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TIER UPDATE 14 JUNE

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson’s press briefing: update on next stage of easing of Coronavirus restrictions in England

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson was joined by Chief Medical Officer for England, Chris Whitty, and Chief Scientific Adviser, Patrick Vallance, at a press briefing this evening. As not all of four tests for proceeding to step 4 in the UK Government roadmap have been met, step 4 openings will be delayed until July 19th, with the exception of weddings and wakes of more than 30 guests which still can go ahead with social distancing.

The situation will be monitored daily and if after two weeks, the risk looks like it has diminished, it would be possible to move to step 4 earlier. In the meantime, pilots for sporting events, such as the Euros, and some theatre performances will continue.

View the Prime Minister’s statement and  the slides and dataset from the briefing.

Updated guidance on what you can  and cannot do in England

The guidance on what you can and cannot do in England has been updated with a summary of changes from 21 June, including more information on weddings, civil partnerships and commemorative events, as follows

From 21 June, the rules on the number of people who can attend a wedding or civil partnership ceremony, a wedding reception or civil partnership celebration, and a commemorative event following a funeral such as a wake, stone setting or ash scattering, will change. The number of people who can attend these events in a COVID-Secure venue or other venue (such as a garden of a private home) will be determined by how many people a venue can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place, including guests of all ages and anyone working at the event.

Some restrictions on these events will remain in place to enable them to take place safely. This includes table service requirements, face coverings, social distancing, and restrictions on dancing and singing, as at present.

There is a little more information on these events if taking place in a private setting. The guidance on wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, receptions and celebrations is due to be updated by 15 June. The guidance on arranging or attending a funeral during the coronavirus pandemic is due to be updated by 17 June.

Welsh Government confirms further support for businesses impacted by phased move to alert level 1

An additional fund for businesses in Wales affected by the phased move to alert level 1, such as indoor attractions and wedding venues has been announced. Since 17 May, businesses in Wales still affected by coronavirus restrictions have been able to apply for up to £25,000 in emergency support to help meet ongoing costs until the end of June. Additional funding is now being made available to support businesses affected by the staged transition to alert level 1.

Support will be available for businesses that have capacity for events of more than 30 people indoors or in contained spaces and to businesses that are still closed because of ongoing restrictions. Businesses will be entitled to an additional payment of between £875 and £5,000, depending on their size and circumstance, to cover the period up to the end of June.

To receive the funding, businesses will need to have applied to the Welsh Government’s latest round of emergency funding, the deadline for which has been extended until 12pm Wednesday 16 June 2021. Those eligible will automatically receive the top-up where possible, or will be required to self-declare via an online process. Details are available on the Business Wales website: COVID-19 Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) business support – May and June 2021 eligibility checker.

Read the press release.

Invitation to DWP Kickstart Seminar, 15 June

A webinar focusing specifically on the Leisure, Tourism and Hospitality sector is being held tomorrow via Microsoft Teams 15th June at 10am – 11am. The Kickstart Scheme aims to work with employers across multiple sectors, to create fully-funded, 6-month job placements that offer young people the chance to gain valuable experience and employability skills to move into sustained and long-term employment in the future.

The webinar will cover the following topics:

•           What is Kickstart?

•           Key Criteria for Employers

•           Why Support Kickstart?

•           What does employability support cover?

•           Case study from Park Dean Resorts

•           Q & A session

If you would like to attend this event please e-mail NATIONAL.KICKSTART@DWP.GOV.UK with the name of the attendee/s and their contact details. Please be aware this event may be oversubscribed however future events are being planned.

Find out more about the Kickstart scheme. A video explaining the Kickstart scheme online application has been added to the advice page.

Other government updates:

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 14 JUNE

  • Feedback On Recovery Plan and Delay

There is a Tourism Industry Council meeting this Wednesday at 1:30pm at which we will be discussing the Tourism Recovery Plan and the impact on the tourism industry of the Prime Minister’s announcement on the delay in moving to Step 4 in the roadmap. If you have any feedback on either of these two issues, please let me know and I will consolidate it and feed it into the meeting.

  • Kickstart Guidance Video

The Guidance on the Kickstart Scheme has bee updated to include a link to a new video aimed at providing businesses with a walk-through on how to apply to employ someone through the scheme.

 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-kickstart-scheme-grant#how-to-apply-1

 The video itself, which is well worth sending to your members, is available on the following link:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sKvsT4CBMw&ab_channel=DepartmentforWorkandPensions%28DWP%29 

  • Further Support for Businesses in Wales

The Welsh Economy Minister has confirmed further support for businesses impacted by phased move to alert level 1. Businesses in Wales materially affected by the phased move to alert level 1, such as indoor attractions and wedding venues, will receive £2.5 million in further support. Support will be available for businesses that have capacity for events of more than 30 people indoors or in contained spaces and to businesses that are still closed because of ongoing restrictions.

To receive the funding, businesses will need to have applied to the Welsh Government’s latest round of emergency funding, the deadline for which has been extended until 12pm Wednesday 16 June 2021.

Eligible applicants will automatically receive the top-up where possible, or will be required to self-declare via a simple online process. Details are available on the Business Wales website

https://fundchecker.businesswales.gov.wales/businesssupport

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TIER UPDATE 11 JUNE

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s opening remarks at the first session of the G7 Summit have been published, in which he spoke of learning lessons from the past 18 months of the pandemic, putting place was is needed to allow economies to recover and the G7’s united vision of a cleaner, greener world.

Tourism Recovery Plan is launched

Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston MP has today announced the Government’s Tourism Recovery Plan. The Plan recognises the economic potential of the sector, sets out a clear policy direction for the future and outlines the ambitions for domestic and international tourism, with the aim to:

  • Recover domestic overnight trip volume and spend to 2019 levels by the end of 2022, and inbound visitor numbers and spend by the end of 2023 – both at least a year faster than independent forecasts predict.
  • Ensure that the sector’s recovery benefits every nation and region, with visitors staying longer, growing accommodation occupancy rates in the off-season and high levels of investment in tourism products and transport infrastructure.
  • Build back better with a more innovative and resilient industry, maximising the potential for technology and data to enhance the visitor experience and employing more UK nationals in year-round quality jobs.
  • Ensure the tourism sector contributes to the enhancement and conservation of the country’s cultural, natural and historic heritage, minimises damage to the environment and is inclusive and accessible to all.
  • Return the UK swiftly to its pre-pandemic position as a leading European destination for hosting business events.

Download the Tourism Recovery Plan.

Other Government updates:

  • Advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents has been updated.
    • Revised dates have been published to the ‘If you are applying to enter the UK or remain on the basis of family or private life’ and ‘changes to minimum income and adequate maintenance requirement’ sections.
    • Advice has been added if someone has applied for a visitor visa from red, amber and green countries to note that issuing applications from red list countries will be paused until travel restrictions are lifted.
  • New terms and conditions that will be effective from 21 June 2021 has been added to the Kickstart Scheme.
  • Guidance on demonstrating COVID-19 vaccination status when travelling abroad has been updated - if the 119 service cannot provide someone with a letter there may be some information that is either missing or incorrect. The service will write to inform to them if this is the case.

All

  • DWP Invitation to Kickstart Seminar

I’ve been talking to DWP today regarding the staffing shortage and they are keen to engage with businesses and support them through the Kickstart initiative. They have a seminar coming up on the scheme next Tuesday and all businesses are welcome to sign up to this to learn how they can use kickstart to fill vacancies – the invitation to the seminar is attached.

If your members are unable to attend the event on Tuesday 15th of June, they can still use the same email address and request details of future events, or register interest for any future Leisure, Hospitality & Tourism specific events. If there is significant demand, it is a possibility that another sector-specific event could be arranged.

  • Change in Kickstart Terms and Conditions

Staying with the Kickstart scheme, there are new terms and conditions for the scheme which come into effect on 21st June. Here is a link to the new document.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/kickstart-scheme-terms-and-conditions/kickstart-scheme-grant-funding-agreement-terms-and-conditions-for-employers-effective-from-21-june-2021

  • Demonstrating Covid Status

The guidance on demonstrating your Covid status when travelling overseas has been amended with a new section on what to do if you can’t get a post-vaccination letter. However, this guidance simply says that if you cannot be provided with a letter there may be some information that is either missing or incorrect. If this is the case, they will write to inform you if this is the case.

                https://www.gov.uk/guidance/demonstrating-your-covid-19-vaccination-status-when-travelling-abroad

  • Guidance or Visa Applicants Updated

The Home Office has updated the guidance for visa applicants to say that UKVI will continue to accept applications for visitor visas from red, amber and green countries. Issuing applications from red list countries will be paused until travel restrictions are lifted.

People who need to travel urgently to the UK for compassionate reasons will still need to apply for a visa in the usual way, including submitting biometrics at a Visa Application Centre. They should clearly explain the compelling or compassionate reasons for their visit in the application form and alert the VAC staff during biometric submission. They will then be contacted by UKVI once their application has been received.

If they do not hear from UKVI or the request is exceptionally urgent, they can also contact UK Visas and Immigration for help ( this is a chargeable service for overseas customers).

                https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents

  • Renew London conference – 10.00 -11.30am, 13th July 2021

The Tourism Alliance is supporting London First’s  Work, Live, Play virtual session on how to unlock Central London’s recovery. London’s tourism and hospitality economy has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic so this event will bring together London’s hospitality, tourism and retail sectors along with local and national government for a series of bite-sized virtual sessions to reimagine a sustainable post pandemic way to work, live and play in the city:

  • Work: With a hybrid and more flexible approach to office working here to stay, what does this means for footfall and how must London’s transport network respond?
  • Live: How is the cultural sector viewing recovery, and what challenges and opportunities will this sector have as it builds back from the pandemic?
  • Play: London’s tourism offer is firm favourite with international visitors, but what are the timescales for getting tourists from near and afar back to our capital? How soon can the sector bounce back and drive economic recovery?

The event will also bring in insights from local and national government. Leave this very timely conference inspired and equipped with a pan-London view on how our capital city can recover from the pandemic, reembracing all that makes it special.

The event takes place on 13 July at 10am and places are free of charge for all delegates joining these virtual sessions. You can book to attend using the following link:

                https://eu.eventscloud.com/ereg/index.php?eventid=200223971&categoryid=201747297

  • R Number and Growth Rate

This week’s R Number and Growth rate are, respectively, 1.2 to 1.4 and +3% to +6%. This is up significantly from is 1.0 to 1.2 and 0% to +3% last week so it doesn’t bode well for next week’s announcement on moving to Step 4 on 21st June.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-r-value-and-growth-rate

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TIER UPDATE 10 JUNE

VisitEngland COVID Consumer Sentiment Tracker

Wave 32 of VisitEngland’s Consumer Sentiment Tracker report is available. The fieldwork for this wave was conducted between 31May-6 June. 

The results are mixed in this wave, likely a reflection of the potential 21 June restriction easing drawing closer as well as a rise in cases in hotspots linked to the more transmissible Delta variant. The ‘appetite for risk’ score remains stable on last wave, however, confidence has taken a dip (48% confident in a July holiday going ahead compared to 54% last wave). Just over a third of the adult population think that the ‘worst has passed’ regarding the Covid situation, which is a decrease on last wave. Summer intent has increased slightly, and among Summer intenders the percentage who have booked has increased from 35% to 41%.

The new question added last wave (see slide 16) which aims to better understand the risk of domestic trip substitution as the overseas markets open up shows that c. 90% of spring and summer intenders say they would still go on their UK trip, with c.5% opting to cancel and go overseas instead.

Other points of note from Wave 32:

  • 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.
  • 10% anticipate taking an overnight trip this month (June) rising to 35% during the summer (July – Sept) which is broadly stable wave-on-wave.
  • The South West remains the lead region for spring and summer trips and although it still dominates, its share has again dipped slightly this wave, especially for spring trips.
  • The leading destination type for spring trips is now ‘countryside or village’ (34%) just ahead of ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’ (31%).  For the summer period ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’ is most popular (36%).
  • The accommodation types most likely to be used on overnight trips this spring are ‘camping/caravan’ (40%), hotel/motel/in (38%) and private home’ (32%).  For summer trips ‘commercial rentals’ (41%) are most popular followed closely by ‘camping/caravan’ (38%).
  • 44% of UK adults intend to take a day trip to either a ‘countryside/village’ and 45% to a ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’ destination respectively this spring or summer.  This compares with 23% intending to visit a ‘large city’.

Other updates:

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 10 JUNE

  • Overseas Visits From The UK

ONS has released a report on the number of UK nationals that would have travelled to Red, Amber and Green countries in a normal year, the purpose of their visits and the value of their expenditure. The report shows that UK residents would normally spend more than £1 billion in each of five main summer destinations.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/leisureandtourism/articles/redamberandgreentravellistsandoverseasvisitsfromtheuk/2021-06-10

  • Guidance If You’ve Missed A Claim Deadline

HMRC has published guidance on what to do if you have missed a CJRS Deadline. If you have missed the claim deadline. For claim periods from 1 November, HMRC may accept late claims if you have (all of the following:

    • a reasonable excuse
    • taken reasonable care to try and claim on time
    • claimed without delay as soon as you were able to

You may have a reasonable excuse if for example:

    • your partner or another close relative died shortly before the claim deadline
    • you had an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented you from dealing with your claim
    • you had a serious or life-threatening illness, including Coronavirus related illnesses, which prevented you from making your claim (and no one else could claim for you)
    • a period of self-isolation prevented you from making your claim (and no one else could make the claim for you)
    • your computer or software failed just before or while you were preparing your online claim
    • service issues with HMRC online services prevented you from making your claim
    • a fire, flood or theft prevented you them from making your claim
    • postal delays that you could not have predicted prevented you from making your claim
    • delays related to a disability you have prevented you from making your claim
    • an HMRC error prevented you from making your claiM

If you’ve missed the claim deadline and have a reasonable excuse, you should use the service as normal. You can submit a request from the page where you choose your claim month. You should do this as soon as you’re ready to make your claim but only after the claim deadline has passed.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): EU Settlement Scheme – Guidance Update

The Home Office has produced new guidance for EUSS applicants in or outside the UK who have been affected by restrictions associated with coronavirus. This is particularly important if you have staff who are oversea and unable to travel back to the UK at the moment.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-eu-settlement-scheme-guidance-for-applicants

  • Error IN NW R Number

The usual R Number and Growth Rate data that is published on Fridays has been updated to correct an error in the R estimate for the North West. The lower bound was incorrectly given as 1.0 rather than 1.1.

                https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-r-value-and-growth-rate

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TIER UPDATE 9 JUNE

Please also note that applications have opened for VisitBritain’s Domestic Support Fund, a new initiative to kick-start the recovery of the UK business events industry. The £100,000 Domestic Support Fund is available for not-for-profit organisations and charities hosting meetings, conferences and events in the UK from 21 June to 17 December 2021. Events from 100 to 500 delegates taking place in the UK are eligible to apply, with the fund opening for bids from 9 June 2021. The financial support available is based on the number of delegates attending with up to £15,000 available for each event.  Please see full press release at https://www.businessvisitsandeventspartnership.com/news/partnernews/999-visitbritain-launches-new-domestic-support-fund-to-kick-start-the-return-of-business-events-in-the-uk

Refreshed GREAT campaign launched

Ahead of the G7 summit this week the UK Government has launched its refreshed GREAT brand. Under the brand platform of See Things Differently, the world is invited to embrace fresh perspectives of Britain. As the tourism delivery partner for GREAT, VisitBritain will be starting to use the new GREAT tourism logo across VisitBritain channels and activity. Over the coming months, they will be evolving See Things Differently for tourism ahead of launching a new campaign in the New Year under this new brand.

Other updates

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 9 JUNE

  • Demonstrating Covid Status

The DHSC guidance on how people can demonstrate their vaccination status when travelling overseas has been updated to inform travellers that they can now  request a COVID-19 vaccination status letter to be posted to them via the NHS.UK website.

I should be noted that it will take up to 5 working days from the date of their second dose appointment before the system is updated so they  may need to wait 5 working days before you can use this service. One a request has been made it will then take up to 5 working days for the letter to be received. Here’s the link to the website for requesting the letter:

                 https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/covid-status-letter/

                 And the link to the guidance on demonstrating Covid Status:

                 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/demonstrating-your-covid-19-vaccination-status-when-travelling-abroad  

  • Transport Use

Here’s DfT’s weekly figures on transport use which follow the usual patterns that have been established during the reopening:

    • Private Vehicle use is over 100% of normal on weekends when people are getting away
    • Network Rail usage remains below 50%
    • Use of the Tube in London remains just under the 50% mark
    • Bus use is around 65% of normal 

                https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/transport-use-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic  

  • Tourism Recovery Plan

Just a quick note to say that it is expected that the Tourism Recovery Plan will be published this week so keep an eye out for it on the DCMS website 

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TIER UPDATE 8 JUNE

Additional measures for people living in areas of England where variants of concern are spreading fastest

The Government has announced additional measures across Greater Manchester (Bolton (where further measures are already in place), Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Trafford, Tameside, Wigan)  and all Lancashire County Council (Blackburn with Darwen (where further measures are already in place), Burnley (where further measures are already in place), Chorley, Fylde, Hyndburn, Lancaster, Pendle, Preston, Ribble Valley, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire, Wyre) areas.

There is extra guidance on steps people can take, which includes minimising travel in and out of affected areas.

Further measures are already in place in Bedford, Blackburn with Darwen, Bolton, Burnley, Kirklees, Leicester City, Hounslow and North Tyneside.

Other updates

  • The UK Government website has been updated to reflect last week’s announcement of countries moving between the red, amber and green lists.
  • Ministerial Directions in relation to the Event Research Programme pilot events have been published for 2020 UEFA European Football Championships, Royal Ascot Races and LV= Insurance Test: England vs New Zealand. In order for these pilot events to take place, parts of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/364) need to be disapplied by the Secretary of State for both DCMS and DHSC. This means relevant restrictions such as gathering, hospitality or the requirement to wear face masks can be disapplied at a specified premise or event and for specified periods for the purpose of research into the transmission of coronavirus in controlled environment.
  • A report has been published using the results of the Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS) looking at the business performance in pubs and confidence levels from October 2020 onwards. Points from the report include:
    • In October 2020, 6% of landlords had “high confidence” that their establishments would survive beyond three months. By early February 2021, that proportion had dropped to its lowest recorded level of 1% and in May 2021, the percentage passed 20%.
    • At its peak in the November 2020 lockdown, 91% of pub and bar staff were on furlough. This number has since decreased to 55%.
    • This compares with overall 8% to 15% of staff on furlough in all other businesses during the same period, indicating the heavier reliance of pubs and bars on the scheme.
    • There is an increasingly downward trend of pub and bar staff on furlough since restrictions were lifted on beer gardens. Despite this, the percentage of staff that were on furlough has remained high.

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 8 JUNE

  • Treasury Select Committee – Economic Impact of Coronavirus

The Treasury Select Committee held an evidence session yesterday looking at how well Government support has been able to provide a bridge for viable companies across the crisis back to recovery, and whether there will be an increase in insolvencies as the Government support withdraws. The Committee also looked at the Government’s handling of the reopening of the economy, vaccine certificates and the ban on business rental evictions. This session saw evidence presented on the impact of coronavirus on the hospitality and travel sectors by Kate Nicholls and Mark Tanzer.

https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/f1eed1e4-d89e-41f4-b049-743be49e2950

  • What Are The Top 5 Skills You're Recruiting For?

To help businesses solve the staffing crisis now impacting the tourism and hospitality sector, People 1st are asking businesses to let them know the top 5 skills that they are looking for.  The results will be used to help inform those supporting young people into job opportunities now to identify and signpost individuals that possess the top skills businesses need and to influence colleges and providers on the most important skills needed to prepare for the workplace. The  survey take only 30 seconds to complete.

              https://www.quiz-maker.com/QJQTJOG7U

  • Airbnb Supports Statutory Registration

One of the things that the Tourism Alliance has lobbied on as part of building back better is the need for a statutory registration scheme which, as well as helping ensure that businesses are operating in a safe and legal manner, would provide a mechanism to distribute information and support to businesses should another crisis such as coronavirus affect the industry. It is therefore heartening that Airbnb has changed it’s approach and is now supporting statutory registration with the publication of a new paper on this issue.

https://www.airbnb.co.uk/d/ukwhitepaper?_set_bev_on_new_domain=1618329609_Bn0p8I7jATpkmUjD

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TIER UPDATE 7 JUNE

Message on behalf of TIER: COVID-19 update 7 June 2021

Updated guidance for Wales

Following the announcement on Friday that Wales would move to Alert level 1 from today, 7 June, the following guidance has been updated:

Amendment to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2021

The health protection regulations in Wales have been amended with changes coming into force from 04:00 on 8 June 2021, meaning that in line with England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, Portugal will move from the green list to the amber list and Afghanistan, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Trinidad and Tobago will move from the amber to the red list.

Other updates

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 7 JUNE

  • New Entry Restrictions for France

The travel advice for France has been updated to take into account of new testing requirements that the French Government are introducing on 9th June for people travelling from the UK. From this date, people will be able to take a PCR test within 72 hours of departure, or an antigen test within 48 hours of departure. There will be random antigen testing for unvaccinated arrivals.

Those that are fully vaccinated will need to have proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure, or an antigen test within 48 hours of departure. However, they will not need to justify an essential reason for travel or to self-isolate on arrival. The French Government recognises the following vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna, Oxford/AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson (the vaccines recognised by the European Medical Agency).

“Fully vaccinated” is defined by the completion of a vaccination schedule, specifically:

  • 2 weeks after the second dose of Pfizer, Moderna, Oxford/AstraZeneca
  • 4 weeks after the single and only dose of Johnson & Johnson
  • 2 weeks after the single dose of any of the above vaccines if you have previously tested positive for COVID-19

Children under the age of 18 years old, who are travelling with fully vaccinated adults, will be exempt from requirements to self-isolate and provide an essential reason for travel, regardless of whether the minor has been vaccinated or not.

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france/entry-requirements

  • Travel Industry Day of Action

Trade bodies from across the aviation and travel industries are coming together for a travel industry day of action (#traveldayofaction) on 23 June to put pressure on the UK Government to support a safe return to international travel in time for the peak summer period.

The day of action will be calling on the UK Government to:

    • Allow international travel to return safely and in a risk managed way by properly implementing the Global Travel Taskforce’s plan.
    • Bring forward a package of tailored financial support to recognise that the unlocking of international travel, and hence businesses’ ability to trade and generate income, will be much slower than first anticipated, and more gradual than for businesses in the domestic economy.

https://www.abta.com/news/travel-industry-day-action-planned-wednesday-23-june-2021

  • West End Footfall

Here’s a copy of the latest footfall report from the New West End Company with the data for last week (week commencing 31st May) which highlights the impact the having few international visitors and a cautious domestic market is having on the London retail industry.

The key points are:

    • Footfall was up 11% week-on-week and up 423% year-on-year which is good
    • However it was down 44% compared with 2019
    • And YTD footfall was down 73% compared with the same period in 2019

NWE Week 22

There are a number of tourism related debates in parliament this week to be aware of

    • 8th June - 11:00am until 11:30am
      • Social distancing restrictions and support for the night-time economy

Westminster Hall Debate supported by Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP (Brighton Kemptown)

    • 8th June – after 12noon
      • Role destination management organisations can have supporting the recovery of the visitor economy from the impact of COVID-19

Lords Oral Questions supported by Lord Ravensdale

    • 10th June – after 9:30am
      • Support for the Aviation, Travel and Tourism Industries

General Debate in the Commons

TIC UPDATE – 07.06.2021

Recent Government announcements:

EU Settlement Scheme - deadline 30th June 

The deadline for applications to be made to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) is 30th June. All EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members who were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, should apply without delay at www.gov.uk/eusettlementscheme so that they can continue to work, study, and access free healthcare and benefits in the UK after 30 June 2021.

DEFRA Case Study Request - deadline 10th June

DEFRA is looking for a selection of case studies (a maximum of one page of A4) that can be used to showcase projects that are having a positive impact on the environment for the 3rd25 Year Environment Plan (YEP) annual progress report, due for publication in July. Please see more information on what they are looking for below. Please send submissions to harriet.hoffler@dcms.gov.uk. The goals of the YEP are: 

  • Clean air
  • Clean and plentiful water
  • Thriving plants and wildlife
  • Reducing the risks of harm from environmental hazards
  • Using resources from nature more sustainably and efficiently
  • Enhancing beauty, heritage and engagement with the natural environment
  • Mitigating and adapting to climate change
  • Minimising waste
  • Managing exposure to chemicals
  • Enhancing biosecurity

What type of case studies are of interest?

Examples of projects that have had a tangible positive impact on the environment, particularly if this can be quantified, and demonstrates the potential or realised contribution a project has made towards achieving any of the goals or cross-cutting themes of the 25 YEP and over what timeframes.  

How best should case studies be presented?

The case study should be written as narrative text, telling an impactful story that captures the following:

  •  The title of the project, name of the organisations leading/supporting delivery of the project, and any funding agreed and publicly known.
  • How the project is helping to address an environmental problem for at least one of the goals or cross-cutting areas of the plan.
  • The long-term ambitions for the project and how it aims to help address the problem, with time bound long-term targets, where known.
  • The progress that has been made on the project to date, in particular since April 2020, including any key lessons learnt from the process.
  • Realised positive impacts of the project on the environment from the progress made to date, where known.
  • Future plans for the project, with a specific focus on priorities for delivery over the next year (until March 2022).
  • Potential positive impacts of the project on the environment, and over what timeframes.
  • Contact details for any follow-up questions on the case study.
  • A couple of eye-catching images, or illustrations to complement the narrative text.

What is the maximum page length for a case study?

A maximum of one page of A4, Arial (Body) Font size 12 narrative text (excluding any images, illustrations)

Can more than one case study be submitted?

Yes, you can submit as many case studies as you like, although bearing in mind that we will be looking for representative projects across all 25 YEP goals and cross-cutting themes. 

What happens after a case study is submitted?

We will review the case study, and get in touch with case study authors should there be any questions, or suggestions to help sharpen up the narrative.

We will let you know whether your case study will be included in the final report. We really appreciate you submitting case studies for our consideration.

Will all case studies be published in the progress report?

As many case studies as possible will be incorporated into the report. We will include a set of case studies that best represent progress towards achieving the goals, taking into account the page length for the final report. Whether or not case studies are published, they will be kept on file for potential use in future publications.

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TIER UPDATE 4 JUNE

Wales to move into alert level 1 from Monday 7 June

First Minister Mark Drakeford today announced that from Monday 7 June Wales will move into alert level one. This means the size of extended households can be increased to up to three households, and a further household with a single adult or single adult with caring responsibilities will also be able to join. The move to alert level one will be phased, with outdoor events opening first. Ministers will review the public health situation again, ahead of June 21, to determine whether indoor events can restart.

The first phase of the move to alert level one means that from Monday June 7:

  • Up to 30 people can meet outdoors, including in private gardens, outdoor hospitality and public places. 
  • Larger outdoor organised gatherings and events, such as concerts, football matches and sporting activities, like organised running groups can go ahead for up to 4,000 people standing and 10,000 people seated. All organisers planning events and activities must undertake a full risk assessment and put in place measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including social distancing.

The Welsh Government will consider further changes to the regulations on indoor activity later in the month, if public health conditions allow.

These include:

  • Rule of six for meeting indoors in private homes and holiday accommodation. 
  • Increased numbers for indoor organised gatherings and indoor events.
  • Opening ice skating rinks.

Other updates:

  • A new page has been published bringing together information on the Events Research Programme (ERP). The results of programme will be published in the coming weeks.
  • A summary of the key data used by the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) to inform the latest round of international travel red, amber and green (RAG) assessments has been published - decisions are taken by ministers informed by evidence including JBC’s analysis as well as other relevant public health factors.
  • The Bus Service Support Grant page has been updated with information on how to report fraud, bribery, theft or corruption associated with the grant.
  • A new email address has been added under the unaccompanied minors section of booking and staying in a quarantine hotel if you’ve been in a red list country


     

  • Traffic Light Data

DHSC has published the data from the Joint Biosecurity Centre which informed the Government decision yesterday on removing Portugal from the Green List and adding the seven other countries to the Red list. Having a quick read of the data it doesn’t seem immediately obvious to me as to why Portugal was removed from the list as the number of cases per 100,000 is less than the UK and the test positivity rate is only 1.2%

                https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-informing-international-travel-traffic-light-risk-assessments-3-june-2021

  • ONS Economic Activity Survey

ONS has published the latest wave of it’s ongoing research on the impact of coronavirus on economic activity. The headline figure for the tourism and hospitality industry is that the seven-day average estimate of UK seated diners was at 173% of its level in the same week of 2019, which was an increase of 41% from the previous week. This reflects the surge in demand after pubs and restaurants were able to open inside and the excellent weather over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Also of interest is the data on job adverts which shows that:

    • Tourism and travel Job adverts are running at 118% of the base level of Feb 2020
    • Hospitality job adverts are running at 132% of the base level of Feb 2020

While this is high and support the problems that the sector is having filling vacancies at the moment, there are a number of other sectors where job advert rates are very high, showing that competition for employees across the economy is very strong. For example:

    • Transport and warehousing is up 295%
    • Construction is up 185%
    • Domestic help is up 190%

All of these could indicate the impact of Brexit on the labour market

https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/economicoutputandproductivity/output/bulletins/economicactivityandsocialchangeintheukrealtimeindicators/4june2021

  • Passenger Charter Updated

Possibly as a result of yesterday’s announcement, the Government has updated the passenger’s charter which sets out the rights and responsibilities of people travelling overseas. There are no significant changes to the document, with the edits seemly providing better clarity for the public and incorporating new links to other Government guidance.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/passenger-covid-19-charter/passenger-covid-19-charter

  • Quarantining Guidance Updated

There has also been an update to the email address in the guidance on quarantining on arrival to the UK were it relates to unaccompanied minors. If it is not possible for a responsible person to accompany a child travelling to the UK the parent, guardian or appropriate adult will need to notify DHSC at dhsctesttrace.customerfeedbackteam@nhs.net and request a specific exemption for them to travel alone. Exemptions will only be provided in exceptional circumstances.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/booking-and-staying-in-a-quarantine-hotel-when-you-arrive-in-england#unaccompanied-minors

  • Wales Reopening

The Welsh First Minuister announced today that the first phase of moving to alert level one would go ahead on Monday. This means that from June 7:

    • Up to 30 people can meet outdoors, including in private gardens, outdoor hospitality and public places.
    • Larger outdoor organised gatherings and events, such as concerts, football matches and sporting activities, like organised running groups can go ahead for up to 4,000 people standing and 10,000 people seated. All organisers planning events and activities must undertake a full risk assessment and put in place measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including social distancing.

The Welsh Government will consider further changes to the regulations on indoor activity later in the month, if public health conditions allow.

These include:

    • Rule of six for meeting indoors in private homes and holiday accommodation.
    • Increased numbers for indoor organised gatherings and indoor events.
    • Opening ice skating rinks.

He also announced that in light of the changes being announced today, the application window for the Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) has been extended from June 7 until June 14 2021 in order to support sectors further impacted by these changes, specifically those wedding, events and attractions venues with capacity for more than 30 guests. The Welsh Government is working with impacted sectors to top up the current ERF package for the May and June period. Businesses that have already applied do not need to take further action.

                https://gov.wales/alert-level-1-guide

  • R Number and Growth Rate

As ever, the final item for the week is the new R Number and Growth Rate. This week’s figures are, respectively, 1.0 to 1.2 and 0% to +3%, which shows why the Government is concerned about the delta variant now being the dominant variant in the UK and a being hesitant about confirming that the England is on track to move to Step 4 on 21st June. This makes next week’s figure important as it will only be my then that the impact of moving to Step 3 on 17th May will have worked it’s way through into the R number and Growth Rate figures.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-r-value-and-growth-rate

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TIER UPDATE 3 JUNE

 

Changes to international travel traffic light system (England)

The UK Government as well as the Northern Ireland Executive and Scottish Government have announced that from 04:00 on 8 June:

  • Portugal will move from the green list to the amber list
  • Afghanistan, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Trinidad and Tobago will move from the amber list to the red list.

Please find attached an updated communications toolkit published by DfT setting out key messages and assets to communicate awareness and requirements for international travel. The toolkit can also be accessed here.

Other updates:

  • The Employer claim data for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from December 2020 to March 2021 has been updated.
  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance update: the example for how to calculate the amount you should claim for an employee who is flexibly furloughed during June 2021 has been updated.
  • New data available on the number of individuals claiming the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant up to 9 May 2021 by age, gender, industry sector and geography.

 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england

  • CJRS – Calculating Wage Claims

The guidance on how businesses should calculate the amount they can claim for an employee who is flexibly furloughed during June 2021 has been updated to include a

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/find-examples-to-help-you-work-out-80-of-your-employees-wages

  • SEISS Claim Data

HMRC have published data on the fourth round of SEISS claims which shows that:

    • 40,000 of 79,000 eligible people working in the accommodation and food services sector made a claim (50.6%)
    • 53,000 of 98,000 eligible people in the Arts, entertainment and recreation (54%)

These are the highest levels of claim outside the education sector where the claim rate was 59%

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/self-employment-income-support-scheme-statistics-june-2021/self-employment-income-support-scheme-statistics-june-2021

  • CJRS Data

Similarly, HMRC has produced new data on the use of the CJRS which includes an analysis by sector. The data is up to 30th April it is before Step 3 but the results show that the ten industry groups with the highest employment take-up rates were:

    • beverage serving activities (70%)
    • hotels and similar accommodation (65%)
    • passenger air transport (55%)
    • photographic activities (51%)
    • travel agency and tour operator activities (49%)
    • amusement and recreation activities (46%)
    • sports activities (45%)
    • creative; arts and entertainment activities (44%)
    • renting and leasing of personal and household goods (43%)
    • manufacture of wearing apparel (41%)

The top three sectors and six of the top eight sectors requiring CJRS support are tourism related.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-3-june-2021/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-3-june-2021

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TIER UPDATE 1 JUNE

Easing of restrictions in Scotland   In a statement today First Minister Nicola Sturgeon shared an update on the changes to levels in local authority areas in Scotland. She confirmed the following:

  • Glasgow will move to Level 2 from 00:01 on Saturday 5 June 2021.
  • The following mainland local authority areas will also remain at Level 2
    • East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire and Renfrewshire
    • East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire, and South Ayrshire
    • North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire
    • Edinburgh and Midlothian
    • Stirling and Clackmannanshire
    • Dundee
  • From 00:01 on Saturday 5 June 2021, 15 mainland local authorities will move to Level 1 including:
    • Highland and Argyll & Bute
    • Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray
    • Angus and Perth & Kinross
    • Inverclyde and West Dunbartonshire
    • Falkirk
    • Fife
    • West Lothian and East Lothian
    • The Scottish Borders
    • Dumfries & Galloway
  • All islands currently in Level 1 will move to Level 0 at 00:01 Saturday 5 June.

In local authority areas in level 2 support will be provided for soft play and other closed sectors

that had expected to open, or operate in a different way from 7 June.  Further details will be available on 2 June.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-update-first-ministers-statement-1-june-2021/

Travel between the UK and France

From Monday 31 May, travel to France from the UK is permitted only for EU nationals, French residents, or those travelling for essential reasons. This applies to all air, car, ferry and train passengers. Arrivals from the UK who are resident in France may need to show proof of residence. Those who are not French residents or EU nationals will need an essential reason to travel and to complete an International Travel Certificate. Further information is available on the French government’s website.

NHS Travel Operator Briefing Pack

Please see attached the NHS Travel Operator Briefing Pack which provides information on demonstrating Covid-19 vaccination status via the NHS App for passengers travelling internationally. This document will be updated on a regular basis as the product evolves, a revised version will likely be available in a couple of weeks.  

Other updates

Tourism Alliance Update -1st June 2021

  • Guidance For Non-UK Nationals Intending To Stay In The Country

The Home Office guidance has been changed to state that people in the UK that cannot leave due to travel restrictions and intend to stay can make an application for permission to stay in the UK if they hold permission in a route that would normally allow them to do so, or if their current permission or visa expires before 1 July. They will need to meet the requirements of the route they’re applying for and will not be able to apply for a route for which there is no provision in the Immigration Rules for making an in-country application, such as T5 Youth Mobility Scheme, or Adult Dependant Relative.

The terms of their current permission will remain the same until their application is decided. If the person is switching into work or study routes, they may be able to commence work or study while their application is under consideration, depending on the terms of their current permission.

They are also able to apply for permission to stay to remain in the UK if they have been issued with an ‘exceptional assurance’, but must submit their application before the expiry of their ‘exceptional assurance’.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents

  • Consultation On Free Trade Agreement with India

The Government has launched a consultation on the development of a Free Trade Agreement with India. In order to inform the Government’s approach to negotiations on a free trade agreement with India, the main aims of the consultation are to find out what businesses:

    • think about the UK’s current trading arrangements with India
    • think the UK’s Government should change or improvement through a Free Trade Agreement

The consultation is open until 31st August and the background documents are available on the following link

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/trade-with-india-call-for-input

The consultation itself is online only and submissions can be made on the following link

https://ditresearch.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5jZl7gG1omIEtdI

  • UK City Of Culture 2025 – Expressions of Interest Open

DCMS has launched the process for deciding the 2025 City of Culture by seeking expressions of interest by 15th July 2021. One thing to note is that, in contrast to previous years, expressions of interest will be accepted from cohesive area made up of two or more neighbouring or closely linked cities or towns – this is to tie the City of Culture award to the Government’s levelling-up agenda.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-city-of-culture-2025-expression-of-interest-guidance-for-bidders/uk-city-of-culture-2025-expression-of-interest-guidance-for-bidders

---------------------------------

TIER UPDATE 28 MAY

 

Please see below today’s COVID-19 update which today includes the findings of latest wave of VisitEngland’s domestic consumer sentiment tracker.

Changes in guidance for travelling to Northern Ireland from within the Common Travel Area

The requirement for people to self-isolate if travelling to Northern Ireland from within Common Travel Area has been removed. People who are travelling from within the Common Travel Area and staying overnight in Northern Ireland, should take a rapid lateral flow device test (LFD) before they begin their journey and they should only travel if the test is negative. They should also take an LFD test on days two and eight of their stay. People should not travel to Northern Ireland if they have COVID-19 symptoms, or have received a positive COVID-19 result. View the current guidance.

Scotland Protection levels update

Glasgow will move to Level 2 from 5 June as long as key indicators remain stable or fall - the First Minister intends to confirm any decision to Parliament no later than Wednesday of next week. Further funding has been made available to Glasgow City Council to provide additional support for businesses in hospitality and leisure in Glasgow, with grants ranging from £250 to £750 per week.

Other areas of concern across Scotland continue to be monitored closely, including Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Clackmannanshire. These areas will remain in Level 2 for now, although public health efforts will be intensified to tackle the increased prevalence.

Travel restrictions between Scotland, the Republic of Ireland and certain local authority areas in England will remain in place.

Mainland Scotland is currently due to move from Level 2 to Level 1 on 7 June. The First Minister said she is planning to confirm on Tuesday to Parliament whether that move will take place. Read the press release.

COVID-19 airport and ground operations funding in England - May 2021 release

Information on the May 2021 competition for the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme (AGOSS) has been published. To be eligible for Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme (AGOSS) funding, your company must:

1. Be either a:

·         commercial airport situated within England with a valid commercial licence from no later than 3 March 2021 that operated at least 12 scheduled commercial passenger flights in 2019

·         ground handling company providing, as your primary function, any of the handling service listed in EU Directive 96/67/EC directly to an airport user for scheduled commercial flights at a commercial airport in England, for a site or sites located in England

2. Have received, for your eligible site or sites in England, a business rates bill from your relevant local authority for the 2021 to 2022 financial year

3. Demonstrate a forecasted COVID-19 loss for the 6 months to 30 September 2021

The closing date for applications is 20 June 2021. Find out what the funding can be used for and how to apply.

New £3 million fund to help Scottish tourism industry rebuild announced

Tourism organisations will be able to apply for funding to promote key visitor destinations in a responsible and sustainable way, helping the sector to recover from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Administered by VisitScotland, the £3 million Destination and Sector Marketing Fund will support eligible groups develop visitor marketing campaigns that position Scotland as a year-round destination to the UK and Irish markets. The fund opens for applications on 1 June and will be split into three tiers: City Region Award Programme (with awards on offer between £50k and £100k); Regional Destination Organisations and Pan Scotland Sector Groups (with awards between £40k and £80k); and Local Destination Organisations, Marketing Groups and non-Pan Scotland Sector Groups (with awards between £10k and £20k). Read the press release

Next phase of Northern Ireland Tourism Recovery Plan launched

Phase two of the Northern Ireland Tourism Recovery Action Plan has been launched, The phase two actions are broken down into eight themes aimed at assisting in the long-term recovery and sustainable growth of the tourism industry, as follows: 1. Business Continuity, 2. Creating Consumer Confidence, 3. Stimulating Consumer Demand, 4. Safeguarding Connectivity, 5. Enhancing the Competitiveness of the Region, 6. Enhancing the Capability of Businesses, 7. Enhancing the Skills of the Workforce, 8. Creating a Supportive Policy Environment.

The full action plan is available on the Department's website.

Other Government updates

·         FAQ guidance has been published on how people can keep safe and what rules are in place at alert level 2 in Wales

·         The Welsh Government and the Football Association of Wales (FAW) are urging fans to stay at home rather than travelling abroad to watch Euro 2021

VisitEngland Consumer Sentiment survey – latest wave

Wave 31 of VisitEngland’s Consumer Sentiment Tracker report is now live.  The fieldwork for this was conducted last week between 17 – 21 May when we had the twin forces of lockdown restrictions easing coupled with the spread of the more transmissible Indian variant making the news headlines. After a period of seeing the proportions believing the “worst has passed” steadily climbing (to 48% last wave), it has now significantly fallen to 39%.  We also have a significant rise in the proportion feeling “the worst is still to come” which is up 8 percentage points to 20% of UK adults. Trip intent this spring and summer remains largely static at 13% and 34% respectively.

On a more positive note, the Appetite for Risk shows evidence of normalising, with activities such as “eating at a restaurant” and “visiting a busy city centre” exhibiting gains for the fourth wave in a row. 

Other points of note from Wave 31:

·         43% of adults expect ‘normality’ by end of this year – down 4 points compared to last wave.

·         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 slowly with the majority (54%) confident a domestic trip booked for July would go ahead as planned.

·         13% anticipate taking an overnight trip between now and the end of June, rising to 34% during the summer (July – Sept) which is broadly stable wave-on-wave.

·         Among those who are intending to take a trip this summer, 42% have reached the planning and 35% the booking stages of their trips, which is up from 37% and 29% respectively last wave.

·         The accommodation types most likely to be used on overnight trips this spring are ‘camping/caravan’ (41%), ‘hotel/motel/inn’ (38%), a private home’ (35%) and ‘commercial rentals’ (e.g. holiday cottages) on 34%.  Commercial rentals account for a higher share for summer trips, where they narrowly lead on 40%.

·         46% of UK adults intend to take a day trip to a ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’ destination this spring or summer, followed by 44% opting to venture into the “countryside or village’.  This compares with 26% intending to visit a ‘large city’.

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 28 May 2021

  • Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme (AGOSS)

The Government has published the May application round of the AGOSS. To be eligible, you need to be:

    • A commercial airport situated within England with a valid commercial licence from no later than 3 March 2021 that operated at least 12 scheduled commercial passenger flights in 2019
    • A ground handling company providing, as your primary function, any of the handling service listed in EU Directive 96/67/EC directly to an airport user for scheduled commercial flights at a commercial airport in England, for a site or sites located in England
    • Have received, for your eligible site or sites in England, a business rates bill from your relevant local authority for the 2021 to 2022 financial year
    • Demonstrate a forecasted COVID-19 loss for the 6 months to 30 September 2021

 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/applying-for-covid-19-airport-and-ground-operations-funding

  • Clarification On Staying Overnight

The public guidance associated with Step 3 has been updated to provide clarification on the ability of people to stay overnight in paid accommodation or with friends. The guidance now reads: 

    • You may stay overnight in holiday accommodation in groups of up to 6, or larger groups if everyone present is from 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible) unless a legal exemption applies.
    • You can also stay overnight with friends and family in their homes in groups of up to 6, or larger groups if everyone present is from 2 households (including support bubbles).

 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do 

  • EU Settlement Scheme – 30 Days Left

The Home Office is advising businesses that after the May Bank Holiday, there will only be 30 days before the deadline of 30 June 2021 for applications to be made to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

 It is therefore important that all businesses check with their EU, EEA and Swiss employees who were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, to make sure that they have already applied or will do so before the deadline so that this doesn’t impact on staffing.

 Businesses will not need to carry out retrospective Right to Work Checks on existing employees after the 30 June 2021 deadline. However, from 1 July, new EU, EEA and Swiss employees that you hire will need to demonstrate their right to work either with the pre-settled or settled status, or with a visa under the points-based immigration system. These Right to Work Checks can predominantly be conducted digitally for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens.

 www.gov.uk/eusettlementscheme

  • R Number And Growth Rate

As usual, we end the week with the latest R Number and Growth Rate Figures. This week they are, respectively, 1.0 to 1.1 and 0% to +3%. This is the first time since 15th January that the R Number has been greater than 1 and that the Growth Rate has been positive since 15th January. If this continues over the forthcoming weeks, it will increase pressure on Government to either delay Step 4 or to retain certain restrictions such as social distancing and group size while moving to Step 4.

 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-r-value-and-growth-rate

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TIER UPDATE 27 MAY

Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Dr Jenny Harries held a press briefing this evening they shared the latest data, an update on the India variant and vaccines. During the Q&A it was asked whether 21 June was in the balance. Dr Jenny Harries said that it was on the cusp - it is not yet clear whether the increase in cases is due to variant cases taking off or due to the fact that they are actively detecting cases as a result of surge testing, etc. You can watch the briefing here.

Visitors holidaying in Wales asked to take and pack lateral flow tests

As Wales’ tourism sector prepares for late Spring bank holiday weekend and the start of the summer season, the First Minister is urging travellers from all over the UK, especially the 8 hotspot areas in England, to use and pack lateral flow testing kits if they are coming to Wales.

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 27 MAY

  • New CJRS Form

A new template has been developed for businesses that have between 16 and 99 people on furlough. If you’re claiming for 16 to 99 employees on or after 27 May 2021, you’ll need to use this template to upload a file containing the following information for each employee:

  • full name
  • National Insurance number (or payroll reference number if you do not have this)
  • payroll reference number (sometimes called a pay identify or staff number)
  • furlough start and end date (using the format DD/MM/YYYY)
  • full amount claimed (pounds and pence)
  • normal hours (using decimals, for example 7.5)
  • actual hours worked (using decimals)
  • furloughed hours (using decimals)
  • if they have returned from statutory leave and you then put them on furlough

                https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/download-a-template-if-youre-claiming-for-16-to-99-employees-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

  • Correcting CJRS Claims

Staying with CJRS, there is an update to the guidance on paying back grants with information on how to correct overclaims. The steps to follow are:

    • Work out your claim amount as normal. If you submit using a file, do not provide details of the overclaim in that month’s claim file. The file should show the amount of the claim for the employees being claimed for without any offset for the overclaim.
    • Work out your overclaim amount.
    • Deduct the amount you’ve overclaimed (step 2) from your claim amount (step 1).
    • Enter the result in the ‘claim amount’ box on your claim form.
    • Enter the amount you’ve overclaimed in the ‘overclaim’ box on your claim form.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pay-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-grants-back#how-to-correct-overclaims-in-your-next-claim

  • DCMS GVA Assessments

DCMS has published monthly assessments of the GVA of sectors under it’s responsibility. The key outtakes are that compared to January 2019:

    • The creative sector output is at 94%
    • The cultural sector output is at 85%
    • The tourism industry output is at 63%

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/dcms-sectors-economic-estimates-monthly-gva-to-march-2021

  • Passenger Arrivals into the UK

ONS has published an analysis of passenger arrivals on a weekly basis which shows that for the year to the end of March, arrivals into the UK were 89% down on the previous year. In addition, arrivals by sea were down 71% and arrivals by rail were down by 75%

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statistics-relating-to-passenger-arrivals-since-the-covid-19-outbreak-may-2021/statistics-relating-to-passenger-arrivals-since-the-covid-19-outbreak-may-2021

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TIER UPDATE 26 MAY

Residents of Wales can apply for a COVID-19 vaccination certificate for urgent international travel

The Welsh Government has announced residents of Wales can apply for a certificate of vaccination for urgent international travel. The certificate allows them to demonstrate they have received the full course of a COVID-19 vaccine.

People living in Wales can request a certificate only if:

  • they have had both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine (they should wait 5 days after their second dose before requesting it)
  • they urgently need to travel to a country which requires vaccine certification
  • they are not able to either quarantine or provide tests to meet country entry requirements

Other government updates:

  • The guidance for if you’re in an area in England where the new COVID-19 variant is spreading has been to say that people shouldminimise travel in and out of affected areas’. It previously people should ‘avoid travelling in and out of affected areas unless it is essential, for example for work (if you cannot work from home) or education’.
  • First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has outlined priorities for Government to Parliament today. In her speech, the First Minister said that the Government would continue its support for specific business sectors such as food and tourism. Read the press release
  • The government and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) have announced that the temporary Trade Credit Reinsurance (TCR) scheme will close on 30 June as planned. Read the press release.
  • An open consultation has been published which proposes to update the legislation underpinning Operation Brock. It is proposed to remove the provisions relating to the end of the EU Exit transition period and COVID-19 that are no longer needed and the ‘sunset clauses’ that mean the legislation will expire on 31 October 2021. This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 20 June 2021.
  • The list of private providers of coronavirus testing has been updated.

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 26 May 2021

  • Date for Home Office Immigration Briefing

The Home Office has been in touch to say that there has been a problem with the booking link that they sent through for the 14th June SME briefing session on the new Immigration Strategy and EU Settlement Scheme that I sent round last week. As such, they have sent a new link for you and your member to use to book this event.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-points-based-immigration-and-eu-settlement-scheme-sme-stakeholders-tickets-155775405431 

  • Employment Survey

Thank you to everyone that has sent out and completed the Employment Survey that I send out last Thursday. I’ve received over 400 responses so far which is excellent but we could always do with a few more so can I ask everyone to send out a reminder to members so that we can get above 500 responses by Friday.

Here is the link to the survey for those that missed it last time.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/9NBT6XX 

  • Transport Figures

The DfT figures for transport use over the last week have been published and these are interesting as the cover the first week of Step 3 and the easing of restrictions. While there has been  an increase of a few percent in the use of public transport, the move to Step 3 has not produced a step-change in transport use. For example, in the week before Step 3, bus services operated at 59.5% capacity, while the week afterwards they were at 62.5% capacity. The change in national rail usage was even lower, with services operating at 42% capacity the week before Step 3 and at 42.5% capacity the week afterwards. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/transport-use-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic

  • Travel Behaviour Tracker

Staying with travel and transport, DfT have also published the 4th Wave of their “All Change?” research on travel behaviour. While this research is someone out-of-date as it is based on surveys undertake in Feb/March there is a wealth of interesting information on people’s transport use and expectations regarding domestic and overseas travel. For example:

    • 29% of people said that they were less likely to use air transport in future
    • 33% of people said that they were less likely to go on a cruise ship in future
    • 24% of people said that they would wait 12 months from restrictions ending before going on an overseas holiday

 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-travel-behaviour-during-the-lockdown 

  • ONS Wellbeing Survey

The Office for National Statistics has published it’s latest data on wellbeing and happiness, which has some interesting implications for tourism. Two of the key points are:

    • People working from home are generally less happy and more lonely than people who are going into work
    • People who are working from home are more likely to feel uncomfortable about leaving home

So having employees return to the office would increase their happiness and make them more likely to undertake activity that would support the tourism and hospitality sector. 

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandcontributorstosubnationalwellbeing/januarytomarch2021 

  • Trade Credit Reinsurance Scheme to End

The Government has announced that the Trade Credit Reinsurance scheme will end as planned on 30th June. Under this scheme, eligible insurers were provided with a government-backed reinsurance agreement, covering insurance offered on business transactions within the UK and overseas. The scheme is ending because insurers have told the Government that they longer require the scheme as they will take back full underwriting control.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/update-on-the-trade-credit-reinsurance-scheme

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TIER UPDATE 25 MAY

Updated guidance for areas affected by variant outbreaks

The what you can and cannot do page on GOV.UK has been updated to provide advice about travelling in areas affected by variant outbreaks.

•               Bedford Borough Council

•               Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

•               Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

•               Burnley Borough Council

•               Kirklees Council

•               Leicester City Council

•               London Borough of Hounslow

•               North Tyneside Council

In the areas listed above, wherever possible, people should try to:

•               meet outside rather than inside where possible

•               keep 2 metres apart from people that you don’t live with (unless you have formed a support bubble with them), this includes friends and family you don’t live with

•               avoid travelling in and out of affected areas unless it is essential, for example for work (if you cannot work from home) or education.

 Other updates

•               VisitBritain/VisitEngland launched their 2019/2020 Annual Review and outlined their new corporate priorities for the year ahead to support UK tourism to recover and rebuild today.

•               A written statement to Parliament has been published on GOV.UK regarding the Airport and Ground Operators Support Scheme, which gives funding to airports and airport ground crews affected by COVID-19. The statement explains that the government remains committed to supporting the sector and has recently announced that the scheme will be renewed for the first 6 months of the financial year 2021/22.

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 25 May 2021

  • Guidance for Areas with Indian Variant

This has sparked considerable political debate as to whether this equates to a de facto regional lockdown and many tourism businesses are uncertain as to what they should do if they have bookings from customers from these areas. We are seeking clarification on the situation but, at the moment, it businesses should treat the situation as similar to when areas were in Tier 3 last year – ie., that this is guidance rather than a legal requirement and businesses should adopt best practice with existing bookings in terms of postponements and cancellations.

  • Feedback for DCMS

With the move to Step 3 last week, DCMS has asked for feedback gather feedback from tourism businesses on the following issues.

    • Step 3 domestic reopening – how are businesses performing and what issues have arisen
    • Step 3 international reopening – how are businesses performing and what needs to happen now
    • Step 4  - what issues remain unresolved in the lead-up to Step 4

DXCMS has asked for feedback on these issues by Friday, so if you can send me any comments by close of play on Thursday, I will collate these and feed them through.  

  • IPS Figures for 2020

ONS has published the final International passenger Survey figures for 2020. The headline stats are:

    • Overseas residents made 11.1 million visits to the UK in 2020; this was 73% fewer than in 2019 as travel reduced because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
    • Overseas residents spent £6.2 billion on their visits to the UK in 2020; this was 78% less than in 2019.
    • UK residents made 23.8 million visits abroad in 2020, which was 74% fewer than the previous year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
    • UK residents spent £13.8 billion on visits abroad in 2020; this was 78% less than in 2019.

On the inbound side, the 78% reduction in expenditure equates for a loss of £22.3bn for the UK economy. This, in turn, equates to around 370,000 jobs that have been put at risk. In addition, the 78% decline in outbound expenditure equates to a loss on a further £25bn to businesses in the UK such as tour operators, travel agents and transport operators which puts a further 700,000 jobs at risk.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/leisureandtourism/articles/overseastravelandtourism2020/2021-05-24

  • Business Impacts of Coronavirus

ONS has produced new regional data on the impact of restrictions on businesses up until the beginning of Step 3. The data, as usual, shows that tourism/hospitality is the most impacted sector of the economy but there are quite marked regional differences. For example, the East Midlands had 79% of hospitality businesses operating between 4-16th May, while only 24% of hospitality businesses in the West Midlands were operating during this period. On a UK-wide basis 66% of hospitality businesses were operating compared with 83% of all businesses.

Similarly, 68% of hospitality businesses report a decline in revenue which is twice the percentage of UK businesses as a whole (34%) that report a decrease in turnover. These are regional variations within these figures as well with only 56% of hospitality businesses in the South West reporting a decline in revenue compared to 72& in the South East.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/business/businessservices/articles/businessinsightsandimpactontheukandsubnationaleconomy/may2021

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TIER UPDATE 24 MAY

Invitation to Home Office Briefing On Immigration Scheme

The Home Office has asked the Tourism Alliance to pass on an invitation to attend two briefing sessions they are hosting on the new points-based immigration system and the EU Settlement Scheme on Friday 28th May 14:00-15:00 and Monday 14th June 13:00-14:00.

The briefings will cover:

  • The new points-based system - how does it work?
  • Employing an overseas worker - what is the sponsorship process?
  • What other immigration routes are there?
  • What is the EU Settlement Scheme? How can I support my EU National staff?
  • What support is available? Where can I find more information?

You can register for the sessions using the links below:

The Points-based Immigration and EU Settlement Scheme- SME Stakeholders- Friday 28th May at 14:00

The Points-based Immigration and EU Settlement Scheme- SME Stakeholders- Mon 14th June at 13:30

Feedback following England’s move to Step 3

Following England’s move last week to step 3 on the UK Government roadmap, DCMS is gathering feedback from tourism and leisure stakeholders on how it is going so far. At your earliest convenience, it would be great to receive your thoughts on:

  • Step 3 domestic reopening 
  • Step 3 international reopening
  • Step 4 and any remaining concerns  

Please send any feedback to Bethan Smyth from DCMS via email: Bethan.smyth@dcms.gov.uk and copy in tier@visitbritain.org.

 Responses welcome for the Home Office’s Protect Duty Consultation

The Home Office is seeking views from venues, organisations, businesses, local authorities, public authorities and individuals who own or operate at publicly accessible locations or others that a ‘Protect Duty’ would potentially affect on how the Protect Duty can make the public safer at publicly accessible locations. The consultation, which is live and closes on 2nd July, considers how to develop proportionate security measures to improve public security and how those responsible for publicly accessible locations are ready and prepared to take appropriate action, were a terrorist attack to happen.

You can find more information on the consultation, as well as what constitutes a publicly accessible location here
Other updates

  • The guidance for food businesses has been updated to confirm that guidelines including social distancing requirements are still in place after 17 May.

---------------------------

TIER UPDATE 21 MAY

·         Applications for the Business Events Growth Programme 2021/22 are now open – See https://www.businessvisitsandeventspartnership.com/news/partnernews/996-applications-for-the-business-events-growth-programme-2021-22-are-now-open.

·         DCMS have asked for feedback on Step 3 re-openings in terms of levels of business activity and challenges. If you have comments on business activity or challenges please pass on any comments (copying me) to: Bethan Smyth, Bethan.smyth@dcms.gov.uk.

·         LGA Webinar on the role of LAs in mass events – The Local Government Association is holding a free to attend webinar on 4th June from 14.30 – 16.00. The event will focus on how the local authority’s role in mass events is affected by the easing of restrictions. It will take a look forward to how events will be run safely after the changes already in force from the 17 May 2021 and those expected from the 21 June 2021. See https://lgaevents.local.gov.uk/lga/frontend/reg/thome.csp?pageID=417092&eventID=1220&CSPCHD=0030010000001G08CBLmfbPNiXOW6jy2Leao8M$ngxDr2nwjJ2

Finally, may we remind you to urge your members to complete the Shape of Events To Come Survey. Although it is due to close on Monday, it will be kept open for a few extra days to capture further responses that come in next week. See BVEP - Business Visits and Events Partnership - BVEP Calls on Industry for Contributions for 'Shape of Events to Come' Report at  https://www.businessvisitsandeventspartnership.com/news/bvep-press-releases/992-bvep-calls-on-industry-for-contributions-for-shape-of-events-to-come-report

Northern Ireland Executive confirms relaxation of COVID restrictions and announces green list countries

The Northern Ireland Executive has confirmed that certain restrictions will be eased from Monday 24 May. The summary of the relaxations agreed are:

  • Allow indoor visits in domestic settings, up to 6 people from no more than 2 households. This can be more if household has more than 6, but not more than 10. Overnight stays permitted.
  • Indoor visitor attractions can reopen, this includes amusement arcades, bingo halls, museums, galleries and cinemas. All contact details must be taken and retained.
  • Reopen the remainder of travel and tourism. All contact details must be taken and retained. Rooms/accommodation area booking in line with the permission re: indoor domestic settings/bubbles. Shared facilities will reopen, as well as meeting rooms – capacity will be to risk assessment maximum.
  • Post wedding and civil partnership receptions permitted. No restrictions on the top table, one dance permitted for the couple.
  • Reopen unlicensed and licensed premises indoors with mitigations. 6 people from unlimited households. More will be permitted per table, if all are from one household, to a maximum of 10. Table service only, and all contact details must be recorded and retained. No dancing or live music.
  • Other hospitality events, for example gala dinners, functions, ticketed or not can take place.  These are subject to other indoor hospitality requirements e.g. table seating, contact details, music etc.
  • For conference facilities in the tourism sector – the closure will be removed from the Regulations to allow use for other purposes to risk assessment capacity.
  • Increase numbers permitted for indoor gatherings (non-domestic). Subject to risk assessment per venue. Outdoor gatherings capacity increased to 500, or capped at risk assessment level if lower.

Read the full press release for more information.

The Executive has also agreed that from 24 May, the following countries will be added to a green list for international travel, meaning no isolation will be required upon return to Northern Ireland:

  • Portugal including the Azores and Madeira, Australia, Iceland, New Zealand, Faroe Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Gibraltar, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Brunei, Falkland Islands, Israel and Jerusalem, Singapore.

Travellers will be required to take a PCR test on day 2 after arrival.  This must be booked prior to travel. Travellers from Portugal, Israel and Jerusalem, and Singapore are also asked to take an additional free PCR test on day 8.

Find out more information here.
Update to levels and travel restrictions in Scotland

Following last week’s announcement, Moray will change protection level to Level 2 at midnight tonight (21 May). Glasgow will remain at Level 3 for at least another week. East Renfrewshire will remain at Level 2.

Travel from Scotland to Bedford, Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen will be restricted from 00:01 on Monday 24 May due to prevalence of coronavirus in these areas. This will be reviewed in a week along with the other measures announced today.

People can travel freely throughout most of Scotland and between most of Scotland and the rest of the UK, other than to, or from, Glasgow.

Find out more information here.

Other updates

  • Applications for the Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) Business Support (Wales) will open on 24 May and close at 17.00 on 7 June 2021. The ERF will provide support in the form of cash grants for businesses, social enterprises and charities and associated supply chain businesses that have experienced a material negative impact as a result of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. The grants will help meet operating costs (excluding staff wages) for the period 1 May 2021 to 30 June 2021. Review the criteria and check eligibility here.

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TIER UPDATE 20 MAY

Tourism Alliance’s Tourism Employment Survey to distribute - With the reopening of the tourism and hospitality sectors, one of the main issues that is arising is staff shortages with many businesses reporting that they are finding it difficult to recruit the staff they need. As such, at a recent Tourism Alliance Board meeting, it was agreed to undertake a short survey across the industry to gauge the extent of the problem so that this can be fed through to Government. Please distribute the short survey (10-question-survey for businesses which takes less than 5 minutes to complete) to your members and ask then to complete it by 28 May 2021? Here is the link - https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/9NBT6XX

Invitation to join VisitBritain/VisitEngland’s annual review and tourism recovery – 25th May 2021, 14:00-16:30 in person at IET London: Savoy Place or online (see details below the TIER Updates).

The following pages have been updated to state that claims for furlough days in May 2021 must be made by 14 June 2021:

Tuesday 25 May 2021, 14:00 - 16:30 GMT

Join us in person at

IET London: Savoy Place

2 Savoy Place

London

WC2R 0BL

Or online (details to follow) 

If you would like to attend in person, please respond asap to help us manage numbers, providing your: 

  • Name
  • Organisation
  • Job title
  • Telephone number
  • Contact email

Due to social distancing, numbers are strictly limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis

If you would prefer to attend virtually, please let us know in your RSVP and we will share joining instructions in due course.

 

RSVPRSVP

 

The Right Honourable Lord McLoughlin, Chairman of the British Tourist Authority, is delighted to invite you to our first hybrid event. Join him and our CEO, Sally Balcombe for the launch of our latest annual review and our priorities for 2021/22. You will be able to hear more about our plans to drive immediate tourism recovery, over the next year.

 
Taking place on Tuesday 25 May 2021 at 13:45, we plan to host this event in a hybrid format - join us either in person at the IET Savoy Place, 2 Savoy Place, London, WC2R 0BL or virtually – Please note this format is dependent on the progression to stage 3 of the Government roadmap. See the end of this invitation to find out about the measures in place at IET Savoy Place.

This is the first time we will be hosting such an event and as a valued partner, we are pleased to invite you to join us on the day in person. Due to social distancing, there are only a small number of spaces available at the event. We would be grateful if you could confirm whether you would like to attend in person by e-mailing corporateevents@visitbritain.org with your name, organisation, job title and telephone number, as soon as possible (by Monday 10 May), in order for us to manage numbers and ensure you have all of the information you require for the day. If you would prefer to attend virtually, please let us know in your RSVP. Please only accept to attend in-person if you are sure you will be able to attend so that we can offer any unallocated places to other invitees.

Places will be offered on a first come, first served basis. As the live element of this event is dependent of moving to step 3 of the UK Government’s roadmap, we will notify you week commencing Monday 10 May, in line with the Government announcement, to confirm if we will be able to accommodate guests at the venue. The alternative will be to join us virtually.

We look forward to hearing from you and hopefully seeing you soon.

TIER UPDATE 19 MAY 

This evening Health Secretary Matt Hancock led the press briefing, joined by Jonathan Van Tam and Jenny Harries. He outlined that due to hospitalisations and deaths remaining low, Step 3 had been possible but to move to Step 4 the four tests that were set out in the road map must be met and the final decision on this will be announced on 14 June.  He also said the early data suggests that the Indian variant does transmit more easily, but they have increasing confidence that the vaccine works against it.

During the Q+A a journalist from The Sun asked about travel, Matt Hancock said that they have been clear that people should not be travelling to Amber or Red list countries on holiday, people should only go to Amber or Red list countries for exceptional circumstances. People who return from Amber countries need to go through the testing regime and quarantine for 10 days.  He also said that 30,000 home visits have been carried out in the last week to check on people returning from Amber countries. Watch the full briefing here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w51l9BF6V1M

COVID-19 vaccination status scheme launches (Scotland)

A service that allows people travelling abroad to access their record of vaccination status has launched in Scotland. Only people planning to travel to a country or territory where a record of vaccination status is needed as an entry requirement should download the record or request it, either on the NHS Inform patient portal or in the post.

Read the press release here.

Other updates

 

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 19 May 2021

  • Guidance for Temporary Residents Unable To return To The UK

The Home Office has updated it’s guidance to say that that people who left the UK with valid leave before 17 March 2020 and intended to return to the UK and intended to make an application for Indefinite or Further Permission to Stay, but are unable to do so before their leave expired because of travel restrictions, now have until the 21st June 2021 to do this.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents

  • Jobs that Qualify For Travel Exemptions

The list of occupations that are exempt from travel restrictions has been amended to remove seafarers working on cruise ships from the exemption list for red list countries.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules

  • Resource Support for Businesses Updated

The Government’s resource support site has been revised to:

    • Include an updated webinar on the SEISS Fourth Grant
    • Include an updated webinar on the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme.
    • Include a new YouTube video for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-and-support-if-your-business-is-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19

  • Transport Use Figures

DFT’s transport new figures are out and cover the period up to and including 17th May. The figures for 17th May don’t show any noticeable change which isn’t too surprising for a Monday. Next week’s results will be far more instructive as to changing behaviour from the move to Step 3 as they will cover the first weekend under Step 3.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/transport-use-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic

  • Invitation to Home Office Briefing On Immigration Scheme

The Home Office has asked me to pass on an invitation for Tourism Alliance members (and your members) to attend two briefing sessions they are hosting on the new points-based immigration system and the EU Settlement Scheme on Friday 28th May 14:00-15:00 and Monday 14th June 13:00-14:00.

The briefings will cover:

    • The new points-based system - how does it work?
    • Employing an overseas workers - what is the sponsorship process?
    • What other immigration routes are there?
    • What is the EU Settlement Scheme? How can I support my EU National staff?
    • What support is available? Where can I find more information

You can register for the sessions using the links below:

The Points-based Immigration and EU Settlement Scheme- SME Stakeholders- Friday 28th May at 14:00

The Points-based Immigration and EU Settlement Scheme- SME Stakeholders- Mon 14th June at 13:30

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TIER UPDATE 18 MAY

Updates to the performing arts guidance

The working safely during coronavirus guidance on performing arts has been updated for Step 3 of the roadmap (from 17 May). Key information includes;

  • Indoor and outdoor performing arts venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas and dedicated grassroots music venues can open to the public.
  • Performance events with an audience are permitted, indoors and outdoors.
    • Events permitted in Step 3 (which include live performances) should follow all COVID-secure guidance, adhere to all legal requirements, and take all reasonable action to mitigate risk to public health.
    • Capacity caps apply to both indoor events (up to 1,000 people or 50% of a site or venue’s capacity, whichever is lower) and outdoor events (up to 4,000 people or 50% of a site or venue’s capacity, whichever is lower. Different capacity caps apply to larger venues and events.
    • Find out more information in the sections on changes to operations and meetings and events, and in the organised events guidance for local authorities.

Read the full performing arts guidance here.

Other updates

  • The online consultation for night flights restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports beyond 2024, plus national night flight policy has been extended to 11.59pm on Friday 3 September 2021. More information on the consultation and details on how to respond are available on GOV.UK.
  • New information has been added to the page on telling HMRC and paying back a SEISS grant, explaining when and how to tell HMRC about a tax return amendment if it affects your eligibility or grant amount. Links to more information on penalties and how HMRC can recover overpaid grants have also been added. (More info on TA update)

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 18 May 2021

  • Paying Back SEISS

HMRC has updated it’s guidance to explain when and how to tell them about a tax return amendment if it affects your eligibility or grant amount. Specifically, you must tell them if there is an amendment to any of your tax returns on or after 3 March 2021 which either:

  • lowers the amount of fourth grant you’re eligible for
  • causes you to no longer be eligible for the fourth grant

If your return has been amended before claiming your grant, you must tell them within 90 days of receiving your grant.

If your return has been amended after receiving your grant, you must tell them within 90 days of making the amendment.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tell-hmrc-and-pay-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-back

  • Domestic Cruise Ship Guidance Updated

The guidance has been updated to bring it into line with Step 3, meaning that Domestic cruises are now permitted in England. However, Domestic cruises can only operate with up to 1,000 passengers or 50% capacity (whichever is lower). Social distancing and social mixing rules still apply groups of more than 6 people or 2 households are not allowed to mix indoors.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-cruise-ship-travel

  • Let’s Do London: Tourism Recovery Campaign Briefing by London & Partners – 26 May

Last week I sent you information about the new £6m Let’s Do London campaign. Following on from this, London and partners is holding a briefing on the campaign at 11am – 12noon next Wednesday (26 May). At the briefing they will be:

  • Explaining how this campaign ties in with London & Partners’ new strategy and its place in the broader context of London’s recovery from the pandemic.
  • Providing insight into London’s key audiences, including their motivations and barriers to travel.
  • Explaining how to get involved in the recovery campaign and how best to use the Let’s Do London campaign toolkit and assets.

You can find out more about the briefing and register using the following link 

 https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lets-do-london-tourism-recovery-campaign-briefing-by-london-partners-tickets-15363125622

  • VisitEngland Domestic Consumer Sentiment Tracker

VisitEngland has published the results of wave 30 of its consumer sentiment tracker, which is based on fieldwork conducted between 4-9 May. While there are some positive gains in sentiment, there is no substantial bounce in trip intent. The good news is that almost half of the adult population now thinks the ‘worst has passed’ regarding the Covid situation (cf 38% last time), but this is tempered by only 61% of people think that a domestic holiday booked for August will actually go ahead.

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.
  • 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’.

https://www.visitbritain.org/sites/default/files/vb-corporate/covid-19_consumer_tracker_wave_30_final.pdf

------------------------------

TIER UPDATE 17 MAY

Health Secretary Matt Hancock today gave a statement in the House of Commons on COVID-19. He updated that second doses will be offered 8 weeks after the first jab for over 50s instead of after 12 weeks, and spoke about the surge testing taking place in Bolton. He also announced that those aged 37 and over can come forward for their vaccine from tomorrow. The statement is available to watch here.

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.

Spectators

  • 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).

UK Government publishes the Passenger COVID-19 Charter

The government has today published the Passenger COVID-19 Charter. This document brings together all guidance on rights, responsibilities, and reasonable expectations regarding international travel whilst COVID-19 measures remain in place. Please note that this is not new policy and does not place any further burden on transport and travel providers.

The Passenger COVID-19 Charter will support industry by bringing clarity to consumers through a trusted source in a clear and accessible format. To support stakeholder's communications, DfT has developed a summary of the Passenger Covid-19 Charter and a digital checklist for passengers to use when planning travel.

Read the press release for more information.

Glasgow Local Restrictions Grant

In response to the decision for Glasgow to remain at Level 3, the Glasgow Local Restrictions Grant will provide grants to specific businesses that are impacted by the decision made in response to rates of COVID-19.

This fund will provide grants of up to £750, depending on Rateable Value, to cover a weekly period, to specific businesses that previously received financial support through the Strategic Framework Business Fund or the Small Accommodation Providers Paying Council Tax Support Fund.

This fund provides further financial support of:

  • up to £750 of support to those sectors in Glasgow that remain closed in Protection Level 3 but which will be permitted to open or subject to less stringent restrictions elsewhere in Scotland from Monday 17 May 2021 in accordance with the roadmap.
  • up to £500 of support to the hospitality and tourism sector in Glasgow in recognition of the impact travel restrictions will have as only permitted travel in and out of the council area will be in force from 17 May 2021. It provides support to accommodation businesses that are otherwise ineligible for support at Protection Level 3.

Retail and sectors closed by law elsewhere in Scotland at Level 2 are not eligible for this additional support.

Grants will be processed by 21 May to eligible businesses and will be paid automatically to eligible businesses, there is no application process for this fund.

Find out more on eligibility and the amounts available here.

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’.

Other updates

The following pages have been updated in line with the move to Step 3 of the roadmap:

 

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 17 May 2021

  • Revised Guidance for Lounges

DCMS has received Cabinet Office approval to change the guidance for lounge areas in accommodation properties. The guidance now reads:

If you wish to provide food and drink to customers in a lounge - for example, if a hotel lounge is used to serve pre-dinner drinks as part of a meal - the lounge must be operated as a hospitality area and follow the requirements for hospitality venues. This includes ensuring that customers are seated while eating and drinking, and providing table service if your venue serves alcohol. 

  • Covid Travel Charter

To coincide with the easing of international travel restrictions, DfT have launched a Covid Travel Charter to inform the public of their rights, responsibilities and reasonable expectations regarding international travel whilst COVID-19 measures remain in place. The key components of the Charter are:

  • When making a booking check the terms and conditions to understand the impact if your plans change, such as in response to changes in restrictions or travel guidance.
  • Make sure you have travel insurance at the time of booking, that is suitable for your needs and travel plans, for both international and domestic travel. Please make sure you read and understand the terms and conditions of any travel insurance and check with the provider if you have any questions or concerns.
  • If your plans or circumstances change, in the first instance you should discuss any concerns with your travel provider (the organisation you booked with, for example if you booked a package holiday, you should speak to the company you booked it through) as soon as possible, to consider available options.
  • Additional checks are to be expected when travelling and you should allow for extra time during your journey for these.
  • You are responsible for making sure you have all the correct documentation ready for your journey. Guidance, advice and information about travelling, including entry requirements for the country you are travelling to, may be updated ahead of your travel dates. It is your responsibility to make sure you are regularly checking relevant information ahead of your trip. Rules and restrictions may be different in different parts of the UK (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) and so you should check the relevant guidance for the country you are in.
  • You may not be entitled to a refund, but you should speak to your travel provider to discuss options for amending your travel dates or destination, as soon as possible, in the event that:
    • the restrictions in the countries you are travelling to change
    • the rating under the government’s traffic light category changes for the country you are travelling to
    • any other COVID-19 restrictions changes affect your travel plans

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/passenger-covid-19-charter/passenger-covid-19-charter

  • Travel Guidance Updated

The main travel guidance document for people travelling overseas has also been updated.  There are four sections to this guidance:

  • What to do before you travel overseas
  • What to do while you are overseas
  • What to do in preparation for returning
  • What to do when you arrive

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

  • Guidance on Quarantining Updated

Further, the guidance on restrictions on travel into the country from Red list countries and the process for booking a quarantine hotel if you are, has been updated in light of the introduction of the traffic light system that was introduced earlier today. The guidance is essentially the same as previously as it’s  wording that’s changed – but it’s worth noting the update in case you get queries.

                https://www.gov.uk/guidance/booking-and-staying-in-a-quarantine-hotel-when-you-arrive-in-england

                Similarly, the guidance for people entering England from an Amber country has been updated and is applicable to both overseas visitors arriving into the country and UK national returning to England.

                https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-quarantine-when-you-arrive-in-england

  • Step 3 Posters

The Government has published posters that explain the main rules and restrictions associated with today’s move to Step 3. These posters are an excellent resource for making sure staff and customers are aware of the rules - they can also be added to websites or attached to booking confirmations so that customers know what to expect during this phase prior to arrival.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/986738/COVID-19_Roadmap_Posters_STEP_3_2021_digi.pdf

  • Updated Guidance On What You Can And Cannot Do

With the move to Step 3 today, the Government has updated the “What You Can and Cannot Do” guidance for the public to explain the changes. While there is nothing new or different in this to the guidance that has been provided to business, it is worth noting that this guidance now contains a new section providing guidance to people in areas where there is concern regarding the new variant that was first discovered in India. This section reads:

Be careful: a new COVID-19 variant is spreading in some parts of England

The areas in which the new COVID-19 variant is spreading fastest are:

Given the increased risk of transmitting COVID-19, you should take particular caution when meeting anyone outside your household or support bubble. This will keep yourself and others safe. In particular, wherever possible, you should try to:

  • Meet outside rather than inside where possible
  • Try to keep 2 metres apart from people that you don’t live with (unless you have formed a support bubble with them), this includes friends and family you don’t live with
  • Get tested twice a week for free and isolate if you are positive
  • Continue to work from home if you can
  • Get vaccinated when you are offered it, and encourage others to do so as well

You should get tested for COVID-19, this includes:

You should self-isolate immediately if you have symptoms or a positive test result for COVID-19. There is financial support if you’re off work because of coronavirus.

In addition, you should try to avoid travelling in and out of your local area unless it is essential, for example for work or education.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do

  • Test and Trace in the Workplace Guidance Updated

In line with the increased concern regarding the Indian virus, the guidance for businesses on undertaking Test and Trace in the Workplace has been updated to link with the guidance above.

                https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-workplace-guidance

  • WOTTOS Endorsement Scheme

While we are talking about workplace testing, DHSC has introduced the We Offer Testing to our Staff (WOTTOS) endorsement scheme.  This is a free voluntary promotional scheme for firms who are participating in the government’s free coronavirus workplace testing programme and offer regular twice weekly testing to their staff.            

Under the scheme, businesses that signed-up to the workplace testing programme before 12th April can download and use promotional materials that are available on the ordering platform where businesses orders their NHS Test and Trace workplace tests. In future, promotional material will be printed by DHSC and sent to organisations who are participating in the scheme.

                https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/we-offer-testing-to-our-staff-wottos-endorsement-scheme/we-offer-testing-to-our-staff-wottos-endorsement-scheme

  • Volunteering Guidance Updated

The guidance on volunteers has been updated in line with the move to Step 3. The main points are:

  • While volunteering, people can meet in groups of any size from different households, indoors or outdoors. Indoor venues should allow for social distancing to be maintained and have adequate ventilation.
  • Volunteers can also meet in groups for activities necessary for their volunteering, including recruitment and training. This does not include meeting in person as part of a social activity.
  • Volunteers who meet in groups or with others from outside their household or support bubble should be especially careful to follow social distancing guidance, or COVID-secure guidelines if volunteering in a workplace.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/enabling-safe-and-effective-volunteering-during-coronavirus-covid-19

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TIER UPDATE 14 MAY

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Professor Chris Whitty tonight provided an update on COVID-19 re: the ‘Indian variant’ - B.1.617.2. The Prime Minister updated on clusters of the B.1.617.2 strain including in Bolton and Blackburn. The Prime Minister’s full statement can be accessed here

The heritage locations guidance has been updated for Step 3 of the roadmap (from 17 May). Please see some key information below;

 From 17 May, the following will apply.

Heritage locations can open to the public.

  • This applies to indoor and outdoor heritage locations including stately and historic homes and castles, historic parks, gardens, landscapes, ruins and monuments. Locations can open indoor and outdoor facilities, including visitor centres.
  • Guests can visit these locations in line with the legal gathering limits. Outdoors, people can only gather in groups of up to 30 people (unless an exemption applies). Indoors, people can only meet in groups of up to 6 people, or as a group of 2 households/bubbles (unless an exemption applies). Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a bubble.

Indoor and outdoor activities and guided tours are permitted, but must operate within the legal gathering limits.

  • Activities and tours can be provided for a single permitted group of visitors (up to 30 people outdoors, or up to 6 people or 2 households/bubbles indoors, unless exemptions apply).
  • Activities and tours can also be provided for multiple groups, provided that the organiser takes the required precautions and groups are kept separate throughout the activity or tour. Each group must adhere to the legal gathering limits (up to 30 people outdoors, or up to 6 people or 2 households/bubbles indoors, unless exemptions apply).

The rules on meetings and events will change:

  • Indoor and outdoor events can take place, with COVID-secure measures and capacity limits in place. This includes business events such as conferences, trade shows, exhibitions, charity auctions, private dining events such as charity or gala dinners and awards ceremonies, and corporate hospitality. Events permitted from Step 3 should follow all COVID-secure guidance, adhere to all legal requirements, and take all reasonable action to mitigate risk to public health. Capacity restrictions will apply to both indoor and outdoor events. Further guidance can be found in the section on meetings and events, the guidance for visitor economy settings and the organised events guidance for local authorities.
  • In-person meetings can take place when reasonably necessary. However, businesses should not hold meetings for the purposes of gathering staff if they are not necessary. Business show-rounds, viewings and site visits can take place at heritage locations. You can find more information in the section on meetings and events and the guidance for visitor economy settings.
  • Weddings/civil partnerships, funerals and other life events can take place, however restrictions will apply to some types of event. Wedding show-rounds, viewings and site visits can take place at heritage locations. You should check the guidance on wedding and civil partnership receptions and celebrations and funerals and ensure you follow any relevant measures. You can find more information in the section on meetings and events.

Hospitality:

Visitor attractions and recreational venues:

For more detail please see the full guidance which also includes information on managing operations and managing visitors.

 Northern Ireland Executive announce relaxations and guidance on travel within the Common Travel Area

In a statement published yesterday, the Northern Ireland Executive has signalled a further set of relaxations. In relation to their previous decisions, which come into place on 24 May, subject to a review on the 20 May, they have decided the following:

  • The 6 people from two households has been amended to 6 people (from any number of households) for indoor hospitality. If only one household the maximum is 10.
  • For the remainder of tourist accommodation:

·                     shared facilities are able to open

·                     meeting rooms can reopen (capacity based on risk assessment)

  • Receptions for weddings/funerals are able to go ahead – no restrictions on top table, maximum of 10 at tables (no household restriction), one dance for the couple and background music only.
  • Dinners and other functions are permitted from 24 May subject to risk assessment on numbers and conference facilities are able to open from 24 May for use for activities other than conferences and exhibitions.
  • Indoor attractions – contact details must be taken and retained but capacity based on risk assessment.
  • Indoor gatherings (not domestic) – numbers permitted based on risk assessment, but where the gathering is for more than 15 people it must be an organised gathering with a risk assessment.
  • Visits indoors in domestic settings will be allowed. 6 people from no more than 2 households. Does not include children under 12.  Can be more if household has more than 6, but not more than 10. Overnight stays are permitted.
  • Outdoor gatherings – Maximum of 500 or as per risk assessment (whichever is the lower). Any gathering of over 30 people outdoors must be an organised gathering and will require a risk assessment.
  • The ‘Stay Local’ message will be removed and the focus will be on behaviour of people.

From 21 June the Executive has agreed to remove the restriction on audiences in seated theatres and concert halls and other venues and to the return of conferences and exhibitions. These decisions will be subject to review in June. 

In relation to travel within the CTA, which is currently subject to advice and guidance, the Executive has decided to remove the essential travel reasons requirement and retain the guidance on self-isolation and add two new exemptions to this:

  • visits to family and friends;
  • those who have completed mandatory managed quarantine on arrival at a point of entry elsewhere in the CTA and travelled directly to NI.

Those exempt from self-isolation will be asked in guidance to take a pre-departure LFD test, and LFD tests and days 2 and 8 post arrival in NI.

If people are arriving into Northern Ireland from within the Common Travel Area and they plan to remain here for at least 24 hours, public health advice is that they should self-isolate upon arrival for 10 days, unless they are exempt.

Read the full statement here.

Wales moves to alert level 2

First Minister Mark Drakeford announced today that Wales will move into alert level 2 on Monday 17 May. The changes to the coronavirus restrictions, which will come into force from Monday 17 May include:

  • Indoor hospitality can re-open – 6 people from up to 6 households (not including children under 11) can book.
  • All holiday accommodation can re-open fully.
  • Entertainment venues, including cinemas, bingo halls, bowling alleys, indoor-play centres and areas, casinos, amusement arcades, and theatres can re-open. Cinemas, theatres concert halls and sports grounds can sell food and drink as long as it is consumed in a seated area for watching the performance.
  • Indoor visitor attractions, including museums and galleries can re-open.
  • Up to 30 people can take part in organised indoor activities and up to 50 people in organised outdoor activities. This includes wedding receptions and wakes.

New international travel rules for Wales

International travel will restart for people in Wales from Monday 17 May, the Welsh Government has confirmed today. As part of changes to Wales’ coronavirus regulations, people living in Wales will be able to travel to some overseas destinations without the need to quarantine on their return.

A traffic lights system, aligned with England and Scotland, will be introduced. Countries will be classified as green, amber and red, depending on their rates of coronavirus.

Mandatory quarantine is in place for all people returning to the UK from countries on the amber and red lists. All people returning from overseas travel must have a PCR test.

Under the international travel rules:

  • People arriving from green-list countries are not required to quarantine on their return to Wales, but they must book and pay for a mandatory PCR test on or before day two of their return. All travellers and members of their household will also be reminded about the availability of additional lateral flow tests to continue to monitor their health.
  • People arriving from amber-list countries are required to quarantine for 10 days at home on their return. This is a legal requirement. They are also required to book and pay for mandatory PCR tests on day 2 and on day 8. Wales does not operate a test-to-release scheme where an additional test can be taken on day 5 to reduce the period of quarantine.
  • People arriving from countries on the red list are required to quarantine for a full 10 days on arrival in the UK at a designated UK port in a government-managed facility – a ‘covid hotel’ – at their own cost, starting from £1,750 per person. All UK entry points for arrivals from red-list countries are in England and Scotland, which means Welsh residents returning from those countries will need to quarantine outside Wales. Travellers are also required to book and pay for mandatory PCR tests on day 2 and day 8.

From Monday 24 May, a paper-based vaccination status will be available for people in Wales who have had 2 doses of vaccination and need to urgently travel to a country that requires covid vaccination proof.

Glasgow and Moray to remain in level 3, financial support announced

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed today that due to rising case numbers of COVID-19, Glasgow and Moray will remain at level 3 for another week.

In response, the Moray Local Restrictions Grant will provide grants to specific businesses in Moray that are impacted by the decision. This fund will provide grants of up to £1,500, depending on Rateable Value, to cover up to a two-week period, to specific businesses that previously received financial support through the Strategic Framework Business Fund or the Small Accommodation Providers Paying Council Tax Support Fund.

This fund provides further financial support of:

  • Up to £1,500 of support to those sectors in Moray that remain closed in Protection Level 3 but which will be permitted to open or subject to less stringent restrictions elsewhere in Scotland from Monday 17 May 2021 in accordance with the Scottish Government’s Routemap.
  • Up to £1,000 of support to the hospitality and tourism sector in Moray in recognition of the impact travel restrictions will have as only permitted travel in and out of the council area will be in force from 17 May. It provides support to accommodation businesses that are otherwise ineligible for support at Protection Level 3.

Grants will be processed by 21 May to eligible businesses and will be paid automatically to eligible businesses, there is no application process for this fund.

Find out more on eligibility and the amounts available here. Information for local authorities is available here.

Other updates

·                     Updated Stakeholder Extranet page with links to key assets

·                     Travel abroad: step by step

·                     Red, amber and green list rules for entering England

Please send any queries to internationaltravelresponse@dft.gov.uk.

  • Guidance for managers of venues that host wedding ceremonies, civil partnerships and receptions has been published on GOV.UK.
  • The Freelancer Fund in Wales will open for applications at midday on Monday 17 May. The fund supports freelancers in the arts, creative industries, arts and heritage, events, culture and heritage. The fund will also support freelancers who work in events that have been significantly impacted by the pandemic, including those working in weddings and corporate events, but not sport events. To find out more and to check eligibility, visit Business Wales COVID-19 support for business at midday on Monday 17 May 2021.

 

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE 14 MAY

  • International Travel Restart Stakeholder Communications Toolkit

Following the Transport Secretary’s announcement that international travel can gradually resume from 17 May, DFT has produced the attached Stakeholder Toolkit for businesses to communicate the new traffic light regime and the associated requirements for travellers. Contents include: digital assets, key messages, and example vaccine and testing documentation.

  • DHSC Guidance on Test and Trace

I’ve also attached a copy of a presentation that DHSC officials gave to the Tourism Industry Council yesterday. This is a good resource that explains the requirements on businesses.

  • Primary Guidance for Heritage Locations Updated for Step 3

A little bit last minute but the primary guidance for heritage locations has now been updated to include more detail on the rules and requirements that will apply to these businesses and sites from Monday. The main points are:

  • Guests can visit these locations in line with the legal gathering limits. Outdoors, people can only gather in groups of up to 30 people (unless an exemption applies). Indoors, people can only meet in groups of up to 6 people, or as a group of 2 households/bubbles (unless an exemption applies). Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a bubble.
  • Activities and tours can also be provided for multiple groups, provided that the organiser takes the required precautions and groups are kept separate throughout the activity or tour.
  • Indoor and outdoor events can take place, with COVID-secure measures and capacity limits in place. This includes business events such as conferences, trade shows, exhibitions, charity auctions, private dining events such as charity or gala dinners and awards ceremonies, and corporate hospitality.
  • Weddings/civil partnerships, funerals and other life events can take place, however restrictions (such as the number of guests who can attend) will apply to some types of event. Wedding show-rounds, viewings and site visits can take place at heritage locations.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/heritage-locations

  • Guidance for Places of Worship

The primary guidance for places of worship has also been updated ahead of Step 3. The main changes are:

  • Most significant life events can resume, limited to no more than 30 people. This will include events such as bar/bat mitzvahs and private baptisms, and naming ceremonies. Limits at weddings, wedding receptions, wakes and other commemorative events will be increased to 30 people.
  • Funerals will have no legal cap on the number of people who can attend. The number of attendees will be determined by how many people the venue can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place.
  • Support groups and parent and child group gathering limits will increase to 30 people (not including under 5s).
  • New CMA Guidance on Package Holidays

Following-up on yesterday’s letter to businesses selling package travel, the CMA has published new guidance for consumers on buying package holidays, what their rights are if the business selling the package cancels the holiday and what their rights are if they decide to cancel the holiday.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/package-holiday-refunds-and-cancellations/information-about-package-holiday-refunds-and-cancellations

  • Wales Confirms Move to Alert Level 2

The First Minister has confirmed that Wales will move into alert level 2 on Monday. This means that:

  • Indoor hospitality can re-open – 6 people from up to 6 households (not including children under 11) can book
  • All holiday accommodation can re-open fully
  • Entertainment venues, including cinemas, bingo halls, bowling alleys, indoor-play centres and areas, casinos, amusement arcades, and theatres can re-open. Cinemas, theatres concert halls and sports grounds can sell food and drink as long as it is consumed in a seated area for watching the performance
  • Indoor visitor attractions, including museums and galleries can re-open
  • Up to 30 people can take part in organised indoor activities and up to 50 people in organised outdoor activities. This includes wedding receptions and wakes.
  • International travel will resume but extra safeguards will be put in place for people returning from some countries to prevent coronavirus re-entering Wales.

https://gov.wales/wales-moves-alert-level-2

  • Scottish Update

The First Minister has announced that, although the rest of Scotland will move to Alert level 2 on Monday, Glasgow and Moray will remain on Alert Level 3. People are being asked not to travel in or out of Glasgow and Moray for the coming week, unless the journey is for permitted purposes.

                https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/

  • Northern Ireland

To complete news from the Home Nations, I have also attached a statement from the First Minister regarding the reopening of tourism businesses on 24th May (subject to a review on 20th May). One point to note is that the advice is not to travel in or out of Northern Ireland except where it is essential to do so.  If you are arriving into Northern Ireland from within the Common Travel Area and you  plan to remain here for at least 24 hours, public health advice is that you should self-isolate upon arrival for 10 days.

  • R Number and Growth Rate

This week’s R Number and Growth Rate are, respectively,  0.8 to 1.1 and -3% to +1%. This is the first time that the upper bound of the growth rate has exceeded 0 since mid-January which is a slight worry.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-r-value-and-growth-rate

-------------------------------

TIER UPDATE 13 MAY

Please note that it has been confirmed that conference and exhibition centres are out of scope of requiring track and trace but individual catering outlets within the centres are in scope and require visitors to either scan the official NHS QR code or provide contact details for each person on each occasion of use. Using Track & Trace on entry does not negate this requirement.

  • Test and Trace – Outdoor Events

DCMS and DoH have produced the following guidance on the application of Test and Trace to Outdoor Events

Many outdoor events are not currently included in the scope of the Collection of Contact Details Regulations (Test & Trace), unless taking place at a venue specifically listed in the Regulations, and as such are not required to display an official NHS QR code or ask customers and visitors for their contact details. These include, for example, agricultural shows, funfairs, fetes, flower shows, literary fairs, festivals and car boot sales.  

Event organisers may still wish to support test and trace by asking visitors for their contact details and displaying an official NHS QR code, but they are not required to do so. 

Any eat-in hospitality venues within these events (even if outdoors) are in scope of the Regulations and are required to request that all customers and visitors either scan the official NHS QR code or provide contact details, and must refuse entry to anyone that chooses not to do so. This applies to the area of the hospitality venue only – it does not change the requirements for the wider event premises.  

A full list of venues which are in scope of the Regulations and must display an official NHS QR code and request customer, visitor, and staff contact details can be found here

  • Lounges Clarification

I’ve had a number of queries regarding the primary guidance for Hotel and Other Accommodation with regard to lounges. The new updated guidance for Step 3 states that:

Communal spaces such as lounges or lobbies may remain open to guests, but no food or drink should be served. People should be encouraged not to gather in these spaces, and to observe social distancing at all times.

I have raised this issue with DCMS and am awaiting clarification, but it would seem that the guidance hasn’t properly differentiated between communal lounges such as those in B&Bs where all the seating is together and lounge bars in hotels where the seating and function are more akin to restaurant or pub settings and should follow that guidance. I will let you know when I get clarification on this.

  • Proving Vaccination Status

The guidance on how people prove their vaccination status when travelling overseas has been updated to say people who do not have access to the NHS smartphone app and have to call the NHS helpline on 119 and ask for a letter that confirms their status should expect to wait 7 working days for the letter to arrive.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/demonstrating-your-covid-19-vaccination-status-when-travelling-abroad

  • CMA Letter on to Package Travel Industry

You will have seen on the news that the CMA has written to the package Travel Industry ahead of Monday’s reopening of international travel to remind businesses of the need to comply with the requirements of the Package Travel Regulations. Please note that these requirements also apply to the domestic tourism industry were products are sold that combine two of  accommodation, transport, car hire and “other tourism services” as a package or a linked travel arrangement. If you have any queries about what constitutes a Package or Linked Travel Arrangement, just let me know.

Here is a copy of the CMA letter

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/985949/Open_letter_to_package_travel_companies_May_2021_HV_edit.pdf

  • ONS Economic Activity Survey

ONS has published the results of this week’s economic activity survey which includes data on restaurant bookings. This week’s results are:

  • In the week to Monday 10 May 2021, the average estimate for UK seated diner reservations was 60% of the level seen in the equivalent week of 2019.
  • However, this is 5% down on the previous week
  • In London bookings decreased by 3%  to 34%
  • By contrast, in Manchester there was a 10% increase to 102% of the 2019 level

https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/economicoutputandproductivity/output/bulletins/economicactivityandsocialchangeintheukrealtimeindicators/13may2021

-----------------------------

TIER UPDATE 12 MAY

Below is EIF Test & Trace Statement:

After much negotiation we have now got DCMS/DHSC to agree to the statement below about Test & Trace requirements for outdoor events, which I hope will help to clarify the situation better?   We have asked to remove the word ‘Many’ at the beginning but they are insistent that there may be some events within scope.   The statement below will now appear in our guidance and will be added to all their appropriate guidance:

  • Many outdoor events are not currently included in the scope of the Collection of Contact Details Regulations (Test & Trace), unless taking place at a venue specifically listed in the Regulations, and as such are not required to display an official NHS QR code or ask customers and visitors for their contact details. These include, for example, agricultural shows, funfairs, fetes, flower shows, literary fairs, festivals and car boot sales.  
  • Event organisers may still wish to support test and trace by asking visitors for their contact details and displaying an official NHS QR code, but they are not required to do so. 
  • Any eat-in hospitality venues within these events (even if outdoors) are in scope of the Regulations and are required to request that all customers and visitors either scan the official NHS QR code or provide contact details, and must refuse entry to anyone that chooses not to do so. This applies to the area of the hospitality venue only – it does not change the requirements for the wider event premises.  
  • A full list of venues which are in scope of the Regulations and must display an official NHS QR code and request customer, visitor, and staff contact details can be found here

Finally, please note that information on conference and exhibition settings which are currently out of scope will be clarified further tomorrow.   

Updates for Wales

The First Minister today confirmed that up to six people from six different households will be able to meet in indoor regulated settings, such as cafes and pubs, when they open from May 17.

Further support for Welsh businesses

Businesses in Wales still affected by coronavirus restrictions will be able to claim up to £25,000 more in support to help meet ongoing costs. This latest support package will help those businesses, which remain affected by restrictions, to meet ongoing costs through to the end of June as they prepare for re-opening and more normal trading conditions.

Businesses that stand to benefit include:

  • nightclubs and late entertainment venues
  • events and conference venues not covered by the Welsh Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund (CRF)
  • hospitality and leisure businesses, including restaurants, pubs and cafes
  • supply chain business, which have been materially impacted by restrictions.

An eligibility checker will open on the Business Wales website at midday on 17 May so businesses can find out how much support they are likely to be entitled to and how to apply. Businesses will be able to submit applications by the end of the month and they will receive between £2,500 and £25,000 depending on their circumstances. Funding will be calculated based on the size of the business and the type of restrictions they are under.

Other updates:

  • The Prime Minister has announced that the Government will launch a full independent inquiry in to the Government’s handling of coronavirus – starting in Spring 2022.
  • Apprenticeship guidance updated to say that from 17 May all apprentices in higher education can return to in-person teaching and learning.

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 12 May 2021

  • Tourism and GDP

With the GDP figures for March being published today, there was the opportunity to compare tourism to other sectors of the UK economy. The key figures are:

    • UK GDP rose 2.1% in March
    • Manufacturing rose by 1.9%
    • The Service Sector rose by 1.9%
    • Accommodation and Food Services sector’s contribution to growth was - 0.2%

https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/articles/coronavirusandtheimpactonoutputintheukeconomy/march2021

  • Right to Work Checks

With many tourism businesses planning to reopen next week and many people reporting labour shortages, it is important to note that the Government’s guidance on the requirements for businesses to check applicants right to work in the UK are about to change. From 20 June 2021, the temporary COVID-19 relaxation of the right to work checks will end and employers will have to go back to face to face and physical document checks as set out in legislation and guidance.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-right-to-work-checks

  • Test and Trace Payment Support Eligibility

The guidance on the eligibility criteria for the £500 Test and trace payment has been updated to provide clarity. Typically people have to receive a benefit such as Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit or Housing benefit but people not receiving a qualifying benefit may be able to apply if they:

    • Meet the other criteria
    • Are on a low income
    • Will face financial hardship as a result of self-isolating

Councils will tell applicants what counts as low income and financial hardship, and whether they eligible.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/test-and-trace-support-payment-scheme-claiming-financial-support/claiming-financial-support-under-the-test-and-trace-support-payment-scheme

  • Transport Use

The latest DfT figures are out and show that there has been no change in the use of publish transport since England moved to Step 2 on 12th March with national rail use at around 37% and bus use being around 60%. In London, tube use remain less than 40% of usual. It will be interesting to see how much this changes next week.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/transport-use-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic

  • Changes to restrictions in Scotland

The First Minister has confirmed that from 17 May.

    • Up to six people from three households will be able to meet in each other’s homes or gardens without physical distancing
    • Up to six people from three households will be able to meet indoors in places such as pubs, cafes and restaurants, while up to eight people from eight households will be able to meet outdoors
    • Pubs and restaurants will be able to serve alcohol indoors until 10:30pm in two-hour booked slots
    • Venues including cinemas, theatres, concert halls, music venues, comedy clubs, amusement arcades, casinos, snooker halls and bingo halls will be able to reopen
    • Events will resume with a maximum capacity of 100 people indoors, 250 outdoors where there is unrestricted standing and 500 for events with seating. Organisers will be allowed to apply to hold bigger events
    • Outdoor contact sports and indoor group exercise classes will be able to restart
    • Amateur performing arts groups will be able to perform outdoors

https://www.gov.scot/news/next-steps-out-of-lockdown/

  • International travel into Scotland

From 17 May, Scotland will move to a traffic light system that, at present, mirrors the England traffic light system

    • Anyone entering Scotland from a red list country will be required to isolate in a managed isolation hotel for 10 days. The red list countries includes Turkey, the Maldives and Nepal, which were added to the England red list today.
    • Entering Scotland from an amber list country will require self-isolation at home for 10 days, with two tests taken within that period.
    • Entering Scotland from a green list country will require a PCR test to be taken after arrival, but there will be no requirement to self-isolate.
    • Countries on the green list are: Australia, Brunei, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Iceland, Israel, New Zealand, Portugal, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Singapore, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

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TIER UPDATE 11 MAY

Changes to restrictions in Scotland

In her statement today, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that all of mainland Scotland, with the exception of Moray which will be decided by the end of this week, will move to Level 2 on 17 May.

This means that on 17 May:

  • Up to six people from three households will be able to meet in each other’s homes or gardens without physical distancing
  • Up to six people from three households will be able to meet indoors in places such as pubs, cafes and restaurants, while up to eight people from eight households will be able to meet outdoors
  • Pubs and restaurants will be able to serve alcohol indoors until 10:30pm in two-hour booked slots
  • Venues including cinemas, theatres, concert halls, music venues, comedy clubs, amusement arcades, casinos, snooker halls and bingo halls will be able to reopen
  • Events will resume with a maximum capacity of 100 people indoors, 250 outdoors where there is unrestricted standing and 500 for events with seating. Organisers will be allowed to apply to hold bigger events
  • Outdoor contact sports and indoor group exercise classes will be able to restart
  • Amateur performing arts groups will be able to perform outdoors

Also on 17 May, the following areas will move to Level 1: The Western Isles, Shetland, Orkney, all islands in the Highlands (except for Skye), the Inner Hebrides islands in Argyll, including Islay, Jura and Mull.

Find out more information and read the updated what you can and cannot do page here.

International travel into Scotland

From 17 May, Scotland will move to a traffic light system, informed by risk assessments prepared by the Joint Biosecurity Centre. The system will categorise countries as red, amber or green.

  • Anyone entering Scotland from a red list country will be required to isolate in a managed isolation hotel for 10 days. Due to changes coming into force from tomorrow, these red list countries will include Turkey, the Maldives and Nepal.
  • Entering Scotland from an amber list country will require self-isolation at home for 10 days, with two tests taken within that period.
  • Entering Scotland from a green list country will require a PCR test to be taken after arrival, but there will be no requirement to self-isolate. The green list will initially be the same as that in place for England but will be subject to review based on Scotland’s specific needs.
    • Countries on the green list are: Australia, Brunei, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Iceland, Israel, New Zealand, Portugal, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Singapore, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

Find out more information.

Updates to the hotels and other guest accommodation guidance

The hotels and other guest accommodation guidance has been updated to include measures that will apply from Step 3 from 17 May in England. Please see a summary of the changes below, see the full guidance for more detail.

Business operations

  • 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. People should stay socially distanced from anyone they do not live with or share a bubble with.
  • Where reasonably necessary, there is an exemption to the social contact limits for residential visits organised by schools, colleges, further education and higher education providers for educational or educational training purposes. See the full guidance for more information on educational bubbles. More information is also available in the guidance for schoolsfurther education colleges and providers and higher education providers.
  • Residential trips for out-of-school settings, such as youth groups and children’s extra-curricular clubs, should be restricted to groups of up to 6 people or 2 households/support or childcare bubbles, including supervising adults. More information is available in the guidance for out-of-school settings.
  • 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. Also check the guidance for sport facilitiesclose contact services and retail shops, stores and branches to ensure the relevant requirements are adhered to. See the section on hospitality in the hotel guidance and the guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services for other relevant measures.
    • 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 operationschanges to facilities and services and hospitality.
  • For existing bookings, if guests are not able to take a planned holiday due to coronavirus restrictions, accommodation providers should give guests a chance to cancel their bookings. If a booking is cancelled, either by the guest or the provider, we encourage accommodation providers to offer alternative dates if this can be agreed with the customer. If this cannot be arranged, we expect businesses to provide a refund depending on the terms of the booking contract.

Business meetings and events

  • Permitted venues (including guest accommodation) can hire out function and event spaces for essential work, education and training, where these events cannot reasonably be conducted remotely.
  • Permitted venues (including guest accommodation) can host business meeting/event show-rounds, viewings and site visits for the purpose of viewing the venue for a future booking.
  • Indoor and outdoor business events can take place. This includes conferences, trade shows, exhibitions, charity auctions, private dining events such as charity or gala dinners and awards ceremonies, and corporate hospitality.
  • More information is available in the section on meetings and events and the guidance for visitor economy settings.

Other updates

  • How to quarantine when you arrive in England has been updated to include the ability of amber and green arrivals to travel to a test site for their day 2 and day 8 tests.
  • The Welsh Government has announced a proposed list of pilot events to take place over the forthcoming weeks. Cardiff’s Eid at the Castle celebration and Tafwyl have been confirmed for this week, with other proposed events in discussion. Read the announcement.

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 11 May 2021

  • Primary Guidance for Hotels and Other Accommodation Updated

The Working Safely during Coronavirus Guidance for accommodation businesses has now been updated to include the rules and restrictions that apply for Step 3. The main points are:

    • Overnight stays in guest accommodation are restricted to groups of up to 6 people or 2 households/bubbles
    • Where reasonably necessary, there is an exemption to the social contact limits for residential visits organised by schools, colleges, further education and higher education providers for educational or educational training purposes
    • Residential trips for out-of-school settings, such as youth groups and children’s extra-curricular clubs, should be restricted to groups of up to 6 people or 2 households/support or childcare bubbles, including supervising adults.
    • 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.
    • Indoor and outdoor business events can take place. This includes conferences, trade shows, exhibitions, charity auctions, private dining events such as charity or gala dinners and awards ceremonies, and corporate hospitality.
    • There will be no restrictions on domestic travel

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/hotels-and-other-guest-accommodation

  • Test and Trace Guidance Updated

The guidance on Test and Trace requirements for businesses has been updated to include further detail related to the move to Step 3 next week. While there is nothing particularly new in the guidance it is worth noting the businesses that are in scope – and therefore the businesses that are out of scope (such as outdoor attractions and events).

Hospitality businesses in scope (which need to make all reasonable efforts to refuse entry to people who do not provide their details):

    • restaurants, including restaurants and dining rooms in hotels or members’ clubs
    • cafes, including workplace canteens
    • bars, including bars in hotels or members’ clubs
    • public houses

Leisure and tourism businesses in scope (which do NOT need to make all reasonable efforts to refuse entry to people who do not provide their details): :

    • amusement arcades
    • betting shops and bingo halls
    • casinos
    • cinema
    • clubs providing team sporting activities
    • concert venues
    • facilities for use by elite and professional sportspeople (including sports stadia)
    • heritage locations and attractions open to the public (including castles, stately homes and other historic houses)
    • hotels and other guest accommodation provided on a commercial basis, including in bed and breakfast accommodation, boats, campsites, caravans, chalets, guest houses, holiday parks, hostels, motels, pubs, sleeper trains and yurts
    • indoor sport and leisure centres, including gyms
    • outdoor swimming pools and lidos
    • museums and galleries
    • theatres

                https://www.gov.uk/guidance/maintaining-records-of-staff-customers-and-visitors-to-support-nhs-test-and-trace

  • Quarantine Guidance Update

The guidance on quarantining on arrival into England has been updated regarding day 2 and day 8 tests. The guidance now states that tests may be taken in your own accommodation, or at a test site if you have only been in amber or green list countries in the 10 days before your arrival to England.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-quarantine-when-you-arrive-in-england#testing-in-quarantine

  • Demonstrating vaccine Status When Travelling Abroad

The guidance has been updated to reflect that you must wait at least 5 working days after you’ve completed your course of the vaccine before asking for a letter confirming your vaccination status to be posted to you. The letter can take up to 5 working days to reach you. It will be sent automatically to the address registered with your GP.

              https://www.gov.uk/guidance/demonstrating-your-covid-19-vaccination-status-when-travelling-abroad

  • Traffic Light Methodology

The Government has updated the document in which it outlines it methodology on how it assigned different countries to Green, Amber and Red categories by including a link to more information on Variants of Concern and Variants Under Investigation.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-risk-assessment-methodology-to-inform-international-travel-traffic-light-system/risk-assessment-methodology-to-inform-international-travel-traffic-light-system

How this was applied to the different countries can be seen on this link

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-informing-international-travel-traffic-light-risk-assessments/risk-assessment-methodology-data

-----------------------------------------

TIER UPDATE 10 MAY

Today the UK COVID-19 alert level was reduced from level 4 to level 3 following a joint statement by the UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) recommending this change.

This afternoon the Prime Minister held a press briefing confirming England will move to Step 3 on 17 May. He outlined the measures that will change from that date. See changes below. The Prime Minister also said that subject to the impact of these relaxations on the data, we are on track to move to Step 4 on 21 June.

The what you can and cannot do guidance  for England has been updated with measure that will change from 17 May.

  • Gathering limits will be eased. Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 30 people and indoor gatherings will be limited to 6 people or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).
  • Indoor entertainment and attractions will be permitted to open with COVID-secure measures in place including cinemas, theatres, concert halls, bowling alleys, casinos, amusement arcades, museums and children’s indoor play areas.
  • People will be able to attend indoor and outdoor events including live performances, sporting events and business events. Attendance at these events will be capped according to venue type, and attendees should follow the COVID-secure measures set out by those venues.
  • Indoor hospitality venues such as restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes can reopen.
  • Organised indoor sport will be able to take place for all (this includes gym classes). This must be organised by a business, charity or public body and the organiser must take reasonable measures to reduce the risk of transmission.
  • All holiday accommodation will be open (including hotels and B&Bs). This can be used by groups of up to 6 or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).
  • Funeral attendance will no longer be limited to 30 people, but will be determined by how many people the COVID-secure venue can safely accommodate with social distancing. Limits at weddings, wakes and other commemorative events will be increased to 30 people. Other significant life events, such as bar/bat mitzvahs and christenings, will also be able to take place with 30 people.
  • There will no longer be a legal restriction or permitted reason required to travel internationally. There will be a traffic light system for international travel, and you must follow the rules when returning to England depending on whether you return from a red, amber or green list country.
  • New guidance on meeting friends and family will emphasise personal responsibility rather than government rules.

Other updates

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 10th May

  • Confirmation of Move to Step 3

The Prime Minister has confirmed that England will move to Step 3 on 17th May as planned. As detailed previously in the roadmap this means:

    • Indoor hospitality can reopen
    • Indoor attractions can reopen
    • Indoor entertainment can resume, including cinemas, museums, and children’s play areas.
    • Up to 6 people or 2 households will be able to meet indoors and up to 30 people outdoors.
    • All remaining outdoor entertainment can reopen, such as outdoor cinemas and performances
    • Some larger events will be able to take place, including conferences, theatre and concert performances, and sports events. (although restrictions on the number of attendees will remain)
    • Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions, and commemorative events

There will be a significant amount of business guidance that will be updated in the next few days to reflect the move to Step 3. One of the core guidance documents is the primary Working Safely During Coronavirus guidance for Hotels and other accommodation. Speaking to DCMS this morning, they are hoping that this guidance will be published tomorrow or Wednesday.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-easing-of-covid-restrictions-confirmed-for-17-may

  • Coronavirus Restrictions: What You Can And Cannot Do

One of the main Guidance documents for the public has been updated in line with the Prime Minister’s Announcement.  The main changes are:

    • Gathering limits will be eased. Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 30 people and indoor gatherings will be limited to 6 people or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).
    • New guidance on meeting friends and family will emphasise personal responsibility rather than government rules. Instead of instructing you to stay 2m apart from anyone you don’t live with, you will be encouraged to exercise caution and consider the guidance on risks associated with COVID-19 and actions you can take to help keep you and your loved ones safe. Remember that the risks of close contact may be greater for some people than others and in some settings and circumstances, there will be specific guidance that you will need to follow even when you are with friends and family.
    • Indoor entertainment and attractions such as cinemas, theatres, concert halls, bowling alleys, casinos, amusement arcades, museums and children’s indoor play areas will be permitted to open with COVID-secure measures in place.
    • People will be able to attend indoor and outdoor events, including live performances, sporting events and business events. Attendance at these events will be capped according to venue type, and attendees should follow the COVID-secure measures set out by those venues.
    • Indoor hospitality venues such as restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes can reopen.
    • Organised indoor sport will be able to take place for all (this includes gym classes). This must be organised by a business, charity or public body and the organiser must take reasonable measures to reduce the risk of transmission.
    • All holiday accommodation will be open (including hotels and B&Bs). This can be used by groups of up to 6 or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).
    • Limits at weddings, wakes and other commemorative events will be increased to 30 people. Other significant life events, such as bar/bat mitzvahs and christenings, will also be able to take place with 30 people.
    • There will no longer be a legal restriction or permitted reason required to travel internationally. There will be a traffic light system for international travel, and you must follow the rules when returning to England depending on whether you return from a red, amber or green list country.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do

  • Move to Level 3

To facilitate the move to Step 3 on 17th May, the UK Chief Medical Officers and NHS England National Medical Director agree that the UK alert level should move from level 4 to level 3.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/covid-19-alert-level-update-from-the-uk-chief-medical-officers-10-may-2021

  • Let’s Do London Launched

The London Mayor has launched a new £6m Let's Do London campaign. This is a year-long campaign bringing together London’s leading hospitality, culture and retail organisations to attract Londoners and visitors from across the UK back to the capital and support jobs. The campaign will include a major advertising push supported by TfL, alongside new content on the Visit London website outlining all the campaign has to offer to Londoners and visitors to the capital. The campaign has been developed through a recovery committee co-chaired by Kate Nicholls and Bernard Donoghue and aims to address the significant issues faced by the London tourism industry through very low inbound tourism, domestic tourists favouring rural and seaside destinations and many businesses not planning to have workers return to the office for some considerable time.

I’ve attached a release on the campaign that has lot more detail.

  • Transport Secretary’s Statement to Parliament

The Transport Secretary has published a statement to parliament on the re-opening of international travel on 17th May which restates the traffic light system, but he says that with the roll-out of vaccine programmes increasing overseas, he is hopeful of adding more countries to the green list  as the summer progresses. However, he cautions that this will be done slowly, and green list countries will be placed on a “watchlist” if we start to have concerns.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/transport-secretarys-statement-on-coronavirus-friday-7-may-2021

  • HMRC Webinar on the SEISS

HMRC have updated their guidance on support for businesses by adding a catch-up  webinar on the fourth grant of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). The webinar discusses the aim of the scheme, who can apply, how much you may be entitled to, how to claim the fourth grant, and what happens after you have claimed.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-and-support-if-your-business-is-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19

------------------------------------

TIER UPDATE 7 MAY

UK Government announces countries on the red, amber and green list

In a press conference today Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that non-essential international leisure travel from England will be permitted from 17 May, but strict border control measures will remain in place. The Global Travel Taskforce’s traffic light system, which classifies countries by risk as red, amber or green, will be in place from 17 May.

He announced:

  • Australia, Brunei, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Iceland, Israel and Jersualem, New Zealand, Portugal (including the Azores and Madeira), Singapore, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha will all be on the green list, and people can travel to these countries from 4am on 17 May.
  • The Maldives, Nepal and Turkey will move to the red list at 4am on Wednesday 12 May.

The full list of which countries are in which classification and the rules for each is available here.

Additional comments from the press conference

When asked why there were so few countries on the green list, Grant Shapps said they are taking cautious steps and the Joint Bio Security Centre will review every 3 weeks. Checkpoints are in place to keep track of any countries moving between levels.

Updates to the visitor economy guidance

The visitor economy section of the working safely during coronavirus guidance has been updated to reflect step 3 (no earlier than 17 May) of the roadmap.

In Step 3, the following measures 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 organised events guidance for local authorities.

Tours and transport services:

  • 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.
  • Private aircraft and hired self-fly aircraft are permitted for groups of up to 6 people or 2 household/bubbles. You can find more information in the guidance on safer travel, and guidance on international 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. You can find more information in the section on changes to operations.
  • 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.

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 7 May 2021

  • Demonstrating Vaccine Status When Travelling Overseas

The DoH has published new guidance for people intending to travel overseas on how to demonstrate their vaccine status. The key point is that people will be able to access their COVID-19 vaccination status through the  NHS App from 17 May. Those without app can request a letter to verify their vaccination status.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/demonstrating-your-covid-19-vaccination-status-when-travelling-abroad

  • Kickstart Scheme Guidance Update

The guidance for employers recruiting a young person through the Kickstart scheme has been updated. As you will be aware, employers  taking part in the scheme are given £1,500 per job for setup costs and employability support. This funding can be spent on:

  • Training and employability support (provided by the employer, Kickstart gateway or another provider)
  • IT equipment and software
  • Uniform or Personal Protective Equipment

The guidance has been updated to state that DWP may ask employers for their records to prove that they’ve spent this funding on setup costs and supporting the young person’s employability.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-employers-apply-for-a-kickstart-scheme-grant-kickstart-gateway

  • Social Impacts of Coronavirus

ONS has released another report in their series on the social impact of coronavirus. Todays report indicates that peoples’ behaviour is starting to return to normal as reopening continues. Some of the key findings are:

  • Just 21% of adults reported staying home or only leaving home for essential reasons this week – down from 65% in mid-January.
  • 56% of adults met up with someone outdoors this week – up from 19% in mid-March
  • 60% adults left home for work this week – which is the same level as  October 2020 before the second lockdown

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandthesocialimpactsongreatbritain/7may2021

  • R Rate and Growth Number

And finally, as it’s the end of the week, here’s the R Number and Growth Rate  - which are, respectively, 0.8 to 1.0 and -3% to 0%. There are the same as they were at this time last month.

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TIER UPDATE 6  MAY

Updates to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • Claims for furlough days in April 2021 must be made by 14 May 2021.
  • The 11th release of Official Statistics on CJRS is available. This release provides analysis of claims for periods up to 31 March 2021. The data used includes claims submitted to HMRC by 14 April 2021.

(see more details on Tourism Alliance Update)

Other updates

Member updates

ALVA has shared their latest visitor sentiment research; Top-line take outs include:

  • Since early March there has been a further very strong positive shift in appetite for visiting attractions when they re-open. In particular, much of the large ‘stubbornly cautious’ segment are now at least beginning to consider visiting
  • With visit appetite now way higher than at the point when attractions re-opened in 2020, we might expect higher demand than last year – particularly once the ‘wait and see’ segment are reassured on safety
  • Although still lower among those aged 55 or over, visit appetite has grown significantly across all age groups since early March and regional differences have disappeared
  • However, even with the perceived success of the vaccine rollout and continued declining infection rates, there is a lingering nervousness about the visit attraction experience when returning to visit – particularly around crowds and distancing
  • Three-quarters of the attractions-visiting public are not yet ready to remove Covid-19 safety measures, again especially those focussed on distancing
  • Once vaccines have been fully rolled out to the population, there is notable support for some form of ‘proof of vaccination or exemption’ to gain entry to attractions, particularly indoor venues
  • 80% of the attractions-visiting public in London would now use public transport to visit attractions

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 6 May 2021

  • ONS Economic Indicators

The latest findings from ONS’s economic indicator series estimates that UK seated diner reservations on Saturday 1 May 2021 were at 71% of the level seen on the same Saturday of 2019, up 9 percentage points from the equivalent figure in the previous week. This follows the reopening of restaurants, cafés and bars in Scotland and Wales on 26 April 2021, and Northern Ireland on 30 April 2021.

Estimates for Manchester and London on Saturday 1 May 2021 had increased by 7 and 2 percentage points from the previous week to 90% and 43% of the levels seen on the equivalent Saturday of 2019, respectively. These slight increases follow the notable rise in estimates seen for Manchester and London since outdoor dining re-opened in England on 12 April 2021

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/coronavirustheukeconomyandsocietyfasterindicators/6may2021

  • CJRS Statistics Updated

HMRC’s has produced the latest update of it ongoing analysis of the CJRS. The latest release cover the period up to 31st March 2021, so before Step 2 and therefore do not give an accurate picture of the current situation. Nevertheless, the analysis does show, yet again, that up until that during Step 1 of the roadmap, the tourism and hospitality continued to be the sector most impacted by coronavirus. The main findings were that, as of 31st March:

    • 4.2 million people were on furlough
    • This represents 14% of positions eligible for Furlough – a decrease from 16% at the end of February
    • The ten industry groups with the highest take up rates at 31 March 2021 are air passenger transport, hotels and similar accommodation, holiday and short-stay accommodation, beverage serving activities, photographic activities, travel agency and tour operator activities, gambling and betting activities, sports activities, amusement and recreation activities, and other personal service activities
    • 1.06 million people in the Accommodation and Food Service sector were on furlough, down from 1.19m the previous month
    • The 1.06m people on furlough in Accommodation and Food Service represent a quarter of all people on furlough
    • Within this, pubs and bars had 78% of staff on furlough, down from 92% the previous month
    • 70% of people in the accommodation industry were on furlough, down from 75% the previous month

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-6-may-2021/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-6-may-2021#employments-on-furlough-over-time-by-industry

  • CJRS Guidance Update

Speaking of the CJRS, there has been an amendment to the CJRS guidance to remind businesses that claims for furlough days in April 2021 must be made by 14 May 2021.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

  • G20 Tourism Ministers Meeting

The G20 Tourism Ministers met to discuss and build consensus around policy priorities and guidelines to support the sustainable and resilient recovery of travel and tourism and its contribution to global growth. Here’s a link to the communique from the meeting where endorse the G20 Rome Guidelines for the Future of Tourism and commit to take action in seven key interrelated policy areas:

    • Safe mobility: developing confidence in safe international mobility, enabling us to support, complement and coordinate with safe international mobility initiatives
    • Crisis management: minimising the impact of future crises affecting tourism
    • Resilience: securing a robust and stable tourism sector in uncertain times
    • Inclusiveness: widening community engagement and benefits from tourism
    • Green transformation: managing tourism to sustain global and local environments
    • Digital transition: enabling all tourism stakeholders to benefit fully from digital opportunities
    • Investment and infrastructure: focusing resources on a sustainable future for tourism.

https://www.g20.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Communique_final.pdf

                And if you are wondering what the G20 Rome Guidelines for the Future of Tourism are, here’s a link to that document.            

https://www.g20.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/G20-Rome-guidelines-for-the-future-of-tourism_OECD-report-to-G20-TWG_CLEAN-COVER.pdf

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TIER UPDATE 5 MAY

G7 leaders meet to plan for the safe return to international travel

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps joined a G7 leaders meeting to identify common goals and principles that will help develop globally recognised standards for when international travel reopens. This includes best practices for sharing scientific data and promoting coordination on universally recognised travel certificates.

At today’s meeting, the Secretary of State also outlined the UK government’s approach to reopening international travel through the recommendations of the Global Travel Taskforce report. Published last month, the report sets out a framework to restart international travel from 17 May at the earliest through the introduction of a traffic light system.

Test & Trace: Contact Details Briefing session 

As we move towards Step 3 of the Prime Minister’s roadmap out of lockdown, many venues across our sectors will be preparing to re-open, some of which will be required to follow the updated guidance and regulations on capturing contact details by asking all customers and visitors to check-in to their venues upon arrival. The check-in process will allow individuals to be notified and receive public health advice as quickly as possible. This will play an important part in protecting public health and reducing transmission of COVID-19. 

Ahead of 17 May, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) are hosting a briefing session to outline the venue check-in process, on Thursday 6 May, 14:30-15:15 or Tuesday 11 May, 15:30-16:15

During the session, DHSC will provide details on what the regulations mean; the supporting materials available, including posters and guidance sheets and an opportunity to ask questions to DHSC. 

There is no registration link, please join at the time of the meeting via these links:

Thursday 6 May, 14:30-15:15 Meeting Link 

Tuesday 11 May, 15:30-16:15 Meeting Link 

Other Government updates

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS – 5 May

  • Distribution of ARG Funding

The latest figures on the distribution of ARG funding have been released by BEIS and show that there are still a significant number of councils in tourism areas that are not getting this funding to businesses quickly enough. The new figures are to the end of March, so they are about five weeks in arrears, but even so there are some councils that have barely started distributing this funding to business. Some examples are:

    • Stratford upon Avon has only distributed £74k of the £3.8m that they have received (just 2%) – this is the same as they reported as having distributed in February so they haven’t distributed anything during March
    • Southampton has only distributed £216k of the £7.3m that they have received (just 3%) – they reported distributing £207k at the end of February so they only managed to distribute £9k during March
    • Kingston Upon Thames has now distributed £659k  (up from £137k last month) but this is still just  13% of what they have received
    • Southend has distributed just £12.6k to six businesses since November 2020 – this is just 0.2% of the £5.1m that they have received.

Bear in mind that to be eligible for the next tranche of ARG funding, councils have to distribute this funding by 30 June - so they now have less than two months to do this.

It is worth businesses that have applied for ARG funding checking the distribution figures for their council to ensure that they are not dragging their feet on providing businesses with much needed support.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-grant-funding-local-authority-payments-to-small-and-medium-businesses

  • West End Footfall

The New West End Company is undertaking a daily survey of footfall in London’s main shopping area. With the May Bank Holiday I thought it would be worthwhile to share the results. For the week covering the Bank Holiday, footfall was down 56% compared with 2019 and, more worryingly, was down 9% on the previous week. In terms of the year so far, footfall is down 79% compared with the same period in 2019.

  • Transport Use

DFT has released it’s weekly update on transport usage which suggests that public transport use continues to remain static with use of rail being only about a third of normal, while bus use remains at about 60%. The one change is in the use of the Tube in London which reached 45% of normal over the bank Holiday weekend – which is the highest level since before the start of coronavirus last year which is a welcome sign.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/transport-use-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic

TIC Update 05.05.21

G20 Tourism Ministers meeting

G20 Tourism Ministers met yesterday to discuss and build consensus around policy priorities and guidelines to support the sustainable and resilient recovery of travel and tourism and its contribution to global growth. All the adopted documents can be accessed here. See also the Italian G20 Presidency Twitter account and the Minister’s tweet here.

Levelling Up Fund Appraisal Guidance 

MHCLG has produced its appraisal guidance for Levelling Up Fund for Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Levelling Up Fund will directly support communities across the UK, making available up to £4.8 billion up to 2024-25 for capital investment in local infrastructure. It will be allocated competitively and open to all local areas across the UK.

Bidders must submit their application in full with all supporting documentation to the following email address levellingupfund@communities.gov.uk by noon 18 June 2021

Other updates

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TIER UPDATE 4 MAY

Update to restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services guidance (England)

The guidance has been updated with some information for Step 3 (no earlier than 17 May) of the roadmap and contains steps to protect yourself, your staff and your customers during coronavirus. In addition to the info below, business should make sure that they are familiar with the UK government guidance to ensure that they make their business safe during coronavirus.

Following the move to Step 3, businesses will be able to:

  • Reopen indoor areas of their venues.
  • Serve customers in groups of up to 6 or 2 households indoors, or in groups of up to 30 outdoors.
  • There will also be some relaxation of rules around live performances, business events and soft play areas.

Businesses may wish to erect outdoor shelters. To be considered ‘outdoors’, shelters, marquees and other structures can have a roof but need to have at least 50% of the area of their walls open at all times whilst in use.

Table service will be required for venues that serve alcohol, even if no alcohol is ordered, this means customers must order, be served and eat/drink while seated. If a venue does not serve alcohol, customers can order and collect food and drink from a counter. But they must consume food and drink while seated at a table.

Entertainment within or outside restaurants, pubs, bars

At Step 3, no earlier than 17 May, more types of socially distanced indoor and outdoor events are allowed.  Some types of events, including live performance events and business events, should have a cap on attendance of:

  • 1,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower - indoors
  • 4,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower - outdoors

These events should be ticketed. Read the organised events guidance for more information on the types of event subject to these requirements.

If businesses are organising a performance event, they also should read the performing arts guidance. If they’re organising a business event, they should also read the visitor economy guidance.

Any events should be held in a separate room from regular food and drink customers to prevent mixing with event attendees.

Businesses can continue to provide other types of entertainment to food and drink customers. The following guidance should be followed: 

  • Determine the viability of entertainment and maximum audience numbers. Make this consistent with social distancing outside and within venues, and with other safety considerations.
  • Prevent entertainment, that is likely to encourage audience behaviours with increased transmission risk. For example, loud background music, communal dancing, group singing or chanting.
  • Reconfigure your entertainment spaces to ensure customers are seated rather than standing. For example, repurposing dance floors for customer seating.
  • Communicate clearly to customers your arrangements for entertainment. Clearly supervise them with extra staff if appropriate.

Changes to shops and branches guidance (England)

At Step 3, customers may attend shops in groups of up to 6 people or 2 households of any size indoors; or in groups of no more than 30 people outdoors.

Group/Coach visits & guided tours (Wales)

In the Welsh regulations, day visits to outdoor attractions and retail are now possible, and multi-day coach/group trips will be able to go ahead once serviced accommodation, indoor hospitality and indoor attractions re-open (signalled for 17 May onwards).  

The Guidance for Tourism and Hospitality businesses has been updated and includes information for:

Operators of road, rail, tramway and water passenger services (e.g. coach, bus and tour operators, heritage railway and boat trips)  - These are defined as Public Transport Services under the Coronavirus Regulations - the Welsh Government has issued Guidance on public transport (updated as of 12 April).

All tourism and hospitality businesses in Wales should also refer to section 7 of the Guidance for Tourism and Hospitality businesses (specifically group visits and organised activities) in respect of limits on the numbers of people that can gather in respective environments (including considerations around household mixing and organised activities).

Culture, heritage destinations and venues guidance updated (Wales)

Guidance for organisations and individuals in Wales who manage culture and heritage destinations and venues that are open to the public is available on Gov.Wales.

Accepting bookings from extended households (Wales)

From 3 May, holiday accommodation operators in Wales can accept bookings for stays in self-contained accommodation from those who have formed an extended household ("bubble") in accordance with the Welsh coronavirus Regulations. Customers from outside Wales wishing to book holidays must also comply with the law as it applies to Wales, as well as any restrictions on travelling that apply in the country they come from. Tourism and hospitality businesses in Wales must also take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to the virus and should not knowingly accept customers in breach of the restrictions.

COVID-19 checklists for tourism and hospitality businesses (Wales)

Updated checklists are available to support the Guidance for Tourism and Hospitality businesses. These checklists outline the key measures for Social Distancing, Hygiene and Keeping Records you should implement to keep your staff, customers and visitors safe. 

Other updates:

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 4 May 2021

  • Coronavirus APPG Report

No doubt you saw in the news over the weekend that the Coronavirus APPG released a short report that stated that:

The UK government should discourage all international leisure travel to prevent the importation of new variants into the UK, in order to reduce the risk of a third wave and further lockdowns. This recommendation should be implemented immediately and reviewed on a quarterly basis.

While this is deeply unhelpful to reopening the international tourism industry and has no real chance of being adopted by the Government which plans to announce the details of the traffic light system to reopen international travel later this week, it is also worth noting that the report  did have some worthwhile recommendations regarding:

  • The need for the government to provide adequate financial support to businesses operating in the travel industry.
  • The need for an international standard for proof of negative Covid-19 test and/or proof of vaccination
  • The need for adequate resources to be allocated to covid security at ports of entry

Extension to Payment Deadlines

Payment deadlines have been extended for the following schemes:

  • LRSG (Open)
  • LRSG (Sector)
  • LRSG (Closed)
  • LRSG (Closed) Addendum
  • LRSG (Closed) Addendum: Tier 4
  • LRSG (Closed) Addendum: 5 January onwards (first 6-week payment only)
  • Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment.

Local Authorities now have until 14th May 2021 to make payments to businesses that have applied for any of these schemes.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-restrictions-support-grants-lrsg-and-additional-restrictions-grant-arg-guidance-for-local-authorities

  • Compliance With Self-Isolation Requirements

ONS has published the results of a survey on compliance with self-isolation. The headline figure is that 84% of people who are told to self-isolate are complying with the requirements over the full 10 day period which is good news. However, that still means that almost 1 in six people are not complying and, more worryingly, almost a quarter of the people not complying are still going to work. It is therefore important that businesses make sure that staff that have been told to self-isolate, do not return to work.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandselfisolationaftertestingpositiveinengland/12aprilto16april2021

  • Relaxation On Attendance At Funerals

Over the weekend the Government announced that the number of people allowed to attend funerals would be relaxed as part of Step 3. This means that, from 17th May, there will be no set limit on the number of people able to attend a funeral in England. Rather, the number of people who can attend a funeral will be determined by how many people the venue can safely accommodate with social distancing between each household. 

However, this relaxation does not apply to weddings and other life events where limits on the number of people that can attend will remain the same as set out in the Government’s roadmap.

                https://www.gov.uk/government/news/limit-on-mourners-at-funerals-to-be-removed

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TIER UPDATE 30 APRIL

Coronavirus restrictions relaxations confirmed in Wales
The Welsh Government has confirmed changes to the coronavirus restrictions in Wales from Monday 3 May in line with the First Minister’s announcement last week of potential further easing of the rules. Read more here.

Apply for the Large NAV Business Grant Scheme in Northern Ireland
Eligible business are encouraged to apply for the Large NAV Business Grant Scheme before the deadline. The scheme will provide financial support to businesses occupying large commercial premises with a Net Annual Value (NAV) of over £51,000 and which also qualified for the 12 months rates holiday.

The online portal will close for applications at 11.59pm on Wednesday 5 May. Check eligibility and apply here.

Daily TIER updates will resume after the bank holiday on Tuesday 4 May, unless there is an important update that needs sharing.

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 30 APRIL

  • ONS Social Impacts Research

The latest social impact research has been published by ONS. The key points of interest from this are:

    • Following the easing of lockdown restrictions, 33% of adults left home this week to meet others in a public place compared to just 26% last week
    • 15% of people left home to undertake leisure activities compared to 12% last week
    • 85% of people are maintaining social distancing when they meet with others
    • 55% of people are still worried about the impact of coronavirus on their lives

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandthesocialimpactsongreatbritain/30april2021

  • Trace and Trace Workplace Guidance

The Department of health has updated its workplace trace and trace guidance by removing the action cards that it had produced for use in different business types. It’s uncertain as to whether they will be producing a new set of action cards but in the meantime it is worth advising businesses that it they are using the existing action cards, these are now out-of-date and should be removed. If businesses need further guidance on what to do if they, or someone they employ, is contacted by NHS Test and Trace, this information is available on the following link.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-workplace-guidance

  • BVA BDRC Recovery Tracker

I’ve attached the latest copy of the BVA BDRC clearsight recovery tracker that was published today. Some of the key findings are:

    • Optimism seems to have stalled as the percentage of people that think the worst is over has remained at 38-40% for the last two months
    • Only 6% of people used a train in April – while this is up significantly since lockdown, it is still only about a third of normal usage
    • Between 30-40% of people are comfortable taking public transport compared to 70-75% pre covid
    • While holiday booking levels have increased in April, they remain historically low with only 2.1% of the popn booking a UK holiday in the last month
    • The percentage of people booking flights and overseas holidays is extremely low at just half a percent.
    • People want self-catering accommodation with 65% of people saying they feel comfortable with this compared to just 51% feeling comfortable staying in a hotel
    • 60% of people feel comfortable about taking a holiday in the UK compared to just 31% saying that they are comfortable taking an overseas holiday
    • The number of people going to outdoor attractions is at it’s highest level since October
    • 60% of people feel comfortable at an outdoor attractions while only about 40% of people feel comfortable about visiting an indoor attraction
  • VisitEngland Consumer Sentiment Tracker

VisitEngland has released to results of their latest consumer sentiment tracker which covers 19-23 April.  Intent to travel has not changed much, with 15% of UK adults anticipating an overnight domestic trip this spring and 34% this summer (versus 14% and 35% last wave), although booking behaviour for summer trips continues to move (slowly) in the right direction, with 26% now claiming to have booked their trip (up from 22%).  Also positively, we’re continuing to see the likelihood to take day trips showing signs of growth, with almost a quarter of adults saying they intend to take one during the next two weeks, led by visits to countryside/village destinations.

    • The national mood is up 0.1 point to 6.7/10
    • 45% of adults expect ‘normality’ by end of this year – up 1 point compared to last wave.
    • 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.
    • Confidence is up significantly, with 44% fairly/very confident a trip booked for this June could proceed as planned (climbing 6 points)
    • 15% anticipate taking an overnight trip this spring (Apr – June) rising to 34% during the summer (July – Sept) which is stable wave-on-wave.
    • Among those who are intending to take a trip this summer, 33% have reached the planning and 26% the booking stages of their trips, which is up from 29% and 22% respectively last wave.
    • The leading destination type for spring trips is ‘countryside or village’ (29%) narrowly ahead of ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’ (28%).  The pattern is similar for the summer period.
    • The accommodation types most likely to be used on overnight trips this spring are ‘commercial rentals’ (e.g. holiday cottages) on 40%, ‘camping/caravan’ (also 40%), a ‘private home’ (38%) and ‘Hotel/motel/inn’ (37%). 

https://www.visitbritain.org/covid-19-consumer-sentiment-tracker

  • Latest R Number and Growth Rate

Lastly, the latest R number and Growth rate for England are, respectively, 0.8 to 1.1 and -4% to -1%. While this is pretty must the same as last week, it is the first time that the top of the R Number range has been above 1.0 since 29 January which is a slight concern.

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TIER UPDATE 29 APRIL

 Government updates:

·         The support for businesses affected by coronavirus page has been updated with a new video about the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

·         New data is available on the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the UK economy

 VisitEngland consumer sentiment tracker

The results of wave 29 of the consumer sentiment tracker are available on the VisitEngland website. The fieldwork for this wave was conducted between 19-23 April.  Intent to travel has not changed much, with 15% of UK adults anticipating an overnight domestic trip this spring and 34% this summer (versus 14% and 35% last wave), although booking behaviour for summer trips continues to move (slowly) in the right direction, with 26% now claiming to have booked their trip (up from 22%).  Also positively, we’re continuing to see the likelihood to take day trips showing signs of growth, with almost a quarter of adults saying they intend to take one during the next two weeks, led by visits to countryside/village destinations.

Other points of note from Wave 29:

·         The national mood is up 0.1 point to 6.7/10

·         Virtually the same proportion consider the ‘worst is still to come’ compared to Wave 28 (18%).

·         45% of adults expect ‘normality’ by end of this year – up 1 point compared to last wave.

·         The Appetite for Risk score climbs to 2.6/4.

·         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.

·         Confidence is up significantly, with 44% fairly/very confident a trip booked for this June could proceed as planned (climbing 6 points)

·         15% anticipate taking an overnight trip this spring (Apr – June) rising to 34% during the summer (July – Sept) which is stable wave-on-wave.

·         Among those who are intending to take a trip this summer, 33% have reached the planning and 26% the booking stages of their trips, which is up from 29% and 22% respectively last wave.

·         The South West remains the lead region for spring and summer trips, being the location of choice for a quarter of intenders.

·         The leading destination type for spring trips is ‘countryside or village’ (29%) narrowly ahead of ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’ (28%).  The pattern is similar for the summer period.

·         The accommodation types most likely to be used on overnight trips this spring are ‘commercial rentals’ (e.g. holiday cottages) on 40%, ‘camping/caravan’ (also 40%), a ‘private home’ (38%) and ‘Hotel/motel/inn’ (37%).  Again, we see a very similar pattern for summer trips.

·         45% of UK adults intend to take a day trip to a ‘countryside or village’ destination later this spring or summer and 44% to a ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’.  This compares with 25% intending to visit a ‘large city’.

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 29 APRIL

Economic Impact of Coronavirus

The latest instalment of ONS’s ongoing survey of economic indicators has been published. Some of the main findings of interest to the sector are:

·         On Saturday 24 April 2021, estimates for UK seated diner reservations were at 62% of the level seen on the equivalent Saturday of 2019 - an increase of 2% from the previous week

·         The percentage of people dining out in London and Manchester fell by 3% and 2% to 41% and 83% respectively

·         While credit and debit card expenditure is tracking at 98% of normal, spending on social activities that includes hospitality and tourism is only 71% or normal.

·         58% of people are travelling to work – a 3% increase from last week

·         The percentage of adults that travelled to undertake non-essential shopping this week increased from 20% to 28%

·         Interestingly, the number of job adverts in travel and tourism is at the same level it was in 2019

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/coronavirustheukeconomyandsocietyfasterindicators/29april2021#uk-spending-on-debit-and-credit-cards

Updated Business Support Guidance

HMRC’s business support guidance has been updated to include a revised video explaining Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-and-support-if-your-business-is-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19

Guidance on Facilities

With the May Bank Holiday almost here and some businesses using this as their reopening date, I’ve been getting a number of queries related to the use of facilities. It’s worth going through the Visitor Economy guidance and the Hotel and other accommodation guidance in this regard as it is import to remember that although holiday parks, camping grounds and self-catering complexes are able to open, some of their facilities will not be able to be made available to customers. This includes facilities such as saunas and steam rooms, indoor play and recreation facilities like soft play areas for kids, and indoor waterparks.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/the-visitor-economy

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TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE  28 APRIL

  • The DoT updated their weekly transport figures but there was no change from last week on public transport use.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/transport-use-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic

  • The Covid guidance for Scotland was updated to take account of changes announced on the 26th April

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-individuals-and-businesses-in-scotland

  • There was a very minor amendment to the guidance on the one-off £500 payment for working households receiving tax credits of no real consequence

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-one-off-500-payment-for-working-households-receiving-tax-credits

The one item of consequence today is that DCMS have announced that they have extended the deadline for DMO review submissions from today until 4th May 2020.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/independent-review-of-destination-management-organisations-dmos-consultation

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TIER UPDATE 27 APRIL

Check In Scotland launches
A new digital service to support businesses in collecting contact details for contact tracing purposes, Check in Scotland, is now available in participating venues. Businesses that can use Check in Scotland include:

  • pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes
  • tourism and leisure businesses, such as theme parks, museums and cinemas
  • close contact services, including hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, tattooists, sports and massage therapists
  • services run by local councils, such as libraries, leisure centres and registration offices

Find out more information.

Other updates

  • A statement of support was issued yesterday by members of the live events and music industry for COVID status certification to enable the safe reopening of events from Step 4 of the government roadmap. The statement is attached to this email.

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 27 APRIL

  • Reporting Self-Isolation Payments

HMRC has published guidance for the self-employed and employees on how to report coronavirus self-isolation support payments on their Self Assessment tax return. This relates to the £500 payment they are entitled to under the Trace and Trace Support payment Scheme in England and the it’s equivalents in Scotland and Wales.

                For those that are self-employed or a partner in a trading partnership:  

    • If your relevant trading profits for tax year 2020 to 2021 total £6,475 or more, you’ll pay Class 2 National Insurance contributions.
    • If your profits are £9,501 or more, you’ll also pay Class 4 National Insurance contributions.

Relevant profits include trading profits from all of your self-employments and partnerships.

When calculating your relevant profits, you must include the total of your self-isolation support payments.

    • If your total relevant profits for tax year 2020 to 2021 are below £6,475, you do not need to make any adjustments to your profits for the Class 2 National Insurance contributions exemption.
    • If your total relevant profits for tax year 2020 to 2021 are £6,475  or more, you may have to make an adjustment for the Class 2 or Class 4 National Insurance contributions exemption. You should enter the amount of the self-isolation support scheme payments received in the ‘Adjustment to profits chargeable to Class 4 National Insurance contributions’ box on either your self-employed pages or partnership pages.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-reportself-isolation-support-payments

  • Airlines Fined For Passengers Without Correct Paperwork

The Department for Transport has issue a press release stating that, since 11th February, the CAA has issued 630 fines to airlines for carrying passengers without the right documents. Carriers are legally required to ensure that all passengers arriving in the UK have;

    • proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 3 days before departure
    • a completed passenger locator form, including the correct test booking reference number for managed quarantine or mandatory testing

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/630-fines-issued-to-airlines-carrying-passengers-with-incorrect-paperwork

  • Test And Trace Update

The DoH Test and Trace guidance has been updated to inform people that there are actually two different NHS Test and Trace portals, if you are contracted, you will be directed to sign into one or other of these. The two portals are

This is worth knowing to prevent people thinking that a text from Test and Trace may be a scam because it directs people to a different website than one that a colleague may be directed to.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works

  • Event Research Programme Update

The Events Research Programme has been updated so as to disapply the relevant parts of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/364) to the Good Business Festival and Circus Nightclub in Liverpool and to the Sefton Park Pilot Musical Event in order that these events can take.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/event-research-programme-ministerial-directions

  • Social Impacts of Coronavirus

ONS has published another report on the social impacts of coronavirus which provides useful insights  on customer behaviour for businesses and destinations that have either reopened or are looking to reopen on 17th May. Among the findings are:

    • Households with children most frequently reported they were worried or very worried about the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on their lives, especially in London 
    • Adults belonging to households with children, and adults in two person households where one person was aged over 65 years were the groups who most frequently reported that they were worried or very worried about the effect of the coronavirus
    • Most adults across all household types in Great Britain reported they had left their home in the past seven days 
    • 70% of workers in London were working at home in the last lockdown
    • Adults in two person households under 65 years consistently reported being able to save money in the next 12 months, above the national average in all periods, and households with children were least likely to report being able to save. 
    • Single adults aged 16 years to 64 years are least likely to think life will return to normal in less than a year

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandthesocialimpactsonhouseholdsinsubnationalareasingreatbritain/2020and2021

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TIER UPDATE 26 APRIL

Northern Ireland extend payments to businesses under two COVID business support schemes

The Northern Ireland Executive has announced the extension of payments to businesses under the COVID Restrictions Business Support Scheme (CRBSS), Part A and Part B, and the Large Hospitality and Tourism Business Support Scheme (LHTBSS). Both payments will continue up until 23 May for those businesses who remain eligible. Top-up payments will automatically be issued to eligible businesses under both schemes in line with ongoing restrictions.

Other government updates:

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 26 APRIL

  • Coronavirus Restrictions

The guidance on Coronavirus restrictions has been updated to include a new section on travel to and from Scotland in order to take account of the changes that come into play today. In case you were wondering, there are now no restrictions on entering or leaving Scotland as long as you are travelling within the UK or Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. Non-essential travel between Scotland and the Republic of Ireland remains restricted under Scottish law, but the restriction will be kept under review. Under the restrictions it is illegal to travel between Scotland and the Republic of Ireland unless you have a reasonable excuse and travelling for a holiday is not a reasonable excuse.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do

  • Coronavirus And The Outdoors

ONS has published research on trends in the types of outdoor activity that people have been undertaking over the last year which will be of interest to outdoor attractions and destinations. The research has found that:

    • The percentage of people visiting an outdoor attraction has stayed at around 10% over the first two weeks of Step 2
    • Visits to parks are above normal levels for this time of year
    • The level of exercise that people do declines when we come out of lockdown

https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/environmentalaccounts/articles/howhaslockdownchangedourrelationshipwithnature/2021-04-26

  • Payments for NI Businesses

The Northern Ireland Executive has announced the extension of payments to businesses under the COVID Restrictions Business Support Scheme (CRBSS), Part A and Part B, and the Large Hospitality and Tourism Business Support Scheme (LHTBSS)  until 23 May for those businesses who remain eligible. Top-up payments will automatically be issued to eligible businesses under both schemes in line with ongoing restrictions.

https://www.economy-ni.gov.uk/news/dodds-announces-payments-be-extended-under-two-business-support-schemes

  • Resilient Firms

ONS has produced a regression analysis to indicate which industries and firms were most resilient to coronavirus in terms of turnover. Unsurprisingly, the analysis should that tourism relates businesses were the least resilient. Here’s a link to the data tables that you can download

https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/business/activitysizeandlocation/datasets/industriesandfirmswhereturnoverwasresilientduringthecoronaviruscovid19pandemicfirmlevelregressiontables

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TIER UPDATE 23 APRIL 

Further relaxations in Wales

In his statement today, the First Minister for Wales Mark Drakeford confirmed further relaxations that will take place from Monday 26 April in addition to those announced earlier this week. Outdoor attractions, including outdoor swimming pools, funfairs and theme parks, will be allowed to reopen, while outdoor hospitality can also resume, including at cafes, pubs and restaurants.

Organised outdoor activities for up to 30 people will be able to take place and weddings receptions can begin again outdoors for up to 30 people.

He also announced further relaxations from 3 May. This includes:

  • Gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities being able to reopen
  • People will be able to form extended households with one other household.

This means Wales will have completed the move to Alert Level 3 by Monday 3 May.

He also announced today that preparations will be made enabling an incoming Government after the Senedd elections to move to alert level two on Monday 17 May. This will be subject to the public health conditions closer to the time.  

Alert level two includes the following changes:

  • Indoor hospitality can reopen 
  • Remainder of holiday accommodation can open (e.g. campsites with shared facilities) to members of single households or extended households
  • Entertainment venues can open, including cinemas, bingo halls, bowling alleys, indoor play centres and areas, casinos, and amusement arcades
  • Indoor visitor attractions can open, including museums, galleries, educational and heritage attractions, and heritage sites such as stately homes
  • The rule of four applies for gatherings in regulated premises like a café (up to 4 people from 4 households) or a single household if more than 4 people.
  • The rule of six continues outdoors. Meeting indoors in private homes will still be limited to the extended household only (exclusive bubble).
  • The limits on organised activities increases to 30 indoors and 50 outdoors.
  • Wedding receptions can take place indoors in regulated premises for up to 30 people.

Domestic cruises guidance

Guidance on domestic cruises for passengers from England has been published.

Roadmap step 3 – no earlier than 17 May

·         Domestic cruises will be permitted in England under step 3 of the roadmap out of lockdown

·         Domestic cruises will be able to operate with up to 1,000 people or 50% capacity, whichever is lower. This capacity limit applies to passengers only.

·         COVID-secure guidance will continue to apply. Groups of more than 6 people or 2 households will not be allowed to mix indoors – whether or not they originally booked in the same group.

Roadmap step 4 – no earlier than 21 June

  • By step 4, the government hopes to remove all legal limits on social contact. This includes lifting capacity limits for domestic cruises.

Domestic cruises depart from and return to UK ports. They may operate beyond UK waters, but are currently restricted to UK port calls and carrying residents from the UK and the Common Travel Area (Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man and Ireland) only.

 

Other Government COVID updates:

  • Bristol Airport has been listed as an approved port of entry for passengers travelling to England from a country on the banned travel list.
  • The list of jobs that qualify for exemptions from quarantine, passenger locator form or COVID testing requirements has been updated. Nurses from red list countries coming to take up NHS employment have been added to exempt jobs list. The exemption does not cover nurses already employed by the NHS or nurses returning from abroad for any other reason (for example, holiday or visiting family). Guidance has been published on quarantine arrangements for exempt nurses arriving from overseas.
  • An update has been published to guidance on booking and staying in a quarantine hotel regarding unaccompanied minors. Advice states that if a parent or guardian cannot travel with their child, they will need to request a specific exemption from the Department for Health and Social Care for the child to travel alone and that exemptions will only be provided in exceptional circumstances.

 Other government news:

  • The government’s vision, strategic priorities and forward programme of work to support the General Aviation sector has been published.
  • Please be aware of a fraudulent letter sent to businesses using a Business, Energy & Industry Strategy (BEIS) letterhead. The letter instructs the business to share contact details and purchase air purifiers, an example is attached. This is incorrect and an illegitimate letter. Anyone who has received this letter should report it to Action Fraud.

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 23 APRIL
  • Welcome Back Fund Q&A

On 16th April the Government published the guidance on the Welcome back Fund – this is a £56m fund to support the return to high streets safely and it builds on the £50m Reopening High Street Safely Fund (RHSSF) which was allocated to councils in 2020. This fund is much the same as the previous one in that it is aimed at enabling local authorities to put in place additional measures to create and promote a safe environment for local trade and tourism, particularly in high streets as the economy reopens. However, there are important differences in that it be used to upgrade the local environment and to run campaigns and events as well as just provide safety and social distancing measures.

Part of the fund will be used to provide support for coastal resorts across England to support areas as they prepare for a great summer to safely welcome holiday makers in the coming months. It can also be used to:

    • Boost the look and feel of their high streets by investing in street planting, parks, green spaces, and seating areas to make high streets welcoming.
    • Run publicity campaigns and prepare to hold events that will boost footfall and encourage people back into the high streets and thereby supporting local businesses.
    • Install and refresh signage and floor markings to encourage social distancing and safety.
    • Improve green spaces on high streets and town centres by planting flowers or removing graffiti.

The Q&A provides considerable detail as to what type of initiatives are eligible for this new funding

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/welcome-back-fund

  • Wales Announces Further steps in Reopening

The first Minister has confirmed outdoor hospitality, including at cafes, pubs and restaurants, will be allowed to reopen from Monday 26th April. This will mean will mean:

•             Outdoor swimming pools and outdoor visitor attractions, including funfairs, amusement parks and theme parks can reopen.

•             Organised outdoor activities for adults for up to 30 people can again take place.

•             Weddings receptions for up to 30 people can take place outdoors at regulated premises

He also signalled that, from 3 May:

•             Gyms, fitness facilities, leisure centres and swimming pools can reopen

•             Extended households will be possible, allowing two households to come together to form an exclusive bubble who can meet and have contact indoors

•             Children’s indoor activities can recommence

•             Organised indoor activities for adults can recommence for up to 15 people, including group exercise classes

•             Community Centres can reopen

Preparations are also being made to move to alert level two on Monday 17 May subject to the public health conditions closer to the time. 

Alert level two includes the following changes:

•             Indoor hospitality can reopen

•             Remainder of holiday accommodation can open (e.g. campsites with shared facilities) to members of single households or extended households

•             Entertainment venues can open, including cinemas, bingo halls, bowling alleys, indoor play centres and areas, casinos, and amusement arcades

•             Indoor visitor attractions can open, including museums, galleries, educational and heritage attractions, and heritage sites such as stately homes

•             The rule of four applies for gatherings in regulated premises like a café (up to 4 people from 4 households) or a single household if more than 4 people.

•             The rule of six continues outdoors. Meeting indoors in private homes will still be limited to the extended household only (exclusive bubble).

•             The limits on organised activities increases to 30 indoors and 50 outdoors.

•             Wedding receptions can take place indoors in regulated premises for up to 30 people.

https://gov.wales/further-coronavirus-restriction-relaxations-brought-forward

  • Council Events Guidance Updated

The guidance for councils on holding events has been updated to include a section on guided walks. This brings it into alignment with existing guidance on guiding by stating that themed walking trails will also be permitted, including guided walks consisting of either a single permitted group or multiple permitted groups that are kept separate throughout the tour. These types of activities are subject to the gathering limits set out in the Roadmap — i.e. outside in groups up to a maximum of 6 people (the Rule of 6) or with one other household, though people from different households will still need to socially distance from each other.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-organised-events-guidance-for-local-authorities/coronavirus-covid-19-organised-events-guidance-for-local-authorities

  • Quarantine Guidance Updated

The quarantine guidance has been updated to state that if it is not possible for an adult to travel to the UK from a Red List country with a child, the parent, guardian or appropriate adult will need to notify DHSC at um@dhsc.gov.uk and request a specific exemption for them to travel alone. Exemptions will only be provided in exceptional circumstances.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/booking-and-staying-in-a-quarantine-hotel-when-you-arrive-in-england#unaccompanied-minors

  • Social impacts of Coronavirus

ONS has published new data on how people are reacting to the reopening of the economy. The main points are:

    • More people are leaving home in the last seven days following further easing of lockdown restrictions for reasons such as: to shop for things other than basic necessities (20% among adults who left home compared with 14% last week)
    • 12% of adults left home to undertake leisure activities compared with 8% last week
    • 18% of adults left home to collect takeaway food or drinks compared with 15% last week
    • 54% of adults met up with someone outside their household, childcare or support bubble in the last seven days compared to 57% last week

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandthesocialimpactsongreatbritain/23april2021

  • Public Guidance on Test and Trace Updated

The guidance to the public on the need for every member of a group entering a accommodation/attraction hospitality premises to provide their detail rather than just the lead person has been updated to reflect the legislation on this changing  four weeks ago.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works

  • R Number and Growth Rate

As we end another week, the R Number and Growth rate figures are out. This week they are respectively, 0.8 to 1.0 and -5% to -1%, which is essentially unchanged from last week.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-r-value-and-growth-rate

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TIER UPDATE 22 APRIL

Application portal open for the fourth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant

The online service to apply for the fourth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant is now live. To be eligible for the fourth grant, those applying must be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership. They cannot claim the grant if they trade through a limited company or a trust.

They must have traded in both tax years:

  • 2019 to 2020 and submitted their tax return on or before 2 March 2021
  • 2020 to 2021

They must either:

  • be currently trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
  • have been trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus

They must also declare that they:

  • intend to continue to trade
  • reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in their trading profits

People must make their claim for the fourth grant on or before 1 June 2021.

Find out more information on the scheme here and check the eligibility criteria before making a claim. 
ONS publish latest research on economic impact of Coronavirus

On Saturday 17 April 2021, estimates for UK seated diner reservations were at 60% of the level seen on the equivalent Saturday of 2019. This is a decrease of 19 percentage points from Monday 12 April 2021, the day that pubs and restaurants were first allowed to reopen for outdoor dining, when the figure was at 79% of the level seen on the equivalent Monday of 2019. Figures for London and Manchester on Saturday 17 April 2021 were 44% and 85% of the levels seen on the equivalent Saturday of 2019, respectively.

Read the research here.

Other updates

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 22 APRIL

  • Eligibility for CJRS Payments Updated

HMRC has added a new section to it’s guidance on who is eligible for furlough payments that relates to contractors engaged with the public sector, or by a medium or large-sized organisation, in scope of off-payroll working (IR35) rules. This could include situations where a council-run DMO has contracted staff from the private sector as well as contracted employees within the private sector. In this situation, if a client organisation wants to furlough a contractor in scope of the off-payroll working rules, they must confirm this with both the contractor’s PSC and the fee-payer ,as set out in the off-payroll working rules (usually the agency paying the contractor’s PSC). It should be formally agreed between these parties that the contractor will do no work for the client organisation during the hours they’re furloughed.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/individuals-you-can-claim-for-who-are-not-employees/individuals-you-can-claim-for-who-are-not-employees#contractors-engaged-with-the-public-sector-or-by-a-medium-or-large-sized-organisation-in-scope-of-off-payroll-working-ir35-rules

While we are on the subject of eligibility for furlough, the guidance for businesses has been updated to state that employees are eligible for the grant and can be furloughed, if they are unable to work, including from home or working reduced hours because they are clinically extremely vulnerable, or at the highest risk of severe illness from coronavirus. These employees remain eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme even whilst shielding guidance is not in place. It’s up to employers to decide if they will furlough these employees. An employer does not need to be facing a wider reduction in demand or be closed to be eligible to claim for these employees.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-which-employees-you-can-put-on-furlough-to-use-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

  • Companies House Guidance Updated

Companies House has updated it’s guidance to businesses. You can use a same day service to electronically file a change of company name, or incorporate a company (software filing only) but you must apply before 11am for changes to be made the that day. However, all other same day services have been suspended until further notice.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-guidance-for-companies-house-customers-employees-and-suppliers#same-day-services

  • SEISS Repayment Guidance Updated

HMRC has updated the guidance for self-employed people on what they need to do if they need to pay back some or all of their SEISS grant. The update relates to any amendment tax returns on or after 3 March 2021 which either:

  • lowers the amount you’re eligible for
  • causes you to no longer be eligible

The requirement is that, if the grant amount you’re eligible for is lowered by over £100:

  • You must tell HMRC within 90 days of receiving your grant, if you amend your return before claiming your grant
  • You must tell HMRC within 90 days of making the amendment, if you amend your return after receiving your grant

Failure to inform HMRC could lead to the payment of a penalty

              The guidance on this will be updated again by mid May 2021 to explain:

  • how to tell HMRC about your amendment
  • how HMRC will tell you about how much you may need to pay back
  • how to pay the grant back
  • what to do if you’re not sure whether your amount of grant has changed by more than £100

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tell-hmrc-and-pay-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-back

Speaking of the SEISS grants, the online service for claiming the fourth payment has now gone live on the following link - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme

EIF Update

Unwrapping the UK’s new interim festival guidance. 

Monday 26th April 2-3pm. Streamed live via AIF and AFO Facebook pages, links here- https://www.facebook.com/aiforguk/videos/488809775648705,  https://www.facebook.com/AssociationFestivalOrganisers/videos/3957885957599716

A coalition of UK festival industry bodies including AIF, AFO, LIVE, EIF and Attitude is Everything recently published a new interim guidance briefing note to provide support and strategic direction for festival organisers in the planning of festivals until the results of the Government’s Events Research Programme (ERP) and reviews on social distancing and Covid-Status Certification later this summer.

In this free session, the authors of the guidance and several industry practitioners who contributed to it will walk through the purpose of the new briefing note and answer questions.

Speakers: 

Emma Parkinson (Coventry University)

Jennifer Mackley (Mackley Projects and Events Ltd).

Zac Fox (Kilimanjaro Live) 

Dan Craig (Superstruct Entertainment) 

Judy Bec (Boomtown Fair) 

Clare Goodchild (Organise Chaos Ltd) 

Matthew Phipps (TLT Solicitors)  

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TIER UPDATE 21 APRIL

UK moves to level 4 ‘do not travel’ in US travel advisories

On 20 April the US Government changed the advice on travel to the UK to be level 4 ‘do not travel’. The advice says “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for the United Kingdom due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country".

This is in line with their changes to advice for many other countries as well. We will share any further updates on this when they are available.

Other updates:

Other news:

  • The DCMS Digital Infrastructure team has launched a consultation to gather business and consumer views and experiences of broadband connectivity in rural and remote areas of the UK. They are also interested in hearing about the benefits broadband brings, and any barriers to deployment and take-up of broadband. The consultation closes on 11th June 2021, and is available here.
  • Reminder of the New Plan for Immigration consultation, you can submit evidence until 6 May, this includes the opportunity to submit your views on the Electronic Travel Authorisation scheme.

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 21 APRIL

  • DMO Review Seminar

Not Coronavirus related but I’ve now loaded the DMO seminar onto youtube. So it you would like to view it, here is the link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OZWbBxOlU4

  • DCMS Q&A Update

The only new question that seems to be answered over last week is:

Q.           When can caravan rallies restart?

A.            Caravan rallies will be able to take place from Step 3 (no earlier than 17th May) within social contact limits. From Step 3, gatherings of more than 30 people outdoors will remain illegal; indoors, people will be able to meet socially in a group of 6, or as a group of 2 households

  • BEIS Coronavirus Fraud

A number of businesses have received a fraudulent letter purporting to be from BEIS (see attached image) stating that they need to purchase air purifiers as part of the requirements for reopening customers.  The department has sent out a tweet stating that this is a scam and that businesses receiving such a letter should report this to Action Fraud

https://twitter.com/beisgovuk/status/1384458801764392963?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

  • Exemptions From Managed Quarantine

The DoH issues guidance yesterday, and updated it today, on exempting people from managed quarantine (ie hotel quarantine) for medical or compassionate reasons. For medical reasons. The kinds of medical conditions and supporting evidence that may be considered to require an exemption from managed quarantine might be:

  • A debilitating breathing difficulty where regular physiotherapy is necessary to support the lungs, or daily access to oxygen or a nebuliser might be required, and a physiotherapist or consultant advises it is not possible to manage in a managed quarantine facility
  • A severe mental health condition where a psychiatrist (for example) advises it would not be possible to maintain stability within a managed quarantine facility and emergency treatment may be required
  • Severe cognitive disability that makes it unlikely an individual may be able to maintain personal hygiene and may become distressed if left alone, on the advice of a registered healthcare professional of suitable clinical expertise

Where the exemption is for a young person under the age of 18 who is travelling with a parent/guardian or carer, an exemption may also be given to the person accompanying them if either:

  • there is no means of alternative care evidenced for that minor in the home environment
  • the individual is physically unable to care for themselves and is travelling with a carer, there is evidence that there is no alternative provision, and it is advised that it is essential for that carer to quarantine with the individual

However, if a medically exempt individual is a minor, and travelling with more than one parent, or a larger household, only one parent/guardian/appropriate adult will be permitted an exemption and the rest of the household will be required to enter managed quarantine.

In terms of compassionate exemptions, these will only be granted in extremely limited circumstances, where it is not possible to accommodate a visit to a severely ill or dying relative or member of their household from within managed quarantine.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/exemptions-from-managed-quarantine-for-medical-and-compassionate-reasons

  • Transport Use

DFT have published the first week’s data on transport use since the “Stay at Home” restrictions have ended and people are now able to visit non-essential retailers, tourism destinations and outdoor attractions for leisure and tourism purposes. The figures show an increase in activity but, apart from private vehicle use, are nowhere near normal. While private vehicle use was around 90% of normal from the 12th – 18th April, National Rail increased from 27% to 34% of normal and bus travel in England struggled to get much over 50% of normal. In London, the tube remains low at around 35% of normal. So while there has been an increase in people getting out of home, this isn’t as significant as might have been expected and public transport is being shunned for private vehicles.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/transport-use-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic

  • Self Isolation Compliance Checks

There has been a very minor amendment to the guidance on how compliance checks will operate. That guidance now states that, to check someone’s name, compliance staff “will state your name and ask you to confirm it” – which begs they question, how were they proposing to check someone’s name previously ?

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/self-isolation-compliance-checks-after-international-travel

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TIER UPDATE 20 APRIL

Scotland to move to level 3 from Monday 26 April

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced further relaxation of restrictions across Scotland. From Monday 26 April, hospitality venues such as cafés, pubs and restaurants can reopen, along with tourist accommodation. Non-essential retail outlets and close contact services such as beauty salons can also reopen, in addition to indoor attractions and public buildings such as galleries, museums and libraries.

The First Minister confirmed that all parts of Scotland will move to Level 3 from Monday 26 April. The remaining travel restrictions within Scotland will be lifted and travel within the UK will be permitted for any purpose.

Further changes from 26 April include:

·         Gyms and swimming pools can reopen for individual exercise

·         The attendance limit for funerals and weddings – and related events such as receptions – will increase to 50

·         Cafés, pubs and restaurants can resume full outdoor service, subject to local licensing, and serve food indoors without alcohol until 8pm

·         Takeaways can resume normal service, with physical distancing and face masks in premises

The First Minister also said it is expected that all of Scotland will move to Level 2 on Monday 17 May.

The First Minister also announced that rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) tests will be made available to anyone in Scotland. From today, anyone planning travel to the Scottish islands next week can order a free home test kit online. The first test should be taken three days before travel and the second on the day of departure. From Monday, lateral flow home test kits will be available to anyone in the wider population who does not have COVID-19 symptoms.

Outdoor hospitality to reopen in Wales from Monday 26 April

First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed today that six people will be able to meet outdoors in Wales from Saturday 24 April while outdoor hospitality will be allowed to reopen from Monday 26 April. The current rule provides for up to six people (not including children under 11 years of age or carers) from a maximum of two households to meet outdoors. The new rules from Saturday will allow six people (not including children under 11 years of age or carers) to meet outdoors.

People should observe social distancing from people from outside their household or support bubble when meeting others outside. The rules for meeting indoors remain unchanged.

On Friday (23 April 2021), the First Minister will confirm further relaxations to the covid rules that will come into force on Monday 26 April 2021.

Other updates:

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TIER UPDATE 19 APRIL

In his statement to the House of Commons today, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that India is to be added to the red list. From 04.00 on Friday 23 April, anyone who is not a UK or Irish resident, or a British citizen, cannot enter the UK if they have been in India in the previous 10 days. UK and Irish residents and British citizens who’ve been in India in the past 10 days before their arrival will need to complete hotel quarantine for 10 days from the time of arrival.

Round-up of updates from last week

England moves to step 2 of the government roadmap

On Monday 12 April, England moved to step 2 of the roadmap, enabling outdoor hospitality venues and non-essential retail to open, some smaller outdoor events to take place, self-contained accommodation to open for overnight stays in England with household/support bubble were allowed, and personal care services and public buildings such as libraries could also reopen.

Find out more on the specific businesses that can open here, and read the full guidance on what you can and cannot do here

Northern Ireland Executive announces relaxations to COVID-19 restrictions

Last week, the Executive agreed relaxations to occur on 23 and 30 April, as well as an indicative date of 24 May for further relaxations.

From 23 April outdoor visitor attractions including outdoor activity centres and close contact services can reopen.

From 30 April 15 people (from no more than 3 households) will be able to meet outside, retail can reopen, overnight stays in self-contained tourist accommodation will be allowed for one household, unlicensed premises can reopen, outdoors only, with a maximum of 6 people from 2 households per table, licensed premises, including social clubs, can reopen only outdoors, limited to 6 people from no more than 2 households, the curfew on takeaways and off licenses will be removed, and individual activities in gyms, swimming pools and other large venues – including with a carer and to allow 1-2-1 training/coaching with social distancing can take place.

Indicatively on 24 May indoor unlicensed and licenses premises can reopen with mitigations, the remainder of tourist accommodation can open, indoor visits will be allowed in domestic settings, as well as indoor visitor attractions and indoor group exercise and training.

Read the full announcement here.

Welsh Government announces relaxation of some COVID-19 restrictions

The Welsh Government announced that certain COVID-19 restrictions will be relaxed earlier than initially stated. On Monday 3 May (previously Monday 10 May):

  • Gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities can reopen. This will include individual or one-to-one training but not exercise classes
  • Extended household will again allow two households to meet and have contact indoors

First Minster Mark Drakeford also confirmed that from Monday 12 April: all remaining shops and close contact services could reopen, travel restrictions on traveling into and out of Wales would be lifted (however, restrictions on travel to countries outside the Common Travel Area without a reasonable excuse, remain in place) and wedding ‘show-arounds’ by appointment would be allowed.

Read the full announcement here.

Early easing of certain restrictions in Scotland

On 13 April, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that certain changes to restrictions in Scotland were to be brought forward. From Friday 16 April:

  • Travel within Scotland for outdoor socialising, recreation and exercise is allowed. People must continue to Stay Local for other purposes such as non-essential shopping, and public transport capacity will continue to be limited. 
  • Outdoor meetings in groups of up to six adults from up to six households can take place, with under-12s not counting towards this limit. Socialising in homes is still not permitted.

Read more on the accelerated easing of restrictions here.

Global Travel Taskforce publish their recommendations to support the safe return of international travel

The Global Travel Taskforce have set out their approach to safely restarting international travel in their latest report. A Green, Amber and Red traffic light system will be used to categorise countries and there will be different restrictions and requirements for each category. The list of which countries will be in which category will be published at the beginning of May, along with confirmation of whether or not international travel can resume on 17 May.

The full report is available here.

Updates to working safely during coronavirus

The working safely during coronavirus guidance for heritage locations and for performing arts has been updated in line with step 2 of the government roadmap.

Consumer Sentiment Tracker wave 28 figures published

VisitEngland has published wave 28 of their Consumer Sentiment Tracker which covers fieldwork conducted between 6-10 April. The full report is attached to this update. 

Although the proportion expecting ‘normality’ to return to their lives by the end of the year continues to decline, there is evidence that general levels of optimism are rising. Trip confidence is creeping up and the Appetite for Risk score has improved slightly, suggesting people’s sense of unease is diminishing when it comes to participating in a range of activities, particularly those which are predominantly indoors.

Highlights from wave 28 include:

  • 44% of adults expect ‘normality’ by end of this year – down another 6 points compared to last wave.
  • The Appetite for Risk score climbs to 2.5/4.
  • Almost 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 just over a quarter of adults with similar intent regarding overseas trips.
  • Confidence edges up, with 38% fairly/very confident a trip booked for this June could proceed as planned (climbing 5 points)
  • 14% anticipate taking an overnight trip this spring (Apr – June) rising to 35% during the summer (July – Sept) which is stable wave-on-wave.  There has been significant uplift in intent from October 2021 onwards, however.
  • Among those who are intending to take a trip this spring, 62% have reached the planning and 49% the booking stages of their trips, which is up from 50% and 44% respectively last wave.
  • The South West remains the lead destination for spring trips with a commanding 26% share; 13 percentage points ahead of second placed North West.
  • The leading destination type for spring trips is ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’ (30%) narrowly ahead of ‘countryside or village’ (27%).
  • The accommodation types most likely to be used on overnight trips this spring are ‘commercial rentals’ (e.g. holiday cottages) on 40%, ‘camping/caravan’ (39%), ‘Hotel/motel/inn’ (37%) and a ‘private home’ (35%).
  • Some 48% of UK adults intend to take a day trip to a ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’ or ‘countryside or village’ destination at some stage during this spring/summer.  This compares with 25% intending to visit a ‘large city’.

Other updates

  • Phase 2 of the Cultural Recovery Fund in Wales application window will close tomorrow, 20 April at 5pm. The funding is available to businesses within the culture sector, including theatres, music venues, heritage attractions, galleries and independent cinema. The fund will cover the period from 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021. Find out more information and check eligibility here.
  • The online service to claim the fourth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will open from late April. The fourth grant covers 1 February 2021 to 30 April 2021. Find out more information about the grant and who can claim here.  
  • Information about the Event Research Programme (ERP) has been published on GOV.UK. The guidance covers measures in place, information for attendees, how to travel to a venue safely and staying overnight. Find out more information.

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 19 APRIL

  • Local Authority Grant Allocations

BEIS has published updated data on the allocation of Restart Grants to each Local Authority in England as well as updating the data on how much of previous allocations each local authority has didtributed to businesses in their area.

As you will remember for when the last figures were released for the period to 16th January, many of the local authorities had distributed very little ARG funding as they had been told by Government that it would have to last until 1 April 2022 and that we encouraged them to distribute this funding as soon as possible.

The new figures, which are to the 1 March 2021, show that many local authorities have significantly increased the allocation of ARG funding. However, there are still a significant number of local authorities that had still not allocated most of their ARG funding. Some examples include:

  • Stratford upon Avon
    • has distributed just 2%  of the £3.8m that they have received from Government
  • Southampton
    • has distributed just 3% of the £7.3m that they have received from Government
  • Kingston Upon Thames
    • has distributed just 3% of the £5.1m that they have received from Government
  • Medway
    • has distributed just 1.5% of the £8.0m that they have received from Government

While these local authorities could well have significantly increased their distribution of ARG funding since 1 March 2021, the fact that they have taken over three months to distribute just 3% of the funding that they have received suggests that these local authorities need to do more to ensure that they allocate their ARG allocations before the 30 June deadline.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-grant-funding-local-authority-payments-to-small-and-medium-businesses

  • Revised ARG Guidance

While we are on ARG guidance, BEIS has updated the guidance to Local Authorities. As you will be aware, the Government has stated that Local Authorities will only receive the next tranche of ARG funding if they distribute the funding from the first two tranches by 30 June 2021. To clarify this requirement, the guidance has been updated to define “spend” as all funding defrayed or where there has been a validated attempt to defray the funding - a “validated attempt” to distribute this funding being:

  • Where a payment has been made to an incorrect bank account and has been rejected; the grant can be classed as a validated attempt as long as a further attempt to pay will be made immediately upon discovering the error
  • Where an application has been approved and the payment has been made, but due to a technical error the payment did not process, this can be classed as a validated attempt as long as payment was made on discovery of the error
  • Where a payment has been processed, but is on hold by the bank, due to verification checks being undertaken, this can be classed as a validated attempt to make payment
  • Where a contract has already been signed to provide a service (prior to the date of this guidance being updated on 15 April 2021), such as for business support activity, even if that funding is not yet spent

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/978400/additional-restrictions-grant-la-guidance.pdf

  • Event’s Research Programme

The Government has published more information on the Events Research Programme, which is one of the four work streams established by Government to inform decisions on, certification, social distancing, International travel and restarting events. The aim of the research is to determine how a combination of testing and covid secure management can inform decisions on safely lifting restrictions at events.

The key points in the update are that:

  • the first phase of 10-15 pilots are being held in April and May to inform decisions on the safe removal of social distancing from Step 4
  • The pilots will be run across a range of settings, venue types, and activity types so that findings could support the full reopening of similar settings across multiple sectors
  • The programme is overseen by an industry-led steering group co-chaired by Sir Nicholas Hytner and David Ross and working closely with national and local public health authorities.
  • A Joint Programme Board will work across government to inform policy development on reopening sectors ahead of Step 4
  • The ERP will look at a range of mitigating factors including test-on-entry protocols for use in determining how we can reopen larger venues safely
  • The first pilot events are
    • B FA Cup Semi Final, Wembley Stadium
    • World Snooker Championship, Sheffield Crucible Theatre
    • Luna Cinema, Liverpool
    • League Cup Final
    • ACC Business Event, Liverpool
    • Circus Nightclub, Liverpool
    • FA Cup Final, Wembley Stadium
    • Outdoor gig, Sefton Park Liverpool
  • Findings will be reported to the Prime Minister to feed into wider discussions around Step 4 of the lockdown restrictions.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-about-the-events-research-programme-erp-paving-the-way-for-larger-audiences-to-attend-sport-theatre-and-gigs-safely-this-summer/guidance-on-the-events-research-programme

  • 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.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-organised-events-guidance-for-local-authorities/coronavirus-covid-19-organised-events-guidance-for-local-authorities

  • Revised Covid Secure Notice for Businesses

The Covid Secure notice that businesses can use in their workplace to show that they are abiding by the Government’s Covid-Secure guidance has been revised to include a section on ventilation. This states:

We have taken all reasonable steps to provide adequate ventilation in enclosed spaces

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/978552/staying-covid-secure-poster-ventilation-step.pdf

  • Business Support Guidance Updated

The guidance for businesses on what support is available has been updated to include an new video about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Job Retention Scheme and a webinar for Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-and-support-if-your-business-is-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19#self-employment-income-support-scheme-seiss--fourth-grant

You can sign-up for the webinar, which is 1:45pm – 2:30pm on 28th April, on the following link

https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/3667545685723120643?source=Apr-HMRC-GOV

  • Self Isolation Compliance Checks

The Government has updated the guidance on self-isolation compliance checks which are being increased to make sure that those people arriving into the country stay at quarantined for at least 10 days. The guidance now states that officials that are checking compliance will ask to see the person’s driver's licence or passport to confirm your identity.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/self-isolation-compliance-checks-after-international-travel

  • Visiting a Passport Office

New guidance has been published to state that people should only visit a passport office if they have an appointment and should not do so if:

  • they or someone they live with has coronavirus or coronavirus symptoms
  • they have been told by the NHS Test and Trace service that they have been in contact with a person who has coronavirus
  • they have recently returned to the UK from abroad and are quarantining

A friend or family member can attend on behalf of someone who cannot make the appointment but will need to take:

  • the applicant’s old passport
  • a signed and dated letter from the applicant authorising them to attend
  • the applicant’s signed and dated application form If the appointment is to apply for the Fast Track service
  • valid ID if the appointment is for the Online Premium service

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/visiting-a-passport-office-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic

EIF Update – 19th April 2021

New Festival Guidance - An interim guidance briefing note has been produced by the festival industry to help organisers in planning events.   The guidance is available on the Purple Guide website. In the meantime, the festival industry is continuing to work in collaboration with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Public Health England (PHE) on how music festivals can reopen with appropriate COVID-19 mitigation measures in place. 

Drone Briefing - The National Outdoor Event Association is organising a free webinar to bring event organisers up to speed with the new UK drone. As part of this new legislation the 150m distance from crowds for drone users was abolished, so knowing how to deal with a drone incident has never been more important.     Director of Operations Andrew Hamilton, who until July 2020 was the Civil Aviation Authority's Drone Unit Lead, will give a summary of the law changes and what organisers need to consider doing about it.   The webinar takes place at 2pm on 30th April – you can register at  https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_1QWmgEvaQcmYXzjkynSTkw

Performing Arts Guidance Updated - Following the move to step 2 of the roadmap on 12th April, the Performing Arts guidance has been updated.    Key updates include confirmation that venues that are permitted to open at Step 2 and can operate as hospitality venues (such as grassroots music venues) may provide ancillary performance activity, such as live music, for their seated food and/or drink customers outdoors at Step 2. There are also further details on workplace testing and a new section on ventilation which will be helpful for those venues looking to reopen in step 3. 

Pilot Festival without Social Distancing - A pilot festival with live music and no social distancing has been announced.   The Liverpool pilot show will have Blossoms headlining and offers a positive step towards getting festivals back on track this year.

EIF Supports Insurance Lobby - The Forum has supported a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson MP, organised by the LIVE group, urging the Government to underwrite insurance for live events.

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TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE 15 APRIL

  • Heritage Locations Guidance Updated
    The primary guidance for heritage locations has been updated to take account of the relaxations associated with Step 2 of the roadmap. There is nothing that is particularly new in the guidance but there has been an ongoing issue with regard to wedding show arounds which are not able to be undertaken until 17th May unless the property has a permitted reason for being open. The permitted reasons include there being visitor accommodation or the venue holds business meeting which are able to take place currently. Therefore, if you have a heritage venue that hosts business meetings or has visitor accommodation, then wedding show rounds are able to take place during Step 2.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/heritage-locations

  • Performing Arts Guidance Updated
    Similarly, the primary guidance for the performing arts has been updated to take account of Step 2. Again there is nothing that is particularly new in this guidance - in Step 2, Performing arts venues, including theatres and concert halls can only be used by performing arts professionals to rehearse and train, and perform (without an audience) for broadcast or recording purposes. Indoor dance and fitness studios can be used for professional and non-professional use in line with social contact rules.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/performing-arts

  • ONS Economic Indicators
    The Office for National Statistics has released another report on various economic indicators that it is using to measure the performance of the UK economy. One of the more interesting is an estimate of the number seated diner reservations for 12 April 2021 which is 79% of the level seen on the equivalent Monday of 2019. This is somewhat surprising considering the number of restaurants that are not yet open and the businesses that are open are limited to outside dining but probably indicates the pent-up demand for people to dine out after the lockdown.

The other finding of note in the research is that online job adverts on 9 April 2021 equalled their February 2020 average level to become the highest level seen since 6 March 2020. This was partly driven by an increase to the “catering and hospitality” category, which also reached its highest level since March 2020.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/coronavirustheukeconomyandsocietyfasterindicators/15april2021#value-added-tax-returns

  • European Social Fund Q&A Updated
    For anyone involved in a ESF project, the associated Q&A has been updated. The new questions include:
    • Due to the lockdowns, my project will underspend - will this money automatically be lost to the project?
    • My project has been approved and a Funding Agreement has been issued. I have significant reservations about starting my project at this time and wish to review the options available. What does the ESF Managing Authority advise?
    • What is happening with Calls that are expected to be launched in the future?
    • What is happening with project applications that have been submitted to the Managing Authority?
    • Where activity is significantly delayed or ceased as a result of COVID-19 disruption, has consideration been given to extending projects?

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/european-structural-and-investment-funds-coronavirus-covid-19-response/european-social-fund-2014-to-2020-programme-questions-and-answers-on-covid-19-response

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TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 14 APRIL

  • Transport Use
    DfT has released the transport data from this first day of Step 2. While this shows that there has been an uplift in the number of people travelling as a result of the easing of restrictions, there is still a long way to go be fore public transport use returns to normal. The figures show that:
    • Bus use in London and outside London both rose about 15%, to respectively 60% and 51% of usual use.
    • National Rail usage only increased by about 5% to 30% of usual
    • Use of the tube in London increased by about 8% to 34%

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/transport-use-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic

  • Deferred VAT Guidance Updated
    HMRC has updated the guidance on deferring VAT payments by adding information on penalties or interest that may be charged if you do not pay in full or make an arrangement to pay and how you may still be able to avoid these charges.

The key information is that businesses may be charged a 5% penalty or interest if they do not pay in full or make an arrangement to pay by 30 June 2021.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/deferral-of-vat-payments-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

  • Local Authority Powers
    The Government has updated the Guidance on the powers that local authorities have to enforce restrictions during the different steps of the roadmap. Local Authorities have three main powers:
    • Coronavirus Improvement Notice (CIN)
      • A Coronavirus Improvement Notice can be issued by a local authority when a business is failing to fulfil a provision set out in the relevant coronavirus regulations relating to COVID-Secure measures. Failure to comply with a CIN by the end of its operational period could lead to a fixed penalty notice (FPN) of £2,000 and/or a Coronavirus Immediate Restriction Notice or a Coronavirus Restriction Notice being issued.
    • Coronavirus Restrictions Notice (CRN)
      • A Coronavirus Restriction Notice will be issued by a local authority when there has been a breach of the provisions of the relevant coronavirus regulations, and a recipient has failed to comply with the terms of a Coronavirus Improvement Notice, where this non-compliance creates a risk of exposure to coronavirus. Failure to comply with a CRN during its operational period will result in an FPN of £4,000 being issued and a new CRN or Coronavirus Immediate Restriction Notice may be issued.
    • Coronavirus Immediate Restrictions Notice (CIRN)
      • A Coronavirus Immediate Restriction Notice can be issued by enforcement officers where rapid action is needed to close a premises or restrict an activity to stop the spread of the virus, without first issuing a CIN to stop the spread of the virus. Closure will be for a 48-hour period initially. Failure to comply with a CIRN will result in an FPN of £4,000 being issued.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/additional-covid-19-local-authority-enforcement-powers/additional-covid-19-local-authority-enforcement-powers

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TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 13 APRIL

  • Impact Of Coronavirus on Tourism Businesses
    The GDP figures out today show the severe impact that coronavirus is still having on the UK tourism industry compared with other sectors of the economy. The figures show that, compared to February 2020:
    • The air transport sector is down by 91.6%
    • Travel agencies and tour operators are down by 87%
    • The accommodation sector is down by 73.9%
    • Creative, arts and entertainment is down by 59.1%
    • Food and beverage is down 51.3%
    • Museums, Libraries and other cultural activities is down by 48%

This compares to the average for the UK economy as a whole being a reduction of just 7.8%

https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/articles/coronavirusandtheimpactonoutputintheukeconomy/february2021

  • 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

Other important points to note are:

  • Venues must not make the specific use of the NHS QR code a precondition of entry (as the individual has the right to choose to provide their contact details if they prefer).
  • If you are a hospitality venue, you must refuse entry to any customer or visitor who chooses to neither provide their contact details nor scan the official NHS QR code.
  • You should satisfy yourselves that individuals who are checking in using the official NHS QR code have done so – you may do this by asking the individual if they have scanned the code or ask to view the person’s screen to show the venue check-in screen if you still have reason to believe they haven’t done so.
  • You must not use this data for any other purposes other than for NHS Test and Trace, unless you would already collect it for another business purpose.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/maintaining-records-of-staff-customers-and-visitors-to-support-nhs-test-and-trace#information-to-collect

  • Updated Step 2 Guidance
    I attached the wrong link to the updated guidance for Step 2 reopening yesterday so here is the correct version

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reopening-businesses-and-venues-in-england

  • Business Support Finder Updated
    The Government has updated the online tool that businesses can use to determine what support is available to them to take account of the changes in support mechanisms. This tool can be used by businesses in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder

  • Updated Support Finder for Individuals
    The Government has also updated the online tool for individuals This includes support on:
    • what to do if you’re feeling unsafe where you live, or if you’re worried about someone else
    • being made redundant or unemployed, or not having any work if you’re self-employed
    • mental health and wellbeing, including information for children
    • having somewhere to live
    • self-isolating
    • what to do if you’re worried about going in to work
    • getting food or medicine
    • paying your bills, rent, or mortgage

This is a good resource for employees to make their staff aware of as part of their duty of care for the wellbeing of their staff

https://www.gov.uk/find-coronavirus-support

  • Updated Primary Guidance for Restaurants and Pubs
    The primary guidance for restaurants and Pubs has somewhat belatedly been updated to take into account that we are now in Step 2 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/restaurants-offering-takeaway-or-delivery

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TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 12 April

  • Updated Reopening Guidance
    The guidance on which businesses can reopen has been updated for Step 2. There is nothing new in this but it is good to bookmark this guidance document as a reference for the next five weeks.

(COVID-19) Coronavirus restrictions: what you can and cannot do - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

  • Step 2 Poster
    The NHS have produced a new poster that outlines the restrictions associated this stage of the roadmap. This is a great resource to print out for staff and customers who will be returning to businesses today

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/977566/COVID-19_Roadmap_Posters_STEP_2_2021_-_digital_.pdf

  • Weddings Guidance Updated
    The guidance for holding weddings has been updated for Step 2. The key guidance is that weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are permitted to take place with up to 15 people in COVID-19 secure venues that are permitted to open or where a broader exemption applies.

Receptions can take place with up to 15 people in the form of a sit down meal in any COVID-19 Secure outdoor venue that is permitted to open. Such receptions must not take place in people’s private gardens or public outdoor spaces.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships

There is also the guidance on which businesses need to stay closed until 17th May in the following document

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/closing-certain-businesses-and-venues-in-england

And finally on the generic guidance there is an updated guidance document for the public on what they can and cannot do during this Step.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do

  • Guidance for the Self-Employed
    The Government has produced two guidance documents for self-employed people who are currently getting less work or not work at all. The guidance looks at the options and eligibility of:
    • Claiming SIESS
    • Claiming Test and Trace Support
    • Claiming New Style Employment and Support Allowance 
    • Claiming New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Claiming  Universal Credit
    • Claiming Pension Credit
    • Looking for other work

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-what-to-do-if-youre-self-employed-and-getting-less-work-or-no-work

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-what-to-do-if-you-were-employed-and-have-lost-your-job

  • Updated Guidance for Wales

The Welsh Government has announced that it will be accelerating elements of its programme to relax COVID-19 restrictions 

People will be able to form an extended household, visit the gym or take part in organised outdoor activities a week earlier than planned, as the public health situation - and vaccination rates - continue to improve. The First Minister last week set out a detailed timetable for moving Wales firmly into alert level three.

From today, Monday 12 April, the following relaxations are in place:

  • The full return of children to schools for face-to-face education, all post-16 learners return to further education and training centres, and university campuses are able to open for blended face-to-face/online learning for all students
  • All remaining shops reopen, completing the phased reopening of non-essential retail
  • All remaining close contact services open, including mobile services
  • Travel restrictions on traveling into and out of Wales are lifted. However, restrictions on travel to countries outside the Common Travel Area without a reasonable excuse, remain in place. The Common Travel Area means the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland
  • Wedding ‘show-arounds’ by appointment are allowed

Further easements to restrictions in the coming weeks will be subject to the public health situation remaining favourable. These will be confirmed at the next three-weekly review of the coronavirus regulations on 22 April.

On Monday 26 April:    

  • Outdoor attractions, including funfairs and theme parks, would be allowed to reopen
  • Outdoor hospitality can resume, including at cafes, pubs and restaurants. Indoor hospitality will remain closed except for takeaways
  • Organised outdoor activities for up to 30 people can again take place (previously Monday 3 May)
  • Weddings receptions can take place outdoors for up to 30 people (previously Monday 3 May)

On Monday 3 May (previously Monday 10 May):

  • Gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities can reopen. This will include individual or one-to-one training but not exercise classes
  • Extended household will again allow two households to meet and have contact indoors

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TIER UPDATE 9 APRIL

  • Global Travel Taskforce Report

The GTTF report has been published which provides more detail than this morning’s press release. The recommendations of the report are broken down into four sections.

1. Progressing a risk-based reopening of international travel, making use of existing and new measures to ensure that this is safe, sustainable and robust.

  • Remove measures limiting outbound travel by 17 May at the earliest and implement a “traffic light” country system, to which different restrictions are applied depending on risk.
  • Introduce a “Green Watchlist” to support outbound travellers identify countries most at risk of moving from green to amber.
  • Hold three “checkpoints” on 28 June, 31 July and 1 October to review measures.
  • Enable residents to prove their COVID-19 status for tests and, if necessary, vaccines for outbound travel to a third country.
  • Restart international cruises alongside the wider restart of international travel, in line with the country “traffic light” system.

2. Ensuring readiness for international travel restart, building on ongoing work to minimise border pressures as passenger flows rise, whilst keeping staff safe.

  • Improve the Passenger Locator Form, with full e-gates integration across all ports of entry by autumn 2021.
  • Establish a joint UK government and industry working group to ensure border readiness.
  • Ensure comprehensive measures are in place to assess and assure safety readiness across all modes.
  • Use feedback from industry and CAA expertise to make targeted interventions to ensure operational safety.

3. Building consumer clarity and confidence through enhanced advice and communications of safety measures and consumer protection when booking travel.

  • Improve operator(s) and passenger guidance to provide more clarity on health and passenger requirements including, where relevant, how this interacts with travel advice.
  • Introduce a passenger COVID-19 charter by 17 May setting out consumer rights and responsibilities whilst measures remain. Later this year consult on additional, flexible and modern tools to enforce consumer rights.

4. Supporting a transition to future travel, taking the first steps towards co-existing with an endemic COVID-19, in collaboration with global partners.

  • Maintain leadership role within multilateral organisations including the ICAO, IMO and OECD, and work with like-minded states including the G7, G20 and Five Eyes group to develop strategies for reopening international travel.
  • Continue close coordination with industry to ensure third party apps can be integrated with a national digital certification system that is interoperable, safe and secure.
  • Explore the feasibility of bilateral pilots for testing initiatives such as digital solutions on particular routes, or with other countries.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/977446/Report-of-the-Global-Travel-Taskforce-accessible.pdf

  • Contradictory Guidance on Coaches

There is an ongoing contradiction between the DCMS and DfT guidance in relation to coach travel on Monday that we are seeking to resolve. The DFT guidance states:

These rules do not place any capacity constraints on public transport services and private hire vehicles, including organised coach travel. Operators should continue to provide transport services that can accommodate separate multiple groups which conform to the requirements of the relevant social contact rules.

                As DfT is the department responsible for coach travel, most operators are following this guidance until the issue is resolved.

                https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-transport-guidance-for-operators/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-transport-guidance-for-operators

  • SEISS Guidance Updated

The guidance for people claiming the Self Employment Income Support Scheme grant has been updated to incorporate the eligibility criteria for the fourth grant. The main eligibility change to be aware of is that if you submitted your Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2019 to 2020 on or after 3 March 2021 you’ll not be able to lodge a claim for this grant.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-different-circumstances-affect-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme

  • Twice Weekly Testing Campaign

The Government has launched a campaign for everyone in England to get free, twice weekly COVID-19 testing using rapid lateral flow tests as an essential part of the easing of restrictions, helping identify variants and stopping individual cases from becoming outbreaks.  A major public information campaign will run across TV, radio, press, digital, out-of-home advertising and social media from tonight.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-campaign-urges-public-to-get-tested-twice-a-week

  • Updated Guidance for Places of Worship

The guidance for places of worship has been updated to take into account the relaxations for Step 2 when

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-during-the-pandemic-from-4-july/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-from-2-december

  • R Number and Growth Rate

As always on a Friday, this week’s R number range is 0.8 to 1.0 and the growth rate is -4% to 0%. This is exactly the same as last week and, although the figures are higher than two week’s ago, they still represent a decrease in the number of infections.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-r-number-in-the-uk

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TIER UPDATE 8 APRIL

Following today’s daily update, the visitor economy guidance and hotel and other accommodation guidance is now available on gov.uk with more detail on what businesses can open from step two.

Visitor Economy - 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.

See the full guidance to see more and find out what business must still be closed.

The hotels and other guest accommodation guidance has also been updated

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 facilitiesclose 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 facilitiesclose 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

Read the full guidance to find out more.

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE 1 – 9 APRIL

DCMS have sent round the attached update to their Q&As regarding Step 2 reopening on Monday, which provides more detail on the opening of self-catering businesses, and camping and caravanning sites.

There are two updates of particular note – on Wedding Show Rounds and Coach Trips 

  • Wedding Show Rounds

While business show rounds were already allowed for Step 2, the guidance has now been changed to allow wedding show-rounds. However, this only applies to businesses that have some ability to open already so a wedding show round is allowed at an accommodation businesses but not at an attraction or historic house – which makes little sense in terms of risk. 

Wedding show-rounds, viewings and site visits can only take place at venues when the venue is permitted to open. This means whether an in-person viewing can take place will depend on the current step of the roadmap, and the venues open at that time. For example, in-person viewings at indoor visitor attractions at heritage sites (such as stately or historic homes and castles) can only take place from Step 3 (no earlier than 17 May) when these venues are permitted to reopen. Viewings at accommodation sites can take place at Step 2. People must not visit a closed venue for the purposes of a wedding viewing. Virtual tours or other arrangements should be considered, until venues reopen. 

  • Coach Trips

One other change that makes no sense is the guidance for coach operators. Up until last night the guidance was: 

Private hire coach tours can take place for a private group of single households (or support/childcare) bubbles. 

This is the guidance that has always applied to coach operators, even during lockdown periods, and allows multiple single households on a coach provided that social distancing is maintained between each household. 

This has now been changed to

Private hire coach tours are only permitted for a private group of a single household/support bubble. The coach driver and tour guide do not count towards the single household/support bubble rule.

Private hire coaches must not accommodate groups containing multiple households (excluding support bubbles) travelling together to the same destination or making the same journey, e.g. for the purposes of a leisure tour, as this is more akin to ‘indoor gathering’ than it is to ‘public transport’ and will therefore not be permitted until Step 3.

This means that a coach is only able to carry one household at a time, which is obviously nonsensical . What also doesn’t make sense is that while every other businesses is having the rules relaxed, coach operators are having their restrictions increased. This is going to cause real problems on Monday as businesses have been operating on the guidance that applied until last night and taken bookings for trips to outdoor attractions which open on Monday. As well as all the problems that will cause, the one of the main groups that this will impact are the elderly who are a key market for coach operators.

In addition to the New Q&A, the Primary Guidance for Visitor Economy Businesses and Hotels and Other Guest Accommodation has also been updated with more detail on the rules and restrictions that apply to tourism and accommodation businesses during Step 2.

Here’s the new Visitor Economy Guidance

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/the-visitor-economy

And here’s the new Accommodation guidance

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/hotels-and-other-guest-accommodation

TIC UPDATES – 8 APRIL

In the updated Q& A attached there is updated information on show-rounds for both business and social events and also more information on the service of food at currently permit work related events.

  • Business Event Show Rounds 

Cabinet Office/DHSC have issued a revision to the position on business events show-rounds, which continues at Step 2 to permit show-rounds in conference centres and exhibition halls (including where those facilities exist within hotels) but does not make an exemption to allow showrounds in otherwise legally closed venues:

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.

COVID-Secure Guidance

Guidance has now been published for Hotels and Other Guest Accommodation and the Visitor Economy, to reflect the Step 2 (12 April) changes. New guidance for local authorities has also been published on Organised Events. Please find attached an updated Q&A document, which contains new information highlighted in yellow. I’d also like to bring your attention to a few issues that have been further clarified:

  • Cleaning of shared facilities in caravan parks

Campsites and caravan parks will be able to open receptions, washing facilities (including facilities for laundering clothes), public toilets, baby changing rooms, breastfeeding rooms, water points and waste disposal points. To mitigate the risk of households from different parts of the UK mixing indoors, shower facilities should be operated on a ‘reservation and clean’ rota basis. 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. The Roadmap at Step 2 opens self-contained accommodation in order to prioritise outdoor activity over indoor activity, and indoor activity within households rather than between them - therefore shower facilities must be operated in such a way as to ensure household mixing indoors does not take place at Step 2 and all reasonable steps should be taken to avoid household mixing elsewhere on site.

  • Coach Travel 

We know that there has been some confusion between DCMS and DfT guidance on coach travel. DfT’s guidance has or will shortly be updated and brought in line with the position recently shared via TIC. 

  • Private hire coach tours are only permitted for a private group of a single household/support bubble. The coach driver and tour guide do not count towards the single household/support bubble rule.
  • Private hire coaches must not accommodate groups containing multiple households (excluding support bubbles) travelling together to the same destination or making the same journey, e.g. for the purposes of a leisure tour, as this is more akin to ‘indoor gathering’ than it is to ‘public transport’ and will therefore not be permitted until Step 3. 
  • Business Event Show Rounds 

Cabinet Office/DHSC have issued a revision to the position on business events show-rounds, which continues at Step 2 to permit show-rounds in conference centres and exhibition halls (including where those facilities exist within hotels) but does not make an exemption to allow showrounds in otherwise legally closed venues:

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.

Further detail on Step 2 changes can be found in the relevant guidance documents.

You may also be interested in the following: 

  • Commercial Rent Consultation: On 6 April MHCLG published a call for evidence to support the Government’s decision-making on the best way to withdraw or replace legislation to prevent landlords of commercial properties from being able to evict tenants for not paying rent; to restrict landlords’ abilities to recover rental arrears through the seizure of tenants’ goods; and to restrict the service of statutory demands and winding up petitions. These measures are in place until 30 June 2021 and while the Government recognises they cannot – and should not – continue indefinitely, a carefully managed exit is necessary to preserve tenant businesses and the millions of jobs that they support. The call for evidence closes on 4 May.
  • Minister Scully and Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston have written to the leaders of 314 councils in England urging them to do all they can to pay out grants money more quickly and ensure businesses in their local authority area get the support they need. The letter also encourages councils to support pubs and restaurants to open outdoor areas and host outdoor events in a safe and secure manner.
  • Organised events guidance for local authorities was published on 6 April 
  • Prime Minister announces new deal to boost Cornwall economy
  • Recovery Loan Scheme launched on 6 April: Businesses can access loans varying in size from £25,000, up to a maximum of £10 million. Invoice and asset finance is available from £1,000.
  • A reminder that the Philippines, Pakistan, Kenya and Bangladesh will be added to England’s red list from Friday 9 April. It would be appreciated if those of you who have customers/members in these countries could help to make people aware of the new requirements. 
  • Embargoed until 9 Apr 2021 00:01: tomorrow, the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will announce £18m for cycle training across the country to ensure children and their families have the confidence to choose active travel. DfT would be grateful for any amplification or supportive comments you might be able to provide once this has been announced. 

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TIER UPDATE 7 APRIL

Events guidance for local authorities

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. Key information is mentioned below for each step. The full page is available here.

An event can take place at Step 2 (no earlier than 12 April) if:

  1. All three of the following conditions are met:
    1. The event takes place outdoors
    2. Attendees are expected to arrive and leave the event in a staggered manner throughout the day
    3. 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
  2. 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 fetes, animal and pet shows, funfairs and fairgrounds.
  • Drive-in cinemas and drive-in performance events (eg 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
  • Cinemas
  • Live performances (professional and non-professional/amateur)
  • Air shows, historical /battle reenactments, 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 at indoor events
  • 4,000 people or 50% of a site or venue’s capacity, whichever is lower at 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: 

  • contractors
  • administrators
  • 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 sportsground, 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.

Singing

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.

Other Government announcements

  • As part of the Towns Fund, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a £23.6 million investment in Truro, Cornwall. Find out more information about the deal and how the funding will be spent here.
  • The Government has awarded £3.5 million to support Coventry’s tenure as UK City of Culture 2021. The funding will help the city deliver its celebrations this summer in line with Covid-19 restrictions. Read the press release here.

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 7 APRIL

  • New Events Guidance

DCMS has published new events guidance that includes Step 2 and Step 3.

                At Step 2

An event can take place 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

Or the event is a drive-in performance or show.

                Examples of events that fit this criteria include

  • Agricultural/flower/garden shows
    • steam rallies
    • car boot sales
    • community fairs/village fetes
    • animal and pet shows
    • funfairs and fairgrounds
    • food and drink festivals
    • drive-in cinemas and drive-in live performance events

At Step 3:

An event can take place where:

  • People are likely to congregate in one area for the duration of the event.
  • People are likely to enter or leave the venue in large numbers at a similar time.

Examples of events that fit this criteria 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
  • cinemas
  • live performances
  • circuses
  • air shows
  • historical /battle re-enactments
  • live animal performances such as falconry displays at events
  • 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 at indoor events
  • 4,000 people or 50% of a site or venue’s capacity, whichever is lower at outdoor events

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.

It is important to note that capacity limits refer only to customers. Staff, workers, volunteers, speakers, exhibitors etc are covered by the work exemption and are not included the capacity limit.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-organised-events-guidance-for-local-authorities/coronavirus-covid-19-organised-events-guidance-for-local-authorities

  • Events Guidance for Local Authorities

As a companion document to the guidance for businesses regarding Events, DCMS has also produced guidance for local authorities to use when assessing whether to give permission for events to take place. It is useful for businesses to be aware of this when entering discussions with Local Authorities on how their event should take place.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-organised-events-guidance-for-local-authorities/coronavirus-covid-19-organised-events-guidance-for-local-authorities

  • WTTC Impact Assessment

WTTC have [published their latest Economic Impact Report which finds that travel and tourism revenue fell from £238 billion (10.1% of UK GDP) in 2019 to just £90 billion (4.2% of GDP) last year. They have calculated that this fall in revenue has resulted in the loss of 307,000 Travel & Tourism jobs in the UK.

https://wttc.org/News-Article/Travel-Tourism-sectors-contribution-to-UK-GDP-slumped-a-shocking-148-billion-in-2020

  • Guidance For Out of School Settings

The guidance for businesses or charities providing out of school activities and care for children has been updated to take account of the relaxation that will come into effect on Monday 12 April. From Monday, operators can offer provision to all children, without restriction on the reasons for which they may attend.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/protective-measures-for-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak

  • Quarantine Guidance Updated

The guidance for people quarantining at home after arriving into the country has been updated to clarify details on travelling to get a test swab taken and how people can raise issues related to the test product that they are using.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-quarantine-when-you-arrive-in-england

  • VisitEngland Sentiment Tracker

VisitEngland has published wave 27 of their Consumer Sentiment Tracker which covers fieldwork conducted between 22-26 March.

Confidence and overnight trip intent are marginally down, as is the proportion expecting normality to return to their lives by the end of the year (50%). There is a higher proportion of spring trip intenders saying they have already planned and booked their overnight trips, which now stand at 50% and 44% respectively. However, bookings for summer trips remains flat at just 19%. 17% of adults now plan on taking a day trip within the next two weeks, which is significantly up on last wave.

Highlights from wave 27 include:

  • The national mood is up 0.2 points to 6.7/10
  • The same proportion consider the ‘worst is still to come’ compared to wave 26 (17%).
  • The Appetite for Risk score is stable at 2.4/4, with ‘visiting a busy city centre’ having the lowest score among the various activities listed (also stable at 2.0).
  • Almost 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 just over a quarter of adults with similar intent regarding overseas trips.
  • Confidence edges down, with 33% fairly/very confident a trip booked for this June could proceed as planned (down 5 points)
  • 14% anticipate taking an overnight trip this spring (Apr – June) rising to 35% during the summer (July – Sept).  This compares to 16% and 37% respectively last wave.
  • Among those who are intending to take a trip this spring, 50% have reached the planning and 44% the booking stages of their trips, which is up from 43% and 29% respectively last wave.
  • The South West remains the lead destination for spring trips with a commanding 24% share; 12 percentage points ahead of second placed North West.
  • The leading destination type for spring trips is ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’ (32%) narrowly ahead of ‘countryside or village’ (31%).
  • The accommodation types most likely to be used on overnight trips this spring are ‘commercial rentals’ (e.g. holiday cottages) on 39%, ‘camping/caravan’ (37%), ‘Hotel/motel/inn’ (34%) and a ‘private home’ (also 34%).
  • Some 43% of UK adults intend to take a day trip to a ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’ and 42% to a ‘countryside or village’ destination at some stage this spring/summer.  This compares with 23% intending to visit a ‘large city’.

https://www.visitbritain.org/covid-19-consumer-sentiment-tracker

----------------------------------------

TIER UPDATE 6 APRIL

DETAILS ON THE NEWLY PUBLISHED EVENTS GUIDANCE FOR LOCAL AUTHORITIES

The new events guidance for local authorities has just been published at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-organised-events-guidance-for-local-authorities/coronavirus-covid-19-organised-events-guidance-for-local-authorities.

It goes all the way up to Step 4 of the Roadmap (which the Visitor Economy guidance doesn't) so DCMS has used this as a vehicle to get some hopefully helpful messages in, including:

At Step 3:

  • 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 are permitted
  • 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 seperated 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.
  • 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:  
    • contractors
    • administrators
    • 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
  • Relaxation of restrictions in Northern Ireland

    On Friday 1 April, the Northern Ireland Executive ratified the relaxations planned for 12 April  as a part of its pathway out of restrictions. In addition a few further relaxations were announced that will come into effect from 12 April:

  • To permit all pupils to return to school;
  • To increase the number who can meet outdoors in a garden, from six to 10 (including children) from two households;
  • To remove the ‘stay at home’ provision in the legislation, moving to a ‘stay local’ and ‘work from home’ message;
  • To allow contactless ‘click and collect’ for all non-essential retail; and
  • To allow outdoor sports training to resume by sports clubs affiliated with recognised sports Governing Bodies, in small groups of up to 15 people but with all indoor spaces closed except essential toilet facilities.
  • To extend the provision for up to 15 people (including coaches), as previously agreed, to also include structured outdoor sports training organised by clubs/individuals affiliated to recognised sports governing bodies or representative organisations for sport and physical activity
  • To permit potential marriage and civil partnership customers to view the facilities of venues used for marriages and civil partnerships, such as hotels and other venues, restricted to a maximum of four customers per visit.
  • To reopen outdoor retail, including garden centres.
  • To increase the number permitted to attend marriages, civil partnerships and funerals, informed by a risk assessment for the venue.
  • The next date that restrictions will be reviewed on is 15 April 2021.

    Recovery Loan Scheme opens for applications

    The new government-backed loan scheme was launched today. The Recovery Loan Scheme, which was announced at the budget and runs until 31 December 2021, will be administered by the British Business Bank. See which lenders have been accredited to date.

  • Businesses can access loans varying in size from £25,000, up to a maximum of £10 million.
  • Invoice and asset finance is available from £1,000.
  • The government will provide an 80% guarantee for all loans.
  • Interest rates have been capped at 14.99% and are expected to be much lower than that in the vast majority of cases,
  • The Recovery Loan Scheme can be used as an additional loan on top of support received from the emergency schemes – such as the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
  • Read the press release. You can also read guidance on the recovery loan scheme and find out how to apply here.

    New temporary permitted development rights in Wales

    To support the reopening of businesses and their efforts to create safe environments for the public to feel confident to return to the high street, hospitality and tourism sectors, the Welsh Government is temporarily relaxing planning control for specified development through amendments to the Town and County Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995.

    The Amendment Order comes into force on 30 April. 

    Local Planning Authorities in Wales have been encouraged to support businesses and prioritise any applications where a planning application for temporary use is required.

    Consumer Sentiment Tracker wave 27 figures published

    VisitEngland has published wave 27 of their Consumer Sentiment Tracker which covers fieldwork conducted between 22-26 March.

    Confidence and overnight trip intent are marginally down, as is the proportion expecting normality to return to their lives by the end of the year (50%). There is a higher proportion of spring trip intenders saying they have already planned and booked their overnight trips, which now stand at 50% and 44% respectively. However, bookings for summer trips remains flat at just 19%. 17% of adults now plan on taking a day trip within the next two weeks, which is significantly up on last wave.

    Highlights from wave 27 include:

  • The national mood is up 0.2 points to 6.7/10
  • The same proportion consider the ‘worst is still to come’ compared to wave 26 (17%).
  • The Appetite for Risk score is stable at 2.4/4, with ‘visiting a busy city centre’ having the lowest score among the various activities listed (also stable at 2.0).
  • Almost 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 just over a quarter of adults with similar intent regarding overseas trips.
  • Confidence edges down, with 33% fairly/very confident a trip booked for this June could proceed as planned (down 5 points)
  • 14% anticipate taking an overnight trip this spring (Apr – June) rising to 35% during the summer (July – Sept).  This compares to 16% and 37% respectively last wave.
  • Among those who are intending to take a trip this spring, 50% have reached the planning and 44% the booking stages of their trips, which is up from 43% and 29% respectively last wave.
  • The South West remains the lead destination for spring trips with a commanding 24% share; 12 percentage points ahead of second placed North West.
  • The leading destination type for spring trips is ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’ (32%) narrowly ahead of ‘countryside or village’ (31%).
  • The accommodation types most likely to be used on overnight trips this spring are ‘commercial rentals’ (e.g. holiday cottages) on 39%, ‘camping/caravan’ (37%), ‘Hotel/motel/inn’ (34%) and a ‘private home’ (also 34%).
  • Some 43% of UK adults intend to take a day trip to a ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’ and 42% to a ‘countryside or village’ destination at some stage this spring/summer.  This compares with 23% intending to visit a ‘large city’.
  • TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 6 APRIL

  • Confirmation of Step 2
  • As you will all be aware from yesterday’s announcement, Step 2 starting on 12th April has been confirmed with no changes to the relaxation of restrictions that were announced in the Roadmap. One good rule of thumb is that only individuals or a single household group can visit an indoor setting, while groups complying with the Rule of Six/Two Households are allowed to meet in outdoor settings.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-easing-of-covid-restrictions-confirmed-for-12-april

  • Recovery Loan Scheme
  • The Government’s new Recovery Loan Scheme opens today. This scheme allows businesses to access loans of £25,000 to £10 million and as well as invoice and asset finance from £1,000. The government will provide an 80% guarantee for all loans and interest rates have been capped at 14.99% (although the Government expects the rates will be much lower for the vast majority of cases.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/recovery-loan-scheme-launches-today

    New Red List Countries

    Philippines, Pakistan, Kenya, and Bangladesh have been added to the Red List countries and, as such a travel ban will come into effect for visitors from these countries from 4am on Friday 9 April

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/countries-added-to-red-list-to-protect-uk-against-variants-of-concern

  • Roadmap Reviews
  • The Government produced an update on the work of the four review groups that were established when the Roadmap was announced on 22nd February. These interim reports contain little in the way of outcomes or proposals – the main points are:

    Certification

  • The Government believes that:
    • businesses are able to ask customers for proof of COVID-status in order to access their premises as long as they are compliant with equalities legislation
    • it is right for it to provide a means of easily demonstrating COVID-status
    • COVID-status certification could be acquired through vaccinations, testing or natural immunity
    • there are some settings (such as essential public services, public transport and essential shops) where COVID-status certification should never be required
    • it is possible that COVID-status certification could also play a role in reducing social distancing requirements
  • The NHS is working on providing individuals with the means to demonstrate their COVID status through a digital and non-digital route

    Global Travel Taskforce

  • 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 17th May
  • When non-essential international travel does return it will do so with a risk-based “traffic light” system.
    • Green – no isolation needed
    • Amber – home quarantine
    • Red – no entry except for returning citizens and hotel quarantining
  • It is too early to say which countries will be on the green list when non-essential international travel resumes.
  • The Government advises people not to book summer holidays abroad until the picture is clearer
  • When non-essential international travel does resume, the NHS solution to demonstrating Covid status (above) will facilitate international travel where certification is required, and the Government will look to establish arrangements with other countries and international organisations to establish mutual recognition of certificates
    • 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
  • Social Distancing

  • 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.
  • https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021-reviews-terms-of-reference/roadmap-reviews-update

  • Code of Practice for Commercial  Properties
  • The Government has updated the Code of Practice for Commercial Properties, which sets out how commercial landlords and tenant should work together to protect viable businesses. In short, the code of practices states that, where businesses are able to pay rent, they should do so and where this is not possible, landlords should provide support to businesses if they are able to do so. It encourages tenants and landlords to be transparent in their discussions and to act reasonably and responsibly whilst recognising the impact that coronavirus has had on businesses’ finances

    As part of the update to the Code of Practice, a new annex has been added to help landlords and tenants resolve the issue of rent arrears and service charges accrued due to Covid-19 and the imposed lockdowns. The annex is a form designed as a questionnaire that allows tenants to bring together the information relevant to individual situations and generate a formal proposal for repayment that the landlord can respond to by either accepting or producing a counter-offer.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/code-of-practice-for-the-commercial-property-sector

    Associated with this, the Government has also launched a call for evidence on:

  • the moratorium on commercial lease evictions established by section 82 of the Coronavirus Act 2020
  • the restrictions on the use of Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) established by the Taking Control of Goods (Amendment)(Coronavirus) Regulations 2021
  • The government’s objective is to gather more evidence to understand how landlords and tenants are responding to the build-up of rent arrears that has occurred as a result of businesses being unable to trade normally during the pandemic. This will inform a better understanding of the risk to economic recovery posed by remaining rent debts, and to understand how landlords and tenants are adjusting existing lease terms to reflect the period of recovery that many tenant businesses will need once the trading restrictions are lifted. The evidence gathered will inform government policy regarding the exit from the existing measures and any need for additional measures to preserve viable businesses and the jobs that they provide.

    Responses to the call for evidence are due by 4th May 2021

    https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/commercial-rents-and-covid-19-call-for-evidence/commercial-rents-and-covid-19-call-for-evidence--2

  • Updated Test and Trace Guidance
  • The guidance for test and trace requirements has been updated for businesses that are allowed to open. Points of note in the guidance are:

  • Staff at a venue should check customers phone screens to ensure they have successfully checked in
  • You do not need to ask for contact details for people whose visit is for the sole purpose of making a delivery or collection by supplies or contractors, including food or physical goods.
  • You do not need to ask for contact details for those under the age of 16
  • If someone does not have the mental capacity to provide their contact details, hospitality venues should not refuse entry
  • Businesses will not be in breach of the requirements if they have reason to believe someone can’t provide the details for disability reasons and don’t ask for them as a result.
  • Hospitality venues should not deny entry to homeless people who are unable to provide a contact number or email address.
  • https://www.gov.uk/guidance/maintaining-records-of-staff-customers-and-visitors-to-support-nhs-test-and-trace#displaying-an-official-nhs-qr-code-poster

  • Travel Within the CTA
  • The Government has updated the guidance for Step 1b by including a section on travel within the Common Travel Area. This includes

    Travelling to or from Northern Ireland

    Currently in Northern Ireland it is against the law to leave home without a reasonable excuse. Those arriving into Northern Ireland from another part of the Common Travel Area are asked to self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival.

    Travelling to or from Scotland

    Non-essential travel between Scotland and the rest of the UK, and the wider Common Travel Area, remains restricted. This means it is illegal to enter or leave Scotland unless you have a reasonable excuse. Travelling for a holiday is not a reasonable excuse.

    Travelling to or from Wales

    Non-essential travel between Wales and the rest of the UK, and the wider Common Travel Area, remains restricted. This means it is illegal to enter or leave Wales unless you have a reasonable excuse. Travelling for a holiday is not a reasonable excuse.

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do#travelling-within-the-uk-the-republic-of-ireland-and-the-channel-islands

  • APPG Inquiry Extension
  • The Hospitality and Tourism APPG is currently holding an inquiry - After the Vaccine - Saving the UK’s Town and City Centres Post COVID-19
    Before the pandemic, town and city centres accounted for around 60% of the country’s economic output and more than half of the population. These areas will be vital in the economic recovery of the UK, especially in relation to domestic and inbound tourism. As such, this inquiry looks to tackle a wide range of topics impacting the UK’s cities and towns, before concluding with a report and recommendations outlining the support that businesses in towns and cities need.

    The deadline for submitting evidence for this inquiry has been extended until the end of next week so members and businesses that depend on a vibrant economically active town centres are encouraged to put in a submission on the following link

    https://www.ukhospitality.org.uk/page/APPG

--------------------------------

TIER UPDATE 5  APRIL

Please see below a summary of the Prime Minister’s statement this afternoon (Monday 5th April) as well as some relevant Government announcements from over the weekend.

Prime Minister’s Statement

In his statement today, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson confirmed that from Monday 12 April, England will move to step 2 of its roadmap. 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 the summary later in this update.

Updates to guidance on (COVID-19) Coronavirus restrictions: what you can and cannot do (England)

Some COVID-19 restrictions will be eased from 12 April:

  • Self-contained accommodation will be able to open for overnight stays in England for people with their household or support bubble
  • Outdoor hospitality venues will be able to reopen, with table service only
  • Most outdoor attractions including zoos, theme parks, and drive-in performances (such as cinemas and concerts) will be able to reopen
  • Some smaller outdoor events such as fetes, literary fairs, and fairgrounds will be able to take place
  • Non-essential retail will be able to reopen
  • Personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons will be able to reopen
  • Public buildings such as libraries and community centres will be able to reopen
  • Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies, wakes and other commemorative events will be able to take place for up to 15 people (anyone working is not included in this limit), including in indoor venues that are permitted to open or where an exemption applies. Wedding receptions can also take place for up to 15 people, but must take place outdoors, not including private gardens

Guest accommodation providers such as hotels, B&Bs and caravan parks may only remain open for the specific reasons set out in law. A full list of reasons can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England.

Read the press release to find out more.

Key points from Update on Roadmap Reviews

A policy paper has been published today updating on the roadmap reviews. Please see some of the 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, later this week.
  • 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.

See the press release on event pilots announced today.

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.

Updates to NHS COVID app and twice weekly rapid testing to be available to everyone in England

Everyone in England will be able to access free, regular, rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing from 9 April. To coincide with the offer of free rapid testing for everyone, there will be updates to the NHS COVID-19 app in England from 8 April. All venues in England in scope of the regulations are legally required to display an official NHS QR code poster. There will be new posters displaying QR codes for hospitality venues in England. Find out how to create an NHR QR code for your venue.

Everyone in a group must check in

In line with new regulations, when a group enters a hospitality venue, every individual must check either by scanning the official NHS QR code poster with the NHS COVID-19 app, or by providing their contact details. Previously, only the lead member of the group needed to provide contact details to check in.

Venue history sharing

If an app user tests positive, they will be asked to share their venue history in a privacy-protecting way via the app. This will allow venue alerts to be generated more quickly, and improve the ability to identify where outbreaks are occurring and take steps to prevent the virus spreading.

Additional venue alerts

If a person has been at a venue on the same day as several other people who have since tested positive for COVID-19, they may receive an alert advising them to book a test immediately, whether they are showing symptoms or not. This is to support finding asymptomatic cases who may have caught the virus but are not displaying symptoms.

A new ‘Pharmacy Collect’ service is also launching which will provide an additional route to regular testing. 

The universal offer is currently for England only. The Devolved Administrations make their own policy decisions around testing.

Read the press release to find out more, including how the expanded regular testing offer will be delivered

The Philippines, Pakistan, Kenya and Bangladesh to be added to England’s ‘red list’ from 9 April 2021

Following new data showing an increased risk of importation of variants of concern, travel bans are to be implemented for visitors from Philippines, Pakistan, Kenya, and Bangladesh from 4am Friday 9 April. British, Irish and third-country nationals with residence rights (including long-term visa holders) arriving from these countries will be required to self-isolate in a government-approved hotel quarantine facility for 10 days. The page detailing countries from which entry to the UK is banned - 'red list' countries has been updated accordingly on gov.uk.

Other Government announcements

 

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