Casinos and bingo halls set to reopen on the 17th May

  • Updated
  • By Hannah Timoney
Casinos and bingo halls set to reopen on the 17th May
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The Prime Minister revealed his roadmap for easing the country back to normality in the Commons yesterday, before his address to the nation. Boris Johnson said “The threat remains substantial with the numbers in hospital only now beginning to fall below the peak of the first wave in April.”

He says that these steps can be taken because of the resolve of the British people and the success of the NHS in delivering the first dose of the vaccine to more than 17.5 million people across the UK. 

Casinos, bingo halls, and other non-essential retailers have been closed nationally since the third lockdown in January, while some areas have seen these businesses closed for longer due to local restrictions, when England was split into the Tier system.

Under the new roadmap for the easing of restrictions, schools will be the first to reopen on March 8th, and Brits will be allowed to meet one friend or family member in an outside space for a picnic or coffee. 

The next significant step will be March 29th, when outdoors gatherings of six people, or two households, will be allowed. This date will also see the return of outdoor sports such as tennis, gold, and football.

On the 12th April hairdressers, gyms, libraries, and other non essential retail businesses will be allowed to reopen. This includes restaurants and gyms with outdoor seating. Bingo halls and casinos are set to be allowed to open their doors once again to customers on the 17th May, when pubs and restaurants can once again invite customers inside. 

The 21st June marks the lifting of limits of social contact, with nightclubs and large events starting again, and limits on the number of guests at weddings lifted once again. 

The news of this plan comes as a relief to many businesses, which have been impacted heavily by the lockdown restrictions, most notably casinos and bingo halls. Casinos and bingo halls have repeatedly been the first venues to close and the last to reopen through the coronavirus pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns.

In January, Wes Himes of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) said that they were doing everything they could to make land-based casinos safe for customers and that "operators invested very large funds in making sure that those premises were mitigating the risk of Covid-19." He ensures customers looking forward to returning to casinos and bingo halls across the nation that the BGC and operators are continuing to make sure that our premises are mitigating the risk.