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TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE 13 JAN

The Government has just published the guidance on the new Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment announced last week and updated the eligibility for the LRSG (copy attached).

The key points on these two grants are

  • Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum: 5 January onwards
    • The payment period is initially extended to 42 days from 5 January 2021 rather than the 14-day payment cycle in tiers. Local Authorities have been asked to provide the funding as soon as the receive it rather than waiting to the end of the 42 day period (ie., it will not be paid in arrears). After the 42 day period, any future payment period will be reviewed.
    • Businesses that are eligible are those that have been mandated to close by Government and include non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality businesses. You can reference these in the legislation https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1374/schedule/3A or the lockdown guidance https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home#businesses-and-venues
    • The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum: Tier 4 (Open) and (Sector) and (Closed) now cease to apply, although applications can still be made for eligible periods before national restrictions.
    • Businesses supported through LRSG (Sector) will be eligible for funding under the LRSG (Closed) Addendum: 5 January onwards during national restrictions, for example nightclubs and sexual entertainment venues.
  • The following thresholds apply to LRSG (Closed) Addendum: 5 January onwards:
  1. Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on the date of the commencement of the widespread national restrictions will receive a payment of £2,001 per 42-day qualifying restriction period.
  2. Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on the date of the commencement of the widespread national restrictions will receive a payment of £3,000 per 42-day qualifying restriction period.
  3. Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or above on the commencement date of the widespread national restrictions, will receive £4,500 per 42-day qualifying restriction period.
  • Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment
    • Businesses excluded from both these grants include:
      • Businesses that are able to conduct their main service because they do not depend on providing direct in-person services from premises and can operate their services effectively remotely (e.g. accountants, solicitors).
      • Businesses in areas outside the scope of the national restrictions, as defined by Government, are also excluded. 51. Businesses that have chosen to close but not been required to will not be eligible for this grant.
    • Eligibility for the CBLP is the same as the LRSG (Closed) Addendum: 5 January onwards scheme. Businesses that are eligible are those that have been mandated to close by Government and include non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality businesses.
    • The scheme will close for applications on 31 March 2021, but it is expected Local Authorities will identify and pay all relevant businesses as soon as possible once the funding is received.
    • The scheme will close on 30 April 2021, so final payments will need to be made by this date.
    • The following funding thresholds apply to the Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment:
  1. Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on the date of the commencement of the widespread national restrictions will receive a payment of £4,000.
  2. Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on the date of the commencement of the widespread national restrictions will receive a payment of £6,000.
  3. Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or above on the
  • Also
    • There is need for Councils to run two separate application processes. For example, a business with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 will receive one payment of £6,001 (£2,001 LRSG (Closed) Addendum and £4,000 CBLP
    • Local Authorities will also receive a £500 million top up to the ARG and this can be used to support businesses that are adversely impacted but not eligible under the LRSG (Closed) Addendum: 5 January onwards or the Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment

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TIER UPDATE 12 JAN

Home Secretary Priti Patel this evening’s press conference alongside Dr Vin Diwakar (NHS England) and Martin Hewitt (Police Chiefs Council). The statement should be available shortly on GOV.UK. You can watch the statement here.

Statement from First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon – 12 January

In her statement at St Andrew’s House today Nicola Sturgeon announced that in addition to the top up grants available to hospitality, retail and leisure sectors that were announced yesterday, further one-off additional support will be available for businesses in level three areas. Approximately £3 million will be provided to local authorities so that they are able to support affected businesses.

We will provide you with more information on this financial support as it becomes available.

Welsh Government’s £180m Economic Resilience Fund package opens for applications tomorrow

The Welsh Government’s latest £180m Economic Resilience Fund package to support tourism, hospitality and leisure businesses affected by coronavirus restrictions will open for applications at 12.00 on Wednesday 13 January.

An eligibility checker is available alongside other COVID-19 support for businesses on the Business Wales website.

Update on pre-departure testing for arrivals into England and Scotland

England

From 04.00 on 15 January 2021, pre-departure testing will be required for all inbound passengers to England

Passengers arriving by ship, plane or train will have to take a test up to 3 days before departure and provide evidence of a negative result before they travel. This will be an additional requirement that applies to all passengers, including those travelling from a travel corridor country, other than those on a very short list of exemptions.

Passengers travelling to England from the Common Travel Area (the United Kingdom, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey), will not be in scope of the regulations.

Certain limited reasonable excuses for not undergoing testing will also be permitted, for example, lack of testing infrastructure in the departure country. This will apply to 3 overseas territories – St Helena, Ascension Island and the Falklands.

Arrivals from 3 additional countries will be considered to have a reasonable excuse not to comply due to lack of testing infrastructure. However, for these countries this will only apply for a specific, time limited window. This includes:

  • Antigua and Barbuda – until 04.00 Thursday 21 January 2021
  • St Lucia – until 04.00 Thursday 21 January 2021
  • Barbados – until 04.00 Thursday 21 January 2021

If passengers are arriving from one of the above 3 countries after the time limited window has ended, they will be required to meet all pre-departure testing requirements.

Further details on exemptions and reasonable excuses will be set out in regulations and in guidance.

Measures are likely to be in place until the end of the current lockdown, although a review will take place before the end of that period.

Read the full written statement to Parliament.

Scotland

From 04.00 on Friday 15 January 2021, passengers travelling to Scotland from outside the Common Travel Area must have a valid negative COVID-19 test result, taken no more than three days before the scheduled time of departure.  This will be checked by operators, and passengers with a positive test result or an invalid certificate will be refused boarding.

This addition of pre-departure testing (PDT) does not replace the requirement for all passengers arriving from countries not on the quarantine exemption list to self-isolate for ten days, even with a negative test. 

The regulations will be subject to review every 28 days.

Travel corridors

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been removed from the UK's list of travel corridors. Travellers arriving into Scotland from 04.00 on 11 January need to self-isolate. Travellers arriving into England, Wales, and Northern Ireland from 04.00 on 12 January will need to self-isolate.

Other updates

The Pubs Code Adjudicator (PCA) has approved a Declaration which pauses and preserves key Code rights during this latest period of restrictions. A summary of what the declaration means in practice to tenants is available on GOV.UK.

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 12 JANUARY

  • Hospitality Minister Debate

Here’s a link to the transcript of the debate on creating a Hospitality Minister position in BEIS that was triggered by petitions on this issue exceeding the 100,000 mark. The debate was well attended with very strong and knowledgeable contributions by a range of MPs. The call for a Hospitality Minister was responded to by the Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets, Paul Scully, who acknowledged and emphasised the importance of hospitality to the UK economy and local communities. He undertook to continue to work  with the sector to get it through the immediate crisis and then build back stronger, but stopped short of agreeing with the need for a Hospitality Minister.

The debate ended with Catherine McKinnell MP, who introduced the petition, thanking the Minister for his response but urging him to take the idea of creating the position of Hospitality Minister to the Prime Minister as something that it is in the Government’s interest to create.

                https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2021-01-11/debates/FCAB0ADE-7DE7-4C5D-8A14-D74F0D5B760C/HospitalityIndustryGovernmentSupport

  • RDF Q&A Update

If you are involved in the Regional Development Fund Project, a updated Q&A has been published which addresses issues such as an underspend for the 2020/21 year or the inability to deliver project outputs related to Coronavirus.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/european-structural-and-investment-funds-coronavirus-covid-19-response/european-regional-development-fund-2014-to-2020-programme-questions-and-answers-on-covid-19-response

While on the subject of European Funding, you may be interested in this paper (July 2020) on the allocation of the £10m RDF Tourism Kick-Starting package that was announced around May last year. The paper contains the amount allocated to each LEP as part of the process. The money was to be allocated to:

    • one-to-many events providing guidance to respond to coronavirus
    • small grants (£1,000 - £5,000) to: o help visitor economy businesses access specialist professional advice e.g. human resources, accountants, legal, financial, IT / digital o purchase minor equipment to adapt or adopt new technology in order to continue to deliver business activity or diversify

The LEPs have until 28 February 2021 for these funds to be allocated, so it might be worth a call to your LEP to make sure there are no remaining unallocated funds.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/901015/VE_Partner_Information_and_Allocations_FINAL_150720.pdf

  • Updated Guidance on Quarantining

The guidance on quarantining on entry into the UK has been updated to include the ban on international arrivals who have been in or travelled through the following countries in the previous 10 days: Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique, Angola, Mauritius and Seychelles (note that this ban does not include UK nationals or EEA nationals with a right to live in the UK)

The guidance has also been updated to include further clarity on as to when quarantining rules apply to England rather than the UK as a whole.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-how-to-self-isolate-when-you-travel-to-the-uk

  • Further Grants for Heritage

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has opened the second round of heritage funding for organisations in England. The second round consists of £36m and the National Heritage Lottery Fund will be offering grants of between £10,000 and £3m to support organisations to make the transition towards full reopening.

Applications are open until 2pm on 26 January 2021 and  are seminars tomorrow and Thurday

https://www.heritagefund.org.uk/funding/culture-recovery-fund-heritage-second-round?utm_source=Trustees%20of%20the%20National%20Heritage%20Memorial%20Fund&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=12056916_CRF2%20applications%20open%20%28to%20openers%20of%20heads-up%20email%29&utm_content=CRF2%20guidanceance&dm_i=12AA,76F6C,2D38Y0,T2ROW,1

  • Online Marketplace for UK Suppliers

ETOA, in conjunction with UKInbound, are organising an online marketplace whereby UK suppliers can meet with inbound and domestic travel buyers to plot the recovery in 2021 and 2022. It takes place on January 26th, and has over 180 of the leading inbound companies taking part.

If you wish to know more, you can click here:  if you want to see a list of the buyer companies attending, you can do so here

There are still a few slots open for suppliers, so if any Tourism Alliance member (or member of a member) wishes to take part, they are welcome to do so. Normally this costs £965, but thanks to support from Visit England, we are able to offer a rate of £299 (plus VAT). For this an attendee can anticipate at least 25 ten-minute appointments.

To register, click here, quoting BIM21ENG to access to discounted rate.  Please note that registrations will close on Friday 15th January.

If you have any questions you can contact Tom Jenkins directly on tjenkins@etoa.org

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TIER UPDATE 11 JAN

Scotland announces an extension of support for hospitality, retail and leisure

The Scottish Government has announced a top-up to the grant support available for hospitality, retail and leisure businesses across Scotland closed by level 4 restrictions.

In addition to the grants businesses receive through the Strategic Business Framework Fund, eligible businesses will also get a one off grant of:

  • £25,000 for larger hospitality businesses (those with a rateable value of £51,001 or more) on top of the 4-weekly £3,000
  • £6,000 for smaller hospitality businesses (those with a rateable value of £51,000 or less) on top of the 4-weekly £2,000
  • £9,000 for larger retail and leisure businesses on top of the 4-weekly £3,000
  • £6,000 for smaller retail and leisure businesses on top of the 4-weekly £2,000

Businesses that haven’t yet applied for either of these funds should submit an application as soon as possible through their local authority website. Applications are now open.

Scotland adds Dubai to travel quarantine list

The Scottish Government announced that travellers returning from Dubai must quarantine on arrival in Scotland for 10 days from 4am on Monday (11 January). In addition, passengers who have travelled to Scotland from Dubai since 3 January are also being asked to isolate for 10 days, from the date they arrived back in the country.

UK COVID-19 vaccination delivery plan published

Today Health Secretary Matt Hancock held a press conference on the UK COVID-19 vaccine delivery plan. He was joined by NHS England national medical director Professor Stephen Powis. Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi gave a simultaneous statement in the House of Commons.

  • Hancock called on people to follow the rules and asked people to ‘act like you have the virus’.
  • He went into detail about the new delivery plan.
    • The top 4 priority groups account for 88% of deaths from COVID, this explains why those most vulnerable are being prioritised. Those in these categories will be offered a vaccine by 15th February. The government are committed to reaching all care home residents by the end of this month and all adults will be offered their first dose by the Autumn.
    • Expansion to vaccination locations will ensure that everyone will live within 10 miles of a vaccination centre. For a small number of highly rural areas, the vaccine will be brought to them via mobile teams.

Read a statement from the Minister for Health and Social Services for Wales, Vaughan Gething, on the COVID-19 vaccination strategy.

 Chancellor of the Exchequer statement in the House of Commons

The Chancellor appeared in the House of Commons this afternoon to outline Government support for businesses. There was nothing new announced. The Chancellor said that he will be working towards his Budget, which will take place on 3 March.

Global Health Insurance Card

UK residents can apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) to access emergency medical care when travelling in the EU. Current European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) are valid as long as they are in date and people can continue to use these when travelling to the EU.

Other government announcements

  • The government has announced that testing will be rolled out across England for those who do not have symptoms. The eligibility of the community testing programme will be expanded to cover all 317 local authorities. Read the press release and the statement by Matt Hancock.
  • The definition of close contact has been updated on NHS Test and Trace. Close contact is now classified as being within 2 metres of a positive case for more than 15 minutes (the time is now cumulative).
  • Guidance from UK Visas and Immigration has been published about the COVID Visa Concession Scheme (CVCS). This guidance applies only to those who left the UK before 17 March 2020 when FCO travel guidance changed and who had, or are seeking to apply for, leave on an eligible route.

 Industry news:

  • Heathrow Airport has released figures showing that in 2020, 22.1 million passengers travelled through the airport, down 72.7%. 1.1 million passengers travelled through Heathrow in December 2020, down 82.9% compared to the same time last year.

COVID-19 Situation update 11 January 2021

 To see the number of cases of COVID-19 in England and the UK visit the UK COVID-19 dashboard.

To see the number of cases globally see the World Health Organisation dashboard.

TOURISM ALLIANCE UDPATE – 11 JANUARY

  • Covid Visa Concession Scheme

The Home Office has implemented a new Covid Visa Concession Scheme for people who had leave to enter or remain in the UK but have been unable to return to the UK to make an application for leave to remain (LTR) or indefinite leave to remain (ILR) before their current leave expires.

To be eligible the person must be abroad and all of the following must apply:

    • they left the UK before 17 March 2020
    • their leave expired and they were unable to return to the UK before its expiry due to COVID-19 travel restrictions
    • they intend to return to the UK once confirmation they are eligible is given by UKVI, not less than 21 calendar days’ notice of their date of travel, unless either:
      • they cannot travel because travel restrictions remain in place
      • they choose not to travel due to a COVID-19 risk to themselves or their family, for example, showing symptoms, a requirement to self-isolate or being high-risk and unable to travel

If that application is successful a single entry 3-month entry clearance will be granted to allow travel to the UK and submission of a leave to remain application to be made.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/950672/cvcs-guidance-v-1.0-ext.pdf

  • Vaccine Delivery Plan

The Government has published its vaccine delivery plan. The plan comprises four key components:

    • Supply
    • Prioritisation
    • Places :    206 active hospital hub sites  -   50 vaccination centres   -    Around 1,200 local vaccination service sites (including primary care networks, community pharmacy sites, and including the ability to travel to those who cannot come to a centre)
    • People  80,000 people have been recruited to deliver the vaccination programme

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/951284/UK_COVID-19_vaccines_delivery_plan.pdf

  • Vaccine Tracker

For those interested in keeping track of the implementation of the Government’s vaccination programme, there is an online dashboard that show the number of people vaccinated each week, the cumulative number people vaccinated and the number of people vaccinated in each of the devolved nations.

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/healthcare#card-people_who_have_received_vaccinations

  • Test and Trace in the Workplace

The guidance for employers on implementing Test and trace in the Workplace has been amended to include an updates definition as to what constitutes a close contact. The new definition is that a close contact is:

    • anyone who lives in the same household as someone with COVID-19 symptoms or who has tested positive for COVID-19
    • anyone who has had any of the following types of contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 with a PCR test:
    • face-to-face contact including being coughed on or having a face-to-face conversation within one metre
    • been within one metre for one minute or longer without face-to-face contact
    • sexual contacts
    • been within 2 metres of someone for more than 15 minutes (either as a one-off contact, or added up together over one day)
    • travelled in the same vehicle or a plane

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

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TIER UPDATE 8 JAN

Mandatory COVID-19 testing introduced to for international arrivals into England

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that from next week all inbound passengers arriving by boat, plane or train from all international destinations will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result before departing for England.

  • All international arrivals to England, including UK nationals, required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken up to 72 hours prior to departure
  • Passengers will be subject to an immediate fine of £500 if they fail to comply with the new regulations on pre-departure testing
  • All passengers arriving from countries not on the government’s travel corridor list will still be required to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of test result
  • Passengers will still be required to fill in a passenger locator form and be subject to national lockdown restrictions

All international arrivals into Scotland will be required to have proof of a negative COVID-19 test

Passengers travelling to Scotland from abroad will be required to have proof of a negative test taken a maximum of 72 hours before travel. The new public health requirement, will be introduced as soon as practically possible.

  • People arriving into Scotland will have to take the pre-departure test (PDT) up to 72 hours before leaving the country they are in.
  • Those coming from countries not on the quarantine exemption list will still be required to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival.
  • Non-essential travel to or from Scotland is currently illegal and will not immediately change with the introduction of pre-departure testing.

Level 4 coronavirus restrictions to continue in Wales

First Minister Mark Drakeford today has confirmed the alert level four coronavirus restrictions in Wales will continue. He also reiterated the need for everyone to stay at home.  The lockdown restrictions will be strengthened in some key areas to prevent the new, highly-infectious strain of the virus spreading in those shops and workplaces which remain open.

Following a formal review of the alert level four lockdown restrictions, which were introduced at midnight on 19 December, all the measures will remain in place. This means non-essential retail, hospitality venues, licensed premises and leisure facilities will remain closed. The measures will be strengthened to close all showrooms. They will still be able to operate click and collect arrangements.

Other Government updates

VisitEngland’s COVID-19 Consumer Sentiment Tracker

Wave 22 of the COVID-19 Consumer Sentiment Tracker is available on VisitEngland’s website. The field work for this wave was conducted between 18 -23 December, at that time there were several announcements that impacted the results of this wave including - the rapid spread of a new and more transmissible Covid-19 strain, the ‘cancellation’ of festive family/household gatherings, a third of England being placed into Tier 4 and travel from the UK banned by 50+ countries.

The key take-outs from this wave include:

  • The proportion believing ‘the worst is still to come’ regarding the coronavirus situation almost doubles to 62%
  • 8% expect life will ‘return close to normal’ by end March (versus 14% last wave) while just 33% expect this by end June
  • Understandably, there’s been a significant decline in the proportion who expect to take ‘the same or more’ domestic overnight short breaks between now and end March, compared to normal.
  • Confidence in having a booked trip go ahead as planned also went down, with 20% confidence in March (versus 31% last wave) and 50% confidence in June (versus 60% last wave)

To note: the current national lockdown in England hadn’t yet been mentioned when these results were collected meaning trip intent is likely to be inflated in the figures

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 8 JANUARY

  • Perceptions of the Future

ONS has published a survey of public actions over the Xmas period and perceptions regarding the future. While this survey was undertaken before the new lockdown, the perceptions regarding how soon the UK will get back to normal will have implications for holiday booking patterns this year. In this regard the main findings are:

  • A quarter of adults (25%) felt that life will return to normal in six months or less, compared with 22% the week before.
  • One in five (20%) adults felt that it will take more than a year for life to return to normal, compared with 23% the week before.

So, while there was some improvement in perceptions, it is concerning it tourism terms that only a quarter of people feel that life will return to normal before July and indicates that considerable work will need to be undertaken to increase consumer confidence.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandthesocialimpactsongreatbritain/8january2021

  • Removing Double Domestic APD to boost Tourism

I’ve attached a one page briefing from Airlines UK regarding the opportunity that has arisen from the UK leaving the EU to remove the double taxation on domestic air travel in the UK. Under EU rules, APD has to be charged on each departure from a UK airport so the tax on a return flight within the UK is twice what it is for a return flight to any other European destination. This has had a significant impact on the viability of domestic aviation routes and put UK destinations at a competitive disadvantage to European counterparts.

  • Since being introduced in 2006, domestic connectivity  has fallen by 27%.
  • Domestic passenger has fallen from 26.1 million in 2005 to 22.4 million in 2019
  • Prior to its collapse, APD represented 20% of Flybe average fare.

Removing this anomaly would put UK destinations on a level playing field with European competitors and help rebuild domestic tourism.

  • Summary of Existing Financial Support

HMT has published a summary of all the support that is available, This is a really useful summary and has links to all the separate support mechanisms under the following categories:

  • Employees
  • Businesses
  • Unemployed
  • Low income families
  • Local Authorities
  • Devolved Administrations

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/summary-of-existing-economic-support/summary-of-existing-economic-support

  • Apprenticeships Guidance Update

DfE have updated their guidance to businesses that are operating apprenticeship schemes with new guidance on remote provision and assessment in relation to the new lockdown and updated guidance on training and assessment in the workplace and educational settings.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/950845/Apprenticeship_response_to_COVID-19_FINAL.pdf

  • R Number

As usual for Friday, here are this week’s R Number and Growth rate. The R Number 1.0 to 1.4 and the growth rate range for the UK is 0% to +6%. This is relatively the same as just before Xmas when the figures were, respectively, 1.1-1.3 and +1% to +6%

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-r-number-in-the-uk

  • Pre departure Testing

The Government has announced that all people travelling to the UK will have to undertake Pre-departure testing. The key points of the announcement are:

  • All international arrivals to England, including UK nationals, are required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken up to 72 hours prior to departure
  • Passengers will be subject to an immediate fine of £500 if they fail to comply with the new regulations on pre-departure testing
  • All passengers arriving from countries not on the government’s travel corridor list will still be required to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of test result
  • Passengers will still be required to fill in a passenger locator form and be subject to national lockdown restrictions
  • There will be a limited number of exemptions, including for hauliers, children under 11, crews and for those who travelling from countries without the infrastructure available to deliver the tests

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mandatory-covid-19-testing-introduced-to-bolster-border-measures

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TIER UPDATE 7 JAN

In a press conference this afternoon the Prime Minister was joined by Sir Simon Stevens, NHS Chief Executive and Brigadier Phil Prosser to cover the rollout of vaccination. The statement should be available on GOV.UK shortly. You can watch the statement here.

Updates to the working safely during coronavirus guidance (England)

The visitor economy guidance and the hotels and other guest accommodation guidance has been updated. Full information is available on the respective pages linked above. Much of the guidance was covered in Monday’s update and the national lockdown guidance on what you can and cannot do.

Venues: including exhibition and conference centres

·         permitted venues, including exhibition and conference centres, can hire out function and event spaces for essential work, education and training purposes, where these events cannot reasonably be conducted remotely. However, they must not host conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, private dining events or banquets.

·         in-person meetings for work, training or education purposes should only take place where they cannot be delayed or reasonably be conducted remotely, and only where social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate it has followed COVID-19 guidance.

The performing arts page has also been updated to reflect the national restrictions in England in place from 6 January. During this period, performing arts venues can continue to operate under Stages 1 and 2 of the performing arts roadmap. This means:

  • Performing arts professionals may continue to rehearse and train, and perform for broadcast or recording purposes
  • Other than for this purpose, theatres, concert halls, grassroots music venues and entertainment venues must close. Professional dancers may continue to use dance studios
  • Non-professional activity, such as amateur choirs and orchestra, cannot take place
  • Indoor and outdoor performances with an audience cannot take place
  • People can only leave home for work purposes where it is unreasonable for them to do their job from home, including but not limited to people who work within critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing that require in-person attendance

The following pages have been updated in line with national lockdown guidance:

South African Travel Ban Extension
In addition to the travel ban imposed on South Africa on 23 December, the Government will halt travel from all southern African countries to England from 4am on Saturday 9January. Entry into England will be banned to those who in the last 10 days have travelled from or through any southern African country, including Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique and Angola – as well as Seychelles and Mauritius. This does not include British and Irish Nationals, longer-term visa holders and permanent residents, who will be able to enter but are required to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival along with their household.

This decision follows new data on the steep rise of incidence of the new COVID-19 variant and is intended to help prevent the further spread of this strain.  

Any exemptions usually in place – including for those related to employment – will not apply and those British nationals arriving into England from the other southern African countries, Seychelles and Mauritius after 4am on Saturday 9 January cannot be released from self-isolation through Test to Release. People sharing a household with anyone self-isolating from these countries will also have to self-isolate for 10 days.  

Read the full press release.

Removal from Travel Corridors list
As part of the ban on southern African Countries entering England, the following countries will be removed from the Travel Corridors list: Botswana, Seychelles, Mauritius. Ministers have also taken the decision to remove Israel (and Jerusalem) from the Government’s Travel Corridor list following a consistent increase in level and pace of confirmed cases of COVID-19. Anyone arriving from these countries from 4am on 9January will need to self-isolate for 10 days.

Other updates

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 7 JANUARY

  • Update Lockdown Guidance

With the passing of the legislation in Parliament, the lockdown guidance has been updated to state that it is illegal for a person to be outside their home without a reasonable excuse. It also confirms that one-on-one exercise activities are allowed

                https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home

  • Update Guidance for Rural Businesses

The rural payments agency has updated the guidance for farmers and rural businesses on how it will maintain services during the national lockdown. Key to this is a reassurance that inspectors will continue with most inspection work to ensure that there is no delay to payments. While much of the information is related to faming payments and services, there is tourism-related payments including Countryside Stewardship grants for woodland replanting and historic building restoration, as well as TDPS Growth Programme funds.

 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-farmers-landowners-and-rural-businesse

Similarly, the Forestry Commission has published guidance for businesses and customers on how it will operate during the lockdown and how to access advice or support.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/forestry-commission-operational-update-covid-19

  • Treatment of Expenses and Benefits

The Government has updated guidance on the tax treatment of coronavirus related expenses to include coronavirus testing. The guidance is that

    • coronavirus tests provided by the government, as part of its national testing scheme, are not treated as a benefit in kind for tax purposes and do not need to be reported.
    • If you’re providing antigen testing kits to your employees, outside of the government’s national testing scheme, either directly or by purchasing tests that are carried out by a third party, no Income Tax or Class 1A National Insurance contributions will be due. Similarly, employers and their employees will not be liable to any Income Tax or National Insurance contributions, where an employee receives money from their employer for obtaining a test.

The Government is legislating for this through regulations, and guidance will be updated shortly.

More information on the national testing scheme can be found in the essential workers: get a test today to check if you have coronavirus guide.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-treat-certain-expenses-and-benefits-provided-to-employees-during-coronavirus-covid-19

  • Visa Services

The Home Office and UKVI have updated their guidance to foreign nationals in the whose visa runs out during the national lockdown. The advice is that:

    • They should make all efforts to return home
    • If that is not possible, people with a visa that expires between 1 December 2020 and 31 January 2021 may request additional time to stay under ‘exceptional assurance’
    • Requests for exceptional assurance can be made by emailing cihassuranceteam@homeoffice.gov.uk

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

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TIER UPDATE 6 JAN

Prime Minister’s Statement to the House of Commons

This afternoon Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement in the House of Commons ahead of the vote on the lockdown legislation this evening. In his statement he reiterated the stay at home message for people in England. He said that the legislation being voted on today runs until 31 March to allow a steady, controlled and evidence-led move down through the tiers on a regional basis. There will be a statutory requirement for a review every two weeks and a legal obligation to remove them if they are no longer deemed necessary to limit the transmission of the virus. Read the full statement here.

 Additional restrictions in Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Executive announced some additional restrictions that will be introduced from midnight Thursday 7 January to limit contact between people in domestic settings, and preventing people from leaving home without a reasonable excuse.

The additional restrictions agreed include:

  • Private garden gatherings - maximum of six people from one household or support bubble only, with children under 12 counting towards the permitted total.
  • Gatherings reduced to maximum of six people from two households. Children under 12 are now counted towards the permitted total.
  • Outdoor exercise permitted with one person from another household - to allow, for example, those living alone to go for a walk with a friend.

These restrictions, which will be put into regulations and will be introduced from midnight on Thursday but the Executive has asked the public to act as if they are already in place. These restrictions will be in place until February 6 and will be reviewed on January 21.

Updates to the waterway guidance (England)

The waterway’s guidance for England has been updated to reflect the national lockdown information advising waterway users that they should limit travel to essential travel only. Travel on waterways and overnight stays are only permitted where the boat is their permanent residence or it is necessary for work, education or similar reasons. Those who live aboard their boats should limit their travel to access essential services and facilities. They should stay local where possible.

As in previous lockdowns, some activities using unpowered boats are permitted as part of daily exercise, limited to once a day and within the government guidance for exercise.

Updates to the working safely during coronavirus guidance (England)

  • The Heritage Locations guidance has been updated to reflect the national lockdown stay at home advice for England. Under these restrictions, some heritage locations can be visited for the purposes of daily exercise in a public outdoor place, but this should be limited to once per day, and people should not travel outside their local area. These include historic parks, gardens and landscapes and ruins, and monuments open to the elements, even where entry is paid for.
  • The grassroots sports guidance for the public and sport providers has been updated to reflect the national lockdown stay at home advice for England.

Other Government updates

  • The safer travel guidance for passengers has been updated to reflect the national lockdown information for England advising people to stay at home.
  • Transport operators are advised in the safer transport guidance for operators to consider the transport operator guidance alongside the general advice to the public on national lockdown that applies in England.
  • Guidance for visiting local coastlines this winter has been updated to reflect the national lockdown advice for England. If people are exercising at the coast with their household (or support bubble) or one other person, it should be limited to once per day, and they should not travel outside their local area.

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 6 JANUARY

  • Travel Agents Join Closed Business List

One of the points in the new Lockdown legislation is that Travel Agents have joined the list of businesses legally required to close. This means that they should now be eligible for the LRSG (Closed) ABTA is currently seeking confirmation on this.

If you want to review the lockdown legislation in a more useful form, the amendments have now been incorporated into the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers) (England) Regulations 2020 which you can view on the following link.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1374

  • Student Visitor Guidance

The Home Office has tweaked the guidance for organisations sponsoring students who are distance learning because of coronavirus that was issued yesterday to say that If a student has permanently withdrawn from their studies or deferred their studies for a period exceeding 60 days, the sponsor must report this as usual.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-tier-2-4-and-5-sponsors#if-youre-sponsoring-a-student-who-is-distance-learning

  • Transport Usage

The DfT has released their weekly figures on transport usage and, unsurprisingly, the use of public transport has collapsed with the introduction of the lockdown with national rail operating and the London tube operating at under 20% of their normal level and bus services outside London are operating at under 30% of normal. Somewhat surprisingly car use is still at 60% (which is twice the level of the first national lockdown) but this could change over the next few days.

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

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TIER & TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE 5 JAN

The Prime Minister gave a press conference with Prof Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England and Sir Patrick Vallance, chief scientific adviser this afternoon to update on vaccination plans. The statement should be available on GOV.UK shortly. You can watch the statement here and view the accompanying slides and datasets here.

During the Q+A, The Independent asked about mandatory negative tests for inbound passengers to the UK. Johnson said that new measures will be brought in to ensure people are tested coming in to the UK. He did not go into further detail about when or what these measures would look like.

The Government has published the legal text for the new COVID-19 restrictions in England announced by the Prime Minister yesterday. MPs will be voting on it tomorrow.

New lockdown grants to support businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors

The Chancellor has announced grants for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

The one-off top-up grants will be provided on a per property basis to businesses closed as a result of the latest restrictions as follows:

•               £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under

•               £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000

•               £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000

A further £594 million is also being made available for Local Authorities and the Devolved Administrations to support other businesses not eligible for the grants, that might be affected by the restrictions. Businesses should apply to their Local Authorities.

  • the Scottish Government will receive £375 million
  • the Welsh Government will receive £227 million
  • the Northern Ireland Executive will receive £127 million

The new one-off grants are in addition to the existing business support, including grants worth up to £3,000 for closed businesses, and up to £2,100 per month for impacted businesses once they reopen.

Check if your business is eligible for a coronavirus grant due to national restrictions (for closed businesses).

Update to information for individuals and businesses in Scotland

The guidance page containing information for individuals and businesses in Scotland has been updated to reflect Scotland’s mainland lockdown and ‘stay at home’ guidance.

Other updates

The following pages on GOV.UK have been updated to reflect the latest COVID restrictions in the UK:

•               Travel advice

•               Foreign travel insurance

The Department of Transport has asked if, where appropriate, TIER members could amplify the message that passengers travelling to France need to present a negative COVID test. The full list of private providers of COVID testing can be found here.

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 5 JANUARY

Clarification on New Grants

I’ve had a number of emails from people asking whether the new grants announced today are in addition to existing payments such as the LRSG. The answer is that these one-off grants are in addition to any other payments and that those other payments may continue if a business emerges from the National Lockdown into a Tier level where they are eligible for a payment.

I’m also seeking clarification from DCMS on whether the EU State Aid rules and limits still apply now that we have left the EU and will come back to you when I get an answer on that.  

  • CJRS Update

The guidance on the furlough scheme has been updated to state that employees can be furloughed if caring responsibilities arising from Coronavirus (COVID-19) mean they are:

    • unable to work (including from home)
    • working reduced hours

Examples of caring responsibilities include caring for:

    • children who are at home as a result of school or childcare facilities closing
    • a vulnerable individual in your household

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

  • Stay at Home Poster

The Government has published a “Stay at Home” poster similar to the ones for the Tier levels which highlights to new rules and restrictions. Like the other posters this is a good easy reference guide for members and staff.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/england-lockdown-stay-at-home-posters

  • Community Facilities

The guidance for the use of community facilities has been updated to state that under the the lockdown, community facilities can only be used for a very limited number of activities including:

    • Support groups
    • Childcare provided by a person who is registered under Part 3 of the Childcare Act 2006 or supervised activities for children 
    • education or training 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-multi-purpose-community-facilities/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-multi-purpose-community-facilities#permitted-activities-in-multi-use-community-facilities-signposting-to-relevant-guidance

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BVEP & TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE 5 JAN

In England during the lockdown there remain a limited number of essential activity purposes which are still permitted and for which the use of meeting venues is allowed. However, there is an onus on employers to facilitate working from home wherever possible and for people to stay home in law apart from for specified reasons.

Examples of exemptions are set out in the guidance National lockdown: Stay at Home - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) include training of essential workers and of staff in other businesses permitted to remain open. Also permitted are specific university programmes which might require additional space; venues used for charitable purposes, medical use, volunteering, nursery activities, mutual aid and therapy groups, elite sports group training, film production and broadcasting.

The Chancellor has just announced grants for businesses

  • Business Grants
    • one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring
    • £594 million discretionary fund also made available to support other impacted businesses

The one-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses as follows:

  • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
  • £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000
  • business support is a devolved policy and therefore the responsibility of the devolved administrations, which will receive additional funding as a result of these announcements in the usual manner:
  • the Scottish Government will receive £375 million
  • the Welsh Government will receive £227 million
  • the Northern Ireland Executive will receive £127 million

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/46-billion-in-new-lockdown-grants-to-support-businesses-and-protect-jobs

                Further details on the grants will follow 

A bit more detail has been added to the link that I send round after the announcement of the National Lockdown in England last night:

  • Tourism-Related Businesses Required to Close
    • hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery.
    • accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for providing accommodation or support to the homeless, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
    • leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, sports courts, fitness and dance studios, riding arenas at riding centres, climbing walls, and golf courses.
    • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres), circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, water parks and theme parks
    • animal attractions (such as zoos, safari parks, aquariums, and wildlife reserves)
    • indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open for outdoor exercise.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home

All this is reasonably similar to the first national lockdown but it is worth noting:

  • Leaving home to exercise is limited to once a day but for no set period and outdoor attractions such as gardens and grounds can remain open
  • Exercise can be taken with one other person which seems to allow one-on-one outdoor training or activities that comply with all other rules such as travel and social distancing
  • Any worker with a valid reason can stay overnight in accommodation rather than just essential workers as previously.

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TIER UPDATE 4 JAN 2021: PART 2

As you will no doubt be aware, the Prime Minister has just given a televised address to the nation outlining a national lockdown in England. In summary:

  • England will be entering a national lockdown, the Government is instructing people to stay at home and this will be backed up with legislation - according to gov.uk, the stay at home rules come into effect from tomorrow - 5 January.
  • People will be permitted to leave home for limited reasons, including shopping for essentials, work if you cannot work from home, exercise, or to seek medical assistance.
  • Shielding will begin again, those at risk will receive a letter.
  • Primary schools, secondary schools, and colleges must move to online learning from tomorrow – except for vulnerable children and children of key workers. Nurseries will continue to be open.

The following guidance has been published on gov.uk for people who are fit and well.

People can exercise in a public outdoor place alone, with the people they live with, with their support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one),  in a childcare bubble where providing childcare or, when alone, with 1 person from another household

Public outdoor places include:

  • Parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests
  • Public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them)
  • The grounds of a heritage site
  • Playgrounds

Outdoor sports venues, including tennis courts, golf courses and swimming pools, must close.

Travel

  • People must not leave their home unless they have a reasonable excuse (for example, for work or education purposes). If people need to travel, they should stay local – meaning avoiding travelling outside of their village, town or the part of a city where you live – and look to reduce the number of journeys made overall
  • People can only travel internationally – or within the UK – where they first have a legally permitted reason to leave home. In addition, they should consider the public health advice in the country being visited.
  • People cannot leave your home or the place where they are living for holidays or overnight stays unless you have a reasonable excuse for doing so. This means that holidays in the UK and abroad are not allowed. This includes staying in a second home or caravan, if that is not a primary residence

Businesses and venues which must close

To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. The full list of businesses required to close will be available shortly in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England, but includes:

  • non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment) and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services.
  • hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery.
  • accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for providing accommodation or support to the homeless, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
  • leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, sports courts, fitness and dance studios, riding arenas at riding centres, climbing walls, and golf courses.
  • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres), circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, water parks and theme parks
  • animal attractions (such as zoos, safari parks, aquariums, and wildlife reserves)
  • indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open for outdoor exercise.
  • personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. These services should not be provided in other people’s homes
  • community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities, as set out below. Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services– for example for people who do not have it at home – and for click-and-collect services

Businesses and venues which can remain open

Other businesses and venues are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 secure guidelines. Businesses providing essential goods and services can stay open. The full list of these businesses will be available on gov.uk shortly but includes:

  • Essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences
  • Market stalls selling essential retail may also stay open
  • Businesses providing repair services may also stay open, where they primarily offer repair services
  • Petrol stations, automatic (but not manual) car washes, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses ● banks, building societies, post offices, short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses
  • Funeral directors
  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • Medical and dental services
  • Vets and retailers of products and food for the upkeep and welfare of animals
  • Animal rescue centres, boarding facilities and animal groomers (may continue to be used for animal welfare, rather than aesthetic purposes) ● agricultural supplies shops ● mobility and disability support shops ● storage and distribution facilities ● car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas ● outdoor playgrounds ● ● Outdoor parts of botanical gardens and heritage sites for exercise
  • Places of worship

Weddings, civil partnerships, religious services and funerals

  • Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and funerals are allowed with strict limits on attendance, and must only take place in COVID-19 secure venues or in public outdoor spaces unless in exceptional circumstances.
  • Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Linked religious, belief-based or commemorative events, such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 6 people in attendance
  • Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies must only take place with up to 6 people and in exceptional circumstances

View the stay at home guidance for England.

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – NATIONAL LOCKDOWN FOR ENGLAND

Staying Away From Home

You cannot leave your home or the place where you are living for holidays or overnight stays unless you have a reasonable excuse for doing so. This means that holidays in the UK and abroad are not allowed. This includes staying in a second home or caravan, if that is not your primary residence. This also includes staying with anyone who you don’t live with unless they’re in your support bubble.

You are allowed to stay overnight away from your home if you:

  • are visiting your support bubble
  • are unable to return to your main residence
  • need accommodation while moving house
  • need accommodation to attend a funeral or related commemorative event
  • require accommodation for work purposes or to provide voluntary services
  • are a child requiring accommodation for school or care
  • are homeless, seeking asylum, a vulnerable person seeking refuge, or if escaping harm (including domestic abuse)
  • are an elite athlete or their support staff or parent, if the athlete is under 18 and it is necessary to be outside of the home for training or competition If you are already on holiday, you should return to your home as soon as practical.

  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home

If you are interested in the Prime Minister’s presentation including the slides, here is a link

                https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/slides-and-datasets-to-accompany-pms-coronavirus-address-4-january-2021

Undoubtedly, further information and guidance for businesses will be produced shortly. Also of note is that there has been no announcement of support for businesses as yet so hopefully there will be further announcements on this tomorrow as well.

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

TIER UPDATE 4 JAN 2021: PART 1

The update above was issued following  the Prime Minister’s address at 8:00pm this evening, whilst this one reflects on developments earlier in the day.

New lockdown announced for Scotland

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gave a statement to the Scottish Parliament this afternoon where she announced that new regulations will apply to all parts of Scotland currently in level 4. The island areas currently in level 3 will remain there, but will be kept under review. From midnight tonight, in level 4 areas, it will be a legal requirement to stay at home, except for essential purposes. Essential purposes include caring responsibilities, essential shopping, exercise, or being part of an extended household – a longer list of examples can be seen in the guidance. Everyone must now work from home where they can.

Other key changes include:

  • Changing the 6/2 rule to a 2/2 rule. From tomorrow, a maximum of two people from up to two households will be able to meet outdoors. Children aged 11 and under will not be counted in that limit
  • For everyone else – including 12 to 17 year olds - outdoor exercise or recreation should only take place in a way which is consistent with the 2/2 rule
  • Under 12s will not count towards the 2/2 rule and will continue to be able to participate in organised activities outdoors
  • All schools to continue to use remote learning until the end of January, except in the case of vulnerable children and those of key workers
  • Stronger guidance on working from home is reflected in new guidance for people who are shielding. Those who are shielding and who cannot work from home are now advised not to work. The Chief Medical Officer is writing to everyone who falls into this category.

From Friday, 8 January a number of other measures will be taken including:

  • Closing places of worship. Since stay-at-home rules do not allow leaving the home to attend a place of worship for a service or for private prayer, these would be closed for all purposes other than broadcasting a service, or conducting a funeral, marriage or civil partnership ceremony
  • Reducing numbers allowed at a wedding ceremony or civil partnership registration to the legal minimum, i.e. 5 plus the possibility of an interpreter
  • Prohibiting wakes and post-funeral gatherings, so that only funerals and any associated ceremonies (stone settings, ash scatterings, etc.) can take place
  • Closing some additional premises, service providers and retailers. This would include showroom elements of larger retailers and ski centres
  • Ending the 1m physical distancing exemption for workplace canteens

It remains the case that no-one is allowed to travel into or out of Scotland unless it is for an essential purpose.

Further information for tourism and hospitality businesses in level 4 areas in Scotland:

  • Hospitality: Restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars are closed. 
    • Takeaways can still operate as normal, providing food is sold for consumption off premises. Face coverings and physical distancing rules must be followed.
    • Hotels and other accommodation providers can still serve food to qualifying guests i.e. keyworkers staying in their premises up to 22:00. Room service, including alcohol, is allowed as normal.
  • Accommodation: All holiday accommodation is closed to tourism. Hotels, B&Bs and self-catering can remain open for essential customers only:
    • Anyone who is using that accommodation for work purposes
    • Anyone who requires accommodation to attend a funeral
    • Anyone who is providing accommodation or support services to the homeless
    • Anyone who uses that accommodation as their main residence
    • Anyone who needs accommodation while moving home
    • Anyone who is unable to return to their main residence
    • Anyone who requires accommodation to attend a marriage ceremony or civil partnership registration
    • Anyone who requires accommodation to participate in or facilitate shared parenting arrangements
  • Visitor attractions
    • All indoor visitor attractions such as museums, galleries, heritage attractions, indoor areas of zoos and aquariums are closed. 
    • Outdoor visitor attractions, such as parks and gardens and the outdoor areas of zoos may remain open, to enable exercise and recreation to be undertaken with appropriate physical distancing in place, but should only be visited in line with travel restrictions.
    • Visitor attractions’ retail and hospitality facilities will be closed.
    • Public and customer toilets can be opened, as long as it is safe to do so. Where toilets are part of a larger premises e.g. a shop, face coverings must be worn.

Update to visitor economy guidance (England)

  • The visitor economy guidance has been updated to clarify that indoor attractions at zoos and other animal attractions must close in tier 4, though the outdoor attractions of these premises can stay open.

Other Government updates (England)

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 4 JANUARY

  • Tier 4 Guidance Updated

There have been a couple of small amendments to the guidance for Tier 4.

    • The reasons that people can leave home have been expanded to include children's education and childcare that allows parents or carers to attend a medical appointment.
    • The guidance as on riding centres having to close has been changed to say that it is only the indoor riding arenas at riding centres that have to close – meaning that people can still go riding provided that it is not indoors.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-4-stay-at-home

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TIER UPDATE 31 DEC

Government encourages people to stay home on New Year’s Eve

Everyone in England is encouraged to stay at home as part of a public information advertising campaign urging the public to see in the new year safely. People should not meet up with friends or family indoors, unless they are in the same household or support bubble, and they should avoid large gatherings of any kind.

Other updates

•               The working safely during coronavirus page on GOV.UK has been updated to include Tier 4: Stay at Home guidance for providers of grassroots sport and sport facilities.

•               The Turing scheme was announced last week. The £100 million scheme that’s replacing the UK’s participation in Erasmus+ will support thousands of students to study and work abroad.

 

Please note, the VisitBritain/VisitEngland virtual office will be closed on Friday 1 January and so our daily updates on behalf of TIER will be on pause, unless there are any significant Government announcements impacting guidance.

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 31 DECEMBER

  • Kate Nicholls OBE

The most important being that Kate was awarded an OBE in the New Years Honours List for all her hard work and leadership of the industry through the Coronavirus outbreak this year which, I’m sure everyone will agree, is very much deserved.

  • Grassroot Sports and Sports Facilities Guidance Update

The primary guidance for sports and sports facilities operators has been updated to include guidance related to Tier 4 areas.  The new guidance is that outdoor sports and leisure facilities may stay open. This includes: outdoor sports courts, outdoor gyms, golf courses, outdoor swimming pools, archery/driving/shooting ranges, and playgrounds. Indoor arenas at riding centres must close, but outdoor elements of these venues may stay open. Toilets can remain open but changing rooms should close except where it’s necessary to provide access to toilet facilities.

Also, organised non-elite sport participation events should not take place in Tier 4 and spectators are not allowed. This does not apply to organised outdoor sport for people with disabilities, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s (including those who were under 18 on 31 August 2020), which can continue with any number of participants.

Organised indoor sport is only permitted where it is for educational purposes or supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s (including those who were under 18 on 31 August 2020) that enables parents/carers to work or seek work, or to participate in education.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/providers-of-grassroots-sport-and-gym-leisure-facilities

  • Guidance For Employers And Workers On Work Absences

The Government has published guidance for Employers and workers on rights and responsibilities related to employees who may not be able to go into work because:

    • they’re self-isolating
    • they’re clinically extremely vulnerable

The guidance consolidates and sets out the legal position in these circumstances and reminds employers that it’s an offence for an employer to knowingly allow a person who is required to self-isolate to work anywhere other than where they are self-isolating. Similarly in is an offence for an employee not to inform their employer if they’ve:

    • tested positive
    • been contacted by NHS Test and Trace or their local authority
    • returned from abroad and are required to quarantine

The guidance also includes sections on

    • Statutory Sick Pay
    • Paid and unpaid leave
    • Dismissal
    • Redundancy when someone’s clinically extremely vulnerable
    • The application of the Equality Act
    • Returning safely to the workplace

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/if-you-need-to-self-isolate-or-cannot-attend-work-due-to-coronavirus

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TIER UPDATE 30 DEC

Coronavirus updates

Several areas of England to move into Tier 3 and Tier 4

 In a statement to the House of Commons today, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that several areas of England would face changes to their tier level from 00.01 on 31 December.

 The following areas will move into Tier 3 (Very High alert)

•               Rutland

•               Shropshire, and Telford and Wrekin

•               Worcestershire (Bromsgrove, Malvern Hills, Redditch, Worcester, Wychavon, Wyre Forest)

•               Herefordshire

•               Liverpool City Region (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral, St Helens)

•               York and North Yorkshire (Scarborough, Hambleton, Richmondshire, Selby, Craven, Ryedale, Harrogate, City of York)

•               Bath and North East Somerset

•               Devon, Plymouth, Torbay (East Devon, Exeter, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge, Torridge, West Devon, Plymouth, Torbay)

•               Cornwall

•               Dorset

•               Wiltshire

View the full Tier 3 guidance, including information for businesses.

The following areas will move into Tier 4 (Stay at Home):  

•               Leicester City

•               Leicestershire (Oadby and Wigston, Harborough, Hinckley and Bosworth, Blaby, Charnwood, North West Leicestershire, Melton)

•               Lincolnshire (City of Lincoln, Boston, South Kesteven, West Lindsey, North Kesteven, South Holland, East Lindsey)

•               Northamptonshire (Corby, Daventry, East Northamptonshire, Kettering, Northampton, South Northamptonshire, Wellingborough)

•               Derby and Derbyshire (Derby, Amber Valley, South Derbyshire, Bolsover, North East Derbyshire, Chesterfield, Erewash, Derbyshire Dales, High Peak)

•               Nottingham and Nottinghamshire (Gedling, Ashfield, Mansfield, Rushcliffe, Bassetlaw, Newark and Sherwood, Nottinghamshire, Broxtowe)

•               Birmingham and Black Country (Dudley, Birmingham, Sandwell, Walsall, Wolverhampton)

•               Coventry

•               Solihull

•               Warwickshire (Rugby, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Warwick, North Warwickshire, Stratford-upon-Avon)

•               Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent (East Staffordshire, Stafford, South Staffordshire, Cannock Chase, Lichfield, Staffordshire Moorlands, Newcastle under Lyme, Tamworth, Stoke-on-Trent)

•               Lancashire (Burnley, Pendle, Blackburn with Darwen, Ribble Valley, Blackpool, Preston, Hyndburn, Chorley, Fylde, Lancaster, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire, Wyre)

•               Cheshire and Warrington (Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Warrington)

•               Cumbria (Eden, Carlisle, South Lakeland, Barrow-in-Furness, Copeland, Allerdale)

•               Greater Manchester (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan)

•               Tees Valley (Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees )

•               North East (County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside, Sunderland)

•               Gloucestershire (Gloucester, Forest of Dean, Cotswolds, Tewkesbury, Stroud, Cheltenham)

•               Somerset Council (Mendip, Sedgemoor, Somerset West and Taunton, South Somerset)

•               Swindon

•               Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

•               Isle of Wight

•               New Forest

View the full Tier 4 guidance, including information for businesses.

The full list of local restriction tiers by area is available here.

 Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine approved in the UK

The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University/AstraZeneca has today been approved for use in the UK. Priority groups for immunisation have already been identified, starting with care home residents, the over-80s, and health and care workers. Vaccination centres will now start inviting people in those groups to receive their vaccination from next week.

Prime Minister’s press briefing

Prime Minister Boris Johnson led a press briefing this evening. He was joined by Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van Tam and Medical Director for NHS England Professor Stephen Powis where the Prime Minister spoke of the approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and the announcement from Education Secretary Gavin Williamson on how pupils will return to school in England in January.

Referring to areas moving tier classifications as announced by the Health Secretary Matt Hancock, the Prime Minister asked the public to follow the rules where you live to see in the new year safely at home.

 Update from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gave a statement today where she spoke about the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and restated the restrictions currently in place across Scotland. She also urged everyone to be responsible on Hogmanay and encouraged people to mark the new year at home with their own household bubble.

Other guidance updates

COVID-19 Situation update 30 December 2020

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 30 DECEMBER

  • Change to Tier 4 Guidance for Animal Attractions

An amendment has been made to the Coronavirus Regulations to allow people to visit the outside areas of animal based attractions. The amendment allows people:

(da)to visit outdoor attractions at an aquarium, zoo or safari park or outdoor animal attractions at a farm, wildlife centre or any other place where animals are exhibited to the public as an attraction;

There is also corresponding exemption to allow these businesses to open in Tier 4 areas

  https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1374/schedule/3A

We are currently working with DCMS to get the Visitor Economy and Tier 4 Guidance updated to reflect this amendment to the regulations. 

  • New LRSG Tier 4 Guidance

The Government has published new Local Restrictions Support Grants (Closed) Addendum: Tier 4 guidance.

The core of this Guidance is that when local restrictions are imposed by government at Tier 4 and a significant number of businesses are mandated to close to manage the spread of coronavirus, then Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) and (Sector) will cease to apply, and LRSG (Closed) will be superseded by the conditions set out in this addendum

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/948113/local-restrictions-support-grant-closed-addendum-tier-4-la-guidance.pdf

Here’s a link to a summary of the grants that are available to businesses in different Tier levels

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

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TIER UPDATE 29 DEC

Summary of the current restrictions across the UK

From 26 December, new restrictions came in place for parts of the UK. Below you can find a summary of the current restrictions.

Northern Ireland are in lockdown for a period of six weeks from 26 December, with a review to take place after four weeks. In addition, between 26 December to 00:01 on 2 January there are a set of stricter measures where between the hours of 20:00-06:00 no indoor or outdoor gatherings, including household mixing in private gardens, of any kind are permitted. Read more on current Northern Ireland restrictions.

From 26 December, mainland Scotland are placed in tier 4 with members of the public asked to stay at home and non-essential retail and hospitality asked to close. To limit interactions, the classification of non-essential retail in Scotland has been narrowed and homeware stores and garden centres are required to close with the exception of click and collect in all level 4 areas.

On 26 December, parts of England moved tiers with areas below moving to tier 4: stay at home:

·       Brighton and Hove

·       Cambridgeshire

·       remaining parts of East Sussex not already in Tier 4 (Eastbourne Borough Council, Lewes District Council and Wealden District Council)

·       remaining parts of Essex not already in Tier 4 (Colchester Borough, Tendring District, and Uttlesford District Councils)

·       Hampshire (Basingstoke and Deane Borough, East Hampshire District, Eastleigh Borough, Fareham Borough, Hart District, Rushmoor Borough, Test Valley Borough, Winchester City Councils)

·       Norfolk

·       Oxfordshire

·       Southampton

·       Suffolk

·       Waverley Borough

·       West Sussex

View the full list of local restrictions in England by area here.

Wales has been in alert level 4 restrictions from 20 December where non-essential retail and hospitality have closed.

US issue Order that requires passengers from the UK to test negative within 72 hours of departure

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the USA issued an Order requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 test for all air passengers arriving from the UK to the US. This Order has been in effect since 27 December.

Other government updates:

·       Guidance has been updated on how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK. The guidance reflects new rules for those who have travelled through South Africa where non-EEA national visitors, and EEA nationals without a right to reside in the UK will be denied entry to the UK, if in the 10 days before their arrival to the UK, they have been in or travelled through South Africa. Advice has also been added that if someone has travelled to the UK and is staying within a tier 4 area, they are advised not to leave home unless there is a reasonable excuse.

·       Guidance added on how to safely and effectively involve volunteers during the pandemic if a business is based in an area in tier 4 in England

 Following updates to visitor economy guidance last week, specific advice has been published on the following pages:

·       Guidance added for heritage locations who are based in a tier 4 area of England on working safely during coronavirus. In tier 4 indoor heritage attractions are required to close. Outdoor heritage locations including historic parks, gardens, landscapes, and ruins and monuments open to the elements, can remain open as long as the social distancing rules are observed. In tier 4 visitors can only meet one other person from outside their household or support bubble. It does not matter whether or not you pay to access sites (as public outdoor spaces are similar to public parks).

·       Clarification has been added to the last week’s England tiers review press release that drive-in events are not permitted in Tier 4.

·       Guidance on accessing green spaces and overnight stays in tier 4 areas in England has been updated.

·       Guidance has been added for Hotels and other guest accommodation on working safely during the coronavirus. On this page you can also read information on test to release for international travel and guidance for multi-purpose venues on selling food and drink.

COVID-19 Situation update 29 December 2020

·       To see the number of cases of COVID-19 in England and the UK visit the UK COVID-19 dashboard.

·       To see the number of cases globally see the World Health Organisation dashboard

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TIER UPDATE  24 DEC

EIF UPDATE – Outdoor Events Guidance (COVID 19) Updated 

Keeping workers and audiences safe during COVID-19 (England)  

The Events Industry Forum has published an update to the COVID-19 outdoor events guidance, produced in association with DCMS.

This update reflects the revised tier system currently in place in England.

You'll find the updated guidance at www.eventsindustryforum.co.uk.

South Africa travel ban

A press release with details of the travel ban on South Africa has now been issued.

From 9am Thursday 24 December 2020, visitors arriving into England who have been in or transited through South Africa in the previous 10 days will not be permitted entry and direct flights will be banned. This excludes cargo and freight without passengers.  This does not include British and Irish Nationals, visa holders and permanent residents, who will be able to enter but are required to self-isolate for ten days along with their household. As the UK does not currently have a travel corridor with South Africa, and so anyone who has returned from the country recently should already be self-isolating for ten days and should continue to do so.

FCDO travel advice has been updated accordingly.

Government tiers review in England update

A  press release is now available on gov.uk with details on the update to Government tiers review in England. It includes a full list of local authority areas that will be moving tier at 00.01 on 26 December,  as well as providing a more detailed rationale behind the changes by area.

Please see the tiers for review update for more details

The following local authority areas will move to Tier 4: Stay at Home from the beginning of 26 December:

  • Brighton and Hove
  • Cambridgeshire
  • remaining parts of East Sussex not already in Tier 4 (Eastbourne Borough Council, Lewes District Council and Wealden District Council)
  • remaining parts of Essex not already in Tier 4 (Colchester Borough, Tendring District, and Uttlesford District Councils)
  • Hampshire (Basingstoke and Deane Borough, East Hampshire District, Eastleigh Borough, Fareham Borough, Hart District, Rushmoor Borough, Test Valley Borough, Winchester City Councils)
  • Norfolk
  • Oxfordshire
  • Southampton
  • Suffolk
  • Waverley Borough
  • West Sussex

The following local authority areas will move to Tier 3: Very High:

  • Bristol
  • Cheshire East
  • Cheshire West and Chester
  • Gloucestershire
  • Isle of Wight
  • New Forest District
  • North Somerset
  • Northamptonshire
  • Somerset
  • Swindon
  • Warrington

The following local authority areas will move from Tier 1: Medium to Tier 2: High:

  • Cornwall
  • Herefordshire

Read the full press release to find out more.

As advised yesterday, the VisitBritain/VisitEngland virtual office will be closed from Friday 24 December to Monday 28 December inclusive as well as Friday 1 January and so our daily updates on behalf of TIER will be on pause, unless there are any significant Government announcements impacting guidance.

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

TIER UPDATE 23 DEC

Downing Street press briefing

Health Secretary Matt Hancock today provided an update on the tier restrictions in England. He was joined by Dr Jenny Harries and Susan Hopkins. He began by reflecting on a difficult year, before moving onto the new variant which is spreading at a fast rate.

Against this backdrop, the following areas are moving tiers as of 00:01 on 26 December:

  • Areas going into tier 4: Sussex, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, and Cambridgeshire. Those parts of Essex not yet in tier 4 (Colchester, Tendring and Tttlesford), Waverly in Surrey, and Hampshire (inc Portsmouth and Southampton, but excluding new Forest).

See TIER 4 stay at home guidance. The updated visitor economy guidance has just been published. See more details below.

  • Areas moving to tier 3: Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire, Swindon, Isle of Wight, New Forest, Northamptonshire, Cheshire, and Warrington.

See tier 3 guidance, including information for businesses

  • Areas moving to tier 2: Cornwall and Herefordshire.

See tier 2 guidance, including information for businesses

The Health Secretary also spoke of two cases of another new variant. They have been identified amongst those who have travelled from South Africa recently. This new variant is yet more transmissible and has mutated further. The government has:

  • Quarantined cases and close contacts found in the UK.
  • Placed immediate restrictions on travel to/from South Africa.

Anyone who has travelled or is in contact with someone who has returned from South Africa must quarantine immediately.

You can read the press release here or check the full list of local restrictions by area.

Coronavirus Local Restrictions Support Grant (for closed businesses)

The Local Restrictions Support Grant has updated its guidance to reflect that all Tier 4 businesses in England who are required to close will be eligible for grants of up to £1,500 for each 14-day period of closure; the grants will be administered by local authorities.

Business can check if they are eligible here.  

Updated visitor economy guidance

In light of the tier 4 restrictions in England the working safely during COVID-19 guidance has been updated with more detailed guidance for those working in the visitor economy, e.g. attractions, accommodation providers, coach and tour operators, event and exhibition venues and other hospitality businesses. There are also some updates to tiers 1 and 2 guidance.

Multi-purpose venues table service exemption

In tier 1 and 2 areas:

  • Theatres, concert halls and cinemas are exempt from having to provide table service to audience members who have a ticket and are planning to consume the food or drink in the auditorium, or area of the venue where the performance / screening is taking place. Food and drink (including alcohol) must be consumed whilst seated in the auditorium, or area of the venue where the performance / screening is taking place. Venues should take steps to reduce queues for ordering, ensuring social distancing is maintained at all times.
  • This exemption extends to performance/screening areas within the premises of another venue such as a pub, hotel or holiday park. The exemption only applies to the specific performance/screening area, which must therefore be separate and distinct from the wider premises. The activity must be ticketed, and venues must have all relevant approvals and authorisations (e.g. licensing or planning) from the Local Authority. This means for example that a separate, standalone function room in a hotel could serve as a concert hall if
    • i. it is set aside and designated for that purpose,
    • ii. attendees are ticketed and
    • iii. the venue has the necessary authorisations for hosting live music or performances.

However, a concert performance in a hotel lobby or working restaurant would not be exempt by law as it is not a separate and distinct space, meaning that any alcohol would need to be provided via table service and in tier 2 accompany a substantial meal.

  • Theatres, concert halls and cinemas may stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm. Where venues are multi-purpose, these extended hours do not apply to any area outside the auditorium or performance area.
  • Hospitality services must take last orders at 10pm, and close at 11pm.

 In tier 2 areas:

  • Theatres, concert halls and cinemas are exempt from only being able to serve alcohol with a substantial meal, provided it is limited only to customers with tickets who intend to consume alcohol drinks in auditoriums or area of the venue where the performance / screening is taking place. This applies to performance/screening areas within other venues as above. Venues should also only serve alcohol without a substantial meal to ticketed customers during the performance and for a maximum of 60 minutes, which can be split either side of the performance or screening if required. 

Restrictions for areas who are in tier 4 have also been added. View the guidance as well as to find out the restrictions in place for your business, including, for example, social contact rules, advice for guided tours and coach tours, as well as guidance for wedding, civil partnership, wakes and commemorative events. The guidance also includes the exemptions of when a hotel and other guest accommodation in tier 4 in England can remain open, plus examples of when a business event and meeting venues can be used.

Advice on organised outdoor events in tier 4 has also been published. Entertainment venues must close including: fairgrounds, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks and theme parks as well as outdoor Santa’s grottos. Outdoor business events (such as trade shows and exhibitions) and elite sporting events are not permitted. Performing art venues will be closed to audiences, including outdoor performing art activities. All other outdoor events organised by businesses, charitable organisations and public bodies, such as car boot sales, and literary fairs are not permitted.

View the updated visitor economy guidance.

Northern Ireland Executive advises arrivals who will stay for at least 24 hours to self-isolate

The Northern Ireland Executive has issued advice on travel within the Common Travel Area. People should only travel within Northern Ireland when it is essential to do so. Guidance for visitors from Great Britain, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands includes:

  • People should not travel in or out of Northern Ireland except where it is essential to do so. Guidance on what is essential is listed here.
  • If a person arrives into Northern Ireland from within the Common Travel Area and plans to remain there for at least 24 hours, they must self-isolate upon arrival for 10 days in the same way as international arrivals.
  • Household members do not need to self-isolate, but they must take extra care to follow the guidance on social distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene. People are permitted to leave self-isolation in order to leave Northern Ireland, should their intended stay be shorter than 10 days.

Agreement to reopen French border to UK arrivals

An agreement has been reached to reopen the UK-French border to allow accompanied freight services and some passenger services to resume between the two countries. Rail, air and sea services resumed today, with all people travelling from the UK into France required to show proof of a negative Coronavirus test taken within the previous 72 hours.

The protocol will be reviewed on 31 December, but could run until 6 January. All lorry drivers, irrespective of nationality, will require a lateral flow test.

Read the press release.

Guidance on waterways

The Environment Agency waterways have issued guidance following the introduction of tier 4 in England. For waterways in tier 4: Essential travel only. Travel on waterways and overnight stays are only permitted where the boat is the permanent residence or it is necessary for work, education or similar reasons. People should stay local where possible and not travel outside of a tier 4 area.

Travelling to maintain your boat is permitted in and between tiers 1 and 2; and within tier 3 only. Travel to maintain your boat is not permitted in tier 4.

You should not visit a tier 3 or 4 area from another tier or travel from a tier 3 or 4 area to another tier to visit your boat.

Read the guidance.

Other Government updates

  • Guidance for people planning to get married or form a civil partnership in England has been updated. Wedding and civil partnership receptions and celebrations are not permitted to take place in Tier 4.
  • Working safely during coronavirus guidance on performing arts has been updated to include tier 4: stay at home restrictions. The guidance says that:
    • in tiers 3 and 4: indoor and outdoor performing arts venues, such as theatres, concert halls and music venues will be closed to audiences.
    • However training, rehearsals, and performances without an audience for broadcast or recording purposes may continue in theatres and concert halls.
    • In addition, Outdoor theatres and concert venues will remain open for drive-in only in tier 3 areas but must close in tier 4 areas. Outdoor performing arts activity can still take place in line with this guidance. Read the guidance.
  • Ten local authorities have been added to a list of community testing programme areas in England. They join 106 others who can bid for this additional testing and support capability to create a bespoke testing programme for their community. The ten additional areas that are rolling out community testing are: Boston, Calderdale, City of Bristol, Coventry, Hartlepool, Lincoln, North Somerset, Redcar and Cleveland, South Gloucestershire, Walsall. See the full list of community testing programme areas in England or read the press release.

The VisitBritain/VisitEngland virtual office will be closed from Friday 24December to Monday 28December inclusive as well as Friday 1 January and so our daily updates on behalf of TIER will be on pause, unless there are any significant Government announcements impacting guidance.

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 23 DECEMBER

  • Travel and Overnight Trips in Tier 1 and Tier 2
    DCMS have clarified the following guidance for people resident in different Tier levels who want to take a holiday in England. The main point of clarification is that people from Tiers 1+2 are still able to take holidays in Tier 1+2 areas despite the guidance to stay local.

In Tier 1 (this is slightly pointless as the Isles will be the only place in Tier 1 come 26th December)

    • There are no restrictions on travel, though people should stay local and avoid travelling outside of their local area where possible, residents are able to travel within their local area or to other tier 1 areas and stay overnight in hotels and other holiday accommodation in groups of up to six people (or larger if from a single household/support bubble). 
    • Residents are allowed to travel to tier 2 areas, but should only do so within their own household/support bubbles. 
    • Residents are advised to avoid travelling to any part of the country subject to tier 3 +4, unless necessary for a permitted reason such as for work. And people should not travel into a tier 4 area from another part of the UK, other than for permitted reasons such as work, education and for caring responsibilities.

In Tier 2

    • Residents are able to travel within their local area and stay overnight in hotels and other holiday accommodation, but should only do so with members of their own household/support bubble and should stay local and avoid travelling outside of your local area where possible.
    • Residents can leave tier 2 areas to go on holiday in tier 1 or other tier 2 areas within their own household/support bubbles, though are encouraged to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible. 
    • Residents are advised to avoid travelling to any part of the country subject to tier 3, unless necessary for a permitted reason such as for work. And people should not travel into a tier 4 area from another part of the UK, other than for permitted reasons such as work, education and for caring responsibilities.

In Tier 3 

    • Residents are advised to avoid travelling to any part of the country, unless necessary for a permitted reason such as for work. And people should not travel into a tier 4 area from another part of the UK, other than for permitted reasons such as work, education and for caring responsibilities.

In Tier 4

    • Residents must not travelling to any part of the country, unless necessary for a permitted reason such as for work. And people should not travel into a tier 4 area from another part of the UK, other than for permitted reasons such as work, education and for caring responsibilities.

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

TIER UPDATE 22 DEC

Statement from Scotland’s First Minister

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gave a statement reiterating the new restrictions that will come into place at 00.01 on 26 December. To limit interactions, the classification of non-essential retail will be narrowed. Homeware stores and garden centres will be required to close with the exception of click and collect in all level 4 areas.

European Commission adopts recommendation for EU coordinated approach for travel and transport

In response to the increase in cases in parts of England, the European Commission has adopted a recommendation on a coordinated approach to travel and transport measures. Here are the recommendations from the European Commission to member states on travel between the UK and the EU. These recommendations are not binding and will be discussed by EU ambassadors in Brussels later:

  • All non-essential travel to and from the UK should be discouraged until further notice.
  • Union citizens and UK citizens travelling to their Member State or country of residence as well as third-country nationals that enjoy EU free movement rights should be exempted from further temporary restrictions provided that they undergo a test or quarantine.
  • Travellers with an essential function, for instance medical staff, should be required to undergo a test (within 72 hours prior to departure), but should not be required to undergo quarantine while exercising this essential function.
  • Transport staff, within the EU, should be exempted from any travel ban across any border and from testing and quarantine requirements when they are travelling across a border to and from a vessel, vehicle, or aircraft. Where a Member State, in the specific context of the situation between the EU and the UK and in the coming days, requires rapid antigen tests for transport workers, this should not lead to transport disruptions.
  • Transit of passengers, especially for essential travel, should be facilitated without quarantine.
  • Any prohibition of transport services, such as flight or train bans, should be discontinued.
  • Cargo flows need to continue uninterrupted, in accordance with the Green Lanes and the Air Cargo Communication.
  • The public health authorities of the Member States should increase sequencing efforts and analyse virus isolates in a timely manner to swiftly identify cases of the new variant. They should also immediately identify cases involving persons who travelled to or from the UK in the past 14 days or who are close contacts of confirmed cases

Read the European Commission’s full recommendation.

Returning to the UK from abroad

Guidance has been updated if someone cannot return to the UK from abroad because of the changes relating to the new COVID-19 variant. They are advised to contact their airline or travel provider for advice. If urgent assistance is needed, they can contact their nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate.

Other Government updates

COVID-19 Situation update 22 December 2020

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 22 DECEMBER

  • Update to Tier 4 Guidance

The guidance for Tier 4 has been updated to include:

    • The ability for social care workers to provide support to children and families as an example of when people are allowed to work in other people's homes.
    • The provision of emergency assistance, and to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm (such as domestic abuse) as a legally permitted reason to travel outside Tier 4

Note 1: - I presume that there will be a corresponding exemption that will allow accommodation providers outside Tier 4 to accept people travelling for this reason

Note 2: - And, no, I don’t think that the intent of this new permission is to allow people to leave Tier 4 in order to avoid catching the new Covid variant

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-4-stay-at-home

  • Update of Xmas Bubble Guidance

The guidance on forming Xmas bubbles has been updated. The core component is

    • Areas in Tier 4

In Tier 4, the rules on gatherings for your tier will continue to apply over Christmas. This means you cannot see anyone indoors who is not from your household or support bubble. Outdoors, you can only meet with your household, support bubble, or alone with one other person from another household in a public outdoor space.

    • Areas not in Tier 4

If you do not live in a Tier 4 area, you may see a maximum of two other households (your ‘Christmas bubble’) on Christmas Day (25 December). You cannot see anyone from a Tier 4 area.

    • Areas in Tier 1

If you choose not to form a Christmas bubble, you can see others inside a private dwelling in a group of no more than six, provided that they too are from a tier 1 area and have not formed a Christmas bubble.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/making-a-christmas-bubble-with-friends-and-family/making-a-christmas-bubble-with-friends-and-family

  • LRSG and Tier 4

The guidance on the LRSG (Closed) scheme has been updated with regard to businesses in Tier 4. The new guidance states that all Tier 4 businesses required to close will be eligible for grants of up to £1,500 for each 14-day period of closure. The grants will be administered by local authorities and more detail on them will be published shortly.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-coronavirus-local-restrictions-support-grant-for-closed-businesses

  • Updated LRSG, ARG and CSP Guidance

The various Grant Schemes open at the moment have been updated to take into account the UK’s agreement with European Commission on State Aid rules. There is a section in the updated guidance that explains the new State Aid agreement in detail but the core element is:

The COVID-19 Temporary Framework for UK Authorities enables payments to be made up to the nominal value of €800,000 per company. This can be combined also with so-called de minimis aid (to bring the aid per company to up to €1 million) and with other specific types of aid. Any business that has reached these limits may only receive further grant funding if the conditions set out in Section 3.12 of the amended European Commission Temporary Framework (Fourth Amendment) are met. By way of Commission approval, this new measure under Section 3.12 was incorporated into the COVID-19 Temporary Framework for UK Authorities on 8 December 2020. This measure may now be applied to this scheme.

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

  • Changes To Kickstart Scheme Terms And Conditions

DWP has published a large guidance document on a wide variety of changes that it has made to the terms and conditions that apply to the Kickstart Scheme. The changes are set-out in three sections

    • Kickstart Scheme Grant Funding Agreement: Terms and Conditions for Employers

This sets out the terms and conditions between DWP and an employer who has applied directly to the Kickstart Scheme – for example, an employer creating 30 or more jobs itself.

    • Kickstart Scheme Grant Funding Agreement: Terms and Conditions for Gateways

This sets out the terms and conditions between DWP and a Kickstart gateway taking part in the Kickstart Scheme.

    • Kickstart Scheme Terms and Conditions for Gateways and Employers

This sets out the terms and conditions which DWP requires to be in place between a Kickstart gateway and their employers. This is an agreement between a Kickstart gateway and an employer that the gateway represents.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/kickstart-scheme-terms-and-conditions/summary-of-changes-to-kickstart-scheme-terms-and-conditions

  • Update to Meeting Others Safely

The guidance on meeting others safely has been updated to take into account the four Tiers

    • Tier 1

 You must not socialise in groups larger than 6 people, indoors or outdoors, other than where a legal exemption applies. This is called the ‘rule of 6’.

    • Tier 2

You must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place. You must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside, including in a garden or a public space – this is called the ‘rule of 6’.

    • Tier 3

You must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble. This includes in any private garden and many outdoor venues. However, you can see friends and family you do not live with (or do not have a support bubble with) in some outdoor public places (see below), in a group of up to 6. This limit of 6 includes children of any age.

    • Tier 4

You cannot leave or be outside of the place you are living unless you have a reasonable excuse. You cannot meet other people indoors unless you live with them or they are part of your support bubble. You can only meet one person from another household in some outdoor public places (children under 5 do not count as part of this limit of two people).

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing

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TIER UPDATE 21 DEC

Following this afternoon’s COBR meeting the Prime Minister has just given a press conference alongside Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, and Patrick Vallance on the issues with the French border.

Restrictions on international travel to and from the UK

In light of the announcements over the weekend a large number of countries have closed their borders with the UK. The FCDO pages are being frequently updated. There is the function to search for a country or territory on the foreign travel advice page on GOV.UK to check for travel restrictions.

Please check back here for the latest information on coronavirus, safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings.

Guidance for British people travelling overseas if they are legally permitted to travel internationally has also been updated in light of the current situation.

Northern Ireland Executive announces changes to Christmas guidance

The Executive has today announced new guidance regarding forming a Christmas bubble. The new guidance states that people can still form a Christmas bubble composed of up to three households, but only for one day between 23 and 27 December instead of the previously announced five days.  

If people decide to form a bubble, they should:

  • Minimise the number of people in their Christmas bubble. This can be composed of up to three households and one of the three households can include an existing bubble arrangement.
  • Minimise the amount of time spent together indoors and follow the public health advice. Ensure the home is well ventilated and if possible, spend time outdoors instead.
  • Minimise the distance travelled. Consider the risks of travelling outside NI to form a Christmas bubble.

Read the full statement from the Executive and find out more about the restrictions for Christmas in Northern Ireland.

Working safely during coronavirus in England

The guidance on working safely during coronavirus in England has been updated to include guidance on local restriction tiers and protecting people who are at high risk. Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals are strongly advised to work from home if they're in Tier 4.

See ‘What’s changed’ on each of the below pages for more information:

Travel news

Other government updates

The following guidance has been updated with information relevant for areas in Tier 4 in England:

The below pages have been updated to reflect the introduction of Tier 4 including updated travel and going to work guidance:

In all of these tiers people should stay local and avoid travelling outside of their local area, meaning their village or town, or part of a city, where possible. People should continue to travel for reasons such as work, education, getting medical attention or fulfilling caring responsibilities.

People who live in a Tier 4 area, must not leave their home unless they have a reasonable excuse (e.g. for work or education purposes). If they need to travel they should stay local - meaning avoiding travelling outside of their village, town or the part of a city where they live.

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 21 DECEMBER

Here’s today’s update. After yesterday’s announcements there is not a lot that is new  and we are still waiting for the updated Primary guidance for the Visitor economy. There also seems to be an anomaly in the Tier 2 guidance where the travel section both tells people that they should stay local and also that families can still undertake holidays in Tier 2 areas. We think that this might be a mistake and DCMS is checking with the Cabinet Office.

  • Tier Meeting Tomorrow

The is a Tier Group meeting tomorrow at 11am so if you have any queries regarding the new restrictions, please let me know and I can raise them at the meeting. Also, if you have any feedback on the new restrictions and the impact on your sector or region, let me know this as well.

  • Amended Guidance for Restaurants and Pubs

The Primary Guidance for Restaurants and pubs has been updated with a new section on Tier 4 restrictions. One of the core parts of this is:

  • Staying away from home overnight

You cannot leave your home or the place where you are living for holidays or stays overnight away from your main home unless you have a reasonable excuse for doing so. This means that holidays in the UK and abroad are not  allowed. This includes staying in a second home or caravan, if that is not your primary residence, or staying with anyone you do not live with (other than those with whom you have formed a support bubble)

                                If you are already on holiday in a Tier 4 area, you should return to your home as soon as practical

Guest accommodation providers such as hotels, B&Bs and caravan parks may remain open for the specific reasons set out in law, including where guests are unable to return to their main residence, use that guest accommodation as their main residence, need accommodation while moving house, are self-isolating as required by law, or would otherwise be made homeless as a result of the accommodation closing. Accommodation providers are also encouraged to work cooperatively with Local Authorities to provide accommodation to vulnerable groups including the homeless in Tier 4 areas.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-4-stay-at-home#businesses-and-venues

  • Cruise Travel Guidance

The guidance for people looking to undertake a cruise has been updated to say that the FCO advises against cruise ship travel and people in Tier 4 areas are not permitted to travel abroad for leisure reasons.

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

Issued yesterday

the Government has published new Xmas bubble guidance which contains a few clarifications

  • In Tier 4
    • People already on holiday in a Tier 4 area should return to your home as soon as practical
    • People resident in Tier 4 are not allowed to form a Xmas bubble within the area or travel outside the area
  • In Tiers 1,2 and 3
    • You may see a maximum of two other households (your ‘Christmas bubble’) on Christmas Day (25 December).
    • You cannot see anyone from a Tier 4 area.
    • You can stay in private rented accommodation, a hotel, hostel or B&B in England over Christmas (in line with the social gathering rules in your tier) between 24 and 26 December, as long as you are staying by yourself, or with other members of your household and it is necessary for the purposes of seeing your Christmas bubble on Christmas Day.
    • If necessary, you can stay in private rented accommodation with members of your household, or your Christmas bubble.
  • People travelling from Overseas
    • If you are travelling to the UK from abroad you and your household may join a Christmas bubble on Christmas Day. However if you normally live abroad and arrive to join friends and family in the UK, you will count as a separate household for the purposes of forming a Christmas bubble.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/making-a-christmas-bubble-with-friends-and-family/making-a-christmas-bubble-with-friends-and-family

Two Important Points

  • People from areas outside Tier 4 are allowed to check in to accommodation on the 24th Dec and check out on the 26th Dec when travelling to form their Xmas bubble

People in Tiers 1 and 2 are advised not to travel for holidays even within other Tier 1 and 2 areas. So while it is not illegal to do so, it is now the moral equivalent of people travelling from Tier 3 areas for a holiday.

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TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE 20 DEC

The published regulations still allow for work, education and training up to 30 people. However, there is a strong message in law for people to stay at home for those in Tier 4. Therefore, venues and organisers should give serious consideration as to why these need to take place now and why they can't be done from home.

These amendments make it illegal for someone in Tier 4 to leave the place that they are living without reasonable excuse

Restrictions on leaving home

1.—(1) No person who lives in the Tier 4 area may leave or be outside of the place where they are living without reasonable excuse.

The list of exemptions to this include

  • To buy certain goods (eg food and medicine) and services (banking)
  • Exercise
  • Worship
  • Matters related to house sale or residential rentals
  • Were required for work
  • Elite Athletes
  • Medical treatment
  • Support/respite/ death bed visit
  • Funerals and weddings
  • Exception 11: returning home
    • (16) Exception 11 is that it is reasonably necessary for P to be outside P’s home to enable P to return home from any place where P was on holiday immediately before this Schedule came into force.

Gatherings

The amendments make it illegal for a person to organise of be involved in a gathering of people with a number of exemptions – the most relevant being:

  • Education
  • Training that is required for qualifications
  • Work-related meetings
  • Weddings (max 6 people)

Food and Drink

The restrictions on food and beverage businesses are basically the same as Tier 3 – only delivery or takeaway except for room service. There are exemptions for ports/airports/motorway service areas and two channel tunnel rail areas.

Businesses can:

  • sell food or drink for consumption off the premises between the hours of 05:00 and 23:00
  • sell food or drink for consumption off the premises between the hours of 23:00 and 05:00 by delivery or collection in response to internet or phone orders or by drive through

There is also an exemption for food and drink services on transport services

Accommodation

The restrictions for accommodation businesses in Tier 4 are also basically the same as Tier 3 in that all accommodation has to close but is able to provide accommodation to a person who:

  • needs the accommodation for work
  • is unable to return to their main residence
  • uses that accommodation as their main residence
  • needs accommodation for the purposes of a house move
  • needs accommodation to attend a funeral or following a bereavement of a close family member or friend
  • needs accommodation to attend a commemorative event to celebrate the life of a person who has died
  • needs accommodation to attend a medical appointment, or to receive treatment
  • is a carer of a vulnerable person or a person who has a disability and needs respite
  • is isolating themselves from others as required by law
  • is an elite athlete or the coach of an elite athlete and needs accommodation for the purposes of training or competition or, where an elite athlete is a child, their parent
  • needs accommodation to visit a person who is dying
  • is homeless or seeking refuge

Importantly, accommodation businesses are allowed to host people who were staying in that accommodation immediately before the time when the area in which the accommodation is located became part of the Tier 4 area,

Attractions

All indoor and outdoor attractions are required to close including safari parks. The exemptions being

  • outdoor areas at visitor attractions such as:
    • sculpture parks
    • landmarks, including observation wheels or viewing platforms
    • botanical or other gardens, biomes or greenhouses
    • stately or historic homes, castles or other heritage sites;

Conference and Events

Conference centres and exhibition halls are required to close so far as they are used to host conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, private dining events or banquets, other than conferences, trade shows or events which are attended only by employees of the person who owns or is responsible for running the conference centre or exhibition hall.

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TIER UPDATE  19 DEC

Further to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson’s announcement at a press conference today, a press release confirming that the Tier 4 the ‘Stay At Home’ message will be put in law. Guidance has been published (see later in this update). There have also been updates from the devolved administrations.

Level four restrictions in Wales brought forward

The First Minister of Wales has announced that the new restrictions will come into effect from midnight tonight instead of during the Christmas period. This will mean non-essential retail, close contact services, gyms and leisure centres and hospitality will close at the end of trading today. Stay-at-home restrictions will also come into effect from midnight.

The current rules, which allow two households to come together to form a Christmas bubble over a five-day period will now apply on Christmas Day only.

New restrictions announced for Scotland

A strict travel ban has been announced between Scotland and rest of the UK in both directions. This will remain in place over Christmas. International travel is being reviewed and there will be an update next week.

Indoor mixing should be avoided where-ever possible, but will be permitted legally in a bubble (max 8 people, excluding children under 12) on Christmas Day only. Caring responsibilities can still be undertaken if essential.

Level 4 measures will be applied to all of mainland Scotland at one minute past  midnight on Boxing Day for three weeks. Exceptions are Orkney, Shetland  and Western Isles and the other island communities which will go to level three with strict restrictions on who can travel to them. These restrictions will be reviewed after two weeks. Non-essential shops, pubs restaurants and cafes will close. Takeaways will still be allowed. View the full list of businesses that must close in level 4.

England Tier 4 restrictions

The full list of areas moving to tier 4 has been published. The following areas will be moving tier from the beginning of Sunday 20 December:  London (All 32 London boroughs plus City of London), Kent and Medway, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire (Bracknell Forest, Reading, Slough, Wokingham, Windsor and Maidenhead and West Berkshire), Surrey (excluding Waverley), Hastings and Rother, Havant, Gosport and Portsmouth, Hertfordshire, Essex (excluding Tendring, Uttlesford and Colchester), Central Bedfordshire, Bedford, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough

The following ‘stay at home’ guidance has been issued for tier 4.

Businesses and venues which must close

These include:

  • Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, and market stalls selling non-essential goods - these venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services
  • Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery
  • Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for homeless people, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
  • Leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and indoor gyms, indoor swimming pools, indoor tennis and basketball courts, indoor fitness and dance studios, indoor climbing walls
  • Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres), circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks and theme parks
  • Indoor attractions at botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open
  • Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. It is also prohibited to provide these services in other people’s homes
  • Community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities, as set out below. Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services - for example for people who do not have it at home - and for click-and-collect services

These businesses and places will also be permitted to be open for a small number of exempt activities, including:

  • Education and training - for schools to use sports, leisure and community facilities where that is part of their normal provision
  • Childcare purposes and supervised activities for children
  • Hosting blood donation sessions and food banks
  • To provide medical treatment
  • For elite sports persons to train and compete (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities), and professional dancers and choreographers to work (in fitness and dance studios)
  • For training and rehearsal without an audience (in theatres and concert halls)
  • For the purposes of professional film and TV filming

Businesses and venues which can remain open

Other businesses and venues are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 Secure guidelines. This includes those providing essential goods and services, including:

  • Essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres and Christmas tree retailers, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences
  • Market stalls selling essential retail may also stay open
  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • Car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas
  • Outdoor playgrounds
  • Outdoor gyms, pools, sports courts and facilities
  • Golf courses
  • Archery/driving/shooting ranges (outdoors)
  • Outdoor riding centres

Travelling within a tier 4 area

If people live in a tier 4 area, they must stay at home and only travel for work, education or other legally permitted reasons. If they need to travel they should stay local - meaning avoiding travelling outside of their village, town or the part of a city where they live - and look to reduce the number of journeys made overall.

If they need to use public transport, you should follow the safer travel guidance.

Travelling out of a tier 4 area

People most on leave Tier 4 area for legally permitted reasons such as travel to work where they cannot work from home, to education and for caring responsibilities. The full list of exceptions will be published in the Regulations.

Travelling to a tier 4 area from a tier 1, 2 or 3 area

People must not travel into a Tier 4 area from another part of the UK, other than for reasons such as travel to work where it is not possible to work from home, etc

International travel to or from a tier 4 area

If people are in Tier 4, they should not be travelling abroad unless it is permitted and the public health advice in the country being visited needs considering.

For people who live outside a tier 4 area, they may still transit into or through a tier 4 area to travel abroad if they need to, but they should carefully consider whether they need to do so. In addition, the public health advice in the country being visited should be followed.

See the rules in place at destination being visited and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice.

UK residents currently abroad do not need to return home immediately. However, they should check with their airline or travel operator on arrangements for returning.

Staying away from home overnight

People who live in tier 4 cannot leave home for holidays or stays overnight away from their main home unless permitted by law. This means that holidays in the UK and abroad are not allowed. This includes staying in a second home or caravan, or staying with anyone they do not live with or are in a support bubble with.

People are allowed to stay overnight away from your home if they:

  • Are unable to return to their main residence
  • Need accommodation while moving house
  • Need accommodation to attend a funeral or related commemorative event
  • Require accommodation for work purposes or to provide voluntary services
  • Are a child requiring accommodation for school or care
  • Are homeless, seeking asylum or a vulnerable person seeking refuge
  • Are an elite athlete or their support staff or parent, if the athlete is under 18 and it is necessary to be outside of the home for training or competition

People on holiday in a Tier 4 area, you should return to their home as soon as practical.

Guest accommodation providers such as hotels, B&Bs and caravan parks may remain open for the specific reasons set out in law, including where guests are unable to return to their main residence, use that guest accommodation as their main residence, need accommodation while moving house, are self-isolating as required by law, or would otherwise be made homeless as a result of the accommodation closing. Accommodation providers are also encouraged to work cooperatively with Local Authorities to provide accommodation to vulnerable groups including the homeless in tier 4 areas.

Also worth noting:

  • People must not leave or be outside of their home except for where they have a specific purpose, or a ‘reasonable excuse’, such as work and volunteering, essential activities such as shopping for essential items, including collecting food or drink -ordered through click-and-collect or as a takeaway, education and childcare, fulfilling legal obligations, exercise and recreation, medical reasons, communal workshop and life events.
  • In general, people must not meet with another person socially or undertake any activities with another person. However, they can exercise or meet in a public outdoor place with people they live with, their support bubble (or as part of a childcare bubble), or with one other person.
  • People can exercise or visit a public outdoor place, alone, with the people they live with,, their support bubble or, when on their own, with 1 person from another household. Children under 5, and up to two carers for a person with a disability who needs continuous care are not counted towards the outdoors gatherings limit.
  • Public outdoor places include: parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests, public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them), allotments, the grounds of a heritage site, outdoor sports courts and facilities and playgrounds.
  • Larger groups are permitted for a wedding or equivalent ceremony in exceptional circumstances, for example where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover ('deathbed wedding') or due to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery. These weddings are limited to 6 people.
  • Funerals - up to a maximum of 30 people can take place. Wakes and other linked ceremonial events can continue in a group of up to 6.

View the full guidance.

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 19 DECEMBER

The Tier 4 rules have just been published and are similar to the original lockdown

  • Stay at Home

The starting point for the new Tier 4 is that people are must not leave their home except for where they have a specific purpose, or a ‘reasonable excuse’ – which is restricted to

    • Work and volunteering
    • Essential activities (eg., buying food or medication)
    • Fulfilling legal obligations
    • Education and childcare
    • Communal worship and life events
    • Exercise
    • Medical reasons, harm and compassionate visits

Travel

There seems to be an anomily in the travel guidance in that people in Tier 4 “must not” travel to other tiers but people in other Tiers “should not” travel to Tier 4 and the guidance of travel overseas says both “should not” and “cannot”

  • Travelling out of a tier 4 area
    • You must stay at home and not leave your Tier 4 area, other than for legally permitted reasons such as:
    • travel to work where you cannot work from home
    • travel to education and for caring responsibilities
    • visit those in your support bubble - or your childcare bubble for childcare
    • attend hospital, GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health
    • The full list of exceptions will be published in the Regulations.
  • Travelling to a tier 4 area from a tier 1, 2 or 3 area
    • You should not travel into a Tier 4 area from another part of the UK, other than for reasons such as:
    • travel to work where you cannot work from home
    • travel to education and for caring responsibilities
    • to visit those in your support bubble - or your childcare bubble for childcare
    • to attend hospital, GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health
  • International travel to or from a tier 4 area
    • If you are in Tier 4, you should not be travelling abroad unless it is permitted. In addition, you should consider the public health advice in the country you are visitin

Staying away from home overnight

  • You cannot leave home for holidays or stays overnight away from your main home unless permitted by law. This means that holidays in the UK and abroad are not allowed. This includes staying in a second home or caravan, or staying with anyone you do not live with or are in a support bubble with.
  • You are allowed to stay overnight away from your home if you:
  • are unable to return to your main residence
  • need accommodation while moving house
  • need accommodation to attend a funeral or related commemorative event
  • require accommodation for work purposes or to provide voluntary services
  • are a child requiring accommodation for school or care
  • are homeless, seeking asylum or a vulnerable person seeking refuge
  • are an elite athlete or their support staff or parent, if the athlete is under 18 and it is necessary to be outside of the home for training or competition

Accommodation

  • accommodation providers such as hotels, B&Bs and caravan parks may remain open for the specific reasons set out in law, including where guests are unable to return to their main residence, use that guest accommodation as their main residence, need accommodation while moving house, are self-isolating as required by law, or would otherwise be made homeless as a result of the accommodation closing. Accommodation providers are also encouraged to work cooperatively with Local Authorities to provide accommodation to vulnerable groups including the homeless in tier 4 areas.

Other Tourism related Businesses

non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, and market stalls selling non-essential goods - these venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services

  • hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery
  • leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and indoor gyms, indoor swimming pools, indoor tennis and basketball courts, indoor fitness and dance studios, indoor climbing walls
  • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres), circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks and theme parks
  • indoor attractions at botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open

Weddings

  • Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies should not take place except in exceptional circumstances, for example where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover ('deathbed wedding') or due to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery. These weddings are limited to 6 people.
  • If you live in a tier 4 area and are going to a wedding, funeral or linked commemorative event outside the tier 4 area, the event must follow the tier 4 gathering limits on the events.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-4-stay-at-home

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TIER UPDATE 18 DEC

Northern Ireland to enter a six-week lockdown from Boxing Day

Northern Ireland Executive announced that it will introduce a series of COVID-19 restrictions from 00.01 on 26 December. The restrictions will be in place for six weeks, subject to review at four weeks.

Further information will be announced on Monday. We will keep you updated.

In summary, the restrictions for the six-week period include:

  • Closure of hospitality and non-essential retail with a stricter demarcation between essential and non-essential retail than was deployed during the recent circuit breaker. Click and collect retail will not be permitted, and homeware will not be categorised as essential retail. Off sales (including from bars) will be permitted from 08.00 on Monday to Saturday, and from 10.00 on Sunday, until 20.00 on any day. Hospitality businesses will only be allowed to offer takeaway and delivery food.
  • Closure of close contact businesses.
  • Places of worship can remain open under strict conditions.

In addition, there will be a one-week period of additional restrictions from 26 December to 2 January. Between 20.00 and 06.00 during this period:

  • All businesses which are able to remain open as part of the restrictions must close between these hours
  • No indoor or outdoor gatherings of any kind permitted after 20:00 and before 06:00, including at sporting venues
  • Outdoor exercise permitted only with members of your own household
  • No household mixing permitted in private gardens or indoors in any setting between these times, except for emergencies or the provision of health or care services or where households have chosen to form a Christmas bubble for a period of time between 23 to 27 December with provision for travel a day either side when absolutely necessary

Extra £110 million to support Welsh businesses affected by new restrictions

The Welsh Government has announced a further £110 million of financial support for businesses affected by the latest restrictions. The new restrictions will mean all non-essential retail, including close contact services and all leisure and fitness centres, will close from end of trading on Christmas Eve, with hospitality businesses following at 6pm on Christmas Day.

Businesses in the hospitality and non-essential retail sector, which are impacted by the new restrictions, receive small business rates relief and have a rateable value of £12,000 or less will be eligible for a £3,000 payment.

Hospitality and non-essential retail businesses with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £150,000 will be eligible for a £5,000 payment. Tourism, leisure, retail and supply chain businesses in the same rateable value bracket will also be eligible for this support if their turnover has fallen by 40% or more during the restriction period.

More information will become available on the Business Wales website. Read the full announcement here.

VisitEngland consumer sentiment tracker wave 21

Field work for the latest consumer sentiment tracker was conducted last week between 7 – 11 December.

Some key points include:

The proportion of UK adults believing ‘the worst has passed’ rose significantly from 15% in the last wave to 22%. There is an increase in the proportions claiming they will take either ‘the same number or more domestic overnight trips’ between now and the end of March, with c. 40% of this opinion (which is up c. 5 percentage points). Confidence is very slowly improving and although trip intent for the January to March period remains low at 13%, 2 percentage points up on the last wave.

Other key points:

  • While just 4% of adults intend to take an overnight trip in December, 84% of these are expected to take place between 24 – 31 December.
  • 12% of adults anticipate going on a day trip between 24 – 31 December, rising to 26% of families.  Perhaps unsurprisingly the majority of people anticipate taking fewer day trips than they normally would over this period.

You can view all of the findings from the tracker here.

Updates to loan scheme deadlines

Further to yesterday’s announcement by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak, the following loan scheme application deadlines have been updated to 31 March 2021:

Guidance for travelling on waterways

The Environment Agency waterways: Coronavirus (COVID-19) update from 2 December 2020 has been updated with clarification about travelling and overnight stays in tier 3 areas:

  • If you live outside a tier 3 area, you should avoid overnight stays in a tier 3 area unless necessary for work, education or similar reasons. You should avoid travelling into or out of a tier 3 area to visit your boat

Sailing is permitted for all tiers subject to social contact rules.

Other government updates

COVID-19 Situation update 18 December 2020

TOURISM ALLIANCE UDPATE – 18 DECEMBER

  • Tourism Recovery Plan

As an outcome of this week’s Tourism Industry Council meeting to discuss DCMS’s development of a Tourism Recovery Plan, DCMS has asked us for:

    • Evidence outlining the impact of the VAT cut
    • How consumer demand is changing as a result of COVID-19
      (and therefore what changes are needed because of this)

DCMS outlined how this plan will structure under two main sections and six key themes. These being:

Short to medium term:

  • Reopening safely
  • Supporting business
  • Stimulating demand

Medium to long term:

  • Developing local visitor economies / levelling-up
  • Supporting the events industry
  • Transforming the sector to be more resilient, sustainable, innovative and accessible 

They have asked us the following questions related to these sections and themes

    • Are these the right things to be looking at?
    • Aside from focusing on scaling back restrictions in the right way, is any further intervention needed to help businesses reopen safely?
    • What do businesses most need support with between now and 31st March? 
    • What are the most important measures to have in place to support the sector after the 31st March, and why?
    • Should the Government focus more on protecting supply or stimulating demand?

               A response  is needed by  6th January so if you have an comments,  please send then to me by 4th January

  • Planning Update On Caravans

In July  we worked with BH&HPA in getting the Government to publish a ministerial statement that encouraged local planning authorities to exercise their discretion in relation to planning conditions for caravan, campsites and holiday parks so that they could extend their season. The government has just updated that statement, which incorporated a Q&A, to include the following question:

    • Can caravan occupants use their caravans as a permanent residence if they have no alternative accommodation (because of the impact of coronavirus)?

The government is aware that there are people who for a variety of reasons do not currently have access to a permanent residence and may use holiday caravan parks for interim or main residential purposes. Whilst the government does not comment on any potential breach of licensing and planning conditions, our priority during the Covid-19 pandemic must be the safety of the public and the containment of the virus. 

The National Planning Policy Framework already emphasises that planning enforcement is a discretionary activity, and local planning authorities should act proportionately in responding to suspected breaches of planning control.

 Given the current situation, while local planning authorities must have regard to their legal obligations, they are encouraged to exercise their discretion and not seek to undertake planning enforcement action to ensure that wherever possible families and vulnerable people are not displaced at this time. However, careful consideration should be given where these sites have restrictions related to winter flood risk.

                https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-planning-update-on-cultural-venues-and-holiday-parks--2

  • Travel over the Xmas Period

The guidance for travel over the Xmas period has been undated to read:

If you are forming a Christmas bubble you should consider carefully the risks of travelling at all. If you live in an area with the highest level of protection, for example, tier 3 in England, you should avoid travelling to lower prevalence areas where possible. 

If you have to travel, book ahead to enable you and others to travel safely and plan your outward and return journeys carefully. Once you arrive, you should stay local and avoid unnecessary travel within the area after you arrive. 

You cannot travel to see your bubble before 23 December, or stay with them after 27 December, except in exceptional circumstances. For example, in the event of unforeseen travel disruption, or if a member of your Christmas bubble develops symptoms of coronavirus and you are required to self-isolate. This includes anyone travelling to or from Northern Ireland. However, where travel arrangements require it, people travelling to or from Northern Ireland may travel from 22 December up until 28 December.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers

  • Waterways Guidance Update

The Environment Agency has amended its guidance to clarify that sailing is permitted for all tiers subject to social contact rules and, for Tier 3:

    • Travel on waterways is permitted. If you live outside a tier 3 area, you should avoid overnight stays in a tier 3 area unless necessary for work, education or similar reasons. You should avoid travelling into or out of a tier 3 area to visit your boat

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/environment-agency-waterways-coronavirus-covid-19-update

  • BEIS Business Support Line Xmas Hours

BEIS’s support line for businesses impacted by coronavirus will be open as usual from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday over the Xmas period except:

    • Friday 25 December (Christmas Day) – closed
    • Monday 28 December (Bank Holiday) - 10am to 4pm
    • Friday 1 (New Year’s Day) and Saturday 2 January 2021 - 10am to 4pm

The number for the support line is 0800 998 1098 or you can use this email address enquiries@businesssupporthelpline.org

  • R Number and Growth Rate

As usual for a Friday, we end with the R number and Growth Rate figures. This week they are, respectively, 1.1-1.2 and +1% to +4%. This is considerably higher than last week’s figures of 0.9-1.0 and -2% to 0%

               https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-r-number-in-the-uk

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TIER UPDATE 17 DEC

Extension of furlough and loan schemes 

The Chancellor announced today that the furlough scheme has been extended until the end of April 2021 with the government continuing to contribute 80% towards wages. In addition, businesses will have now until the end of March to access government loan schemes. 

A successor loan scheme has already been announced to provide support beyond March. We will share more details on the scheme when available. The government has said it will provide a further update on wider COVID-19 economic support at the Budget on 3 March. 

Review of tiers in England

Today Health Secretary Matt Hancock today announced the review of tiers for regions in England in the House of Commons. 

The following changes will come into place at one minute past midnight on Saturday: 

  • Moving from Tier 2 to Tier 3: Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Peterborough, Hertfordshire, Surrey (with the exception of Waverley), Hastings and Rother, Portsmouth, Havant and Gosport.
  • Moving from Tier 3 to Tier 2: Bristol and North Somerset
  • Moving from Tier 2 to Tier 1: Herefordshire

See the full list of local restriction tiers by area and visitor economy guidance for people who work in hotels and guest accommodation, indoor and outdoor attractions, and business events and consumer shows. 

Letter re Caravan Park closures

A letter on 7 December from the Minister of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Kelly Tolhurst to trade bodies representing caravan and park home site owners regarding caravan park closures has been published on Gov.UK.

The letter outlines the rules around the tiers. Holiday caravan sites in Tier 1 and 2 will be able to open as usual. Those in Tier 3 are expected to close (except between 22 and 28 December). Exemptions that allow businesses to remain open include households using the accommodation as their main residence. Site owners should work with local authorities to ensure families and vulnerable people are not displaced should they be required to close this time of year for reasons other than the pandemic.

Test to Release

The scheme launched on Tuesday 15 December for passengers arriving in England. There has been some media coverage about the challenges some people were having accessing tests from a couple of the providers. More providers are expected to come on stream and be added to the current list of 12 approved providers soon.

Travel corridors

Uruguay, Namibia and the US Virgin Islands will be removed from the travel corridor list. Visitors arriving into the UK from these countries will need to self-isolate from 4am, Saturday 19 December.

Please note, the next scheduled update to travel corridors will be on 7 January, although there may be other emergency removals over the next two weeks.

CMA launches investigation into airlines over refunds 

The CMA has announced that it is investigating whether airlines have breached consumers’ legal rights by failing to offer cash refunds for flights they could not lawfully take. The investigation will consider situations where airlines continued to operate flights despite people being unable lawfully to travel for non-essential purposes in the UK or abroad, for example during the second lockdown in England in November.  The CMA will now be writing to a number of airlines requiring information to understand more about their approaches to refunds for consumers prevented from flying by lockdown.

 TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 17 DECEMBER

  • List Of Approved COVID-19 Test Providers

The Government has published a list of approved providers of Covid Tests to help employers set up their own COVID-19 testing programmes.

While this is very welcome, the true benefit to tourism and hospitality businesses from setting-up their own COVID-19 testing programmes will only be realised when the Government produces guidance on how businesses can do this in a way that removes the need businesses to maintain social distancing restrictions in their premises.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-publishes-list-of-approved-covid-19-test-providers

  • CJRS Figures Show Impact on Tourism and Hospitality

HMRC has published new data on the uptake of the CJRS and show that the tourism and hospitality sector has borne the brunt of the impact from Coronavirus. The figures show that:

    • There were 2.4m people in the UK on furlough (8% of total employment)
    • 1 in 4 people on furlough were in the accommodation and food services sector (27% of the sector)
    • 1 in 15 people on furlough were in the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation sector (24% of the total)
    • Taking Accommodation and Food, and Arts and Recreation as proxies for the tourism industry, almost 1 in 3 people furloughed are in Tourism and Hospitality

It is also worth noting that these figures predate the second national lockdown and the subsequent increase in tier 3 areas where businesses required to close are predominantly in the tourism and hospitality sector

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-december-2020/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-december-2020

  • Christmas Guidance Updated

The Christmas guidance has been updated in accordance with the Prime Minister’s statement yesterday that people should exercise caution during the Christmas period. Core statement in the document now read:

    • The safest way to spend this Christmas is with your household or support bubble in your own home. From 23 December to 27 December, you may choose to form a Christmas bubble. To protect you and your loved ones, think very carefully about the risks of forming a Christmas bubble. You should keep your Christmas bubble as small as possible and minimise the time you spend with your bubble.
    • Those who choose to form a Christmas bubble should exercise additional caution and cut down on unnecessary social contact after seeing their Christmas bubble to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. This includes not meeting up with friends or family outside your household for New Years Eve.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/guidance-for-the-christmas-period

  • ONS Impact Research

ONS have published the latest wave of their ongoing research on the impact of coronavirus. Among the wide variety of measures that they have incorporated from footfall to businesses insolvencies, they have included data from Open Table (a restaurant booking platform) on the percentage of seated diners when compared with the same day of the same week in the previous year. What is interesting about this is:

    • It suggests that the people eating in restaurants during the second national lockdown was around 10% of normal
    • It suggests the number of people eating in restaurants in the UK just prior to London entering tier 3 was only about 25% down on 2019

Both figures seem to be  considerably higher than many businesses are reporting.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/coronavirustheukeconomyandsocietyfasterindicators/17december2020

To provide a contrast the Open Table data, here’s different piece of ONS research also published today. This research indicates that as of 13th December:

    • 43% of accommodation and food services businesses were closed
    • Over three-quarters of businesses in the accommodation and food service activities industry experienced a decrease in turnover compared with normal expectations for this time of year.
    • 3 in 10 businesses in the accommodation and food service activities industry had no or low confidence that they would survive the next three months

https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/business/businessservices/bulletins/businessinsightsandimpactontheukeconomy/17december2020

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

TIER UPDATE 16 DEC

UK Governments common arrangements for the five-day Christmas period

The four UK Governments met today to confirm the common arrangements for the five-day Christmas period and as a result have issued updated guidance and recommendations, as follows.

A smaller Christmas is a safer Christmas, and a shorter Christmas is a safer Christmas - all four UK Governments strongly recommend that the safest way for people to spend this Christmas is with their own household or existing support bubble in their own home. People are encouraged to think very carefully about the risks of forming a bubble. Discuss alternatives to meeting up in person, or ways of meeting up outdoors instead. People should only form a bubble if they feel they absolutely need to.

If people do decide they need to form a Christmas bubble, they need to take precautions to minimise risk. The Government suggest this can be done as follows:

  • by stopping unnecessary social contact outside their immediate household as soon as possible, and for at least five days before they meet other households in their bubble, working from home if they can.
  • keeping the bubble small and visits short - the five day period is a window of opportunity and should be seen as a legal maximum, not a target. It is recommended that people meet within it for the shortest possible time. People should not stay overnight unless absolutely unavoidable.
  • If someone is over 70 or clinically extremely vulnerable, think carefully about the risks. The safest approach may be not to form a Christmas bubble. If they do form a Christmas bubble, then they should be especially careful to observe the guidance: meet outdoors where possible, wash hands regularly, keep a distance from those they do not live with. If meeting indoors, ensure good ventilation by letting in fresh air.
  • If people are in an existing household or support bubble with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, think carefully. To help reduce the risks to their health, the safest approach would be to celebrate with their existing household or support bubble and not with others.
  • Carefully consider the risks of travelling - If people live in an area with the highest level of protection, for example, tier 3 in England and level 4 in Scotland, they should avoid travelling to lower prevalence areas where possible. Each administration will issue specific travel advice based on its own circumstances. If people have to travel, they should book ahead to enable them and others to travel safely and plan their outward and return journeys carefully. Once people arrive they should stay local and not travel within the area.
  • Practise safe behaviours: washing hands, making space between members of different households, and letting in fresh air. Following these behaviours, even within the home, will greatly reduce the risk of transmission.
  • On no account should people visit another household if they, or anyone in their household, is feeling unwell or is self-isolating

It is also really important to cut down on social contact after seeing people in a Christmas bubble, to reduce the risk of chains of transmission. This means people should:

  • only shop if they can do so safely: shop online where they can; avoid crowds; and, if they are in crowded areas, wear a face covering and only go where it is well ventilated.
  • not meet up with friends or family outside their household for New Year’s Eve. The tier or level rules will be in place on New Year’s Eve / Hogmanay and it is essential, as the minimum, that these are followed by everyone.

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson reinforced this guidance in a press briefing today. The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, also has said people need stick to two households when coming together to form an exclusive Christmas bubble. And in Scotland, the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, further asked people to avoid mixing with other households over Christmas unless absolutely necessary.

For full details on the Christmas restrictions visit the relevant Government websites for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Higher-level restrictions to come into force in Wales from 28 December 2020

Today, the First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed the current conditions mean Wales has met the criteria in the new traffic-light Coronavirus Control Plan to move to alert level four. The new restrictions will apply to all of Wales and include:

·         All non-essential retail, including close contact services and all leisure and fitness centres will close at the end of trading on Christmas Eve.

·         All hospitality premises will close from 6pm on Christmas Day.

·         Tighter restrictions on household mixing, staying-at-home, holiday accommodation and travel will apply from December 28, after the five-day Christmas period.

·         People are urged to work from home where possible

Full details on the new high-level restrictions are available on the welsh government website.

Other Government updates

  • A new Urban Centre Recovery Taskforce has been launched to advise on how government can work with local leaders to support cities and will consider the roles of housing, planning, and regeneration, as well as other relevant areas.
  • A new policy has been published on Income Tax and National Insurance contributions exemption for employer-reimbursed coronavirus antigen tests.

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 16 DECEMBER

  • List of Private Coronavirus Testing Businesses Updated

The list of private companies providing testing that can be undertaken as part of the Test To Release Scheme has been updated. I get the feeling that this could be a continually changing list so if you are providing accommodation for people using the scheme, it would be a good idea to bookmark the following link so that you keep up to date as providers are added and removed.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/list-of-private-providers-of-coronavirus-testing/list-of-private-providers-of-coronavirus-testing

  • DfT Transport Figures

I’ve held off including these for the past month while we were in a national lockdown but it’s worthwhile including them again. This week’s update shows that people are travelling again after the lockdown but the level of travel has not increased a great deal – private vehicle use is only up 10 percentage points from the lockdown, national rail is up just 7 percentage points and bus travel is up just 9 percentage points – indicating both the greater number of areas now in tier 3 and a lack of confidence  in people to undertake travel.

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

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

TIER UPDATE 15 DEC

Test to Release for International Travel scheme in England starts today

A list of private test providers has been added as part of the Test to Release for international travel scheme. Travellers arriving in England can choose to pay for a private COVID-19 test a minimum of five days after leaving a place not on the travel corridor list.

If the test is negative, no further self-isolation is needed. If the traveller does not want to opt into the Test to Release scheme, they will need to self-isolate until 10 full days have passed since they were last in a place not on the travel corridors list.

Read more guidance

Scotland levels review

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that three Scottish council areas are to have tougher coronavirus restrictions imposed from Friday.

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and East Lothian will all move from level two to level three of the five-tiered system. The change means:

  • People will no longer be allowed to travel outside of their own council area unless it is essential.
  • Pubs, cafes and restaurants will have to stop serving alcohol and must shut at 18:00.
  • And indoor entertainment venues such as cinemas, bingo halls and amusement arcades will also have to close.

Scotland’s other 29 council areas will remain in their current levels.

Read more on the levels review

New Export Action Plan for Wales

Economy Minister for Wales Ken Skates has announced a new Export Action Plan which to support for Welsh exporters. As part of the plan, a new online Export Hub is available for businesses and provides information, tips and advice.

Read the press release on the action plan

Other Government updates

Other updates

  • There were 819,000 fewer workers on UK company payrolls in November than at the start of the pandemic, according to the Office for National Statistics. Hospitality was the worst hit sector, accounting for a third of the job losses (297,000). Read more on the figures

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 15 DECEMBER

  • VisitBritain Forecasts

VisitBritain has published a new set of predictions for inbound and domestic tourism.

    • Inbound

VisitBritain’s forecast for 2021 is for a gradual increase in the value of inbound tourism during January to March 2021 with a step-change heading into Easter and the spring, if national restrictions are eased as expected, particularly from short-haul European markets. Overall, VisitBritain is forecasting 16.9 million inbound visits and spending of £9.0 billion in 2021

While a significant increase on this year, visitor number will only be 41% of the 40.9 million visits in 2019 while expenditure will be only 32% of the £28.4 billion the UK received in 2019

    • Domestic

The domestic tourism forecast from 2020 has been updated central scenario for England of £28.5 billion in domestic tourism spending in 2020, down 63% compared to 2019 when spending by domestic tourists in England was £75.9bn. This comprises £7.8bn from overnight tourism, down from £19.5bn in 2019, and £20.7bn from day trips, down from £56.5bn in 2019.

VisitEngland’s forecast for 2021 is for a recovery to £51.6bn in domestic tourism spending, which is up 82% compared to 2020 but still only 68% of the level of spending seen in 2019. This comprises £14.1bn in domestic overnight tourism spending (28% down on 2019) and £37.6bn in leisure day trip spending (33% down on 2019).

https://www.visitbritain.org/2021-tourism-forecast#:~:text=VisitBritain%20have%20also%20run%20a%20domestic%20tourism%20forecast.&text=2020%20forecast%3A%20We%20have%20forecast,England%20was%20%C2%A375.9bn.

  • Test to Release Q&A

As you will be aware, the Test to Release option for people entering the country from non- Air Corridors countries came into effect today  whereby people can reduce their quarantine time from 10 days to 5 days by undertaking a test. To help accommodation providers  that are hosting guests using the Test to Release system, DCMS has produced the attached Q&A that addresses the how to provide services to these customers and the rules that cover their stay.

Also, DfT sent round a clarification note today saying that, for people using Test to Release system, the five day waiting period before being tested starts once the passenger leaves the country they’ve been in that warrants self-isolation, not when they arrive into England. So people travelling from countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia who can take 24 hours to travel to the UK may only need to wait four days before being tested.

In addition, the Government has also published a link to the private healthcare companies that will undertake tests under this system.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/list-of-private-providers-of-coronavirus-testing/list-of-private-providers-of-coronavirus-testing

  • Updated Tier Posters

The Posters with the rules and restrictions that apply in Tier level have been updated to incorporate all the new changes. As mentioned previously, these are an excellent quick reference guide for keeping both staff and customers aware of the rules in their area.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tier-posters-medium-high-and-very-high 

  • Income Tax And NI Exemption For Employer-Reimbursed Tests

HMRC has published a policy paper with proposals  that where an employer reimburses an employee for the cost of a relevant coronavirus antigen test there will be no National Insurance contributions liability. The government also  intends to legislate for an Income Tax exemption for employer reimbursements of the cost of relevant coronavirus antigen tests in the next Finance Bill.

This measure will have effect from 25 January 2021 until 5 April 2021.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/income-tax-and-national-insurance-contributions-exemption-for-employer-reimbursed-coronavirus-antigen-tests/income-tax-and-national-insurance-contributions-exemption-for-employer-reimbursed-coronavirus-antigen-tests

  • EU Settlement Scheme Covid Disruption Guidance

This will be of interest to businesses with employees from the EU, EEA and Turkey  who are struggling to complete the paperwork or meet the necessary conditions to stay in the UK due to coronavirus. The Home Office has published a series of three guidance papers of what these employees need to do if they are facing problems

First there is guidance for EUSS applicants, both inside and outside the UK, who’s application has been affected by restrictions associated with coronavirus. The guidance explains what to do if:

    • If you need to provide alternative evidence of identity and nationality, or entitlement to apply from outside the UK
    • If you’re required to provide further information when making an application
    • If your continuous qualifying period in the UK has been affected

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

Secondly, separate guidance has been produced for applicants for documentation issued under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 who have been affected by Covid restrictions. This includes guidance on:

    • If you need to provide alternative evidence of identity and nationality
    • If your continuous residence in the UK has been affected
    • Furloughed workers
    • Retention of worker or self-employed status
    • Self-sufficiency and access to benefits

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-immigration-european-economic-area-regulations-2016-guidance-for-applicants

                The third one is guidance that has been produced for Turkish ECAA applicants, both inside and outside of the UK, who need to apply for leave and are affected by restrictions associated with coronavirus.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-turkish-applicants-for-uk-visas

  • Care Home Lateral Test Guidance

Finally, I’ve attached a link to guidance that the Government has produced for Care Homes on how to undertake establish a lateral testing regime so that people can safely visit their relatives in ahigh vulnerability setting. While this is not directly applicable to the tourism industry, it does highlight the need for versions of this guidance need to be developed for hospitality and tourism businesses so that they can open and operate in a financially viable matter without the need for social distancing inside the venue. Obvious examples of where this type of system could be implemented includes conferences and events where attendees are known in advance and entrance into the venue is controlled.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/942015/care-home-LFD-testing-of-visitors-guidance-12-2020.pdf

  • Clarification regarding people on holiday in Tier 3 Areas

With London and surrounding areas going into Tier 3 tomorrow it is worth noting that anyone currently on holiday within the area can remain until it is practical to return home. This is from the Visitor Economy guidance:

‘At the time when restrictions are introduced, if people are currently on holiday in a group including people who are not in their household or bubble and it is not reasonable for them to curtail their stay, they may finish their holiday as planned but should follow the new social distancing rules as much as possible. However, for those placed under tier 3 restrictions, their stay should only be as long as reasonably necessary and they should return home as soon as practical. They should make every effort to reduce socialising indoors outside of their household whilst in holiday accommodation in the meantime.’

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

TIER UPDATE 14 DEC

London and parts of Essex and Hertfordshire to move to tier 3 restrictions

In a statement to the House of Commons today, Health Secretary Matt Hancock stated that London and parts of Essex and Hertfordshire will move into tier 3: Very High alert. The first formal review of tiers will take place on Wednesday 16 December, but due to a sharp rise in cases these areas will move to tier 3 from 00.01 on Wednesday 16 December. These areas include:

·        All 32 boroughs plus the City of London

·        Local authorities in Hertfordshire: Broxbourne, Hertsmere, Three Rivers, Watford

·        Local authorities in Essex: Basildon, Braintree, Brentwood, Castle Point, Chelmsford, Epping Forest, Harlow, Maldon, Rochford, Southend-on-Sea, Thurrock

Key changes for businesses and people include:

·        People can only see friends and family they don’t live with, or are in a support bubble with, in outdoor public places, and of course in line with the rule of 6.

·        Hospitality settings must close, except takeaway and delivery.

·        And people should avoid travelling outside their area and reduce the number of journeys they make wherever possible. 

View the full list of local restriction tiers by area at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/full-list-of-local-restriction-tiers-by-area  

Detailed guidance for tourism businesses for each tier is available in the working safely during the coronavirus guidance (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/performing-arts). You can also read what you can and cannot do in tier 3 restrictions at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-3-very-high-alert?priority-taxon=774cee22-d896-44c1-a611-e3109cce8eae#businesses-and-venues

Outdoor events catering

DCMS has provided the following clarifications on guidance for outdoor event catering

•                  In tiers 1 and 2: Where there is a seating in an adjacent area to a stall or outlet that is serving food and drink, and customers will be using it, their orders must be taken and served at the table if the stall or outlet sells alcohol. Where the sale of alcohol is not offered, customers will need to be seated when eating but can order food from the counter. Customers eating and drinking at tables outdoors will need to sit in groups of up to 6 people (unless they are visiting as a household or support bubble which is larger than 6). Signs should be put up to remind customers to only interact with their group.

•                  In tier 2: Businesses selling food and drink must only operate as if they were a restaurant. This means alcohol can only be served with substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. Where there is a seating in an adjacent area to a stall or outlet that is serving food and drink, and customers will be using it, their orders must be taken and served at the table if the stall or outlet sells alcohol. Where the sale of alcohol is not offered, customers will need to be seated when eating but can order food from the counter. Customers eating and drinking at tables outdoors will need to sit in groups of up to 6 people (unless they are visiting as a household or support bubble which is larger than 6). Signs should be put up to remind customers to only interact with their group.

•                  In tiers 1 and 2: Where there is no seating available, the stall or outlet will be providing a take away service. The customer can order their food and drink including alcohol to eat and drink anywhere in the outdoor setting. 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. Customers eating and drinking in the outdoor setting should not gather in groups of more than 6 people

•                  In tier 3: Businesses selling food and drink (including alcohol) must close, but can sell food and non-alcoholic drinks through takeaway, click-and-collect, drive through or delivery.  Outdoor stalls can offer food and drink as a takeaway service but alcohol may only be sold as delivery or click and collect.

HM Treasury VAT and the Sharing Economy: Call for Evidence

HMT has issued a call for evidence on the VAT challenges (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vat-and-the-sharing-economy-call-for-evidence) created by the Sharing Economy. HMT are seeking stakeholder views on the government’s assessment of these challenges, including whether existing VAT rules enable fair competition and a level playing field for traditional businesses. Please submit your responses to the call for evidence to HMTVATandExcisePolicy@hmtreasury.gov.uk by 3 March 2021.

VisitBritain inbound tourism forecast for 2021 predicts first signs of slow recovery

The forecast published on Friday 11 December shows a gradual increase in the value of inbound tourism during January to March 2021 with a step-change heading into Easter and the spring, if national restrictions are eased as expected, particularly from short-haul European markets. Overall, VisitBritain is forecasting 16.9 million inbound visits in 2021. While this is an increase of 73% on this year, it is less than half of the 40.9 million visits the UK saw in 2019. Inbound visitor spending is forecast to reach £9.0 billion in 2021. Although up 59% on 2020, it is less than a third of the all-time spending high of £28.4 billion seen in 2019. Read the full forecast at https://www.visitbritain.org/2021-tourism-forecast  

Domestic outlook for England in 2020

VisitBritain have also run a domestic tourism forecast. As with their inbound forecast, this represents a snapshot in time and makes a number of assumptions to provide an estimate of impact. Subsequent developments could change the outlook.

2020 forecast: VisitEngland have forecast a central scenario for England of £28.5 billion in domestic tourism spending in 2020, down 63% compared to 2019 when spending by domestic tourists in England was £75.9bn. This comprises £7.8bn from overnight tourism, down from £19.5bn in 2019, and £20.7bn from day trips, down from £56.5bn in 2019. In total, this represents a loss of £47.5bn (£11.7bn from overnights and £35.8bn from leisure day trips). The 2020 forecast is for a decline of 60% for overnights and 63% for leisure day trips, although with different pattern of recovery. While some categories of day trips started to recover first, others are still very limited.

2021 forecast: VisitEngland’s forecast is for a recovery to £51.6bn in domestic tourism spending in 2021; this is up 82% compared to 2020 but still only 68% of the level of spending seen in 2019. VisitEngland are forecasting £14.1bn in domestic overnight tourism spending (81% growth on 2020 but 72% of the 2019 level) and £37.6bn in leisure day trip spending (82% growth on 2020 and 67% of the 2019 level).

Read the full forecast at https://www.visitbritain.org/2021-tourism-forecast

Other updates

As mentioned on Friday, the self-isolation period on arrival into the UK has been changed from 14 days to 10 days. As a result, several pages have been updated on the GOV.UK website to reflect this change: 

·        How to self-isolate when you travel to the UK

·        Test to Release for international travel

·        Working safely during coronavirus

·        Travel corridors

·        Safer travel guidance for passengers

·        Safer air travel for passengers

·        Jobs that qualify for travel exemptions

·        Making a support bubble with another household

 

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 14 DECEMBER

  • Tourism Recovery Plan

There is another Tourism Industry Council meeting tomorrow to discuss the Tourism recovery Plan that DCMS is developing. Ahead of this meeting, the Tourism Alliance submitted a revised paper to DCMS outlining the measures that need to be included in a tourism recovery plan that covers both domestic and international tourism. (please find attached a copy of the paper for your information). 

  • Moving From 14 Day To 10 Day Self-Isolation

From today the self-isolation period is being reduced from 14 days to 10 days for both people entering the country from non Air Corridor countries and those needing to self-isolate in the UK after coming into contact with the disease. The is a large raft of guidance that has been updated to this effect so if you are working from downloaded versions of the Government guidance, just remember to keep this in mind.

  • VAT Campaign Survey to Distribute to Members

As you will be aware, the Tourism Alliance has worked with the Cut Tourism VAT Campaign for many years in order to reduce the rate of VAT applying to UK tourism and hospitality businesses from 20% to 5%. This would end the sector's competitive disadvantage compared to other European countries, all of which (excluding Denmark) apply reduced rates to visitor accommodation, and most apply a reduced rate to attractions and meals as well.

In July 2020, taking on board the case that the Cut Tourism VAT Campaign has made over many years, the Chancellor cut VAT to 5% on tourism and hospitality as an emergency measure to counter the effects of Covid-19. As this reduction is due to be reversed in April 2021, we want to lobby Government ahead of next year’s spring budget that the 5% VAT rate on tourism and hospitality goods and services should be made permanent as it is good for the UK Government and British people.

Therefore, we are working with the Cut Tourism VAT Campaign and UK Hospitality to conduct a preliminary survey of tourism businesses to determine how they have benefitted from the VAT reduction and what the impact of reverting back to the 20% rate on 1 April 2021 would have on their future viability

If your members have benefitted from the reduction, can I please ask you to send them the following link to a short survey and ask them to complete it - this should take no more than 5 to 10 minutes and will greatly assist efforts to campaign for a permanent reduction . All responses will be treated as confidential and anonymised.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9CHZNCQ

Responses are required by end-of-business on FRIDAY 18th DECEMBER.

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TIER UPDATE 11 DEC

Change to the self-isolation period from 14 to 10 days in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland

The UK Chief Medical Officers have released a statement today on a change to the self-isolation period for all domestic contacts and international arrivals. This change will apply in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland from 00:01 on Monday 14 December. It already applies in Wales.

People who return from countries which are not on the travel corridor list should also self-isolate for 10 days instead of 14 days.

People who test positive should continue to self-isolate for 10 days from onset of symptoms or 10 days from point of taking a positive test if asymptomatic.

On Monday 14 December, the change to the isolation period for contacts will apply to all those who are currently self-isolating including those who commenced self-isolation before Monday.

More details are available here.

New alert levels announced in First Minister for Wales statement

The First Minister for Wales Mark Drakeford delivered a statement today which set out a new set of four alert levels as part of the COVID control plan for Wales.

The plan will be published next week and includes how these national measures will be introduced depending on the rates of the virus and the level of risk.

The plan sets out four alert levels – from low-risk alert level one to alert level four:

  • Alert level one/low-risk – this represents the closest to normality likely before the summer and the widespread availability and take-up of vaccination.
  • Alert level two/medium-risk – additional, targeted controls are in place to maintain infection rates at lower levels. These may be complemented by more targeted local restrictions to manage hotspots or specific incidents and outbreaks.
  • Alert level three/high-risk – these are the strictest package of restrictions, short of a firebreak or lockdown.
  • Alert level four/very high risk – restrictions at this level are equivalent to a lockdown and reflect the seriousness of the situation.

The First Minister mentioned Wales is currently at alert level three. Regulations will be laid next week and a vote will follow at a later date.

Read the statement.

Other Government updates

  • Businesses in England can check if they are entitled to a one-off cash grant of £1,000 as part of the Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs in areas under Tier 2 or Tier 3 local restrictions.
  • Advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents has been updated to extend the period for requesting exceptional assurance
  • Information about holiday pay and unpaid sabbatical or unpaid leave has been updated within advice for businesses before calculating a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim
  • Clarification on serving alcohol has been added to advice on working safely during coronavirus for performing arts venues in England. It states venues in tier 2 areas can serve alcohol without a substantial meal to ticketed customers for a maximum of 60 minutes in total.

Other industry news:

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 11 DEC

  • Xmas Support Payment for Wet-Led Pubs

The Government has published the eligibility criteria for the Wet-Led Pub Xmas Support Payment. Businesses may be eligible if they: 

    • are based in England
    • derive less than 50% of your sales from food
    • are in an area subject to Tier 2 or Tier 3 local restrictions since 2 December 2020
    • were established in the pub before 1 December 2020

You cannot get funding if your business:

  • has exceeded the permitted state aid threshold
  • is in administration, insolvent or has been struck off the Companies House register

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-christmas-support-payment-for-wet-led-pubs 

  • Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme Update

The Government has updated the guidance on the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme by adding that:

    • In addition to the national criteria for receiving this payment, applicants may also have to meet additional locally set criteria, which are down to the discretion of each local authority
    • If the NHS COVID-19 app has told you to self-isolate because you’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, you will need to follow some additional steps to request your NHS Test and Trace Account ID. 

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

  • Coronavirus Cases by Local Authority

If you want to track coronavirus cases in your local area, the weekly updates have been produced. This will give you an indication as to whether to expect any change in the Tier level of your area when the review is undertaken next week. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-cases-by-local-authority-epidemiological-data-10-december-2020 

  • R Number and Growth Rate

At as usual, to end his week’s R Number and growth rate figures are 0.9-1.0 and -2% to 0% respectively, which is a slight increase from last week’s figures of 0.8-1.0 and -3% to -1% but still indicates that that the spread of the disease is decreasing

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-r-number-in-the-uk

Tourism Industry Council UPDATES 11/12/2020

Guidance Updates:

Tier Review
The first review of all tier allocations will be on 16 December.

Any changes will be laid out soon after and a full list of the tier allocations will be published on gov.uk. The following review will take place by 30 December.

Outdoor events catering

  • In tiers 1 and 2: Where there is a seating in an adjacent area to a stall or outlet that is serving food and drink, and customers will be using it, their orders must be taken and served at the table if the stall or outlet sells alcohol. Where the sale of alcohol is not offered, customers will need to be seated when eating but can order food from the counter. Customers eating and drinking at tables outdoors will need to sit in groups of up to 6 people (unless they are visiting as a household or support bubble which is larger than 6). Signs should be put up to remind customers to only interact with their group.
  • In tier 2: Businesses selling food and drink must only operate as if they were a restaurant. This means alcohol can only be served with substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. Where there is a seating in an adjacent area to a stall or outlet that is serving food and drink, and customers will be using it, their orders must be taken and served at the table if the stall or outlet sells alcohol. Where the sale of alcohol is not offered, customers will need to be seated when eating but can order food from the counter. Customers eating and drinking at tables outdoors will need to sit in groups of up to 6 people (unless they are visiting as a household or support bubble which is larger than 6). Signs should be put up to remind customers to only interact with their group.
  • In tiers 1 and 2: Where there is no seating available, the stall or outlet will be providing a take away service. The customer can order their food and drink including alcohol to eat and drink anywhere in the outdoor setting. 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. Customers eating and drinking in the outdoor setting should not gather in groups of more than 6 people 
  • In Tier 3: Businesses selling food and drink (including alcohol) must close, but can sell food and non-alcoholic drinks through takeaway, click-and-collect, drive through or delivery.  Outdoor stalls can offer food and drink as a takeaway service but alcohol may only be sold as delivery or click and collect.

HM Treasury VAT and the Sharing Economy: Call for Evidence

HMT has issued a call for evidence on the VAT challenges created by the Sharing Economy. HMT are seeking stakeholder views on the government’s assessment of these challenges, including whether existing VAT rules enable fair competition and a level playing field for traditional businesses. Please submit your responses to the call for evidence to HMTVATandExcisePolicy@hmtreasury.gov.uk by 3 March 2021.

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TIER UPDATE 10 DEC

Coronavirus Press Conference

Health Secretary Matt Hancock  gave a press conference today with Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty, and Professor Steve Powis, Medical Director of NHS England. Given the rising numbers of COVID cases amongst secondary school age children in parts of the South East, he announced an immediate plan to test all secondary school aged children in the seven most affected London boroughs, and areas of Essex and Kent.

·         In the Q&A he said there were no plans for a special set of rules for New Years’ Eve.

·         Re the impact of Tier 3 on hospitality in London. He stated that the main priority would be to protect the NHS, and that Christmas rules will not affect hospitality specifically and they should continue to follow the tiers.

·         He also answered a question on post-transition period travel to EU countries, if no deal is agreed, stating that travel corridor decisions were based on public health advice.

Travel Corridors

The Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Grant Shapps has announced the latest updates to travel corridors in the UK.

·         Botswana and Saudi Arabia added to Travel Corridors list. Arrivals do not need to self-isolate after 4am on Saturday 12 December.

·         The Canary Islands has been removed from travel corridor list due to rising cases of coronavirus. Those arriving from 4am on Saturday 12 December will need to self-isolate.

Wales extends business protection measures from eviction to include pubs and restaurants

The Welsh Government has extended its measures to protect businesses impacted by coronavirus from eviction until end of March 2021. Protections now include retailers, pubs and restaurants. The measure will ensure businesses are not forced out of premises if it misses a payment between now and the end of March 2021. 

A new eligibility checker will go live on Business Wales to help businesses

Business Wales will publish a new eligibility checker and calculator on their website from 10am on Friday 11 December to help businesses work out what support they can expect to qualify for. Guidance will also be available for firms to help them through the application process for the Sector Specific Fund which will open during the week of 11 January. 

Statement from Northern Ireland First Minister

In a statement today, Northern Ireland First Minister, Arlene Foster, has stated that limited gatherings in homes will be permitted from 23 to 27 December, ahead of the easing of restrictions tomorrow.  

Other Government updates and news

·         Guidance for businesses claiming for employee’s wages has been updated under the section “Employer claim information that HMRC will make public' with information that from February HMRC will publish information about employers who claim for periods starting on or after 1 December 2020.

·         The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has also been updated to inform employers that they do not need to be facing a wider reduction in demand or be closed to be eligible to claim for employees who are clinically extremely vulnerable or at the highest risk of severe illness from coronavirus.

·         The latest updates to the Working Safely during Coronavirus guidance include clarification for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaways in Tier 3. The guidance has been updated to state that customers can enter the premises to collect or place an order between 5am and 11pm.

·         Scotland has announced £55m emergency funding for sport to cover lost ticket revenue.

·         Northern Ireland Finance Minister, Conor Murphy has announced that he will making £7.8m available for Belfast international and Belfast City airports, This is in addition to the rates support already provided previously. 

  • New  LRSG (Open) Guidance

BEIS has produced new guidance for Local Authorities on how to administer the Local Restrictions Support Grant )Open) from 2nd December.  This is the grant allocated to Local Authorities in Tiers 2 and 3 by Government to provide support to local businesses that, while not legally required to close, are able to demonstrate that they have been substantially impacted by restrictions.

The funding from Government to councils is being made on the basis of the number of businesses in their area that are on the Valuation Office records under certain SCAT Codes (these are business codes for different types of businesses). While the allocation is on the basis of certain businesses, there is a discretionary element to the allocation whereby councils can determine which businesses to receive the grant (although they have been guided to provided it to hospitality, accommodation and leisure businesses). What is of particular note for tourism businesses is para 15 of the Guidance

15.          Local Authorities are not expected to use SCAT codes to determine business eligibility.

This means that the grants can be provided to businesses outside the SCAT codes that the Government used to allocate funding - so provided that a business can demonstrate that the restrictions have severely impacted their revenue, then they are eligible to apply for LRSG (Open) funding. The council can always take  view that it does not want to give grants to particular businesses, but this will be their decision and not a Government requirement.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/942853/local-restrictions-support-grant-OPEN-dec2-2020-onwards-la-guidance.pdf

  • Guidance on Serving Alcohol Outside

I have received a number of questions regarding whether outdoor attractions  and events can serve food and alcohol to visitors. DCMS have provided the following advice on this:

Tiers 1 and 2

Where there is no seating available, the stall or outlet will be providing a take away service. The customer can order their food and drink including alcohol to eat and drink anywhere in the outdoor setting. 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. Customers eating and drinking in the outdoor setting should not gather in groups of more than 6 people

Tier 3

Outdoor stalls can offer food and drink as a takeaway service but alcohol may only be sold as delivery or click and collect

If seating is provided in or adjacent to the outlet supplying the food and drink, then customers have to comply with the usual rules associated with the different Tiers in terms of table service and substantial meals in tiers 1 and 2 and closure of seating areas in Tier 3

  • Alcohol And The Performing Arts

The Primary Guidance for the Performing Arts Sector  have been updated to clarify that alcohol that statement that “Venues should also only serve alcohol without a substantial meal to ticketed customers for 30 minutes before, during and 30 minutes after the performance or screening means that they can serve alcohol for a maximum of 60 mins in total

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/performing-arts

  • Air Corridors Weekly Update

This week’s review has taken place and from 4am on 19th December the Canary Islands will be removed from the Air Corridors list and people arriving from the Canaries after this date will be required to self-isolate.

              In addition, Botswana and Saudi Arabia will be added to the Air Corridors List on the same date

It is worth noting that, from 15 December, passengers arriving into the UK from countries not on the Air Corridor List – including the Canary Islands - will have the option to take a test from a private provider after 5 days of self-isolation, with a negative test result releasing them from the need to self-isolate. 

  • Coronavirus And The Impact On Output In The UK Economy

As part of the GDP data published today, ONS released research on the impact of coronavirus on different sectors of the UK economy. The research, which is for October (so before the second lockdown) shows yet again, that the tourism industry continues to be the most severely impacted sector of the UK economy. The main points being:

  • Tour operators and Travel Agents are still operating at only 10% of the level they were in February this year
  • Activity in the Air Transport sector is 86.5% down on February 2020
  • Activity in the Accommodation industry is 41% down on February 2020
  • Activity in Food and Beverage Sector is 32% down on February 2020

https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/articles/coronavirusandtheimpactonoutputintheukeconomy/october2020

CJRS Will Publish Employer Information

HMRC has announced that, from February, it will publish information about employers who claim for periods starting on or after 1 December 2020.

The following information will be published on GOV.UK:

  • the employer name
  • an indication of the value of the claim within a banded range
  • the company number for companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs)

In addition, furloughed employees will be able to see details of claims made for them after 1 December 2020 in their Personal Tax Account on GOV.UK. The reason for this is to cut down the level of fraud occurring whereby companies register people as on furlough without telling the employees who continue to work as normal.

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

The CJRS has also been updated to clarify that businesses do not need to be facing a wider reduction in demand or be closed to be eligible to claim for employees who are clinically extremely vulnerable or at the highest risk of severe illness from coronavirus.

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

  • Visa Update

The Home Office has updated it’s guidance  for people whose 30 day visa vignette to work, study or join family has expired to say that they will continue to replace 30 day vignettes free of charge for eligible customers until 31 December 2020.

To request a replacement 30 day visa people can either:

  • contact the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre
  • arrange to return their passport to the VAC if it has re-opened
  • Contacting the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre:

Applicants will need to include their name, nationality, date of birth and your GWF reference number with ‘REPLACEMENT 30 DAY VISA’ in the subject line.

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

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TIER UPDATE 9 DEC

Self-isolation and quarantine in Wales reduced from 14 days to 10 days

As of Thursday 10 December the time people have to self-isolate for coronavirus will be reduced from 14 days to 10 in Wales. Travellers returning from non-exempt countries will now only have to quarantine for 10 days instead of 14 as part of changes to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2020).

At present, individuals who are contacts of people who have coronavirus and returning travellers from non-exempt countries, are required by law to self-isolate for a period of 14 days - unless they subsequently test positive and are then required to isolate for a period of 10 days from the date of the positive test.

The new self-isolation and quarantine advice will apply to:

  • people who have received a positive test result for COVID-19
  • people with symptoms of COVID-19 who are waiting for a test result, or who have not been tested and do not require hospital treatment, who must remain at home for the appropriate self-isolation period
  • people living in households with someone who shows symptoms that may be caused by COVID-19 or who has received a positive test result for COVID-19
  • close contacts of positive cases of COVID-19
  • travellers returning from non-exempt country

Scotland announces £185 million business support package

Scotland has announced a package of targeted coronavirus (COVID-19) support. The package will help a range of sectors arts, travel and hospitality.

There will be additional one-off payments to hospitality businesses in January to help them deal with the traditional post-Christmas dip in demand. These will be of £2,000 or £3,000, depending on rateable value.

Support announced includes:

  • £5 million for the wedding sector and its supply chain, including photographers
  • £5 million for travel agents
  • almost £6 million for coach companies and tour operators
  • £1.5 million for visitor attractions

More detail on the package will be announced in the coming days and businesses can expect to apply for all the new grant schemes in January.

Business evictions ban extended until March  

Key points:

Business owners affected by the pandemic will be protected from eviction until the end of March 2021. This final extension to protections from the threat of eviction will give landlords and tenants 3 months to come to an agreement on unpaid rent. Where businesses can pay any or all of their rent, they should do so.

Alongside this, the MHCLG Secretary of State has also announced a review of the commercial landlord and tenant legislation will be launched early next year and will consider a broad range of issues including the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954 Part II, different models of rent payment, and the impact of Coronavirus on the market.

New scheme to access working capital for exporting SMEs access

On 7 December UK Export Finance launched the General Export Facility.  This is a new guarantee scheme that will free up funds for UK businesses to cover the costs of international trade. Exporters will be able to apply for finance from the UK’s five largest banks backed by a UKEF guarantee to free up working capital that can be used for everyday costs linked to exports and to scale up their business operations. Government can provide an 80% guarantee on financial support from lenders to support general exporting costs, up to the value of £25 million.

Safer travel guidance for passengers update (England)

The safer travel guidance for passengers has been updated with the local restriction tiers information and how it impacts travel. Updates include:

Across all tiers people should:

·         walk or cycle if they can – where that is not possible, use public transport or drive

·         plan ahead and avoid the busiest routes, as well as busy times

People who live in a tier 1 area:

·         Must follow tier 2 social contact rules when they travel to a tier 2 area

·         People should avoid travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas other than where necessary, such as for work or education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities

·         When travelling to a tier 3 area, people must follow tier 3 social contact rules

·         Where necessary, people can travel through a tier 3 area as part of a longer journey

·         Avoid car sharing with someone from outside your household

People who live in a tier 2 area:

·         Must continue to follow tier 2 social contact rules when they travel to a tier 1 area

·         People should avoid travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities

·         People who travel to a tier 3 area, should follow tier 3 social contact rules

·         Where necessary, people can travel through a tier 3 area as part of a longer journey

·         People should also look to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible

·         People must not car share with someone from outside their household or their support bubble unless their journey is undertaken for an exempt reason – for example, if car sharing is reasonably necessary as part of their work

People who live in a tier 3 area:

·         People should avoid travelling outside their area, including for overnight stays, other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities

·         Where travel is necessary, people should continue to follow tier 3 social contact rules when they travel to a tier 1 or tier 2 area

·         People should also look to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible

·         People must not car share with someone from outside their household or their support bubble unless their journey is undertaken for an exempt reason – for example, if car sharing is reasonably necessary as part of your work

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 9 DECEMBER

  • Xmas Support for Wet-Led Pubs

The Government has published the guidance related to the Prime Minister’s announcement that wet-led pubs will receive £1000 if they are in Tier 2 or Tier 3 areas following the reviews of Tier areas on the 2nd and 16th December. This means that any wet-led pub that is in a Tier 2 or 3 area for any period between 2nd December and 29th December will receive the payment. Other important factors to note are:

    • A pub defined as an establishment that is open to the general public, allows free entry other than when occasional entertainment is provided, allows drinking without requiring food to be consumed and permits drinks to be purchased at a bar. So councils are being told that they should exclude restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, hotels, snack bars, guesthouses, boarding houses, sporting venues, music venues, festival sites, theatres, museums, exhibition halls, cinemas, concert halls and casinos from the payment of this grant
    • The guidance defines a wet-led pub as a pub that derives less than 50% of its income from sales of food.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/942452/christmas-support-payment-la-guidance.pdf

  • Updated Support Bubble Guidance

The Guidance on how to form support bubbles has been updated to clarification of how support bubbles work for those in more than one type of bubble, and simplified regarding on travelling to form a support bubble. The main points being

    • Being in a support bubble does not stop someone from forming a childcare bubble or a Christmas bubble
    • People must not meet socially with their childcare bubble – which includes going on holiday or to a pub or restaurant
    • People should form support bubbles locally to reduce travel and therefore limit the spread of the disease.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/making-a-support-bubble-with-another-household

  • CBI Vaccine Seminar Tomorrow

Following recent announcements on the development of Covid vaccines, the CBI is holding a 10am meeting tomorrow where Tony Danker (Director-General, CBI), Ben Osborn (Managing Director and Country Manager UK, Pfizer) and Professor Devi Sridhar (Chair of Global Public Health, University of Edinburgh), will discuss:

    • More about the process leading to an approved vaccine, and how Pfizer got there.
    • What the manufacture, deployment, logistics and delivery of new vaccines could look like, and what this means for your business.
    • The best ways for employers to plan ahead, and the role they’ll have to take in the meantime.

Tourism Alliance members are welcome to attend the meeting and can register on the following link

https://www.cbi.org.uk/events/cbi-10am-81950/booking/

  • Tier Review on 16th December

I’ve had a number of questions regarding the timings of the fortnightly review of Tier levels from businesses wanting to be able to plan in the lead-up to Xmas. I’ve spoken to DCMS and  although there is not absolute clarify on this it is expected that the announcement of any changes to the Tier levels in England will occur on or very close to the official review date of 16th December with implementation of any changes occurring a few days later – possibly the 18th December as it is a Friday and the Government usually makes changes ahead of a weekend in order to limit poor behaviour. I will let you know if and when there is further clarity on this.

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TIER UPDATE 8 DEC

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announces the latest restrictions for each council area

In her statement to Scottish Parliament this afternoon, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the changes to level restrictions for 16 of the 32 local authorities. All 11 local authorities currently in level 4 will move into level 3 on Friday 11 December at 18.00. Retail premises which have been closed under the level 4 restrictions will be permitted to re-open from 06.00 on Friday 11 December.

11 local authorities moving from level 4 to level 3:

  • Glasgow City, East & West Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire, North and South Lanarkshire, East and South Ayrshire, Stirling and West Lothian.

Local authorities moving from level 3 to level 2:

  • Inverclyde, Falkirk and Angus

Local authorities moving from level 2 to level 1:

  • Dumfries & Galloway and Scottish Borders

Areas that will not change level and will remain in their current level include:

  • Highland, Moray, Na h-Eileanan Siar, Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands (Level 1)
  • Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Argyll & Bute, East Lothian (Level 2)
  • Clackmannanshire, Edinburgh, Dundee City, Fife, Midlothian, North Ayrshire, Perth & Kinross (Level 3)

Travel in and out of level 3 areas will still not be permitted.

More information on COVID protection levels by area can be found on the Scotland Government website, as well as the full review of the allocation of levels to local authorities. 

The Finance Secretary will be setting out a further package of business support tomorrow.

Consideration is also being given in the next couple of weeks as to whether any changes to the content of different levels, particularly as they affect hospitality.

Visiting venues guidance updates in tier 1 and tier 2 guidance.

The visiting venues section of the tier 1: Medium alert and tier 2: High alert has been updated:

Tier 1: Medium alert:

Venues can host multiple groups and should follow COVID-19-secure guidance, but people must not mix in groups larger than 6, unless they all live together, are in the same support bubble, or another exemption applies.

This includes in:

·         pubs and restaurants

·         leisure and entertainment venues

·         personal care/close contact services

·         public buildings, such as libraries, community centres and halls

At least one person in the group should give their contact details to the venue, or each individual should check in using the official NHS COVID-19 app.

Tier 2: High alert:

Venues can host multiple groups and should follow COVID-secure guidance, but people must not mix with anyone who is not part of their household or support bubble when they are indoors. 

This includes in:

·         pubs and restaurants

·         leisure and entertainment venues

·         personal care/close contact services

·         public buildings, such as libraries, community centres and halls

At least one person in a group should give their contact details to the venue, or each individual should check in using the official NHS COVID-19 app.

 Guidance on how to recognise, contain and report incidents of coronavirus.

COVID-19 early outbreak management information has been created for people who run businesses or organisations.

Sector-specific ‘action cards’ have been designed for specific situations where an outbreak could occur. 

  • Residential workplaces (including hotels & guest accommodation, caravan parks and holiday resorts)
  • Food and drink (including restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes and takeaways)
  • Small and large gatherings workplace (including tourist attractions, arts, heritage and cultural venues, business event venues, cinemas, theatres, comedy and music venues, grassroots sports, gyms and leisure facilities, sports grounds and venues)
  • Travel (including airports, stations, trains, coaches and private hire vehicles)
  • Commercial workplaces (including offices)
  • Consumer workplaces (including hairdressers, spas, sports therapy, shops and branches)

Guidance for travelling on waterways

Guidance on boating on waterways has been updated in line with the government tier restrictions.

  • For waterways in tier 1: Travel on waterways is permitted and overnight stays are permitted with your household, support bubble or up to six people.
  • For waterways in tier 2: Travel on waterways is permitted and overnight stays with your household or support bubble are permitted.
  • For waterways in tier 3: Travel on waterways and overnight stays are only permitted where the boat is your permanent residence or it is necessary for work, education or similar reasons.

Social distancing guidance updates

The guidance on meeting with others safely has been updated in line with the latest government guidance on social distancing within the different tier levels.

  • Tier 1 - People must not socialise in groups larger than 6 people, indoors or outdoors, other than where a legal exemption applies.
  • Tier 2 - People must not socialise with anyone they do not live with or who is not in their support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place. People must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside, including in a garden or a public space.
  • Tier 3 - People must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody they do not live with, or who is not in their support bubble including in any private garden or at most outdoor venues. However, people can see friends and family they do not live with (or do not have a support bubble with) in some outdoor public places, in a group of up to 6. This limit of 6 includes children of any age. These outdoor public places include parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests, public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them), allotments, the grounds of a heritage site, outdoor sports courts and facilities, playgrounds.

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TIER UPDATE 7 DEC

 

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon’s daily COVID-19 briefing

In the statement given by First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, at a media briefing today, she confirmed that the outcome of the latest weekly review of the levels of protection that apply in each area will be announced tomorrow and that those authorities currently in level 4 would move out of this level on Friday. More details to follow tomorrow.

Other Government updates

Find out more information on England’s three tiers; medium, high and very high.

Industry updates

  • One Industry One Voice has launched a video as part of their campaign to help the recovery of the events industry. The video is available to watch here.

 

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 7 DECEMBER

  • Waterways Update

The Environment Agency has update it’s guidance on how the new Tier restrictions apply to the use of waterways.

    • For waterways in tier 1: Travel on waterways is permitted and overnight stays are permitted with your household, support bubble or up to six people
    • For waterways in tier 2: Travel on waterways is permitted and overnight stays with your household or support bubble are permitted
    • For waterways in tier 3: Travel on waterways and overnight stays are only permitted where the boat is your permanent residence or it is necessary for work, education or similar reasons.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-environment-agency-update

  • Early Outbreak Management Cards

The Government has produced a series of action cards that provide instructions for business on what to do in the event of one or more confirmed cases of coronavirus in the organisation. Each of the cards is sector specific and centres round four key steps

  1. Confirm
      • If you are informed about a case or cases, check whether they have had a test.
      • If tested negative and are well, they can return to work.
      • If tested positive, they must isolate for 10 days from the day they were tested.
  1. Contacts
      • Identify any close contacts of the case when confirmed.
      • Remember, contact might occur in a car if car-sharing or in staff rooms on breaks. Talk to the case and make a full list.
  1. Check
      • Check your workspace. Refer to guidance on working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) . This has practical steps to take and explains how you must carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment for your organisation.
  1. Call
      • Call your local PHE Health Protection Team but only if you need additional advice or support.

Here’s a link to the Food and Drink Card

https://coronavirusresources.phe.gov.uk/reporting-an-outbreak/resources/Food-Drink-Action-Cards/

Here’s the link to the Accommodation and Holiday centre card

https://coronavirusresources.phe.gov.uk/reporting-an-outbreak/resources/residential-workplace-action-cards/

Here’s a link to the attractions and entertainment venues card

https://coronavirusresources.phe.gov.uk/reporting-an-outbreak/resources/small-and-large-gatherings-workplace-action-cards/

Here’s a link to the travel sector card

https://coronavirusresources.phe.gov.uk/reporting-an-outbreak/resources/Travel-Action-Cards/

  • Social Distancing Guidance Updated

The Government has updated the guidance on social distancing for the tier levels

Tier 1

    • you must not socialise in groups larger than 6 people, indoors or outdoors, other than where a legal exemption applies. This is called the ‘rule of 6’.

Tier 2

    • you must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place. You must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside, including in a garden or a public space – this is called the ‘rule of 6’.

Tier 3

    • you must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble including in any private garden or at most outdoor venues. However, you can see friends and family you do not live with (or do not have a support bubble with) in some outdoor public places, in a group of up to 6. This limit of 6 includes children of any age.

Outdoor public places include:

  • parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests
  • public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them)
  • allotments
  • the grounds of a heritage site
  • outdoor sports courts and facilities
  • playground

In all tiers, you can continue to meet in a group larger than 6 if you are all from the same household or support bubble, or another legal exemption applies.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing

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TIER UPDATE 4 DEC

New measures for Northern Ireland announced including the Christmas period

Ministers in Northern Ireland have outlined the latest measures that will come into effect at the end of the two-week circuit breaker on 11 December. These include:

  • Shops, hairdressers, restaurants, places of worship and hotels being among the places that will be able to re-open from December 11.
  • Pubs selling drink only (wet pubs) will remain closed and an additional financial package will be put in place.

Christmas period guidance (23-27 December) has also been agreed:

  • Three households will be able to come together for this period in domestic settings, outdoor public spaces and places of worship.
  • One of the households will be able to include their existing household bubble.

Further details on quarantine exemptions for senior executives working in England and bringing in significant economic benefit to the UK

Certain senior executives that are performing activities which would be more likely than not to bring ‘significant economic benefit’ to the UK are exempt from self-isolation in England for that activity. They are only exempt when they are undertaking activities that qualify for the exemption. They must self-isolate at all other times.

The exemption covers 3 types of senior executives (where they are undertaking qualifying activities in England). These include:

  • Multinational executives visiting UK branches/subsidiaries  
  • Returning UK executives who have gone overseas for necessary business activity and need to undertake further necessary business activity for the same company upon their return  
  • Foreign based executives who are seeking to:
    • Make a financial investment in a UK firm  
    • Place a contract for goods or services with a UK based business  
    • Establish a new business within the UK        

Activity that can be done remotely, or could be done by another person does not qualify for this exemption.

Executives are considered to be bringing ‘significant economic benefit’ if the work they are doing has a greater than 50% chance of either:

  • Creating or preserving at least 50 UK-based jobs in either:
    • an existing UK-based business which has at least 50 employees
    • a new UK business within 1 year of the date they arrive in the UK
  • Resulting in the purchase of goods or services from a UK based business with at least 50 employees. The order must be worth at least £100 million, or the order would need to be more likely than not to create or preserve 50 or more jobs in that business

See the full guidance for further information of what activity qualifies.

Updates to guidance on VAT reduction extension

The guidance on reduced VAT for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions has been updated to reflect the extension in VAT reduction to 5% until 31 March 2021 to certain supplies relating to hospitality, hotel and holiday accommodation and admissions to certain attractions

There is more detailed guidance available for attractions.

For attractions, this applies to businesses that make supplies of admissions that are currently taxable at the standard rate. This includes:

  • Shows, theatres, circuses, fairs, amusement parks, concerts, museums, zoos, cinemas, exhibitions, similar cultural events and facilities

Examples of where the reduced rate may apply could be attractions such as:

  • A planetarium, botanical gardens, studio tours, factory tours

It does not include any supplies that are exempt under Items 1 or 2 of Group 13 of Schedule 9 to VAT Act 1994. The temporary reduced rate does not apply to admission to sporting events.

This temporary reduced rate only applies to admission fees. However, where goods are part of the admission fee and are incidental to the main supply, the whole supply is eligible for the temporary reduced rate. Further information can be found in paragraph 8.1 of VAT guide: VAT Notice 700.

VisitEngland’s consumer sentiment tracker – wave 20

The latest release of the COVID-19 consumer sentiment tracker is available here. The field work for wave 20 of the survey was carried out last week. Respondents would likely have seen the Prime Minister’s announcement regarding the post-lockdown regional tier system and the Health Secretary’s statement confirming the NHS would be ready to start vaccinating people in December, subject to approval by regulators.

The latest results show:

  • 15% of UK adults feel the ‘worst has passed’ and 39% believe ‘the worst is still to come’ (virtually unchanged from two weeks ago). 
  • The majority of UK adults still don’t anticipate ‘normality returning to their lives before next July. Trip ‘confidence’ doesn’t exhibit substantial improvement until April. 
  • The above means the bulk of people who anticipate taking a domestic overnight trip intend to do so from next Spring onwards, with 37% looking at between April – September and a further 16% after October. 
  • The near term picture suggests some 11% intend to take a trip during the post-Christmas period of Jan – March, which is marginally down compared to the last wave.

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 4 DECEMBER

  • DCMS Clarification

DCMS has sent through a clarification associated with the Christmas guidance

  • Christmas hotel measures

We want to provide further clarity on the Christmas exemption for hotels and other accommodation that are allowed to open between 22 and 28 December 2020. Accommodation may open during this period for people to stay in order to be located near their Christmas bubbles.

The regulations state under the closure of holiday accommodation:  (5) Sub-paragraph (1) does not apply during the period beginning with 22nd December 2020 and ending with 28th December 2020. 

This exemption allows individuals and households to travel into and out of Tier 3 on the 22nd December to stay at a hotel or other accommodation and leave on the 28th December to travel home. However people travelling on the 22nd December must not see their Christmas bubble until the 23rd December when the Christmas period begins. "Christmas period” means the period beginning with 23rd December 2020 and ending with 27th December 2020 when people are allowed to meet their Christmas bubble. Likewise people travelling home from the hotel or other accommodation provider on the 28th December must not meet with their Christmas bubble again after the 27th.  

  • Intra-UK travel 

Guidance on travel between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has been published, including for the Christmas period:

Scotland:

  • Under current Scottish regulations, unless people have a reasonable excuse, they must not travel between Scotland and England, Northern Ireland, Ireland or Wales.
  • This applies to people who live in Scotland and to people who live in any of these countries who are thinking of coming to Scotland. 
  • These rules will be kept under review and if the prevalence of the virus in all, or part of, any of these countries reduces it may be possible to relax these restrictions for some areas.
  • Travel restrictions will be relaxed from 23 – 27 December (inclusive) to allow people to travel between local authority areas and the four nations of the UK to join their bubble.
  • Those travelling to or from the Scottish Islands should do so within the 5 day period, 23 – 27 December.  While travelling people should minimise stop-offs during journeys except where necessary for safety and respite. 
  • If people are travelling to form a bubble, once they arrive they must follow the rules about travel that apply in that local authority area.  

Wales

  • New travel guidance has been issued on Thursday strongly advising people in Wales not to travel to other parts of the UK with lower levels of coronavirus – Tier 1 and 2 areas in England or level one and two areas in Scotland – to help control the spread of the virus.
  • The law banning all but essential travel between England and Wales is being lifted from 6pm on Friday, December 4.
  • Travel between Wales and areas of the UK with highest rates of coronavirus in England's Tier 3, the whole of Northern Ireland and Scotland's Tiers 3 and 4 will still not be allowed from 6pm on Friday, December 4.
  • People will be allowed to travel to areas with a lower prevalence of Coronavirus in Tiers 1 and 2 in England and Scotland - although they are being urged not to.
  • Travel restrictions will be relaxed between 23 and 27 December so people can travel anywhere within the UK for the purposes of meeting your Christmas bubble
  • People should meet their Christmas bubble within the designated window (23-27 December). Anyone travelling to or from Northern Ireland may also travel in order to meet with their bubble from 22 to 28 December.

Northern Ireland

  • People should avoid all unnecessary travel.
  • Where travel is necessary for work, education and other essential purposes, people are asked to walk, cycle or use private transport, shared only with members of their household where possible.
  • Anyone travelling to or from Northern Ireland may travel on the 22 and 28 December.

Test and Trace Feedback

The NHS Covid-19 App has been available to the public since 24th September 2020. Since the app's launch, DHSC has continued to make improvements including the recent technological upgrade to Google and Apple's latest API. DHSC are keen for observations and feedback on the user experience - particularly on how the tourism sector is using and engaging the app. They would be interested in your views, and below are a few questions to guide reflections on feedback:

  • What impressions do you have of app uptake and use in your sector?
  • What might be preventing people from downloading it, if they haven’t already?
  • What ideas or suggestions do you have on how the App or surrounding communications could be improved?

You can send suggestions and questions to - NHSCovid19AppStakeholders@dhsc.gov.uk

  • Additions to Travel Exemption List

The list of jobs that are exempt from self-isolation or passenger locator form requirements associated with entering the UK from non-air corridor countries has been expanded to include senior executives (as discussed above), journalists, newly signed elite sportspersons, performing arts professionals, those in television production.

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

  • R Number and Growth Rate

As usual for Friday, we have the latest R number and Growth Rate figures, which this week are 0.8-1.0 and -3% to -1% respectively.  Again this is slightly lower than the previous week and the lowest rates for both figures since mid- August.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-r-number-in-the-uk

TIC Updates 04/12/2020

Christmas travel measures 

Yesterday DfT announced the Government’s plans to help minimise disruption and help people to be able to travel safely if they need to over the Christmas period. DfT have created some key Christmas travel messages and Christmas travel assets which can be downloaded and used in social media activity or in other communications. 

Travel Corridors and sectoral exemptions 

You will have seen that there were no changes to the Travel Corridors list this week. Various sectoral exemptions to self-isolation were announced which will be effective 04:00 on Saturday 5th December. There is a new limited Business Jobs and Investment Exemption from the quarantine rules in England. The exemption is designed to facilitate important business activity that preserves and creates UK jobs while protecting public health. Further guidance on this is available on Gov.uk:

Exemptions will also come into force for certain types of performing arts professionals, TV production staff, journalists, and recently-signed elite sportspersons. These exemptions will remain under constant review.

See more details below from EIF regarding this.

EIF Update

EIF - Performing Arts

The DCMS Secretary of State has confirmed that from 5th December an exemption from quarantine rules for professional performing artists travelling to the UK and for those returning from activity overseas (who have upcoming work commitments) will be coming into force. Legislation relating to this will be being laid today and will come into force from 4am on Saturday.    Arts Council England have published guidance on how to apply.   

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TIER UPDATE 3 DEC

Travel Corridors update

There are no additions or removals from the travel corridor list this week.

The Government has also announced today a limited number of exemptions for passengers arriving into England, including for business travellers who meet a set of required criteria. From 4am on Saturday 5 December, individuals undertaking specific business activity which would deliver a significant benefit to the UK economy – including activity that creates or preserves 50+ UK jobs – will no longer need to self-isolate when travelling or returning from non-exempt countries.  

Individuals will only be exempt when undertaking the specific business activity and will only be able to meet with others as required by that specific activity. Further information will be available on gov.uk when these exemptions come into force.

Exemptions will also come into force at the same time for domestic and international performing arts professionals, TV production staff, journalists, and recently signed elite sportspersons, ensuring that industries which require specific, high talent individuals who rely on international connections can continue to complete their work.

 FAQ on new restrictions in Wales 

New guidance has been issued by the Welsh Government, providing more details on what people can and cannot do when new restrictions to come into force on 4 December. On travel if the FAQ states the following:

·        Travel in to Wales from tier three areas in England, level three and four areas in Scotland and from Northern Ireland is not allowed at present, without a reasonable excuse, for example travelling for work purposes. Visiting family and friends (other than as part of an extended household) or having a holiday is not currently considered a reasonable excuse, although we hope to be able to welcome you in the not too distant future.

·        Visitors from other parts of the UK are not prohibited in law from entering Wales -people living in tier two areas in England or areas in Scotland in level two are advised not travel to Wales because of the wider risk of catching and spreading the virus to areas of lower risk.

·        People are allowed to go on holiday within Wales if they live there. People living in Wales cannot travel to areas of high prevalence within the UK (including tier three areas in England, areas of Scotland in level three or above and Northern Ireland) for a holiday.

·        People must follow any legal restrictions in place in other parts of the UK when considering travelling. We also strongly advise that people living in Wales do not travel to tier two areas in England or level two areas in Scotland because of the risk of spreading the virus in those areas of lower risk. 

Other government updates:

·        COVID-19 guidance for retail and performing arts sectors in England has been updated, clarifying that food and drink including alcohol can be purchased 30 minutes before, during and 30 minutes after a performance https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/performing-arts

 Update from the Insolvency Service

DCMS has provided the update below from the Insolvency Service for your information

The wrongful trading provisions in the Insolvency Act act as a deterrent to insolvent trading, by allowing an insolvency office-holder to take an action which can lead to directors being declared personally liable for losses incurred by creditors when companies trade at a time when insolvency proceedings are inevitable. In this way the wrongful trading provisions act as an important protection for creditors.

It is true that the suspension of liability for wrongful trading prescribed by the CIG Act ended on 30 September. At that time many businesses were trading again, having been able to take advantage of the package of Government support available, and it was important that creditor protections should return.

However after the end of September, the various national and tiered restrictions meant that the situation across GB became such that businesses were once again having their trading impacted by the pandemic. The Government therefore decided that it was right for the suspension to be revived, and this has been effective from 26 November. This followed the making of the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (Suspension of Wrongful Trading and Extension of the Relevant Period) Regulations 2020, which was laid before Parliament on 25 November.

The regulations suspend wrongful trading liability for the period from 26 November to 30 April 2021, but the provision is subject to a review clause which requires the Secretary of State to end the suspension if it is no longer needed to achieve its stated purpose of preventing otherwise viable companies from entering insolvency proceedings unnecessarily. If this is the case before the end of April, then the end of the suspension will be brought forward.

The regulations were effective from 26 November, but are still subject to debate and approval by both Houses.

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATES – 3 DECEMBER

  • Business Traveller and Other Sectoral Exemptions

A limited number of exemptions for business travellers, to ensure those who need to frequently travel to complete their jobs, will be effective 04:00 on Saturday 5th December. The criteria for exemption is for those travelling on business to deliver significant economic benefit to the UK:

    • Senior executives of multinational firms visiting their UK subsidiaries to do activities which will create/preserve 50+ UK jobs
    • UK-based executives who had left the country for business and are seeking an exemption for specific activity on their return which will create/preserve 50+ UK jobs
    • Foreign based company executives or their representatives seeking to make:
      - A financial investment of £100k + in a UK-based business
      - Place a contract with a UK-based business with a value of £100K+
      - Establish a new business within the UK which will create 50+ UK jobs.

Exemptions will also come into force for certain types of performing arts professionals, TV production staff, journalists, and recently-signed elite sportspersons. These exemptions will remain under constant review.

  • Updated Business Closure Guidance

The Guidance on Business closures has been updated with further details on the rules and restrictions that apply. Some of the key points are:

Tier 3

    • Markets may open, however where there are larger events with activities such as funfairs, local authorities may choose to prevent these from going ahead if they are concerned about the safety practices or transmission risk.
    • Betting shops remain open, but should implement additional mitigations
    • Outdoor venues and attractions can remain open and can offer food and drink as a takeaway service.

 

Tier 2

    • Cinemas, theatres, concert halls and sports grounds are exempt from having to serve a substantial meal with alcohol for customers who have a ticket to the screening/performance/match and intend to consume whilst seated and watching the event. When alcohol is to be consumed in the bar or restaurant area itself, this must be alongside a substantial meal and full table service must be provided.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/closing-certain-businesses-and-venues-in-england

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TIER UPDATE 2 DEC

This afternoon the Health Secretary Matt Hancock gave a statement on COVID-19 vaccines and the planned rollout to the House of Commons, see the full statement here.

Visitor Economy Guidance update (England)

In light of the new local restriction tiers coming into effect in England today, 2 December, the working safely during COVID-19 guidance has been updated with more detailed guidance for those working in the visitor economy, e.g. attractions, accommodation providers, coach and tour operators, event and exhibition venues and other hospitality businesses.

Restrictions vary according to tier. View the updated guidance to find out the restrictions in place for your business, including, for example, social contact rules for guided tours and coach tours, business event and meeting caps in each tier as well as guidance for wedding, civil partnership, wakes and commemorative events, which attractions can open in which tier, travel advice and use of hotel lobbies in tier 3.

It also highlights additional considerations for businesses as follows:

  • It is law for staff and customers to wear face coverings in retail and hospitality venues and in private hire vehicles and taxis, except when eating or drinking (or because they are exempt). Businesses must remind people to wear face coverings where mandated.
  • Staff who can work effectively from home should do so. Employers must not knowingly require or encourage someone who is being required to self-isolate to come to work.
  • It is an offence for a relevant business to fail to take all reasonable measures to: require adherence to social contact restrictions (respecting all exceptions to this) when taking a booking; or allowing entry and once groups are within the premises failing to take steps to advise groups not to merge in ways that breach the rules ensure adequate distance between tables (2m or 1m+ with appropriate mitigation)

Visit the Government’s website to find out more

Updated advice on accessing green spaces safely (England)

The guidance has been updated to reflect the new local tier restrictions, some key updates include:

  • In Tiers 1 and 2, people can spend time outdoors with members of their household or support bubble or in a group of up to 6 people.
  • In Tier 3 people can visit a public outdoor place with members of their household or support bubble, or in a group of up to 6 people. This includes public places which do not charge an entry fee, outdoor sports grounds or sports facilities, botanical gardens, gardens or grounds of a castle, stately home or historic house, whether or not an entry fee is charged
  • In Tier 3 people must not mix with anyone outside their household or support bubble in private gardens, funfairs and fairgrounds, any location which charges an entry fee, other than outdoor sports grounds or sports facilities, botanical gardens, gardens or grounds of a castle, stately home or historic house.

There is no limit to the amount of time people can spend outside.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) new deadlines for claims

There are now monthly deadlines for CJRS claims, some of the dates mean employers may have to submit earlier than they were required to in earlier months.

  • 14 December 2020 - final date to submit claims for November 2020 by 11:59pm
  • 14 January 2021 - final date to submit claims for December 2020 by 11:59pm
  • 15 February 2021 - final date to submit claims for January 2021 by 11:59pm
  • 15 March 2021 - final date to submit claims for February 2021 by 11:59pm
  • 14 April 2021 - final date to submit claims for March 2021 by 11:59pm

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme step by step guide for employers has also been updated to reflect recent changes to the scheme.

VAT deferral guidance update

The VAT guidance has been updated with an additional payment option for those who have deferred VAT between 20 March and 30 June 2020 and still have payments to make. People will be able to opt in to the VAT deferral new payment scheme when it launches in 2021. See other payment options and the full guidance here.

Other Government updates

TOURISM ALLIANCE UDPATE – 2 DECEMBER

FCDO Festive Travel Tips

The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (former FCO) has published five travel tips for people planning to travel overseas during the festive period. They are:

  1. Check the travel restrictions that apply to you. If you live in the UK, there are different restrictions in place in EnglandScotlandWales and Northern Ireland.
  2. Read the FCDO’s foreign travel checklist, which includes information on preparing for an overseas trip. If you are travelling to the European Union (EU), Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland into the New Year, new rules will apply after the UK Transition Period ends on 31 December. Read the FCDO’s advice on how to prepare for a visit to Europe from 1 January 2021.
  3. Check the travel advice for the destination you are planning to go to. These pages include information on entry, screening and quarantine requirements that could affect your journey.
  4. Sign up for travel advice email alerts, so you automatically receive the latest travel advice updates for the destinations you want to know about.
  5. Get a travel insurance policy and make sure you are happy with the level of cover it provides. From 1 January 2021, European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) may no longer be valid for travel to the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. Make sure your travel insurance covers you for any pre-existing health conditions.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/festive-travel-tips-for-people-considering-overseas-travel

  • Eligibility for SEISS

The Self Employment Income Support Scheme guidance has been updated to clarify how people can verifying their eligibility for the grant with HMRC after having a new child.

               https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-different-circumstances-affect-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme                                                               

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TIER UPDATE 1 DEC

Prime Minister's statement to the House of Commons on coronavirus regulations (England)

This afternoon Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement to the House of Commons ahead of the vote on the coronavirus regulations this evening. He confirmed that the allocation of tiers will be reviewed every fourteen days, starting on 16th December. These regulations will have sunset clause of 2 February.

During his statement the Prime Minister acknowledged that the hospitality industry has borne a disproportionate share of the burden in this crisis. He also said that there will be a one-off payment of £1,000 in December to wet led pubs (see more details below) and that the Government will work with the hospitality sector in supporting their bounce back next year.  He also confirmed that these regulations will have sunset clause of 2 February.

 £1,000 Christmas grant for 'wet-led pubs' (England)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has today announced a one-off £1,000 Christmas grant for December for ‘wet-led pubs’ in tiers 2 and 3. This grant will be on top of the furlough, VAT and business rates relief and existing grants for pubs that predominantly serve alcohol rather than provide food.

COVID-19 levels update for Scotland

Today the First Minister of Scotland updated the Parliament on her weekly review of COVID measures and the different tier levels around Scotland. She confirm that the Scottish Government is not proposing any immediate changes today to the levels that currently apply to each local authority area - although there are some areas that are being monitored. This week the levels are as follows.

  • Level 1: Highland, Moray, Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles, will remain in level 1.
  • Level 2: Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Argyll & Bute, the Borders, Dumfries & Galloway and East Lothian will remain in level 2.
  • Level 3: Angus, Clackmannanshire, Dundee, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Inverclyde, Midlothian, North Ayrshire, and Perth & Kinross will remain there for now.
  • Level 4: Glasgow City, East & West Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire, North and South Lanarkshire, East and South Ayrshire, Stirling and West Lothian.

The Level 4 restrictions in place in 11 local authority areas will be lifted a week on Friday - 11 December - and the Scottish Government will take the opportunity at next week’s review to look at the allocation of levels across the country more generally.

A full list of current COVID protection levels by area in Scotland can be found here.

Updates to the Christmas period guidance (England)

There have been some updates to the Christmas period guidance published yesterday, which include:

  • In tier 3, in order to be located near their Christmas bubble, people can stay in a hotel between 22 and 28 December, as long as they are staying by themselves or with other members of your household, or support bubble.
  • People should not gather as a Christmas bubble in a hotel, hostel or B&B unless a member of their bubble lives there permanently.

Travel industry updates

Lastminute.com has committed to pay out over £7m to customers following Competition and Markets Authority action.

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 1 DECEMBER

The main points of interest are changes that allow accommodation in Tier 3 to open over the Xmas period and further details on the rules related to business events.

  • Updated Xmas Guidance

The Xmas guidance has been updated to provide a number of clarifications

    • Hotels, B&Bs and similar accommodation in tier 3 can open  between 22 and 28 December in order for people to  stay near their Christmas bubble. Customers can’t, however,  you can stay in a hotel, as long as you’re staying by yourself or with other members of your household, or support bubble. You cannot gather as a Christmas bubble in the accommodation unless a member of the bubble lives there permanently.
    • Christmas bubbles can stay together in self-catering accommodation
    • Christmas bubbles can attend outdoor events together

               https://www.gov.uk/guidance/guidance-for-the-christmas-period

The Christmas bubble guidance has also been updated accordingly and has specific guidance for accommodation providers who live onsite (eg B&B operators) to not mix with their Christmas bubble in any areas shared with customers such as the restaurant.       

              https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/making-a-christmas-bubble-with-friends-and-family/making-a-christmas-bubble-with-friends-and-family#travel-and-overnight-stays-with-your-christmas-bubble

  • New LRSG Guidance

BEIS has produced new LRSG (Closed) for Local Authorities to help them provide support for businesses that are required to close under the new Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions. The support available is:

    • £667 per 14-day period for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
    • £1000 per 14-day period for businesses with a rateable value of £15,001 - £50,999
    • £1500 per 14-day period for businesses with a rateable value of  £51,000+

Other points to note:

    • Businesses have to be closed for the entire 14 day payment cycle period to receive the grant
    • Businesses that are open and then close have to wait until the next 14 day payment cycle starts
    • Businesses that are required to close their main, in-person service but adapts to operate takeaway, click and collect or online with delivery services are eligible
    • Businesses need to notify the Local Authority if they are no longer eligible

      https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/940008/local-restrictions-support-grant-CLOSED-dec2-2020-onwards-la-guidance.pdf

  • Updated Primary Guidance for Hotels and Other Guest Accommodation

The primary Guidance of Working Safely During Coronavirus for the accommodation sector has been updated to incorporate the new rules and restrictions that apply to within each Tier Level including holding business meetings and events. The guidance with regard to Business Events states:

In Tier 1 - Business meetings and events such as conferences, exhibitions, conventions, and consumer/trade shows are permitted at a cap of 50% of the venue’s capacity or 4000 people outdoors / 1000 people indoors, whichever is lowest.

In Tier 2 - Business meetings and events such as conferences, exhibitions, conventions, and consumer/trade shows are permitted at a cap of 50% of the venue’s capacity or 2000 people outdoors / 1000 people indoors, whichever is lowest.

However, it is important to note that multi-day events in Tiers 1 and 2 are not permitted, which will significantly reduce the viability of holding many exhibitions, trade shows and conferences.

  • In Tier 3 - Large business events such as conferences, exhibitions and trade shows are not permitted (with the exception of drive-in events) but smaller business meetings, although advised against, can take place with up to 30 people if reasonably necessary.

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

  • Prime Minister’s Statement

In a statement to parliament today, the Prime Minister announced a number of measures including:

    • A one-off December payment of £1000 to wet-led pubs
    • The restrictions coming into effect tomorrow would be reviewed on 2nd February
    • That Liverpool City Region and Warrington will be in Tier 2 tomorrow

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/prime-ministers-statement-to-the-house-of-commons-on-coronavirus-regulations-1-december-2020

  • Lastminute.com to refund £7m 

The Competition and Markets Authority issues a press statement today saying that it has reached an agreement with Lastminute.com that it will pay £7m to customers for cancelled holidays as part of their broader investigation on suspected breaches of consumer protection law in the package holiday sector.

https://www.gov.uk/cma-cases/covid-19-cancellations-package-holidays

  • Skilled Worker Route Opens

The Government has opened the visa application process for people wanting to come to come and work in the UK under the new points based system, including the Skilled Worker route which will be the route on most relevance to tourism businesses.

Under the new Skilled Worker route, anyone coming to the UK to work will need to demonstrate that they have a job offer from a Home Office-licensed sponsor at the required skill level – RQF 3 or above (A Level and equivalent). Anyone you hire from outside the UK needs to speak English to the required standard and their job is required to meet the applicable minimum salary threshold.

Here's a link to the online application portal.

https://www.gov.uk/skilled-worker-visa/apply-from-outside-the-uk

Also attached are the Home Office’s employers campaign partner pack which is a good resources for you to send to your members to explain the new system.

TOURISM UPDATE 1 DEC

Our updated Visitor Economy guidance and Hotel and other accommodation guidance documents have now received clearance and will shortly be available online. In the meantime, we have pulled out some key points below as we appreciate the need for urgent clarity on some of these issues. Further detail will be included in the published guidance. 

Christmas Guidance
From 23 December to 27 December, people may choose to form a Christmas bubble. Christmas bubbles can gather in private homes - including second homes and caravans - and in private rented accommodation such as short term holiday lets.

To enable Christmas bubbles to meet between 23 and 27 December, hotels, hostels, B&Bs and boarding houses are permitted to take bookings for leisure travel in all tiers from 22 December to 28 December. Guests must check out on or before 28 December.

  • If a member of the Christmas bubble uses the hotel, hostel, B&B or boarding house as their main residence then the Christmas bubble can gather there. 
  • If no one in the Christmas bubble lives in the hotel, hostel, B&B or boarding house, the Christmas bubble may not stay there together. However, people may still stay in hotels, hostels, B&Bs and boarding houses in permitted groups over this period:
  • In Tier 1: Medium alert, in groups of up to 6 people, other than where a legal exemption applies.  
  • In Tier 2: High alert and Tier 3: Very high alert, in groups of a single household or support bubble. 
  • Hospitality such as restaurants and bars within hotels and other guest accommodation may operate in accordance with wider tier restrictions:
  • In Tier 1: Medium alert, people may attend in groups of up to 6 people, other than where a legal exemption applies.  
  • In Tier 2: High alert, people may attend with those in their own household or support bubble.   
  • In Tier 3: Very high alert, hospitality including hotel restaurants and bars will be closed. Accommodation providers will still be able to provide food and drink including alcohol through room service as long as it is ordered by phone or online.

Read full guidance about restrictions over the Christmas period

Travel and Overnight Stays

  • These are permitted between Tiers 1 and 2, and people must adhere to the rules of the tier they are in or that in which they usually live, whichever is strictest. Travel into and out of Tier 3 is advised against, but there are exemptions e.g. work and education.
  • The list of exemptions for hotels and other guest accommodation to remain open in Tier 3 has been expanded to include: volunteering, medical and respite stays, and education and training for all not just for children.

Business Events and meetings

  • Event spaces can be hired out for essential education, work and training purposes.
  • Business events are permitted with a cap of 50% or 1000 indoors in Tiers 1 and 2. 
  • In Tier 3, large business events such as conferences, exhibitions and trade shows are not permitted indoors, or outdoors with the exception of drive-in events. 
  • In Tier 3, smaller business meetings are advised against, but may take place with up to a total of 30 people if reasonably necessary - for example for the purposes of work that cannot be done at home.
  • Meals can be served at business meetings and events, and business meetings can be held in hospitality venues - as long as BEIS guidance is followed. 
  • Private dining and corporate hospitality are not allowed, and no event should be social in nature. 

Outdoor events

  • Business events, elite sports, and live performances in performance venues will all operate under restrictions of a cap of 50% or 4000 people, whichever is lower in Tier 1 and a cap of 50% or 2000 people, whichever is lower in Tier 2. The cap does not include venue or site staff. 
  • In Tier 3 outdoor business events and sporting events are not permitted unless they are drive-in. 
  • All other outdoor events such as funfairs and fairgrounds, car boot sales, and literary fairs are permitted across all tiers and are not subject to these caps, but they must follow all relevant COVID-Secure guidance.

Other guidance

  • Guided tours may operate in line with the relevant social contact restrictions in each tier, meaning all groups would need to be kept separate at all times.
  • Coach tours may take place in Tiers 1 and 2, in line with social contact restrictions and with all necessary Covid-secure measures in place. They are advised against in Tier 3 given wider advice against travel.
  • Hotels may keep open any onsite facility (such as gyms and spas) not otherwise closed by law outside the hotel setting. 
  • If a heritage railway service is provided primarily for dining or other recreational purposes; or for the carriage of passengers from the same start and end point then this is an indoor attraction and must close in Tier 3. If the heritage railway service is going from place to place (i.e. point A to point B), it is considered 'public transport' and can be permitted if required for the purposes of transport in Tier 3 provided all social distancing and face covering requirements are followed.

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TIER UPDATE 30 NOV

Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock gave the press briefing this evening, he was joined by Sir Gordon Messenger (Head of Operations for Community Testing) and Stephen Powis (NHS England). During the briefing he said that the national restrictions will end on 2 December and subject to a vote in Parliament tomorrow we will move to regional tiers in England. In response to a question during the Q&A Matt Hancock said the current tier restrictions will be reviewed on December 16, the announcement of the outcome of the review is expected to be shared the next day on 17 December.

New guidance for each tier (England)

The Government has published new guidance on what people and businesses can and can’t do in each tier level, with effect from 2 December. Please see some key points of clarification provided for each tier.

Tier 1: Medium alert

·                     Hospitality businesses – including cafes, restaurants, bars and social clubs – selling food or drink for consumption on their premises where this includes alcohol are required to provide table service only. In cinemas, theatres, concert halls and sports stadia, alcohol can be ordered at a bar to be consumed when seated in the auditorium or area where the screening/performance is taking place. This should be limited to only those with tickets. When it is to be consumed in the bar area itself, full table service must be provided.

·                     Hospitality venues that do not serve alcohol may allow someone to order from the counter, but they must still consume their meal from a seat if eating in.

·                     Tour groups must operate in line with social contact rules. This means that larger tours where groups of more than 6 interact will not be feasible

·                     Accommodation, such as hotels, holiday lets and guesthouses, may open but businesses must take reasonable steps to ensure that social contact rules are followed within their venues

See the full guidance for businesses and venues for full details available to date:

Tier 2: High alert

·                     Pubs and bars may not provide alcohol for consumption on the premises, unless with a substantial meal, so they are operating as a restaurant. They may remain open for take-away services

·                     Other hospitality businesses – including cafes, restaurants and social clubs – can only serve alcohol with substantial meals. If they are a business which serves alcohol for consumption on the premises, they must be table service only. In cinemas, theatres, concert halls and sports stadia, alcohol can be ordered at a bar to be consumed when seated in the auditorium or area where the screening/performance is taking place. This should be limited to only those with tickets. When it is to be consumed in the bar area itself, it must be part of a substantial meal and full table service must be provided

·                     Hospitality venues that do not serve alcohol may allow someone to order from the counter, but they must still consume their meal from a seat if eating in

·                     Casinos, theatres, museums, bowling alleys, adult gaming centres and amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks and adventure parks and activities, bingo halls, cinemas, theatres, concert halls and sports stadia may open but early closure (11pm) applies

·                     Tour groups must operate in line with social contact rules. This means that larger tours where different households or support bubbles (or groups of more than 6 if outdoors) interact will not be feasible

·                     Accommodation, such as hotels, holiday lets and guesthouses, may open but businesses must take reasonable steps to ensure that social contact rules are followed within their venues. People can still travel within Tier 2 areas to hotels and other guest accommodation with people in their household or support bubble. People who live in a Tier 2 area, must continue to follow Tier 2 rules when they travel to a Tier 1 area.

See the full guidance for businesses and venues

Tier 3: Very High alert

·                     Businesses and venues selling alcohol for consumption off the premises can continue to do so as long as this is through takeaway, delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through.

·                     Food or alcohol purchased from a hospitality premises via takeaway or click-and-collect may not be consumed on any part of that premises, including beer gardens, as well as adjacent seating to the premises (with exceptions for motorway service areas, airports, seaports, the international terminal at Folkestone and public transport services although these places cannot sell alcohol after 11pm).

·                     Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, holiday lets and guest houses must close with limited exceptions

·                     Businesses that remain open in law, but are located within accommodation, such as a spa within a hotel, can remain open.

·                     Please note: These restrictions on accommodation do not apply between 22 to 28 December 2020. This means that accommodation may open during this period for people to stay in order to be located near their Christmas bubbles. However other restrictions, such as those on hospitality and social contact still apply - so people cannot mix with their Christmas bubble in a hotel, for example, unless a member of their bubble lives their permanently. Please see separate guidance for more information on the rules for social contact during the Christmas period (23 to 27 December).

·                     Indoor play centres and areas, trampolining parks, casinos, bingo halls, bowling alleys, indoor skating rinks, amusement arcades and adult gaming centres, nightclubs and adult entertainment venues, laser quests and escape rooms, cinemas, theatres concert halls – other than drive-in events, broadcasting performances, training or rehearsal, circuses, snooker and pool halls (other than for elite athletes) must close

·                     Indoor attractions at zoos, safari parks, and aquariums, other animal attractions including farms, water parks and aqua parks, model villages, museums, galleries and sculpture parks, botanical or other gardens, biomes or greenhouses, theme parks, fairgrounds and funfairs, adventure playgrounds and parks, including ziplining, visitor attractions at film studios, heritage sites such as castles, stately homes or heritage railways, landmarks including observation wheels and viewing platforms

·                     Outdoor tourism and entertainment venues can remain open subject to following the relevant rules and guidelines

·                     Outdoor cinemas, theatres and concert venues can remain open for drive-in only, but must close at 11pm, other than for the purposes of concluding a performance which began before 10pm

·                     Outdoor events, such as funfairs can continue to happen in line with COVID-secure guidance – other than large outdoor performance events (performances, shows and screenings), which must be drive-in only

·                     Retail premises may open, other than shops situated inside closed premises that cannot be accessed directly from the street – retail premises within accommodation may also stay open

See the full guidance

Guidance for the Christmas Period (England) 

Guidance for the Christmas period has been published it covers where the guidelines differ between 23-27 December and where activities will not change. Some points to note include:

    • Between 23 and 27 December, the rules on who you can meet in bars, pubs and restaurants will not change.
    • Although there are exemptions for work purposes, people must not have a work Christmas lunch or party, where that is a primarily social activity and is not otherwise permitted by the rules in their tier of residence.
    • From 2 December, the rules on attending events, including performances and Christmas or other festive lighting ceremonies will depend on the tier the area is in. The rules might be different for indoor and outdoor events. Check the rules for each tier. Between 23 and 27 December, the rules on indoor events will not change. Christmas bubbles can attend outdoor events during this period.
    • Between 23 and 27 December, people may travel between tiers and other nations of the UK if necessary to meet with other households in their Christmas bubble or return home. Once at the destination, they should follow the rules in that tier.
    • People can stay in a hotel in England, including in tier 3, during the Christmas period as long as they’re staying alone or with other members of their household, or support bubble.
    • People can stay in private rented accommodation with members of their household, or their Christmas bubble.

New targeted restrictions for the hospitality and leisure sector in Wales

The Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced a set of new targeted restrictions in the hospitality and leisure sectors. From Friday, pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes will have to close by 6pm and will not be allowed to serve alcohol. After 6pm they will only be able to provide takeaway services. Indoor entertainment and visitor attractions must also close. The Welsh Government also announced they will be making a further £340m available through the Economic Resilience Fund to support businesses affected by the new changes to the regulations. It will include a specific fund to support hospitality and tourism businesses.

Support available:

  • The Restrictions Business Fund will enable eligible businesses in the hospitality, tourism and leisure sectors which pay non-domestic rates (NDR) to access grants of up to £5,000.
  • Businesses not on the NDR system, will be able to continue to apply to local authorities for the Lockdown Discretionary Grant of up to £2,000.
  • In addition, hospitality, tourism and leisure businesses will be able to access a sector specific Economic Resilience Fund grant scheme. Small and medium sized businesses meeting the criteria could receive up to £100k. Larger Welsh-based businesses could receive up to a maximum of £150k.

More information will be published on the Business Wales website in the coming days.

Heritage locations guidance updates

In tiers 1 & 2 indoor and outdoor heritage sites can open to the public, subject to the relevant social contact rules. As heritage buildings and landscapes can be used for a multitude of different activities, organisations must check if individual activities are permitted under the rules in their respective tier. This includes caps on attendance at large indoor and outdoor events, where applicable. In tier 3, indoor heritage attractions will be required to close. Outdoor heritage locations including historic parks, gardens, landscapes, and ruins and monuments open to the elements, can remain open as long as the social distancing rules are observed. In tier 3, such outdoor sites are subject to the rule of 6, whether you pay to access them or not (as public outdoor spaces similar to public parks). See the full guidance here.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

  • The online service to apply for the third grant is now available. 

Other Government updates

  • The guidance for applying for a Bounce Back Loan has been updated to include new lenders (there are 29 now participating in the scheme
  • The guidance for applying for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme has been updated to include new lenders (there are 117 now participating in the scheme
  • Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme guidance has been updated to show new lenders participating in the scheme – 27 lenders are now listed

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 30 NOVEMBER

(Duplication with TIER removed)

  • Christmas Guidance

The Government has published the guidance to the rules and restrictions that will apply over the Christmas period. The Guidance covers issues such as:

    • Visiting bars, pubs and restaurants
    • Visiting churches and other places of worship
    • Visiting shops and Christmas markets
    • Attending events, including performances and Christmas lighting ceremonies
    • Celebrating New Year’s Eve
    • Carol singing
    • Attending events organised by schools and other education settings, including nativity plays
    • Visiting relatives in care homes
    • Travel in the UK
    • Travel Abroad

Some of the main points are:

    • Santa’s grottos are able to open in all tiers where they are located in venues otherwise permitted to open. 
    • Rules for Christmas markets will depend on which Tier the market is in
    • Rules on attending events, including performances and Christmas or other festive lighting ceremonies will also depend on the Tier.
    • Carol singing or carol services can take place if all attendees follow advice in the suggested principles of safer singing and guidance for the Performing Arts developed by an expert group coordinated by Public Health England. This applies to both professional and amateur choirs.
    • Professional and amateur choirs may perform outdoors in any venue permitted to open
    • Door-to-door carol singing can take place in a group(s) of no more than six participants.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/guidance-for-the-christmas-period

  • Detailed Guidance for Different Tier Levels

While most of the guidance is as expected, there are a couple of points to be aware of in Tier 2

    • tour groups must operate in line with social contact rules. This means that larger tours where different households or support bubbles (or groups of more than 6 if outdoors) interact will not be feasible

This does not make sense – a tour group is. by definition, more than one household

    • accommodation, such as hotels, holiday lets and guesthouses, may open but businesses must take reasonable steps to ensure that social contact rules are followed within their venues
    • theatres, concert halls, music venues and sports stadia are open, but capacity will be restricted to whichever is lower: 50% capacity or 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
    • conference centres and exhibition halls are open. Business events are permitted, but capacity should be restricted to whichever is lower: 50% capacity of 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors

  • Christmas Shopping Hours Extended

The Government has announced that retailers will be able to extend their daily opening hours from Monday to Saturday in the run up to Christmas and through January,

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/boost-for-high-street-as-jenrick-extends-opening-hours-for-christmas-shopping

  • Changes in Wales

The Welsh Government has announced that from 6pm on Friday

    • Pubs, bars and restaurants will be banned from selling alcohol and will have to close at 6pm,. They will, however, be able provide takeaways after 6pm.
    • Indoor entertainment venues such as cinemas, bingo halls, soft play areas and casinos will also have to close
    • Indoor visitor attractions such as museums, galleries, and heritage sites will also have to close but outdoor visitor attractions will be able to remain open

The Welsh Parliament will review these restrictions by December 17

To help support businesses, the Welsh Government is implementing a £180m support package specifically for the tourism, leisure and hospitality sector. In addition, there will also be a package element of £160m which will support up to 60,000 businesses on the non-domestic rating with businesses, including those in retail, tourism, leisure and hospitality, and their supply chains, which are materially affected by the restrictions will receive payments of between £3,000 and £5,000. Discretionary grants of up to £2,000 will continue to be available for those not on the non-domestic rating list.

https://gov.wales/340m-support-welsh-businesses-new-coronavirus-rules-announced

  • Discretionary Grants for Dissolved Businesses

As a result of increased business failures as a result of Coronavirus, the Government has updated the guidance on discretionary grants for dissolved businesses.  Normally, when a business is dissolved, the cash and other assets of the business automatically pass to the Crown and can only be recovered if an application is made to restore the company. The Discretionary Grant application enables assets to be recovered from the business without going through this process. The that can be claimed for as a Discretionary Grant is £3000 can be recovered and only one grant payment will be made in respect of each dissolved company.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-discretionary-grant-where-the-dissolved-company-can-be-restored-cb2

  • Third SEISS Grant Now Open

The third Self Employment Income Support Scheme is now open for applications on the following link.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme

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

TIER UPDATE 27 NOV

Wales:

First Minister Mark Drakeford today announced further COVID-19 restrictions for the whole of Wales. Cinemas, bowling alleys and indoor entertainment venues are to close while new restrictions in hospitality will come into effect from next Friday. The Welsh Government is due to announce further details on the restrictions along with plans for financial support package for the industry on Monday.

Northern Ireland:

The two-week circuit breaker started today in Northern Ireland.

England:

Other Government updates:

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 27 NOVEMBER

  • Postcode Checker

The Government has launched the online Tier level Postcode Checker so that customers can check the restrictions that apply in any destination that they are travelling to and businesses can check where customers are coming from. 

https://www.gov.uk/find-coronavirus-local-restrictions 

  • Transmission Risk in the Hospitality Sector

The Government has published a short policy paper that seeks to explain why the Government considers hospitality businesses to be higher risk locations for the spread of coronavirus. The Government’s view is that

    • Higher risk contacts are those that are close, prolonged, indoors, face-to-face, in poorly ventilated and/or crowded spaces, or involve “loud” activities. These are all prevalent in the hospitality sector
    • The general picture in the UK (and overseas) is that it has only been possible to get R consistently below 1 in places where there have been substantial restrictions on hospitality. 
    • An analysis of 3,184 cases in Japan identified 61 case-clusters that were observed in healthcare and other care facilities, restaurants and bars, workplaces, and music events. The largest clusters in Hong Kong were associated with transmission in bars and at a wedding dinner, both locations in which face masks were not worn. At least 246 cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been linked to nightclubs in Seoul.
    • A report from the US CDC found that those infected with SARS-CoV-2 without known close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19, case-patients were 2.8x more likely to report dining at a restaurant (aOR = 2.8, 95% CI = 1.9–4.3) or 3.9x more likely to report going to a bar/coffee shop (aOR = 3.9, 95% CI = 1.5–10.1) than were control participants.

Suffice to say that a policy paper the seeks to justify the closure of restaurants and pubs in the UK on the basis of infections in nightclubs in Korea and doesn’t discuss what, if any, mitigation regimes (social distancing, cleaning, mask wearing etc) were in place when the infections occurred in these countries, leaves itself open to criticism.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/transmission-risk-in-the-hospitality-sector/transmission-risk-in-the-hospitality-sector 

  • Test To Release Guidance

The Government has published the guidance to go with the announcement of the new Test To Release scheme that was announced with the publication of the Global Travel Taskforce Report and comes into effect on 15th December for people entering the UK from a non-Air Corridor country. The scheme is voluntary but allows people using it to reduce their quarantine period from 14 days to 5 days. The key features of this are:

    • The person should book a test with a private test provider before entering the UK – a list of private test providers will be published on GOV.UK soon
    • They should then enter the details on the test on their passenger locator form so that they are processed on entry into the UK
    • They can decide to take part in the scheme after arriving in England, will need to complete another passenger locator form to do so
    • The test is to be taken at least 5 full days after person was in country/territory that is not on the travel corridor list. 
    • If the test is negative, the person can stop quarantine
    • If the test is positive, the person has to stay in quarantine for another 10 days

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-test-to-release-for-international-travel 

  • Heritage Location Guidance Updated

The Primary guidance for Heritage Locations on Working Safely During Coronavirus has been updates in line with the new restrictions that come into force on 2nd December and apply to the different Tier levels.

    • In Tiers 1 & 2 indoor and outdoor heritage sites can open to the public, subject to the relevant social contact rules. As heritage buildings and landscapes can be used for a multitude of different activities, organisations must check if individual activities are permitted under the rules in their respective tier. This includes caps on attendance at large indoor and outdoor events, where applicable.
    • In Tier 3, indoor heritage attractions will be required to close. Outdoor heritage locations including historic parks, gardens, landscapes, and ruins and monuments open to the elements, can remain open as long as the social distancing rules are observed. In tier 3, such outdoor sites are subject to the rule of 6, whether you pay to access them or not (as public outdoor spaces similar to public parks).

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

  • Good to Go Review

VisitBritain is reviewing the Good to Go scheme which is due to finish at the end of the year to ascertain whether the scheme should continue into 2021 and whether doing so would help the tourism recovery. If you have any views on how beneficial it would be to retain the scheme during 2021, please let me know and I will feed this back to Visitbritain.

  • SEISS Extension Seminar

HMRC is holding a seminar of the extension to the Self Employment Income Support Scheme on 1, 3 and 8 December. If you are interested, you can register on the following link

https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/4529107608840804367?source=November-HMRC-GOV 

  • R Number

We’ll end the week with some good news. The latest R number and growth rate figures for the UK are 0.9-1.0 and -2% to 0% respectively, meaning that it’s the first time since the beginning of August that the growth rate has been negative.

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TIER UPDATE 26 NOV

Regional tiers for England announced

Following the announcement on Monday of the Government’s Winter Plan for managing COVID-19 and the new regional tier system which will come into place in England on 2 December, the Government has now announced which areas will be in which tier.

Please see below a list of areas by restriction level, (the a postcode checker tool is also available). The first review point for the tier allocations will take place by Wednesday 16 December.

The Prime Minister also gave a press conference this afternoon. You can view his statement here:

Decisions on tiers are made by ministers based on public health recommendations informed by the following factors:

1. Case detection rate (in all age groups and, in particular, among the over 60s)

2. How quickly case rates are rising or falling

3. Positivity in the general population

4. Pressure on the NHS – including current and projected (3 to 4 weeks out) NHS capacity – including admissions, general/acute/ICU bed occupancy, staff absences

5. Local context and exceptional circumstances such as a local but contained outbreak

Regions of England by local alert level from 3 December 2020

Tier 1: Medium alert

  • South East
    • Isle of Wight
  • South West
    • Cornwall, Isles of Scilly

Restriction guidance for Tier 1:Medium alert

Tier 2: High alert

  • North West
    • Cumbria, Liverpool City Region, Warrington and Cheshire
  • Yorkshire
    • York, North Yorkshire
  • West Midlands
    • Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin
  • East Midlands
    • Rutland, Northamptonshire
  • East of England
    • Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, including Peterborough, Norfolk, Essex, Thurrock and Southend on Sea, Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes
  • London
    • All 32 boroughs plus the City of London
  • South East
    • East Sussex, West Sussex, Brighton and Hove, Surrey, Reading, Wokingham, Bracknell Forest, Windsor and Maidenhead, West Berkshire, Hampshire (except the Isle of Wight), Portsmouth and Southampton, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire
  • South West
    • South Somerset, Somerset West and Taunton, Mendip and Sedgemoor, Bath and North East Somerset, Dorset, Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Swindon, Devon

Restriction guidance for Tier 2: High alert

Tier 3: Very High alert

  • North East
    • Tees Valley Combined Authority, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, Redcar and Cleveland, Darlington, North East Combined Authority, Sunderland, South Tyneside, Gateshead, Newcastle upon Tyne, North Tyneside, County Durham, Northumberland
  • North West
    • Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Blackpool, Blackburn with Darwen
  • Yorkshire and The Humber
    • The Humber, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire
  • West Midlands
    • Birmingham and Black Country, Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull
  • East Midlands
    • Derby and Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, Leicester and Leicestershire, Lincolnshire
  • South East
    • Slough (remainder of Berkshire is tier 2: High alert), Kent and Medway
  • South West
    • Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset

Restriction guidance for Tier 3: Very High alert

Summary posters of what the guidance is in each tier level are available for download on GOV.UK

Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services guidance updates (England)

  • New information added to the guidance: local restriction tiers, the COVID-19 Winter Plan, new NHS Test and Trace section (section 2.1) and new ventilation advice (section 2.4).
  • Other areas updated include: Priority actions, risk assessment information (section 1), NHS Test and Trace (section 2.1), keeping customers and visitors safe (section 2.2), managing service of food and drink at a venue (section 2.3), clinically Extremely Vulnerable (section 3.1), outbreak advice (section 7.1.2).

Coronavirus guidance for the festive period (Scotland)

The Scottish Government has published guidance for the festive season some areas to note include:

  • Between 23 – 27 December, people can form a bubble of up to three households, one of which can be an extended household. However, it is recommended that bubbles are kept to a maximum of 8 people.  (Children under the age of 12 from these households need not count towards the total number of people counted in the bubble). 
  • Bubbles can only gather in a private home (to meet or stay the night), outdoors or at a place of worship. 
  • Those who have formed a bubble should only socialise in a hospitality, leisure or entertainment venue in your own household (or extended household) for the duration of the festive period.
  • During the Christmas period those who are part of a bubble should not stay in tourist accommodation. Only those not part of a bubble should plan on staying in tourist accommodation and should follow the tourist accommodation, socialising and travel rules in the local authority area they are staying in. For example:
    • People should only stay their own household (or extended household) in self-catering accommodation
    • People must not travel into or out of a level 3 or 4 area for tourist accommodation

Travel corridor update

Changes to travel corridors this week include:

  • Estonia and Latvia will be removed from the travel corridor list. People arriving into the UK from these destinations from 4:00am Saturday 28 November will need to self-isolate.
  • The travel ban on Denmark has been lifted, this change comes into effect at 4:00am on Saturday 28 November. However, the country will remain OFF the Government’s Travel Corridor list.
  • Bhutan, Timor-Leste, Mongolia, Aruba, Samoa, Kiribati, Micronesia, Tonga, Vanuatu and the Soloman Islands have been added to the travel corridor list. People arriving in the UK from these destinations from 4:00am Saturday 28 November will no longer be required to self-isolate.
  • The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has updated its travel advice to advise against all but essential travel to Estonia and Latvia, and to no longer advise against all but essential travel to Aruba and Bhutan. These changes reflect the latest assessments by PHE of the risk to travellers in these destinations. The FCDO continues to advise against all but essential travel to Denmark, Mongolia, Timor-Leste, Kiribati, Federated States of Micronesia, Tonga, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.

 TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 26 NOVEMBER

  • New Regional Tier Levels

Here is the full list of English regions by Tier Level. Please note that these new Tier levels will be reviewed after 14 days meaning that they will be in place until 16th December.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/full-list-of-local-restriction-tiers-by-area

And here is the statement that the Health Secretary made to parliament announcing the new regional Tier levels.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/returning-to-a-regional-tiered-approach

  • Tourism Industry Council Meeting

The next Tourism Industry Council meeting will take place on 2 December 2020 and will discuss the re-opening and introduction of the new tiers.  If you have any feedback, questions or concerns, please let me know ahead of this meeting and I raise them with the Minister.

  • Updated Guidance for Restaurants Pubs and Bars

The Primary Guidance for Restaurants, Pubs and Bars has been updated in accordance with the new restrictions that apply to the different Tier levels. The specific sections that have been amended are:

  • NHS Test and Trace (section 2.1).
  • Keeping customers and visitors safe (section 2.2).
  • Managing service of food and drink at a venue (section 2.3)
  • New ventilation advice (section 2.4).
  • Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (section 3.1)
  • PPE section simplified (section 6.1).
  • Updated outbreak advice (section 7.1.2).

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/restaurants-offering-takeaway-or-delivery

  • PHE Weekly Report

PHE’s weekly national Influenza and COVID19 surveillance report.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/938650/Weekly_Flu_and_COVID-19_report_w48_FINAL.PDF

 

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TIER UPDATE 25 NOV

Festive season bubble guidance

The UK Government and Devolved Administrations will change some of the social contact restrictions between 23-27 December 2020, enabling people to form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’ composed of people from up to three households, People will be able to travel between tiers and UK nations if necessary to meet with other households in their Christmas bubble or return home. Anyone travelling to or from Northern Ireland may travel on the 22 and 28 December.

People in the same Christmas bubble can visit each other’s home and stay overnight, this includes private rented accommodation. However, they cannot meet in any other indoor setting, such as a pub, hotel, retail, theatre, or restaurant. In these settings the rules for the specific tier location people reside in apply. See the announcement on the measures from each administration here - GOV.UK, GOV.WALES, GOV.SCOT, NI.GOV.UK 

Other Government updates 

·        New data is available for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme , Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, Eat Out to Help Out and Transport use during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 25 NOVEMBER

  • New BEIS FAQ on the Grant Schemes

BEIS has published a new FAQ for Councils regarding the administration of, and eligibility for, the various grant schemes. There is a range of information in here that will be helpful for tourism businesses when applying for a grant or in circumstances where a grant request may be declined. Some of the useful questions are:

25. If a mixed-use premises is evenly split between services that are required to close and services that can remain open, how should Local Authorities distribute grants to the business?

In order to qualify for the LRSG (Closed), businesses will be required to declare their main service themselves. Its main service should constitute more than a 50% proportion of the overall business. If a business is unable to demonstrate that its main service has been required to close, it may be able to apply for a grant through the discretionary LRSG (Open) or ARG schemes.

30. Where a business operates seasonally and was therefore closed on the date before local restrictions were introduced but remains an active business, can it still qualify for a grant under the LRSG (Closed) scheme? Can occasional use by owners during the period of closure be discounted?

Yes, as long as the business was not insolvent, in liquidation or subject to a striking off notice on that date, it can be considered to be trading and is therefore eligible to receive grants under this scheme. Any occasional use by owners during the period of closure, must be lawful under the terms of the restrictions applicable within the Local Authority.

31. If a business operates for only part of the week and was therefore closed on the day before relevant restrictions began, is it eligible to receive grants under this scheme?

Yes, as long as the business was not insolvent, in liquidation or subject to a striking off notice on that date, it can be considered to be trading and is therefore eligible to receive grants under this scheme.

36. Are self-catering accommodation operators and similar businesses, which do not own the accommodation they manage and do not ordinarily serve customers on site, eligible to receive grants under this scheme?

In order to qualify for this grant, the business must be part of the business rates system. Therefore, businesses that manage the accommodation remotely must be the eligible business rates payers for that hereditament to receive a grant through the LRSG (Closed) scheme. If they are not, then they would need to apply for a grant through the discretionary LRSG (Open) or ARG schemes.

48. Why is there a presumption that under ARG, Local Authorities should not be supporting the self-employed when so many self-employed and company directors paid dividends are excluded from SEISS & CJRS? If Local Authorities were to check that these businesses declare that the money was to go towards fixed costs would that be acceptable?

Discretionary grants, including the ARG, can be used to support the self-employed. However, the ARG must not be used as a wage supplement, rather as a support to the business that the self-employed person runs. In addition, the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) is available to support self-employed people who are liable for business rates.

50. Can ARG funding be allocated to BIDs?

The ARG funding can be provided to Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) bodies to support them with the shortfall in their levy income, provided that the BID body is not the Local Authority, or a company under the control of the Local Authority.

55. Can Local Authorities make multiple payments to the same customer for ARG?

As the ARG is a discretionary scheme, Local Authorities may decide to pay multiple grants to the same business. However, Local Authorities may wish to focus on businesses that are not already receiving support through other Local Restrictions Support Grant schemes.

  • Test to Release FAQ

I’ve attached a copy of a FAQ on the Test To Release scheme to reduce the quarantine period for people entering the country from Non-Travel Corridor countries. This FAQ provides more details on how the scheme will work and covers issues such as whether people can opt in or out of the scheme.

  • Traveler Sentiment Survey

I’ve attached the results of an Oliver Wyman survey of attitudes to travel across nine countries including the UK and many of it’s core overseas market. This provides a wealth of information about the perceived risk and willingness to travel when Covid restrictions are relaxed. Some of the main findings are:

    • People are more willing to travel by air than use a long-distance train or public transport
    • 43% of business travelers said that they would undertake less travel after restrictions end (a figure that is rising) compared to only 35% of leisure travelers (a figure that is decreasing)
    • European is cited as the destination of choice for both European and North American travelers
    • VFR and short haul Leisure are the sectors with the most demand
    • Price is the top criteria when selecting flights – as the importance of cleaning has declined (modestly)

These are important considerations in the development of a tourism recovery plan.

  • Eat Out to Help Out Analysis

The Government has published an analysis of the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme which contains a number of very interesting findings. Among these are:

    • over 52,000 businesses registered for Eat Out to Help Out (EOHO) and over 49,000 of these had made a claim for the scheme by 30 September.
    • the average discount per meal claimed for was £5.24
    • the number of meals discounted and total value of claims increased each week throughout August – which showed that it increased confidence in going out
    • 55% of the discount was claimed by businesses operating primarily as restaurants with a further 28% claimed by pubs.
    • 93% of claims and 52% of the total discount claimed was for businesses with just one participating outlet.
    • The number of businesses using the furlough scheme dropped from 83% to 61% in August – meaning that the cost of the scheme would have been largely offset by savings to the furlough scheme

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eat-out-to-help-out-statistics/eat-out-to-help-out-statistics-commentary

  • CJRS Analysis

As well as the analysis of the East Out to Help Out Scheme, the Government has also published an updated analysis of the CJRS. The main findings of this are:

    • At the beginning of October there were still almost half a million people in the accommodation and food services sector still on furlough
    • More people are on furlough in this sector than any other sector of the economy
    • Of the 2m people on furlough in England, almost 25% of these are in London. One of the main factors for this will be the decline in international travel

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-november-2020/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-november-2020#employments-furloughed-over-time-by-industry

  • SEISS Analysis

Completing a trifecta of analyses, the Government has also published an analysis of the uptake of the Self Employment Income Support Scheme. This analysis, in comparison to the CJRS,  indicates the tourism related businesses are not one of the highest beneficiaries of this scheme. By way of comparison, there are 800,000 people in the construction sector and 217,000 in the transport and storage sector that made claims compared to just 72,000 is arts, entertainment and recreation, and 54,000 in accommodation and food services. This could well indicate the problems that many self-employed people in the tourism and hospitality sectors have experienced in terms of eligibility.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/self-employment-income-support-scheme-statistics-november-2020

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TIER UPDATE 24 NOV

Test to Release: testing strategy for international arrivals (England)

Today the Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps has announced that from 15 December 2020, passengers arriving into England from countries not featured on the government’s travel corridor list will have the option to take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test after 5 days of self-isolation, with a negative result releasing them from the need to isolate.

Those opting into the scheme will have to book and pay for a coronavirus (COVID-19) test from a private provider on the GOV.UK list – this is to ensure the NHS Test and Trace testing capacity is protected. Those who choose to book a test, will need to state this on their passenger locator form prior to arriving and then go straight into self-isolation as usual. If they choose to opt in after arrival, they will need to resubmit their passenger locator form.

Global Travel Taskforce recommendations

The Global Travel Taskforce recommendation report and a Written Ministerial Statement which sets out the key recommendations has been published today. The report recognises the importance of international travel to the UK and the impact of COVID-19 it also contains a section on International Travel Recovery Measures.  Overall the report makes 14 key recommendations to ensure clear public health measures, increase demand safely and take the lead on global standards. These include:

Clear public health measures 

  • Introduce a “test to release” scheme in England to allow participating travellers from non-exempt countries to reduce their period of self-isolation 
  • Develop a pre-departure testing proposal with partner countries on a bilateral basis

Increasing demand safely 

  • Launch a public health information campaign to inform UK departing passengers and international visitors about travel requirements 
  • Deliver a system of assurance of air travel, led by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), to evidence the industry’s compliance with international guidance, helping increase consumer confidence and demonstrating the UK’s global leadership 
  • Deliver an effective communications campaign, alongside the CAA’s system of assurance, working with the CAA and Public Health England (PHE) to publicise the UK industry’s compliance with global health standards, to boost consumer confidence and provide reassurance to encourage UK-based residents that global aviation is open, safe and secure 
  • Develop a Tourism Recovery Plan setting out the transformation and growth of the sector over the next five years as part of our economic recovery 
  • Develop an Aviation Recovery Plan to consider the outlook for the sector in the medium term once these short-term measures have taken effect, including on ensuring sustainable economic growth and delivering on our long term aims on net zero and connectivity.
  • A flagship overseas marketing campaign led by VisitBritain: promoting the UK as an attractive and safe place to visit to create demand for travel to the UK and converting demand into bookings
  • Work with industry to explore the potential for “tour bubbles” by extending the model successfully used for sports teams to cover inbound group tours 
  • Investigate measures to facilitate safe transit, for example where passengers need to transfer through another country on a longer journey to avoid the need for passengers arriving from low-risk countries to self-isolate 
  • Study the feasibility of short stay exemptions for business activity 
  • Publish the criteria for when cruises can restart and agree to implement the phased approach to restart when the public health advice is that it is safe to do so 

Leading on global standards 

  • Continue to drive forward work both in ICAO and with international partners on a bilateral and multilateral basis to deliver a shared global understanding of how to integrate a range of risk mitigation measures, such as increased testing, to reduce reliance on self-isolation or quarantine, which will help civil aviation recover 
  • Advocate for the development of a global framework for the validation of tests and vaccination records as ICAO further develops its guidance on restart and recovery through 2021. 

DCMS will be leading on the Tourism Recovery Plan and Tour Bubbles and would we welcome any further feedback on this.

Weekly review COVID measures in Scotland

The First Minister of Scotland updated the Parliament on her weekly review of COVID measures and the different tier levels around Scotland. The First Minister confirmed that the Scottish Government is not proposing any changes to the council coronavirus levels today. A full list of current COVID protection levels by area in Scotland can be found here.

     

    TOURISM ALLIANCE UDPATE – 24 NOVEMBER

    • Travel Corridor Methodology

    The Government has also published the methodology that the Joint Biosecurity Centre uses used to determine whether a country should be on the Air Corridor List. The key criteria are:

    • Weekly incidence rate per 100,000 population
    • test positivity
    • imported cases
    • rates of change

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-risk-assessment-methodology-for-inbound-international-travel/covid-19-risk-assessment-methodology-for-inbound-international-travel

    • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Third Grant

    The guidance of the SEISS has been update with information on how those eligible can claim the third grant. The key information is that:

    • You can make your claim for the third grant from 30 November 2020.
    • You must make your claim on or before 29 January 2021.
    • To make a claim for the third grant your business must have been impacted by coronavirus on or after 1 November 2020.
    • You can make a claim for the third grant if you’re eligible, even if you did not make a claim for the first or second.

                    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme

    There is also new guidance from HMRC on how your trading conditions affect your eligibility for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

    To be able to claim for the third grant, you 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

    “Reduced Demand” means

    • have fewer customers or clients than you’d normally expect, resulting in reduced activity due to social distancing or government restrictions
    • have one or more contracts that have been cancelled and not replaced
    • carried out less work due to supply chain disruptions

    “Temporarily Unable to Trade” means

    • your business has had to close due to government restrictions
    • you’ve been instructed to shield or self-isolate in-line with NHS guidelines and are unable to work from home (if you’ve been abroad and have to self-isolate, this does not count)
    • you’ve tested positive for coronavirus and are unable to work
    • you cannot work due to parental caring responsibilities, for example as a result of school or childcare facility closures

    You must also:

    • intend to continue to trade
    • reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits due to reduced demand or your inability to trade

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-your-trading-conditions-affect-your-eligibility-for-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme

                     The guidance on making a claim has also been updated

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme 

    • New Tier Posters

    The Government has produced new posters for each of the three Tiers to reflect yesterday’s announcement regarding rule changes. These pdfs are an excellent way of informing both staff and customers on the rules and restrictions that are in operation in the areas that your member’s business is located.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tier-posters-medium-high-and-very-high

    • ONS IPS Seminars

    Finally, this is not Coronavirus related but it will be of interest to those that concentrate on the inbound market.  ONS are holding a webinar for travel and tourism statistics from the International Passenger Survey. This event will be an excellent opportunity to hear about the recently released quarter 2 IPS data as well as progress on the travel and tourism review that we contributed to last year

    The seminars will include presentations outlining the methodology and data acquired for quarter 2 of 2020 during the pandemic. There will also be time to raise questions on travel and tourism statistics.

                    The ONS will be holding two separate webinars:

    • Thursday 3rd December 2020 – 10.30am – 12pm
    • Friday 11th December 2020 – 10am – 11.30am

    If you would like to attend either of these events, please register your interest, stating which webinar you would like to attend using the email address Travel.and.Tourism@ons.gov.uk 

    Xmas Bubble Guidance

    The Government has just released guidance on the rules that have been agreed between the four home nations on the rules and restrictions regarding friends and families meeting up over the Xmas period

    Between 23 and 27 December:

    • you can form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’ composed of people from no more than three households
    • you can only be in one Christmas bubble
    • you cannot change your Christmas bubble
    • you can travel between tiers and UK nations for the purposes of meeting your Christmas bubble
    • you can only meet your Christmas bubble in private homes or in your garden, places of worship, or public outdoor spaces (ie.not in pubs and restaurants)
    • you can continue to meet people who are not in your Christmas bubble outside your home according to the rules in the tier where you are staying
    • you cannot meet someone in a private dwelling who is not part of your household or Christmas bubble

    Everyone is allowed to form a Christmas bubble. There are three main rules:

    • you can only be in one Christmas bubble
    • you cannot change your Christmas bubble
    • your Christmas bubble should not include people from more than three households

    People in a Xmas Christmas bubble are allowed to stay in private rented accommodation but are not allowed to meet in any other indoor setting, such as a pub, hotel, retail, theatre, or restaurant. In these settings, people have to comply with the rules that apply to the Tier in which they are meeting.

    But Xmas bubbles are able to meet outdoors in public places such as:

    • parks, beaches, parts of the countryside open to the general public
    • public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them)
    • allotments
    • playgrounds

    It should be noted that this is a slight difference in dates for Northern Ireland - anyone travelling to or from Northern Ireland may travel on the 22 and 28 December, but should only meet with their Christmas bubble between 23 and 27 December.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/making-a-christmas-bubble-with-friends-and-family/making-a-christmas-bubble-with-friends-and-family

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    TIER UPDATE 23 NOV

    The Government’s Winter Plan for England

    This afternoon Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a statement to the House of Commons on the Government’s COVID-19 Winter Plan. The Prime Minister confirmed that the national restrictions in England will end on 2 December and that the country will move back into a regional tiered approach. These tiers will be tougher than previously.  On Thursday 26 November the government is due to announce which areas are in which tier. A postcode checker will also be available to show which restrictions apply in which area.

    In the meantime guidance on the restrictions that will be applicable in each tier has been published. Please see the key guidance from each area below. The new rules will come into effect from the beginning of Wednesday 2 December, from which time people will be able to leave home for any purpose and meet people outside their household subject to the rule of 6, collective worship and weddings can resume, shops and gyms can reopen (see caveats below).

    Tier 1: Medium alert

    In tier 1:

    • People must not socialise in groups larger than 6 people, indoors or outdoors, other than where a legal exemption applies. 
    • Businesses and venues can remain open, in a COVID secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs
    • Hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to:
      • Provide table service only, for premises that serve alcohol
      • Close between 11pm and 5am (hospitality venues in airports, ports, on transport services and in motorway service areas are exempt)
      • Stop taking orders after 10pm
    • Hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through
    • Early closure (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities and bingo halls. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm
    • Public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 4,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
    • Public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 4,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
    • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events
    • People who live in a tier 1 area and travel to an area in a higher tier should follow the rules for that area while they are there. Travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas should be avoided other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. Travel through a tier 3 area as part of a longer journey is permitted.

    Tier 2: High alert

    In tier 2:

    • People must not socialise with anyone they do not live with or who is not in their support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
    • People must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside, including in a garden or a public space 
    • Businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs
    • Pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals
    • Hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to:
      • Provide table service only, in premises which sell alcohol
      • Close between 11pm and 5am (hospitality venues in airports, ports, transport services and motorway service areas are exempt)
      • Stop taking orders after 10pm
    • Hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through
    • Early closure (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm
    • Public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
    • Public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
    • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events such as wakes or stonesettings.
    • People can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible
    • People who live in a tier 2 area, must continue to follow tier 2 rules when travel to a tier 1 area. Travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas should be avoided other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. Travel through a tier 3 area as a part of a longer journey is permitted.

    Tier 3: Very High alert

    In tier 3:

    • People must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody they do not live with, or who is not in their support bubble, this includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues
    • People must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in some other outdoor public spaces, including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports facility.
    • Hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha venues), pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed – they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.
    • Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses must close. There are several exemptions, such as for those who use these venues as their main residence, and those requiring the venues where it is reasonably necessary for work or education and training 
    • Indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close. This includes:
      • play centres and areas, cinemas, theatres and concert halls, trampolining parks, soft play, casinos, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, amusement arcades, adult gaming centres, laser quests and escape rooms, snooker halls
    • Indoor attractions at mostly outdoor entertainment venues must also close (although indoor shops, through-ways and public toilets at such attractions can remain open). This includes indoor attractions within:
      • zoos, safari parks, and wildlife reserves, aquariums, visitor attractions at farms, and other animal attractions, model villages, museums, galleries and sculpture parks, botanical gardens, biomes or greenhouses, theme parks, circuses, fairgrounds and funfairs, visitor attractions at film studios, heritage sites such as castles and stately homes, landmarks including observation decks and viewing platforms.
    • Leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open, but group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead. Saunas and steam rooms should close
    • There should be no public attendance at spectator sport or indoor performances and large business events should not be taking place. Elite sport events may continue to take place without spectators.
    • Large outdoor events (performances and shows) should not take place, with the exception of drive-in events.
    • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions are not allowed, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, 15 people can attend linked commemorative events.
    • Organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue, however higher-risk contact activity should not take place
    • Organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes cannot take place indoors. There are some exceptions
    • People can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible
    • Travel to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays should be avoided, other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. Travel through other areas as part of a longer journey is permitted.

    See the full guidance for the exemptions from gathering limits in all tiers

    Further financial support outlined for businesses in Northern Ireland

    The Minister of Finance outlined a further £338.1 million of financial support to be allocated to schemes to mitigate the impact of Covid-19. The key information includes:

    • An additional £55 million has been allocated to extend the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme operated Department of Finance. This will be expanded to include nonessential retail and leisure and entertainment businesses required to close for 2 weeks. The Department for Economy’s COVID Restrictions Business Support Schemes will also be extended
    • A £95 million High Street Voucher Scheme will give people a pre-paid card for use on the high street. Department for the Economy is finalising the details of this scheme.
    • £20 million has been provided for Company Directors, a group that has been excluded from previous support.
    • £10.6 million has been allocated to Wet Pubs. This will support approximately 1,000 licenced premises.
    • £5 million will top-up the Tourism and Hospitality Scheme reflecting the extraordinary costs of some businesses forced to close.
    • £4.1 million for Bed and Breakfasts - aimed at certified accommodation businesses that were excluded from previous support because they pay domestic rates rather than business rates.
    • £3 million for the extension of Digital Selling Capability Grant to help local businesses grow their online sales.
    • £26.3 million to Department for Infrastructure in relation to lost income across the department and its arm’s length bodies
    • The Department for Communities has been allocated £71.5 million.

    The full statement is available here

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

    TIER & TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATES 20 NOV

    This evening Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Jonathan Van Tam, and Stephen Powis held a press briefing, where they outlined the latest data and gave an update on vaccines. The full press conference is available to view here.

    Northern Ireland to have a two-week circuit breaker from 27 November

    The Northern Ireland Executive has announced that there will be a two-week circuit breaker from 27 November lasting until midnight on 10 December.

     The measures that will come into force include:

    • Closure of all retail except essential retail that was permitted to stay open in the Spring.
    • Closure of all hospitality (except for accommodation for essential travel).  Takeaway and delivery, and food and drink in motorway services, airports and harbour terminals remain open.
    • Closure of all leisure and entertainment (to include all soft play areas, gyms, swimming pools etc).
    • Off licences will remain open, with an 8pm closing.
    • Closure of close contact services, and driving instruction (not motorcycles), except close contact for Film and TV production, those ancillary to medical, health and social care services; and elite-sports therapeutic services - i.e. – as 13 October- 19 November.
    • Sporting events only permitted for elite sports.  Individual/household outdoor exercise and school PE to continue.
    • No household gatherings of more than one household, other than current arrangements for linked households (bubbles), with current exceptions for caring, maintenance, house moves, etc.
    • Closure of places of worship, except for weddings, civil partnerships and funerals.  Remain with 25 max for weddings and funerals.
    • Stay at home, work from home if at all possible, otherwise only leave for essential purposes such as education, healthcare needs, to care for others or outdoor exercise;
    • Schools and childcare to remain open.
    • Universities / FE to provide learning at distance except where it is essential to provide it face to face.
    • Public parks and outdoor play areas remain open.

    This means that café’s and close contact services can open tomorrow but must close again from 27 November for 2 weeks.

    It was also announced that the financial support package will be developed over next few days.

    Review of restrictions in Wales

    First Minister Mark Drakeford has issued a statement regarding the review of the current restrictions in Wales. The outcome of this review is that  the current restrictions in Wales will remain the same for the next two weeks. The restrictions are required to be reviewed every two weeks until 17 December. After 17 December the restrictions must be reviewed every three weeks, as prior to the firebreak.

    Other Government updates:

    Travel industry updates

    • New COVID-19 screening service to be launched on 30 November at Gatwick Airport. The service will provide pre-departure and post arrival ExpressTest COVID-19 screening which will be available for Gatwick passengers, staff and local residents with results available the next day.
    TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 20 NOVEMBER
    • LRSG Trouble Shooting

    I’ve had a few emails regarding businesses being told that they are not eligible for the LRSG for one reason or another so here’s a few  extracts from the guidance that will help if  any of your members are experiencing similar problems.

    • Q: Are self-catering properties eligible for the LRSG ?

    A: Para 22 of Addendum FAQ.  

    Are accommodation premises eligible for LRSG (Closed) Addendum grants?

    Holiday accommodation must close under national restrictions set out for 5 November –2 December. This includes hotels, hostels, bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday apartments, home, cottages or bungalows, campsites, caravan parks or boarding houses, canal boats or any other vessel unless the exemptions set out in law apply.  Therefore, any of these accommodation types that are ratepaying businesses (with the property used for business and not personal use),are eligible for (Closed) Addendum grants.  This includes those businesses that continue to provide accommodation in line with the exemptions set out in the national restrictions legislation.

    • Q. Are accommodation businesses eligible for the LRSG if they are providing Accommodation for people who are exempt such as workers?

    A: Para 22 of Addendum FAQ.  

    Are accommodation premises eligible for LRSG (Closed) Addendum grants?

    Holiday accommodation must close under national restrictions set out for 5 November –2 December. This includes hotels, hostels, bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday apartments, home, cottages or bungalows, campsites, caravan parks or boarding houses, canal boats or any other vessel unless the exemptions set out in law apply.  Therefore, any of these accommodation types that are ratepaying businesses (with the property used for business and not personal use),are eligible for (Closed) Addendum grants. 

    • Q. Are businesses that are generating some income through other activities eligible for the LRSG ?

    A: Para 35 of LRSG FAQ         

    Are pubs that provide a takeaway service eligible for a grant under the LRSG (Closed)?  

    Yes, any business that is required to close the part of its business that provides its main service is eligible for a Closed Grant. This is the case even if the business adapts its business model to provide a reduced service, such as takeaways. We understand that it is not always completely clear if a business has closed the part of its business that provides its main service, however we expect Local Authorities to use their discretion and make this judgement based on their local knowledge.

    • Q. If we can undertake work from home, are we entitled to the LRSG ?

    A: Para 31 of the Addendum FAQ

    If a business is forced to close its property, but employees can work from home, can it receive a grant?

    If, by closing the business’s hereditament, the business is prevented from providing its main service, then it will be eligible fora LRSG (Closed) grant, even if it is able to provide an alternative service through home working. However, if the business can continue to provide its main service through homeworking, then it will not be eligible, but may be able to receive funding through the LRSG (Open) or Additional Restrictions Grant.

    • Consensus Statement on Mitigating Risk to Staff, especially Ethnic minority Groups

    PHE, HSE and FOM have published a consensus statement on the best approach for businesses to reduce the risk of coronavirus for their workers, including those of ethnic minority groups. The core message in this statement  is that:

    • It is the employers’ duty to manage risk in the workplace. Employers have a legal duty to protect all workers from harm by delivering workplace risk management for all staff, regardless of ethnicity or diversity. In this case, an equitable approach recognises that staff may have a variety of baseline risks (for example, their age, sex, deprivation, obesity and diabetes) and, where appropriate, this needs to be considered in the workplace risk management discussion.

    It is therefore important that your members, when developing and implementing Covid risk management strategies, recognise the different members of staff have different risk levels and adapt their strategy accordingly.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-mitigation-of-risks-in-occupational-settings-with-a-focus-on-ethnic-minority-groups/mitigation-of-risks-of-covid-19-in-occupational-settings-with-a-focus-on-ethnic-minority-groups-consensus-statement-from-phe-hse-and-fom

    • New VAT Deferral Scheme

    Businesses that deferred VAT between 20 March and 30 June 2020 have been required to pay the deferred VAT in full on or before 31 March 2021. However, the Government has announced that businesses will be allowed to opt into a new VAT Deferral scheme next year whereby any deferred VAT can be paid in up to 11 installments over the course of the year so that the total deferred VAT is paid by March 2022. The online opt in process will be available in early 2021.

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/deferral-of-vat-payments-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

    • Update to Lockdown Guidance

    The primary guidance on the lockdown has been updated but annoyingly, there aren’t any notes on what has actually been updated – although I can see that they have added a small section clarifying that people can leave to provide voluntary or charitable services, where they cannot do this from home.

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november

    • R Number and Growth Rate

    Latest R number range and growth rate have just been published and are, respectively 1.0-1.1 and 0% to +2%. This is down from the beginning of the lockdown period when they were 1.1-1.3 and +2% to +4% which shows that the lockdown is having the desired effect on transmission rates.

                    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-r-number-in-the-uk               

    • Principles Of Safer Singing

    As a last bit of guidance for the week, the Government has published Guidance on how to sing safely. The principles are:

    • As required by national guidance, people with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, or who are known to have been in recent contact with others who have COVID-19, do not participate in singing or attend singing events.
    • Singing takes place only in larger well-ventilated spaces, or outdoors.
    • Performance or rehearsal is for limited periods of time at a reduced level of loudness, using microphones for amplification if available.
    • Limited numbers of people sing together.
    • Singers are spaced at least 2 metres apart in all directions (at least 1 metre apart if the additional measures or controls recommended in government COVID-19 guidance for the performing arts are applied).
    • If your name is Kurt, it’s safer for everyone if you don’t sing at all

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-suggested-principles-of-safer-singing/covid-19-suggested-principles-of-safer-singing

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

    TIER & TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATES 19 NOV

    New venues required to maintain records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace (England)

    Cinemas, concert venues and theatres have been added to the list of venues that must have a system in place to request and record contact details of their customers, visitors and staff to help break the chains of transmission of coronavirus and support NHS Test and Trace.

    The list of indoor sports and leisure centres has been updated to include gyms.

    Updates the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance

    • Information on what HMRC may deem to be a reasonable excuse for missing a claim deadline has been added to the claim wages through CJRS page. The guidance has also been updated to make it clear that if a claim deadline falls on the weekend or a bank holiday then claims should be submitted on the next working day.
    • The CJRS calculation guidance has been updated to clarify how to work out 80% of employees average earnings between the date their employment started and the day before they are furloughed.

    Travel corridors update for England Wales and Northern Ireland

    • No countries have been removed from the travel corridor list this week.
    • Israel, Namibia, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Uruguay, Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba, The Northern Mariana Islands and the US Virgin Islands have been added to the travel corridor list this week. People arriving from these countries after 4:00am on Saturday 21 November will not need to self-isolate.
    • The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has updated its travel advice to no longer advise against all but essential travel to Israel, Jerusalem, Namibia, Rwanda, Uruguay, Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba, the Northern Mariana Islands and the US Virgin Islands.

    Other Government updates

    • An updated version of the ‘Tips for making a successful Kickstart Scheme application’ document is available for employers.
    • New data for Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) and Future Fund Scheme is available.

    VisitEngland consumer sentiment tracker wave 19

    Field work for the latest consumer sentiment tracker was conducted last week 9-13 November, in this we can see the negative force of England’s lockdown, but also the positive news around the prospect of effective vaccines being available in the near future. 

    Some key points include:

    • People’s moods have received a lift – there is a very significant decline in the proportions feeling ‘the worst is still to come’.  This was at 66% in wave 17, 61% in wave 18 and now resides at 40%. 
    • Confidence remains subdued, there are further declines in the proportions of UK adults claiming to have already planned or booked their next domestic overnight trip (at 10% and 7% respectively). 
    • Just 6% intend to actually take an overnight trip between now and the end of the year (versus 10% last wave)
    • Trip intention for next year appears to be increasing with 13% of respondents anticipating going on a trip sometime between January – March and 35% between April – September (compared with 11% and 30% respectively in last wave’s report).
    • For the first time the South West has dropped off the top spot in terms of the region where people are planning to stay. The South East has moved into pole position for early winter trips. 
    • The national mood has climbed from 6.4 to 6.6/10.
    • Appetite for risk’ is unchanged for the fifth wave in a row at 2.5 out of 4.

    TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 19 NOVEMBER

    • Feedback on LRSG and ARG Applications

    With the LRSG and ARG schemes now open for applications, I want to try to make sure that all tourism businesses are able to access these grants and gain the support they need. If you are receiving reports from members that they are being told that they are not eligible, could you please let me know so I can feed this back and hopefully resolve any problems.

    • ONS Business Impact Research

    The latest wave of ONS research on the impact of coronavirus on UK businesses again highlights how the Tourism and Hospitality industry continues to be the sector suffering the greatest impact. The research, which was conducted prior to the second national lockdown found that:

    • The accommodation and food service activities industry had the highest percentage of businesses with no or low confidence that their businesses would survive the next three months, at 34%.
    • The arts, entertainment and recreation industry had the highest proportion of its workforce on partial or full furlough leave, at 34%, compared with 9% across all industries.
    • Only 63% of Accommodation and food services businesses are currently trading
    • Almost 80% of accommodation and food services businesses and 72% of arts, entertainment and recreation businesses report that trading has declined, compared to just 50% of all businesses
    • 25% of businesses in the accommodation and food service activities industry expecting to close a business site temporarily or permanently in the next two weeks, compared to just 7% of UK businesses as a whole
    • 44% of accommodation and food businesses have less than 3 months cash reserves
    • Just 18% of accommodation and food services businesses have more than 6 months cash reserves

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/business/businessservices/bulletins/coronavirusandtheeconomicimpactsontheuk/19november2020

    • More ONS Research

    A separate piece of ONS research also published today found that

    • 34% of accommodation and food services businesses said they had low or no confidence that their business would survive the next three months compared to just 14% of all UK businesses

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/coronavirustheukeconomyandsocietyfasterindicators/19november2020

    • PHE Weekly Update

    Here’s a link to PHE’s weekly national Influenza and COVID19 surveillance report with all the detailed information about covid cases. Of particular note are the statistics on where covid-related acute respiratory infection (ARI) incidents occurred:

    • 386 incidents were from care homes
    • 78 incidents were from hospitals
    • 261 incidents were from educational settings
    • 156 incidents were from workplace settings
    • 10 incidents were from food outlet/restaurant settings

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/936671/Weekly_Flu_and_COVID-19_report_w47_FINAL.PDF

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

    TIER UPDATE 18 NOV

    Message on behalf of TIER: COVID-19, 18 November

    Transport use during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

    The Department for Transport has updated its report which monitors the use of the transport system during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with this weeks statistics along with an update to its methodology to include information regarding statistics on ship arrivals.

    View the report on gov.uk

    TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 18 NOVEMBER

    • Guidance for Private Hire Vehicles

    The Government has published guidance for operators of Private Hire Vehicles and taxis on how to operate in a Covid secure manner. This includes guidance on:

      • Picking up passengers
      • Operating safely while people are in the vehicle
      • Taking payment at the end of the journey
      • Preparing the vehicle for the next passenger

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-taxis-and-phvs

    • Film on Importance of Ventilation

    As part of the ‘Hands. Face. Space’ campaign, the Government has produced a film highlighting that good ventilation can reduce the risk of coronavirus infection by over 70%. While the film is based on residential properties, it highlights the importance of businesses checking that their ventilation systems are clean and working properly and, where businesses do not have ventilation systems, the advice is to either open windows for short, sharp bursts of 10 to 15 minutes regularly throughout the day or leave windows open a small amount continuously.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-film-shows-importance-of-ventilation-to-reduce-spread-of-covid-19

    • Support for Hostels

    Hostelling is one of the sectors of the UK tourism industry that has been particularly impacted by coronavirus due to the sharing of sleeping, bathroom and kitchen facilities in hostels. The sector has also been hit by the fall in the youth and school travel markets, resulting in bookings being down by over 75%. To help the sector survive, the YHA and Independent Hostels are working together to lobby Government for support and have tabled an Early Day Motion calling on the Government to provide further support for the sector so that it can survive the winter period. When you are talking to local MPs, can you get them to support this by adding their name to the EDM on the link below.

                    https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/57675

    https://livemore.yha.org.uk/yha-news/yha-and-independent-hostels-guide-join-forces-to-lead-the-plea-for-government-to-support-hostelling-community

    • Support for Zoos

    I mentioned the other day that the deadline for the £100m support scheme for Zoos had been extended until the 29th January. However, what had not been addressed in this announcement was the 12 week eligibility criteria which means that zoos are not able to apply for support until they can prove that they have less than 12 weeks of revenue available. This is an arbitrary eligibility criteria that other businesses do have to provide prove of in order to gain support and is causing significant problems for the zoological businesses as it:

      • does not allow adequate planning time for organisations responsible for living animals.
      • inadvertently distorts the sector to the disadvantage of those medium-sized and large zoos with extensive conservation and education functions
      • does not take into account the financial governance and frameworks of most zoos.

    As a result, only 3% of the £100m fund has actually been allocated despite the severe difficulties facing the sector. I’ve attached a copy of a briefing on this issue which includes BIAZA’s three main asks of Government:

      • Urgent reform to the eligibility criterion to remove the 12-week reserves condition and replace it with a criterion based on % revenue loss.
      • Funding within this envelope should be ring-fenced into 2021. This should be for a new scheme with an expanded scope that reflects the broader requirements of the zoo licensing system.
      • Clarity around efforts to support major zoos which have been excluded from support.

    So, again, if you get the opportunity, can you please raise this issue in meetings with MPs and officials so that the zoos can access this funding.

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

    TIER & TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATES 17 NOV

    Please note that during the current period of National restrictions the Visitor Economy guidance has been updated to indicate that:

    "Event spaces, including in conference centres and exhibition halls, can be used for reasons permitted by law, including for business events of up to 30 where reasonably necessary, for education and training purposes where reasonably necessary..."

    Partners should be aware that there is no cap on education and training stated in that position.

    We continue to press for clarity on the regulations/guidance that will be in place once the current national restrictions have ceased, and for a clear position on work activity in non-work venues, as well as clarity on the outstanding questions on working lunches and private dining.

    Clarification regarding Christmas illumination trails during national restrictions. 

    The Government does not wish to see large events taking place that risk lots of people congregating. The new National (No. 4) Regulations enable outdoor recreation following gatherings limits to continue, which includes walking the outdoor grounds of venues with Christmas illuminated trails. 

    The Government is content for these installations to proceed, only if the following conditions are met: 

    • All sites operating Christmas illumination trails will be expected to operate within strict social distancing and COVID-safe guidelines. 
    • Each site must ensure that crowds are controlled, and that there is no singular event that has more people in attendance (e.g. a launch night). 
    • Each site must take measures to ensure that visitors do not congregate around particular installations. 
    • Each site must provide assurance on how visitor numbers will be controlled, and how social distancing will be maintained throughout (e.g. one-way routes, crowd management, etc).
    • Operators will need to ensure that any food or drink provision at these sites is in line with the requirements set out in the Regulations. Please also refer to the Visitor Economy guidance.
    • We would expect operators to make clear that the requirements set out in the Regulations around household groups and linked household groups to be strictly adhered to. 
    • Relevant Local Authorities should ensure that these steps are taken, and will have the power to close these down where the steps above are not taken.

    Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) updated website for financial support for businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19)

    Please see the press notice from BEIS here which indicates that there is £2.2 Billion in grants available to support businesses that have been required to close. 

    BEIS have updated their website with details of how to apply for Local Restrictions Support Grants. This information can be found in the links below: 

    Guidance updates Q&As

    Q. Are voluntary workers classified as workers and can they continue to work on a voluntary basis?
    A. Under the national restriction regulations, voluntary workers are covered by the same exceptions which paid workers are covered by, including general restrictions on leaving the home and gathering. This means where it is reasonably necessary to leave the home in order to volunteer, and where it is not reasonably possible for a volunteer to provide their voluntary services from home, a volunteer is able to continue to volunteer outside of their home. 

    Q. Some wineries and breweries sell directly to the public – can they still do this as a food and drink business?
    A. Yes, these businesses may operate in line with the restrictions around the sale of food and drink. If food or drink is provided for consumption on a premises, then that premises must close. Food or drink, including alcohol, may be provided for consumption off the premises through click and collect or deliveries.

    Q. Can those staying in a hotel for work purposes and who are in work bubbles eat together in the hotel restaurant?

    A. Restaurants and bars within guest accommodation should remain closed; there are no exemptions to this in the regulations. Food and/or drink including alcohol can be provided through room service as long as it is ordered by phone or online. 

    Business Travel and investing or establishing in the EU from January 2021 

    You may be interested in a forthcoming webinar organised by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy at 11am on Wednesday 25 November and then on demand. Register here. This webinar will provide information on the actions you should take to prepare your business for new rules from January 2021 including travelling for business and owning, managing or directing a business in the EU. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions.  

    Changes to tier levels in Scotland

    This afternoon the First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon updated the Parliament on her weekly review of COVID measures and the different tier levels around Scotland. During her update she noted that the restrictions on hospitality were making a positive impact on flattening the curve of infection rates.

    Changes to the tier levels:

    • In 19 local authority areas there will be no change, two areas will move down from level 3, but 11 areas will move from level 3 to level 4 (where the strictest restrictions apply) from 6pm Friday 20 November:
      • The council areas that will move to level 4 from Friday are: the City of Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Stirling and West Lothian. Level 4 restrictions for the 11 areas will be in place for 3 weeks, and will be lifted on 11 December.
      • Orkney, Shetland, the Western Isles, Moray and the Highlands to remain in level 1 from Friday.
      • Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, the Borders, Dumfries & Galloway, and Argyll & Bute will all remain at level 2
      • East Lothian and Midlothian to move from level 3 to level 2 from next Tuesday.
    • The First Minister hopes to ease restrictions around Christmas but this requires reducing the baseline levels of infection.
    • She also announced that the guidance that has only been advisory will become law from Friday.
    • On travel around Scotland:
      • People in level 3 or level 4 areas will not be allowed to go outside those areas unless it is essential.
      • People from other parts of Scotland will not be able to go to level 3 or 4 areas unless it is essential.
      • People in Scotland will not be allowed to travel to other parts of the UK unless it is essential.

    The First Minister confirmed that financial support will be available for businesses that have to close under the new rules. A full list of current COVID protection levels by area in Scotland can be found here.

    Other Government updates

    • A list of local authorities across England issued with rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) tests by the Department of Health and Social Care has been published.
    • Guidance for those managing community centres, village halls and other community facilities on safely re-opening multi-purpose buildings has been updated to reflect the current restrictions.

    Travel industry updates

    • Cunard has opened sales for voyages in 2022.
    • WTTC has confirmed its Global Summit will take place in Cancun, Mexico from 23-25 March 2021, the event will be in a hybrid format, both virtual and in-person.

    TOURISM ALLIANCE – 17 NOVEMBER

    • Input on Tourism Recovery

    At the first meeting of the reconstituted Tourism Industry Council last week, DCMS provided a short presentation on their thinking regarding the development of a Tourism Recovery Plan. As part of this, DCMS are asking for feedback on the following questions:

    • How do we ensure the UK most benefits from pent-up demand once domestic and international travel resumes?
    • The fiscal position: CJRS and reduced VAT have been extended until March, based on the assumptions around reopening, where does that leave a gap in support? When will the sector be able to return to profit?
    • What non-fiscal measures would make the biggest difference in both phases of recovery planning - e.g. domestic regulatory changes?
    • If the return to international travel is phased:
      • which countries should be prioritised for bilateral corridors;
      • which groups should be prioritised - business/ friends & relatives/ leisure - Europe/ worldwide?
    • What action should we be taking now to transform the way the tourism sector works in the UK in the longer term?

    I am developing a Tourism Alliance response to be agreed at next Thursday’s Board meeting so if you have any suggestions that you would like incorporated into this, could you please let me know by this Friday.

    • Future of Aviation Inquiry

    Speaking of input,  please remember that Monday 23rd Nov is the deadline for submissions to the Future of Aviation APPG regarding their inquiry on the impact of coronavirus on the aviation, travel and tourism sectors and what the consequences will be on local and regional economies and the UK economy more widely. The attached briefing document outlines the inquiry in more detail. 

    You can either send me you comments or to submit evidence directly to them at: info@futureofaviationgroup.org.uk

    • Resilience of Performing Arts And Music Sectors

    DCMS has published a survey of 3870 businesses in the arts and music sectors to gauge the state of these sectors. The survey was undertaken between 17 August and 8 September 2020, so it is relatively old now, but the findings were that

    • Almost 40% of performing arts businesses said that they would be unviable within 3 months
    • Almost 50% of music exhibition businesses said that they would be unviable within 3 months
    • 45% of music festivals and events businesses said that they would be unviable within 3 months

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/932735/201104_DCMS_BICS_Round_2_Data_Tables.csv/preview

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

    TIER UPDATE 16 NOV

    Press briefing on testing and vaccines

    This afternoon Health Secretary Matt Hancock gave a press briefing with Professor Jonathan Van Tam Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Dr Susan Hopkins Chief Medical Advisor to NHS Test and Trace. The briefing focussed on  two new ‘mega labs’ which should double current testing capacity, the rolling out of more mass testing – 83 Local Authorities have signed up for lateral flow tests - and the two new vaccines announced today.

    During the Q&A Matt Hancock was asked about the extension of lockdown beyond December 2 –He said it was too early to know what the state of the cases will be at the end of the month. Most of the positive cases we’re getting now are from those infected pre-lockdown so it is not yet possible to see the impact of lockdown yet. They hope to replace lockdown with something similar to the tiered system we saw before November.

    On the Tier system, they said that tier 3 was having an effect on the number of infections in the North West, Dr Hopkins indicated they may need to be strengthened to keep rates down until a vaccine.

    You can watch the full briefing here - https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000q4zr/bbc-news-special-coronavirus-update-16112020

    Travel industry updates

    • Reed Travel Exhibitions has confirmed plans to host an in-person Arabian Travel Market in Dubai 16-19 May 2021 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).

    TOURISM ALLIANCE – 16 NOVEMBER

    • Union Connectivity Review and Call for Evidence

    The government published the terms of reference for a review that Sir Peter Hendy has been asked to undertake on how the quality and availability of transport infrastructure across the UK can support economic growth and improve quality of life for British people. The review will consider:

      • the quality and reliability of major connections across the UK
      • likely current and future demand for transport links
      • the environmental impact of policy options (including with regard to climate change)
      • existing work completed by the government on cross-UK connectivity

    The review will also consider the work across modes to restart and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Aviation Recovery Plan. The intention is to deliver an interim report in January 2021 and a final report setting out recommendations in summer 2021.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/union-connectivity-review-terms-of-reference/union-connectivity-review-terms-of-reference

    Following the publication of the Terms of reference there is also a call for evidence which seeks information on:

      • the importance of cross-border transport links to existing growth strategies
      • appraisal methodologies and how these can support investment in cross-border transport
      • specific journeys with the potential for improvement, and the cost and feasibility of these
      • the potential development of a pan-UK strategic transport network
      • non-physical changes to support cross-border connectivity such as service provision or financial support
      • the social and environmental impact of additional or improved transport links
      • the UK’s ability to deliver a truly national transport strategy
      • the feasibility and need for a fixed link between Northern Ireland and Great Britain
      • any other relevant information

    The call for evidence will run until 30 December 2020. If you have anything you would like to feed in to a tourism alliance response, please let me know.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/union-connectivity-review-call-for-evidence/union-connectivity-review-call-for-evidence

    • Environment Agency Update

    The Environment Agency has updated its guidance clarifying the people should not undertake unnecessary travel on the waterways and that they are not permitted to overnight on any boat that is not their home during the lock-down period.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-environment-agency-update

    • LRSG Query

    With councils opening applications for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) I’m getting a number of queries regarding the eligibility criteria. There seems to have been a template produced for councils and that states the following:

    To qualify, your business must have been:

      • open as usual before the November lockdown restrictions, and
      • providing services in person to customers from the premises, and
      • required to close due to restrictions imposed by government, and
      • paying business rates for the premises before restrictions started

    The question I’m getting is whether the requirement to “provide services in person to customers from the premises” means that various forms of self-catering businesses are not eligible for the grant unless someone is permanently on site. My understanding is that this requirement is to exclude businesses where the customer does not enter the business premises such as OTAs and Head Offices but I’ve asked DCMS to clarify and will confirm that this is the case.

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

    TIER UPDATE 13 NOV

    Tiering restrictions: Please send in feedback on the key changes you would like to see made to the tiering restrictions when they are brought back in. Please share your comments as soon as possible so we can feed them all into the planning process. Please send them to pakling.wan@dcms.gov.uk and cc in TIER@visitbritain.org.

    Tourism bubbles: Please send in feedback you have on whether tourism bubbles for group tours is a good idea and if so how they think it could be made to work (given some of the considerations that were outlined in the meeting including: how this would fit with local tiered restrictions, UK wide?, length of stay, transport mode, source markets,  reciprocity, testing, if any accreditation would be required. For further details please see the minute). Please send feedback to alexandra.brown@dcms.gov.uk and cc in TIER@visitbritain.org

    Northern Ireland to extend current restrictions for another week and reopening

    The First Minister and deputy First Minister have outlined the next steps for Northern Ireland.

    Key points include:

    • The current restrictions will continue for another week.
    • Hospitality will reopen on a graduated basis, with unlicensed premises such as cafes and coffee shops opening on 20 November, with restricted opening hours to 8.00pm. This will not include the purchase or consumption of alcohol on such premises.
    • Support will be provided for mitigations to reduce risk within the hospitality sector, including improved ventilation and requirements for the recording of customer information for contact tracing purposes.
    • Pubs and bars will be permitted to sell sealed off sales on 20 November.
    • The remaining restrictions, which came into being on 16 October, will be extended and come to an end at midnight on 26 November, leaving all elements of hospitality including hotels able to open on 27 November.
    • Additional financial support for affected businesses.
    • A strengthened adherence/compliance working group, which will work to assist and to mitigate risk in the opening up of the hospitality businesses.
    • Close contact services including driving instructors will reopen by appointment on 20 November (can open from midnight on 19th November).
    • Tourism & Accommodation providers remain closed until 27th November with a further review to be made by the NI Executive prior to this date.

    Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance updates

    The guidance has been updated to make it clear that for claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020 employers cannot claim for any days on or after 1 December 2020 during which the furloughed employee was serving a contractual or statutory notice period. Also minor corrections have been made to the maternity allowance section.

    Other Government updates

    • The zoo animals fund guidance has been updated to say that applications can be made for funding until 29 January 2021.
    • New data covering 2-4 November is available for the number of daily visits to DCMS sponsored museums and galleries

    TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 13 NOVEMBER

    • DCMS Answers to Questions

    Another answer to a question that you’ve raised

    Q. Can volunteers still work during the lockdown ?

    A. Yes, volunteers and paid employees follow the same rules and have the same exemptions during the lockdown, so they can travel and stay away from home if they cannot do their work from home.

    • £2.2bn Funding Given to Councils

    The Government has today given the £2.2bn to cover the cost of the Local Restrictions Support Grant and the Additional Restrictions Grant meaning that most councils will open up their schemes next week. As such, tourism businesses should check their council’s website for details on how the schemes will operate in their area.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/businesses-in-england-to-receive-22-billion-to-see-them-through-national-restrictions

    • Guidance to Councils on Grants

    To help businesses put together applications for these Grants I’ve attached copies of the FAQs on the various grant schemes that have been sent to councils regarding how they should operate the grants and discussing eligibility. What is really handy among this is a diagram that shows what grants are available over what periods and at different restriction levels.

    Diagram Link

    There are few key questions that key are worth noting:

    36. Are hotels and other accommodation providers able to access the LRSG (Closed) grant if they remain open to accommodate individuals travelling for work purposes or other exempt purposes (e.g. domestic violence victims)?

    Yes, if a hotel or accommodation business is required to close their main business offering under LCAL 3 they will be eligible for a grant.

    So accommodation businesses are able to claim the Closed Grant even if they provide accommodation for people who are exempt from the restrictions unless providing accommodation to people with these exemptions is they primary offering. There is nothing in the Addendum FAQ that suggests that this isn’t also the case under the Closed Addendum Scheme.

    6. What about retailers who have businesses that have mixed premises and only part of the business is subject to national closures (e.g. locksmith/shoe repairs, restaurant/takeaway)?

    The hereditament will be eligible to receive a grant through the LRSG (Closed) Addendum scheme if the business is required to close its main service. Local Authorities will be required to exercise their discretion and judge whether this is the case based on their local knowledge.

    If a Local Authority deems the closed services to be below the requirement needed for the business to receive a (Closed) Addendum grant, then the business could still receive funding through the Additional Restrictions Grant.

    So if a business is structured in a way that some of it is closed and some of it is open, the Council is to make a decision on eligibility for the Closed Scheme based on a judgement as to what the core service of the business is. For example – takeaway businesses with limited indoor seating would probably be ineligible while Restaurants with a limited takeaway service would be eligible.

    • Calculating CJRS Claims

    The Government has updated the guidance on calculating claims to clarify the information relating to claim period deadlines and timings including a couple of graphics to help visualise the process. Of particular note is that when making your claim:

    • you do not have to wait until the end date of the claim period for a previous claim before making your next claim
    • you can make your claim more than 14 days in advance of the pay date (for example, if you pay your employee in arrears).

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/steps-to-take-before-calculating-your-claim-using-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

    • Coronavirus Support Payments – Penalties For Failure To Notify
    • Following on from an item I sent out a day or two back about HMRC focusing enforcement on businesses that overclaim Coronavirus support payments or fail to repay overpayments, they have just published details of the penalties that will be imposed should they find businesses that have failed to notify them in these circumstances. The penalties are scales on the basis of the size of the undisclosed payment and whether they deem the actions of the business were Non-Deliberate, Deliberate or Deliberate and Concealed and the penalty can be up to 100% of the amount overclaimed.

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/935116/CC-FS11a.pdf

    • The R Number and Growth Rate

    There is some good news regarding the R Number and Growth rate this week in that they have dropped, respectively, from 1.1-1.3 and +2% to +4% last week to 1.0-1.2 and +1% to +3% this week which shows that the lockdown measures are starting to work.

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-r-number-in-the-uk

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

    TIER UPDATE 12 NOV

    The Secretary of State for BEIS, Alok Sharma, gave a press briefing on COVID-19 today, along with Prof Steve Powis of NHS England, in which he confirmed that the Government will be distributing £2.2 billion to local authorities in England tomorrow, to allow them to make grant payments to businesses which have been affected.

    Meanwhile, BEIS has published guidance on five grant schemes.

    Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG (Closed) Addendum)

    The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG (Closed) Addendum) supports businesses in England that have been required to close due to the national restrictions between 5 November and 2 December 2020. Eligible businesses may be entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 28-day period under national restrictions.

    Eligibility

    Your business may be eligible if it:

    • is based in England
    • occupies property on which it pays business rates (and is the ratepayer)
    • has been required to close because of the national restrictions from 5 November to 2 December 2020
    • has been unable to provide its usual in-person customer service from its premises

    Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)

    To supports businesses that are not covered by other grant schemes or where additional funding is needed,  this scheme provides local councils with grant funding to support closed businesses that do not directly pay business rates as well as businesses that do not have to close but which are impacted. In addition, larger grants can be given than those made through Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) .

    Eligibility

    Local councils have the freedom to determine the eligibility criteria for these grants. However, the funding is expected to help those businesses which – while not legally forced to close – are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions.

    This could include:

    • businesses which supply the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors
    • businesses in the events sector
    • business required to close but which do not pay business rates

    The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LSRG (Sector))

    Businesses including nightclubs, dance halls, discotheques adult entertainment venues and hostess bars that have been required to close due to the national restrictions introduced in March 2020, and which have not been able to re-open, may be eligible for this grant. Eligible businesses are entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 14-day period they are closed. This funding is available from 1 November 2020 and is not retrospective. The grant will be based on the rateable value of business owners properties on 1 November 2020.

    Eligibility

    Your business may be eligible if it:

    • is based in England
    • occupies property on which it pays business rates (and is the ratepayer)
    • has been closed since 23 March 2020 because of national restrictions

    Eligible businesses can get one grant per non-domestic property.

    Local Restrictions Support Grant (for closed businesses):

    Businesses in England that were open as usual and were then required to close due to local restrictions (local COVID alert level: Very High) may be eligible for the local restrictions support grant. Eligible businesses are entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 14-day period they are closed.

    Eligibility

    Your business may be eligible if it:

    • is based in England
    • occupies property on which it pays business rates (and is the ratepayer)
    • is in an area of local restrictions and has been required to close because of local restrictions that resulted in a first full day of closure on or after 9 September
    • has been required to close for at least 14 days because of the restrictions
    • has been unable to provide its usual in-person customer service from its premises

    Local Restrictions Support Grant (for open businesses)

    The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG (Open)) supports businesses that have been severely impacted due to temporary local restrictions. Businesses that have not had to close but which have been severely impacted due to local restrictions (local COVID alert levels: High or Very High) may be eligible for LRSG (Open). Eligible businesses may be entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 28-day period under local restrictions.

    Eligibility

    Your business may be eligible if it:

    • is based in England
    • is in an area subject to ‘High’ or ‘Very High’ local restrictions since 1 August 2020 and has been severely impacted because of the local restrictions
    • was established before the introduction of Local COVID alert level: High restrictions
    • has not had to close but has been impacted by local restrictions

    Local councils have the freedom to determine the precise eligibility criteria for these grants. However, the funding is expected to be targeted at hospitality, hotel, bed & breakfast and leisure businesses.

    Travel corridors update

    • Bahrain, Chile, Iceland, Cambodia, Laos, UAE, Qatar and Turks and Caicos Islands have been added to the Travel Corridor list. People who arrive from these countries after 4am on Saturday 14 November, you will not need to self-isolate.
    • The travel ban on Denmark will be extended for a further 14 days.
    • All of Greece will be removed from the travel corridor list (apart from Corfu, Crete, Rhodes, Zakynthos and Kos) from 4am Saturday 14 November, People who arrive into the UK from this destination you will need to self-isolate.

    Extra Bank Holiday to mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022 announced

    Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced plans to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June 2022.The May Bank Holiday Weekend will be moved to Thursday 2 June and an additional Bank Holiday on Friday 3 June will see a four-day weekend to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

      Other Government updates:

    • The latest data for the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund: total payments to businesses by council / region is available.
    • Guidance on how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK has been updated with information on the national restrictions and how they affect the requirements on international arrivals when returning from exempt and non-exempt destinations.
    • From the 5 November,  the NHS Covid-19 app will send alerts if English and Welsh users have been in close contact with users in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Jersey and Gibraltar who test positive. 
    • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance for employers has been updated:
      • The eligibility criteria has been made clearer for employees who are made redundant on or after 23 September 2020
      • Information on re-employed and employees that have a fixed term contract that expired after 23 September.
      • The dates relating to TUPE eligibility have also been corrected.

    COVID-19 Situation update 12 November 2020

    TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 12 NOVEMBER

    • Two Asks From DCMS

    At today’s TIER meeting we were asked for feedback from DCMS on two issues

    • Travel Bubbles

    DCMS is asking for views as to whether some form of travel bubble arrangement could be introduced in the UK to avoid the need for people overseas visitors to quarantine for 14 days. The example given was the travel travel zones that operate between NZ and Australia where people are allowed to visit the neighbouring country provided that they stay in safe zones. A variation on this would be that groups tour around the UK in their own bubble with limited interaction with locals. DCMS are interested in views as to whether such as system in practical, feasible and would be attractive to consumers.  IF you have any comment, please let me know and I’ll feed them in

    https://www.axios.com/australia-new-zealand-travel-safe-zone-covid-714dd4b6-44ea-4b3f-81e1-b3b2f7f26004.html 

    • Changes to Rules and Restrictions

    When England comes out of national lockdown, the 3 Tier system will be implemented again, although we don’t, at the moment, know which areas will be in which Tier on 3rd December. DCMS want to know if there are any rules or restrictions that apply to any of the tiers that could be amended that would help support businesses without compromising the purpose of the tiers in preventing the spread of the disease. For example, the rules on the numbers of people could be amended so that children under the age of 11 are not included or that pubs and restaurants have to stop serving at 10pm but customers can spend 30mins finishing up.

    Again, if you have any suggestions that would support your members, please let me know and I will feed these in.

    • More Questions Answered

    DCMS has provided more answers to your questions:

                    Q. Is there any further information on the Job Retention Bonus? This has caused concern with the larger hotel/tourist groups.

    A. The Chancellor has said that a retention initiative will be reintroduced at an appropriate time but no further detail. We will continue to work with HMT to get more clarity.

                    Q. For rural areas, is there clarification on what is considered acceptable travel for exercise?

    A. While people are allowed to travel in order to exercise, we ask that you minimise the distance you travel. There are no limits on how far you can travel for work where necessary. Travel for recreation and exercise should be kept to a short distance. Travel for permitted purposes, such as essential retail, should be kept within reasonable bounds.

                    Q. Can you self-isolate in a hotel before you have an operation?
                  A. You can stay in a hotel to self-isolate as required by law.

    • Eligibility of Nightclubs, Dance Halls and Adult Entertainment Business for Grants

    New guidance has been produced for these businesses on whether they are eligible for the  LSRG (Sector) Grant. Of particular note is that these businesses are not eligible if they have re-opened as another type of business (eg., a restaurant or bar) since 23rd March 2020 

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-your-nightclub-dance-hall-or-adult-entertainment-business-is-eligible-for-a-coronavirus-grant-due-to-national-restrictions 

    • Updated Lockdown Guidance

    The Government has just published an updated version of the national lockdown guidance but, rather unhelpfully, have not indicated what they have changed in the guidance. I’ve been through it and am struggling to see what has changed. It may just be that they have added a link to the new CJRS that was published yesterday but it is worth checking  the sections that impact your members.

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november

    • Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Holiday

    The Government has announced that to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year, the late May Bank Holiday will be moved to Thursday 2 June and an additional Bank Holiday created on Friday 3 June to create a four-day weekend. The four day celebrations will feature an extensive programme of events throughout the UK which will also help boost tourism recovery.

                    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/extra-bank-holiday-to-mark-the-queens-platinum-jubilee-in-2022 

    • PHE Weekly Flu and COVID-19 Surveillance Reports

    As usual on a Thursday, PHE has published it’s weekly update with all the national and regional data.

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/934810/Weekly_Flu_and_COVID-19_report_w46_FINAL.PDF

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

    TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE 11 NOV

    The Government published the guidance for the extended CJRS last night. The guidance is an updated version of the original guidance with details of how to claim for periods after 1 November 2020.  Of particular note is the reference period for calculating claims is prior to 18th March 2020 for people who were employed before this date. So if employees have taken cuts in hours or pay during since 19th March, this will not impact on their furlough pay. 

    • Main Extended CJRS Guidance

    Some of the key points are

    • You can claim for any employees who were employed on 30 October 2020, as long as you have made a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC between the 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee
    • You do not need to have previously claimed for an employee before the 30 October 2020 to claim for periods from 1 November 2020.
    • Employers can furlough employees for any amount of time and any work pattern
    • For periods from 1 November 2020, you will only need to pay for the cost of employer NICs and pension costs.
    • There is no maximum number of employees you can claim for from 1 November 2020.
    • Employees continue to maintain all their employment rights and accrue holiday pay as previously

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

    • Check Which Employees Can Be Furloughed

    There is separate guidance detailing how the employment status of workers impacts on a businesses ability to furlough them. Some of the key points here are:

    • For employees on Fixed Term Contracts, if fixed term contract has not already expired, it can be extended or renewed for claim periods after 1 November 2020
    • If the employee’s fixed term contract expired after 23 September, they can be re-employed and claimed for as long as the other relevant eligibility criteria are met.
    • Apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and they can continue to train whilst on furlough.
    • For claim periods after 1 November 2020, a new employer is eligible to claim in respect of employees of a previous business transferred if the TUPE or PAYE business succession rules apply to the change in ownership. The employees being claimed for should have been employed by their prior employer on or before 30 October 2020 and transferred from them to their new employer on or before 1 September 2020
    • If you made employees redundant, or they stopped working for you on or after 23 September 2020 you can re-employ them and put them on furlough.
    • The government is reviewing whether employers should be eligible to claim for employees serving contractual or statutory notice periods and will change the approach for claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020, with further guidance published in late November.

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

      Calculate How Much You Can Claim

    This is the online calculator that will help you determine how much you can claim. The key points here are:

    For Employees on Fixed Pay

    • the reference period is the last pay period ending on or before 19 March 2020 for employees who either:
      • were on your payroll on 19 March 2020, that is you made a payment of earnings to them in the tax year 2019 to 2020 which was reported to HMRC on a Real Time Information (RTI) Full Payment Submission (FPS) on or before 19 March 2020
      • you made a valid CJRS claim for in a claim period ending any time on or before 31 October 2020
    • For all other employees, the reference period is the last pay period ending on or before 30 October 2020;

    For Employees’ on Variable Pay

    • who were on your payroll on 19 March 2020, you should calculate 80% of the higher of:
      • the wages earned in the corresponding calendar period in the tax year 2019 to 2020
      • the average wages payable in the tax year 2019 to 2020
    • For all other employees’ you should calculate 80% of the average wages payable between 6 April 2020 (or, if later, the date the employment started) and the day before they are furloughed on or after 1 November 2020.

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/calculate-how-much-you-can-claim-using-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme 

    • How To Claim

    Once you have calculated how much you can claim, there is a separate online portal for making an application. The cut-off dates for claims are:

    Claim for furlough days in

    Claim must be submitted by

    November 2020

    14 December 2020

    December 2020

    14 January 2021

    January 2021

    15 February 2021

    February 2021

    15 March 2021

    March 2021

    14 April 2021

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

    Finally, it is important to note that 30 November 2020 is the last day employers can submit or change claims for periods ending on or before 31 October 2020.

    • Reclaiming Statutory Sick Pay

    The guidance to employers on reclaiming statutory Sick Pay has been updated so that now the repayment will cover up to 2 weeks SSP starting from the first qualifying day of sickness, if an employee is unable to work because they have been advised by letter to shield because they’re clinically extremely vulnerable and at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus. 

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19 

    • Clarification on Reopening Date

    I’ve had a few queries regarding whether England comes out of lockdown on the 2nd or 3rd of December. The end of the lockdown is a 00:01 on Thursday 3rd December – this being 28 days after the lockdown started (5th Nov).

    The lockdown guidance reads: 

    “The new measures will apply nationally for four weeks up to and .” 

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november 

    • Updates to Lockdown Grant Guidance

    The Guidance for Local Restrictions Support Grants and Additional Restrictions Grants has been updated to explain the Local Restrictions Support Grant strands and further explain the Additional Restrictions Grant. However, this update is more directed to Local Authorities on their management of the Grants rather than business eligibility so we await further guidance for businesses on these grants 

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

    • Grants for Accommodation

    One of the most pressing questions that I’ve been getting is whether accommodation businesses are eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) or the discretionary Additional Restrictions Grant. I am continuing to raise this with DCMS and it was again brought-up at today’s Tourism Industry Council meeting. However, DCMS still haven’t received guidance on this from the Cabinet Office but recognise how urgently the industry needs this and will come back to us as soon as possible.

    • Extended CJR Scheme

    I’ve put in a couple of questions to DCMS about the eligibility criteria for this and the base  working hours and pay that are to be used to calculate payments as there are a number of examples of where staff have voluntarily  taken a reduction in hours or pay to retain their positions and if this is taken as the new base for calculating furlough payments it will further lower their already reduced pay and put them into financial difficulty. Hopefully the detailed guidance, when it is published will use the original pre-Covid hours and pay for this calculation.  

    • Kick Start Gateways

    Another update to the Guidance for the Kick Start Guidance to say that requests to be added to the Kickstart gateway list will no longer be accepted after 16 November 2020. However, organisations can still operate as a Kickstart gateway and submit a Kickstart Scheme grant application even if they're not on the list. 

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

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

    TIER UPDATE 10 NOV

    Update on restrictions in Scotland

    Today, the First Minister of Scotland gave a statement on COVID measures to the Scottish Parliament. The FM said that she would review COVID measures on a Tuesday for implementation by Friday. Today was the first of these reviews, however most areas of Scotland are unlikely to see significant changes to any of the measures currently in place. Key points to note are as follows:

    • Fife, Perth & Kinross and Angus local authority areas will move from Level 2 - where they have been since the new levels system was announced - to Level 3 with the change coming into effect from 6am on Friday 13 November. This pdf details what people can and cannot do in TIER 3
    • All other local authority protection levels are unchanged.
    • Within Level 1, those living in Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles will, from Friday, be able to meet one other household inside their homes, up to a maximum of six people. Guidance will be issued for anyone who travels to the mainland to avoid in-home socialising for a period after their return.
    • Those in Levels 3 and 4 should not travel outside their local authority area unless travelling for essential reasons such as work, healthcare, or caring responsibilities, while those in a Level 1 or 2, should not be going into a Level 3 or Level 4 council area, except for those same essential purposes.

    A full list of current COVID protection levels by area in Scotland can be found here.

    The full statement can be viewed here

    Westminster Hall debate on Live Events and Weddings

    Yesterday evening, 9 November, there was a Westminster Hall debate on Live Events and Weddings: Covid-19 Support, held by Elliot Colburn Conservative MP for Carshalton and Wallington. The debate is a result of e-petitions 329339 and 332789, relating to support for live events and weddings during covid-19. A full transcript of the debate can be found here.

    Key points to note from the debate are as follows:

    • Julian Knight, chairman of the DCMS select committee called for bespoke sector-specific support saying “In normal times, those are profitable businesses, with events accounting for half of all inbound UK tourist spend, and for £70 billion in direct funding. My Committee has therefore called for bespoke sector-specific support. The Government have provided that for theatres and arts venues on the brink; they now need to do the same for live events.”
    • The SNP spokesperson, Drew Hendry MP, listed the support that the Scottish Government was providing the sector which, he said, went beyond the Barnett formula. He also called on the UK Government to “live up to the £350 billion promise. Loans are not working for firms that are struggling, especially this winter. They should ramp up support for businesses in England, which is the right thing to do, and allow us to use the Barnett consequentials to support businesses in Scotland.”
    • Paul Scully MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, responded on behalf of the Government stating:
      • On COVID restrictions for live events he noted that DCMS Ministers were in conversation with the creative and cultural sector, including on the development of draft planning guidance for how music festivals might be able to take place in future.
      • As part of the cultural recovery fund, some festivals, dance venues and nightclubs received grants, including the Ministry of Sound and the MADE festival.
      • Some £3.36 million has been shared among 136 venues across England that applied for the emergency grassroots music venues fund, which has supported grassroots venues to survive the imminent risk of collapse.
      • He also listed the existing government support for businesses and individuals  

    Guidance updated for people who work in or run restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes or takeaways

    The guidance for people who work in or run restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes or takeaways has been updated. The update includes:

    • Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services.
    • Sale of alcohol is permitted via pre-order for collection or delivery services only.
    • Anyone who can work from home, should (see section 1.1 of the guidance) and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals should not attend work if they can’t work from home for this period of restrictions (section 2.1 of the guidance).

    Full details can be found on the Gov.uk website.

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

    TIER  UPDATE 9 NOV

    Prime Minister’s press conference 9 November

    The Prime Minister was joined by Jonathan Van Tam and Brigadier Joe Fossey at a press conference this evening.

    • He began by touching on the progress toward a vaccine. He said that the Pfizer vaccine’s results are showing 90% effectiveness, but they have not yet seen the full safety data. If/when it is approved the UK will be ready – they have 40m doses of this particular one (for around a third of the population – two doses per person).
      • If this is successful they will carry out a NHS led roll out of vaccination, prioritising the who gets vaccinated based on scientific advice.
      • The Prime Minister stressed that these were early days, and this news cannot be seen as the only solution.
    • Irrespective of a vaccine or not, more must be done to bring the virus down – mass testing is part of this plan – currently being trialled in Liverpool.
      • The Brigadier provided an update on the programme.
    • Jonathan Van Tam touched on the new vaccine announcement by Pfizer.
      • He warned people to stand fast and not get over excited. The next step would be to see the safety data of the 22,000 people given the vaccine.
      • He doesn’t see this vaccine making any difference to this Winter wave, but it may help prevent future waves. He urged the public not to relax and to continue to comply to restrictions.

    Q&A

    • There was a question about travel around the UK at Christmas – the PM said the more we comply with guidance now, the better all of our chances of a close to normal Christmas are.
    • The final question asked if London would be released from lockdown early due to declining rates in the city. The PM said this progress was due to people following the rules, but in some places the virus is still doubling.

    View the Prime Minister’s full statement.

    New restrictions take place in Wales from today

    A new set of national measures will come into place in Wales today, replacing the firebreak regime. They include:

    • People will only be able to meet people who are part of their ‘bubble’ in their own home; only 2 households will be able to form a ‘bubble’. 
    • People will be able to meet in groups of up to 4 people (not including any children aged under 11) in regulated indoor places, such as hospitality – bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants. No alcohol can be served in any of these venues between 10pm and 6am, and where premises have a licence to sell alcohol they will have to close at 10.20pm.
    • People should avoid non-essential travel as much as possible. There will be no legal restrictions on travel within Wales for residents, but people can only travel into and out of Wales with a reasonable excuse.
    • All retail businesses can reopen, including close-contact services such as hairdressers/barbers and beauty salons.
    • Sport and leisure facilities, including gyms and swimming pools, can reopen.
    • Entertainment venues can reopen. These include cinemas, bowling alleys, skating rinks, museums, galleries, bingo halls, casinos and amusement arcades, but theatres, concert halls and nightclubs are still required to be closed.

    All premises which re-open are required to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risks of spreading the virus. This includes ensuring 2 metre social distancing is observed, restricting numbers, implementing one-way systems or limiting the time people can remain on the premises.

    Read more on the new restrictions in Wales that take place today. You can read FAQs here.  

    Visitors from Denmark barred entry to UK

    From 7 November visitors from Denmark arriving in the UK will be denied entry, due to outbreaks of coronavirus in mink farms, with a variant strain of the virus spreading to some local communities. British Nationals, visa holders and permanent residents who have travelled to Denmark in the last 14 days will have to self-isolate along with their household.

    Those who arrived from Denmark before 4am on 7 November in the last 14 days are asked to self-isolate along with their households. The length of that self-isolation will depend on when travellers were last in Denmark.

    There are no exemptions from self-isolation if arriving from Denmark.

    Other updates

    The Office for National Statistics has released the latest provisional International Passenger Survey (IPS) results covering April, May, June and Q2 2020. The latest figures are available on the VisitBritain website. The key points include:

    • The UK saw 398,000 inbound visits who spent £218 million in Q2 2020, 96% and 97% down on last year respectively.
    • For the year to date, January-June 2020, there has been 7.39 million inbound visits to the UK who spent £4.5 billion 60% and 61% down on the same period last year).                                                                                

    TOURISM ALLIANCE UDPATE – 9 NOVEMBER

    • Denmark Travel Restrictions

    Restrictions on travel into the UK from Denmark have been tightened again as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak on mink farms and the subsequent transmission of this new strain into local communities. From today,

    • Non-UK resident HGV drivers have been added to those restrictions
    • UK resident HGV drivers arriving from Denmark are required to self-isolate on entry to England
    • All passenger vessels and accompanied freight from Denmark will be halted.

    British Nationals and residents who are returning from Denmark will be required to show a complete passenger locator form on arrival into the UK

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/measures-to-protect-england-from-new-covid-19-strain-extended 

    • IPS Figures for Q2

    This will come as absolutely no surprise to anyone but the IPS figures for Q2 (April – June) have been published and show that visitor numbers where down 96% and spend was down 97%. This means that, in just three months, the UK lost over £7bn in tourism-related overseas earnings which supported 110,000 FTE jobs. Here’s the figures from VisitBritain

     

    Q2 2020

    •  

    Year to date

    •  
    •  

    Rolling 12 months (Jul’19-Jun’20)

    •  

    ALL VISITS (000)

    398

    1.  

    7,390

    1.  

    29,550

    1.  

    Spend (£ million)

    218

    1.  

    4,560

    1.  

    21,310

    1.  

    By Journey purpose

               
    •  
    1.  
    1.  
    1.  
    1.  
    1.  
    1.  
    1.  
    1.  
    1.  
    1.  
    1.  
    1.  
    1.  
    •  
    1.  
    1.  
    1.  
    1.  
    1.  
    1.  
    •  
    1.  
    1.  
    1.  
    1.  
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    By Global region

               
    •  

    298

    1.  

    5,225

    1.  

    19,596

    1.  

    North America

    40

    1.  

    834

    1.  

    3,769

    1.  

    Rest of World

    60

    1.  

    1,334

    1.  

    6,188

    1.  
    • Updated Guidance for Restaurants, Bars, Cafés and Pubs

    The Primary Government Guidance for Working Safely During Coronavirus has been updated for Restaurant, bar, café and pub operators to reflect recent changes in Government rules for these businesses. Namely:

    • Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services.
    • Sale of alcohol is permitted via pre-order for collection or delivery services only.
    • Anyone who can work from home, should do so
    • Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals should not attend work if they can't work from home for this period of restrictions

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/restaurants-offering-takeaway-or-delivery 

    • Letter to the Prime Minister on Global Travel Taskforce

    A letter to has been sent to the PM co-ordinated by Airlines UK that the Tourism Alliance has supported, regarding the work of the Global Travel Taskforce. The letter emphasises the need to quickly implement a “test and release” regime to replace the current air corridor system and pointing out that the difference between intervals of a test & release for arrivals from day 1, day 3, day 5 or 7 will make a significant difference in appetite to travel. Research from Visit Britain for example shows that of the top 5 EU countries by visitors, 90% of travellers stayed in the UK less than 7 days. This picture is also stark for our biggest economic partner – the US – with 75% of visitors staying less than 7 nights when travelling to the UK. 

    • Grant Shapps Speech

    Here’s a link to a speech that the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, gave to the Airport Operators Association today. Of interest is that he stated that the Global Travel Taskforce has been making good progress on a ‘test to release’ programme to launch once the UK comes out of lockdown in December. This will consist of a single test for arrivals into the UK which will mean that visitors will be required to undertake self isolation for a much shorter period. The taskforce will report to the Prime Minister very soon, with recommendations how the Government can support the recovery of international tourism and travel and increase consumer confidence.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/speech-to-airport-operators-association-november-2020 

    • Changes to Bounce Back Loans

    The Guidance on Bounce back Loans has been updated to people to top up existing loans, extend the loan period, make interest-only repayments, or pause repayments. Specifically:

    • If you already have a Bounce Back Loan but borrowed less than you were entitled to, from 10 November you can top up your existing loan to your maximum amount. You must request the top-up by 31 January 2021.

    Also, before your first repayment is due, your lender will contact you about further options to:

    • extend the term of your loan to 10 years
    • move to interest-only repayments for a period of 6 months (you can use this option up to 3 times)
    • pause your repayments for a period of 6 months if you have already made at least 6 repayments (you can use this option once)

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-coronavirus-bounce-back-loan


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