31st July 2020
COVID-19 UPDATE – STOP PRESS
MANCHESTER AND NORTH-WEST ENGLAND – You will have heard the news about the additional lockdown measures in Greater Manchester and nearby areas following local spikes in Covid-19 cases. The new rules do not require pubs nor arcades to close. The principle measure is to require the public not to socialise with people outside of their household (although up to six are allowed to meet in outdoor public spaces). Businesses have been requested to manage their customers accordingly but it will be for the police to enforce the legislation that will be put in place during the course of today. For more details please click here. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/north-west-of-england-local-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do.
LEICESTER – There has also been a slight relaxation in the areas covered by the Leicester lockdown https://www.gov.uk/guidance/leicester-lockdown-what-you-can-and-cannot-do?utm_source=27c12279-81c2-4783-82ad-f06a82f64645&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate
WALES – Bingo Halls and the indoors of pubs are set to be open from Monday. We expect the First Minister to announce this today in his Friday briefing.
SCOTLAND – I will be inviting Scottish members to a Zoom Meeting on Monday by separate cover. If any other member operating in Scotland wants to join the call but is not a member of the Scottish Region please drop me a note and I will make sure you get the invitation.
ENGLAND – A further version of our Guidance for members in England has been published with additional information about self-isolation, workplace safety and mass gatherings. These changes were requested by the Cabinet Office. The new guidance has been published on the bacta website.
ON-GOING SUPPORT – It is clear that the lockdowns across the UK have had a major impact on our sector. Outside of AGCs in Wales we have been fortunate that our work with Governments have ensured that, for consumer facing members anyway, there has been some support via the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality relief and grant schemes. Coupled with the JRS and other government support that has got us over the hump. The situation of single-site operators and manufacturers/distributors could not be worse. The next stage of our work therefore turns to the on-going support for which we will be lobbying over August and into the Autumn. I have trailed this already – we need a (temporary) 5% rate of VAT and MGD, and an extension of the business rates relief and support for seasonal business through the use of the Coastal Community Fund and Tourism Deal.
I am putting the finishing touches to lobbying plan, and I will write out to members under separate cover next week with draft letters to write to MPs and other stakeholders. We will need to build momentum. Our initial approach to Rishi Sunak was met with a rather dismissive brush off from the Treasury. Whilst not unexpected, it shows we are up against it once again in persuading Government that they have to do something to help our sector survive.
- The Gambling Commission has published changes to the LCCP following a consultation earlier in the year about changes to information requirements and official statistics. We made a number of observations on the proposals. The changes are detailed and members are recommended to familiarise themselves with the new rules which on the whole are reasonable. Click here for details https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/news-action-and-statistics/news/response-to-information-requirements-regulatory-returns-and-official-statistics-consultation