As the UK’s Coronavirus lockdown measures continue to gradually loosen, some parts of the English hospitality industry have started to welcome back customers from 4th July 2020.
As restaurants, pubs, galleries, theme parks, cinemas and hotels throughout England began to open their doors, so too did bingo clubs, giving those who’ve greatly missed the social aspect of land-based bingo the chance to reunite with their friends.
However, as an ITV reporter for the West Country recently discovered, the usual bingo hall experience has changed considerably.
For example, at Mecca Bingo in Plymouth, eager players were forced to queue outside the venue (while adhering to the newly introduced 1+ meter rule) after the club reopened following a four-month closure.
New social distancing measures within the club mean that not all the seats and tables can be used due to extra safety measures that have been put in place to protect the club’s staff and customers.
Mecca Plymouth is allowing bookings of up to 4 people who are asked to follow the Government’s guidelines on limiting indoor gatherings of members of only two households or support bubbles.
The venue has also gone beyond its normal call of duty by keeping in touch with as many of its 11,000 customers as possible during lockdown to keep them updated on the club’s progress.
Currently, only selected Mecca Bingo halls are open. In those that are, contactless payment methods are being encouraged. Customers can also order drinks and food via their mobile phone or the MAX screen at their table.
The number of players who can be present in a venue at any one time has been limited, and enhanced cleaning routines are in place throughout the day.
At the time of writing, the following Mecca Bingo clubs are open for business:
Acocks Green, Birkenhead, Blackpool Talbot Road, Bolton Moor Lane, Brierley Hill, Chester, Chesterfield, Croydon, Dagenham, Devonport, Eltham Hill, Gateshead, Harlow, Hartlepool, Hayes, Hull Clough Road, Kingstanding, Knotty Ash, Leeds Cross Gates Road, Leeds Mayfair, Luton Skimpot Road, Norwich Aylsham Road, Nottingham Beeston, Oldbury, Oldham, Rochdale, Romford, Rosehill, Sheffield Flat Street, Southend, Stevenage, St Helens, Stockton Chandlers Wharf, Stoke, Sunderland, Thanet-Ramsgate, Wakefield, Wednesbury, and Wood Green.