On Monday, 15th June 2020, parts of the flagging UK economy were given a much-need boost when the UK government entered Phase 2 of its easing of the COVID-19 lockdown. Did you see the queues outside Primark around the country?
This is Phase 2 of the Government plan and saw the majority of non-essential shops allowed to reopen their doors after more than 3 months of having to remain closed to customers after the Prime Minister announced that all 5 key tests have now been met.
Some of the non-essential stores that have now started trading again (in England) include those that sell clothes, toys and furniture, along with charity shops and betting shops.
Some of you may be interested to see that while the forced closure of betting shops has now been lifted in England, bingo clubs, adult gaming centres (as well as theatres and cinemas) are still, like some of us, in lockdown.
However, hope for bingo fans is on the horizon as it looks as though they may be allowed to reopen as part of Phase 3, which is anticipated to begin on 4th July.
Although betting shops are traditionally much smaller than bingo halls and, therefore, better placed to quickly implement the changes required to comply with social distancing and hygiene rules, they have had to make several alterations to their stores. For example, high-profile posters and screens are aimed at reminding customers to keep their distance, while glass screens have been installed at the tills.
If it’s confirmed that bingo clubs such as Gala Bingo and Mecca Bingo can open up again on 4th July, they will be well placed to do so judging by their social media channels. They have all been making some significant modifications to their venues. For example, hand sanitizers will be in evidence, tables and chairs will need to be set further apart and plastic glasses may be offered instead of glasses to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. In addition, visitor numbers may have to be restricted at traditionally busy periods.
N.B., Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland are following different timescales to England.
In the meantime, we imagine that the bingo operators are keeping their fingers crossed that there’ll be a Number 4 (Knock at the Door) come July 4th!