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When Will UK Bingo Halls Reopen?

On 22nd February 2021, Boris Johnson finally unveiled the UK government’s roadmap for the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions.

Both the public and businesses have been eagerly waiting for news of when amenities might start to re-open and friends and family can begin to meet again. And, if you enjoy playing at your local bingo hall, you might be keen to know when you’re likely to be able to next step foot in a club.

As has been the case since the early days of the pandemic, the devolved nations have been able to set their own rules and restrictions, which can make working out which non-essential businesses and hospitality venues are due to open rather confusing.

So, here’s what we’ve discovered so far in relation to the planned reopening of bingo halls in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

England

The “One Way Road to Freedom” plan set out by Boris Johnson estimates that most shops (plus outdoor hospitality and betting shops) will be able to resume trading from 12th April 2021 while bingo halls, casinos, cinemas, and gyms will follow suit on 17th May.

Wales

Although non-essential shops may begin to reopen in Wales from as early as 12th March and self-catering holiday accommodation in time for Easter, First Minister Mark Drakeford has yet to confirm any planned dates for the reopening of hospitality, gyms, bingo halls, and casinos. It is possible that there may be an update on these types of venues at the next lockdown review on 12th March.

Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon’s latest update for Scotland indicates that shops, gyms, and restaurants could reopen in the last week of April and that the country is likely to return to its previous regional level-based system of restrictions going forward. There has been no confirmation that bingo halls will be included in the First Minister’s plans for late April, although she is due to expand on the proposed framework next week.

Northern Ireland

Lockdown restrictions in Northern Ireland have been extended until 1st April 2021. However, Arlene Foster has promised to publish her framework for the pathway out of lockdown and recovery on 1st March, which should hopefully shed some light on which sectors will be allowed to open first.

What about casinos and betting offices?

For those that enjoy a bet on the horses and to watch with other punters on the high street, or a visit to the intimate surroundings of a casino, the news is mixed. We are still waiting to hear about most of the UK as outlined above, but in England there is more definite news. While the broadcast did not mention these venues specifically it has been reported that betting shops are included in the list of venues able to re-open on 12th April, while casinos will have to wait until stage three – currently anticipated as being on 17th May.

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