A new tiered approach was announced by the British government on Thursday which will see nearly all of England facing tougher restrictions once the national lockdown ends on December the 2nd.
England's new coronavirus tier system set out by Health Secretary Matt Hancock today will see 55 million people banned from mixing with other households indoors after December 2nd.
From a bingo hall perspective, all bingo halls in tier 3 areas will be forced to close for at least 14 days. More than 23 million people spread across 21 local authority areas will be in tier three. The areas placed in tier 3 today are most of the Midlands, the North East and the North West, including Manchester, as well as Kent.
The Full List of Tier 3 Areas
- North East: Tees Valley Combined Authority (Hartlepool; Middlesbrough; Stockton-on-Tees; Redcar and Cleveland; Darlington); North East Combined Authority (Sunderland; South Tyneside; Gateshead; Newcastle upon Tyne; North Tyneside; County Durham; Northumberland)
- North West: Greater Manchester; Lancashire; Blackpool; Blackburn with Darwen
- Yorkshire and The Humber: The Humber; West Yorkshire; South Yorkshire
- West Midlands: Birmingham and Black Country; Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent; Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull
- East Midlands: Derby and Derbyshire; Nottingham and Nottinghamshire; Leicester and Leicestershire; Lincolnshire
- South East: Slough (remainder of Berkshire is tier 2: High alert); Kent and Medway
- South West: Bristol; South Gloucestershire; North Somerset
Bingo halls in these areas will stay closed on December 2nd and the earliest they will be allowed to open could be on the 16th of December following a scheduled government review.
Not that the weather would likely permit, but games of street bingo would also be ruled out as you are also not allowed to socialise in a group of more than six in most outdoor public spaces.
What you need to know about Tier 3: Very High Alert ?
— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) November 24, 2020
Tier 1 and Tier 2 Bingo Restrictions
For Bingo halls in areas that have been designated tier 1 and tier 2, an early closure rule is in place. The early closure rule also applies to bingo halls, casinos, and most other hospitality venues.
Bingo halls in tier 1 and tier 2 areas can only serve alcohol with substantial meals, must provide table service only, stop taking orders at 10 pm and close at 11 pm.
Areas in Tier 2
- North West: Cumbria; Liverpool City Region; Warrington and Cheshire
- Yorkshire: York; North Yorkshire
- West Midlands: Worcestershire; Herefordshire; Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin
- East Midlands: Rutland; Northamptonshire
- East of England: Suffolk; Hertfordshire; Cambridgeshire (including Peterborough); Norfolk; Essex; Thurrock and Southend on Sea; Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes
- London: All 32 boroughs plus the City of London
- South East: East Sussex; West Sussex; Brighton and Hove; Surrey; Reading; Wokingham; Bracknell Forest; Windsor and Maidenhead; West Berkshire; Hampshire (except the Isle of Wight), Portsmouth and Southampton; Buckinghamshire; Oxfordshire
- South West: South Somerset, Somerset West and Taunton, Mendip and Sedgemoor; Bath and North East Somerset; Dorset; Bournemouth; Christchurch; Poole; Gloucestershire; Wiltshire and Swindon; Devon
Areas in Tier 1
Just three areas are in the lowest tier:
- South East: Isle of Wight
- South West: Cornwall; Isles of Scilly
With the next review scheduled 14 days after the lockdown ends on December the 2nd, and a further two weeks of closure at least for most of England, the pressure is mounting on the UK bingo and gambling industry.
BingoDaily estimates up to 20% of the bingo halls have closed in 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic. Whilst online bingo has seen a strong uptake, bingo halls have seen reduced numbers even when open post-first-lockdown.
Let's hope the UK infection rate lowers and we see bingo halls in tier 3 reopen on the 16th December, in time for Christmas.