Since the Prime Minister announced the country would go into lockdown on 23rd March, Bingo Halls, casinos, betting shops and arcades have all shut their doors for the foreseeable future. The Government announced that from now, outdoor markets and car showrooms will open and from the 15th June, non-essential shops could begin to re-open. Although this is good news for betting shops and gambling arcades as they’re included in that list, for Bingo Halls and land-based casinos, there are still no definitive dates for re-opening. This has been really disappointing for the bingo community, but that isn’t stopping Bingo Hall owners from preparing and ensuring all social distancing and hygiene measures are adhered to.
The Government haven’t given an exact date for when Bingo Halls can re-open but it has said that Bingo Halls, pubs, restaurants, cinemas, theatres and concert halls would have to wait until at least the 4th July 2020, and the re-opening of these venues would depend entirely on the continued drop in rates of new cases and the results of their key five tests to ensure the country stays on top of Covid-19 virus numbers. With this being the light at the end of the tunnel, Bingo Halls over the UK are beginning to make preparations to ensure that when the time comes to open their doors, they are fully compliant and more importantly, their players are protected as best as possible. Some of these measures will include social distancing measures, ensuring players will be distanced accordingly from one another, full deep cleans and regular sanitation and disinfecting of any stations and equipment.
Bringing communities together
During the pandemic, despite bingo halls being closed, bingo has still remained part of the community and been one of the most popular ways of bringing joy to many, raising money and helping those most vulnerable, feel less isolated. We’ve seen A-list movie stars host games in Texas, communities raising money for charity through bingo and even The Royal Family have joined in, with William and Kate calling the numbers online for a care home in Cardiff. Hopefully in a few weeks, people will be able to start enjoying their local bingo halls again, in the safest, socially distanced way possible!