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Bookmakers in England to open in April

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced his "road map out of isolation" with a timetable for easing the Covid-19 response as the country moves forward with vaccination. The plan, set by the prime minister, calls for four stages of opening up different types of businesses from 8 March.

Bookmakers in England are expected to reopen in the second phase, which is scheduled to start on 12 April. Casinos, bingo halls and adult gaming centres will open in the third phase from 17 May.

The Betting and Gambling Council has called for betting shops and casinos to be allowed to open simultaneously as similar businesses. Gambling establishments have had to wait longer to open after the initial UK blockage, with several delays.

Johnson said the dates for each phase are subject to change depending on the spread of Covid-19 cases. An interval of five weeks will be maintained between each stage so that if the first stage starts later than 8 March, subsequent stages will be pushed back by the same amount of time. However, this time, the economy's opening will be final, Johnson said, describing the road map as a one-way road.

Johnson's timetable applies only to England, but Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are considering similar plans to lift the restrictions.

All gambling establishments in the UK have been closed since 5 January, but many have been closed for longer because of tiered regional restrictions.

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