Bacta has written to the the minister for sport, tourism and heritage, Nigel Huddleston MP, urging the government to permit AGCs to re-open immediately.
In a three-page letter, sent on Tuesday 16 June and seen by Coinslot, the association set out in extensive detail the industry’s counter-argument to the rationale behind the U-turn that was delivered little more than 72 hours before thousands of businesses were due to go back to work.
Challenging the distinct yet blurry lines drawn between LBOs and AGCs by the government, Bacta stressed that the decision was inconsistent and presented point by point reasons that challenged the health and safety, leisure categorisation and dwell time case put forward by Number 10 in determining the decision to keep AGCs closed.
Bacta’s letter stated: “[This] is a hammer blow to the industry. Not only had businesses put in place all the necessary public hygiene and social distancing measure required of them, staff had been taken off furlough, machines had been re-floated and pre-opening deep cleans were undertaken at a very significant cost. This process has been incredibly expensive for an industry that is struggling to survive and that has had no income since the 20th March. We would request the Government reconsiders its position and allows AGCs to reopen as soon as possible.”