An “encouraging” first day of trading was reported by William Hill, as they, along with all other high street bookmakers in England, welcomed back customers on Monday for the first time since March.

RACING POST reports that, while customers were able to get inside their local shops, having been unable to do so for months, a very different scene greeted them, with a raft of new social distancing guidelines.

Limits on maximum occupancy and changes to even the simple action of placing a bet are all part of the new normal for customers, but the new procedures were reported to have been well adhered to.

Ladbrokes Coral PR director Simon Clare said: “It’s early days but we have already had some really encouraging feedback from our shop teams, indicating that the new procedures and measures are working well in practice, and we are seeing plenty of our regular customers returning saying they’ve missed us.

Louise Masters, who has been in charge for 11 years and is a previous semi-finalist in the Racing Post Betting Shop Manager Of The Year competition, and her staff had a fortnight to make the premises ready for the challenges of welcoming customers in a time of Covid-19.

“I’ve had to have screens put up between each machine, I’ve had sanitisers put in and done everything to ensure everyone is keeping a two-metre distance,” said Masters. – full report, Racing Post.

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