TAB NZ closes Auckland betting shops amid Covid-19 outbreak
TAB NZ has closed all of its betting shops in Auckland until at least 26 August in response to an outbreak of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in the New Zealand city.
Last week, the NZ government moved Auckland to Alert Level 3 of its Covid-19 alert system and introduced a three-day lockdown in the city. Though this only ran from 12-14 August, other measures still remain in place.
Alert Level 3 states that community transmission of Covid-19 may be happening and new clusters of the virus may emerge, but this can be controlled through testing and contact tracing.
The latest government figures show that as of today (17 August) there are 78 active Covid-19 cases in the country, 19 of which are in Auckland.
In response to the government raising the Alert Level, Tab NZ, the organisation that recently replaced the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA), has now shut all of its betting shops across Auckland.
The facilities in Albany, Birkenhead, Botany, Flatbush, Glen Eden and Glen Innes will not reopen until 26 August at the earliest, but this could be pushed back if the government extends restrictions in the city.
All branches outside of Auckland will operate under Alert Level 2 in line with the latest government guidance that applies to all other regions across the country.
Alert Level 2 sets out how region should prepare for a potential spike in Covid-19 cases, whereby household transmission, single or isolated cluster outbreaks could be happening.
As such, TAB NZ said that it will take a number of steps to protect customers and staff in its shops. These include increasing the cleaning frequency of high volume touch points, practicing social distancing and providing for contact tracing
“Our top priority is to ensure that our customers and team members feel comfortable and safe while in our stores,” TAB NZ said.
Last week, SkyCity Entertainment Group said it would support the government with its efforts to combat further spread of Covid-19 by temporarily closing its Auckland casino and entertainment facilities.
SkyCity’s Auckland hotels are staying open to accommodate existing guests, but physical distancing and hygiene requirements will also be implemented at the properties.
The operator said it will also ensure enhanced physical distancing and hygiene measures at its casino properties in Hamilton and Queenstown.