Government & Industry Updates
We will continue to provide daily tourism updates, details of any announcements and Government updates here.
Latest Tourism Industry Emergency Response (TIER) Updates
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Updates to the providers of grassroots sport and sports facilities guidance
The working safely during coronavirus guidance on grassroots sport and sports facilities has been updated for Step 3 of the roadmap (from 17 May). Key information includes;
Outdoor sport facilities
- Outdoor sport facilities can open to the public.This applies to all outdoor sport facilities, including outdoor gyms, swimming pools, courts, pitches, golf courses (including mini-golf), water sports venues, climbing walls, driving and shooting ranges, riding arenas at riding centres and archery venues. Outdoor skating rinks and outdoor trampolining parks can open to the public, and from 17 May can open indoor areas and facilities.
- Changing rooms can open but their use should be discouraged.You should inform customers that these are areas of increased risk, that they should shower and change at home where possible, and, if they do need to use changing rooms, they should minimise time spent inside. You should ensure that social distancing can be maintained and customers are aware that they must adhere to legal gathering limits. You can find more information in the section on changing rooms and showers.
- Adults and children can take part in outdoor sport with any number of participants, where it is formally organised(for example, by a national governing body, business or charity) and follow measures including COVID-secure guidance. This applies to organised outdoor (individual and team) sports, outdoor exercise classes, organised sports participation events and outdoor licensed physical activity. Additional measures apply to some higher-risk activities, such as limits on contact in contact combat sports and some team sports. You can find more information in the guidance for safe provision of grassroots sport, or from the relevant sport’s national governing body.
- When not taking part in organised sport, people using your facility must adhere to the rules on social contact.People can meet outdoors in groups of up to 30. In indoor areas, people can gather in groups of up to 6 people, or 2 households/bubbles.
- You can find more information on these measures in the section on changes to operations.
Indoor sport facilities
- Indoor sport facilities can open to the public.This applies to most indoor sport and physical activity facilities, including gyms and leisure centres, sport courts and pitches, dance studios and fitness studios, climbing walls and climbing wall centres, multi-sport facilities (including driving ranges, archery venues and indoor riding centres) and swimming pools. Indoor skating rinks and trampoline parks can open to the public from 17 May.
- Saunas and steam rooms can open to the public from 17 May.Restrictions apply to how these services operate. You can find more information in the section on managing sport facility amenities.
- Capacity limits (100sqft per person) apply to indoor sport facilities, and you must provide adequate ventilation where people are in enclosed spaces.This can be natural ventilation (opening windows, doors and vents), mechanical ventilation (fans and ducts), or a combination of both. You can find more information in the section on ventilation.
- Changing rooms can open but their use should be discouraged.You should inform customers that these are areas of increased risk of transmission, that they should shower and change at home where possible and, if they do need to use changing rooms, they should minimise time spent inside. Customers using changing rooms must adhere to gathering limits and should be able to maintain social distancing while using the facilities. You can find more information in the section on changing rooms and showers.
- Organised indoor sport for adults and children can take place with any number of participants, where it is formally organised(for example, by a national governing body, business or charity) and follows measures including COVID-secure guidance. This applies to organised indoor (individual and team) sports, contact combat sports, indoor exercise classes and organised sport participation events. Additional measures apply to some higher-risk activities, such as limits on contact in contact combat sports and some team sports. You can find more information in the guidance for safe provision of grassroots sport, or from the relevant sport’s national governing body.
- Children can take part in indoor childcare and supervised activities,including sport and physical activity (such as community sport clubs), with any number of participants.
- Informal or self-organised sport can only take place within the rules on social contact- in groups of up to 6 people, or a group of 2 households/bubbles.
- When not taking part in organised sport, people using sport facilities must adhere to the rules on social contact.In indoor areas, people can gather in groups of up to 6 people, or 2 households/bubbles. In outdoor areas, people can meet in groups of up to 30.
- You can find more information on these measures in the section on changes to operations.
- From 17 May, spectators are permitted at grassroots sport events, but capacity limits apply.
- Indoor grassroots sport events can take place with up to 1,000 people or 50% of a site or venue’s capacity (whichever is lower). Organisers should ensure that events taking place in indoor sports facilities adhere to their existing capacity limit based on ventilation requirements. This means that a minimum of 100sqft per person should be provided to all people in the venue (excluding venue and event staff). You can find more information in the section on ventilation.
- Outdoor grassroots sport events can take place with up to 1,000 people or 50% of a site or venue’s capacity (whichever is lower).
- These capacity limits apply to participants in the event (and relevant coaches and officials) as well as spectators. They do not apply to staff working or volunteering at the venue.
- This applies to all types of events except organised sports participation events, where the capacity limit applies to spectators only (i.e. participants and officials are not counted towards the total).
- Spectators must adhere to legal gathering limits.
- Outdoors, spectators can gather in groups of up to 30. Gatherings of more than 30 people remain illegal (unless an exemption applies).
- Indoors, unless an exemption applies, spectators can only gather in groups of up to 6 people, or as a group of two households. A group made up of 2 households can include more than 6 people, but only where all members of the group are from the same 2 households (and each household can include an existing support bubble, if eligible).
More detailed advice on how to take part in sport and physical activity can be found in the grassroots sport guidance for the public and sport providers and the guidance for safe provision of grassroots sport (including team sport, contact combat sport and organised sport events).
VisitEngland domestic consumer sentiment tracker
The results of wave 30 of the consumer sentiment tracker are available on the VisitEngland website. The fieldwork for this wave was conducted between 4-9 May. There are some positive gains in sentiment but no substantial bounce in trip intent just yet. The ‘appetite for risk’ score continues to rise, confidence is building (despite a 1 point fall for June trips), bookings are climbing (albeit slowly) and almost half of the adult population now thinks the ‘worst has passed’ regarding the Covid situation. There are also stronger signals that vaccinations may be having a positive impact on the likelihood to take spring or summer trips.
From a new question for this wave (on slide 16), asked to better understand the risk of domestic trip substitution as the overseas markets open up, over 90% of spring and summer intenders say they would still go on their UK trip, with just a couple of percent opting to cancel and go overseas instead.
Other points of note from Wave 30:
- The national mood is unchanged at 6.7/10
- Only 12% now believe the ‘worst is still to come’ (down from 18%).
- 47% of adults expect ‘normality’ by end of this year – up 2 points compared to last wave.
- The Appetite for Risk score climbs to 2.7/4.
- Around half of adults anticipate taking more or the same number of overnight domestic trips between now and end of the year compared to normal. This compares with c. 30% of adults with similar intent regarding overseas trips. These figures are largely unchanged this wave.
- Confidence continues to improve, with the majority (55%) now confident a July trip would go ahead as planned.
- 14% anticipate taking an overnight trip this spring (Apr – June) rising to 32% during the summer (July – Sept) which is broadly stable wave-on-wave.
- Among those who are intending to take a trip this summer, 37% have reached the planning and 29% the booking stages of their trips, which is up from 33% and 26% respectively last wave.
- The South West remains the lead region for spring and summer trips and although it still dominates, its share has dipped slightly this wave, especially for spring trips.
- The leading destination type for spring trips is ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’ (33%) narrowly ahead of ‘countryside or village’ (29%). The pattern is similar for the summer period.
- The accommodation types most likely to be used on overnight trips this spring are ‘camping/caravan’ (41%), private home’ (38%) ‘commercial rentals’ (e.g. holiday cottages) on 36% and ‘Hotel/motel/inn’ (also 36%). Again, we see a broadly similar pattern for summer trips.
- 44% of UK adults intend to take a day trip to either a ‘countryside/village’ or ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’ destination respectively this spring or summer. This compares with 25% intending to visit a ‘large city’.
- Safer air travel for passengers has been updated with changes to requirements for entering England and Scotland for new green list countries.
- Quarantining and testing if you’ve been in an amber list country, and guidance on booking and staying in a quarantine hotel if you’ve been in a red list country has been updated to reflect new rules for amber and green list countries.
- The Stage Five (return to competition: safe return of spectators) section of the guidance on the phased return of sport has been updated to include information about Step 3 of the roadmap.
- COVID-19 restrictions posters for Step 3 are available to download here.
The following pages have been updated in line with the move to Step 3 of the roadmap:
Details of Step 2 - from 12 April
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From 12 April, the following will apply:
Outdoor recreation and visitor attractions can reopen, but indoor areas and settings must remain closed. Locations which have both indoor and outdoor facilities can open the outdoor areas and facilities, but indoor areas and facilities must remain closed (other than toilets and facilities such as baby changing rooms). Those outdoor venues and attractions that are permitted to remain open can offer food and drink as a takeaway service or to customers that are seated outdoors socially distanced (you can find more information in the section on hospitality. This applies to many visitor economy settings, including:
- ziplining and other active outdoor leisure activities
- adventure parks and activities
- funfairs and fairgrounds
- theme parks,
- water parks, aqua parks,
- drive in events, such as for cinemas, theatres, and other performances
- animal attractions, including zoos, safari parks and aquariums
- skating rinks and trampolining parks
- visitor attractions at film studios
- botanical or other gardens, biomes or greenhouses, sculpture parks, landmarks (including observation wheels or viewing platforms) and model villages
- museums and galleries
- heritage locations such as stately and historic homes, castles, heritage sites and ruins
Non-essential retail can reopen. This will include but not be limited to: clothing stores, charity and antique shops, homeware stores, showrooms (such as for vehicles which would include caravans), retail travel agents, auction houses and markets and betting shops (subject to additional COVID-secure measures, such as limiting the use of gaming machines).
Personal care facilities and close contact services can reopen. This will include: hair, beauty and nail salons, spas and massage centres (except for steam rooms and saunas, which must remain closed), holistic therapy (including acupuncture, homeopathy, and reflexology) and tanning salons. You can find more information in the guidance for close contact services and the guidance for sport facilities (for saunas and steam rooms).
Indoor sports facilities will be permitted to open in addition to outdoor sports facilities. This includes sport facilities such as pitches, courts, golf and mini-golf courses, swimming pools, gyms and leisure centres. You should check the guidance for sport facilities, and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures.
Self-contained accommodation can reopen for leisure stays for groups comprising a single household/support bubble. This is defined as accommodation in which facilities including kitchens, sleeping areas, bathrooms and indoor communal areas such as lounges, sitting areas, and any lifts, staircases or internal corridors used to access the accommodation are restricted to exclusive use of a single household/support bubble. See guidance for hotels and guest accommodation for more information.
Outdoor areas at hospitality venues (cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs, social clubs, including in member’s clubs) can reopen, including for takeaway alcohol. These venues may allow customers to use toilets (and facilities such as baby changing rooms) located inside. At any premises serving alcohol, customers will be required to order, be served and eat/drink while seated (“table service”). You should check the guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services, and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures.
Business meeting/event show-rounds, viewings and site visits for the purpose of viewing the venue for a future booking can take place at venues which are permitted to open at each step of the roadmap, or where a relevant exemption applies. From Step 2, this will include conference centres and exhibition halls, including conference centres located within hotels. Viewings of other venues can only take place from Step 3 - no earlier than 17 May.
Some outdoor events organised by a business, charity, public body or similar organisation, such as fetes, funfairs and fairgrounds, and literary fairs, are permitted. These events can take place if they meet the criteria set out in the section on outdoor events and meet specific conditions: they comply with COVID-secure guidance including taking reasonable steps to limit the risk of transmission, complete a related risk assessment; and adhere to all legal requirements including maintaining group sizes permitted by the social contact restriction at the relevant step in the roadmap, and also preventing mixing between groups; enforcing social distancing guidelines; and mandating face coverings in indoor areas where required. Events guidance will shortly be published for local authorities setting out more information on the events permitted at each step of the roadmap.
Skippered boats can operate, with restrictions for some types of vessel. Boats which are open-air can be used within the legal gathering limits (by groups of up to 6 people or 2 households/support bubbles) and multiple groups are permitted if the boat tour is organised by a business/organisation, a risk assessment is completed which will take into account capacity limits, COVID-secure guidance is adhered to, and people maintain social distancing and do not mingle outside of their permitted groups of up to 6 people or 2 households/support bubbles). Where boats are partially enclosed, attendees may only go indoors to access/use the toilet. Boats which are fully enclosed can only be used by people from the same household or support bubble. The skipper does not count as part of the group. For more information see the waterway guidance from British Marine.
Self-drive holiday hire of boats where people make overnight stays are permitted for people from the same household or support bubble.
Self-contained accommodation can open as follows:
Overnight leisure stays in self-contained accommodation will be permitted. This is defined as accommodation in which facilities including: kitchens, sleeping areas, bathrooms and indoor communal areas such as lounges, sitting areas, and any lifts, staircases or internal corridors used to access the accommodation are restricted to exclusive use of a single household/support bubble. A reception area is not to be treated as an indoor communal area if it is required in order to be open for check-in purposes, but it should only be used for the purposes of check-in. Guests may also use indoor public toilets, baby changing rooms, breastfeeding rooms, and facilities for laundering clothes, which are not to be treated as indoor communal areas. These areas should be cleaned regularly and kept well-ventilated and guests should try where possible to limit their interaction with other households whilst using these facilities. This will mean that any holiday parks, ‘standalone’ holiday lets such as houses and cottages, chalets, yurts, holiday boats, and motels and other accommodation in which kitchens, sleeping areas, bathrooms and indoor communal areas such as lounges, sitting areas, and any lifts, staircases or internal corridors used to access the accommodation are for the exclusive use of a single household/support bubble may open for leisure stays.
Campsites and caravan parks will be permitted to open for leisure stays provided that the only shared facilities used by guests at the campsite or caravan park are receptions, washing facilities (including facilities for laundering clothes), public toilets, baby changing rooms, breastfeeding rooms, water points and waste disposal points. Shower facilities should be operated so as to ensure no household mixing takes place. This would involve either assigning shower facilities to one household group/support bubble, (i.e. making them private), or running a reservation and clean process (whereby one household can exclusively book the shared facilities for a fixed time, and the facilities are cleaned between reservations and kept well-ventilated). Other facilities - receptions, facilities for laundering clothes, public toilets, baby changing rooms, breastfeeding rooms, water points and waste disposal points - should be cleaned regularly and kept well-ventilated and guests should try where possible to limit their interaction with other households whilst using these facilities.
If a site is open to provide self-contained accommodation for leisure stays, permitted businesses or services can also operate on site and can be used by guests and by the general public. This includes:
- Indoor and outdoor sport facilities (swimming pools and gyms), recreation facilities such as ziplining, spas and personal care, and retail. These facilities can open even where access is via shared indoor communal areas such as lifts or corridors, as long as those communal areas are used solely to access the facilities and not to access accommodation. Saunas and steam rooms must remain closed. You should check the guidance for sport facilities, close contact services and retail shops, stores and branches and ensure you adhere to any relevant requirements.
- Outdoor hospitality such as restaurants, cafes and bars. These facilities can open even where access is via shared indoor communal areas such as lifts or corridors, as long as those communal areas are used solely to access the facilities and not to access accommodation. The use of indoor public toilets (and facilities such as baby changing rooms) is permitted even if access is via shared indoor communal areas such as lifts or corridors, as long as those communal areas are used solely to access the facilities and not to access accommodation. You can find more information in the section on hospitality. You should check the guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services, and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures.
- Hospitality venues may provide takeaway food and drink (including takeaway alcohol).
If a site is not self-contained and therefore remains closed for leisure stays, permitted businesses or services can still operate on site and can be used by guests and by the general public:
- Indoor and outdoor sport facilities (swimming pools and gyms), spas and personal care, and retail may open for access by the public as well as for guests staying for legally permitted reasons. These facilities can open even where the entrance is within the hotel and access is via shared indoor facilities such as lifts/corridors. Saunas and steam rooms must remain closed. You should check the guidance for sport facilities, close contact services and retail shops, stores and branches and ensure you adhere to any relevant requirements.
- Outdoor hospitality such as restaurants, cafes and bars can open for the public as well as for guests staying for legally permitted reasons. Outdoor hospitality can open even where the entrance is within the hotel and access is via shared indoor communal areas such as lifts/corridors. The use of indoor toilets (and facilities such as baby changing rooms) is permitted, even if accessed through shared communal areas such as lifts/corridors. You can find more information in section on hospitality. You should check the guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services, and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures. Food and/or drink (including alcohol) can be provided through room service as long as it is ordered by phone or online.
- Communal spaces such as lounges or lobbies may remain open to guests but no food or drink should be served in these spaces, people should not be encouraged to gather and social distancing should be observed.
If your business provides both self-contained and non-self-contained accommodation, both may only open subject to their respective restrictions, for example:
- the hotel may open for legally permitted stays (only)
- the self-contained chalets may open for leisure stays and for legally permitted stays
- the hotel’s indoor facilities may open to the public and to all guests
Download the NHS Covid-19 Step 2 poster to display in your business here
Details of Step 3 - from 17 May
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From 17th May, the following will apply:
Visitor attractions and recreational venues can open both indoor and outdoor areas. This includes:
- Games and recreation facilities, such as bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, laser quest, escape rooms, paintballing, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks) and trampolining centres.
- Water parks and theme parks.
- Animal attractions at zoos, safari parks, aquariums, and wildlife centres.
- Attractions such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks.
Most indoor and outdoor entertainment venues can open to the public.
- This includes venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, arcades and bingo halls.
Indoor and outdoor events can take place, but measures apply including following COVID-secure and social distancing guidance.
- Events permitted from Step 3 (which include business events such as conferences and exhibitions, live performances, and sport events) should follow all COVID-secure guidance, adhere to all legal requirements, and take all reasonable action to mitigate risk to public health. An event cannot take place in either Step 2 or Step 3 if it is unlikely that social distancing between groups of attendees can be maintained, or if other COVID-secure requirements cannot be met. This may be the case for events such as music festivals and carnivals.
- Capacity restrictions apply to both indoor events (1,000 people or 50% of a site or venue’s capacity, whichever is lower) and outdoor events (4,000 people or 50% of a site or venue’s capacity, whichever is lower).
- Further guidance can be found in the sections for business meetings and events and other events and attractions, and in the guidance of the organised event for local authorities.
Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies
- Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies will be permitted for up to 30 people in COVID-secure venues that are permitted to open.
- Receptions and celebrations will be permitted to take place with up to 30 people. They can take place either indoors in a COVID-secure venue (this does not include private homes), or outdoors (which does include private gardens). Although there is no requirement to be COVID-secure in a private garden, the organiser should take all reasonable steps to limit the risks of transmission and must adhere to the gathering limit of up to 30 people. You can find out more on full wedding guidance here.
Indoor and outdoor guided tours are permitted, but must operate within the legal gathering limits and follow COVID-secure guidance.
- Tours can be provided for a single permitted group of visitors (up to 30 people outdoors; up to 6 people or 2 households/bubbles indoors), or multiple permitted groups (of up to 30 people outdoors; groups of up to 6 people or 2 households/bubbles indoors) that are kept separate throughout the activity. You can find more information in the section on changes to operations.
Private hire coaches are permitted for a private group of a single household/bubble, and may also accommodate groups containing multiple households travelling together to the same destination or making the same journey (e.g. for the purposes of a leisure tour).
- This can only take place under certain conditions and where coaches operate in line with social contact limits, meaning that permitted groups (of 6 people or 2 households/bubbles) must be kept separate at all times whilst indoors on the tour. You can find more information in the section on changes to operations.
All heritage railway services are permitted to operate.
- This includes heritage railway services operating as public transport (journeys from point A to point B), as well as those provided primarily for dining or other recreational purposes, or for the carriage of passengers from the same start and end point. You can find more information in the section on changes to operations and the guidance on safer travel.
Self-drive day-hire of boats is permitted, within the legal gathering limits.
- There are different restrictions for different types of vessels. Boats which are open-air can be used within the legal gathering limits (by a group of up to 30 people). Boats which are enclosed can only be used by up to 6 people or 2 households/support bubbles. You can find more information in the section on changes to operations.
Self-drive holiday-hire (where people make overnight stays) of boats is permitted for up to 6 people or 2 households/bubbles.
Skippered boats can operate within the legal gathering limits.
- There are different restrictions for different types of vessels. Boats which are open-air can be used by groups of up to 30 people, and multiple groups are permitted under certain circumstances. Where boats are partially or fully enclosed, people should only gather indoors within their group (up to 6 people or 2 households/bubbles) and groups should not mix. Multiple groups are permitted inside under some circumstances. You can find more information in the section on changes to operations.
Domestic cruises (departing from, and returning to, UK ports) can operate, with restrictions on capacity.
- They may operate beyond UK waters, but are restricted to UK port calls. Groups of more than 6 people or 2 households/bubbles will not be allowed to mix indoors, whether or not they originally booked in the same group. You can find more information in the guidance on domestic cruise ship travel and the UK Chamber of Shipping’s COVID-19 framework for operators.
- People present in a work capacity (including volunteers), such as coach drivers, tour guides and skippers, are not counted as part of a group.
All guest accommodation can open for leisure stays.
- This includes hotels, hostels, B&Bs and other types of accommodation that rely on sharing facilities (including kitchens, sleeping areas, bathrooms and indoor communal areas such as lounges, sitting areas, and any lifts, staircases or internal corridors used to access the accommodation). More information on how to operate shared facilities is available in the section on changes to facilities and services.
- Overnight stays in guest accommodation are restricted to groups of up to 6 people or 2 households/bubbles.
All guest accommodation can open permitted businesses and services on-site for access by guests and by the general public, including where the entrance is within the guest accommodation.
- This includes indoor and outdoor sport facilities (such as swimming pools and gyms), spas and personal care facilities (such as hair, beauty, and massage services), and retail facilities. Saunas and steam rooms can reopen.
- Food and/or drink (including alcohol) can be provided through room service. Communal spaces such as lounges or lobbies may remain open to guests but no food or drink should be served in these spaces, people should not be encouraged to gather and social distancing should be observed.
- Indoor entertainment is permitted. This includes venues such as theatres, cinemas and concert halls, and performance/screening areas within the premises of another venue such as a pub, hotel or holiday park. More information on these measures is available in the sections on changes to operations, changes to facilities and services and hospitality.
Update on Roadmap Reviews
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As part of the roadmap, early thinking on four reviews has been published, on the safe return of major events, on social distancing, the potential role of Covid status certification, and on the resumption of international travel.
Please see some key points below:
COVID-Status Certification Review
- The Government believes that COVID-status certification could have an important role to play both domestically and internationally, as a temporary measure.
- Equally, the Government wants to be sure that the benefits of any such approach are fully interrogated in public debate and that the deliverability of COVID-status certification is rigorously tested, along with analysis of the potential economic impacts that COVID-status certification would have across different settings.
- There are some settings (such as essential public services, public transport and essential shops) where COVID-status certification should never be required, in order to ensure access for all.
- Equally, COVID-status certification could potentially play a role in settings such as theatres, nightclubs, and mass events such as festivals or sports events to help manage risks where large numbers of people are brought together in close proximity.
- The Government will begin to trial COVID-status certification in certain settings, including large events, through the Events Research Programme. The Government will continue to work closely with sectors on its approach.
- It is possible that COVID-status certification could also play a role in reducing social distancing requirements in other settings which people tend to visit more frequently, for example in hospitality settings. However, the Government recognises this has significant implications for businesses and their customers, so this will be further considered in consultation with industry, as part of the review of social distancing rules and taking into account the equalities and other impacts.
- For now, businesses should continue to plan to reopen in a way that follows the latest COVID-Secure guidance, and certification will not be required for reopening as part of step 2 or step 3.
Global Travel Taskforce
- The Government wants to see a return to non-essential international travel as soon as possible, while still managing the risk from imported cases and variants of concern.
- Given the state of the pandemic abroad, and the progress of vaccination programmes in other countries, the Government is not yet in a position to confirm that non-essential international travel can resume from 17 May.
- Taking into account the latest situation with variants and the evidence about the efficacy of vaccines against them, they will confirm in advance whether non-essential international travel can resume on 17 May, or whether we will need to wait longer before lifting the outbound travel restriction.
- When non-essential international travel does return it will do so with a risk-based “traffic light” system.
- This will add to the current system a new green category with no isolation requirement on return to the UK - although pre-departure and post-arrival tests would still be needed.
- The Global Travel Taskforce will publish its report, setting out more details on this system shortly.
- It is too early to say which countries will be on the green list when non-essential international travel resumes.
- For the moment, the Government advises people not to book summer holidays abroad until the picture is clearer.
Events Research Programme
- The Events Research Programme will explore different approaches to social distancing, ventilation, test-on-entry protocols and COVID-status certification.
- It will carry out pilots in a series of venues to gather evidence on the transmission risks associated with different settings, and potential approaches to managing and mitigating transmission risks. The pilots will use the domestic COVID-status certification standards.
- Early pilots will focus on demonstrating COVID-status through testing alone, while later pilots will seek to incorporate data on vaccination and acquired immunity.
- The Events Research Programme will examine the extent to which COVID-status certification would help towards the return of crowds to mass events and closed settings, from football matches to theatre performances, and the reopening of nightclubs.
- The programme will be run across a range of venue and activity types, including the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible in Sheffield and the Circus nightclub in Liverpool, with the aim of admitting a crowd of up to 20,000 to Wembley for the FA Cup final on 15 May.
- A second phase of pilots will take place from the end of May.
Social Distancing Review
- Social Distancing Review is exploring whether existing rules, designed to limit virus transmission, could be relaxed in different settings.
- The review is looking at key baseline measures, including how and when to safely lift or amend the 1m+ rule and related COVID-secure measures, as well as guidance on working from home.
- The extent of any relaxation in social distancing measures is linked to the questions being explored by the COVID-Status Certification Review - including whether COVID-status certification can enable changes to social distancing.
Roadmap for Lifting Lockdown
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From 8 March, people in England will see restrictions start to lift and the government’s four-step roadmap offer a route back to a more normal life.
All the dates in the roadmap are indicative and subject to change. There will be a minimum of five weeks between each step.
Please see a summary of the relevant guidance for tourism businesses below.
Step one - from 8 March
- All schools to open
- Stay at home order remains in place
- People can meet one other person outside for recreation
- Funerals for 30 people and weddings for 6 people.
- Businesses permitted to open remain the same as currently allowed.
Step one - From 29 March
- People will be able to meet outside including in private gardens, subject to the rule of six, or provided no more than two households are meeting.
- People will no longer be legally required to stay at home but should work from home if they can and try not to travel.
- Outdoor sport facilities: Gyms, swimming pools, sports courts (such as tennis and basketball courts), golf courses, including mini golf, water sports venues, climbing walls, driving and shooting ranges, riding arenas at riding centres, archery venues.
Step Two - no earlier than 12th April
At this stage the venues must only be attended/used in line with the wider social contact limits - as a single household or bubble indoors; or in a group of six people or two households outdoors (unless an exemption exists).
- Self-contained holiday accommodation in which all facilities (including for sleeping, catering, bathing, and indoor lobbies and corridors for entry and exit) are restricted to exclusive use of a single household/support bubble can reopen.
- Outdoor areas at hospitality venues (cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs, social clubs, including in member’s clubs) can reopen, including for takeaway alcohol. These venues may allow customers to use toilets located inside. At any premises serving alcohol, customers will be required to order, be served and eat/drink while seated (“table service”).
- Outdoor attractions can reopen at adventure parks and activities, animal attractions (such as at zoos, safari parks and aquariums), drive in events, such as for cinemas, theatres, and other performances, film studios, funfairs and fairgrounds, model villages, museums and galleries, skating rinks, theme parks, trampolining parks, water and aqua parks.
- Permitted businesses operating in otherwise closed attractions - such as a gift shop or a takeaway kiosk at a museum may only open where they are a self-contained unit and can be accessed directly from the street.
- Outdoor gatherings or events, organised by a business, charity, public body or similar organisation, can be organised, subject to complying with COVID-Secure guidance including taking reasonable steps to limit the risk of transmission, complete a related risk assessment; and ensure that those attending do not mix beyond what is permitted by the social contact limits
- This could enable spectators at a grassroots sports match or a village fete, provided people do not mix beyond groups of six people or two households.
- Indoor events that bring people together - even if they do not mix with other households - must not run until Step 3. However, at this point, funerals can continue to proceed with up to 30 attendees. Weddings, receptions, and commemorative events including wakes will be able to take place with up to 15 attendees (in premises that are permitted to open).
- Non-essential retail will reopen and includes retail travel agents.
- Personal care facilities and close contact services can reopen, including hair, beauty and nail salons, spas and massage centres (except for steam rooms and saunas), holistic therapy (including acupuncture, homeopathy, and reflexology).
- Indoor sports and leisure facilities will reopen including gyms and leisure centres, sports courts, swimming pools, dance studios and fitness centres, driving and shooting ranges, riding arenas, archery venues, climbing wall centres.
Step Three - no earlier than 17 May
At this stage the venues must only be attended/used in line with the wider social contact limits - in a group of six people or two households indoors; or in a group of no more than 30 people outdoors (unless an exemption exists).
- Remaining holiday accommodation can reopen.
- Indoor areas of hospitality venues can reopen. As with outdoors, table service will be required.
- Indoor entertainment and visitor attractions can reopen, including cinemas, theatres, concert halls, museums and galleries, adventure playgrounds and activities, amusement arcades and adult gaming centres, bingo halls, casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks, games, recreation and entertainment venues such as escape rooms and laser quest, play areas (including soft play centres and inflatable parks), model villages, snooker and pool halls, trampolining parks, water and aqua parks, indoor visitor attractions at theme parks and film studios, indoor attractions at zoos, safari parks, aquariums and other animal attractions, indoor attractions at botanical gardens, greenhouses and biomes, indoor attractions at sculpture parks, indoor attractions at landmarks including observation wheels or viewing platforms, indoor attractions at stately or historic homes, castles, or other heritage sites, conference centres and exhibition halls, including for the purposes of business events (subject to the capacity limits set out below).
- Remaining outdoor entertainment events, such as cinemas, theatres, and other performance events will also be permitted.
- Both outdoor and indoor gatherings or events, organised by a business, charity, public body or similar organisation can be organised, subject to them complying with COVID-Secure guidance.
- Spectators will be allowed at elite sporting events and performance events. Attendance at these events will be restricted to 50% of capacity up to 1,000 people for indoor events, and 50% of capacity up to 4,000 people for outdoor events. For outdoor events taking place in venues with seated capacity of over 16,000, event organisers may apply a 25% capacity cap, up to a maximum of 10,000 seated people.
- Large business events will also be able to go ahead, subject to the same capacity requirements as sporting events and performances.
- Most significant life events for 30 people
- International travel will not resume before 17 May
Step Four - no earlier than 21 June
- The hope at this stage is to reopen remaining settings such as nightclubs and adult entertainment venues.
- To lift the restrictions on social contact and large events that apply in Step 3. This is subject to the outcome of the Events Research Programme, and a review of social distancing measures.
- The Government will also look to relax COVID-Secure requirements on businesses, subject to the outcome of the reviews.
In Addition, there will be Four Reviews
- Looking at whether having a vaccine or a negative test result can reduce restrictions on social contact.
- Piloting the impact of testing and reduced social distancing on events.
- Looking at how to facilitate more inbound and outbound travel - to report back by 12 April
- Review social distancing measures, such as the one-metre-plus rule, rules on face coverings and working from home – to report back by 21 June.
Read the Visit Herts Recovery Strategy
FAQs on Roadmap
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Please follow the link below for a variety of frequently asked questions from the visitor economy, following the latest updates and easing of restrictions.
Events guidance for local authorities
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Guidance has been published which is designed to assist local authorities in ensuring that events are able to go ahead safely and in accordance with what is permitted at each step of the Roadmap.
An event can take place at Step 2 (no earlier than 12 April) if:
- All three of the following conditions are met:
- The event takes place outdoors
- Attendees are expected to arrive and leave the event in a staggered manner throughout the day
- It does not involve attendees converging on and congregating in a site for a specific discrete performance or activity, such as a theatre or music performance, OR
- It is a drive-in performance or show.
This could include:
- Agricultural shows, steam rallies, flower shows, gardening shows and events, literary fairs, car boot sales, community fairs, village fêtes, animal and pet shows, funfairs and fairgrounds.
- Drive-in cinemas and drive-in performance events (e.g. comedy, dance, music, theatre and air shows). Attendees should remain in their vehicle for the duration of the performance.
- Food and drink festivals are allowed. To note: where the festival resembles an outdoor food market or outdoor hospitality venue, but if people are consuming food and drink at the venue, the table service rule would apply.
Events and activities that are able to commence from Step 3 include:
- Business events such as conferences, trade shows, exhibitions, charity auctions, and private dining events such as charity or gala dinners and awards ceremonies, and corporate hospitality
- Live performances (professional and non-professional/amateur)
- Air shows, historical /battle re-enactments, live animal performances such as falconry displays at events, and non-elite and professional sporting events.
All events recommencing at Step 3 will be subject to the following capacity caps:
- 1,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower for indoor events
- 4,000 people or 50% of a site or venue’s capacity, whichever is lower for outdoor events
The government has also made a special provision for large, outdoor seated venues where crowds can be safely distributed around the venue. Read the guidance for more details.
Capacity restrictions must be adhered to at any point throughout the event. For example, a theatre can admit over 1,000 people in a single day, but no more than 1,000 people at one time. If an event runs over the course of multiple days, no more than 1,000 people should be admitted at any one time over that period. If a single venue hosts multiple different events at one time, and the attendees of each event are separated for the duration of the event (for example, a cinema with multiple screens, or an exhibition centre hosting multiple business events), the 50% capacity cap will apply to each individual event, rather than the venue.
For those events subject to capacity caps, the caps refer to the event attendees only. Staff, workers and volunteers are covered by the work exemption so should not be counted as part of the capacity cap. This includes:
- delivery staff
- operational team (such as reception, maintenance, cleaning security & stewarding and ticketing staff)
- caterers and concession stand staff
- presentation/production team
- exhibitors, speakers, musicians and performers
Catering and hospitality
Permitted events at each step of the Spring Roadmap may provide hospitality in line with wider hospitality rules.
- In Step 2, outdoor hospitality at events is permitted in groups of up to 6 people, or with one other household.
- In Step 3, outdoor hospitality at events is permitted in groups of up to 30 people and indoor hospitality at events will be permitted in groups of up to 6 people, or with one other household.
In both steps, there is a requirement for food and drink to be consumed at the table. This means:
- if the venue sells alcohol, then all food and drink must be ordered, served and consumed at a table
- where the sale of alcohol is not offered, customers will need to be seated when consuming food and drink, but can order and collect food and drink from a counter
- if the venue is a cinema, theatre, concert hall or sports ground, then customers with a ticket to the event are able to collect food and drink (including alcoholic drink) to consume at their seats, rather than having to be served at a table.
Where there is no seating available, the stall or outlet can provide a takeaway or delivery service. Takeaway food and drink cannot be consumed in the stall or outlet, or in an area adjacent to the stall or outlet, and customers should be reminded to adhere to safe social distancing when queuing for food and drink by putting up signs or introducing a one-way system that customers can follow or employing extra marshals to enforce this.
In Step 3, indoor private dining events such as charity or gala dinners and awards ceremonies, and corporate hospitality, are permitted. COVID-19 guidance for bars, pubs and takeaway services should be followed for these events.
The performing arts guidance sets out how professional singing can take place in both outdoor and indoor settings. While indoor and outdoor venues cannot reopen until Step 3, professional rehearsals and streaming can still take place in theatres and concert halls.
The performing arts guidance advises that organisers should take proactive steps to encourage audiences to support the safety of the event and discourage activities which can create aerosol such as shouting, chanting and singing along.
For more information on business events' guidance, click here.
Updated Events Guidance for Councils
While on the subject of events, the guidance for councils on events that are able to take place has been updated to include a new section on organised sporting events. This section states:
Organised sports participation events include but are not limited to: organised running events, organised cycle races and rides, organised walks.
Organised sports including organised sports participation events are not subject to the capacity cap or social contact rules stated above. However, sporting events that are intended to attract spectators (including ticketed events), or events that are likely to a significant number of spectators (e.g. a major marathon) should not take place in a public space, or on private land, until Step 3.
As with Step 1b, spectators are not permitted to attend grassroots or professional sporting events taking place on private land, other than for safeguarding reasons or for providing care or assistance to a person with disabilities participating in an organised sporting event or activity. They should maintain social distance and not mix with other households.
This does not prevent people from viewing recreational or organised sport that is taking place in a public space (e.g. a park) at Step 1b or Step 2, in groups of up to 6 people or 2 households.
International travel permitted with new traffic light system in place
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The Government has set out the details of the traffic light system that has been developed by the Global Travel Taskforce.
- Green: Arrivals will need to take a pre-departure test as well as a PCR test on or before day 2 of their arrival back into the UK but will not need to quarantine on return (unless they receive a positive result) or take any additional tests, halving the cost of tests on their return from holiday
- Amber: Arrivals will need to quarantine for a period of ten days and take a pre-departure test, a PCR test on day 2 and day 8 with the option for Test to Release on day 5 to end self-isolation early
- Red: Arrivals will be subject to restrictions currently in place for “red list” countries which includes a 10-day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, pre-departure testing and PCR testing on day 2 and 8
- There will also be a ‘green watchlist’ category of countries most at risk of moving from ‘green’ to ‘amber’ so that people can plan journeys accordingly
The Government has now set out which countries are in each of these categories, as well as confirming that international travel can resume from 17 May 2021.
The restrictions will be formally reviewed on 28 June 2021 to take account of the domestic and international health picture, and to see whether current measures could be rolled back.
Further formal reviews will take place no later than 31 July and 1 October 2021.
Budget: Support for Tourism and Hospitality
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Reduced VAT rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions
• The reduced 5% VAT rate has been extended for another six months until the end of September 2021, followed by a 12.5% rate for a further six months until the end of March 2022.
• 100% businesses rates holiday until June, followed by a two-thirds discount for the rest of the year.
• The discount is being capped at £2 million per business for properties that were required to be closed on 5 January 2021, or £105,000 per business for other eligible properties.
• The government will legislate to ensure that the business rates relief repayments that have been made by certain businesses are deductible for corporation tax and income tax purposes.
• Non-essential retail businesses will receive grants of up to £6,000 per premises.
• Hospitality and leisure businesses will get grants of up to £18,000.
Additional Restrictions Grants
• An additional £425 million of discretionary business grant funding, on top of the £1.6 billion already allocated.
• This will be allocated on a discretionary basis by local authorities
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
• To be extended until the end of September at the 80% rate until July
• From July, the government will introduce an employer contribution towards the cost of unworked hours of 10% in July, 20% in August and 20% in September.
Self Employed Income Support Scheme
• Those whose turnover has fallen by 30% or more will continue to receive an 80% grant, while those whose turnover has fallen by less than 30% will therefore have less need of taxpayer support and will receive a 30% grant.
• The 4th grant will cover February to April, worth 80% of average trading profits up to £7,500.
• A 5th grant will be available from July.
Recovery Loan Scheme
• From 6 April 2021 the Recovery Loan Scheme will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on eligible loans between £25,000 and £10 million
• The scheme will be open to all businesses, including those who have already received support under the existing COVID-19 guaranteed loan schemes.
Extend Zoo Animals Fund
• The government will extend the Zoo Animals Fund for a further three months until 30 June 2021.
Culture Recovery Fund
• The government will provide a further £300 million to extend the Culture Recovery Fund.
National Museums and Cultural Bodies
• The government will provide £90 million for continued support for government-sponsored National Museums and cultural bodies in England.
Mandatory hotel quarantine introduced from 15 February
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From 15 February, anyone travelling to the UK from a country on the UK’s travel ban list will be required to quarantine in a government-approved facility for 10 days. Further details on how passengers can book into the designated accommodation facilities can be found here.
Extension of furlough and loan schemes to September 2021
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In the Spring Budget, the Chancellor announced that the furlough scheme has been extended until the 30 September 2021, and the level of grant available to employers under the scheme will stay the same until 30 June 2021.
From 1 July 2021, the level of grant will be reduced and employers will be asked to contribute towards the cost of furloughed employees’ wages.
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Where will people need to wear face coverings?
HM Government are recommending that face coverings are worn in all indoor settings and this will be enforceable in law.
Currently, you are required to wear face coverings in the following settings:
- indoor shopping centres,
- indoor transport hubs
- on public transport
- funeral directors
- premises providing professional, legal or financial services
- bingo halls
- concert halls
- museums, galleries, aquariums, indoor zoos or visitor farms, or other indoor tourist, heritage or cultural sites
- nail, beauty, hair salons and barbers - other than where necessary to remove for treatments
- massage parlours.
- public areas in hotels and hostels
- places of worship
- libraries and public reading rooms
- community centres
- social clubs
- tattoo and piercing parlours
- indoor entertainment venues (amusement arcades, funfairs, adventure activities such as laser quest, go-karting, escape rooms, heritage sites)
- storage and distribution facilities
- veterinary services
- auction houses
- skating rinks
- bowling alleys
- indoor play areas
- exhibition halls
- conference centres
HM Government have now extended the recommendation of the wearing of face coverings to include:
- Customers in private hire vehicles and taxis (from 23rd September)
- Customers in hospitality venues must wear face coverings, except when seated at a table to eat or drink
- Staff in hospitality and retail will now also be required to wear face coverings (from 24th September)
- Staff working on public transport and taxi drivers will continue to be advised to wear face coverings
People who are already exempt from the existing face covering obligations, such as because of an underlying health condition, will continue to be exempt from these new obligations.
Test and Trace data collection
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Updated Test and Trace Information to Collect
The "Information to collect section of the Test and Trace Guidance has been updated to clarify the information that businesses need to collect and how to do this. The information required is:
- the name of the customer or visitor
- date of visit, arrival time and, where possible, departure time
- a contact phone number for each customer or visitor. If a phone number is not available, you should ask for their email address instead, or if neither are available, then postal address
- the name of the assigned staff member, if a customer or visitor will interact with only one member of staff (for example, a hairdresser). This should be recorded alongside the name of the customer or visitor
This can be collected via:
- a booking system
- a QR code
- a paper system
The government is urging businesses to ensure they have displayed official NHS QR code posters on entry so that customers who have downloaded the new NHS COVID-19 app can use their smartphones to easily check-in, now that the NHS COVID-19 app has launched across England and Wales.
Operators can create a QR Code and associated poster for their business that links with the app on this webpage.
Reporting an Outbreak - Public Health England Action Cards
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Public Health England have released a series of action cards that provide advice on how businesses should respond to a Covid-19 outbreak including:
- Identifying an outbreak of COVID-19 (one or more confirmed case depending on the business or organisation)
- Reporting the outbreak to your local health protection team
- Working with your local health protection team to respond
There are different cards for specific types of businesses, and they have been designed to be printed or downloaded to keep on-hand in your business or organisation. The action cards relevant to a range of tourism businesses are listed below:
Arts, Heritage & Cultural Attractions
Campsites & Caravan Parks
Entertainment & Holiday Resorts
Hotels & Guest Accommodation
Places of Worship
Restaurants, Pubs Bars & Cafes
Theaters, Cinemas & Venues
For the full list of cards and more information, please click here.