UK Lockdown to End but Casinos/Betting Shops Remain Closed
The COVID-19 lockdown will end in the UK on December 3, allowing businesses to reopen, except for casinos and betting shops in certain areas.
The UK is one of many countries struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses have been shut down and reopened, only to shut down again. A new lockdown was put in place a short time ago as positive case counts increased. Prime Minister Boris Johnson just announced that the lockdown will end on December 2, but certain businesses like casinos and sports betting shops will remain closed, if they are located in certain areas.
Ending the Lockdown
On Monday, the announcement was made that the lockdown was coming to an end on December 2. The country will move to a tiered system. Businesses located in tier 2 regions will be able to reopen, this includes betting shops and casinos. However, any business located in tier 3 will be subject to stricter conditions and may not be able to reopen.
Who gets to reopen and who stays closed is up to the branches of the National Health System. How a brand can take on patients will be considered. If the positive case counts are high as well as the reproduction rate, and the system cannot handle the influx of patients, the businesses will remain on lockdown.
The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) are approving of the lockdown no longer being in place but want to see casinos reopen fully. The group has pointed out that casinos have done everything they can to stay in operation. They have precautions in place including hand sanitizer, social distancing, dividers, tracing and more.
The BGC has pointed out that there is no evidence that gaming facilities are hot spots for cases, and they are not spreaders of the virus. They want casinos to be allowed to stay in business so they can provide for the country by way of payments as well as ensure those who are employed within the venues can continue to work.
Michael Dugher, the chief executive of the BGC, has stated that the betting shops and casinos in Tier 3 should remain open. He wants to see the government actually assess the threat at the venues instead of just shutting them down.
Dugher reminded government officials that in the hospitality sector, casinos have been unmatched in their ability to protect guests and employees. On the plus side, the venues are allowed to remain open until 11pm in the lower tiers as a curfew has been extended. These businesses are busier during the nighttime hours, so having that extra time will help to bring in more revenues.
Additional groups have praised the new guidelines as it makes it easier to generate revenues. This includes the British Horse Racing Authority and the Racecourse Association.
Fans Can Attend Live Events
The Prime Minister also revealed during his conference that fans will be able to go back to stadiums and enjoy live events. This is a big change from previous restrictions where stadiums were empty as sports continued.
The shutdown originally started in March and since that time, no one has been able to attend sporting events. Venues and sports clubs have lost revenues so the restoration of this aspect will certain help boost earnings. However, the capacity numbers of sports arenas will be reduced.
Outdoor stadiums can only have 4,000 fans present or less if they are located in Tier 1. In Tier 2, only 2,000 people are allowed. And of course, in Tier 3, no one is allowed to attend. Indoor venues can have 1,000 fans or 50% of capacity whichever amount is lower. It will be interesting to see how long the tier system lasts and if casinos and betting shops will be fully functioning again in the near future.