Betting shops in England and Wales reopened as of Monday. But in Ireland, outlets are still waiting for the green light to reopen their doors.
Shops in the UK were forced to close earlier this year as a result of tighter restrictions introduced because of COVID-19.
Coronavirus cases in England and Wales have dropped significantly over the past few months, while the same is true in Ireland.
Do betting shops in England and Wales need to follow certain guidelines?
Betting shops in England and Wales are not allowed to show live sports broadcasts for the time being. On top of that, they also cannot include chairs on their premises.
All betting shops have been ordered to close at 8pm. Customers will also only be allowed to visit a maximum of twice each day, while up to two gaming machines can be turned on in-store at any given time.
the number of customers allowed in-store will depend on the betting shop’s size. There will, however, be a maximum of eight, and each customer cannot exceed a certain amount of time on the premises.
Howard Chisholm, Managing Director of Chisholm Bookmakers, said: “Everyone’s looking forward to it and getting back to the routine of opening up the shops to customers again. The staff are really pleased to be going back to work. We’ve been around all the shops making sure everyone is prepared.
“We know with the restrictions it’s not going to be as sociable as it is normally, but we coped with the tier 3 restrictions before Christmas and the customers understand what needs to be done. Very few people come into a betting shop and spend all day there, or all day on the machines, so that shouldn’t affect things in the way people think it might.”
Coronavirus cases in England and Wales vs. Ireland
Over the past two weeks, COVID-19 cases in Ireland have shown a downward trend. On 15th April, the seven-day average was 383 new cases per day. In comparison, that number was 551 on 2nd April.
Cases have also dropped significantly over the past three months. On 9th January, the seven-day average in Ireland had stood at 6,257.
In terms of vaccinations, 6.4% of the Irish population has been fully vaccinated. 15.3% have had at least one dose. But despite that, players will need to continue with online casino gaming for the time being.
England has been the hardest-hit UK country by COVID-19. But again, cases have fallen over the past three months. In the seven days up to 10th April, 15,769 new cases were reported – which is a rate of 28 per 100,000 people.
In Wales, 570 new cases were reported during the same time period. This is a rate of 18.1 per 100,000 people.
In the UK, 48.5% of the population have been given their first COVID-19 vaccine dose. Meanwhile, 12.3% are fully vaccinated.