The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur) of Peru has approved the “Health Guidelines and Protocols” that will lead to the reopening of gambling shops and casinos in the country.

They will be able to resume their operations at a 50% capacity once the authorities issue a new decree alongside the approval. Peruvian casinos shut down more than six months ago, representing losses of $42m in unpaid taxes to the State.

Through a statement, Mincetur explained: “With this new standard, we set the general guidelines to monitor, prevent and control COVID-19, included in the process to reopen tourism. Therefore, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism will carry out operations so these guidelines are applied by public and private actors. The resumption of this industry will only be possible with everyone’s help.”

In the Supreme Decree No 157-2020, President Martín Vizcarra approved Phase 4 of the reactivation of economic activities. However, casinos and gambling shops were not included, so they needed two different decrees: one to approve the protocol and another one to allow the reopening.

This new Ministerial Resolution No 196-2020-Mincetur sets the protocol, meaning that “when this activity is allowed, they will be able to operate again, always complying with the government’s requirements.”

The resolution complements another technical document called “Guidelines to monitor, prevent and control the health of workers at risk of exposure to COVID-19” which details the measures that employees need to follow.

Casinos must provide information to the Health Authority in case there is a suspected or confirmed case. In addition, the owner of the gambling facility will be in charge of verifying if the providers are complying with the protocols and they will need to implement a virtual book to receive complaints.

In order to access the facilities they will need to identify people with document readers or other digital tools. The use of masks will be mandatory and both employees and visitors will need to constantly wash their hands.

The protocol recommends the use of virtual payment methods to reduce the risk of contact between the staff and the clients.