Government & Industry Updates

  • The UK Government is no longer holding daily press briefings and going forward future briefings will only take place when there are significant announcements. 

    We will continue to provide details of any announcements and Government updates here.

  • Daily Tourism Industry Emergency Response (TIER) Updates Toggle accordion content

    Situation update 7th August 2020

    The claims service for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme is now live.

    If you have registered your establishment for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme you can now submit claims.

    What you’ll need to claim
    You’ll need the records you’ve kept for each day you’ve used the scheme, including the:

    • total number of diners (covers) who have used the scheme, including children
    • total amount of discount you’ve given
    • period you’re claiming for

    If you’re making a claim for more than one establishment, you will need to have the:

    • records for each establishment
    • overall total value of the claim for all establishments ready before you claim

    Travel corridors update for arrivals in England
    Andorra, The Bahamas and Belgium have been removed from the exempt list for arrivals since 4am, 8 August 2020.

    Visitor Numbers to National Museums
    DCMS has published new figures on visitor numbers to the National Museums for the period 27 July – 2 August. On the plus side, the Tate Galleries, Horniman and Science Museum Group have now reopened (although the visitor numbers for these are not yet available). However, for the four previously opened Museums, visitor number remain extremely low at an average of just 8.8% of what they would normally expect.

    Social Impacts of Coronavirus
    The latest update to the Government’s Social Impacts Survey has been produced. The key findings are that:

    • 37% of people said they would feel comfortable or very comfortable eating indoors at a restaurant. This is an increase from 34% last week but will shows that public confidence is a real issue.
    • Of those adults who had left their homes this week, 21% said they had visited a café, pub or restaurant. While this a significant improvement from 10% who said this three weeks ago, it is again still very low.
    • 14% of people reported that they were worried about a possible job loss, which will have implications for people’s willingness to spend.

    Next week’s figures for this survey will provide us with a valuable insight as to the effectiveness of the “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme in getting people to visit pubs and restaurants and shifting their perceptions regarding how safe it is to go there.

    Public Sector Relief Scheme
    The Government has announced a new relief scheme designed to enable the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to make payments on behalf of public sector employers where they have determined that their apprenticeship training provider(s) are critical suppliers. Where requested to do so, the ESFA will act as a facilitator for the payment of relief and operate the relief scheme by providing a set of eligibility criteria, as set out in this policy document, which both the public sector employer and apprenticeship training provider must meet if payments for relief are to be made.

    Business Support by Region
    The Treasury has published tables of business support by region. As would be expected, London and the South East are at the top of the tables from business support but it is interesting to note that less urban areas like the South West and the East of England are high up on the list for loans. If you want a breakdown by local authority or constituency, you can find it here

    Infection Levels in England and Wales
    The Government has published research indicating that around 28,300 people in England have Coronavirus (1 in 1,900 individuals) and that there are around 3,700 new cases per day. It also notes that while rates of people testing positive have risen, there is evidence that this trend may be levelling off – which is good news in terms of businesses being able to continue to reopen.

    On the issue of infection rates, the latest estimates of the R Number have also been produced which indicate a national number of 0.8 to 1.0 and a growth rate of 0% to -5%. However, within this South West looks like an area of slight concern with an R Number of 0.8-1.1 and a growth rate of -3 to +3

    Other Government updates

    • Data on COVID-19 Business Rates Relief has been made available
    • Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) and Future Fund Scheme data is now available by Constituency.
    • New information on how to calculate your claim for fixed pay employees who have worked enough overtime (in the tax year 2019 to 2020) to have a significant impact on the amount you need to claim for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • LGA Guidance to Local Authorities on Outdoor Events Toggle accordion content

    The LGA has just published new guidance for local authorities on staging outdoor events. The guidance has been produced in response to concerns that different councils were taking different approaches when assessing applications and emphasise that current government guidelines allow for outdoor events that are organised by businesses, charitable organisations, and public bodies to take place provided they have carried out a thorough risk assessment and taken all reasonable steps to mitigate the risk of viral transmission, taking into account that risk assessment, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance.

    Read more here

  • Small Business Grant Fund Toggle accordion content

    The guidance for the Small Business Grant Fund has been amended to state that Town and Parish councils are eligible if they meet all the scheme criteria. However, they are not eligible for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant.

    Read more here

  • Home Testing Service Toggle accordion content

    The Government has introduced home testing whereby home test kits can be delivered to someone’s door so they can test themselves and their family without leaving the house. Home test kit availability will be initially limited, but more will become available. The results of the test should be available within 3 days. To support the introduction of home testing there is also a video and a step-by-step guide. This will be very useful for businesses where staff think that they may have Coronavirus rather than self-isolating.

    Read more here

    View the step by step video here

  • Preston Included in Lockdown Area Toggle accordion content

    Preston was added to the North West Lockdown area on Friday night and this area is subject to the same rules and restrictions as the other areas in the North West lockdown area.

    Read more here 

  • Face Masks Toggle accordion content

    On Friday 31st July, the Government issued the following new guidance on wearing face marks. This guidance will become mandatory on Saturday 8th August. The inclusion of the public areas of hotels (expect this will apply to all holiday accommodation) as well as indoor attractions, entertainment and cultural venues.

     

    Where will people need to wear face coverings?

    We are now recommending that face coverings are worn in additional indoor settings and this will be enforceable in law.

    Currently you are required to wear face coverings in shops, supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, indoor transport hubs and public transport.

    For members of the public, from 8 August this will be expanded to include:

    • funeral directors
    • premises providing professional, legal or financial services
    • cinemas
    • theatres
    • 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

    We recommend face coverings are worn in these settings now, but this will not be mandatory until 8 August.

  • Next chapter in our plan to rebuild Toggle accordion content

    On Friday 31st July the Prime minister has delayed the lifting of restrictions planned for 1st August until at least the 15th August and announced that facemasks would be required for more indoor venues. 

    That means that, until 15th August at the earliest:

    • Casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and remaining close contact services must remain closed. Indoor performances will not resume.
    • Pilots of larger crowds in sports venues and conference centre’s will not take place.
    • Wedding receptions of up to 30 people will not be permitted, but ceremonies can continue to take place, in line with COVID-Secure guidelines.

    With the latest announcements on delayed re-opening, from 15th August, if prevalence remains around or below current levels, the Government will take the following steps:

    • Reopen most remaining leisure settings, namely bowling, skating rinks and casinos, accompanied by COVID-19 Secure guidelines. This will not include particularly high-risk activities and settings such as nightclubs, which will be kept under review.
    • Enable the restart of indoor performances to a live audience, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidelines, subject to the success of pilots that are taking place as soon as possible.
    • Enable all close contact services to resume, including any treatments on the face such as eyebrow threading or make-up application, working closely with the sector and public health experts to ensure this can be done as safely as possible and in line with COVID-19 Secure guidelines.
    • Carry out pilots in venues with a range of sizes of crowds, particularly where congregating from different places, including sports stadia and business events. The pilots, some of which will begin in late July, will be carefully monitored and evaluated to inform future decisions on any further relaxation of the rules. If plans progress in line with expectations, pilots will expand to build up to and prepare for a full, socially distanced return in the autumn.
    • Enable wedding receptions; sit-down meals for no more than 30 people, subject to COVID-19 Secure guidelines. Over time, we will assess whether gatherings of this type for other purposes can be made possible and when larger wedding receptions can take place.

    In September, schools, nurseries and colleges will open for all children and young people on a full-time basis. Schools, nurseries and colleges will put in place protective measures to minimise the risks to children and teachers and reduce the risk of transmission.

    If prevalence remains around or below current levels into the autumn, we will bring back audiences in stadia, and allow conferences and other business events to recommence in a COVID-19 Secure way, from 1 October. This step will only take place once we have a reliable scientific understanding of the impact of reopening schools on the epidemic.

    If prevalence falls very significantly, we will review the necessity for the outstanding measures and allow a more significant return to normality. This would start with removing the need to distance people, while retaining limited mitigations like face coverings and plastic screens in shops. Our ambition is that this may be possible by November at the earliest, however this would be contingent on a number of factors, including consideration of the specific challenges as we move into winter, as described above.

    Read more information and guidance on opening visitor economy businesses safely

  • Guidance on collecting data from staff and customers Toggle accordion content

    Customer logging toolkit for businesses

    Public Health England has published the Customer Logging Toolkit. This contains a variety of template materials for businesses to display, as well as guidance on how the policy works.

    Businesses should be storing the information securely for 21 days and sharing it with NHS Test and Trace if asked to do so. Businesses do not need to do anything else with the information. 

    If a customer tells you they have tested positive for coronavirus, you should tell them to self-isolate as soon as possible and to register their contacts with NHS Test and Trace. You should not use the log of customer details you have collected to contact other customers yourself. Instead, if NHS Test and Trace assess that the customer was on your premises while potentially infectious, they will contact you to provide support and to obtain the details of anyone who may have been exposed to the virus. 

    The guidance on collecting details and maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to businesses that are opening from 4th July has now been released. The requirement to collect this data applies to:

    • hospitality, including pubs, bars and restaurants (it does not apply to businesses operating a takeaway/delivery only basis)
    • tourism and leisure, including hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos and theme parks 
    • close contact services, including hairdressers, and others 
    • facilities provided by local authorities, including town halls and civic centres for events, community centres, libraries and children’s centres
    • places of worship, including use for events and other community activities

    This guidance applies to any establishment that provides an on-site service and to any events that take place on its premises. It does not apply where services are taken off-site immediately, for example, a food or drink outlet which only provides takeaways. If a business offers a mixture of a sit-in and takeaway service, contact information only needs to be collected for customers who are dining in. It does not apply to drop-off deliveries made by suppliers.

    The data that needs to be collected is:

    Staff

    • The names of staff who work at the premises.
    • A contact phone number for each member of staff.
    • The dates and times that staff are at work.

    Customers and visitors

    • The name of the customer or visitor. If there is more than one person, then you can record the name of the ‘lead member’ of the group and the number of people in the group.
    • A contact phone number for each customer or visitor, or for the lead member of a group of people.
    • Date of visit and arrival and, where possible, departure time.

    If a customer interacts with only one member of staff, the name of the assigned staff member should be recorded alongside the name of the customer If you have a large booking, for example, at a restaurant, you only need to collect the name and contact phone number of the lead member of the party. This data needs to be kept for 21 days.

    READ MORE HERE

  • The Business and Planning Bill published Toggle accordion content

    The Business and Planning Bill has been published which sets out changes to legislation aimed at supporting business recovery. The key features of the Bill are:

      • reducing the consultation period for applications for pavement licences to from 28 calendar days to 5 working days, and grant consent after 10 working days if the council does not issue a decision
      • setting a lower application fee for a pavement and street cafe licence of up to £100
      • removing the need for a planning application for outdoor markets and marquees, meaning they can be set up for longer
      • providing more freedoms for areas to hold car-boot sales and summer fairs
      • doubling the length of time that temporary structures can be placed on land without needing an application for planning permission
      • doubling the time limits in the existing right for the temporary use of land from 14 days to 28 days for holding a market or motor car and motorcycle racing, and from 28 days to 56 days for any other purpose
      • removing the requirement for councils to get planning permission to set up new markets

    READ MORE HERE

  • Travel Corridors Toggle accordion content

    The government has eased travel restrictions by opening up travel corridor exemptions. 

    The Government has announced passengers returning or visiting from around 60 destinations including France, Spain, Germany Italy and Australia, will no longer need to self-isolate when arriving in England from 10 July 2020. All passengers, except those on a small list of exemptions, will still be required to provide contact information on arrival in the UK, including details of countries or territories they have been in or through during the previous 14 days. Existing public health advice on hand hygiene, face coverings, and social distancing must also be followed.

    The Devolved Administrations will set out their own approach to exemptions, and so passengers returning to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should ensure they follow the laws and guidance which applies there.

    The list of those countries and territories that the Government has lifted its advisory notice to avoid all non-essential travel can be found here. It should however be noted that flights are not yet available to all these places and not all countries have indicated that they will accept British visitors.

    Click here to find out more

  • Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure VAT Reduction Toggle accordion content

    VAT registered businesses may apply a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT to certain supplies relating to hospitality, hotel and holiday accommodation and admission to certain attractions. The temporary reduced rate may be applied between 15 July 2020 and 12 January 2021.

    Read more on who is eligible and further guidance here

  • BEIS Recovery Advice Scheme Toggle accordion content

    BEIS has launched the Recovery Advice for Business scheme, supported by the government and hosted on the Enterprise Nation website, gives small firms access to free, one-to-one advice with an expert adviser to help them through the coronavirus pandemic and to prepare for long-term recovery. Thousands of expert professional and business services advisers are on hand to offer free advice, until 31st December. Small and medium sized businesses can sign up, take the diagnostic tool and access support. Advice will focus on key areas:

      • accounting and finance
      • people and building a team
      • planning, strategy and pivoting
      • marketing, PR and social media
      • technology and digital tools

    READ MORE HERE

  • New planning rules to protect cultural heritage Toggle accordion content

    The Government has announced that it will bring forward changes to the planning system to save theatres, concert halls and live music performance venues from being redeveloped in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak. Under the move, Councils will now need to take the temporary impact of coronavirus into account when considering permission for change of use, redevelopment or demolition of a theatre, concert hall or live music performance venue.

    READ MORE HERE

  • Holidays in areas with local COVID-19 restrictions in England Toggle accordion content

    The Government has published guidance for England on what people should do if they are on holiday in an area with local coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions or live in a restricted area and are planning on taking a holiday outside the area. The guidance covers:

    Staying inside the area
    Steps you should take:

    • If you live inside the area, you should only socialise indoors with members of your own household or support bubble.
    • You can only stay in a private home - which includes self-catered accommodation such as holiday cottages, apartments or boats - with members of your own household or support bubble.
    • You can stay in a hotel or similar accommodation (for example, a hostel or bed and breakfast) with another household, but should avoid sharing rooms with people you do not live with or otherwise socialising indoors, for example in each other's rooms, in reception areas, or in restaurants and bars.
    • Sharing a caravan with another household is being advised against. You should not share private vehicles to travel to your holiday destination.
    • You can travel into an area with local restrictions on holiday. Whilst inside the area, you should follow the guidance set out above

    Travelling outside the area
    Steps you should take:

    • If you live inside an area with local restrictions, you can go on holiday outside that area but you should only socialise indoors with members of your own household or support bubble.
    • You can only stay in a private home - which includes self-catered accommodation such as holiday cottages, apartments or boats - with members of your own household or support bubble.
    • You can stay in a hotel or similar accommodation (for example, a hostel or bed and breakfast) with another household but should avoid sharing rooms with people you do not live with or otherwise socialising indoors, for example in each other's rooms, in reception areas, or in restaurants and bars.
    • Sharing a caravan or boat with another household is being advised against. You should not share private vehicles to travel to your holiday destination.

    Advice for accommodation providers can be found in the Working Safely guidance.

  • Reporting an Outbreak - Public Health England Action Cards Toggle accordion content

    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
    Tourist Attractions

    For the full list of cards and more information, please click here.

  • Holidays in areas with local COVID-19 restrictions in England Toggle accordion content

    The Government has published guidance for England on what people should do if they are on holiday in an area with local coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions or live in a restricted area and are planning on taking a holiday outside the area. The guidance covers:

    Staying inside the area
    Steps you should take:

    • If you live inside the area, you should only socialise indoors with members of your own household or support bubble.
    • You can only stay in a private home - which includes self-catered accommodation such as holiday cottages, apartments or boats - with members of your own household or support bubble.
    • You can stay in a hotel or similar accommodation (for example, a hostel or bed and breakfast) with another household, but should avoid sharing rooms with people you do not live with or otherwise socialising indoors, for example in each other's rooms, in reception areas, or in restaurants and bars.
    • Sharing a caravan with another household is being advised against. You should not share private vehicles to travel to your holiday destination.
    • You can travel into an area with local restrictions on holiday. Whilst inside the area, you should follow the guidance set out above

    Travelling outside the area
    Steps you should take:

    • If you live inside an area with local restrictions, you can go on holiday outside that area but you should only socialise indoors with members of your own household or support bubble.
    • You can only stay in a private home - which includes self-catered accommodation such as holiday cottages, apartments or boats - with members of your own household or support bubble.
    • You can stay in a hotel or similar accommodation (for example, a hostel or bed and breakfast) with another household but should avoid sharing rooms with people you do not live with or otherwise socialising indoors, for example in each other's rooms, in reception areas, or in restaurants and bars.
    • Sharing a caravan or boat with another household is being advised against. You should not share private vehicles to travel to your holiday destination.

    Advice for accommodation providers can be found in the Working Safely guidance.