24th June 2020
- Members are rapidly making arrangements for opening on 4th July. Unfortunately not all the guidance that was promised by Government has been published, so the following advice is contingent upon further clarification from Government.
- AGCs and High Street Bingo are described as High Street Gambling Arcades in the Government’s industry guidance related to Shops and Branches and this provides overarching guidance for this sector of our industry
- FECs will fall within the Guidance for the Visitor Economy.
- Bacta has been asked by HSE and Government to amend its previous guidance to place more emphasis on capacity management and on machine cleaning. We have also been asked to include reference to the volume of machine sound (requiring people to shout or raise their voice promotes aerosol transmission of the coronavirus). Bacta’s amended guidance is back with the Cabinet Office and I will get it to you as soon as I can.
- The VE Guidance references participation in the Government’s Track and Trace Scheme. You may have read that pubs and other pre-booked visitor attractions have been asked to collect contact details of customers. More guidance is awaited on this for other venues. We have said to DCMS that we cannot envisage how this could possibly work in and FEC setting. T&T is not currently part of the Shops and Branches Guidance.
- Bowling Alleys are not able to open yet. Members with bowling lanes within their venues are advised to keep them closed. It may be possible to open mini-bowling or similar but it is suggested this is discussed with your local authority.
- I cannot emphasis enough the importance of following the Government’s and bacta’s guidance and writing down your risk assessment
- Please remember that the Government Guidance allows you to print out the notice that must appear on the front of your premises declaring you are ‘Covid Safe’.
- Pubs – the guidance for pubs makes no mention of machines but does require customers to remain seated where possible. Bacta has today been in discussion with the Beer and Pub Association and UK Hospitality. Our collective view is that with proper risk assessments in place, written and owned by the pub, there is no reason why customers should not be permitted to play machines or to play pool.
- Fruit machines will be located away from pinch points. A stool can be used to provide seating in front of them. Players will be facing away from other customers and will be stationary. Cleaning protocols will ensure the machine is wiped down before use by other players.
- Pool tables will have their own hygiene regime (See bacta/UKH/BBPA principles document circulated earlier this week). Customers can be advised to remain seated until it is their turn to play.
- We will be in close contact with the pub associations to refresh advice based upon experience.
- It is preferable for pubs and suppliers for machines to remain on site if at all possible. They will help support the pub and with proper management do not generate any enhanced risk to customers.
Re-Opening Scotland and Wales
- First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, announced further progress in re-opening various businesses in Scotland. Amusement arcades have as yet not received a specific mention. We are liaising directly with the Scottish Government to ensure there is no confusion as to the nature of our business and that we are all open no later than the 15th July.
- I have no further news from Wales to report.
- One notice from Government today that may be of interest was that they have extended the deadline for notification of the option to tax land and buildings. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/changes-to-notifying-an-option-to-tax-land-and-buildings-during-coronavirus-covid-19?utm_source=84410ce1-23cc-4d2e-bc1b-553aac49636c&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate