4th August 2020
Face Coverings (England)
A number of members have been asking me about the rules around face coverings. Here is a short summary of the issues that have been raised.
- It is compulsory for customers to wear face coverings in AGCs and FECs from 8th August
- You can ask customers to remove face coverings for the purposes of identification e.g. for Age Verification of self-exclusion purposes. If customers refuse to do so you can ask for ID in the case of age verification and if it is assumed the customer is breaching a self-exclusion to ask them to leave the premises.
- If a customer refuses to wear a face covering when entering your premises you should nevertheless strongly recommend that they do so. However, you do not have to refuse them entry. The responsibility and legal liability for wearing a face covering rests with the customer. You may choose to refuse them entry and are entitled to. This may give your staff and your other customers reassurance.
- Staff are not required to wear face coverings but they may wish to do so, or you as an employee may request them to do so. This should be discussed with your staff.
- There is no requirement for anyone under the age of 11 to wear a face covering
- People with physical or mental medical conditions do not have to wear face coverings. In encouraging the use of face coverings staff will need to be sensitive to the possible reasons customers may decline to do so.
- There are different rules for Scotland and Wales. The issue is moot in Scotland as premises there are yet to re-open.
- Click here for the detailed guidance https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own
I would encourage members to do their best to get customers to wear coverings and to use Track and Trace (in whatever part of the UK). You will have seen over the weekend suggestions that some parts of the economy might be closed again depending on the spread of Covid-19. We must ensure that there are no reasons to focus on our sector.
VAT and MGD Cut to 5% (UK)
As I mentioned last week we received a very dismissive email from Exchequer Secretary, Kemi Badenoch, to our request to be included in the 5% VAT rate for tourist businesses.
We now need all members to get their MPs involved. Attached are letters we would like you to write to your MPs explaining just how important it is that you as an FEC receive the (temporary) relief. Please use your own words if you can and please keep me updated with any responses. I also attach a leaflet which sets out the case in a little more detail as well as requesting a further 12 months of rates relief. We need to build some pressure on the Government.
For AGC operators we have a slightly different letter emphasising the importance of the High Street and the contribution AGCs make.
We are liaising directly with DCMS and shadow ministerial teams to try and get some support for our campaign.
I have written to Scottish members under separate cover about our campaign to get arcades re-opened and the machines in pubs back into use. If any members operating in Scotland did not receive that communication please get in touch.
- JRS – Members are reminded that from 1st August employers will be unable to claim for the NI and pension contributions of furloughed staff.
- Government Guidance has also been issued reminding employers that they need to consult their employees about returning to work with regard to how they can work safely.