Bingo customers and operators in Scotland have been hit with a fresh blow as all bingo halls and casinos in central Scotland have been closed for two weeks as part of measures to slow the spread of coronavirus.
All bingo venues, along with casinos, snooker and pool halls, indoor gyms and bowling alleys, have been shut down in response to tough new restrictions imposed by the Scottish Government. The rules apply to five health board areas in the centre of the country, including Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Ayrshire and Arran and Lanarkshire. In addition all outdoor contact sports involving those aged 18 and over as well as live events, will be suspended. The restrictions are due to last for 16 days and will effectively prevent any activity at these venues for the next two weeks and weekends.
The latest wave of leisure and entertainment closures came shortly after pubs, restaurants and bars were forced to close down from the evening of Friday October 9, although these venues are permitted to provide a takeaway service. Cafes in the five regions have been allowed to continue to operate but are prohibited from serving alcohol.
Elsewhere in Scotland, the new restrictions are less strict, although pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants can only open between 06:00 and 18:00 for indoor customers and are not allowed to serve alcohol. Police Scotland have also confirmed that they will be deploying extra officers to help support the restrictions.
The new rules will come as a blow to a bingo sector that is still reeling from the previous lockdown, imposed in the spring. But speaking about the rules, the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon emphasised that the Scottish Government was trying to reduce the number of places where people can come together and she underlined the importance of businesses and individuals following the rules so that the measures are not undermined.
Along with the rest of the UK, Scotland has experienced a significant spike in Covid-19 cases with 19,724 recorded on October 14, the second highest daily total since the spring.