Pool tables, fruit machines and darts get the green light

Pub games get go-ahead providing they are risk assessed but dominoes still “too high risk”

POOL tables, fruit machines and darts can be played in pubs from today (August 24) providing they are risk assessed, subject to robust cleaning procedures, social distancing can be observed and they are not located in main thoroughfares.

The Scottish Government gave the green light to the pub games in another update to tourism and hospitality sector guidance published on Friday night (August 21); but it said dominoes is still not allowed as the “proximity of players and the need for sharing of game pieces makes this activity too high risk”.

The updated guidance said fruit machines and pool tables are permitted from August 24 but they must be risk assessed and should be subject to robust cleaning procedures, physical distancing should be observed and they should not be located in thoroughfares.

“Procedures and customer communications should ensure that no crowding can result from the use of these facilities and that noise levels are kept low with no shouting,” says the guidance.

“Customers using pool tables should be encouraged to wear face coverings as this is a requirement in snooker and pool halls.

“Darts may be played if there is a dedicated space for play away from thoroughfares ie. separate room, and where there is adequate space to ensure physical distancing along with risk assessed robust cleaning procedures, with no sharing of darts. Where this is not possible then it will be necessary to refrain from darts play at this time.”

The guidance also outlines a number of measures under consideration, including measures to limit the number of premises visited in one day – consumers are already being “advised against pub crawl activity” in revised customer guidance; entry cut-off points – businesses may restrict entry to premises after a certain time to “limit late evening transit between premises”; and face coverings within premises for customers when not eating or drinking ie. arrival/departure and when using shared facilities.

“We will continue to explore other options to avoid risky behaviours and practices,” says the guidance.

“Guidance will continue to evolve as we learn more about coronavirus and how it behaves in society, and in particular within the hospitality sector.

“It may be necessary to introduce further measures in due course if there is evidence to support it, just as it may also be possible to ease current restrictions if the evidence to support that is there. In the meantime, it is of paramount importance that every reasonable effort is made by all to keep coronavirus under control.”

View the updated guidance here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-tourism-and-hospitality-sector-guidance/