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The Big Re-opening: Snooker’s Own Independence Day?…

Will snooker clubs get to celebrate their own independence day on July 4th and beyond?…

Prime minister Boris Johnson has announced that some parts of the hospitality and leisure sectors can start to re-open from next month as some snooker clubs are planning soon for the big re-opening – right now.

Over the last few days, there’s been much speculation as to what the Tory PM would announce about the next phase of the government’s re-opening plans.

Pubs, restaurants, hairdressers can all re-open, provided they are Covid secure and safe.

The 2 metres social distance rule is to be relaxed to 1 metre although the PM said that people should try to keep up to 2 metres if possible.

Snooker clubs were excited about the government nod to re-open in early July…But will they? A new statement from the WPBSA means they may have to wait a few days more for clarification.

Some snooker clubs on Facebook were clapping about the news that they are able to re-open next month as one club said from next week it would engage in a deep cleaning process straight away.

The Lincoln Snooker Club update read: “Looks like we will be opening on the 4th July. Next week will be spent deep cleaning and preparing the club for re-opening. New procedures will be in place. Allocated rests and regular sanitising of tables and equipment being one.

The post added: “Cannot wait to get started.”

New measures to be rigorously in place…

Many of the snooker club owners who said they were planning on re-opening before the announcement said they would plan to run a reduced capacity and would have full social distancing measures in place. Some also have urged customers to avoid paying in cash and to use contactless systems for payment.

Levels snooker club in Huddersfield, owned by Kevin Ellis, whom we’ve already featured on SnookerZone, said this of the news on the Levels social media page.

It wrote: “It’s official. Levels will re-open on the 4th July. Absolutely delighted that we will see you all again and get back to doing what we do best.”

Back with a Bang…

One snooker club, Dunstable will be holding a 32 Pro-Am on the 6th July as part of their weekend celebrations from the 4th, which is a Saturday.

Already signed up are players such as former World Champions Stuart Bingham, Mark Selby, and six times World finalist Jimmy White.

The owner Suny Singh said this: “The club will be completely disinfected with a fogging service every inch of it. Tables will have sanitiser sprays next to them.

Clubs have been shut for next to three months since the coronavirus pandemic took hold on the UK and the national government was forced to shut down a large part of the country to help stop the spread of the virus.

The economy went into hibernation.

During that time amateurs have been either practicing snooker on kitchen or dining room tables, or those lucky enough to have home tables have been self-isolating in their own snooker rooms!

Many of the clubs will be taking bookings online and are advising customers to be patient as they get to grips with the new measures and rules needed to be implemented to help keep staff and customers safe to enjoy their experience on the premises.

One club added they were looking forward to reopening their junior club scheme as soon as possible.

Those who can or will be back straight away – enjoy it!

UPDATE: Seeking clarification on the “status of snooker clubs”

Issued a day later, the WPBSA has made a statement regarding snooker clubs re-opening.

The WPBSA and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for snooker are working flat out to seek clarification on the exact guidelines and process for re-opening.

The short statement reads: “We are now seeking clarity as to the application of the announcements to snooker clubs and in the first instance will continue to liase directly with affiliated clubs through the 147 club scheme.”

It adds: “We understand the desire from fans and players of our sport to return to the baize as soon as possible. However, we will only be able to issue guidelines for the re-opening of clubs once it is safe to do so and with clear advice directly from the government.”

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By Chris Gaynor

Chris Gaynor is a writer with 10 years' experience writing for the web.

He loves snooker, CSI and loves cycling off tiramisu!

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