For a while, poker players believed that COVID restrictions might be a thing of the past, but reality quickly brought them back to their senses. Since the Omicron took over the world, many countries are going back to some of the familiar COVID regulations. And understandably, those affect the way the poker industry operates.
How do land-based poker rooms operate? What does it mean for online venues and poker download options? Let's take a look at the latest changes in the poker world.
All You Need to Know About Poker and COVID This December
Since COVID entered our lives, only one thing was certain: no situation lasts forever. Rules and regulations change in the blink of an eye, especially when the number of people infected by the virus rises exponentially.
And even though recent data shows that Omicron is not as deadly as the last few virus variants, governments are unwilling to take a chance. In many countries around the world, COVID-related restrictions are coming back to life, and they are affecting online and live poker.
In Germany, for example, live venues are still open, but there is a very strict masks mandate in place. Also, visitors have to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to enter a land-based casino. However, there is a possibility another lockdown will take place, which means players will have to place their bets online.
Restrictions are pretty severe in the Czech Republic too. Players might not be required to wear masks when visiting a live poker room, but they have to show proof of immunity or vaccination. In addition to that, poker rooms have a capacity limit and a 10 pm curfew, which is not an ideal situation.
Gambling venues in France also require a COVID pass, while still enforcing the masks mandate. But since the number of COVID cases in this European country has been rising steadily, new restrictions might come into place soon enough.
In Spain, on the other hand, regulations are more laid-back, as people only have to wear masks upon entering a casino. At this moment in time, there is no need to show proof of vaccinations or anything of that sort.
Safest Gambling Tips this Holiday Season
Visiting land-based casinos is a lot riskier nowadays, as you might contract COVID at the tables (earlier this month, a poker player tested positive for COVID immediately after busting out of a poker tournament).
And since no one wants to be quarantined during the holiday season, here are a few tips for you:
- When possible, play poker download games from the comfort of your own home. That is the best way to guarantee you won't be exposed to any potential COVID patients anytime soon.
- If you still choose to visit a live poker room, make sure to comply with all COVID regulations to reduce the risk of infection. Wear a mask, keep your distance from other players, and so on.
- Those of you who participate in events and tournaments that last for multiple days should take quick COVID tests from time to time.
- Pay attention to what you're feeling. If you start feeling unwell, don't dismiss it as a cold or something inconsequential.
- Don't forget to enjoy your poker session as you remain as safe as possible!
In many countries around the world, visiting a live poker room will require you to wear a mask and show proof of immunity/vaccination. And since the holidays are approaching, it is important to remain as safe and healthy as possible – all while enjoying a hearty poker session!