It’s back to work for many people in the industry with June 15 marking the first phase of re-opening for amusements arcades. To help the process, Bacta has confirmed that it will be staging a series of webinars for members outlining the risk assessments going forward. Coinslot looks at the next steps for the industry coming out of lockdown, and speaks to a range of businesses about how they are preparing for the ‘new normal’.
With little over a week to go before parts of the industry open their doors, official notification from the DCMS has finally been received. Arcadians, eligible to re-open, can now get ready for business.
Writing to members early Wednesday evening, chief executive John White was keen to deliver the news:“DCMS have this afternoon written to confirm that their recommendation for re-opening arcades on June 15th is to apply to AGCs, and not FECs. They are working with other parts of Government to include this in the guidance, but the intent is clear. Re-opening of any premises is subject to the scientific and medical advice remaining consistent.”
In Scotland and Wales, the position is more hesitant; high street premises and arcades will have further to wait before re-opening. White advised: “We still don’t have any announcements to report. Wales has told non-essential retail to be prepared to open and a final decision will be announced in mid-June. We expect similar in Scotland with the next three weekly assessment due on June 18th. We had a call with the Scottish Tourism Minister today and he is articulating not just our’s but the whole tourism industry’s concerns to the Scottish Government. On the call many organisations pressed him on the need for a reduced social distance, preferably to one metre.”
And pubs, too, will have to wait for guidance – they were originally placed at the back of the queue for re-opening – however, as White intimated, there may be a glimmer of hope: “It is generally recognised that pubs will be towards the back end of premises allowed to open although those with beer gardens may be granted some freedom to provide food and drink outdoors. That has been referenced in Scotland explicitly. Bacta is working with the Beer and Pub Association and UK Hospitality as well as pub operators to develop a set of principles around the operation of pub machines under whatever social distancing and hygienic measures are needed. Our next meeting is on June 11th. Any reduction in the social distance will make a major difference to pub’s ability to trade successfully when they can open.”
But now, focus is on the arcades and businesses that can open, and Bacta is preparing to launch a specially tailored web-seminar to ensure that its membership is fully briefed and has the necessary support to open up with the easing of restrictions.
On Tuesday June 9 the trade body will conduct its first live-streamed learning event, entitled “COVID-19 Risk Assessments: What You Need to Know Before You Reopen.”
The webinar is set to begin at 11am and is expected to last 45 minutes. Bacta has said that the information to be included will be “relevant to all bacta members, as it will explain the process of preparing a robust risk assessment and associated measures in advance of reopening AGCs, FECs, manufacturing sites, distribution centres, warehouses and offices.”
The webinar will be hosted by Bacta CEO John White, who will be joined by David Kivlin, HM inspector of health and safety. In addition, the chairmen of Bacta’s four Divisions: Trevor Sutton (BANDAI NAMCO), Greg Wood (Essex Leisure), Neil Finch (Southern City Leisure) and Quentin Stott (Reflex) will also be present.