28th July 2020
Re-Opening Scotland – Scotland Chairman, Joseph Cullis and I had a further meeting with Scottish Government representatives this afternoon. We were given no clear date for the re-opening of arcades, nor when bookmakers or pubs will be permitted to make machines available to their customers. Advice has been put up to Ministers and we are being separately considered as part of this week’s review. We are expecting therefore that we will get clarity from the First Minister on Thursday lunchtime on when we can re-open, but even that is not entirely certain. The First Minister has been making statements all week that any further re-opening of the economy is likely to be very limited whilst the focus is getting children back to school on the 11th August. We will continue to press and I would urge any members that have not yet done so to write to their MSPs along the lines suggested in last week’s Update as a matter of urgency.
Face Masks – A number of members have contacted us this week about the requirement for customers to wear face masks. I can confirm that in England it is not compulsory for customers visiting FECs or AGCs to wear a face mask. It is nevertheless strongly recommended. Here is a link to the legislative exemption for arcades in case any local official insist they must be worn. Part 2, paragraph 17 lists amongst other things, amusement arcades as exempt from the definition of a shop. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/791/schedule/made. I can also confirm that members are perfectly entitled to request customers to remove masks for the purposes of age verification or self-exclusion.
Subscriptions – Bacta has been endeavouring to help all members as best we can through this terrible pandemic. A number of members understandably needed to take a payment holiday on their bacta subscriptions. As the sector is beginning to reopen, I hope members will be able to reinstate any direct debits they may have cancelled or settle any outstanding invoices. I appreciate it is going to be very tough for some months to come and if anyone wishes to discuss their subscription with us then please do get in touch but bacta’s finances have also been impacted and we need to get back on an even keel as soon as possible to ensure we can continue to deliver the services that we do.
Many thanks and as always please do get in touch with feedback or comment. I am particularly keen to hear how the first few days of trading has gone in Wales.
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