2nd November 2020
England – there is little more detail than that circulated in yesterday’s update. The links provided (see below) will take you through to the relevant government website pages. They are updated regularly so it is always worth double checking if you are not linked up to the government alert system.
A number of members have raised questions about the grants available. These are slightly different to those that were available during the first lockdown and do apply to businesses that have an RV over £51k – something we campaigned on back in April. Also the discretionary grants should be available for Division 2 and 4 members as you have been substantially and negatively affected by the lockdown. Local authorities will be managing the grants and should be the first port of call for any enquiries.
For details of the lockdown click here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november
For details on the extended Job Retention Scheme click here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/furlough-scheme-extended-and-further-economic-support-announced
Division 2 members have asked about collections post lockdown on Thursday. My interpretation of the guidance is that this is fine. Your businesses have not been told to close and you can therefore continue to ask your employees to work. They should work from home if they can but clearly collections will require a site visit. Covid risk assessments have been done and mitigations are in place. If anyone does get any trouble from your local authority on this please let me know and we will contact them.
West Yorkshire – Members in West Yorkshire I hope will have picked up as I did yesterday evening that Councils in this area suspended the decision to go into Tier 3 today as the national lockdown will commence on Thursday.
Scotland – As per my stop press update on Friday I am pleased to confirm that following our communications with the Scottish Government, amending Regulations were tabled today to confirm that amusement arcades can indeed open in Level 2 areas. It is however disappointing to see that Betting Offices are open with machines on in Tier 3 areas. As in the previous lockdown in Scotland, we are of the view that we should be treated in the same way as betting offices, i.e. as non-essential retail and therefore open in Level 3 areas.
Wales – I have been troubled today by First Minister, Mark Drakeford’s, statement that whilst they are planning to re-open to the pre-firebreak situation in Wales when it ends on the 9th, the lockdown in England has caused them to re-think what they will do with hospitality. There was no clear indication as to what this might mean, especially as on Friday he was quite clear it would be a return to a national approach based on the pre-firebreak situation. I can’t see what has changed for Wales so hopefully this is nothing more than a precautionary review? We will nevertheless need to watch this carefully.
I remain incredibly angry at the singling out of gambling businesses, including AGCs, in the guidance on eligibility for grants. Wales Region Chairman, Richard Case and I, made the case forcefully at our meeting last week and we will not be letting it lie.