Today saw Prime Minister Boris Johnson outline the roadmap for easing England out of lockdown. Finally, the question all bingo fans want answering – when will bingo halls reopen? has an answer.
In Boris Johnson's One Way Road to Freedom', April 12th will see retail, outdoor hospitality, and hairdressers reopen. Meanwhile, indoor gyms, cinemas, and Bingo clubs in England will reopen on May 17th.
Bingo halls have been hit financially by the impact of the pandemic. They were among the last businesses to be allowed to reopen following the first national lockdown in Spring 2020. Bingo clubs were also forced to close again between November 5th and December 5th last year during the second national lockdown.
Despite a strict set of safety measures designed to keep customers and workers safe from coronavirus, bingo halls were forced to close again when the latest national lockdown was implemented on January 4th earlier this year.
Now, it seems bingo fans will have to wait until May 17th, at the earliest, until they can be allowed to return to their local bingo halls.
With schools scheduled to reopen on March 8th, much depends on Boris Johnson's “four steps to freedom” being met. These include vaccination targets being met and evidence that the vaccinations are effective at reducing hospitalisations and deaths.
Whilst casinos are joining bingo halls in opening on May 17th, betting shops will reopen on April 12th.
Having seen an estimated 20% of the UK's bingo clubs close in 2020, most notably Buzz Bingo closing 26 of its clubs, there will be serious questions over whether more bingo clubs will be forced to close due to the latest extended lockdown. BingoDaily has already reported on the Save Scottish Bingo campaign and there is a real fear that more bingo clubs will remain closed for good despite some light at the end of a very dark tunnel.