It seems that the UK Government has listened very carefully to all the calls from relevant industry bodies from the sectors that had been left out in the cold when it came to being able to open for business.
Casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks, indoor play areas and theatres will be allowed to open their doors to paying customers once again from Saturday, 15th August. All will be subject to strict social distancing rules, but it is fair to say the all these businesses will be more than ready by now to adhere to these measures without delay.
Casinos owners and gambling organisations such as the BGC have been lobbying Government almost incessantly over the last couple of weeks to end the discrepancies over business that have opened and those which were ordered to remain closed. They have clearly succeeded in putting forward compelling arguments which could not be ignored. This means that customers can feel safe returning to play, knowing that they would not have been allowed to re-open had there been any doubt at all.
The BGC has welcomed the ‘belated’ reopening news, following the sudden removal of permission to open on 1st August. There should be no sudden shocks this time given the short time between permission being given and the reopening date itself.
Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the BGC said: “This belated good news will come as a welcome relief to the 12,000 people employed in the casino sector in England. We regret that it has taken so long for staff to return to work – long after all manner of venues and activities, that don’t have anything like the anti-covid measures you will see in any casino, were reopened.”
In addition there is good news for people who want to get hitched as weddings can now take place with up to 30 guests enjoying a sit down meal in a ‘Covid-19 responsible’ venue.
Sporting events can start to let spectators in, again subject to strict social distancing and this starts with the popular World Snooker Championship in Sheffield this weekend.
Beauty therapists, tattoo studios and hairdressers will now be able to offer close person to person treatments, but with extra requirements for masks as well as visors for staff wherever possible.
The bad news is that casinos in Scotland and Wales remain closed, although there is a provisional Scottish reopening date of 24th August.