The Prime Minister has announced this lunchtime that arcades can reopen from 4th July in England: this includes both AGCs and FECs. The announcement is here.
Reopening is contingent on following the sector guidance issued by bacta last month in addition to the overarching guidance which will be published shortly by the Government. It will be necessary for all premises to display a notice confirming they are ‘Covid Secure’.
“I have no doubt that this very welcome news came as a result of the extensive lobbying bacta and its members have been doing for the past 3 months and not least since the AGC knock back,” says bacta CEO John White. “Other venues listed alongside us in the legislation are to remain closed. I therefore want to extend my thanks to everyone single member for writing to your MPs etc. It made a real difference. I would be grateful if you could write to them now to thank them for their help in getting you open.”
The PM also said pubs can open in England from 4th, but with table service only and other requirements. Bacta will speak with the pubcos to understand the implications for machine use.
The announcements today were accompanied by a reduction in social distancing guidance from 2 metres to 1 metre plus. This means 2 metres is preferred but if it can’t be achieved 1 metre is acceptable if other risk mitigating measures are employed such as PPE or avoiding face to face contact.
Bacta continues to lobby actively in Scotland and Wales and today secured a call with influential Scottish Tourism Minister, Fergus Ewing later in the week.
Bacta represents the owners and operators of seaside amusement arcades, over-18 amusement centres, and the companies that hire machines to pubs, clubs, bowling alleys, bingo halls and similar venues. It also represents the manufacturers and distributors of all types of amusement equipment. This can range from children’s rides, to jukeboxes, fruit machines in pubs and clubs, crane grabbers, penny falls, tuppeny nudgers, test your strength machines, videos, pool tables and gaming machines