The bingo sector in Scotland is calling for more clarity from the Scottish Government on when they will be able to reopen to the public.
Speaking in an interview with a local newspaper, Richard Laciok, who manages Globe Bingo in the Scottish town of Johnstone, said that hundreds of players are awaiting the chance to return to their town centre club, but that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has offered no guidance:
“I cannot understand why we have to stay closed while other leisure facilities such as pubs and restaurants close to us in Johnstone High Street have returned to business. We have risk assessed the premises and gone to great lengths to prepare the hall by introducing screens, temperature checks, PPE and reduced capacity.”
Laciok went on to say that he believed they had created a safe environment for their customers and that it was frustrating. He added that he believes civil servants in the Scottish government are holding back on the reopening decision largely because they believe that most bingo players are elderly and at more risk from the virus. But Laciok pointed out that less than a quarter of his regular customers are over the age of 65, while the biggest percentage is in the 18 to 35 age group.
He added that he was backing a national push by the Bingo Association to raise awareness of concerns in the sector caused by lack of clarity, and that he and other bingo club managers were hoping for clarity from the First Minister when she addresses parliament this week.
In response to the issue, a spokesperson for the Scottish government said that they wanted to lift the pandemic restrictions as soon as possible, but that it was important that these decisions were made carefully. The spokesperson added that the government would be continuing to review the data and that the First Minister would update the country on further changes on Thursday.