22nd September 2020
COVID-19 UPDATE – STOP PRESS
The nations of the United Kingdom have today announced a series of additional measures in the fight against Covid-19. Here is a quick summary. Further details are to be published which will allow us to confirm precisely who and who is not covered and to what extent, but the assumption has to be that the model used already for local lockdowns will pertain and this will affect Amusement Arcades.
We continue to explain to all the politicians with which we interact just how badly all parts of our sector have been affected by this pandemic and the support measures we need. The results of our recent survey on redundancies clearly make the point with approaching a third of our people either made redundant or at risk of being so.
- From Thursday, Pubs, Bars and Restaurants must only offer table service
- All hospitality venues will have to close by 10.00 p.m (and it is expected only reopen at 05.00 a.m)
- Face coverings will need to be worn by all staff and customers in indoor hospitality except to eat and drink
- Guidance will become law and enforced with increased fines for individuals and businesses
- These restrictions are to last at least six months
- People should work from home if they can
- From Friday, pubs, bars and restaurants must close by 10.00 p.m. (it is not clear if this covers additional hospitality venues)
- Additional resource will be provided to enforce the new rules
- People should work from home if they can. This may become a legal obligation on business.
- There should be no mixing of households indoors from tomorrows. A maximum of two households can meet outside of the home in groups of no more than six.
- Businesses will be under a legal obligation to enforce the rule of six.
- Whilst a six month timescale was also mentioned the FM was clear if things go well measures could be eased before then.
- Chairman Joseph Cullis and I were on a call with Fergus Ewing MSP this morning and were able to convey the desperate state of our sector and the need for additional support as well as to review quickly the ban on music in pubs. He is holding a meeting with the licensed trade on Thursday where this will be one of the subjects on the agenda.
- We are expecting a statement from Mark Drakeford later today but it will be in line with the statements of Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon.
There were no announcements in any statements about additional support measures but we understand these are under review. People can still be returned to furlough but at the reduced rates applicable until the scheme ends in October. We, alongside many many others are calling for an extension of the scheme, as well as continuing rates relief and 5% rates for VAT and MGD.
In respect of machines in pubs there has been no suggestion that they should be switched off because table service is compulsory. We fully expect this question to arise again. There is no reason machines should be switched off. They have been risk assessed and mitigation measures put in place including putting a stool in front of machine so a player is seated and requiring pool players to remain seated unless taking a shot. The amount of time anyone would be standing would be less than for someone visiting the toilet, and the person would be in a specified space. Please let me know if enforcement officers in any nation start trying to shut down games.
Can I once again urge all members to ensure that they are keeping their elected representatives up to date with the impact of these measures on your businesses. They can help support the case we are building and do so when necessary, but they need the constituency evidence that you can provide.