18th September 2020
Restrictions on Business – Reports overnight of a potential ‘circuit break’ of restrictions on the population and businesses in England are deeply concerning. Recent restrictions in Bolton and now in the North East of England (Councils of Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, Northumberland, North and South Tyneside and Sunderland) both include amusement arcades in the ban on opening between 10.p.m and 5.00 a.m. Pubs can only serve takeaway food and drink in Bolton and can only provide table service in NE England. It is likely therefore that members will be caught in some way in any future restrictions.
We have written to Ministers explaining that in our view these restrictions do nothing to stop the spread of the virus, and are indeed counter-productive, and that this patchwork of different measures does nothing to promote compliance as the messaging is so confusing. Furthermore it is plainly wrong to penalise good businesses doing all that they can to minimise the risk of virus spread, because badly run businesses or the public can’t follow or implement Guidance.
In Scotland and Wales different rules apply. We already have a number of restrictions in place in the Glasgow area and in Wales Rhondda Cynon Taff was this week added to Caerphilly with quite severe restrictions on movement but with less restrictions on businesses – arcades and pubs can stay open, the later with some restrictions on who they can serve.
Details of the new restrictions in NE England can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/north-east-of-england-local-restrictions?utm_source=75b42bb8-31f1-4087-969b-b40498070006&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate
And those in Rhondda Cynon Taff and Caerphilly can be found here: https://gov.wales/local-lockdown
Those in the greater Glasgow area can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-local-measures/
Test and Trace (England) – The Regulations on Test and Trace have been published (and come into effect) this morning. Key points for members in AGCs and FECs are:
- You must collect contact details for visitors to your premises
- The information to be collected is:
- Telephone Number
- If no telephone number then an email address
- If no email address then a postal address
- Date and Time of arrival
- Number of people in a group if only one person from the group gives details
- This does not apply to under 16 year olds or to people with a disability that prevents them from providing it.
- Information must be kept for 21 days and then destroyed
- For amusement arcades there is NO requirement to refuse entry if someone refuses to provide contact details.
The Regulations say that you must display a QR Code that automatically collects this data in ‘an appropriate place’. Where someone does not have a mobile phone the information will need to be collected in another way.
You can register to acquire a QR Code here for your business here: https://www.gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster?gclid=Cj0KCQjwtZH7BRDzARIsAGjbK2b3qqIQTlTNnVxnwX_X5CW4yPFOWolCcEijD2zDmI1y9Xnzl2F_FuYaAj64EALw_wcB
The full Regulations can be found here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1005/pdfs/uksi_20201005_en.pdf
As I read it the Regulations essentially leave it to businesses to determine how best to manage the collection of contact details via the QR Code or otherwise. There is therefore no legal requirement for you to physically ask someone for details, but if you do not do this a local authority inspector will want to be assured that you have robust procedures in place to capture contact information.
Kickstart Tourism Grants (England) – If anyone applied for one of these grants, which awarded up to £5k to small businesses in tourist destinations to adapt to coronavirus, can you please get in touch as I would be keen to capture your experience for a survey by the Tourism Alliance.