Face to face: Arcades provide mask guidance

face masks guidance
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Arcades across the country are recommending visitors wear face coverings, in order to help operators do all they can to protect against a second wave of Coronavirus.


As shoppers across the UK acclimatise to wearing face coverings, amusement arcades up and down the country are making sure customers feel as safe as possible by encouraging visitors to consider the welfare of others and wear a mask.

Though masks are not compulsory in arcades, government guidelines advise their use “in an enclosed public place or where social distancing isn’t possible,” with many venues recommending the measures in order to ensure all visitors feel comfortable.

For arcades, the approach has been pragmatic. In Lincolnshire, Skegness Pier told customers “as per the government guidelines we recommend the use of masks inside the premises,” while Grand Casino Amusements in Penzance stated “face masks are advisable, but not compulsory.”

As the Amusement World Funfair prepares to open in Lloyd Park, Walthamstow, organisers said “masks are welcome but not compulsory,” and while Family Amusements confirmed “it is not mandatory to wear a face covering in amusement arcades,” the Mablethorpe arcade added “if you feel safer wearing one please do so.”

The recommendations come as arcades do their best to prevent any unnecessary increase in the rate of infection – potentially triggering an economically disastrous second lockdown – whilst also attempting a profitable return to business.

Though individual personal sacrifices were widely and routinely praised during the first few months of lockdown, the last month has seen an increasing division amongst members of the public toward everyday protection measures such as wearing masks.

Navigating the way through these choppy waters requires some adept communication, a course carefully steered by Oasis Amusements & Martins Bingo. “Just an update as we’ve been asked several times, it is not compulsory to wear a face covering in amusement arcades, it’s a personal choice,” noted the centre. “If you feel safer wearing one, please do so. We do have disposable masks available for all customers on request free of charge.”

Despite the public’s nuanced response making government-mandated protection measures required for businesses marginally more difficult, arcades and amusement parks are still making sure that safety and fun go hand in hand.

“We would like to thank you all for the huge effort you’ve all put in to adhere to social distancing measures we have in place,” said Family Amusements. “We have received some great feedback.”



Bacta issued a guidance note to members this week, clarifying the position on face masks. Here’s what the association had to say:

“A number of members have contacted us this week about the requirement for customers to wear face masks.

I can confirm that in England it is not compulsory for customers visiting FECs or AGCs to wear a face mask. It is nevertheless strongly recommended.

Here is a link to the legislative exemption for arcades in case any local official insist they must be worn. Part 2, paragraph 17 lists amongst other things, amusement arcades as exempt from the definition of a shop. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/791/schedule/made. I can also confirm that members are perfectly entitled to request customers to remove masks for the purposes of age verification or self-exclusion.”

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