UK casinos will be allowed to reopen in August. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the announcement Friday morning as he updated plans for the next stage in the UK Government's coronavirus recovery strategy.
"From August 1 we will reopen most remaining leisure settings, namely bowling, ice-skating rinks, casinos and we will enable close contact services at beauticians to resume," he said, as reported by The Sun.
Casinos were forced to close on March 23 due to the pandemic. Johnson announced on July 4 that a number of leisure and hospitality businesses were allowed to reopen their doors, but casinos were not among them. Michael Dugher, the chief executive of industry body the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), wrote to the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, earlier this month, urging him to include casinos in plans to lift lockdown restrictions.
For next month's reopenings, each facility must operate on strict guidelines which includes social distancing and proper hygiene to stop the spread of the virus. Players who visit the casinos must use hand sanitizer upon entering, and visitors will be asked to enter the building one at a time. Also, table capacity limits will be enforced and face coverings will be provided to guests who request one. Slot machines will be cleaned after every use and ATMs will be sanitised every hour at a minimum.
There has as of yet been no confirmed date for when casinos will reopen in Scotland or Wales.
Moreover, in October sports stadiums will be able to welcome back fans and conferences will be allowed to go ahead, as long as they are Covid-19 secure. Nightclubs and soft play areas will have to stay closed but this will be reviewed at a later date.