Thanks to the continuing fall in Coronavirus rates in Wales, the country’s first minister, Mark Drakeford has brought forward the reopening date for indoor hospitality and entertainment.
Along with pubs, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, museums, cafes, bars and tourist accommodation, Welsh bingo halls will now be allowed to start welcoming back their customers from Monday, 17th May 2021, in line with England.
However, as the Senedd election is due to take place on 6th May, a change in government could mean that the proposed date is either brought forward or delayed. So, whichever party wins the most votes will further clarify any alternations to the current plans for exiting lockdown at the next three-week review on 13th May.
Some people and politicians have accused Mark Drakeford of bringing forward reopening dates to gain public popularity in the run-up to the election. However, the first minister claims that this is not the case and that allowing businesses to open earlier than previously planned is based on Wales currently having the lowest COVID rate in the UK.
Last week’s government update also saw a change in the number of people allowed to mix outdoors. Previously, up to six people from two households could meet, but from 24th April, up to six people from any number of households are permitted to mix. Plus, from 3rd May 2021, people can once again form extended households so that two households can have indoor contact.
Presumably, this means that visitors to Welsh bingo halls will be able to sit and play with their extended household or bubble.
The announcement of the earlier-than-expected date for indoor entertainment venues in Wales being allowed to reopen has come as a huge relief to bingo halls. It’s estimated that there are 36 bingo clubs and halls in the country, some of which are independent and others that are owned by well-known brands like Cashino, Castle Bingo, Apollo, Club 3000 and Mecca Bingo.