13th October 2020
Tier 3 Restrictions – England
It appears that the inclusion of AGCs in the Tier 3 restrictions in Liverpool Region yesterday was at the behest of the local council. This is deeply shocking as there is no scientific basis for including AGCs in the list of closed businesses. We were deemed safe enough to open before other premises back in July because we are very low risk premises and we have robust risk mitigation in place. Indeed, now the Regulations have been published we can see that premises that were deemed less safe for re-opening purposes are allowed to open. I say this not because they should close but to illustrate how non-sensical these Rules are.
Furthermore the Regulations say Amusement Arcades can remain open. All the legislation heretofore has referred to amusement arcades to mean AGGs and FECs. We are now in the ludicrous position of AGCs being told they can both be open and yet be forced to close! FECs on the other hand can remain open.
We have been busy yesterday and today trying to get to the bottom of this so we can lobby effectively to overturn the mistake. DCMS told us we weren’t included in the draft Regulations they saw, confirming it was Liverpool that wanted us shut down. They do not envisage these Regs being changed but will work with us to try and stop other Areas making the same mistake should they move to Tier 3 restrictions. We have written to the PM and other Ministers. We will be writing to local leaders in Medium Risk areas to ask them not to include AGCs in any restrictions they may impose if they move to Tier 3.
In this once again we need bacta members to write to your MPs and local councillors to point out that AGCs are safe. For those caught in the Liverpool City Region could I ask you to write simply to state the above. The decision is wrong. You are safe and the Regulations should be amended to delete AGCs from the list of premises required to close.
For members outside of the Liverpool Region can I ask you to write along the following lines.
LOCKDOWN THREAT TO MY BUSINESS
I operate XX limited in YY. My business has supplied our customers in ZZ with a leisure activity for XX years.
The announcement yesterday by the Government of a new three tier system of Covid risk categorisation has left me fearful for the future of my business. In the Tier 3 restrictions for the Liverpool Region, Adult Gaming Centres, such as my own, have been told to close.
This cannot be right. AGCs were one of the first non-essential businesses to reopen in the Summer. We were recognised as being extremally low risk. We have few customers on the premises at any one time, they stay for a relatively short period before leaving. We have robust social distancing and hygiene measures in place. We do not serve alcohol. Bizarrely, a number of the venues that the Restrictions allow to remain open were premises deemed risker than ours back in the Summer.
I am concerned that should Tier 3 restrictions be introduced in XX, we will be mistakenly ordered to close our doors. I cannot take another blow. I have already seen my income drop by X% due to the Spring lockdown and subsequently the 10.00 p.m. curfew. This could well be the nail in the coffin for my business which has bent over backwards to remain safe and contribute to the economic recovery of the Regions and of the Country.
Can I please ask that you do all you can to ensure that my business is not needlessly and erroneously included on the list of businesses to close should Tier 3 restrictions be implemented here. We are safe. I would be more than happy to take you round my AGC and demonstrate just how safe we are.