Automatic car washes (ACWs) will be allowed to operate according to the new Tier 4 restrictions which came into force on Sunday (December 20).
Hand car washes, however, will have to close. Under the heading ’Businesses and venues which can remain open’, official government guidance states that this includes: ”petrol stations, automatic (but not manual) car washes, vehicle repair and MOT services…”.
Brian Madderson, chairman of the Car Wash Association (CWA), said: “Our team has worked tirelessly to ensure that ACWs are allowed to remain operational in the eventuality of tightening of restrictions and we are delighted that the government have listened. The decision to deem ACWs as an essential service on forecourts and specialist outlets is the correct one. This will keep motorists safe, assist the emergency services and safeguard many jobs.
“Going forward, we will continue to work constructively with the government so ACWs, which require no staff to interact with customers, can serve their communities while not being banded in with hand (manual) car washes (HCWs). All HCWs in Tier 4 areas have been required to close. The CWA supports this decision, due to the potential high-risk of transmission at these sites where often no PPE is available, social-distancing is impractical especially when valeting car interiors and generally just cash is taken for payment”.