Prime Minister Boris Johnson has today announced a delay in the easing of lockdown in the UK, which was set to move into its second phase tomorrow. The delay means that Casinos, which were set to re-open tomorrow, now must wait a further two weeks.
After being closed since March due to the ongoing pandemic, the Betting and Gaming Council had been requesting to reopen since mid-June, after implementing social distancing and sanitisation measures designed to keep staff and players safe.
The head of the BGC, Michael Dugher, who fought hard for casinos to reopen and was pleased with the original August 1st date, is clearly unhappy with this decision. In a tweet, he said “it’s clear decisions are being taken when [members of the department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport] aren’t even in the room.”
This suggests that the department in charge of these issues aren’t being consulted when these decisions are being made, especially considering Mr Dugher has gone out of his way to show how prepared and sanitary casinos are to reopen.
Boris Johnson’s announcement came with a new slogan for the public to follow: ‘hands, face, space, get a test’. This isn’t quite as punchy or informative as the original slogan ‘Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives’ but does suggest that we’re further along in beating the virus than we were back in March.
Although the delay is frustrating for casino staff and gamblers alike, in reality it is only 2 weeks and likely has the interest of the nation’s health in mind, which is important during the current pandemic.