*** Important Update ***
The BIHA have received a number of emails etc. over the last day or so asking if inflatable hire companies can deliver inflatables to their customers during this COVID-19 crisis?
Unfortunately, the simple answer to this is “No!”
The Government’s instructions are very clear on this matter, you should only leave the house for one of four reasons:
· shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
· one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
· any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
· travelling to and from work, but only where you absolutely cannot work from home.
As you may be aware, Police forces are now conducting stop and checks and we know that people who are out delivering inflatables could be FINED if caught. The Police deem this as non-urgent and unacceptable. See: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8155221/Chief-constable-Call-police-large-gatherings-defying-coronavirus-lockdown.html
The problem is two-fold: During this period of enforced lockdown many parents will be thinking of ways of keeping their children entertained. But please do NOT think it will be ok to hire out a bouncy castle. It’s NOT ok. There are currently TWO main problems: 1) You’d need a disinfectant tank the size of a “swimming pool” to make sure the bouncy castle is 100% virus-free. Spending half an hour giving it a manual clean will not necessarily remove all viruses. 2) Social-distancing and social-isolation (as ordered by the Government) would be totally compromised if neighbours’ children turn up to play on the inflatable (The temptation is just too great – and it would be very difficult to turn them away – especially as the weather is currently good) These tough policies enforced by the Government are designed to protect you and your customers and their children during the current COVID-19 pandemic and save lives and protect the NHS.
We do understand the hard work that you have put into building up your hire business and the frustration you are feeling. It’s important to remain positive through these difficult times and this does present an amazing and unprecedented opportunity for parties and family get-togethers when restrictions are eventually lifted. And you could experience massive demand for your equipment.
Stay Safe – Stay At Home – Save Lives.
There is some good news though which was announced by the Chancellor today (26-3-2020)
The Government have agreed to pay self-employed people up to 80% of their profits – providing they can show 1, 2, or 3 years of tax returns. If you’ve been trading for less than ONE year – then you can apply for UNIVERSAL CREDIT immediately.
You also have the option of applying for a business interruption loan which would be tax-free for 12 months.
Please see: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/self-employment-income-support-scheme/ for more info.
And also see:
Please bear in mind that this crisis will be over sometime – and there will be a massive party when it is (“Freedom Day”). Until then we have to take all precautions as enforced by the Government.
In the meantime The BIHA will update this current situation when any changes are made by the UK Government. Thank you for your understanding during this very difficult time and STAY SAFE. For more information please refer to https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus