Aiding vaccination rollout
Paddy Power is offering up more than 350 of its retail betting stores to NHS England to help with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. The Flutter Entertainment-owned gambling operator is also calling on its thousands of staff to volunteer and help out where possible.
if we can play even a small role in getting the country back on its feet, we’d be very proud”
The company’s betting stores remain closed as a result of current restrictions across the country. A Paddy Power spokesperson spoke about how people will be able to get back to their normal lives quicker if the vaccination program rollout accelerates. The spokesperson said: “if we can play even a small role in getting the country back on its feet, we’d be very proud.”
A number of other notable companies in England have also joined up as part of The Sun newspaper’s “Jabs Army” campaign that aims to accelerate vaccinations. Other notable members of the effort include Sky TV, Hilton Hotels, Morrisons, telecom company BT, British Airways, and pub chain Wetherspoon.
The vaccination campaign has already started to roll out across the UK. About 22,000 people have signed up to be stewards at the NHS’ vaccination sites to help ensure that the process is safe and smooth.
The Sun campaign has a goal of 15 million people immunized come March. Currently, there are extensive shutdowns across the UK and the health system is under significant strain because of COVID-19 hospitalizations. On Friday, the UK announced both its highest daily number of new virus cases at 68,053 and daily death toll of 1,325 people.
People in England and across the UK are being urged to stay at home and to cut their contacts as much as possible to try and prevent further deterioration of the situation.
Betting stores have been significantly affected during the pandemic as repeated lockdowns and restrictions have been in effect for nearly a year. These businesses have received help from government furlough programs, as well as the performance of their online operations.
At the moment, all of Paddy Power’s retail stores in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland remain shut. Elite sport in the region continues, however, something which was not the case during the first round of shutdowns in March. Thus, betting stores that have an online presence will still be able to offer betting markets to their customers.