9,000 employees have returned to the workplace. They have their fingers crossed they won’t be impacted by any future lockdown procedures.