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SkyCity share price falls 15% as New Zealand prepares for lockdown

The SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited (ASX: SKC) share price fell by 15% today after making two ASX announcements.

This afternoon, the ASX entertainment share announced that effective immediately, it would be closing its New Zealand entertainment and casino facilities, following a similar announcement made earlier today with regards to its Australian facilities.

All New Zealand entertainment and casino facilities to close

SkyCity has announced today that it has closed all of its New Zealand casino and entertainment facilities in Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch.

This decision follows the New Zealand government’s announcement that was made earlier today that the nationwide coronavirus alert level has been raised to Level 3, with the intention to move to Level 4 within the next 48 hours. When Level 4 is in place, this automatically requires that all non-essential services such as entertainment be shut down.

New Zealand to enter lockdown phase

At this higher alert level, the coronavirus is seen to have the likelihood of sustained intensive transmission and widespread outbreaks that require a national response to attempt to eliminate the virus.

New Zealand is preparing to enter into self isolation. Citizens will be effectively required to stay at home, and only essential services will remain open. New Zealand businesses will be asked to find alternative ways of working, including working from home unless they are in essential service areas. All schools are to close and regional air travel and public transport will be restricted to those involved in essential services and freight.

New Zealand hotels to temporarily stay open

SkyCity noted that its Auckland hotels will remain temporarily open in order to accommodate current guests, and it will wait for advice before making any further decisions on hotel closures.

SkyCity will now concentrate on analysing what the implications are for its 4,000 employees throughout New Zealand.

Recap of recent Australian developments

The closures in New Zealand today follows a market announcement by SkyCity made earlier this morning that it has closed its Adelaide casino from noon today.

This comes after the Australian Government’s announcement enforcing the immediate closure of all licensed clubs, pubs, cinemas, casinos, nightclubs and places of worship.

The new rules, however, do not apply to construction sites, and therefore SkyCity has announced that it will continue to work on its Adelaide expansion project for the foreseeable future.

SkyCity is not the only ASX entertainment share facing closures of at least some of its operations. Others include Ardent Leisure Group Ltd (ASX: ALG), Event Hospitality and Entertainment Ltd (ASX: EVT), Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN), Star Entertainment Group Ltd (ASX: SGR), and Village Roadshow Ltd (ASX: VRL).

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Motley Fool contributor Phil Harpur has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Crown Resorts Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Event Hospitality & Entertainment. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Sky City Entertainment Group Ltd. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.