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Guam Reopens Bingo Halls, Gives Hope to the World
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Guam Reopens Bingo Halls, Gives Hope to the World

Guam, the small United States territory in the Pacific Ocean, has announced that its bingo halls will reopen in a first small step back to “normalcy.”

The Pacific Island in Micronesia has three main bingo halls; Hafa Adai Bingo at Guam Greyhound Park, Lucky Latte Bingo at Century Plaza and Plumeria Bingo. While the latter threw its doors open again today, the former two reopened yesterday. It is the first time in five months that leisure sites like bingo halls have been able to open, but even that was only for a few weeks in July. This, in reality, is the first proper opening since March 2020.

The initial response to the announcement has been one of optimism and anticipation. Shelly Salas, the manager of Lucky Latte Bingo, said the move was a beacon of a “return to normalcy” for people.

She described the mood of excited bingo players as being because “for them, bingo is a way to be with your community and in this place… it’s almost like church, people come, they gather and they socialize and for a lot of people, it’s their outlet to release.”

How bingo will be safe

All the bingo halls will reopen with strong safety precautions to help mitigate risk during the pandemic. All players will be required to wear masks and have their temperatures checked as they come in. The halls will provide ample hand sanitiser and most importantly, tables will be distanced at least 6 feet (around 2 metres) apart. No more than one person will be allowed at a table, ensuring complete social distancing.

This means that capacities will be cut. At Lucky Latte Bingo, the overall capacity will be reduced from 310 to about 80, including employees.

Salas sought to reassure her customers; “we got ourselves sanitizing sprays, chemicals, things like that, so that we can make sure that at the end of the night, after every bingo session, we’re wiping everything down, sanitizing all the tables and the chairs for the next day.”

As the United Kingdom continues to suffer, we can at least look to other parts of the world and remind ourselves that there is hope for the future.

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