Betting and Gaming Council comments on UK’s North East curfew

North-east England is under new, tighter restrictions following a spike in Covid-19 infections in the area. The tighter controls mean that pubs and bars – and casinos are included in this, despite not being allowed to open until some time after pubs earlier in the year – are now subject to a 10pm curfew. Health secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the measures in a House of Commons statement on September 17th, with their enforcement beginning Friday, September 18th. The heightened restrictions apply to: Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland, and County Durham.

Restrictions include:

  • Residents being told not to socialise with people outside their household or social bubble
  • Table service only in bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants
  • All bars, pubs, restaurants, cafes and other leisure and entertainment venues to close between 10pm and 5am

 

A spokesperson for the Betting and Gaming Council said: “This is a hugely disappointing and illogical decision which will inevitably lead to job losses in the casino sector.

“While we fully support the need to act quickly to protect public health, the simple fact is that casinos are among the most Covid-secure in the country, so ordering their closure as a way of slowing the spread of the virus makes no sense.

“Just last month, casinos in England were given the go-ahead by public health experts to re-open after they saw for themselves the anti-Covid measures they had put in place – from Perspex screens to best-in-class track and trace systems.

“What’s more, most casino customers are on their own or in couples, making it easier to maintain social distancing in venues.

“And with casinos doing between 50 and 70 per cent of their trade between 10pm and 5am, they will be disproportionately harmed by the Government’s decision, meaning some may never be able to open their doors again.

“We would urge ministers to urgently reconsider this catastrophic and retrograde move.”