Betting shops in the UK are forced to close their doors again after the UK government announced new Tier 4 areas
Over the weekend, the PM Boris Johnson announced new areas set to enter into Tier 4; subsequently betting shows in these affected areas namely London, the South East and East England are forced to shut down. The move appears to be in reaction to the new COVID-19 mutation present in the UK as well as the expected surge in positive novel coronavirus cases.
The news is a blow to the land-based industry who have recently exited the second national lockdown.
Micheal Dugher, CEO of the UK Betting and Gaming Council, commented on the new restrictions stating:
The announcement by the UK Government means that betting shops in England, as part of non-essential retail, sadly have closed in tier four areas.
We fully support the determination of the UK Government and the devolved administrations to fight the spread of Covid-19 and protect our NHS.
Included under the Tier 4 measures are closures of non-essential retail for the near future, Boris Johnson announced.
Moreover, betting shops in Scotland and Northern Ireland are also forced to close following spikes in COVID-19 cases. Dugher adds:
Unfortunately, betting shops in Wales have also closed as part of the country’s full lockdown, while those in mainland Scotland and Northern Ireland will close from Boxing Day. This is disappointing news for our staff and customers, but we hope to be able to reopen safely once again as soon as possible.
Dugher remains optimistic stating:
The good news is that, unlike the full lockdown last Spring, there is plenty of live sport, including racing, for people to enjoy on television over the holidays.”
At the time of writing, exit from Tier 4 is unknown and subject to mass speculation. Health Secretary Matt Hancock addressed the situation:
Essentially, we have got to get that vaccine rolled out to keep people safe. Given how much faster this new variant spreads it’s going to be very difficult to keep it under control until we have the vaccine rolled out.
We have really got to get this under control. The cases in the tier four areas have absolutely rocketed in the last few days – the last two weeks or so. We have a long way to go to solve this.”
Source: SBC News
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