While discussions with local authorities continue, Boris Johnson outlined a new three-tier system in Parliament to control the increasing rates of coronavirus. Every area in the country has been assigned a ‘tier’ level, according to coronavirus risk. Tier 1 indicates a medium risk, while Tier 3 is very high and means tougher restrictions to come into place.
The Liverpool city region and the surrounding areas of Knowsley, the Wirral, St Helens, Sefton, and Halton are all listed under the Tier 3 category and considered ‘very high’ risk. This means heavier restrictions and more closures to come. Under Tier 3 restrictions pubs, bars, betting shops, casinos, and gyms all face closures. The casino industry even offered to stop the sale of alcohol to remain open past 10pm.
While pubs have been forced to shut their doors by 10pm every night, in Liverpool and surrounding areas, they will be ordered to close unless they are serving “substantial meals.” Alcohol will only be able to be consumed as part of a meal and customers may only sit with their own family, no mixing even if adhering to the previous ‘rule of six’ guidance.
And as for betting shops and casinos, from tomorrow, Wednesday 14th, these will close their doors to the public once again, along with gyms and leisure centres. Casinos only started operating again the 15th August, while betting shops reopened the 15th June after shutting in mid-March.
These latest closures are said to be 'another blow' to an industry that was just starting to recover from the first lockdown. Michael Dugher, of the Betting and Gaming Council, said “Betting shops were safely reopened in June and were classified as non-essential retail,” he added. “They are not hospitality businesses, yet they are unfairly singled out from other parts of non-essential retail." He implored "They are not looking for a handout. They simply wish to stay open safely and contribute to the local economy."
The BGC expressed in an official tweet their disappointment in Boris Johnson and the government’s decision to close “hundreds of betting shops and six casinos, employing 2,300 people,” and claimed the the closure was based on “NO evidence that they contribute to the spread of #COVID19.”
Dugher also added that “Casinos have already proved, thanks to their world class track and trace systems, the use of Perspex screens, hand sanitisers and strict social distancing rules, that they are Covid-secure according to Public Health England.”
With the new measures coming into effect and many casinos closing their doors once again, why not try your hand at a Virtual Bingo Night, so you can catch up with your friends while staying safe and protected?
Hannah has written news articles and lifestyle blogs for three years. Venturing into the gambling industry Hannah is writing gambling content for Online Bingo and has written content for Lodgis Paris.
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