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Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar closes casino

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Tribune Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

THE Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar closed its casino as of 5am Friday, with management saying the move was in response to new government restrictions and out of an “abundance of caution” as COVID-19 has triggered heightened safety measures.

In a letter sent to guests, Gerald Ursulet, resort manager, said the mega resort’s casino was expected to remain closed until March 31. This is when an emergency order from Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, which imposes a national curfew of 9pm-5am and the suspension of businesses with few exceptions, is set to expire. At such time, the government will issue additional policies and the situation would be evaluated, Mr Ursulet noted.

Robert Sands, Baha Mar’s senior vice-president of government and external affairs, confirmed the closure, adding staff levels at the resort continued to be matched to the level of operations.

On Thursday, Dr Minnis said the emergency order, a radical restriction on personal and business freedoms that will upend life in The Bahamas, was needed to prevent the spread of the highly contagious novel coronavirus. The order took effect at 9am Friday, and will expire at 9am March 31. Hotels are exempt from closure under the order.

“In response to newly implemented government policies and in an abundance of caution, with the well-being, safety and health of you and our associates in mind, we will be closing the Baha Mar Casino beginning March 20, 2020 at 5am,” the letter sent to guests Thursday night read.

“However, we invite you to continue to enjoy all of the other spectacular experiences Baha Mar has to offer.

“The casino closure is expected to be in effect until March 31, 2020 at which time the government will issue additional policies and the resort will evaluate the situation. Baha Mar is committed to upholding the highest stands of cleanliness and our teams have rigorously increased our cleaning practices across all hotel properties and shared services, going above and beyond the enhanced safety protocols and compliances set forth by the Ministry of Health of the Bahamas, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organisation.”

The letter noted the government’s newly imposed curfew, saying it “prohibits individuals from leaving the Baha Mar grounds”.

Baha Mar encouraged guests to connect with their respective embassies to stay up to date with travel advisories and restrictions.

Comments

TalRussell 2 years, 4 months ago

Ironically, it's the Baha Mar and Atlantis Casino's themselves making the wise decision temporarily cease operations - not the Colony's government?
In the meantime, we government have threatened to sick Royal constabulary on any and all found be engaged in the act being outside between hours 9pm and 5am - and just for catching a breath fresh-air walk, or jogging to try calm some all new stresses of recent. Can only write this stuff under threat stretch imprisonment!

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