17th December 2021 – Member Update
As Omicron cases rise exponentially Governments across the UK are responding with various new restrictions to try and slow the spread. We now have some more detail.
Scotland – The details of the social distancing measures that the First Minister announced earlier this week have now been published and reflect the sorts of things members employed in earlier waves of the pandemic to keep customers apart such as screens, as well as good surface hygiene and regulation of customers. It is recommended that all members update their bacta risk assessment templates to take account of the new rules.
The link to the detailed SG web page is here:
I would be grateful if members could complete the following Scottish Tourism Alliance survey (whatever your business) to help build the evidence base for our lobbying of the SG.
Wales – First Minister, Mark Drakeford, yesterday announced that from December 27th new measures will be introduced including the closure of night clubs and a return to social distancing. I am in touch with Welsh Government to understand more precisely what this might mean for members, but I suspect this will be the same as the rules during the last wave of the pandemic. We have been told details will be published early next week. As with Scotland the key is to put in place mitigation measures based on your bacta template risk assessments – we will find out shortly what is mandatory and what would be good practice, particularly around the use of screens.
All – We are back in full Covid mode and have spent the last 24 hours engaging and lobbying on behalf of members. We would like to see support via the measures contained in the template letter below which I would be grateful if you could personalise along the following lines and send to your local MP:
Dear [insert name]
IMPACT OF OMICRON
You may recall that my business, [insert name], [describe business] is located in your constituency.
I currently employ X number of people.
You will know from previous correspondence just how disastrous the Covid pandemic has been for my business. Since we reopened in May we have been trying to rebuild our balance sheets and plan for the future.
However, the impact of Government responses to the new Omicron variant has seen [insert impact on your business on footfall and income].
We really need your help to persuade the Government to [delete if not applicable to your business]:
- Re-introduce a flexible furlough scheme so we can keep employing people despite the huge drop in business until this crisis is over
- Cut VAT to 5% of tourism businesses including the VAT on amusement machines
- Cut Machine Games Duty to 5%
- Extend 100% rates relief from March next year
I would be grateful if you could make representations on our behalf. We are aware that sector bodies like bacta and UK Hospitality are pressing the Government support for our sector. We really do need it.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Finally could I also ask all members to fill out this UK Hospitality survey to help in their lobbying for the same things we want to see.
EAG – In other news I just wanted to let you know that in respect of dates, about which there has been industry speculation, we are currently working toward the existing dates of 11th – 13th January 2022, but continue to keep a fast-moving situation under active review.
ICE – Members may have today heard that the ICE Show has been postponed. Details of to when will be publicised in due course.