'Eyes Down': Bradford bingo hall celebrates opening for first time in six months

For the first time in six months, bingo halls were allowed to re-open to members today as lockdown restrictions were eased across England.

Players queued for the first game in Bradford, with covid-secure measures such as screens and a reduced capacity in place to ensure social distancing, one player said that the returning felt like being "set-free".

There have also been rigorous cleaning measures put in place on machines and communal surfaces.

Sue Sherman was keen for bingo players to return - she has worked there for 20 years and met her husband at the centre during that time.

She said: "I was very nervous, apprehensive, but very excited as well because it has been such a long time coming.

"It's been a long time for everybody as well as people like myself who have been shielding since last year, so yeah it's a good feeling."

Many of the others who are returning to bingo halls have also been shielding.

Mandy Jackson said: "I've been really isolated and bingo is not just somewhere where people gamble, I come here to socialise. I've really looked forward to it."

Andrew Whitworth, who works at Buzz Bingo, said: "After all this time it's absolutely fantastic to be welcoming our customers back.

"It has been a long six months but it's just wonderful to see people socialising again."