Version 4 of bacta’s sector guidance on re-opening has been re-submitted to Government today for sign off following a series of additional comments from the Cabinet Office. Further to my Update last night, Government has insisted that we play our part in the National Track and Trace system. Government guidance on what to do is almost non-existent and in essence consists of doing what we can to help. We have included this in Version 4. In practice a number of members have spoken to me today to say they were already making arrangements to capture customer contact details. If anyone is in this position I would be very pleased to hear how you plan to do this so we can try and build best practice guidance over the coming weeks. Government does understand the challenges and expects things to adapt going forward.
The other change in Version 4 is that we have been requested to include a section suggesting members identify members of family groups/bubbles in FECs to ensure social distancing in line with Government guidance.
I have attached Version 4.0 for your information. Hopefully this will get Government sign-off tomorrow. If there are further changes I will circulate these asap. The guidance is applicable in England, Scotland and Wales although we will have to go through a different procedure I am sure in Wales and Scotland to get sign off of some kind.
Machines in Pubs
I have had a number of concerning reports that some police forces in England and Scotland are suggesting to licencees the they can’t have their machines on. To be clear the pubs guidance does not say this. As members will know we have agreed a list of useful hygiene measures pubs can draw on to ensure machines are Covid Safe. Please let me know if you are experiencing these problems as we may have to take some national action.
Job Retention Scheme
The new flexible version of the scheme started today. Please Note: Further to my statement last night that pre 30th June staff could be unfurloughed without penalty if they straddled the 1st July, even if they had been furloughed for less than 30 days, I have received other reports that this is not in fact the case. I would suggest members do not unfurlough staff until I have been able to get clarity on this point direct from HMRC.
Good to Go Scheme
The Visit Britain Good to Go Kite Mark scheme now includes bacta members. If you go to the website to apply for accreditation the drop down box of industry trade bodies now includes bacta. As I said last week DCMS Minister, Nigel Huddleston, encouraged us to use this scheme. https://www.visitbritain.org/business-advice/were-good-go-industry-standard
Guidance on the temporary changes to filing requirements has been published https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-companies-etc-filing-requirements-temporary-modifications-regulations-2020/temporary-changes-to-companies-house-filing-requirements
The GC has published some FAQs on its expectations of operators as they begin to open venues. Click here to view https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/news-action-and-statistics/news/2020/Information-for-operators-re-opening-land-based-gambling-premises.aspx
Members may have seen the Public Accounts Committee Report into the Gambling Commission. It was very critical. There were in my opinion some constructive comments on how the Commission can be a better regulator and it will be interesting to see how they respond.
Tomorrow (Thursday) the House of Lords Report into Gambling is published. I will send round a link to that tomorrow with some observations.