A flippant title but a serious note I am afraid.
I think we had all hoped over the last few weeks that we were coming out of the woods, or at least that the woods were becoming a little less thick. However, the recent increases that have been reported in the rate of infections from this persistent virus has led the Government to impose some further restrictions that have an impact on how premises with a Premises Licence, like ours, operate.
The headline grabbing requirement is that a law will be introduced that either indoors or outdoors, groups can form in numbers no greater than 6. In England that would include children, although there are slightly different rules for Scotland and Wales.
In looking to administer this, Clubs like ours need to organise our affairs so that people do not meet in groups greater than 6.
The guidance that that has been reported, and this is subject to regular updates and we will try to monitor these, requires licence holders, among others to monitor and try and prevent larger than 6 gatherings. The legal guidance is that not only should a group not be greater than 6, but individuals should not intermingle and mix with other groups. The intention is to limit contact and operators need to apply these laws. The sanctions previously for failure to do this were substantially warnings, a breach will now be a criminal offence that will result in financial penalties and could impact on the whether a licence will be allowed to continue.
In addition to the limit of 6 there is a requirement that details must be taken of each customer or group of customers to allow the track and trace system to operate. There is talk in the very near future of a further app being introduced that members and guests may be requested to sign in to if they have the appropriate technology. Again, it is an offence not to take the information from a customer.
The other requirements of maintaining social distancing, keeping 2 metres apart if possible, 1 metre with appropriate measures if that is not possible continue to operate. The need to emphasise that people should wash their hands or use sanitiser to clean their hands on a regular basis and the need to provide a Covid secure environment all still apply and should be followed.
Our staff will be asked to request members to observe these measures and I would really appreciate if you could make their job easier by following the instructions to assist social distancing. Please organise numbers in your group to be compliant and help us stay safe and legal. Those asking you to comply are the messengers. It is not what they want to do, it is what the Government are telling them they have to do, please help them
It is still possible for the Club to host more than 6 people, although that will be the limit on any one group using the premises. It is still possible to hold sporting events in Covid secure environments and governing bodies provide instruction in relation to steps to take to make an environment Covid secure.
It is important that we all look to work to comply and I am sure that is what people will be doing.
Other exceptions would include the ability to host weddings and funerals up to a capacity of 30.
The Government is asking Environmental Health Officers and Local Authorities together with the Police to monitor this change and are talking about introducing Covid 19 Secure Marshals to help Local Authorities support local distancing in towns and city centres.
In areas where lockdowns are imposed there will be restrictions on opening hours of premises with the possibility of national action in the future. Helping by complying now is with a view to preventing the added restriction of lockdown in our area.
I think that this is my most serious little offering yet. To lighten the mood, but not the message, I hear great things about numbers and enthusiasm on Sundays. Thank you for all the work going into that. The Seniors will entertain old foes Orrell, all things being permitted on 26th September – do please try and come down to watch. Hopefully, there can be other fixtures to brighten Saturday afternoons.
I am really impressed and grateful for all the efforts to improve the facility and also the positive response to the Crowdfunding appeal that Sean Fletcher has taken hold of and pushed, with your help, so successfully,
It would be nice to turn the Waterloo Suite, the Tea Room in old money, into a more comfortable venue and efforts to improve the experience of using the Club are being worked on. Any suggestions remain gratefully received.
I will close now wishing you all the best as always, relying on your support and hoping you all stay safe and well.