How bingo halls hope to reopen and return to normal

PUBLISHED: 06:04 03 July 2020

People playing bingo before the coronavirus lockdown. Photo by Simon Finlay.

People playing bingo before the coronavirus lockdown. Photo by Simon Finlay.

Legs eleven, top of the shop and unlucky for some will be heard again as bingo halls open their doors to fans of the traditional game.

Beacon Bingo in Lowestoft is reopening to customers on July 6 Picture: Beacon BingoBeacon Bingo in Lowestoft is reopening to customers on July 6 Picture: Beacon Bingo

The venues will be reopening from Saturday, July 4, after the government lifted coronavirus restrictions.

But as well as the rules of the game, participants will have to follow social distancing rules and use hand sanitisers.

Extra cleaning of items used during the games, as well as tables and chairs, will be carried out by staff who will wear personal protective equipment including masks.

There will also be reduced numbers at games, new booking systems and people will be encouraged to pay through contactless technololgy.

One of the 35 Mecca Bingo halls reopening on Saturday will be the venue on Aylsham Road in Norwich.

Gaming company, Praesepe, is reopening its Beacon Bingo venue in Lowestoft on Monday, July 6.

Jonathon Swaine, managing director of retail at Mecca Bingo, said: “We want to reassure the Mecca Bingo community that we are working together to take every precaution necessary to create a safe environment in which to play the nation’s favourite game. We’re also investing in new entertainment formats in our clubs, to give everyone even better experiences. We are excited to reopen our doors, welcome back our communities and hear House called once again.”

MORE: SURVEY: What do you think of latest easing of lockdown restrictions?

Customers will be able to order food and drink using their mobile or MAX screen at their bingo table.

Mecca is launching a pre-booking service in July as well as its Mecca Cares sessions for people who are nervous about getting back to normal life.

The arrival process at the Beacon Bingo venue will be changed to help with social distancing.

Each machine will be cleaned down in between customers and safety guards will be installed for additional protection.

Mark Schertle, chief executive of Praesepe, said: “We are excited to finally have some light at the end of the tunnel and are very much looking forward to reopening on July 6.

“This campaign will allow us to welcome staff and customers back and, although it will be different to before, we will be making things safe and comfortable so people can enjoy their visit.”

For the latest COVID-19 news, visit the Norfolk Coronavirus Updates Facebook page.

Click here to find out more about the EDP’s Here to Help campaign.

You can also subscribe to our daily coronavirus newsletter, providing all the latest from where you live.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press