Car Wash Association writes to all members – breakthrough for GB but not Northern Ireland

Car Wash Association writes to all members – breakthrough for GB but not Northern Ireland

The Car Wash Association has written to its members welcoming confirmation that jet washes can open in GB – but in Northern Ireland, the regulations haven’t changed – car washes must reamin closed. The NI Direct Coronavirus regulations currently state that “Car washes are only permitted to open for the cleaning and disinfection of vehicles for the purposes of food safety, infection control or animal disease control. They are not permitted to open to clean domestic vehicles.”

Brian Madderson of the PRA and CWA continues to lobby government on behalf of its members in Northern Ireland.This call has been endorsed by Ian Paisley MP for North Antrim, who echoed his constituents’ dissatisfaction: “I am appalled by the reasoning put forward by the Government on this and strongly support this latest challenge by the Petrol Retailers Association to overturn the car wash restriction.”

Brian Madderson said “It is illogical for automated car washes to be closed, while they can open in Scotland and Wales, with England also permitting automated roll-overs to be operational. The public can safely use these services as they do not require the involvement of any third parties, unlike manual hand car washes.

“No evidence has emerged from the other home nations showing that drivers are ignoring current restrictions to make special journeys just to clean their vehicles.”

Car Wash Restriction Regulations 2021 rules and regulations below for car washes during the Covid-19 pandemic show that Northern Ireland is being treated differently.

Hand car washes:

  • England: Closed since 04/01/21]
  • Scotland: Permitted to stay open
  • Wales: Closed
  • Northern Ireland: Closed except for cleaning food van interiors

Automatic car washes 

  • England: Ok if fully CV-19 compliant – no 3rd party interaction – PPE available – cashless/cashier/card
  • Scotland: Permitted to stay open
  • Wales: Permitted to stay open
  • Northern Ireland: Closed

Jet washes 

  • England: T4 legislation 19/12/20 applies as for ACW but some confusion following 15/01/21 OPSS revision including ‘fully’ qualification to ‘automatic’ incorrect interpretation at local level. Advise enquirers to challenge legality of any closure orders
  • Scotland: Permitted to stay open
  • Wales: Legislation silent on this – assume same regulations apply as for Automatic Car Washes
  • Northern Ireland: Closed