How arcades and amusements will look as they reopen on Super Saturday
PUBLISHED: 19:06 02 July 2020
Sarah Lucy Brown
Arcades and attractions along the Suffolk and north Essex coast are preparing to reopen ahead of ‘Super Saturday’ - but have made a few changes to ensure visitors’ safety.
Government restrictions are being relaxed on Saturday to allow for businesses in the hospitality industry - such as pubs, restaurants and arcades - to reopen after a forced three-month closure due to coronavirus.
The arcades have undergone a number of alterations over the lockdown, with the government requiring all businesses that reopen to have installed the correct safety measures to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19.
Charlie Manning, who runs Manning’s Amusements in Felixstowe, said he has removed a number of arcade machines at his business to ensure visitors can remain a safe distance apart.
Hand sanitiser will be provided to all visitors upon entry and machines will be staggered apart - with staff cleaning them after every use.
Mr Manning said the amusement centre will have a “heavy emphasis” on hygiene to minimise the risk of infection.
He said: “We are confident we can enforce social distancing - there’s much more space now.
“But we are at the whim of people being sensible. This will be a learning curve for us.
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“This virus is so unpredictable. We would have liked to have opened sooner, but we don’t want a resurgence.
“All of the staff are very keen to get back to work. We don’t envisage it being very busy, but you never know.”
Clacton Pier had initially hoped to reopen their casino in mid-June, but a government U-turn on gaming centres at the eleventh hour forced the plans to be scrapped - a decision director Billy Ball described as “outrageous”.
But the pier has now confirmed it will open most of its attractions on Saturday, with the exception of the soft play area.
Felixstowe Pier also previously confirmed its intention to reopen on July 4.
However, one amusement centre that won’t be reopening this weekend is the arcade at Southwold Pier - with the owners voicing concerns over the risk of spreading Covid-19.
Southwold Pier partially reopened to the public last month, with a one-way system implemented to help visitors maintain social distancing.
But a spokesman said: “We are not looking at re-opening the arcade just yet as we need to ensure that we can operate this safely and within the government guidelines.”
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