After a lengthy absence, casinos and bingo halls have joined betting shops in reopening their doors to customers in the UK.

Venues were previously forced to close as part of a third national lockdown in the country, introduced during the winter to curb rising COVID-19 cases.

Betting shops in England and Wales have also had further restrictions lifted, allowing customers to enjoy more of the usual experience when visiting.

Casinos and bingo halls welcome back customers

On 17th May, the UK entered its next phase of reopening after the COVID-19 lockdown. Casinos and bingo halls were joined by cinemas and other shops in opening their doors.

Sports stadiums have also reopened, and larger crowds have been allowed to return to games since. The 2021 FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Leicester was played in front of over 20,000 fans.

Museums and theatres have also been given the green light to welcome back customers, along with a host of other shops.

The government chose to move forward with reopening plans despite the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant first identified in India. The novel strain has resulted in rising cases in some parts of the country.

Some restrictions still in place

Despite being allowed to reopen, casinos and bingo halls must still adhere to certain measures. Venues will be obliged to keep social distancing measures in place, while face masks are also mandatory while on the premises.

In Scotland, casinos need to close at 10:30 pm every night and cannot sell alcohol. Though most venues have been allowed to reopen in Scotland, they will remain closed in Glasgow for the time being due to the number of cases in the city.

Face masks are also obligatory in betting shops, as are social distancing measures. However, these stores are now allowed to show live sporting events on television – which they were not allowed to do when they first reopened.

Vaccines have rolled out to most of the country

In the UK, the vast majority of people aged 40 and over have been given at least one COVID-19 vaccine jab. 91% of individuals in this bracket in England have received a shot, along with 92% in Scotland. In both Wales and Northern Ireland, the figure is 89%.

Statistics are correct at the time of writing on 21st May.

The government is aiming to lift the remaining restrictions on 21st June 2021.