Under the new restrictions announced by the Prime Minister last night, Adult Gaming Centres (AGCs) are included in the list of premises that will have to close in areas deemed to be Very High Alert.
AGCs join bars and pubs, gyms, leisure centres, betting shops and casinos, which will have to close from Wednesday for a period of 4 weeks in Very High Alert areas. At present, Merseyside is classified as a very High Alert area but it was also announced that Government engagement with local leaders in the North West, the North East and Yorkshire & Humber will continue, suggesting that these areas may also be designated as Very High Alert soon.
“We are very disappointed to see AGCs on the list of premises that will have to close in Very High Alert areas,” says bacta CEO John White. “AGCs are Covid-secure. They have in place robust risk mitigation measures and rarely have more than a handful of customers in the shop at any one time. They don’t serve alcohol. Earlier in the year they were deemed to be safe enough to be one of the first sectors to be re-opened, ahead of some of the categories we are now told can stay open in the Liverpool City Region under the Tier 3 restrictions.”
Bacta has today made contact with the DCMS who is looking into the matter. The Tourism Alliance will also raise the issue on bacta’s behalf. Letters have also been sent to Boris Johnson on the subject of AGCs, as well as to Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland who is said to also be considering implementing the three-tier system.
“I urge bacta members once again to contact their local MPs, and local regional councillors on this issue,” continues White. “Steve Rotherham and Boris Johnson should immediately amend the Regulations to correct this mistake and help perfectly safe businesses play their part in the Region’s economic recovery and protect the jobs of the people who work in the sector which are needlessly under threat.”
Bacta represents the owners and operators of seaside amusement arcades, over-18 amusement centres, and the companies that hire machines to pubs, clubs, bowling alleys, bingo halls and similar venues. It also represents the manufacturers and distributors of all types of amusement equipment. This can range from children’s rides, to jukeboxes, fruit machines in pubs and clubs, crane grabbers, penny falls, tuppeny nudgers, test your strength machines, videos, pool tables and gaming machines