General Manager of ADIPS: “The leisure industry involving amusement devices has been hit just as hard as all the other industries”
Following the announcement on Thursday that the UK’s lockdown will continue for at least a further three weeks to prevent the spread of Covid-19, The Parliamentary Review spoke with Jon Ruddock, the general manager of ADIPS. A not-for-profit organisation who have been directly responsible for lowering the accident rate on amusement devices since their foundation in 2003, Ruddock considers their future following the pandemic.
Ruddock said: “The leisure industry involving amusement devices has been hit just as hard as all the other industries in the UK due to Covid-19. There are, however, a few industry specific factors that have added to issues facing the leisure industry. Travelling fairs, amusement parks, piers and attractions that use amusement devices for the general public are places that rely upon mass gatherings to be allowed.”
The impact of coronavirus on the leisure
industry has been seen on a considerable scale, with theme park providers such
as Disney expected to furlough around 70,000 employees on Monday following
former director Bob Iger taking temporary control of the company.
The return to some semblance of normality is clearly a concern for Ruddock, who notes: “It is assumed that mass gatherings will be one of the last if not the last government-imposed restriction to be lifted. The industry is seasonal, with the largest footfall to these events being during the Summer months.
“The combination of these two specifics leaves the UK amusement industry in a dreadful financial predicament. ADIPS provides a public safety scheme that protects the public and manages the industry so that amusement devices are safe to operate.”
With the estimated death toll in the city of Wuhan revised by 50 per cent, it is unclear whether or not the UK will revise their social distancing measures further as a response to this, while The Financial Times have voiced their belief that normal life may not return for up to six months following the pandemic.
The impact on business is clear to Ruddock who states that: “It was expected using previous data that there would be circa 4,000 inspections taking place between the months of March to June out of the 7,500 inspections that take place annually.
“When restrictions are lifted if nothing is done, with the number of devices that will need to be inspected in a short period, there is a possibility of the scheme being stretched beyond its limits as the demand for inspection outweighs the supply.”
Ruddock concludes that: “ADIPS needs to promote inspection work to continue where it is possible to follow the Government guidance on movement and travel. If the DOCs are not issued, then there is no revenue stream for ADIPS and if the scheme collapses then this will have serious ramifications on the safety of Amusement devices when the UK is once again open for business.”