Betting shops to reopen in England and Wales

Betting shops in England and Wales will reopen today for the first time in 2021 amid the latest easing of Covid-19 restrictions in each country.

Such shops have been closed since 26 December 2020 due to measures aimed at reducing the spread of Covid-19. Pub gardens and outdoor dining have also been given the green light to resume operations, as well as hairdressers, swimming pools, indoor gyms and nail salons.

Various measures will, however, remain in place in betting shops, with the number of customers allowed inside at any one time dependent on the size of the shop, with that number capped at eight. There will also be a limit on the time that customers can stay in the shop, while there will be no chairs, no live sports pictures, and a maximum of two gaming machines in operation.

Furthermore, customers will be limited to a maximum of two visits per day, with shops forced to close at 8pm.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I'm sure it will be a huge relief for those business owners who have been closed for so long, and for everyone else it's a chance to get back to doing some of the things we love and have missed.

“I urge everyone to continue to behave responsibly and remember 'hands, face, space and fresh air' to suppress Covid as we push on with our vaccination programme.”

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