While we’re in a global pandemic, according to some, the real story is not when will there be a vaccine, or when will the virus run its course, but what is the balance between saving lives and livelihoods?
As governments are slowly easing into loosening social distancing guidelines and many industries have already made a comeback, some have done so in ways that we find unfamiliar. Due to the nature of their service, they face the task of implementing tighter regulations that benefit everyone’s well-being, except that of their bottom line.
Gambling has been one of the most impacted sectors during this crisis. There was no doubt that the pandemic would impact some more than others, and that it would transform the growth of various industries, but gambling received the full force of tighter regulations.
The pandemic led to the closure of most land-based casinos around the globe for more than two months, and there were no sporting events held anywhere except for Belarus, for more than three. However, online casinos in the UK and elsewhere manage to attain new players, as gamblers had to turn to the digital sphere for gaming entertainment.
Now that land-based casinos are back, they have to operate at half-capacity, most with closed bars, and stringent sanitary guidelines. Customers have to have their temperature checked before entering a gaming venue, and they must maintain a distance of six feet from other players while wearing a mask.
Travel is another sector that has seen trials and tribulations during these times. To illustrate the situation, according to estimates, the decline in international tourism will fall between 60%-80% this year.
Understandably, air travel has seen better days, as international aviation is operating at just 2% to 4%, even with dirt-cheap tickets. A new set of rules and health regulations are in place to protect those that choose to fly. From enhanced cleaning procedures, mask requirements, which all major airlines enact, to mandatory symptom screenings for all aboard.
Some airlines are also flying at 85% capacity, blocking middle seats. However, the travel industry also faces challenges out of their control, like countries refusing to accept flights from specific locations and customers who are discouraged from traveling to regions that may require them to quarantine upon arrival.
COVID-19 has dramatically disrupted the retail sector, with its impact differing massively between online shops and brick-and-mortar ones, non-essential stores versus essential ones, and between large retailers and small stores.
Once shopping malls opened back up, state authorities in the US urge retailers to follow prevention guidelines and restrictions. Stores should make face-coverings available for users and customers, maintain distancing protocols, implement frequent disinfection procedures, and train workers on these and other elements on how to stop the spread of infection.
Another major blow is the reduced supply of goods due to transport restrictions, the inability to receive merchandise from certain countries that have a high rate of infections, or those that do not implement necessary sanitary requirements.