The Cabinet Office have updated their guidelines from the 9th September to their latest guidelines published on 14th September 2020. These state that social gatherings should now not exceed six people. Like the previous lockdown there are some exceptions that allow additional numbers when you study the Government guidance more closely, paying particular attention to the new exemptions in paragraph 2.10 ‘When can I gather in groups of more than 6?’.

We sympathise with children that are due to have their parties and  have now been faced with the emotionally difficult decision to un-invite their friends so that they can legally comply. Here now is our compliance guide to the many different options of how you can entertain your children in the iBox from Monday 14th September onwards until the restriction is lifted.

Option A) You can book a party for 6 children. This can take place at your home address. If we park on your drive, nobody else could be present in your home or garden. You would need to be sat in your car on the pavement for instance, if you were in the lounge we could only have 5 children in the vehicle. If you have younger children that need assistance with the controls for example, our party host would need to be included in the 6, in which case you could only invite 5 children. If the children were capable of taking verbal controls we could position the vehicle so that the front was overhanging the pavement (so long as we were not blocking the pavement completely and allowing wheelchair users space to pass by) then technically our party host would not be on your property but still present to assist the children. If we parked on the pavement, completely off your property this would mean you and other members of your household would not need to evacuate. We could then host 6 children and our party host could either be at a distance away from the group to be but still be able to provide technical assistance.

Option B) The iBox has completed a risk assessment (available on request / included with your booking confirmation) of its space, inside the iBox are two desks which the children play on. Fortunately the children are faced back to back and spaced at 1m +. The desks also include Perspex shields between the monitors mitigating risk even further. Our space conforms as a Covid-19 Secure Venue. It’s best to liken it as a ‘Restaurant’ you could book a table for up to 6 people, another adult (from a different address, as both addresses would be needed for track and trace) could book the other table. These two groups could come along together, wait outside the address of one of the table bookers and all enter the iBox (we will soon have a short guide on how to enter the iBox safely). Due to all our consoles/screens being linked together both groups could interact as one larger group in the games but be socially distanced from each other in their table groupings.

Option C) The iBox has already launched a Gaming Tuition Course. Falling under the category of Education and or Training. Our new courses are every bit as much fun as our parties, there are 3 different levels of course and certificates are awarded to its Students. We do of course recommend that Students stay in the same bubbles that they are used to at school, if this can’t be the case then give thought to who sits at which table, as we can still socially distance within the iBox.

Option D) Wedding entertainment is unaffected as numbers for Weddings and their receptions are still up to 30 people.

Option E) Supervised activities provided for children. If you work from home and want us to supervise a group of Children this option may work well for you. Our previous Religious Life Cycle Ceremonies option (previously Option E) has now been restricted to the ceremony as opposed to the celebration of the event.

Option F) Youth Groups or activites, this should encompass Junior Football team presentation evenings, scouts and other youth groups and clubs.

Another good consideration worth factoring into your plans, is to have a plan B location, on the off chance that your home borough becomes locked down the day before your event. It may be wise to arrange an alternative address in a neighbouring borough as a standby measure. It could be a family member or a good friend.

It is our belief that these are all lawful options that would mean you could still entertain your children in the iBox. If you already have a party booked with us you are welcome to change your booking to fall into one of the above options. If you would rather postpone till after the restrictions are lifted you are welcome to do that as well. We are not legal experts but we have at least studied the government guidelines and now have a good understanding of the new law, if you have any suggestions and comments that can help, these would be very much appreciated. Our hope is to be fully compliant with these laws, protect and safeguard the public during this pandemic but most of all provide as much fun as we can for your children.