The next step in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s lockdown easing across England will take effect from July 4, and bingo halls will be a part of his next move. Unveiling his plan for the beginning of July on Tuesday, June 23, Johnson not only made mention of the fact that the social distancing rule will reduce from two metres to one metre, but that various entertainment businesses can reopen their doors.
As part of that reopening of businesses, bingo halls were included alongside other shared facilities, including restaurants, cafes, bars, cinemas, libraries, and places of worship. With that announcement, many bingo halls were quick to ensure that their frequent visitors were made aware of their impending reopening. The Mecca Bingo Hall in Oldham’s King Street, for example, was one such establishment to make that announcement, as one of 36 clubs being able to reopen their doors.
Of course, various safeguards have also been put in place, so as to adhere to the UK Government guidelines. Team members of the bingo hall have already undergone rigorous training so that they’re well-advised and prepared for the reopening in a safe way. Enhanced cleaning routines have been incorporated into the business’s protocol, meaning that all tables, machines, and touchpoints will remain sanitised and safe.
Hand sanitiser stations have also been introduced to the bingo hall, which is something that all establishments must include to be able to safely reopen their doors. Social distancing will also be a key factor, with clear signage in place to assist customers in achieving this. Furthermore, there will be a maximum capacity cap in place to ensure that the number of visitors is managed, while players can opt to pay and play using contactless devices, although cash is still a possibility for those who do not wish to proceed this way.
However, this does not include bingo halls based within Scotland, as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will only lift holiday accommodation lockdown from July 15, as well as pubs, museums, cinemas hairdressers and restaurants. Bingo halls, live entertainment venues, and nightclubs will not reopen “until a later date”, according to Ms Sturgeon.