30th October 2020
- STOP PRESS Despite being announced and confirmed earlier this week that amusement arcades can open in Level 2 areas, the legislation published today requires them to close. The SG website still says they can open. I have immediately written to the Cabinet Secretary, Fergus Ewing, to demand an urgent amendment to the legislation to reflect the Scottish Government’s intention as well as to other contacts in the SG. We had a call with the SG this morning where they were clearly unaware of this. I would ask all affected members in Scotland to themselves immediately write to their local MSP explaining that there is a serious mistake in the legislation and you would appreciate their help in getting this corrected. A suggested letter is at the end of this email which you will need to tailor depending on which level you are located.
- The meeting this morning was with a new team at the safer workplaces directorate with whom we had engaged over the re-opening of arcades earlier in the year. There was an element of education but we also got across all our lobbying asks and these were taken away.
- First Minister, Mark Drakeford today confirmed that post the firebreak lockdown there would be no further localised restrictions and the Welsh Government would be taking a national approach. He also stated that in re-opening bars and pubs it would be on the same basis as those businesses traded before October 23. He confirmed that they will be returning to the regime in place prior to the fire-break. I presume but do not know that this means that all businesses will be returning to the pre-firebreak position.
West Yorkshire (Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield) has now entered Tier 3 restrictions. These follow the usual pattern and require AGCs but not FECs (nor bingo halls) to close from 00.01 on Monday morning.
Another quick question
Given the higher level of support available for businesses legally required to close and those that are affected badly but can legally remain open, would members prefer to be legally closed? YES OR NO.
LETTER TO MSPs
URGENT HELP REQUIRED
I own an amusement arcade in XX.
Scottish Government confirmed this week that my type of businesses can open in up to and including Level 2 areas. Given the safety protocols I have in place and the nature of my business I am Covid-secure and I should in fact be able to open in level 3.
It is astonishing to be told this afternoon that amusement arcades have to close at Level 2 according to the Regulations published today. This is not what it says in Government literature nor on the Government website. It is not the Government’s intention and it was not something that was agreed in this week’s approval of the new restrictions in Parliament. Someone has clearly made an error in drafting the legislation and I would ask if you could make urgent representations to relevant Ministers to get the legislation corrected by deleting the words ‘amusement arcade’ from paragraph (m) of Part 1 of Schedule 3 of the Regulations . Incidentally the entertainment that I offer will still be available in Bingo Halls and Betting Offices which cannot be right if I am being told to close.
Although I am in a level 1/3 area, the uncertainty, cost and stress this development has caused to me and my staff is unacceptable and I hope you can help get clarity for my business which is already struggling due to the current crisis.