Betting shops back in business as customers welcome safety measures
Bookmakers report both staff and punters have adapted to the safety measures which have allowed betting shops to reopen.
Thousands of premises in England were open for business again on Monday, on the eve of Royal Ascot and for the first time since March 20.
Shops are also trading in the Republic of Ireland but remain closed in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Doors were open for the first time in 12 weeks under strict measures which included social distancing, sneeze screens and strict limitations on customer numbers.
“We have worked really hard to get all the Ladbrokes Coral shops in England and southern Ireland open today, all fitted out with all the necessary safety measures and protective equipment,” said Simon Clare, Ladbrokes Coral PR director.
“The initial feedback from our shop colleagues is that the new procedures and measures are working well in practice. The disposable stylus pens we’ve provided to use on the machine screens have been really well received – as have the protective barriers between the machines.
“We are seeing plenty of our regular customers returning, and they are playing their part too, showing patience queuing for the counter to put their bets on, adhering to the social distancing measures and, when necessary, queueing outside the shop.
“I’d like to thank our shop colleagues who have had to adapt to the new working environment with all the safety measures, and yet have also carried on exactly where they left off, looking after their customers.”
Clare was pleased things went smoothly in 3,000 branches, with both Royal Ascot and Premier League football set to return in the next couple of days.
He added: “Today has been all about getting used to the new measures and processes in preparation for some busy days ahead, with Royal Ascot starting tomorrow and then Premier League football back from Wednesday.
“We are looking forward to welcoming more of our regular customers back in our shops over the next few days, and would just ask them to play their part and adhere to the social-distancing guidelines and keep themselves and our colleagues safe.”
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