Casinos in England ready to reopen under new hygiene and distancing rules

3rd June 2020 9:59 am GMT
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Casinos in England will be allowed to reopen from 4 July under strict new anti-covid standards.

All casinos in the country have been closed since 23 March and will be among the last venues to resume operations next month in the third and final phase of England’s COVID-19 de-escalation plan.

The casino industry said Tuesday that it has put in place procedures to allow for the safe reopening of venues from 4 July, including stringent hygiene and social distancing measures, table capacity limits, redesigned floor layouts and the use of plexiglass screens where necessary to protect customers and staff.

“Nothing is more important to the casino sector than the safety of staff and customers,” said Michael Dugher, chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, which represents the UK gambling industry.

“I know that the casino operators have been working tirelessly to ensure that when they do reopen for business again, every possible measure will be in place to ensure the health and safety of everyone who enters the premises – from the availability of hand sanitisers and protective equipment to adherence to the latest Government current social distancing rules.”

Dugher added that not all casinos will be able to open on 4 July, noting that high-end casinos in particular will be hampered by the government’s 14-day quarantine plan for arriving visitors from overseas, which would have to be eased before there is any prospect of their doors reopening.

As the industry begins to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, the BGC also urged the government to show flexibility in winding down the furlough scheme.

“We know that the casino sector faces some very tough times ahead and the threat posed by COVID to many businesses won’t go away quickly. That’s why we would also urge the Government to continue to be flexible in their approach to the hospitality and leisure industry as its furlough scheme is wound down,” Dugher said. “

“Even though they will be ready to open their doors on 4th July, casinos will still be forced to operate at a reduced capacity for some time to come because of the need to maintain social distancing. We would urge the Chancellor to keep being flexible and continue providing support as the country emerges from the pandemic.”

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