Cinemas and bingo halls to stay closed until May 17 under roadmap out of lockdown plans

CINEMAS and bingo halls are to remain closed until May 17 under plans to unlock England from the current coronavirus lockdown.

The Prime Minister revealed his roadmap for easing the country back to normality in the Commons today ahead of tonight's 7pm address to the nation.

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Boris Johson said: "The threat remains substantial with the numbers in hospital only now beginning to fall below the peak of the first wave in April.

"But we are able to take these steps because of the resolve of the British people and the extraordinary success of our NHS in vaccinating more than 17.5 million people across the UK."

Cinemas and bingo halls have been closed since England was plunged into lockdown on January 4 2021.

In some areas, the social hot spots have been closed for longer due to local restrictions when England was split into the Tier system.

It comes as…

  • Boris Johnson today¬†announced his map was a "one way road to freedom"
  • All students¬†will return to England schools from March 8
  • Hairdressers will open from April 12¬†along¬†with gyms
  • Pubs will reopen for indoor drinking¬†in May as outdoor service returns in April
  • Brits will be able to¬†meet inside from May 17¬†while following the rule of 6 or two households
  • Working from home measures¬†will remain in place until at least June
  • Nightclubs will reopen on June 21¬†as the lockdown is lifted into summer
  • A¬†full list of businesses that must stay closed¬†until April 12 was revealed today – with¬†cinemas and bingo halls to stay closed until May 17

Timeline for businesses reopening after lockdown

PRIME Minister Boris Johnson has outlined his roadmap for easing England out of lockdown.

Businesses will be allowed to reopen on the following dates, as long as the "four steps to freedom" are met. Here's what we know so far:

April 12

  • Retail
  • Hospitality outdoors
  • Hairdressers
  • Zoos
  • Self-catered staycations with one household

May 17

  • Indoor hospitality
  • Indoor exercise gyms
  • Bingo halls
  • Cinemas
  • Sports stadiums to reopen but capped to 10,000 fans
  • Saunas
  • Spas

June 21

  • Nightclubs

Schools will be the first to reopen on March 8 and Brits will be allowed to meet one friend or family member in an outside space for a picnic or coffee.

The next significant milestone will be March 29 when outdoors gatherings of either six people or two households will be allowed, reuniting friends for the first time in months.

The same date will also see the return on outdoor sports such as tennis, golf and even football, Boris will announce today.

But the news will come as a blow to hairdressers, who will be told they can't reopen to customers until April, and also to pubs and restaurants who will remain shut for anything other than takeaways until May.

The Prime Minister insisted that the timeline for businesses to reopen relies heavily on the "four steps to freedom".

These include the vaccine roll out continuing as planned and evidence that the jabs are effective at reducing hospitalisations and deaths.

Infection rates must not overwhelm the NHS and as long as new variants are not a threat, then unlocking the country can go ahead as planned.

Cinemas and bingo halls have been hit hard financially by the impact of the pandemic.

They were among the last businesses to be allowed to reopen following the first national lockdown in 2020.

They were also forced to close again between November 5 and December 5 2020 during the second national lockdown.

Both premises had implemented a spate of rules to keep customers and workers safe from coronavirus when they were allowed to reopen.


These included sitting people from different households two metres apart from each other, putting up screens between bingo tables and asking customers to hand sanitise when they enter the buildings.

Back in October 2020, Cineworld temporarily closed all 127 cinemas after the release of several blockbuster movies were pushed back, including the latest James Bond film No Time To Die.

The move affected 5,500 employees, as well as thousands more roles through contractual work such as cleaning and security. 

Shortly afterwards, Odeon decided to run a weekend only schedule in around a quarter of its 120 branches.

In July, Buzz Bingo announced it would be permanently closing 26 halls affecting 573 jobs.

Unfortunately for gym-goers, indoor fitness is unlikely to be able to restart until May under the plans.

The PM last week told ministers there will be no backsliding on his goal of getting kids back to class from March 8 Рdespite a mutiny by Sage scientists.

Meanwhile, Prof John Edmunds said opening schools could push the R rate above 1, and some restrictions will be needed until Christmas.

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