Hotels, pubs and restaurants in Harrogate will reopen on the 4 July as the UK eases lockdown measures.
The majority of businesses within the hospitality and leisure industry were closed in March in order to limit the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19). Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that hotels, pubs and restaurants will be allowed to reopen from 4 July.
The Prime Minister also said that people should remain 2m apart where possible but a “one metre plus” rule will be established. In addition, two households in England will be able to meet indoors without the need to social distance. However, Johnson did state that all the steps are “reversible.”
Hotel, pub and restaurant owners in Harrogate are all excited to be able to resume business again. However, earlier this week, Harrogate BID has suggested that “red tape” should be cut in order to help the town’s hospitality and leisure businesses or else “Harrogate’s economy will be irreparably damaged.”
The governments forced closure of small businesses due to coronavirus has unfortunately crippled many small Harrogate businesses which were already struggling to get by pre forced closure date.
However, despite the Prime Minister’s new rules, there are still sections of the hospitality and leisure industry which have not been included in the list of businesses allowed to reopen.
The UK gambling trade and standards body, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has slammed the government’s decision to not allow casinos to reopen. Casinos fall under the hospitality and leisure industry umbrella and the BGC has called the decision not to reopen them as “inconsistent and nonsensical”.
According to the BGC, the sector contributes more than £300m a year to the treasury and employs 14,000 people. Furthermore, the body has informed us that casino operators have worked around the clock to ensure their premises and operations adhere to the government’s anti-Covid guidelines.
Measures include certifying that customers use hand sanitisers before entering the casino as well as when joining and leaving a gaming table. The number of players at gaming tables would also be limited. Poker rooms would also be re-designed in order to remain safe and secure.
Although Harrogate is not currently home to any casinos or poker facilities, residents who frequent Leeds gambling venues and who are employed within Leeds’s casino industry will be disappointed that they will remain closed.
Michael Dugher, chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, stated on the gambling bodies website:
Our casino members make a huge contribution to the economy, sustaining thousands of jobs and providing large amounts of much-needed tax revenue to the Treasury. Casinos have done everything that they were asked to do by the Government and they have pulled out all the stops to ensure they are able to open their doors safely for both staff and customers from 4 July.
It is therefore extremely disappointing that the Government has not yet cleared casinos to reopen. We want to urgently work with Ministers to ensure that casinos are reopened safely and as speedily as possible this summer.
Swimming pools in Harrogate will also remain closed. As will Bowling alleys. Theatres are being allowed to open but not to the public.