All UK betting shops will remain closed until further notice to control and slow the spread of the Coronavirus. This is part of the Government’s safety measures to ensure social distancing, thus shutting down social and leisure establishments such as cafes, pubs, museums, cinemas, casinos, restaurants, etc.
Last night, the Prime Minister issued a statement of national emergency, restricting people to stay at home with the only exceptions of exercise (for one hour per day), shopping for essential items and fulfil medical care, and travelling to work when necessary.
The lockdown is in place for the foreseeable future, with betting shops remaining closed until the end of April in the best-case scenario.
British chancellor Rishi Sunak announced measures that could help the hundreds of affected businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government offered to pay 80% of wages for employees who would have been fired, up to £2,500 a month. VAT payments have been pushed back until June, and self-employed individuals will be paid as someone on Statutory Sick Pay.
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) welcomed their efforts to save the industry. The BHA was lobbying for protection of the entire racing industry from the very start of the pandemic when they canceled all events at least until April.
Racing professionals like group 1-winning trainer Michael Dods expressed their satisfaction with the intervention that could save thousands of businesses and employees.