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Tourism Alliance Update – 13 January

  • Reduction In Self-Isolation Period

The Government has announced that, from Monday, the isolation period for people who test positive for Covid will been cut to five days in England. This means that people will be able leave isolation from the start of day six after two negative tests. The guidance on this is still to be published so I’ll send it through when I get it.

  Business Impact Survey

ONS has published the results of their latest business impact survey which covers the period from 29th December to 9th January. It shows that while 76.7% of all businesses are fully trading at the moment, accommodation and food services is the sector most impacted by omicron with only 57.6% of businesses trading fully. This is followed by transportation with only 66.3% of businesses trading fully.

 The survey also indicates that 60% of businesses in the accommodation and food sector experienced a decrease in revenue over this period compared to just 32% across all industries. This is followed by the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation sector in which 40% of businesses reported a decline in venue.

 In the survey 11% of businesses reported that they had no cash reserves, while 7% reported low or no confidence they would survive the next three months. This compares to the 26% of businesses having no cash reserves and 40.8% of businesses having low or no confidence in their survival in the Financial Impact survey that we completed this week.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/business/businessservices/bulletins/businessinsightsandimpactontheukeconomy/13january2022

  • Social Impact Survey

ONS has also released another wave of its social impact survey. Some of the key points for the tourism industry are:

    • UK daily flights were 68% of the level seen in the equivalent week of 2020 in the first week of January. The is about 2.5 times the number of daily flights in 2021 which is a step in the right direction.
    • The seven-day average estimate of UK seated diners fell by 48 percentage points in the week to 10 January 2022, to 88% of the level in the equivalent week of 2020; in London and Manchester seated diners fell by 23 and 57 percentage points over the same period

 https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/economicoutputandproductivity/output/bulletins/economicactivityandsocialchangeintheukrealtimeindicators/13january2022

  Scotland Provides £9m to Tourism Businesses

The Scottish Government has announced at £9m financial package for tourism sector businesses impact by Omicron, This funding is split between affected businesses in the following areas:

    • coach operators
    • day tour operators
    • hostels
    • inbound tour operators
    • outdoor/marine
    • visitor attractions

 https://www.gov.scot/news/supporting-the-tourism-sector/

  • New Threshold for Business Rates Switch

One thing that we have been lobbying on for some time is for the Government to introduce a threshold for self-catering rentals that stops second home owners telling councils that their holiday home is a self-catering cottage, getting it put on Business Rates and then claiming Small Business Rates Relief, meaning that they pay no tax on their holiday home.

 DHLUC is will announce tomorrow that they have now closed this loophole. However, they have made a mistake in not aligning the threshold for the days the property must be let with the threshold for HMRC’s Furnished Holiday Letting Rules threshold - which is that a self-catering property must be let for 105 days a year to be considered to be a business.

 Instead DHLUC has set the threshold at only 70 days which causes a number of problems. One of the more interesting ones is that residents in London can legally let their residential property for 90 days a year, meaning that they will still be able to escape paying council tax.


Tourism Alliance Update – 12 January

  • Countries Will Approved Vaccine Programmes

The guidance on which countries people can arrive from under the approved proof of vaccination has been updated to state that people from Albania, Andorra, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Israel, Jersey, Moldova, Monaco, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Panama, Turkey can use EU DCC to add proof of vaccination status in the UK passenger locator form.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/countries-with-approved-covid-19-vaccination-programmes-and-proof-of-vaccination


Tourism Alliance Update – 11 January

  • Guidance Businesses On Testing updated

The guidance to employers has been updated to reflect the change in policy from today on the need to take PCR tests if you test positive using a lateral from test.

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

The new guidance is:

If any of your workers get a positive rapid lateral flow test result but do not have any of the main symptoms of COVID-19, they should report their result and self-isolate. They do not need to take a follow-up PCR test unless:

    • they want to claim the Test and Trace Support Payment
    • they have a health condition that means they may be suitable for new COVID-19 treatments
    • they are taking rapid lateral flow tests as part of research or surveillance programmes, and the programme asks them to do so
    • they are an international arrival and have a positive day 2 rapid lateral flow test

They can end self-isolation after 7 days, following 2 negative rapid lateral flow tests taken 24 hours apart. They should not take the first rapid lateral flow test before day 6.

               This change in the guidance is also reflected in the updated guidance to the public.

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

  • Self-Employment Income Support Guidance Updated

The guidance for Self-Employed people claiming SEISS funding has been updated to include a new section for people who have still not made a claim because of either:

    • An HMRC error
    • Other exceptional circumstances

People who have not made a claim because of these reason have until 28th February to contact HMRC and explain why they’ve not been able to make a claim. When they contact HMRC they will need their:

    • National Insurance number
    • Unique Taxpayer Reference
    • Answer further questions related to why they have been prevented from making a claim

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/return-to-your-claim-for-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme


RE: One Industry One Voice - future plan presentation on Wednesday 12th January - IMPORTANT REMINDER

appy New Year! As we closed off the first working week of 2022 we're still in HNY mode at OIOV virtual HQ. Hopefully everyone managed to get a decent break and stay healthy too, despite the incredible numbers being generated by Omicron.   

Talking of numbers and data just a quick reminder to everyone who has yet to see the ‘OIOV 2022 and Beyond plan’ presentation to join us on 12th  January 2022 for one of the 3 identical 1 hour sessions –  repeated at 10am, 1pm, 3pm (see below for links). 

Thank you in advance for your feedback and input on these developing plans which is invaluable, as it helps ensure that the needs of the industry are being used for the benefit of all event professionals across the 7 main sectors.

12th Jan 2022 - Future OIOV plan presentation – choose one time to join the repeated presentations: 10am, 1pm or 3pm and just use the corresponding links to join on the day.

 January 12th – 10am Session: 

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.

When: Jan 12, 2022 10:00 AM London

Topic: One Industry One Voice supporters

 Please click the link below to join the webinar:

https://smyle-co-uk.zoom.us/j/97527891724

Or One tap mobile : 

    United Kingdom: +442039017895,,97527891724#  or +442080806591,,97527891724# 

Or Telephone:

    Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):

        United Kingdom: +44 203 901 7895 or +44 208 080 6591 or +44 208 080 6592 or +44 330 088 5830 or +44 131 460 1196 or +44 203 481 5237 or +44 203 481 5240 

Webinar ID: 975 2789 1724

    International numbers available: https://smyle-co-uk.zoom.us/u/acGvEnUTKq

  

January 12th – 1pm Session: 

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.

When: Jan 12, 2022 01:00 PM London

Topic: One Industry One Voice supporters

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

https://smyle-co-uk.zoom.us/j/93458638610

Or One tap mobile : 

    United Kingdom: +443300885830,,93458638610#  or +441314601196,,93458638610# 

Or Telephone:

    Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):

        United Kingdom: +44 330 088 5830 or +44 131 460 1196 or +44 203 481 5237 or +44 203 481 5240 or +44 203 901 7895 or +44 208 080 6591 or +44 208 080 6592 

Webinar ID: 934 5863 8610

    International numbers available: https://smyle-co-uk.zoom.us/u/adG2uYG2Kf

 

January 12th – 3pm Session: 

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.

When: Jan 12, 2022 03:00 PM London

Topic: One Industry One Voice supporters

 Please click the link below to join the webinar:

https://smyle-co-uk.zoom.us/j/96051225321

Or One tap mobile : 

    United Kingdom: +442080806592,,96051225321#  or +443300885830,,96051225321# 

Or Telephone:

    Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):

        United Kingdom: +44 208 080 6592 or +44 330 088 5830 or +44 131 460 1196 or +44 203 481 5237 or +44 203 481 5240 or +44 203 901 7895 or +44 208 080 6591 

Webinar ID: 960 5122 5321

    International numbers available: https://smyle-co-uk.zoom.us/u/advxop99Py


Tourism Alliance Update - 7 January

  • Change In Testing Rules For Travel Into England

The guidance has been updated to show that from today, people who qualify as fully vaccinated do not need to take a COVID-19 test before travel to England.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-testing-for-people-travelling-to-england

  • Omicron Hospitality And Leisure Grants Allocations and ARG Third Tranche

The spreadsheets on the Gov.uk website have now been updated to show the new allocations Councils for each of these grants. I have attached the spreadsheet so you can send them out to members and they can assess the funding available from their local council.

One point of interest is that the ARG spreadsheet shows that a number of Councils did not receive the second tranche of ARG funding in May because they failed to disperse their existing grant allocations by the Government deadline – which means that businesses in these areas were denied financial support because of failings by their council. Councils in this category seem to include Southend on Sea, Exeter, Epping Forest and North Lincolnshire.        

Here is a copy of the press release that goes with these allocations

                https://www.gov.uk/government/news/businesses-most-impacted-by-omicron-variant-to-benefit-from-over-700-million-as-government-delivers-funding-to-local-authorities

  • Wales Stays At Alert level 2

At their latest review, the Welsh Government has decided that the country will stay at Alert level 2. This means that people must:

  • Wear a face covering (unless there is a reasonable excuse not to wear one) in all indoor public places, including when not seated in a pub, café or restaurant. 
  • Meet no more than five other people at a café, restaurant, pub or other public premises (unless with their household of a larger number). This applies to both outdoor and indoor areas of the premises. 
  • Work from home if they can. 
  • Self-isolate for seven days if they test positive for COVID-19. People should take a lateral flow test on day six and day seven. If either test is positive they should remain in isolation until two negative lateral flow tests or after day 10, whichever is sooner. 
  • Not take part in an organised event indoors of more than 30 people or outdoors for more than 50 people. All organised events must be organised by a responsible body and have a risk assessment.

https://gov.wales/people-asked-keep-wales-safe-alert-level-2-measures-stay-place

  • Social Impacts of Coronavirus

The latest wave of ONS’s survey on the social impacts of Coronavirus have been published. This is more interesting that usual as it covers the Xmas period which the survey being undertaken between the 15th December and 3rd January. Some of the results which show the impact on tourism and hospitality businesses are:

    • Only 29% of people said that they were meeting up with family or friends in restaurants, pubs, bars or cafes (down from 34% previously)
    • Only 13% said that they were going to a Christmas market (down from 22% previously)
    • 35% said that they expect it would take more than a year for life to return to normal (interestingly, only 20% said that at Xmas in 2020 when vaccines were first being rolled-out, indicating that people are more pessimistic than they were a year ago).

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandthesocialimpactsongreatbritain/7january2022

  • Accommodation Registration Call For Evidence

With DCMS’s call for evidence on accommodation registration due out soon, I thought is would be worthwhile highlighting a new Research briefing from the House of Common Library which collates a wealth of information on the short-term lettings sector and the issues involved.

https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-8395/CBP-8395.pdf

  • R Number And Growth Rate

This week’s R number and Growth Rate are, respectively, 1.2 to 1.5 and +3% to +6% which demonstrates the speed with which the Omicron variant is going through the population. By comparison, the figures were only 1.0 to 1.2 and 0% to +3% last week.

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


Message on behalf of TIER: COVID-19 update 5 January 2022

In England, Plan B will continue for a further three weeks. Rules such as work from home where possible will continue as well as wearing face coverings on public transport and most public indoor places. People are still advised to take a COVID test before going to high-risk settings or meeting the elderly or vulnerable.

The UK Government has also announced the following re: international travel:

From 4am Friday 7 January:

  • If you qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England, and you will arrive in England after 4am, Friday 7 January, you do not need to:
    • take a COVID-19 test before you travel to England
    • quarantine when you arrive in England

From 4am Sunday 9 January:

  • If you qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England, and you will arrive in England after 4am, Sunday 9 January, you can choose to take a lateral flow test instead of a PCR test after you arrive in England.
  • If you take a lateral flow test and test positive, you will need to self-isolate and take a free confirmatory PCR test.
  • You must book the test before you travel to England. You can book lateral flow tests from 4am Friday 7 January.
  • You cannot use a lateral flow test until after 4am, Sunday 9 January. Before 4am Sunday 9 January, you must use a PCR test after arrival.

The fully vaccinated rules also apply to children aged 17 and under, people taking part in an approved vaccine trial, and people who are unable to have a vaccination due to medical reasons.

Read more about who qualifies as fully vaccinated.

If you arrive in England before 4am, 7 January, you must follow the current rules for fully vaccinated people.

The rules for people who do not qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England will remain the same.

Please see the latest guidance on travel to England from another country for the full details. The Prime Minister’s statement today is available here.

In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced:

  • People who test positive for COVID will be allowed to exit self-isolation after seven days if they have no fever and record two negative lateral flow tests.
  • Household contacts of people with the virus will be allowed to take tests rather than going into quarantine if they have had the booster shot.
  • Expected that restrictions on large gatherings and the requirement for physical distancing and table service in hospitality venues will continue until 17 January at the earliest.

See the latest news on self-isolation and testing changes in Scotland.


Tourism Alliance Update – 5 January 2022

Firstly – Happy New Year to everyone. I hope you managed to get into a bit of relaxing over the Xmas break and are ready for what new year has is stall for us.

Before embarking on today’s announcements, there is good news in that the New Year’s Honours List recognised some of the really hard work that’s going on behind the scenes in supporting businesses in the tourism sector, specifically:

  • Malcolm Bell, CEO of Visit Cornwall received an MBE for Services to the tourism industry
  • Samantha Richardson, CEO of the National Coastal Tourism Academy received an MBE for her work in supporting businesses through the pandemic

Both very deserved awards for many years of service to the sector.

On more prosaic matters …

  • Removal of Pre-Departure Testing

The Prime Minister has announced that from 4am on Friday the requirement for pre-departure testing for people travelling overseas from England will be scrapped in order to help facilitate overseas travel. He also announced that the requirement to self-isolate on arrival until receipt of a negative PCR will also be removed for those arriving into England and will be replaced with the need to undertake a lateral flow test no later than the end of Day 2. If this test is positive, the person will then need to have a PCR test in order to identify any new variants entering the country.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-statement-to-the-house-of-commons-on-covid-19-5-january-2022

  • Confirmatory PCR Tests To Be Temporarily Suspended

The UK Health Security Agency has announced that, from 11 January, it is suspending the requirement for people who test positive using a lateral flow test to then take a confirmatory PCR test. Anyone who receives a positive lateral flow test result should still report their result on GOV.UK and must self-isolate immediately. After reporting a positive LFD test result, they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace so that their contacts can be traced.

There is, however, an exception to this revised approach that employers should be aware of when communicating this change to staff. That is:

    • people who are eligible for the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment (TTSP) will still be asked to take a confirmatory PCR if they receive a positive LFD result, to enable them to access financial support.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/confirmatory-pcr-tests-to-be-temporarily-suspended-for-positive-lateral-flow-test-results

  • City Of Culture Application Guidance

For those interested, DCMS has published the application guidance for the 2025 City of Culture competition.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-city-of-culture-2025-full-guidance-for-long-listed-bidders/uk-city-of-culture-2025-full-application-guidance


Tourism Alliance Update – Omicron Grant Guidance

The Guidance on the new Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant and the additional ARG Grant have been published.

  • Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant

The grant eligibility is largely the same as previous grants to hospitality and leisure businesses. The key features are:

    • Businesses with a rateable value of up to £15k will get £2,667
    • Businesses with a rateable value above £15k but less than £51k will get £4,000
    • Businesses with a rateable value over £51k will get £6,000
    • Leisure business are defined as a business that provide opportunities, experiences and facilities, in particular for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events and days and nights out
    • Retail businesses, coach tour operators, and tour operators are specifically excluded from the scheme (from this and the list of eligible businesses below, it would seem that Travel Agents have also been excluded but I need to check this)

The list of eligible businesses is:

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https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1044354/omicron-hospitality-and-leisure-grant-guidance.pdf

  • Additional Restrictions Grant

The new guidance for the additional £102m ARG funding is also very similar to the previous guidance. This third top-up is being allocated to councils on a per business basis, as per previous tranches. Some of the key features are:

    • Unlike previous tranches, councils are not allowed to use this new funding for business support activities so all funding must be given to businesses as grants payments.
    • All ARG funding, including this tranche, need to be dispersed by 31 March 2022
    • Businesses must self-certify that they meet all eligibility criteria and Local Authorities must verify the evidence provided as part of prepayment checks
    • Councils are specifically encouraged to provide funding for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care, the travel and tourism sector, including group travel, travel agents and tour operators, coach operators, wedding industries, nightclubs, theatres, events industries, wholesalers, English language schools, breweries, freelance and mobile businesses (including caterers, events, hair, beauty and wedding related businesses), gyms, and other businesses that may have not received other grant funding.
    • There is no restriction on the number of grants a business may receive, subject to subsidy limits.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1044351/additional-restrictions-grant-la-guidance.pdf


COVID-19 update 23 December 2021

Please see below the latest COVID-19 – Omicron updates.

Northern Ireland restrictions announced

The Northern Executive agreed yesterday the following restrictions:

From 06:00 on 26 December:

  • Nightclubs will close.
  • Dancing in all hospitality venues will not be allowed.  (Does not apply to weddings or civil partnership celebrations)
  • All indoor standing events will not be allowed.

From 06:00 on 27 December,

  • There will be a legal requirement for businesses to take reasonable measures to achieve 2m social distancing in office spaces or, where this cannot be achieved, to provide alternative mitigations.
  • There will be a statutory duty on businesses to take reasonable measures to promote compliance with face coverings requirements, with a grace period until 7 January before enforcement is implemented.
  • There will be a legal duty on businesses to take all reasonable steps to minimize transmission of the spread of the virus, with a grace period until 7 January before enforcement is implemented.
  • People will be required to be seated in all indoor hospitality settings with a maximum of 6 people, or 10 people from a single household, allowed at a table.  (Children aged 12 and under are not counted in the total. This requirement does not apply to weddings or civil partnership celebrations.)

Indoor seated and all outdoor events can proceed and it is strongly recommended that face coverings should be worn, LFD tests should be taken before attending events and there should be no multi-household travel in the same vehicle.

The Executive is currently developing a financial support package and will be reconvening next week. It has said that it will take into account any further interventions that may be required.

Read the full statement to find out more.

Nightclubs to close in Scotland

It has been confirmed that nightclubs in Scotland will close from 27 December, although premises will have the option of opening to operate with table service and physical distancing, in line with the requirements for other hospitality businesses. This will be reviewed in 3 weeks.

Other news

  • The latest round of the Culture Recovery Fund is open for applications, with the application window extended by a week to 18 January. Funding is also available via Arts Council England to support freelancers affected by the pandemic. This is alongside a contribution from the theatre sector which will provide grants to the Theatre Artists Fund, Help Musicians, and £200,000 to a-n, the Artists Information Company, a charity for visual artists which will distribute support to freelancers over the coming weeks.
  • Scottish Government announces that £21m from the £100m fund announced last week is to be allocated to culture and event organisations and freelancers.
  • More details on Wales Emergency Funding have been published (https://gov.wales/written-statement-120m-emergency-support-businesses). The funding will take the form of three elements: (i) Non Domestic Rates (NDR) linked grants of up to £6,000, (ii) a discretionary fund to support sole traders, freelancers and businesses who don’t pay rates, with grants of £500 - £2000, and (iii) the reopening of the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund (ERF).

COVID-19 update 22 December + Tourism Alliance Update.

Please see some relevant COVID updates from today.

New measures to be introduced from 6am on Boxing Day in Wales

A revised version of alert level 2 measures (https://gov.wales/strengthened-measures-to-keep-wales-safe-as-omicron-strikes) are to be put in place in Wales. From Boxing Day, this will mean:

  • A general requirement of 2m social distancing in all premises open to the public and workplaces, where reasonable.
  • The rule of 6 will apply to gatherings in regulated premises, such as hospitality, cinemas and theatres.
  • All licensed premises will need to take additional measures to protect customers and staff, including table service and collecting contact details.
  • Face coverings will be required in hospitality settings at all times apart from when seated.
  • Large events will not be allowed indoors or outdoors. The maximum number of people who can gather at an indoor event will be 30 and 50 outdoors.
  • There will be an exception for team sports, up to 50 spectators will be able to gather, in addition to those taking part. There is also an exception for events involving children.

New measures announced last week for workplaces and retail will now come into force on Boxing Day. Nightclubs will also close on Boxing Day.

£120 million will be available for nightclubs, retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses affected by the move to alert level.

Read the press release to find out more. https://gov.wales/strengthened-measures-to-keep-wales-safe-as-omicron-strikes

Changes to self-isolation rules in England

From today, if people have tested positive or have symptoms, they can stop self-isolating after 7 days instead of 10 days if they get 2 negative lateral flow test results on day 6 and 7 - with tests taken 24 hours apart.

There is no change to the guidance for unvaccinated contacts of positive COVID-19 cases, who are still required to self-isolate for 10 full days after their date of exposure to the virus.

Read the press release.

Tourism Alliance Update – 22 December

  • Self-Isolation Reduced From 10 To 7 Days

The Government has announced that, from today, people who receive negative LFD results on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period – with tests taken 24 hours apart – will no longer have to self-isolate for the full 10 days. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period.

Those who leave self-isolation on or after day 7 are strongly advised to limit close contact with other people in crowded or poorly ventilated spaces, work from home and minimise contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID- 19.

This will be of benefit to businesses facing staff shortages as a result of employees having to self-isolate as a result of Covid.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

  • Events And Attractions Guidance Updated

The primary guidance for events and attractions businesses has been updated to include:

    • changes to the guidance on face coverings
    • working from home
    • testing and self-isolation
    • Information has been added on COVID status checks, which are now legally required in some venues and events.

                https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19/events-and-attractions

  • New Restriction In Wales

The Welsh Government has announced a series of new restrictions that will come into place from Boxing Day. These include:

    • A general requirement of 2m social distancing in all premises open to the public and workplaces, where reasonable.
    • The rule of 6 will apply to gatherings in regulated premises, such as hospitality, cinemas and theatres.
    • All licensed premises will need to take additional measures to protect customers and staff, including table service and collecting contact details.
    • Face coverings will be required in hospitality settings at all times apart from when seated.
    • Large events will not be allowed indoors or outdoors. The maximum number of people who can gather at an indoor event will be 30 and 50 outdoors. There will be an exception for team sports, up to 50 spectators will be able to gather, in addition to those taking part. There is also an exception for events involving children.
    • There will also be a separate offence for large gatherings – more than 30 people indoors or 50 people outdoors – in private homes and gardens.

https://gov.wales/strengthened-measures-to-keep-wales-safe-as-omicron-strikes

  • Transport Use

The weekly DfT figures have been published and show the impact of the requirement for people to work from home. Use of the Rail Network and tubes in London is down to just over 50% from about 65% the week before. Interestingly, the passengers figures for buses, in and out of London are still holding up  at about 75%.

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

  • Financial Impact Survey

And finally, can I ask you to continue to ask your members to complete the Financial Impact Survey. We have had almost 1700 replies so far and, speaking to DCMS today, the information gathered from it has provided incredibly valuable in their advocacy work across Government and the Treasury.

The survey will remain open until 10th January and the link is: https://forms.gle/FMppJCjXcjVMCJK2A


TIER: COVID-19 update 21 December + Tourism Alliance Updates and follow-ups

Please see below today’s TIER and Tourism Alliance updates including details on factsheets on new funding and statutory sick pay.

Furthermore:

Following on the Tourism Alliance update distributed earlier today on the Chancellor’s new support package please note that we are advised that:

Please find attached the consolidation of data shared by Kurt from Event businesses from the Financial Impact Survey.

Additionally, just in case you missed it in yesterday update, please see the two new FAQs relating to the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme:

Q: If a policyholder opted to reschedule their event for commercial reasons (eg: An artist is unable to perform at the event) would the policyholder be required to pay a new premium for the rescheduled event?  
A) The Scheme Rules would not require further premium to be paid unless the total sum insured was increased, and would allow the existing policy to continue to apply to the postponed event (subject to the requirements of the Scheme applicable to events and postponed events generally, such that the event is not prohibited from occurring on the date to which it is postponed). However, the insured should confirm with the participating insurer whether the terms of the insurance permit such a postponement for commercial reasons, or require further premium to be paid to the insurer (at which point, the insurer would be required to pay further premium under the Scheme). Note that the Scheme would not cover costs incurred for the original event, as it was postponed for commercial reasons rather than because of UK Civil Authority restrictions in response to Covid.

Q: Can I claim for the costs I have incurred in order for my event to legally take place in light of new restrictions, for example the introduction of covid certification?
A) Costs incurred in order to legally operate in accordance with published restrictions would not be ineligible under the Scheme, provided insurance was purchased prior to the new restrictions being announced and the extra costs incurred to legally operate do not exceed the losses avoided (i.e. the losses that would have arisen if the event had instead been postponed or cancelled). 


Tourism Alliance Update - £1Bn Support Package

You will have seen on the news that the Government has announced a £1bn fund to support Hospitality and Leisure Businesses. This fund comprises:

  • £683 million for grants for hospitality and leisure businesses in England comprising one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises for eligible businesses
  • £102 million top-up for the additional restrictions grant for local authorities to support other businesses
  • £30m for the cultural recovery fund to support theatres and museums
  • £154 million for Scotland and Wales via the Barnett funding
  • There is also a statutory sick pay rebate scheme which will reimburse employers in the UK with fewer than 250 workers for the cost of paying statutory sick pay for Covid-related absences for up to two weeks.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/1-billion-in-support-for-businesses-most-impacted-by-omicron-across-the-uk


Tourism Alliance Coronavirus Update - 20 December + live Events reinsurance Scheme Q&As Update 

Here’s today’s update, which comes on the back of the Prime Minister announcing that at today’s Cabinet Meeting it was agreed that the Government would keep Covid data under constant review rather than imposing any new restrictions.

  • Some ARG Funding Still Available

The latest figures for the amount of ARG funding provided to councils and the amount that they have allocated have been published. These figures show that there is still £253m that, on 28th November, had not been distributed to businesses.

Therefore it is worthwhile for businesses to look to see if their council is one of the ones that still has funding available. As an example,

    • Westminster council still has £6m in unallocated funds
    • East Devon has £1m
    • Cambridge as £500k
    • Portsmouth has £1.2m
    • City of York has £1m

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

  • Furlough Repayment

HMRC has updated the guidance on furlough repayments with a new section on what businesses need to do if they need more time to work out what they owe. Basically they have to contact HMRC and let them know that they:

    • may have claimed too much
    • will pay the money back when you’ve worked out what you owe

To do that they’ll need their:

    • Employer PAYE reference number
    • Corporation Tax Unique Taxpayer Reference number
    • Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference number (if you’re not registered for Corporation Tax)

They must then tell HMRC the amount they owe as soon as they reasonably can and pay it back within 30 days of receiving a payment reference number. If they don’t do this, they may have to pay back all or part of the grant and pay a penalty. The penalty charge could be as much as the amount of grant they were not entitled to receive or keep.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pay-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-grants-back

  • Test And Trace Payment Scheme

The guidance on the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment for eligible staff and the self-employed has been updated to take into account changes to self-isolation exemptions

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

  • Travel Guidance Updated

The guidance on travelling to England has been updated with regard to children aged 4 and under. The updated guidance states that these children do not have to take any COVID-19 travel tests but, on arrival into England, they must quarantine until their responsible adult receives their day 2 test result back.

                https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-to-england-from-another-country-during-coronavirus-covid-19

                While we are on the subject of testing and travel, the safer travel guidance for passengers has been updated with people aged 5 and over. The updated guidance is that

Anyone aged 5 years and over who has been identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 and who is not legally required to self-isolate is now strongly advised to take a rapid lateral flow device (LFD) test every day for 7 days or until 10 days since their last contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19 if this is earlier. If any of these LFD tests are positive then you should self-isolate in order to protect other people.

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

DCMS Update: Live Events Reinsurance Scheme - upcoming end to grace period

Please click

for the latest FAQ for the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme.

This includes two new FAQs this week, which I thought may be useful to pass on: 

Q: If a policyholder opted to reschedule their event for commercial reasons (eg: An artist is unable to perform at the event) would the policyholder be required to pay a new premium for the rescheduled event?  
A) The Scheme Rules would not require further premium to be paid unless the total sum insured was increased, and would allow the existing policy to continue to apply to the postponed event (subject to the requirements of the Scheme applicable to events and postponed events generally, such that the event is not prohibited from occurring on the date to which it is postponed). However, the insured should confirm with the participating insurer whether the terms of the insurance permit such a postponement for commercial reasons, or require further premium to be paid to the insurer (at which point, the insurer would be required to pay further premium under the Scheme). Note that the Scheme would not cover costs incurred for the original event, as it was postponed for commercial reasons rather than because of UK Civil Authority restrictions in response to Covid.

Q: Can I claim for the costs I have incurred in order for my event to legally take place in light of new restrictions, for example the introduction of covid certification?
A) Costs incurred in order to legally operate in accordance with published restrictions would not be ineligible under the Scheme, provided insurance was purchased prior to the new restrictions being announced and the extra costs incurred to legally operate do not exceed the losses avoided (i.e. the losses that would have arisen if the event had instead been postponed or cancelled). 

 


Message on behalf of TIER: COVID-19 update 17 December + Tourism Alliance Update 

Please find the latest updates for Wales and Scotland below.

 A two-phase plan to manage COVID-19 in Wales

On 16 December the First Minister set out a two-phase plan to respond to the delta and omicron variants. This is comprised of strong guidance for the Christmas period, followed by new restrictions from 27 December.

In the run up to Christmas, the Welsh Government is also strongly advising everyone to follow five measures:

  • Get vaccinated – and if you’ve had your booster appointment, please make attending your priority.
  • If you’re going out, going Christmas shopping or visiting people – flow before you go. Take a lateral flow test. If it’s positive – don’t go out.
  • Meeting outdoors is better than indoors. If you’re meeting indoors make sure it’s well ventilated.
  • Space out your socialising – if you’ve got events arranged, please leave at least a day between them.
  • And don’t forget about social distancing, wearing a face covering and washing your hands.

On 27 December new legal restrictions will come into force. In a written statement on 17 December the Welsh Government clarified that these restrictions will draw on elements from the alert level two regime. This will include:

  • A 2m social distancing rule in offices
  • Extra measures to protect staff and customer such as one-way systems and physical barriers
  • The closure of nightclubs

A new fund for businesses

The Welsh Government also announced that up to £60 million will be available to support businesses impacted by the new restrictions.

Statement given by the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

In a statement today, Nicola Sturgeon urged people to stay at home much more than they normally would, and stay at home as much as they can in the run up to Christmas and then after Christmas, for all to go back to limiting contacts.

She also confirmed that the £100 million to support businesses affected by COVID-19 and the restrictions would be broken down as follows:

  • £66 million for the hospitality sector
  • £8 million to the food and drink supply chain impacted by hospitality cancellations (including wholesalers)
  • £20 million for the culture sector
  • £3 million for the wedding sector
  • £3 million for the worst impacted areas of the tourism sector, including international inbound operators

New Scottish Government guidance for the tourism and hospitality sector was also published on 16 December to help businesses identify and take reasonable measures to reduce transmission in their premises.


Tourism Alliance Update – 17 December

  • Financial Impact Survey

Thank you to everyone who has sent out and responded to the Financial Impact survey. I’ve received over 1,000 responses so far which is excellent. The key findings for the Tourism and Hospitality Sector as a whole are:

    • 50% of businesses have seen a fall in revenue of at least 50% in December
    • 58% of businesses have experienced at least a 25% cancellation rate this month
    • Over 40% have experienced 25%+ cancellations for Jan-Mar
    • 47% have booking levels that are down by more than 25% for Jan-Mar
    • 24% of businesses have no cash reserves, and another 31% have only 1-2months of reserves
    • 11% of businesses say that they are very likely to fail and a further 29% say that they are quite likely to fail

Please keep the responses coming in as this will allow us to build up a better picture of sectoral and regional impacts.

  • Scottish Industry Support Announced

The breakdown of the £100m industry support package in Scotland has been announced. It is:

    • £66 million for eligible hospitality businesses
    • £20 million for the culture sector
    • £8 million for food and drink supply chain businesses including wholesalers
    • £3 million for the wedding sector
    • £3 million for the worst affected businesses in the tourism sector, including international inbound tour operators

https://www.gov.scot/news/gbp-100-million-support-for-businesses/

  • Kickstart Scheme

Not that many businesses in the sector are looking at taking on staff at the moment but it is worth noting that the Kickstart Scheme has now closed for new applicants.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/kickstart-scheme-closure

  • Societal Impacts

The latest release of ONS’s ongoing Societal impacts survey have been released. The survey was for the period 1-12th December so are before the latest restrictions and the key findings are:

    • 39% of people say they do not expect life to return to normal for more than one year
    • 56% of adults are very or somewhat worried about the impact of the pandemic on their lives
    • 32% of people worked from home at some point even before the guidance for everyone to work from home

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandthesocialimpactsongreatbritain/17december2021

  • Visits to Museums

DCMS has published the visitor figures for the national Museums and galleries for the period July – Sept 2021 when all restrictions had been removed over the summer. Even without restrictions, there were only 5m visits in total over this period which is just 35% of what they were in 2019.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/museums-and-galleries-monthly-visits

  • Furlough Scheme Guidance Updated

There have been updated to two sections of the guidance on the Furlough Scheme – dealing with what you need to do if you find an error when filing your tax return and how to fffset an amount you've overclaimed.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pay-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-grants-back

  • New Guidance And Restrictions in Wales

The Welsh Government has issued new guidance for over the Xmas period and new restrictions that will come into place on 27th December

The guidance is:

    • If you’re going out, going Christmas shopping or visiting people – flow before you go. Take a lateral flow test. If it’s positive – don’t go out.
    • Meeting outdoors is better than indoors. If you’re meeting indoors make sure it’s well ventilated.
    • Space out your socialising – if you’ve got events arranged, please leave at least a day between them.
    • Don’t forget about social distancing, wearing a face covering and washing your hands.

After Christmas, on 27 December new legal restrictions will come into force, to help protect against the spread of the omicron variant. These include:

    • A 2m rule on social distancing in shops and offices
    • Putting extra measures in place to protect customers and staff, such as one-way systems and physical barriers.
    • Nightclubs must close

The Welsh Government has announced up to £60m will be available to support businesses affected by the new restrictions.

https://gov.wales/new-advice-keep-wales-safe-christmas

  • R Number And Growth Rate

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that the R Number and Growth Rate have increase from last week. The new numbers are, respectively, 1.0 to 1.2 and 0% to +2%

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


TIER: COVID Update 16 December

From 15 December you are not legally required to self-isolate if you are notified you have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and any of the following apply:

  • you’re fully vaccinated
  • you’re below the age of 18 years and 6 months
  • you’ve taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • you’re not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

If you are aged 5 years and over and have been identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19, but are not legally required to self-isolate, you are strongly advised to:

  • take an LFD test every day for 7 days, or until 10 days since your last contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19 if this is earlier
  • take this daily LFD test before you leave the household for the first time that day

The government have updated their guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars, nightclubs and takeaway services, as well as for shops, branches and other close contact services in accordance with these changes to isolation requirements.

A shortened window for lateral flow tests in Wales

On Wednesday 14 December, Welsh Health Minister Eluned Morgan informed the Senedd that people using lateral flow tests to qualify for an NHS COVID Pass in Wales must now have a negative test result no older than 24 hours. This tightening of the previous 48-hour window brings Wales in line with the new regulations in England.

VisitEngland Domestic Sentiment Tracker

VisitEngland’s latest Domestic Sentiment Research has been published. Omicron variant’s first case was announced on 24 November, which was between the November and December waves fieldworks. December fieldwork consequently gathered the fresh reactions and changes in public’s views, attitudes and, relevant for us, intentions to travel. Overall, the views on the current situations became a bit more negative (as would be expected), and confidence in the ability to travel is also lower, due to anticipated restrictions at the time (new travel restrictions announced on the 7 December).

Key take-outs are as follows:

  • The national mood has declined slightly in December, currently at 6.6/10.
  • 29% of UK adults believe the ‘worst has passed’ with regards to Covid-19, which represents and decrease of 6%, since November.
  • Our ‘Appetite for Risk’ score declined slightly by 0.1, and it’s now at 2.8 out of 4. As for individual activities, the largest decreases are in ‘shopping in your local shopping centre’, ‘visiting a busy city centre’ and ‘travelling by public transport’.
  • 51% said they are very/fairly confident they will be able to take a domestic trip by the end of this month, which decreased by 12% compared to November.
  • 32% said they are very/fairly confident they will be able to take an overseas trip by the end of this month, which is representing a decrease of 12%.
  • The majority of January UK trips have already been planned, with around 3 in 10 (29%) already booked.  Generally, overseas trips are likely to be booked closer to the travel date than UK trips.
  • The top three barriers for domestic trips are: 1. Personal finances, 2. Restrictions on travel from government and 3. UK weather.
  • The top three barriers for overseas trips are: 1. Restrictions on travel from government, 2. The risk of quarantine, 3. Personal finances.
  • When asked to compare next 12 months trips intentions to the past 12 months intentions, 31% of UK adults expect to take more domestic trips (Nov: 30%) and 21% expect to take more overseas trips (Nov: 20%).
  • 55% intend to take domestic trip in the next 12 months (Nov: 55%), while 44% intend to take an overseas trip (Nov:41%).

Tourism Alliance Coronavirus Update - 16 December

  • Updated Wedding Guidance

The guidance on weddings has been updated to bring it into line with the new rules

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-wedding-and-civil-partnership-ceremonies-receptions-and-celebrations

  • The Guidance For People Vaccinated Overseas Has Been Updated

This document provides clinical advice, following consideration of whether additional doses would be beneficial to enhance protection. The advice given in this document may differ from the requirements for supplementary doses in order to obtain certification for travel or domestic purposes.

 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1041438/covid-19-vaccination-of-individuals-vaccinated-overseas.pdf

Guidance For People With Animals Updated

This guidance will be of interested to attractions with animals including zoos, petting farms and farm stay operations.

 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-people-with-animals

  * Covid Restrictions For Entering France

The Foreign Travel Advisory for France has been updated to reflect the restrictions on travel from the UK to France. From Saturday 18 December, all those wishing to travel from the UK to France, regardless of vaccination status, will need to meet criteria defined by the French authorities that the travel is essential. French and EU nationals, as well as residents in France, are exempt. The full list of what constitutes essential travel is on the French Government website (in French).

 All travellers must present a negative PCR or antigen test result taken within 24 hours pre-departure. Upon arrival in France you must self-isolate for 48 hours, after which time a negative PCR or antigen test is required to exit self-isolation. Without a negative test result you will be required to self-isolate for 7 days. Arrivals must provide contact details, including the address they will be staying at, to the French authorities via an online form. In addition, travellers must provide a completed ‘sworn statement’ (déclaration sur l’honneur) form self-certifying they are not suffering from symptoms associated with coronavirus and have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the preceding fortnight. This can be found on the French government’s website.

 https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_source=a3c7475a-3136-4fcc-b82d-050263ad6589&utm_content=immediately

  • Financial Impact Survey (as circulated earlier yesterday)

We have been asked to help DCMS assess the impact of the move to Plan B and the Omicron variant on the Tourism And Hospitality Sectors. As such I have put together a survey for you to send to your members with the questions that DCMS would like information on in order to build a case for Government intervention.

DCMS has put a completion date of 10th January but we need to get as many responses as soon as possible help with lobbying activities before the Xmas break. Therefore, can you ask your members to complete the survey as soon as possible. I will be undertaking the first analysis of results on Monday so if we can get as many responses as possible before then, that would be greatly appreciated.

Here is the link to the survey - https://forms.gle/i5vjc5ivNV7Aofbc7


Tourism Alliance Coronavirus Update - 15 December

  • Transport Figures

This week’s DfT survey of transport use has been published and, slightly surprisingly, does not indicate a significant change in the use of public transport. The figures for National Rail are not available by the bus and tube use figures are still the same as they have been over previous weeks at, respectively, 65% and 75% of normal.

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

  • Exemptions From Travel Restrictions

The guidance on those jobs that qualify for an exemption to travel restrictions has been updated with further guidance for people in international organisations granted privileges and immunity in the UK

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules#international-organisations-granted-privileges-and-immunities-in-the-uk

  • Updated Guidance for Security Industry

An updated version of the guidance for workers in the security industry has been published.  This contains important Q&As on situations where staff are required to ask customers for their Covid Pass or proof of vaccination. The guidance is that any staff member can check a Covid Pass or proof of vaccination, a person would need a SIA license to stop a person entering the premises if they try to force entry.

5.9 If it is a requirement for people entering the premises to present proof of vaccination, should the person who controls this access be SIA licensed?

We are of the view that simply checking a vaccination certificate and denying entry if a valid certificate or exemption is not presented, is not an activity for which an SIA licence is required. It is comparable to denying entry to a person without a ticket for admission to, for example, a music gig.

If an individual who has been denied entry then attempts to force entry to the premises, a person who guards against such unauthorised access would require an SIA licence.

In addition, where someone checking a vaccine passport combines it with the activity of judging the suitability of people entering the premises (for example, by making a decision as to the behaviour of a person, whether a person is underage or is intoxicated, or is carrying weapons or illegal substances) they will be engaged in licensable conduct for which an SIA licence is required.

It is not licensable conduct to check vaccine certification, to deny entry if a valid certificate or exemption is not presented, and/or to guard against unauthorised access to premises, if both of the following apply:

    • the person who is doing this activity is directly employed by the premises
    • those premises are not licensed to sell alcohol

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-and-the-private-security-industry-faqs/covid-19-and-the-private-security-industry-faqs

  • Test And Trace Guidance Updated

The Test and trace Guidance has been updated to say that contacts of people who have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) who are not legally required to self-isolate are advised to take daily lateral flow device (LFD) tests for 7 days. If any of these tests are positive, they should self-isolate and arrange to have a PCR test. This also applies to contacts of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

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


Message on behalf of TIER: COVID Update 14 December

Removal of travel red list for England

In a statement today Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced that all 11 countries will be removed from the red list, effective from 4am Wednesday 15 December.

 All current testing requirements for travellers remain in place and are due to be reviewed in the first week of January. All travel measures will be kept under review and new restrictions may be imposed should there be a need for this to protect public health. At the time of writing, this red list and travel announcement applies to England only.

 Guidance changes for meeting in indoor settings in Scotland

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today announced a change to guidance in Scotland. The guidance has been updated on reducing social interaction at home or in indoor public places to a maximum of three households at any time, with everyone encouraged to take a lateral flow test before meeting.

The Scottish Government also announced that a £100 million financial package will be made available for eligible businesses. This fund has been allocated to enhance adherence to public health measures and support businesses in the hospitality, food supply and culture sectors that have lost bookings during this key trading period.


Tourism Alliance Coronavirus Update – 14 December

  • International Covid Pass for 12-15 Year Olds

The Government has announced that fully vaccinated 12 to 15 year olds are now able to access a NHS COVID Pass letter for international travel. However, children remain exempt from certification in domestic settings and at the UK border

              https://www.gov.uk/government/news/nhs-covid-pass-for-12-15-year-olds-for-international-travel

  Public Guidance Updated

The main guidance for the public has been updated with new guidance on daily testing for contacts of positive cases, and removal of out of date information on self-isolation for contacts of Omicron cases.

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

  Cruise Ship Passenger Locator Form Guidance Updated

The guidance for people undertaking Cruises has been updated to say:

 If you will be visiting or returning to the UK on an international cruise, you need to complete a passenger locator form. You must do this either:

    • in the 48 hours before boarding – if the cruise lasts 19 days or less
    • during the cruise - if the cruise lasts longer than 19 days

When you complete the passenger locator form you must include all the countries that you have been in in the 10 days before arriving in the UK. This includes all the countries where the cruise ship docked, regardless of whether you disembarked in those countries or not. You must complete the passenger locator form even if you are only transiting through the UK.

 You do not need to complete a passenger locator form if either:

    • you are on an international cruise, but you will not leave the ship at any point in the UK
    • you are on a cruise that begins in and only calls at ports in the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man

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

 Further Measures  and Support In Scotland

The First Minister has announced that, from midnight on Friday, new measures will be introduced to stem the flow of transmission, keep businesses and services open, and protect against pressure on health services.

                Further guidance on the additional measures announced by the First Minister will be published by the end of the week. These include:

    • Businesses, service providers and places of worship asked to take all reasonable measures to avoid crowding, encourage wearing of masks and support distancing in their premises
    • Guidance to ensure that people who can work from home, do so - for those in sectors where working from home is not possible, regular testing with lateral flow tests should be undertaken
    • Reinforcement of protective measures in retail and other settings including distancing, managing customer flows, and protective screens
    • Reinforcement of protective measures in hospitality settings including collection of contact tracing information and measures to reduce crowding
    • Guidance to increase mask wearing in outdoor crowded areas such as Christmas markets or festive celebrations

 She also announced £100 million of additional funding to ensure the Self-Isolation Support Grant is available to those who need it, and a £100 million financial package for eligible businesses in the hospitality ,and food supply and culture sectors that have lost crucial bookings over the Xmas/New Year period.

 https://www.gov.scot/news/new-measures-required-to-slow-the-spread-of-coronavirus/

 Guidance For School Coach Operators Updated

The guidance for coach operators who are undertaking work for schools has been updated with regard to daily testing for close contacts. The new guidance states that:

Daily testing of close contacts applies to all contacts who are:

    • fully vaccinated adults – people who have had 2 doses of an approved vaccine
    • all children and young people aged 5 years to 18 years and 6 months, regardless of their vaccination status
    • people who are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
    • people who are taking part, or have taken part, in an approved clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine.

 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1040798/Transport_to_schools_and_colleges_14_Dec.pdf

  • All Countries Removed from Red List

               The Health Secretary informed Parliament that from 4am tomorrow, all eleven countries on the Red List will be removed from 4am tomorrow morning.

              The guidance on this has not yet been published so here is the link to the statement in Parliament

              https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/health-and-social-care-secretary-oral-statement-on-covid-19--2


Tourism Alliance Coronavirus Update – 13 December

  • Accommodation Primary Guidance Updated

The primary guidance for accommodation businesses has now been updated regarding the wearing of facemasks in public areas. The guidance is essentially the same as when previous rules on wearing masks were in place, Specifically this means:

    • Staff and other workers must wear face coverings when they are working in any indoor area that is open to the public and where they are likely to come into contact with a member of the public.
    • If there is a barrier, such as a screen, between workers and members of the public, staff behind the barrier or screen are not required to wear a face covering.
    • Staff are not required to wear face coverings when they are in areas that aren’t open to the public (such as a back office) or are unlikely to come into contact with the public (such as maintenance staff working in cordoned-off areas).
    • Staff are not required to wear face coverings when they are in hospitality facilities (such as restaurants and bars), and other areas which are mainly being used for eating or drinking (such as a room or area hired for a drinks reception).
    • A face visor or shield may be worn in addition to a face covering but not instead of one. This is because face visors or shields do not adequately cover the nose and mouth, and do not filter airborne particles.
    • If any of your staff work in close contact with guests (such massage therapists, security staff, beauticians), or work in contaminated areas (such as cleaners and housekeeping staff) you should also think about whether they need additional protection or personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
    • People can take off their face covering when they have a good reason to remove it (a ‘reasonable excuse’). For example, people can take off their face covering when they are eating or drinking in any area. They must put their face covering back on when this reason no longer applies (when they have stopped eating or drinking).

The Primary Guidance for Attractions and Events will be updated shortly along the same lines.

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

  • ACAS Working from Home Guidance

ACAS has produced new guidance for employers on managing staff who are working from home or have asked to work from home. The topic included in the guidance include:

    • Having a homeworking policy
    • Employees requesting to work from Home
    • Pay and terms and conditions

https://www.acas.org.uk/working-from-home?utm_source=acaswebsite&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=WFH

  • Boosters for Those Over 18

With over 40% of workers in the tourism and hospitality sectors being under 30, it is important for businesses to encourage their staff to get a booster shot to greatly improve their resistance to the Omicron variant

    • From today, adults over 30 will be able to book online
    • From Wednesday all over 18s will be able to book online

Here is the link to the booking page

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

  • Testing Before Travel To England

People who arrive in England from Ethiopia after 4am Thursday 16 December will need proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

               https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-testing-for-people-travelling-to-england

  • VB Launches New Inbound Tour Operator Fund

VisitBritain has launched a new £300,000 grant scheme for Inbound Tour operators and DMCs. This is open to businesses that fit the following criteria:

  • Develop new Britain itineraries with a focus on extending the holiday season that taps into international source market demand.
  • Have those new itineraries included in the 2022 consumer programmes of international tour operators in the target markets of France, Germany and The United States.
  • Deliver marketing activity, involving third party media buy, to promote those new Britain itineraries to consumers in each of the markets stated above.
  • Evidence value added through marketing via its own channels and, where applicable, those of international tour operators.
  • Provide post-campaign evaluation results showing the actual value (monetary GBP equivalent) and volume (number) of consumer bookings made as a direct result of this activity bringing incremental visitors to Britain in 2022.

Payments of between £20,000 and £40,000 will be awarded to support sales and marketing activities delivered through an in-market tour operator and include activities, such as:

  • Media buy with a third party media owner.
  • Creative content development undertaken by a third party (limited no more than 10% of the grant award)
  • Other third party marketing costs may be considered at the discretion of VisitBritain (i.e. third party bespoke email development or targeted data purchase) but approval must be obtained prior to entering into spending commitments with the third party.
  • PR or social media agency fees (limited to no more than 15% of the grant award).
  • B2B2C communication activities through third party tour operators and travel agencies.
  • Sales incentives to tour operators’ preferred sellers.
  • Destination training.
  • Production of new content, either digital or in print format, within tour operators’ programmes.

https://www.visitbritain.org/dmc-and-inbound-tour-operator-amplification-distribution-fund


Guidance on COVID-19 Status Checks At Venues And Events

Please see below a Tourism Alliance update on Covid certification.

Please also note this message from James Howarth relating to the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme:

Thank you for coming along to the call with our DCMS Events Insurance team last month and for your help in spreading the word within the sector. I imagine you are all well aware, but I thought it would be worth flagging that the initial grace period of the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme will soon end. Currently, cover can be purchased as late as one day before the event is scheduled to take place. However, after 15 December 2021, cover must be purchased no less than 8 weeks before the event is due to occur. For events between 16 December 2021 and 10 February 2022, the cut off date to purchase cover is 15 December, 2021. If of interest to your members, click  this update for further details on how to apply (with the full scheme rules detailed here). Any questions please contact James Haworth james.haworth@culture.gov.uk


Tourism Alliance Updates – 10 December

  • Guidance For Transport Operators Updated

The guidance for transport operators has been updated with more details as to the requirement for passengers to wear face coverings and the exemption for transport staff

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-transport-guidance-for-operators/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-transport-guidance-for-operators#face-coverings

  • Updated Guidance About Testing Before Events

The primary guidance for the public on the new restrictions has been updated to say that people are strongly advised to take tests as late as possible before attending the event, ideally within 12 hours.

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

  • New Guidance On Applying for Event Reinsurance

A new guidance document has been published on how businesses can apply for the Event Reinsurance Scheme. The guidance states that:

Anyone wishing to purchase cover can apply to the Scheme by approaching their usual broker who will guide them through the application process. Applicants that do not have a broker can contact BIBA (British Insurance Brokers Association) at enquiries@biba.org.uk or LIIBA (London & International Insurance Brokers Association) at enquiries@liiba.co.uk who will offer support in finding a suitable broker. BIBA also has a list of recommended brokers on their website.

For any further questions, please contact the scheme administrator at liveevent@marshcommercial.co.uk

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/live-events-reinsurance-scheme/applying-to-the-live-events-reinsurance-scheme

  • Wales – Change In Regulations

The Welsh guidance on the COVID Pass has been amended to advise that a lateral flow test should be taken within 24 hours, rather than 48 hours. The Welsh Government has also published guidance for students preparing to leave college and university for Christmas, which recommends that they test before travel and are making three changes to the regulations to:

    • Clarify that people face coverings must be worn in theatres, cinemas or concert halls (except when eating or drinking or when at in-house cafes or bars)
    • Require face coverings to be worn during a professional driving lesson or practical test;
    • Remove proof of natural immunity from the domestic version of the Covid Pass.

The changes on face coverings will come into force on Saturday 11 December. The changes for the Covid Pass will come into force on Wednesday 15 December to match those in England.

https://gov.wales/written-statement-review-health-protection-coronavirus-restriction-no5-wales-regulations-2020-17

  • Wales International Inbound Tourism Fund

Staying with Wales, the Government there has announced a Inbound Tourism Fund designed to support the sector recover, remain resilient and ensure maximum wider visitor economy impact by enabling recipients to build on their existing itineraries to develop and promote updated programmes and packages. It will focus on:

•             increasing Spend

•             regional Spread and

•             extending the tourism Season.

The idea is to generate a suite of new and updated sustainable inbound itineraries, language courses and bookable programmes, alongside destination promotion aimed at starting to recover Wales’ profile and business from international markets from Spring 2022 onwards. This is a competitive fund with a limited overall budget of £400,000. Awards will be for a minimum of £3,000 (including for sole traders), to a maximum of £50,000 for companies demonstrating typical high turnover.

Awards will be allocated to eligible companies according to an agreed programme of activity against set criteria, considered most likely to promote resilience and economic recovery for tourism in Wales in a sustainable and responsible way.

Businesses that can apply are:

    • Destination Management Companies
    • inbound tour operators
    • Professional tourist guides (Blue or Green Badge)
    • English language schools

https://businesswales.gov.wales/

  • R Number And Growth Rate

This week’s R Number and Growth rate are 0.9 to 1.1 and -1% to +2%. This is essentially the same as the previous two weeks so we are yet to see any real impact from the Omicron variant at this stage.

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


Tourism Alliance Updates – 9 December

  • Updating Of Primary Guidance

There has been some updating of the primary guidance for tourism businesses but unfortunately it is not progressing as fast as we would like so please treat the notice at the top of the guidance as an indication as to what the body of the guidance will say when it’s been updated.

I’ve had an ongoing conversation with DCMS today about the need to get the detailed guidance  as soon as possible and they are in the same position as us in waiting for the Cabinet Office to sign it off.

Hotel and  Guest Accommodation

This has been updated with a notice at the front of the guidance stating

    • From Friday 10 December, face coverings will be legally required in most public indoor venues, including public areas of hotels and guest accommodation facilities.
    • From Monday 13 December, office workers who can work from home should do so. Anyone who cannot work from home should continue to go to the workplace.
    • From Wednesday 15th December, certain businesses and some events are required by law to check the COVID status of workers and customers, using the NHS COVID Pass. This includes unseated indoor events with 500 or more attendees, unseated outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees and any event with 10,000 or more attendees. To enter or work in these venues and events, customers and workers must provide proof that they are fully vaccinated or have tested negative in the last 48 hours (unless they are exempt from these requirements).          

However, there is yet to be any update to the body of the guidance to provide more detail on this.

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

                Events and Attractions

                Similarly with this guidance, it’s been updated with a notice at the beginning that is essentially the same as for accommodation businesses except that the guidance for 10th December states:

    • From Friday 10 December, face coverings will be legally required in most public indoor venues, including some types of events and visitor attractions, such as theatres and cinemas.

Again, the body of the guidance has yet to be updated

                https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19/events-and-attractions

                Restaurants, Pubs. Bars Etc

                This guidance is the same with just a notice attached at the beginning which is a variation of that on other guidance:

    • From Friday 10 December, face coverings will be required by law in some public indoor settings, such as theatres and cinemas (but not in hospitality settings)
    • From Monday 13 December, office workers who can work from home should do so
    • From 6am on Wednesday 15 December, certain businesses and events will be required by law to check the COVID status of workers and customers using the NHS COVID Pass

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19/restaurants-pubs-bars-nightclubs-and-takeaway-services

  • NHS Covid Pass Guidance Updated

The Covid Pass guidance has been updated to say that, from 9 December, if you live in England and have had one or more of your COVID-19 vaccinations administered overseas, you can have your vaccination details added to your NHS Record. You can then generate an NHS COVID Pass for domestic use and international travel if you meet certain certification requirements. This can be done if you’ve had one or more of the following vaccines:

    • Moderna
    • AstraZeneca
    • Pfizer
    • Janssen

To do this, people must book an appointment to register their overseas vaccinations which can be done through a link in the guidance.

                https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-covid-pass#residents-in-england-who-have-received-covid-19-vaccinations-overseas


Tourism Alliance Update – 9 Dec: Updated Guidance

The Government has published the first of the updated guidance related to the move to Plan B 

 Wearing Face Coverings

From Friday 10 December the public, and staff in public facing areas, are required to wear face coverings in these additional settings:

    • community centres (including village halls), youth centres, members clubs and social clubs
    • libraries and public reading rooms
    • polling stations and premises used for the counting of votes
    • places of worship
    • crematoria and burial ground chapels
    • visitor attractions and entertainment venues (museums, galleries, cinemas, indoor theatres, concert halls, cultural and heritage sites, indoor areas at aquariums, zoos and visitor farms, bingo halls, snooker and pool halls, amusement arcades, adventure activity centres, indoor sports stadiums, funfairs, indoor theme parks, casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor play areas including soft-play areas)
    • public areas in hotels and hostels
    • indoor areas of sports stadiums

 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own 

 Public Guidance Updated

The main public guidance has also been updated in line with yesterday’s announcement. This guidance also contains a list of premises where people are exempt from wearing facemasks, which are:

    • Restaurants, cafés and canteens
    • Bars and shisha bars
    • Gyms & exercise facilities
    • Photography studios
    • Nightclubs, dance halls and discotheques

 It also contains a list of the places where having a NHS Covid Pass will be a condition of entry. These are:

    • nightclubs, dancehalls and discotheques
    • other late night dance venues. These are any other venues that are:
      • open between 1am and 5am
      • serve alcohol during this time
      • have a dancefloor (or designated space for dancing)
      • provide music, whether live or recorded, for dancing.
    • indoor events with 500 or more unseated attendees, where those attendees are likely to stand or move around for all or part of the event, such as music venues with standing audiences or large receptions
    • outdoor events with 4,000 or more unseated attendees, where those attendees are likely to stand or move around for all or part of the event, such as outdoor festivals and any events with 10,000 or more attendees indoor or outdoor, such as large sports and music events

Message on behalf of TIER: COVID-19 update 8 December

This afternoon Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a press briefing announcing that England will be moving to plan B, while continuing to work closely with the Devolved Administrations

In light of the recent travel restrictions and today’s announcement, we will be holding a TIER meeting on Monday 13 December. We will confirm the time and dial in details tomorrow.

In the meantime, the measure announced include: 

  • The re-introduction of guidance for everyone who can to work from home. This will be introduced from Monday 13 December.
  • From Friday 10 December, face coverings will become compulsory in most public indoor venues, such as cinemas, theatres and places of worship. There will be exemptions in venues where it is not practical to wear one, such as when you are eating, drinking or exercising. For that reason, face masks will not be required in hospitality settings.
  • From Wednesday 15 December (subject to parliamentary approval) the NHS Covid Pass on the NHS App will become mandatory for entry into nightclubs and settings where large crowds gather, including:
    • Unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people       
    • Unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people
    • Any venue with more than 10,000 people.

The NHS Covid Pass can still be obtained with two doses but we will keep this under review as the boosters roll out. Having considered the evidence since the emergence of Omicron, proof of a negative lateral flow test will also be accepted.

The Prime Minister also outlined as Omicron spreads in the community daily tests for contacts will be introduced instead of isolation. People are being advised to test using a lateral flow device, particularly before entering a high-risk setting involving people you wouldn’t normally come into contact with, or when visiting a vulnerable person. Lateral flow devices remain free of charge and can be collected from local pharmacies.

The government will keep the data under constant review. The regulations set to expire six weeks after implementation, with a review after three weeks. Guidance on GOV.UK will be updated to reflect these changes in the coming days.


Tourism Alliance Update – 8 December

Prime Minister's Announcement of Plan B

  • Move to Plan B

Here is a link to the Prime Minister’s announcement of a move to Plan B. The main points are:

    • From Monday, the Government will reintroduce the guidance to work from home. Employers should use the rest of this week to discuss working arrangements with their employees
    • From this Friday, Government will further extend the legal requirement to wear a face mask to most public indoor venues, including theatres and cinemas.
    • There will be exemptions where it is not practical, such as when eating, drinking, exercising or singing.
    • NHS Covid Pass will be mandatory for entry into nightclubs, and venues where large crowds gather including
      • unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people,
      • unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people
      • and any venue with more than 10,000 people.
    • NHS Covid Pass can still be obtained with two doses but we will keep this under review as the boosters roll out.
    • Daily tests will be introduced for people who have had contacts instead of isolation

 https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-opening-statement-at-covid-19-press-conference-8-december-2021

               There will obviously be a raft of guidance to follow over the next few days to provide details on these measures, so I’ll keep you up-to-date as they are issued.

 Accommodation primary Guidance Updated

The primary guidance for accommodation businesses has been updated with changes to the sections on

    • priority actions
    • self-isolation
    • face coverings
    • testing and vaccination
    • guests who need to self-isolate
    • guests who are quarantining after international travel.

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

  Approved Countries and Territories Guidance Updated

There has been an update to the guidance on  countries and territories with approved COVID-19 proof of vaccination for travel to England to state that people arriving into England from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Latvia and Ukraine can now use the EU Digital COVID Certificate to add proof of vaccination status in the UK passenger locator form.

       https://www.gov.uk/guidance/countries-with-approved-covid-19-vaccination-programmes-and-proof-of-vaccination

         There is also an update to say that people aged 12 years and over must COVID-19 test before they travel to England from abroad.

        https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-to-england-from-another-country-during-coronavirus-covid-19

         And that the requirement to take a COVID-19 test has changed from within 3 days of travel to England to within 2 days.

        https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-list-of-countries-and-territories

         And that people just transiting through England now need to have a Covid Test prior to arrival into the country

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

 Visa Guidance Updated

The Home Office has updated the guidance on visa applications to remove the ability for people in Red List countries to use the ‘priority service’ or ‘super priority service’ when applying to enter the UK.

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

 Wedding Guidance Updated

The guidance on holding weddings has been updated to take into account or current requirements introduced in response to the Omicron variant. The main change to say that In indoor settings where a face covering is not legally required, people should continue to wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed settings where they come into contact with people they do not normally meet.

              https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-wedding-and-civil-partnership-ceremonies-receptions-and-celebrations 

 Transport Use

It’s Wednesday so we have the DfT figures on transport use which cover the first full week of the new face covering rules. While the figures show that national Rail usage has dropped 10% (from 72% to 62%) there has been no measurable impact on the use of the tube or buses which remain constant at around 60% and 77% respectively.

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


Tourism Alliance Updates + Letter to Secretary of State

The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP

Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

2 Marsham Street

London

SW1P 4DF

6 December 2021

Dear Secretary of State

Allocation of £1.5bn Business Rates Relief Fund for business affected by COVID-19

We are writing to you to seek reassurances that the £1.5bn Business Rates Relief Fund announced on 25th March 2021 will be allocated to businesses in accordance with statements by Chancellor and the Housing Secretary that it will be targeted towards those businesses most impacted by COVID-19.

Tourism and the visitor economy is one of the country’s largest industries, comprising 3.4m employees in 303,000 businesses spread across in every constituency and generating over £150bn per annum for local communities.

It is also the sector of the economy that has been most impacted by the global pandemic. Estimates by VisitBritain and industry analysis show that over the last two years the tourism sector has suffered a decline in revenue of over 70% and modelling undertaken by DCMS indicates that tourism revenue will take until at least the end of 2023 to recover due to ongoing restrictions associated with international travel.

The decline in revenue over the past two years has particularly impacted the businesses that we represent, including online travel agencies, tour and coach operators, destination management companies, English language schools, and conference and event organisers. These businesses will also be significantly impacted by the new travel restrictions being imposed to prevent the spread of the new Omicron variant, which will further threaten their viability and delay their recovery.

These businesses are responsible for over 50% of travel to and from the UK and, in addition to the significant revenue and employment this generates for the UK economy, their survival is extremely important in terms increasing UK trade and investment as we go forward. However, they have received little in support grants during the pandemic as, although people have been prevented from travelling, these businesses were never required to close. They have also not been eligible for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Rates Relief scheme, meaning that being prioritised for the Business Rate Relief Fund is particularly important for their viability.

When the Business Rates Relief Fund was announced, the Chancellor and the Housing Secretary stated that this funding would be distributed according to which sectors have suffered the most economically.

“The £1.5 billion pot will be distributed according to official data on the impacts of the pandemic on different sectors, ensuring an even and more proportionate allocation of support across England based on the economic impacts of COVID-19”

As the businesses that we represent have been, and continue to be, among the most impacted by COVID-19, we are therefore asking for your reassurance that this funding will be allocated to local authorities on the basis of:

  • The business sectors that official data show have been most impacted by COVID-19 (and including online travel agencies, tour and coach operators, destination management companies, English language schools, and conference and event organisers)
  • The number of businesses in these sectors that councils have in their area

In addition, we would like confirmation that the corresponding guidance to local authorities will:

  • Include clear instructions requiring them to prioritise businesses in these sectors that can demonstrate significant loss of revenue
  • Enable eligible businesses to claim relief from business rates for any period from March 2020 through to March 2023

We look forward to your confirmation that the funding will be allocated on this basis.

 

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Mark Tanzer                                                                                                Tom Jenkins

CEO                                                                                                                CEO

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Joss Croft                                                                                                      Huan Japes

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Phil Smith                                                                                                     Robert Shaw

Coaching Manager                                                                                     Chairman

CPT-UK                                                                                                          Coach Tourism Association

 


  • Visiting The UK As A Creative Professional From A Non-Visa National Country

DCMS has published guidance for people visiting the UK in relation to entertainment and the arts. The guidance sets out the requirements for coming to the UK for different periods. The UK’s domestic rules allow musicians, entertainers and artists from non-visa national countries, such as EU Member States and the US, to come to undertake paid work in the UK for up to:

    • 1 month without requiring a visa if they are invited to the UK by a UK-based client or organisation, and paid by a UK source (under the permitted paid engagement visitor rules).
    • 3 months without requiring a visa if they have been assigned a certificate of sponsorship by a licensed sponsor.
    • 6 months without requiring a visa if performing at a permit-free festival. The list of permit free festivals is published under the Immigration Rules and includes a range of events, from Glastonbury to Glyndebourne.
    • 12 months on the Temporary Work - Creative Worker route, if they obtain a visa and a Certificate of Sponsorship.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/visiting-the-uk-as-a-creative-professional-from-a-non-visa-national-country

  • Updated Covid Pass Guidance

DoHSC has updated the guidance on Covid Passes in regard to downloading and storing the information when travelling. The new guidance is:

If you’ve received a booster vaccination it will show in your NHS COVID Pass within 5 days. You’ll see a 2D barcode for your full course of vaccinations plus your booster vaccination.

Your vaccinations will show in reverse order, with the most recent first. This is also the case if you download a PDF of your NHS COVID Pass for travel, or store it within the Apple Wallet or Google Pay Wallet.

If you’re about to travel, you should download an updated PDF version of your NHS COVID Pass, or store an updated version in your Apple Wallet or Google Pay Wallet.

You’ll also see your detailed booster vaccination information in the ‘View COVID-19 records’ section of the NHS COVID Pass within the NHS App and online service.

Some countries now require travellers to demonstrate that they have received 2 doses of a COVID-19 approved vaccination within 180 days, or a booster dose no less than 14 days before entering the country.

From 6 December, if you get your NHS COVID Pass through the NHS App or by using the Google Chrome web browser on an Android phone, you’ll be able to store your NHS COVID Pass to your device.

You’ll see the ‘Google – save to phone’ button within the NHS App. You can then show your NHS COVID status at events and venues in England and for international travel.

The NHS COVID Pass will be saved on your Android phone home screen and also accessible in Google Pay. It is available to Play Protect certified mobile devices running Android 5 or above.

                https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-covid-pass

  • West End Footfall

The New West End Company continues to report footfall figures that are down considerably. Last week, the number of people visiting the West End (Oxford, Regent and Bond St) was down 30% compared with 2019. So far this year, footfall is down 54% compared with the same period in 2019

Travel Changes and Impact on Businesses - You will no doubt have seen that changes in travel requirements for people entering England from overseas that the Government announced over the weekend. Here are the links to the guidance on the announcements. 

  • Testing Prior To Travel

From 4am tomorrow morning, all people aged 12 years and over must take a PCR or LFD COVID-19 test before they travel to England from abroad. This test must be taken within 2 days of travel and applies regardless whether the person is fully vaccinated or not.

 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-to-england-from-another-country-during-coronavirus-covid-19 

 Red List Countries Expanded

Also announced over the weekend was that Nigeria has been added to the Red List. This can into effect at 4am this morning.

 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-list-of-countries-and-territories 

 Impact on Businesses

Firstly, thank you to everyone who has come back to me with information on how recent restrictions have impacted businesses in your sector. If you have any further insights on this, especially in the wake of the travel restrictions announced on the weekend, can you please send them to me by early this afternoon as I need to get a finalised briefing to DCMS by the end of play today.


Tourism Alliance Coronavirus Update – 3 December

  • Updated Primary Guidance for Restaurants, Pubs Bars, Nightclubs And Takeaway Services

The primary guidance for these businesses has been updated to state that:

    • Contacts of individuals with a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant must self-isolate, regardless of their age or vaccination status.
    • Staff and customers must wear a face covering in takeaways where there is no space for consumption of food or drink on the premises

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19/restaurants-pubs-bars-nightclubs-and-takeaway-services

  • Social Impacts of Coronavirus

The latest wave of ONS’s regular survey of the social impacts of Coronavirus  has been published. Some of the key findings are:

    • 7% adults had been asked to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test in the past seven days (excluding for travel abroad), most commonly to attend a theatre or comedy performance (25%), an indoor concert (19%), a nightclub or bar (16%), a work or training event (14%) or a sporting event (11%).
    • 84% of adults reported they wore a face covering when outside their home in the past seven days, while 39% reported they always or often maintained social distancing when outside their home.
    • While 71% of adults reported wearing a face covering often or always while shopping and the whole time while travelling on public transport in the past seven days, just 19% and 21% said that everyone or almost everyone was wearing a face covering in the same respective settings.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/releases/coronavirusandthesocialimpactsongreatbritain3december2021

  • Event Reinsurance Scheme

A brief update has been given on the reinsurance scheme to clarify the timing of purchasing cover during and beyond the initial period, which  is coming to an end on 15 December 2021. This being that:

  • Cover under the scheme must be purchased at least 8 weeks before the event is due to start. However, there is an exception to this rule during the first 12 weeks of the scheme going live. This exception expires on 23.59 on the 15th December 2021. In particular, please therefore be mindful of this for any events with a start date between 16th December and 10th February 2022 as the cover for these events will need to be purchased on or prior to the 15th December.

To put it another way, after 15th December, applicants to the scheme will need to purchase cover at least 8 weeks before their event takes place. Specifically, this means any event from 16th December through to the 10th February will only be covered if the policy was purchased no later than the 15th December. This cut-off date is fixed so we want to make sure that prospective policyholders are aware of the significance of this date to ensure no one misses out.

  • R Number And Growth Rate

This week’s R Number and Growth Rate are 0.9 to 1.1 and -1% to +1%.  The good news is that this is very slightly down on last week’s figures of 1.0 to 1.1 and  -1% to +2%

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

 


Please find below today’s Tourism Alliance update.

Additionally, please note this brief update on the reinsurance scheme from Sarah Baylis to clarify the timing of purchasing cover during and beyond the initial period, which you may wish to circulate to your networks:

Cover under the scheme must be purchased at least 8 weeks before the event is due to start. However, there is an exception to this rule during the first 12 weeks of the scheme going live. This exception expires on 23.59 on the 15th December 2021. In particular, please therefore be mindful of this for any events with a start date between 16th December and 10th February 2022 as the cover for these events will need to be purchased on or prior to the 15th December.

To put it another way, the initial period of the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme is coming to an end on 15 December 2021. After this point applicants to the scheme will need to purchase cover at least 8 weeks before their event takes place. Specifically, this means any event from 16th December through to the 10th February will only be covered if the policy was purchased no later than the 15th December. This cut off date is fixed so we want to make sure that prospective policyholders are aware of the significance of this date to ensure no one misses out.


Tourism Alliance Coronavirus Updates – 1 December

  • Various Primary Guidance Documents Updated

A number of the primary guidance documents for various parts of the industry have been updated to incorporate yesterday’s changes. They include:

Accommodation Providers

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

Events and Attractions

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19/events-and-attractions

Outdoor Public Settings

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-public-places-managing-public-outdoor-settings

  • Updated Guidance for Student Entering the Country

The Home Office has updated the guidance pertaining to students entering the UK including

    • Student sponsors
    • Students and Child Students (including Tier 4)
    • Short-term Student (English Language) migrants (including Short-term Students)

The updates are to incorporate the removal of various Covid-related exemptions that came into effect on 27 September and to state that:

    • Students who are unable to complete their course of study during their current period of permission due to Covid-19 can no longer apply in-country to complete that course. This includes students who need further time to complete an assessment or sit examinations. Students who otherwise need more time to complete a course as a result of Covid-19, or need to make a new application, will no longer be exempt from demonstrating academic progression.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-student-sponsors-migrants-and-short-term-students/coronavirus-covid-19-student-sponsors-migrants-and-short-term-students-accessible-version

  • Updated Transport Guidance

DfT have updated the transport operator and transport customer guidance to incorporate the new requirement for the public to wear face coverings when travelling inside a public transport vehicle and when in indoor transport hubs in England, unless they are exempt or have a reasonable excuse.

Transport Operators

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-transport-guidance-for-operators/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-transport-guidance-for-operators

              Transport Customers

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

  • Transport Use

DfT’s weekly transport use survey is out and provides some initial indications on how the announcement of the new Omicron variant has impacted people’s behaviour. While National Rail usage has dropped by 10% (from about 71% last week to 61% this week), there was no real change in tube or bus usage over the last week. Next weeks figures should give a better picture on this.

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

  • Chief Medical Officer’s Annual Report 2021 Health in Coastal Communities

As a departure from all things Covid, there is increasing activity within Government on the Levelling-Up Agenda - this is one of the themes that DCMS will be taking forward through the Tourism Industry Council. It therefore seems timely to distribute a copy of the CMO’s report on the health status of coastal communities.

This in-depth document highlights that coastal communities have some of the worst health outcomes in England, with low life expectancy and high rates of many major diseases with an oversupply of guest housing leading to Houses of Multiple Occupation. This, in turn, has lead to concentrations of deprivation and ill health. The central argument of the report is that the health challenges of coastal towns, cities and other communities are serious, and that a national strategy to address the repeated problems of health in coastal communities is needed in addition to local action.

It is an easy step from this to recognise that tourism could play strong role in this agenda through supporting these local economies if the right incentives for investment were put in place.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1005216/cmo-annual_report-2021-health-in-coastal-communities-accessible.pdf

  • Impact of Face Masks and Omicron - Request From DCMS

DCMS have been in contact and want to know the impact that the requirement to wear face masks and concerns about the new Omicron strain are having on the tourism industry. You will have no doubt seen reports in the news that there has been a spate of cancellations associated with Xmas parties. DCMS are keen to know if cancellations like this are happen across the tourism industry and to what extent. Specifically, they would like to know:

 The level of cancellations in you sector

  • The predominant reasons behind the cancellations, i.e. international travel restrictions, increased fear of catching covid, face mask restrictions
  • What actions businesses have taken/or are planned to try and increase confidence and prevent cancellations
  • What actions Government could take. 

 The turnaround on this is pretty tight, so could you let me have your feedback by Monday morning.


COVID-19 update 30 November + Tourism Alliance Update

Please see some guidance updates for England below.

The new precautionary measures announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson came into effect today, 30 November. The hotels and guest accommodation, and events and attractions guidance has been updated with a summary of where face coverings will be mandatory within these settings and other settings within the visitor economy.

Customers and staff are legally required to wear face coverings indoors in shops and on public transport services. This includes:

  • Shops and close contact services (such as hairdressers and beauty therapists), including those within another type of business or facility
  • Shops and communal areas in shopping centres
  • Public transport services (such as buses, trains and trams) and transport services open to the public (such as indoor areas of private hire coaches, open-top bus tours and leisure boats)
  • Transport hubs (such as airports; maritime ports; rail, bus and coach stations), including any businesses located within a transport hub (except hospitality venues like cafes and bars)

The guidance is due to be updated with more information on these changes shortly. For the full list of settings where face coverings are required please see the face coverings guidance. We will keep you updated on any further changes.

Other updates

  • The guidance on how to quarantine at home or the place you’re staying when you arrive in England from abroad has also been updated.

Tourism Alliance Coronavirus Updates – 30 November

  • Legislation Answers Some Queries

While we are waiting for the Q&A from DCMS on the questions that you have been raising, there are some queries that were answered in the legislation that was published yesterday evening. These include:

Face Masks on Open-Top Buses and on Boats

                Section 4 (g) of the legislation provides an exemption from the use of facemasks where a person is in any part of a public transport vehicle which is not indoors

                People in Compartments on Public Transport

Section 4 (h) of the legislation provides an exemption from the use of facemasks where a person is allocated a cabin, berth or other similar accommodation, at any time when they are in that accommodation. So this would include cabins on ferries and could also private cabins on trains.

                Dining Carriages

                Section 4 (i) of the legislation provides an exemption from the use of facemasks where a person is in an area within a public transport vehicle which is being used wholly or mainly by people

eating or drinking, or dancing. So wearing  facemask is exempt in places such as dining carriages and bars/clubs on ferries.

                Gift Shops in Cafes

Section 6 (f) states that facemasks do not need to be worn in any “other premises, or part of premises, which are being used wholly or mainly by people eating or drinking.” This means that if an attraction has a café that is combined with a gift shop, then the main purpose of that part of the premises dictates whether facemasks need to be worn. At the moment there is no guidance on how to determine the main purpose of a space that combines these two functions but it would seem reasonable to work on the basis of the floor space allocated to each function.

  • New Self-Isolation Legislation

The Government has passed new legislation that amends the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 to say that:

  1. where an adult is a close contact of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus and is suspected of, or confirmed as, having an Omicron variant, the exemptions from the duty to self-isolate (for those who are participating in coronavirus related research, fully vaccinated, participating in a clinical vaccine trial, or clinically unable to be vaccinated) do not apply;

(b) children who are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus and is suspected of, or confirmed as, having an Omicron variant must self-isolate.

Basically, this means that the current exemption from self-isolation for people who have been fully vaccinated has been revoked, which will have implications for businesses with regains to staffing.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2021/1338/pdfs/uksi_20211338_en.pdf

  • Public Guidance on Face Masks

The public guidance on when and where to wear face coverings has been updated. The places where wearing a face covering in mandatory are:

    • shops and supermarkets (places which offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
    • shopping centres (malls and indoor markets)
    • auction houses
    • post offices, banks, building societies, high street solicitors and accountants, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses
    • estate and letting agents
    • premises providing personal care and beauty treatments (barbers, hair salons, tattoo and piercing studios, nail salons and massage centres)
    • pharmacies
    • premises providing veterinary services
    • retail galleries (as opposed to art galleries)
    • retail travel agents
    • takeaways without space for consumption of food or drink on premises
    • public transport (aeroplanes, trains, trams, buses, coaches and ferries), taxis and private hire vehicles
    • any car or small van during a professionally delivered driving lesson, a practical driving test, or during one of the practical tests for giving driving instruction, and in all HGV lessons and tests
    • transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals).

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

  • New Assurance Guidance For Local Authorities

BEIS has published a new version of the Assurance Guidance for Councils which sets out the minimum level of checks that Local Authorities should complete to provide assurance to both themselves and BEIS that they have addressed the risk of error, non-compliance and/or fraud associated with the various grants schemes that they have been responsible for allocating during the pandemic. This includes the Local Restriction Grants, Restart Grants, Additional Restrictions Grants and Lock Down Payments.

It is worth noting that the guidance requires Local Authorities undertake recovery action where assurance checks discover that payments have been made in error, noncompliance, or have been claimed as a result of fraud, and that Local Authority must retain all documentary evidence for a minimum of 10 years from the date of award of grant to evidence the award of grant and the assurance checks completed. To ensure that all efforts are made to recover misallocated funds, BEIS will undertake a sample review of a Local Authority Pre- and Post-Payment Assurance System on each grant scheme.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1037468/business-grant-funding-schemes-assurance-guidance.pdf


 COVID-19 update 29 November + Tourism Alliance Updates.

Tourism Alliance Coronavirus Update – 29 November

  • JCVI guidance on Booster Shots

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has issued a statement that advises Government to extending the UK COVID-19 vaccination programme to offer:

    • booster doses to adults aged 18 to 39 years
    • second doses to children and young people aged 12 to 15 years

In a Statement to parliament this afternoon, the Health Secretary stated that his accepts this advice and will be acting on it.  With around two thirds of the workforce in the tourism and hospitality sectors being aged under 40, businesses should aim to encourage staff to get their booster jab as soon as possible as this is rolled-out.

              https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-vaccine-response-to-the-omicron-variant-jcvi-advice/jcvi-advice-on-the-uk-vaccine-response-to-the-omicron-variant

              Here is the Health Secretary’s statement to Parliament

              https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/oral-statement-to-update-on-the-omicron-variant

  • Self-Isolation Guidance Updated

The guidance regarding self-isolation has been updated to say that anyone arriving into England after 4am tomorrow morning, even if they are fully vaccinated and have not been to a red list country must:

    • must self-isolate
    • take a PCR test before the end of day 2 after you arrive (lateral flow tests will not be accepted)
    • can only leave self-isolation if their PCR test result is negative

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

  • Public Guidance Updated

The primary Covid Guidance for the public has been updated in line with Government announcements. The core information being:

From 4am Tuesday 30 November

    • International arrivals from non-red list countries who are fully vaccinated will need to isolate at home and take a PCR test on or before day 2 following your arrival. You will only be permitted to leave isolation if this test result is negative. If your test result is positive, you will need to isolate for 10 days.
    • Face coverings will be a legal requirement in shops and on public transport.
    • Those who have come into contact with an individual who may have been infected with the Omicron variant will need to self-isolate. This will apply even if you are fully-vaccinated.

These temporary measures will be reviewed in 3 weeks’ time.

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

  • New legislation regarding facemasks

              The Government has just published the new legislation regarding Facemasks.

               https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2021/1340/contents/made 

I haven’t been through it yet but if there is anything that stands out to you, please let me know.

 


Omicron Update

You will have no doubt seen much on the news about the Government’s response to the new Omicron Covid strain. Here are the main points:

 New Measures being Introduced

First, here are the measures that the Minister has announced:

    • All international arrivals must take a Day 2 PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.
    • All contacts of suspected Omicron cases must self-isolate, regardless of their vaccination status. They will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
    • Face coverings will be made compulsory in shops and on public transport from next week. All hospitality settings will be exempt.

 One point to note on this is that the requirements for the Day 2 PCT test to not apply to travel within the Common Travel Area.

 It is expected that the guidance related to the wearing of masks on public transport and in retail businesses will be published today so we will have more information regarding the impacts on tourism businesses but the expectation is that the requirement will cover shops attached to attractions.

 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prime-minister-sets-out-new-measures-as-omicron-variant-identified-in-uk-27-november-2021

 *New Countries Added to Red List

On Sunday at 4am, Angola, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia were added to the UK red list with South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe. This means that people cannot travel to England if they have been in these countries within the previous 10 days unless they:

    • are a British or Irish national
    • have residence rights in the UK

 Children arriving in England from a red list country should not be travelling alone unless they are students in boarding school, higher education or further education.

 Even if they are fully vaccinated, people who have been in a red list country within the last 10 days must:

    • quarantine for 10 full days in a managed quarantine hotel (the day you arrive in England is day 0)
    • take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of quarantining – these are included in your hotel package

 People transiting through England directly to a country outside the Common Travel Area do not need to enter managed quarantine. Instead, they can travel straight from their port of arrival to another port in England to catch a flight, train or ferry going outside of the Common Travel Area (ie., they can arrive in Heathrow and then travel to London and get on the Eurostar)

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

  Updated Guidance For Students Entering The UK

The guidance for students entering the UK from a red list country has been updated to take account of the new variant

 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/unaccompanied-higher-and-further-education-students-under-18-arriving-from-a-red-list-country

                 And there is updated guidance for Students staying in Boarding Schools

                 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/unaccompanied-minors-arriving-from-a-red-list-country-to-attend-boarding-school


COVID-19 update 28 November

Please see a summary of the changes announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the briefing held last night.

In his statement the Prime Minister confirmed new temporary and precautionary measures following the emergence of the Omicron variant in the UK. The following measures will be introduced from next week in England as a precaution to slow down the spread of the variant. The measures will be reviewed again in three weeks.

  • All international arrivals including those who are fully vaccinated must take a Day 2 PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result. Those who test positive, they must isolate for 10 days.
  • All contacts of suspected Omicron cases must self-isolate, regardless of their vaccination status. They will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
  • Face coverings will be made compulsory in shops and on public transport from next week. All hospitality settings will be exempt.

The Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive have also announced that they will align with the requirement for all fully vaccinated arrivals being required to take a PCR test within two days of arrival and to self-isolate until a negative test result is received.

We will continue to keep you updated on when the PCR test requirement will come into effect.

Additional countries added to the red list

Angola, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia will be added to the UK’s ‘red list’ from 4am 28 November. See further information on this for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Additionally, Day 2 PCR testing and self-isolation requirement for all arrivals into the UK will come into effect from 4:00am on Tuesday 30 November. After 04:00 Tuesday 30 November 2021 lateral flow tests will no longer be accepted and all travellers arriving into UK will be required to book and take COVID-19 PCR tests.

People arriving into the UK after 04:00 Tuesday 30 November 2021 are advised to complete their Passenger Locator Form after 04:00 Monday 29 November as the system is currently being updated


COVID-19 update 26 November + Tourism Alliance Updates

Please find below today’s TIER and Tourism Alliance updates from which we have remove duplications.

Please note highlighted the Final Results Of Events Research Programme.

We would also like to highlight the Made in the UK Sold to the World Programme which provides support to SMEs to attend trade shows, which was featured in yesterday’s update in case you missed it – see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/export-strategy-made-in-the-uk-sold-to-the-world.


Tourism Alliance Update – 24 November

Coronavirus Updates

  • Impacts Of Covid On Service Sector Imports And Exports

ONS has produced a report on the impact of Coronavirus and Brexit on the UK’s trade in services with the EU. The report, which looks at data from the first half of the year shows that travel and tourism was the most impacted services sector. Some of the key findings are:

    • Imports of travel services from the EU reduced by 80.7% (£6.7 billion) between Quarter 2 2019 and Quarter 2 2021.
    • Imports from non-EU countries reduced by a similar 80.4% (£4.4 billion) over the same period.
    • Total exports of travel services declined £6.9 billion (negative 66.8%) in Quarter 2 2021 compared with Quarter 2 2019
    • Total imports declined £11.1 billion (negative 80.6%) in Quarter 2 2021 compared with Quarter 2 2019

https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/nationalaccounts/balanceofpayments/articles/theimpactsofeuexitandcoronaviruscovid19onuktradeinservices/november2021

  • List of Job-Related Travel Exemptions

The guidance on jobs that are exempt from travel restrictions has been updated to say that quarantine requirements no longer apply for non UK residents for air crew, non-UK border officers, bus and coach drivers, drivers of good vehicles, Eurotunnel workers, Eurostar workers, international prison escorts, port workers.

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

  • Guidance On Travelling to England Updated

The guidance for people travelling to England from another country has been updated to state that:

    • Travel to England rules for children no longer depend on their place of residence.

This means that:

    • Children aged 17 and under do not have to quarantine on arrival in England. This applies whether they are vaccinated or not.
    • Children aged 4 and under do not have to take any COVID-19 travel tests.

5 to 17 year olds:

    • do not have to take a COVID-19 test before travel to England
    • must take a test on arrival in England - before the end of day 2 at the latest (arrival day is day 0)

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-to-england-from-another-country-during-coronavirus-covid-19

  • Compliance With Self-Isolation Requirements

ONS have produced the latest wave in their ongoing series regarding compliance with self-isolation requirements. The latest research shows that  compliance is now down to 75% which, although still pretty good, means that 1 in 4 people are not adhering to the rules.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandselfisolationaftertestingpositiveinengland/1novemberto6november2021


COVID-19 update 19 November + Tourism Alliance Update

For your information, please see below also an update on Live Events Reinsurance Scheme:

A useful meeting was held with the DCMS team on the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme at which further clarification on the Scheme’s operation was sought. As a result an update to the Q&A is attached together with other information below:

  • Here are some links related to the scheme which you are welcome to share with your members and put on your websites:
  • Attached are the latest FAQs which are to be further updated and shared weekly. More questions and answers will be added that will help inform organisations and individuals looking to purchase cover. Note the last question on the FAQ which refers to who can purchase cover. This is far wider than currently perceived. For example individual exhibitors, venues and suppliers can take out cover under the Scheme. 
  • We would be grateful if you could send through a list of questions you think should be included on this FAQ and which your members need answers to. Please also share this FAQ across your membership.
  • Events that have purchased policies to date range from an amateur theatre group with a budget of £3,000 to a trade show with a budget of £2M. Audience sizes also vary greatly from 500 to 1M plus. As more policies are written, we will have a clearer picture of who is accessing the scheme.
  • DCMS is happy to join a call with your members to summarise the scheme and answer questions relating to it. Please feel free to invite us along.
  • Please encourage those members who are keen to get coverage through the scheme to contact their brokers and nudge their insurers to join the scheme if they haven't already done so. To note that, as of today, Hiscox just joined the scheme as the 6th participating insurer. Announcement on Twitter here
  • Arrangements are also being made for a member of the DCMS team to present at the next BVEP meeting on the 9th December


Tourism Alliance Updates - Coronavirus + Brexit

LIVE & The Association of British Orchestras drive progress as Spain waives visas for UK touring artists

Artists touring to Spain will no longer need visas for short-term engagements in a dramatic change to the current onerous rules. The change follows months of dedicated work from LIVE and the Association for British Orchestras (ABO), working alongside Spanish counterparts Asociación Promotores Musicales.

The development represents a significant boost for the sector which has, as a result of Brexit and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, seen European touring become more expensive, more complicated, and more difficult to execute.

Visas have been a significant issue for Spain which, despite representing the fifth largest live music market in the world, posed the most costly and complicated visa application process across the bloc for artists looking to travel for short-term work.

Until now, artists and their promoters have had to make applications for short-term visas entirely in Spanish, provide a host of itinerary details before having even been given the green light for the tour to go ahead - including accommodation and flight allocations - and give proof of applicant earnings of up to nearly £1,000 before ever having left the country. Costs were also prohibitive, amounting to over £10,000 for an orchestra to visit Spain for up to five days.

Touring artists and their production teams were also required to wait for over a month for a decision, making long term scheduling – vital for successful international touring - impossible.

The development comes following months of dedicated work from LIVE, ABO and their Spanish counterpart APM Musicales, working alongside Live Nation Espana, to lobby the Spanish Government for change.

Craig Stanley, Chair of the LIVE Touring Group, said:

“We are delighted that our hard work has paid off and the Spanish Government has agreed to lift the restrictive visa process for touring artists, ending the complicated and painful process of expensive visa applications. A whole host of people came together both here and in Spain to fix this situation and this shows what we can achieve as an industry when we work together.

“However, that is still only one small part of a very large problem affecting our ability to tour in the round. We are calling on the Government to follow our lead and urgently work to fix the rules with the remaining member states so that we can continue to tour across the entirety of the European Union.

Mark Pemberton, Director, Association of British Orchestras said:

“The ABO is delighted the Spanish Government has introduced a visa waiver for live performance. We have already heard from member orchestras that had had to go through the painful and expensive process of securing visas for their musicians these past months, and this will be welcome news for those orchestras with impending tours. It means we can continue to bring the best of British music-making to Spain.”

Although the successful return of visa-free short-term work in Spain represents a positive step towards the return of international touring, this is only one part of the picture. Touring artists still face restrictions on touring in Spain: a three stop limit to UK touring vehicles before they have to return to home and a hugely expensive goods passport (a “carnet”), including a bond for instruments and equipment.

Taken together with the visa issue still affecting other areas of the EU, the impacts of Brexit continue to cause a logistical nightmare for Europe-wide tours. Live music touring is reliant on low friction barriers to entry and movement, allowing tours to move through countries seamlessly and quickly, and, as the second biggest exporter of music in the world, the sector in the UK is feeling the pinch.

Not only does this affect the ecosystem of live music industry performers, workers, and businesses, but also for the UK economy which risks losing one of its finest exports. LIVE is calling on the Government to work with individual EU Governments to tackle the problem of visas and permits, focusing on 7 member states with the most urgent issues, including Croatia.


Tourism Alliance Coronavirus Update - 12 Nov

Please note that in the Rebuilding Britain’s Tourism Industry report, please see link below, there is  a recommendation to use ETAs to boost business tourism  worth £1.2 bn extra revenue to the economy along with other measures in the report which will also benefit event tourism totalling over £20 bn.  


COVID-19 update 9 November / Tourism Alliance and TIC updates

Please note (highlighted in yellow in the Tourism Alliance Update) news that the Working Safely During Coronavirus Guidance has been updated for events, hotels/guest accommodation and restaurants, pubs, bars, nightclubs and takeaway services. The updates for Events and attractions are as follows: Events and attractions - Most sections of the guidance have been updated to improve readability, with minor changes to information in sections on priority actions, what this guidance covers, managing risk, what to include in your risk assessment, going to the workplace, reducing contact for workers and event planning. Additional information has been added to the sections on ventilation, people who need to self-isolate, COVID-19 cases in the workplace, and equality in the workplace. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19/events-and-attractions

Regarding the Help to Grow Digital programme, covered in the TIC Update, please note that it does not presently cover online meeting technology, but includes CRM and accounting systems. Please encourage your SMEs members to take advantage of the Help To Grow programme.

For reference and as discussed during today’s Partners Call please see link to more details on the Positive Impact initiative part of The Race to Zero - https://www.businessvisitsandeventspartnership.com/best-practice/sustainability/1041-cop26-and-the-uk-event-sector


Tourism Alliance Coronavirus Update – 4th November

  • NHS Pass And Booster Jabs

The guidance on the NHS Pass has been updated to take into account booster jabs. The guidance is:

The NHS COVID Pass for travel does not currently include COVID-19 booster vaccinations. The government is reviewing the implications and requirements of boosters for international travel certification. It is looking at whether and how booster vaccinations could be included in the NHS COVID Pass for travel.

 You do not need a COVID-19 booster vaccination to get an NHS COVID Pass for domestic use in England.

 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-covid-pass

  NHS Covid App And Overseas Visitors

There has been some queries about what happens if overseas visitors use the NHS App while in the UK. The query relates to whether the exemption from sel-isolation that applies to people vaccinated in the UK also applies to people vaccinated overseas through schemes recognised by the UK when arriving into the country. The short answer to this is that, at the moment, any person vaccinated overseas still has to self-isolate for 10 days if contracted through Test and Trace. Here’s the Government’s Q&A on this.

What are the rules for fully vaccinated international arrivals who are subsequently identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case?  

 The rules remain that in order to be exempt from self-isolation as a recent close contact of a positive COVID-19 case, an individual would need to be:

•        fully vaccinated, with both MHRA-approved vaccines administered in the United Kingdom (where two doses are recommended);

•        below the age of 18 years and 6 months (this applies to UK and non UK residents)

•        taking part or have taken part in an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial; or

•        not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

 What if individuals have had one vaccination dose abroad and another dose in the UK – are they exempt from self-isolation if they are a close contact?

 Where two doses are recommended, individuals must have had both doses of a MHRA approved vaccine administered in the UK in order to be exempt from self-isolation if they are identified as a contact of a positive COVID-19 case.

 How is an individual’s vaccination status verified?

 A process is in place to enable us to verify vaccination status of individuals whose vaccines were administered in the UK. However, there is currently no process in place to enable us to verify vaccination status of individuals whose vaccines were administered outside the UK.

  CJRS Statistics

The final statistics for when the furlough scheme ended have been released. They show that, at the time of closure:

    • 1.14m people were still on furlough
    • the arts, entertainment and recreation, and accommodation and food services sectors both had the second highest take-up rates, with 9% of employees on furlough
    • there were 156,900 employees in the accommodation and food sector still on furlough – the second greatest number of any sector
    • London and the South East had by far the greatest number of people on furlough – 385,000

 https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-4-november-2021/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-4-november-2021

  National Museum Visits Data

DCMS has released a lot of data on visitor numbers to the national museums over the last two years. The data shows that the museums still have a long way to go until the recover with attendance figures for the last quarter (July – Sept) still down 64% compared to the corresponding period in 2019. There also seems to be a lag in recovery for the London based museums compared to those in other destinations which would reflect the greater dependency that they have on inbound visitors. Some of the key figures are:

    • There were a total of 5.1m visits to the National Museums in 2021 Q3 compared to 14.2m in 2019 Q3
    • Visitor number at the British Museum, which has the highest number of visitors of any attraction in the UK, are still down 70% compared to 2019
    • The most impacted museum is the National Gallery where visitor numbers are still down 82.5%
    • The least impacted of the large museums is the Science Museum Group where attendance is down 50.3%

 https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/museums-and-galleries-monthly-visits

  Cruise Ship Guidance Updated

The guidance for people taking international cruises has been updated with new information on COVID-19 testing and completing Passenger Locator Forms.

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

  Bus Recovery Grant

The guidance has been published for bus operators on how to claim the Bus Recovery Grant. The eligibility criteria are that the business must:

    • Be a public bus operator running commercial or community bus services in England outside of the London and Greater Manchester areas.
    • Have completed an application to join the BRG scheme - you cannot now apply to join the scheme and make claims.
    • Meet the eligibility criteria for the Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG).
    • Currently be running at 90% or more of pre-COVID-19 mileage levels – if your mileage is beneath this you must contact the Department for Transport at BRG@dft.gov.uk and your local transport authority (LTA).

 As well as being of interest to bus operators in tourism destinations, it will also be of interest to a large number of open-top bus tours as many of these meet the eligibility criteria for the BSOG due to having a scheduled service that picks up and drops off people along the way.

 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claiming-the-bus-recovery-grant

  • Kickstart Guidance – 5 Tips

DWP has produced a one pager for businesses with 5 tips to fill your Kickstart vacancy swiftly and successfully. The tips are:

    • Make sure you know who at the local jobcentre can support your recruitment process
    • Re-read your job description
    • You can promote your own job
    • Have you thought about streamlining the application process to find good quality candidates more quickly?
    • When you get a referral from a young person interested in your Kickstart vacancy make sure you act on it quickly.

 You can download a copy of the tip-sheet from the following link

 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1031058/5-tips-for-filling-kickstart-vacancy.pdf

  Guidance For Performing Arts Tours Of In The EU – And For Museums And Galleries

The guidance for performing arts groups when travelling to the EU on tour has been revised in order to take into account recent negotiations that have been under taken to better facilitate the movement of artists and shows between the UK and the EU

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-performing-and-touring-in-europe-guidance-for-the-performing-arts-theatre-opera-dance-circus-and-other-live-performance-genre

The guidance for visual arts, the art market and museums working and touring in Europe has also been updated with a new section on transporting commercial goods across the border. The new guidance is:

If you are taking commercial goods in your baggage to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, to sell or bringing them back to the UK to sell (for example merchandise or works of art), you must check the customs requirements in the country you’re travelling to. You’ll also need to declare your goods to customs.

 If you are bringing commercial goods into Great Britain (excluding returning goods) that are not classed as controlled goods, valued below £1,500 and weigh less than 1000kg you can make an oral declaration to a Border Force Officer at the port if facilities exist; or use HMRC’s simple online declaration service before coming into Great Britain. If you are bringing commercial goods into Great Britain that exceed any of these limits, you will need to submit full customs declarations to HMRC which you can do yourself or by using a customs agent or intermediary.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-and-touring-in-europe-guidance-for-visual-arts-the-art-market-and-museums


Tourism Alliance Coronavirus Update – 1 November

  • Paying Back SEISS

HMRC has published an online checking service to help people who may have to pay back some of their SEISS grant. This is of particular relevance to people who have received a letter from HMRC recently saying that they may need to pay back some or all of the grant they received or have realised that they have made a mistake in one of their claims.

https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-need-to-pay-back-a-self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant/pay-back

  • Adherence To Self-Isolation Rules

ONS has published another wave of their tracker on how well people are adhered to the rules when testing positive for Covid. The good news is that 78% of people said that they fully adhered to the requirements throughout their self-isolation period – a figure that has remained pretty consistent over the last four months. However that still means that 22% of people carried out at least one activity during self-isolation that is not allowed such as leaving the home or having visitors for reasons not permitted under legislation.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandselfisolationaftertestingpositiveinengland/27septemberto2october2021

  • 'Cambridgeshire and Peterborough' and 'Suffolk' Receiving Enhanced Support

The general public guidance on coronavirus has been updated to say that 'Cambridgeshire and Peterborough' and 'Suffolk' local authority areas are now receiving enhanced support due to a rise on the number of cases of coronavirus in those areas, meaning that people and businesses in those areas should take special care in operating in a covid secure manner. These are the first Local Authority Areas to receive enhanced support since the end of August.

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

  • Bespoke Testing For Jobs With Travel Exemptions

The guidance for people with travel exemption has been updated to advise people with an exemption that they will now receive text reminders from Gov.uk telling them to follow their bespoke testing programme. The text will be sent from + 44 (0)7984 404 870 but this might display as coming from a different number if they’ve left the UK or have a non-UK phone number.

In a tourism context, people with travel exemptions include those in the coach, airline and cruise sectors.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/bespoke-testing-regimes-for-exempt-groups

  • Guidance for Visa Applicants And Temporary Visitors Updated

This guidance has been updated to reflect the removal of travel restrictions. Temporary Visitors are advised to return home now that there are no Red countries but it acknowledged that those that have not been able to do so and have a visa, leave or ‘exceptional assurance’ that expires before 30 November 2021 may request additional time to stay. It also acknowledged that there will be cases where people may be unable to return to a country or territory listed as green where that nation has closed their borders or where quarantine facilities are temporarily over-subscribed. In these circumstances, people can also request ‘exceptional assurance’.

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

  • Insurance For Travel To Switzerland

The guidance on insurance needs for travel to Switzerland has been updated to say that people can only use their GHIC or EHIC in Switzerland if they are a:

    • UK national
    • Swiss national
    • citizen of the EU
    • refugee
    • stateless person
    • dependant or survivor of someone with one of these nationalities or statuses

So people outside these categories, such as non-EU nationals with indefinite leave to remain in the UK ,can use their GHIC or EHIC when in the EU but not in Switzerland.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/foreign-travel-insurance#travel-to-the-EU-and-Switzerland

 

Tourism Alliance Updates – 29th October

Coronavirus related updates

  • Wales To Increase Covid Pass Requirement

After it’s regular Covid review, the Welsh Government has announcement that the country will be remaining at Covid Level Zero for the next three weeks but that they will strengthen protective measures by making the Covid Pass a requirement for entrance to cinemas, theatres and concert halls from 15 November, subject to a debate and vote in the Senedd.

 https://gov.wales/written-statement-review-health-protection-coronavirus-restriction-no5-wales-regulations-2020-15

 Supply Chain Issues

In order to better understand problem that tourism businesses are facing regarding Supply Chains issues, DCMS is asking for feedback on any issues that your members are currently experiencing or are expecting to experience over the next few months. Specifically, they are after any evidence, information and examples (including any figures or data) of how supply chain issues are affecting your members, including:

•             Energy price impacts

•             Semiconductors & chip shortages

•             Construction (including materials)

•             CO2

•             Water treatment & chemicals shortages

•             Automotive

•             Butchers

•             Food &  Farming

•             Manufacturing

•             Warehousing

•             Shipping containers & costs

•             HGV drivers

•             Fuel

•             Ports

•             Retail

•             Labour Market, Apprenticeships & Skills

                 If you can let me know of any feedback and evidence that you are getting from your members by next Thursday, I will collate this for DCMS

 International Travel Update

Here’s a link to a Statement from the Transport Secretary to parliament regarding the changes to the Red List and the countries who’s vaccination programmes are recognised by the UK. There is nothing new in it but is does have a handy list on the countries that are being added to the inbound vaccination policy list.

 One issue that has come up to be aware of is that although the Inbound Vaccination Policy sates that visitors from these countries “will be treated the same as those vaccinated in the UK”, the test and trace guidance states that the exemption from self-isolation that applies to people fully vaccinated under the NHS vaccination programme does not apply to people who have been vaccinated overseas. I’m trying to get clarification on this at the moment.

 https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/international-travel-update

 Updates To CJRS Guidance

While the scheme ended on 30 September, it is important for businesses to be aware that the guidance continues to be updated regarding issues such as when businesses must get a payment reference number and pay HMRC back.         

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pay-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-grants-back 

                And how to make late claims 

                https://www.gov.uk/guidance/make-a-late-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-claim  

  • Free face Coverings For Transport Operators

As the scheme has been extended to 31 December 2021, DHSC has published a new policy paper on the free facemask scheme for transport operators which includes coach, possibly heritage rail operators, ferries and PHV operators for use by passengers and transport workers.

 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/free-face-coverings-to-transport-operators-scheme/free-face-coverings-to-transport-operators-scheme

 R Number and Growth Rate

This week’s R Number and growth Rate are, respectively, 1.1 to 1.3 and +1% to +3%. This almost the same as last week so is not the significant increase that was feared.

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

 Other Tourism Alliance Update

Latest IPS Figures

ONS has published the Q2 IPS figures and they make for pretty grim reading - although it must be recognised that, being for the April – June period, they are while the UK was in Steps 2 and 3 of the Roadmap and there were limited opportunities to fly in or out of the UK. Nevertheless they demonstrate the size of the task in rebuilding the UK’s international tourism industry. The key figures are:

  • Overseas residents made 277,000 visits by air to the UK in Quarter 2 (April to June) 2021; this was 97% fewer than Quarter 2 2019 as travel continues to be restricted because of coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Overseas residents spent £386 million on their visits to the UK in Quarter 2 2021; this was 94% less than in Quarter 2 2019.
  • UK residents made 1 million visits abroad by air in Quarter 2 2021, which was 95% fewer than Quarter 2 2019, attributable to coronavirus.
  • UK residents spent £1,122 million on visits abroad in Quarter 2 2021; this was 93% less than in Quarter 2 2019.

 https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/leisureandtourism/bulletins/overseastravelandtourism/apriltojune2021

 The following is VisitBritain’s analysis of the Q2 IPS figures 

 VisitBritain’s Analysis on Q2 IPS Data

During the first half of 2021 (January to June 2021), the IPS survey was operational at UK airports only. In ordinary times surveying would also be conducted at UK tunnel terminals (Eurostar and Eurotunnel) as well as some UK sea ports (e.g. Dover), but this was not possible during this period. Therefore, the data presented below and elsewhere on our website for Q1 & Q2 2021 is for air passengers only and is not comparable with historical UK total data. The comparisons made below compare April-June 2021 air data to April-June 2019 air data only as no equivalent is available for 2020. The sample for this period is very low so extreme caution should be used when interpreting results.

 Please find Q2 2021 data below and on our dedicated 2021 quarterly webpage where there is additional detail on year-to-date figures.

 Visits, spend and nights (air passengers only)

 

Total

Q2 2021

% change vs. Q2 2019

Visits

277,000

-97%

Spend

£386 million

-94%

Nights

13.0 million

-78%

 There were 277,000 inbound visits to the UK in Q2 2021 – down 97% compared to Q2 2019.

  • Spend was down 94% on Q2 2019 with visitors spending £386 million in the UK during Q2 2021.
  • In total, 13.0 million nights were spent in the UK by inbound visitors during Q2 2021, down 78% on Q2 2019.
  • The average spend per visit in Q2, amongst those who departed the UK via an airport was £1,395 (vs £747 in Q2 2019).

 Visits and spend by journey purpose (air passengers only) 

Journey Purposee

Visits

Q2 2021

% change

vs. Q2 2019

Spend

Q2 2021

% change

vs. Q2 2019

Holiday

13,000

-99.6%

£21 million

-97%

VFR

173,000

-93%

£156 million

-94%

Business

44,000

-97%

£74 million

-78%

Study

18,000

-87%

£91 million

-85%

Miscellaneous (Excl. study)

29,000

-93%

£44 million

-88%

 All journey purposes were a fraction of normal levels in Q2 2021. The table above shows the impact that restricted international travel has had on the UK’s inbound holiday visits with just 13,000 visits registered.

  • Visits to friends and relatives accounted for the majority of inbound visits in Q2 2021, representing 62% of all inbound visits by air and 40% of spend.
  • Study visits were the least impacted in Q2 2021 although visits were still down 86% on two years previous, contributing £91 million to the UK inbound AIR expenditure.
  • There were 44,000 business visits in Q2 2021 which accounted for 16% of all visits. Business spend was the least impacted and represented one fifth (19%) of inbound AIR spend.

 Visits and spend by global region (air passengers only) 

Total

Visits

Q2 2021

% change

vs. Q2 2019

Spend

Q2 2021

% change

vs. Q2 2019

Total Europe

183,000

-96%

£190 million

-92%

→ EU Total

157,000

97%

£156 million

-92%

→ EU 15

115,000

-97%

£112 million

-93%

→ Other EU

42,000

-94%

£43 million

-89%

→ Rest of Europe

26,000

-95%

£34 million

-91%

North America

45,000

-97%

£60 million

-95%

Rest of World

49,000

-97%

£136 million

-94%

 Across all regions, AIR visits to the UK were down between 94% and 97% when compared to Q2 2019.

  • ‘Other EU’ (which consists of Bulgaria, Estonia, Poland, Romania – amongst others) showed the strongest resilience with visits down 94% and spend down 89% compared to Q2 2019.
  • Visits from the EU accounted for 57% of all inbound AIR visits but a smaller 40% of spend during Q2 2021.
  • The Rest of World region accounted for 18% of visits but nearly double the proportion of spend (35%), in line with the 2019 trend. 

 It is worth noting that VisitBritains central scenario forecast for the full year is for 7.4 million visits and £5.3 billion spend.

https://www.visitbritain.org/2021-tourism-forecast

 TIC update 29.10.21

Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021

The Chancellor of the Exchequer presented his Autumn Budget and Spending Review to Parliament on Wednesday. Please find the full documentation here and below for some of the key headlines for our sectors. We welcome any feedback from your sectors and please do get in touch if you’d like to discuss in more detail.

 To support local high streets as they adapt and recover from the pandemic, the government is introducing a new temporary business rates relief in England for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties for 2022-23, worth almost £1.7 billion. Over 90% of retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will receive at least 50% off their business rates bills in 2022-23. We will seek clarity on the extent to which this covers the tourism sector.

  • The government is introducing a package of Air Passenger Duty (APD) reforms that will bolster UK air connectivity through a 50% cut in domestic APD, and further align with UK environmental objectives by adding a new ultra-long-haul distance band. The new domestic band for APD is set at £6.50. The rate will apply to all flights between airports in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (excluding private jets). As a result, around 9 million passengers will pay less APD in 2023-24. 
  • Relating to supply chains: The government is investing £32.5 million in roadside facilities for HGV drivers on the road; investing in new skills bootcamps to train an additional 5,000 drivers; increasing the number of HGV driving tests available by up to 50,000 each year; freezing vehicle excise duty (VED) for HGVs and suspending the HGV road user levy for another 12 months from August 2022; relaxing cabotage rules temporarily for international HGV journeys within Great Britain to provide greater resilience for supply chains; issuing up to 5,000 short-term temporary visas for food and fuel haulage drivers to work in the UK.
  • Total spending on skills will increase over the Parliament – by £3.8 billion by 2024-25 – equivalent to a cash increase of 42% (26% in real terms) compared to 2019-20. Investment of over £900 million for each year of the SR on work coaches who will help job seekers on Universal Credit move into work and progress once in work, and support for older workers via an enhanced 50+ offer. The government is increasing the National Living Wage to £9.50 an hour from April 2022, and is reducing the taper rate in Universal Credit (UC) from 63% to 55%, as well as increasing work allowances in UC by £500 a year. The Government is also continuing funding for Help to Grow, which provides small and medium sized enterprises with support for digital skills and adoption.
  •  £1.7 billion worth of projects to upgrade local infrastructure through the first bidding round of the £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund, and announcing the first 21 projects to benefit from the £150 million Community Ownership Fund – which will help communities across the UK protect and manage their most treasured assets. Funded projects include developments at Twycross Zoo and upgrades to coastal attractions at Southend-on-Sea.
  • DCMS’ settlement will grow the UK’s world-leading culture and heritage sectors, building on unprecedented government support during the pandemic. For example, by investing over £850 million over the SR21 period for cultural and heritage infrastructure to safeguard national treasures and boost culture in local communities and on high streets and temporary rate uplifts to the Museum and Galleries Exhibition Tax Reliefs. 

The settlement also includes a 5% annual increase above inflation to the DCMS budget, with £300m extra for our arm’s-length bodies, including VisitBritain and VisitEngland. We are awaiting final details of the GREAT marketing budget.   

 


Tourism Alliance Coronavirus update 22 October

Social Impact of Coronavirus

ONS has published the latest wave of its research on the social impacts of coronavirus. The key findings are:

  • 82% adults reported they wore a face covering when outside their home in the past seven days compared to 86% previously
  • 84% felt that social distancing from others not in their household was important but only 39% reported they always or often maintained social distancing when outside their home
  • 55% reported they avoided physical contact with others outside their home

So while people are expressing high levels of concern and the importance of mask wearing and social distancing, there does seem to be a element of people responding to the survey with answers that they feel they are expected to give rather than stating their actual behaviours.

In terms of people returning to work, there continues to be a slow increase in the number of people who are returning to the workplace:

  • 70% reported travelling to work at some point in the past seven days (67% in the previous period
  • 30% reported working from home at some point in the past seven days (29% in the previous period)

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandthesocialimpactsongreatbritain/22october2021

Guidance On Travel Into England Updated

The DfT guidance for people entering the UK has been updated to take into account that people who are fully vaccinated can, from today, book a lateral flow test for use when travelling into the country from 24 October.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-to-england-from-another-country-during-coronavirus-covid-19

R Number And Growth Rate

This week’s R Number and Growth Rate are, respectively, 1.0 to 1.2 and +1% to +3%. These are the highest rates since the end of July and reflect the recent increase in case numbers to over 50,000/day

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

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

Tourism Alliance Coronavirus update 21 October

  • Updated Guidance on Quarantining At Home

DHSC has updated the guidance on quarantining on arrival into England. The new guidance includes information on:

    • What household members should do if they will not be staying in the place of quarantine during the quarantine period
    • What household members must do if the traveller’s stay in the UK is less than 10 days
    • What the traveller and household members must do if the traveller tests positive for COVID-19
    • What to do if household members test positive for COVID-19.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-quarantine-and-test-at-home-if-youve-been-in-a-red-list-country-and-have-permission-to-quarantine-at-home

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

TIER: COVID-19 update 20 October

This afternoon Health and Social Care secretary Sajid Javid held a press conference joined by Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England Dr Jenny Harries and National Medical Director of NHS England Professor Stephen Powis. It was announced that the UK government has made deals for two new antiviral treatments for people who have the virus or are high risk and may have been exposed to the virus. The treatments will be evaluated by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

He also invited people to take up the offer of a first vaccination if they have not already and encouraged those eligible to book a booster vaccination.

In answering a question on bringing in restrictions due to pressures felt in the NHS, Sajid Javid answered that the current pressures on the NHS were not unsustainable. He reiterated the government are remaining vigilant but will not be implementing Plan B at this stage and that if that situation changes, the government will not hesitate to act.

Northern Ireland Executive announce relaxations from 31 October and their Autumn Winter COVID-19 Contingency Plan

The Northern Ireland Executive has signalled its intention to introduce a further package of relaxations from October 31. Over the next few weeks, further work will be carried out with the sectors to prepare for appropriate mitigations to be put in place in advance of the regulations being lifted.

From 31 October:

  • The requirement to be seated in hospitality to drink and eat food will be removed;
  • The restriction on indoor dancing will be lifted;
  • The need to maintain social distancing in hospitality settings, such as pubs and restaurants will move to guidance; and
  • Nightclubs will be permitted to reopen.

The Executive strongly recommended that venues and event organisers require individuals to demonstrate their COVID-status through proof of vaccination, negative lateral flow test, or natural immunity by way of positive PCR test within the previous 180 days.

Read more on Northern Ireland’s Autumn Winter plan

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

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATES – 19 Oct

Coronavirus related updates

  • Kickstart Guidance Updated

The Guidance on the Kickstart scheme has been updated and consolidated to make it easier for businesses to navigate their way around the scheme.

It is important for businesses to remember that the scheme will be closing on 17 December 2021. From this date, businesses will not be able to:

    • apply for a new Kickstart Scheme grant
    • add more jobs to an existing grant agreement

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/submit-your-kickstart-scheme-vacancies

  • Compassionate Exemption From Quarantine

DHSC has published guidance on exemptions from quarantine on compassionate grounds.  This is a very limited exemption that can only be applied for if a person needs to visit to a severely ill or dying, relative or household member and application must be accompanied by evidence such as a letter from the hospice or medical facility where the relative or household member is staying.

People granted compassionate exemption must:

    • quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days (the day you arrive in England is day 0), or longer if you test positive for COVID-19
    • provide the names of household members at the address where you intend to quarantine - everyone in the household in which you are quarantining must also isolate for the full quarantine period
    • take a day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 test

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

  • Updated Guidance On Medical Exemptions

As well as the guidance on Compassionate Exemptions, the Government has updated the guidance on medical exemptions from quarantine. The updated guidance contains new information on

    • the evidence that must be supplied as part of an application for an exemption
    • the process for asking for a review of an application that is declined
    • the evidence need as part of the review

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

Other updates

  • Apprenticeship Guidance Updated

The guidance to businesses with apprentices has been updated to

  • remove the apprentices on furlough section now that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has ended.
  • Reflect Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education extending end-point assessment discretions and flexibilities.
  • Remove the following temporary flexibilities:

permitting email confirmation as evidence of achievement of qualifications where awarding organisations were unable to issue certificates

enabling apprentices to spend more than 50% of their working hours outside England where they were unable to return to England to work

permitting end-point assessment prior to FSQ achievement

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-apprenticeship-programme-response/providing-apprenticeships-during-the-covid-19-pandemic 

  • AOA Decarbonisation Report

A new AOA report on decarbonisation was launched as part of it’s annual conference which was held today. The headline figure is that UK airports halved their carbon emission between 2010 and 2019. The Report sets out the further actions airports are taking to reduce their energy use, invest in sustainable energy and heat generation and work with third parties to reduce the emissions by airlines, groundhandling companies, passengers and people working at the airport that occur at and near to airports. These include: 

  • Investing in renewable energy generation, including solar farms near or on airport land
  • Investing in zero-emission vehicles used by the airport
  • Improving the energy efficiency of equipment and buildings
  • Scoping options to invest in using or generating renewable heat at airports
  • Upgrading airspace to make the most of the capabilities of modern aircraft and reduce noise impacts and emissions
  • Encouraging staff and passengers to use sustainable transport to the airport, including working with local, devolved and UK governments to invest in sustainable surface access
  • Working with airlines, universities and aerospace
      • manufacturers to develop zero-emission aircraft, including researching what is necessary to prepare airport infrastructure for electric or hydrogen aircraft propulsion
  • Working with groundhandling companies to reduce or eliminate emissions from vehicles operating at the airport

Government’s Net Zero Strategy

While we are on the subject of Climate Chance, the big new item today was the Government launching it’s Net Zero Strategy. While a lot of the headlines were associated with domestic heat pumps there were two funding announcements that are of particular relevance to the UK domestic and international tourism sectors. There are:

    • Another £620 million for targeted electric vehicle grants and infrastructure, particularly local on-street residential charge points
    • £180 million to support the development of Sustainable Aviation Fuel plants

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/net-zero-strategy

 --------------------------------

TIER UPDATE 18 OCT

  • Summary Of International Travel Changes

DfT has produced a document that pulls together and summarises all the recent changes to international travel including the changes to the traffic list system, the changes to vaccination and testing requirements and the changes to FCDO travel advice.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/summary-of-updates-to-international-travel-october-2021

  • GCC Trade Agreement Call For Evidence

DIT has launched a call for evidence to help inform the Government’s approach for starting negotiations on a free trade agreement with the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC). The countries that comprise the GCC are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Specifically, DIT want to know:

    • what you think about our current trading arrangements with the GCC nations
    • where we could make changes or improvements

They are especially keen to know this in the context of tourism so I’m going to put together a Tourism Alliance response that includes issues such as:

    • Visas (leisure, business and education)
    • VAT Reclaim Scheme
    • Reciprocal working arrangements
    • Employment gateways

If you have any issues you would like included in the response, please let me know.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/trade-with-the-gulf-cooperation-council-call-for-input

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

TIER UPDATE 15 OCT

Please see an update on testing for arrivals into England below.

Lateral flow tests to be introduced for vaccinated international arrivals to England

From 24 October eligible fully vaccinated passengers and most under 18s arriving in England from countries not on the red list can take a lateral flow test instead of a PCR test, on or before day 2 of their arrival into the UK. .

The lateral flow tests will be available to be booked through the list of private providers listed on GOV.UK going live on 22 October.

Passengers will need to take a photo of their lateral flow test and booking reference supplied by the private provider and send it back to them to verify the result. Passengers are also able to book to have a test which they can take on their arrival into the UK at testing centres located in some airports. The change will reduce the costs of tests and offer faster results.

Lateral flow tests for international travel must be purchased from a private provider as NHS Test and Trace tests cannot be used for international travel. Anyone who tests positive will need to self-isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test. PCR tests can be accessed free of charge by ordering in the usual way through NHS Test and Trace – via nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. 

All travellers must complete their passenger locator form prior to travel, including a test booking reference number supplied by a testing provider. Travellers will be able to upload their test booking reference to the passenger locator form from 22 October for arrival in the UK from 24 October.

Read the full press release.

  • Sir David Amess

Before getting into the Policy update it is important to express condolences regarding Sir David Amess’s shocking death today after almost 40 years as an MP. In addition to his well know work on animal welfare and support for numerous charities, he was also a great friend of the UK tourism industry, regularly attended Camping and Motorhome Club and Tourism Alliance events and being involved in English Tourism Week. He will be sorely missed.

  • CJRS – Late Claims

The deadline for making a furlough claim has now ended. However, HMRC will accept late claims from claim periods from 1 November 2020 if you have:

    • taken reasonable care to try and claim on time
    • a reasonable excuse
    • claimed as soon as your reasonable excuse no longer applies
    • You may have a reasonable excuse if for example:
      • your partner or another close relative died shortly before the claim deadline
      • you had an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented you from dealing with your claim
      • you had a serious or life-threatening illness, including coronavirus (COVID-19) related illnesses, which prevented you from making your claim (and no one else could claim for you)
      • a period of self-isolation prevented you from making your claim (and no one else could make the claim for you)
      • your computer or software failed just before or while you were preparing your online claim
      • service issues with HMRC online services prevented you from making your claim
      • a fire, flood or theft prevented you them from making your claim
      • postal delays that you could not have predicted prevented you from making your claim
      • delays related to a disability you have prevented you from making your claim
      • an HMRC error prevented you from making your claim

If you’ve missed the claim deadline and have a reasonable excuse, you can submit a request from the page where you choose your claim month. You should make your claim as soon as your reasonable excuse no longer applies.

You can also still use the CJRS portal to:

  • view a previous claim
  • delete a claim (you must do this within 72 hours of starting the claim)

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

  • R Number and Growth Rate

This week’s R Number and Growth rate are, respectively, 0.9 to 1.1 and -1% to +2%. This is the same as last week and broadly the similar to the figures since the end of July so there is yet to be any autumn/winter surge.

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

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TIER & Tourism Alliance Coronavirus Update – 14th October

  • DCMS Statistical Release

DCMS released statistic on businesses in the sectors under its responsibility. The data is from 2019, which is slightly ancient historic in the context of everything that’s happen since, but they do provide a good base level by which to measure the impact of Covid. Some of the main findings are:

    • Of the 645,000 businesses in sectors under DCMS’s responsibility, 47% (303,000) of them were in the tourism industry
    • 12% of all businesses in the UK are tourism businesses
    • 82% of all tourism businesses are micro businesses employing 0-9 people
    • Tourism has the most even spread of businesses of all sectors with all regions of England bar the NE having at least 20,000 tourism businesses
    • 97% of tourism businesses are British owned. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/dcms-sectors-economic-estimates-2019-business-demographics/dcms-sectors-economic-estimates-2019-business-demographics-headline-release

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 TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE 13 OCT

  • Coronavirus Impact on UK Economy

ONS published figures today on the UK’s economic growth which showed an increase in GDP of 0.4% in August. The sectors providing the strongest contribution were accommodation and food services (0.28%growth) and arts, entertainment and recreation (0.13% growth). Things of particularly note include

    • That economic output from the “sports activities and amusement and recreation activities industry” is now above the pre-pandemic level due to  growth from theme parks and amusement parks, and the return of fans to football matches.
    • Travel agents and tour operators experienced the greatest sub-sector growth with a 47.9% increase due to the easing of travel restrictions – this was, however, from a very low base.
    • Air transport grew by 27.5% - again from a very low base
    • Accommodation grew by 22.9%
    • Museums and cultural activities grew by 12.9%
    • Food and beverage grew by 5.9%
    • Water transport increased by 3.2% indicating a much slower return for the cruise market.

 https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/articles/coronavirusandtheimpactonoutputintheukeconomy/august2021

  • WTTC Forecast For UK Tourism

WTTC has published it’s latest analysis of tourism recovery in the UK. Their analysis suggests that tourism’s contribution to the UK economy during 2021 could be up by 32% over 2020, which is broadly in line with the global average of 30.7%. However, this increase is primarily due to the 49% increase in domestic tourism revenue this year as UK residents holidayed at home. More worryingly, they estimate that inbound visitor spend will be down almost 50% on the already low 2020 figures, making the UK one of the worst performing countries in the world. This poor performance is blamed on travel restrictions, ever-changing travel policies, and barriers to travel such as the current requirement for visitors to take an expensive day two PCR test after arriving in the country.

In the prospects for 2022, the WTTC council believes that, with the right measures and a strong focus on international travel, the UK could see tourism revenue rise by 53%, resulting in additional revenue of £66 billion (including £29bn from inbound tourism) for the economy – which would equate to 580,000 jobs.

https://wttc.org/News-Article/uk-travel-and-tourism-sector-may-only-recover-by-a-third-this-year

  • Culture Secretary’s Speech to UKactive Conference

I’ve added a link to a speech that the new Culture Secretary gave at the UKactive conference. While the speech is generally about the benefits of participation in physical activity, it is worth noting that a key theme of the speech was that DCMS “will constantly be looking for opportunities to work with sectors to level up facilities, infrastructure and the support we provide”

She also stated that there is:

going to be the thread running through everything I do. And that’s improving access. I want every person, no matter where they’re from or what stage of life they’re at, to have the chance to participate and to rise to the top of all of the industries DCMS covers - to the top of the arts, of tech, and, of course, sport.”Whatever I’m working on, whatever the department is investing in, I want it to go towards opening doors for people who have been shut out from success. To me, that’s the true definition of levelling up. It may be about places, it may be about growth or it may be about economics. But most importantly, within my department, it is about people.”

The speech is a good heads-up that any arguments regarding funding or policy changes to support tourism will need to be couched in terms of how they will contribute to this agenda.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/nadine-dorries-speech-to-ukactive-conference

  • Weekly Transport Figures

DFT’s weekly transport figures are out and show public transport usage to be pretty static. Use of both the rail network and the tube in London remain around the 60% mark, while bus use is around the 80% mark and private car use is around 100% of normal even with the problems associated with petrol supplies. All of which suggests that business travel and the number of people returning to the office has stalled where the use of private transport isn’t feasible.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/nadine-dorries-speech-to-ukactive-conference

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TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE 12 OCT

  • Final DCMS Ministerial Responsibilities

After a little bit of a wait, the ministerial responsibilities within DCMS have been finalised. The main point of note is that responsibility for heritage has been returned to Nigel Huddleston who is now the Minister for Sport, Tourism, Heritage and Civil Society. Julia Lopez has been made Minister for Media, Data, and Digital Infrastructure (she also has responsibility for creative industries) while Chris Philips is the Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy with responsibility for gambling. Finally, Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay has been made Minister for Arts with responsibility for Arts and Museums.

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-digital-culture-media-sport

  • Guidance For Temporary Residents

The guidance for visa nationals whose stay in the UK has been extended due to covid restrictions has been amended to take into account the removal of all but seven countries from the Red List. As a result of this removal of restrictions, the number of people able to apply for ‘exceptional assurance’ has reduced significantly and visa nationals in the country from former Red List countries now need to make arrangements to return home.

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

  • Visa Free Tourism in 20 EU Countries For Performers

The government has announced that as a result of discussions with individual EU countries EU Member States about the problems facing musicians and performers when looking to tour in Europe, 20 EU countries have confirmed they offer visa and work permit free routes for UK artists. These countries are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden. Negotiations are ongoing with other EU countries including Spain and Portugal.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/visa-free-short-term-touring-allowed-in-20-member-states

  • Tourism Statistics Review

Over the past year I’ve been involved in a working group that ONS has set up as part of a review of how to improve the gathering and dissemination of tourism statistics. This review was established a following a joint letter from tourism ministers of the devolved Governments to the ONS stating that the IPS figures were not fit for purpose. As part of this review, ONS is now undertaking a public consultation (see attached document) on a proposal to compile travel and tourism statistics using a hybrid method which maximises the use of alternative data sources in combination with standard surveys. Key to this is the use of mobile phone data to provide estimates of the number of visits, with financial transactions data used to estimate expenditure at a more detailed level than available currently.

The are also seeking to harmonise IPS with the Civil Aviation Authority departing passenger survey and the Northern Ireland Passenger Survey, as well as measuring international and domestic visits of UK residents through a household survey. This could be done by building on the transformation work started by the domestic travel surveys and harmonising with the GBTS and GBDVS, or by developing a new household survey for this purpose.

They are now at the stage where they are keen to hear the views of organisations and people who use travel and tourism statistics on this proposed approach, and how you think it will fulfil the aims of the review, which are to:

    • deliver statistical outputs that better meet the needs of users
    • maximise the use of alternative data sources
    • use surveys where necessary
    • deliver improved coherence across all travel and tourism statistics

The consultation is open until 21 December 2021.

 https://consultations.ons.gov.uk/external-affairs/proposedfutureapproachtomeasuretravelandtourism/consultation/intro/

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

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE 11 OCT

  • Full VAT Survey Results

the results of the VAT survey that we undertook with UKHospitality, BBPA and ALVA last month  are now published. The results show overwhelmingly that the VAT reduction has been a lifeline to many tourism and hospitality businesses with the funding being spent on keeping the business afloat, complying with Covid requirements and paying staff and suppliers. The key findings are:

    • The reduced rate of VAT at 12.5% will be highly important to businesses, with 3 in 4 (77%) stating it is important or crucial
    • Businesses will use the reduced VAT rate for an array of purposes, including investing in their businesses and remaining Covid-secure
    • Similarly, reduced rates beyond April 2020 would allow continued investment, covid-secure venues and paying of wages to staff
    • Reverting the VAT level back to 20% in April 2020 could have serious consequences for businesses, with 4 in 10 saying it would likely lead to cutbacks and job losses
    • If VAT on tourism and hospitality were to remain at 12.5% indefinitely, it would increase turnover by an average of 8.8%
    • Whereas if VAT on tourism and hospitality were to remain at 12.5% indefinitely, it would increase business investment by an average of 12.0%

In addition to the survey we are also working with the other partners to engage Graham Wason and Mike Nevin to undertake modelling of the impact of the permanent reduction of VAT using the Treasuries own equilibrium model and will be highlighting the finding at the Conference at the Royal Over Seas League on 15th November 2021.

If you haven’t booked already booked a ticket to attend, you can do so on the following link.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/2021-tourism-conference-rebuilding-the-uk-tourism-industry-tickets-169638528405

  • Offsetting Overpaid CJRS Funds

HMRC has updated the guidance on CJRS payments to say that if a business has overclaimed for one employee, they can offset this by an amount, equal to any amounts that they’ve underclaimed for another employee included in the same claim period.

For example, if a business claimed £4,000 for 1 June 2021 to 30 June 2021 (comprising £2,000 for Employee 1 and £2,000 for Employee 2) and then reviewed the claim after the amendment deadline and realised that Employee 1 should have received £2,500 and Employee 2 should have received £1,500, the £500 overclaim for Employee 1 can be offset against the £500 underclaim for Employee 2. This means the business does not have an overclaim for the period from 1 June 2021 to 30 June 2021 as long as they pay Employee 1 the additional £500 they should have received in respect of that period.

However, businesses need to be aware that they cannot offset an overclaim made in one claim period against an underclaim from another claim period and that they must repay any balancing overclaim to HMRC after undertaking offsets for any period.

                https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pay-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-grants-back

  • Guidance For people Arriving From Red and Green List Countries

With the removal of all but seven countries from the Red List today, the guidance for arrivals from the remaining Red List Countries – Colombia, Dominican Republic. Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela - has been updated accordingly.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-list-of-countries-and-territories

Similarly, the guidance for people arriving from Green List countries has been updated and contains information on the vaccines that are accepted and the pre- and post- departure requirements for visitors from Green List Countries. It is worth noting that different proof of vaccination is accepted depending on the country that a person is arriving from. Depending on the country the acceptable proof may be a vaccine certificate, a letter from the Government or an EU Digital certificate.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/countries-with-approved-covid-19-vaccination-programmes-and-proof-of-vaccination

  • Wales Introduces Covid Pass

From today, people in Wales must show a COVID Pass or demonstrate their COVID-19 status to enter nightclubs and attend large events. All adults over-18 will need to show an NHS COVID Pass or a negative COVID-19 test to enter:

•             nightclubs and similar venues

•             indoor, non-seated events for more than 500 people

•             outdoor non-seated events for more than 4,000 people

•             any setting or event with more than 10,000 people in attendance

https://gov.wales/wales-introduces-covid-pass-events-and-nightclubs

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TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE 7 & 8 OCT

 

International Travel update for the UK

From Monday 11October the UK will remove 47 destinations from the red list leaving a smaller red list consisting of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Venezuela in place to protect public health.

There are also changes in rules for travellers visiting the UK with vaccine certificates from more countries to be recognised to allow quarantine-free travel to the UK. Certificates from a further 37 countries will be recognised, as well as those issued under the United Nations vaccination programme. An ongoing four nations process will expand the policy to additional countries over coming weeks, where approved vaccines are administered and certificates meet the required standards. More information can be found in the proof of vaccination guidance.

The list of Additional Recognised Vaccinations programmes is: Albania, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Columbia, Chile, Egypt, Ghana, Georgia, Grenada, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Maldives, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Oman, Pakistan, Serbia, South Africa, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & The Grenadines, Thailand, The Philippines, Turkey, Ukraine, United Nations and Vietnam.  

See the country announcements for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Update on COVID-19 testing for arrivals into England

The UK Government has announced that later this month eligible fully vaccinated passengers arriving into England including under 18s returning from a rest of world country will have the option to replace their day 2 test with a cheaper lateral flow test, followed by a free PCR test if positive, reducing the cost of tests on arrival into England. The government can also confirm passengers taking postal tests will be able to send a picture of their lateral flow test as a minimum requirement to verify the test result.

Northern Ireland COVID-19 relaxations update

The Northern Ireland Executive has today agreed a number of gradual relaxations to the current Coronavirus restrictions, informed by medical and scientific advice.

14 October relaxations

From next Thursday, October 14, the Executive has agreed that:

  • Further relaxations around the numbers permitted in private dwellings and a move away from the maximum number of people allowed to gather from 15 from four households to an overall cap of 30.
  • The requirement for audience members to be seated when watching performances in indoor venues will be removed.

The regulations in relation to large house parties and raves will remain in place and are still not permitted.

The Executive has also agreed a further package of relaxations from October 31. Over the next few weeks, further work will be carried out with the sectors to prepare for appropriate mitigations to be put in place in advance of the regulations being lifted.

31 October relaxations

The Executive has agreed a date of October 31 for the following relaxations, with mitigations in place:

  • Allow people to move around hospitality premises and indoor venues, including being able to stand to have a drink and eat food.
  • The restriction on indoor dancing will be lifted.
  • The need to maintain social distancing in hospitality settings, such as pubs and restaurants will move to guidance. Whilst the legal requirement for social distancing will now be removed, people are asked to keep close face-to-face contact to a minimum at all times.
  • Nightclubs will be permitted to reopen.

TIC update 08.10.21

UK City of Culture 2025 longlist revealed

Eight areas longlisted for UK City of Culture 2025 were today unveiled by Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries. Following a record 20 bids, the eight longlisted locations are Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Bradford, Cornwall, County Durham, Derby, Southampton, Stirling and Wrexham County Borough. 

Winning the prestigious title has enormous benefits with previous hosts attracting millions of pounds in additional investment, creating jobs and attracting thousands of visitors to their local area. The places will now work with a panel of experts and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to finalise their bids before the shortlist is announced early next year. For the first time, this year each longlisted place will receive £40,000 to support the development of their promising proposals. Please see here for more details. 

  • CJRS Statistics

ONS has produced an analysis of the furlough statistics up until the end of August. At that stage there were 1.3m people on furlough. Some of the key findings are:

    • The passenger air transport sector still has 44% of employees on furlough
    • The travel agency and tour operator sector had 40% of employees on furlough
    • The conventions and trade show sector had 23% of employees on furlough
    • The arts, entertainment and recreation sector had 12% of employees on furlough
    • The accommodation and food services sector saw the largest reduction of employees on furlough from the previous months – but 11% of employees were still on furlough

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-7-october-2021/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-7-october-2021

  • Guidance  For Local Decision Makers

The Government has updated the guidance for local decision makers to bring it into line with the Autumn and Winter Plan. The framework sets out:

    • the roles and responsibilities of local authorities and local system partners, and the support local authorities can expect from regional and national teams, as well as the decision-making and incident response structures
    • the core components of the COVID-19 response across the spectrum of outbreak prevention and management, including to variants
    • the requirements of local authorities on the continued COVID-19 response, as well as how this should be factored into local outbreak management plans (LOMPs)

It is worth businesses being aware of this guidance as we go into winter as it will form the basis for how activities and events are assessed and should be managed.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/containing-and-managing-local-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreaks/covid-19-contain-framework-a-guide-for-local-decision-makers

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

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE 6 OCT

  • Transport Use

As ever, DfT has published it’s weekly update of transport use.  Disappointingly, use of national rail has dipped back under 60% of normal for the first time since the end of August while tube use figures for London are showing an interesting divergence between use for business and leisure reasons. For example, use of the tube is under 60% during weekdays but hit 81% over the weekend which suggests that people are happy to travel for leisure and recreation but still have a preference for working from home or undertaking hybrid working.

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

  • Kickstart Scheme Applications Closing On 17 December

All the guidance for the Kickstart Scheme has been updated to confirm that the scheme will close for applications on 17th December. After this date businesses will not be able to:

    • apply for a new Kickstart Scheme grant
    • add more jobs to an existing grant agreement

However, they will process applications submitted before this time or that are already in progress so it is important that businesses get applications in before then. The scheme itself will continue running until march 2022

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-the-kickstart-scheme-works

  • International Travel Rules Updated

With the removal of the Amber classification, the guidance on international travel as been updated

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

  • Discretionary Grant For Dissolved Companies

Cash and other assets of a dissolved company automatically pass to the Crown. However,  a Discretionary Grant application can be made to enable sums of money to be recovered without making an application to restore the company to the Companies Register. A maximum limit of £3000 can be recovered and only one grant payment will be made in respect of each dissolved company.

While this grant has been available for some time, the forms to be used to apply for the grant have now been changed. The new forms are on the following link.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-discretionary-grant-where-the-dissolved-company-can-be-restored-cb2

SUPPLY CHAIN CALL FOR EVIDENCE

We have been working closely with DCMS and other HM Gov depts throughout the pandemic.

We have had some successes with our requests and made our mark with many of the civil servants we have encountered.

Whenever we have asked for consideration to this and that regarding the Outdoor Events Industry we are always asked for evidence.

They clearly cannot go to minister with anecdotal stories and hearsay.

Now DCMS are hearing us loud and clear v v our industry supply chain. We know from our own experiences that there are shortages of stock, labour,

Drivers, skilled and properly trained staff. What we now need is the hard evidence to put a case to HMG that our industry needs support, some relaxation of work permits/visa rules

And investment in the next season of outdoor events.

You have often talked about the above . Now you must prove it to be true.

Send your examples, as many as you like to EIF, c/o Jim Winship, jim@eventsindustryforum.co.uk 

This information needs to be collated no later than 15th October, so please do it now.

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

TIER UPDATE 5 OCT

International travel update

The Welsh government has confirmed it is aligning with the UK on countries with approved vaccination status. You can read Wales’ guidance here.

Northern Ireland has added the United Arab Emirates to it’s list of approved vaccination programmes.

Updated International Travel Stakeholder Toolkit from Department for Transport

The Department for Transport has updated their International Travel Stakeholder Toolkit. Within you can read the requirements for people travelling internationally from and to the UK.

Within the pack there is also information for anyone travelling to the EU, about the new rules and actions to be taken before travel as the UK has left the EU. Please see attached.

Other news:

  • The Government is inviting responses to the proposed certification regime which could be introduced as part of Plan B of the COVID Winter Plan. This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 11 October 2021 although stakeholders are encouraged to submit views as quickly as possible in case there is a need to introduce certification, as part of Plan B, at short notice. Read more.
  • The Coronavirus vaccine certification scheme is now in effect in Scotland. People will have to show proof of their vaccination status to enter some events and higher risk venues.
  • Working safely during coronavirus advice for hotels and guest accommodation in England has been updated to reflect changes in international travel restrictions. Some people will still need to quarantine after international travel, but this will depend on their vaccination status.

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

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE 30 SEPT

  • End of Furlough and SEISS

With the end of furlough and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, all the guidance on the CJRS and SEISS has been updated accordingly.

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

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-what-to-do-if-youre-self-employed-and-getting-less-work-or-no-work

There is also updated guidance for employees whose employer now has less or no work for them because of coronavirus. This signposts to:

    • New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) if they’re under State Pension age, unemployed or are working less than 16 hours a week on average, and have made enough National Insurance contributions, usually over the last 2 to 3 years
    • Universal Credit if they or their partner are under State Pension age and you have £16,000 or less in savings – they might be able to get it at the same time as New Style JSA
    • Pension Credit if both they and their partner have reached State Pension age

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-what-to-do-if-youre-employed-and-cannot-work

  • Business Support Finder

The Government’s online business support finder has been updated in line with today’s changes. It should be noted that while CJRS and SEISS ended today, there is still a significant range of support still available to businesses ranging from ARG grants, loans, business rates relief and training programmes.

https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder

  • Rules That Have been Relaxed to Help Businesses

Along the same line as the Business Support Finder, the Government has also updated the list of rules and restrictions that have been relaxed to help support businesses. It is worthwhile for businesses to go through this list just in case they have missed something that might be of help to them.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rules-that-have-been-relaxed-to-help-businesses-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic

  • NHS Covid Pass Guidance Updated

The guidance on the NHS Covid Pass has been updated with information for people who are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons. The new guidance states that people in this situation can apply for proof of evidence that they have a medical reason why they should not be vaccinated and/or tested. If they are eligible for proof of medical exemption, or a carer obtains this on their behalf, they will be able to use the domestic NHS COVID Pass wherever they need to prove your COVID-19 status.

Businesses can continue to accept people who self-declare that they are medically exempt until mid December 2021. After this point, people unable to be vaccinated will have to use the NHS COVID Pass to gain entry in the same way that people who are fully vaccinated do.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-covid-pass#if-youre-unable-to-get-vaccinated-for-medical-reasons

  • Quarantine Hotel Guidance Updated

There has been a small update to the guidance to people having to undertake quarantine a dedicated hotel in that Newcastle Airport has been added to the list of approved ports of entry in 'Where you can arrive'.

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

  • Public Guidance on Coronavirus

Some good news in that he general guidance to the public has been update to remove Cornwall Council, Devon County Council, Council of the Isles of Scilly, Plymouth City Council and Torbay Council as local authority areas receiving an enhanced response to COVID-19.

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

  • R Number and Growth Rate

This week’s R Number and Growth Rate are, respectively, 0.8 to 1.1 and -3% to +1%. These figures are up slightly from last week but are generally stable.

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

Tourism Alliance Coronavirus Update – 30 September

  • VAT Increase Press Release

With the increase in VAT for accommodation, attractions and restaurants increasing from 5% to 12.5% tomorrow we have been produced the attracted press release with UKHospitality, BBPA, AVLA and BII based on the results of the VAT Survey that we sent around a few weeks ago. Some of the main findings from the survey were: 

    • The reduced rate of VAT has been highly important to businesses, with 8 in 10 (77%) stating it is important/very important/crucial
    • Businesses will use the reduced VAT rate for an array of productive purposes, including 6 in 10 who will invest in their businesses, half who will use it to meet costs of complying with Covid-secure guidance, and over 1 in 3 who will use it to pay staff or suppliers/creditors
    • Similarly, if the reduced rate were to continue to apply beyond April 2022, the saved costs would be used for a series of productive purposes, particularly with 7 in 10 who will invest further in their businesses
    • Reverting the VAT level back to 20% in April 2020 could have serious consequences for businesses, with 4 in 10 saying it would likely lead to cutbacks and job losses (up to a fifth of the workforce), with a further 1 in 10 saying it would lead to major cut backs and job losses
    • If VAT on tourism and hospitality were to remain at 12.5% indefinitely, it would increase turnover by an average of 8.8% (using mid-point average calculation)
    • If VAT on tourism and hospitality were to remain at 12.5% indefinitely, it would increase business investment by an average of 12.0% (using mid-point average calculation)

The results of the modelling work that we are undertaking are currently being finalised and we should be able to share this report with you shortly.

Finally it is worth pointing out that the increase in the VAT is based on the invoice date rather than the payment date or the date the goods and services are used  - so if business are able to invoice sales to customers with today’s date, they should do so. 

  • Principles For Sustainable Resumption Of International Travel  

The transport Secretary hosted a meeting of G7 ministers to agreed a series of measures to align international travel strategies, through 7 principles that are aimed at setting global standards on international travel and generate a sustainable recovery for the international travel sector. There principles are:

    • futureproofing the transportation sector against future health threats
    • ensuring the fair treatment and safety of essential transport personnel
    • respecting privacy and data protection in implementing vaccination certification solutions
    • reaffirming the pre-eminence of scientific evidence in planning international travel policy
    • ensuring fairness and equity in respective national responses
    • maintaining regular international and multilateral engagement
    • delivering a safe, sustainable and resilient recovery

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/g7-high-level-principles-for-a-safe-and-sustainable-resumption-of-international-travel/g7-high-level-principles-for-a-safe-and-sustainable-resumption-of-international-travel

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TOURISM ALLIANCE 29 SEPT

  • Hospitality Council Formed

BEIS has announced the membership of the new Hospitality Council which has been established to support the delivery of the government’s Hospitality Strategy. The task of the council is to identify and oversee actions related to the 22 commitments in the strategy, create sensible solutions using their expert knowledge and assess the strength of the sector. The council is co-chaired by Minister Scully and the Chair of Prezzo, Karen Jones, and include Kate Nicholls and Emma McClarkin.

                Since the strategy was launched on 16 July, progress includes:

    • the National Employers and Partners Team creating a steering group to find hospitality vacancies and support employers in filling them. The Department for Work and Pensions has also been filling vacancies by using their work coaches and Plan for Jobs programmes including Kickstart and Sector-based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPs)
    • the Department for Education adding hospitality and catering qualifications to Free Courses for Jobs. This offers adults without Level 3 qualifications a range of free courses which now includes food and beverage supervision, professional cookery, and patisserie and confectionary

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-hospitality-council-to-guide-the-sectors-recover

  • HSE Spot Checks

The Health and Safety Executive have announced that they are continuing to undertake spot-checks of businesses to make sure they are working safely with regard to coronavirus. The spot check programme provides expert advice during the calls and visits, advising businesses on how to manage risk and protect workers, customers and visitors. They are also working closely with local authorities, assisting them in the sectors they regulate such as hospitality and retail.

https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/regulating-health-and-safety/spot-inspections.htm?utm_source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=coronavirus&utm_term=spot-inspections-1&utm_content=digest-29-sep-21

  • Transport Use

The results of DfT’s weekly survey of transport use  has been published and things are slowly continuing to get back to normal. The good news is that the load factors for Buses and the Tube in London reached their highest levels of respectively, 89% and 79% during the last week – although average use levels were somewhat below this during the week suggesting that although quite a few people are still working from home or hybrid working, they are increasingly getting out and doing things at the weekends.

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

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 TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE 28 SEPT

  • Feedback On The Working Safely Guidance

DCMS has extended the deadline for feedback on the Working Safely guidance for Hotels and Guest Accommodation and Events and Attractions until the end of play tomorrow – 29th September.

As a reminder, they are keen for your views on how well the guidance has been working in practice since the move to Step 4, any challenges your members have encountered when implementing the guidance, and any wider lessons learned to date. They are also after ways that they can make the guidance more useful and accessible for your members’ needs. For example, do you think the structure of the guidance is clear and easy to understand?

Any feedback can be send to Bethan Smyth at bethan.smyth@dcms.gov.uk

  • Welcome Back Fund – Version 3 Updated

MHCLG has updated Version 3 of it’s guidance on the Welcome Back Fund and the associated FAQ. To recap, the Welcome Back Fund comprises £56 million from the European Regional Development Fund which councils in England can use to:

    • Boost the look and feel of their high streets by investing in street planting, parks, green spaces, and seating areas to make high streets welcoming.
    • Run publicity campaigns and prepare to hold events that will boost footfall and encourage people back into the high streets and thereby supporting local businesses.
    • Install and refresh signage and communications on how people can stay safe and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
    • Improve green spaces on high streets and town centres by planting flowers or removing graffiti.
    •  
    • https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/welcome-back-fund
  • Council ARG Distribution Data Revised

The data tables of how much of the ARG funding that councils have distributed to support businesses in their area has been updated as a result of errors being found when the data for the period to the end of August 2021 was published last week. Having a quick look through the tables there are still a number of councils that need to distribute over £1m and a total of over £300m that has not been distributed to businesses.

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

  • Local Authority Powers Extended

This is just an administrative measure but it’s worth noting that the legislation that authority powers to impose restrictions - the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No 3) Regulations 202) – has been extended until 24 March 2022.. In the past people have been concerned that the extending of the regulations means that the powers will be used but the regulations come up for renewal every six months so this just rolls over the powers for another six months in case they are needed.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-authority-powers-to-impose-restrictions-under-coronavirus-regulations

  • Guidance For Temporary Residents And Visa Applicants Updated

The guidance for people in the UK on visa that expires before 30 November 2021 and are unable to return to a Red List country has been updated  to state that they can request additional time to stay through ‘exceptional assurance’. People may also be able to apply for exceptional assurance if they are from a Green List country where that nation has closed their borders or where quarantine facilities are temporarily over-subscribed. Countries such as New Zealand and Australia would fit into this category.

                https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents#if-youre-in-the-uk

  • Change Of Stickers For International Coaches

A very minor one but worth noting that international bus and coach services will need to have “UK” stickers rather than “GB” stickers.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/international-bus-or-coach-services-and-tours-vehicle-documents

 TIC update 28.09.21

Proposal for mandatory COVID certification in a Plan B scenario: call for evidence

The government is inviting responses to the detail on the proposed certification regime which could be introduced as part of Plan B. This opportunity for engagement will enable the government to take into account relevant comments and views, and make any warranted revisions. This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 11 October 2021 although we encourage stakeholders to submit views as quickly as possible in case there is a need to introduce certification, as part of Plan B, at short notice. Please see here for more details and thank you in advance for your participation. 

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TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE 27 SEPT

Today, the Welsh Government confirmed it will merge the green and amber travel lists into one and remove the requirement for pre-departure testing for those fully vaccinated. A decision on moving away from PCR tests is still to be made. The Welsh Government is also considering which countries to expand the vaccine certification recognition system to over the coming weeks.

Please find below a summary of the changes to international travel to the UK from 4 October, following announcements made over the past 10 days or so.

Changes to international travel to the UK

From 4am Monday 4 October 2021, the rules for international travel to the UK will change from the red, amber, green traffic light system to a single red list of countries and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world. The rules for travel from countries and territories not on the red list will depend on vaccination status.

There will be changes to rules for fully vaccinated travellers coming from non-red list countries.

Travellers from non red-list countries into UK if fully vaccinated

From 4am Monday 4 October, arrivals will qualify as fully vaccinated if they are vaccinated either:

  • For arrivals to UK: under an approved vaccination programme in the UK, Europe, USA or UK vaccine programme overseas
  • For arrivals to Northern Ireland, Scotland and England: with a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines from a relevant public health body in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan. England and Scotland have also confirmed that they will recognise the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Welsh Government is considering which countries to expand the vaccine certification recognition system to over the coming weeks.

Formulations of the 4 listed vaccines, such as AstraZeneca Covishield, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria and Moderna Takeda, qualify as approved vaccines.

You must have had a complete course of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive.

Where 2 doses of a vaccine are required for a full course, you will be able to:

  • mix 2 different types of vaccine, for example Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna
  • have the 2 vaccinations under 2 different approved programmes, for example Australia and Japan, UK and USA, EU and Canada

Until 4 October, mixed vaccines are only permitted if you are vaccinated under the UK, Europe, USA or UK overseas vaccination programme.

The rules for fully vaccinated people will also apply if the passenger is either:

  • under 18 and resident in the UK or one of the listed countries or territories with approved vaccination programmes
  • taking part in an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial in the UK or USA

If they qualify as fully vaccinated, they will have to:

  • book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test 
  • complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before they arrive in the UK
  • take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive in the UK

Travel from the rest of the world to the UK if not fully vaccinated

From 4am Monday 4 October, passengers who do not qualify under the fully vaccinated rules; are partially, or not vaccinated must follow these rules. Before they travel to the UK, they must:

  • take a pre-departure COVID-19 test – to be taken in the 3 days before you travel to the UK
  • book and pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 tests – to be taken after arrival in the UK
  • complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in the UK

After they arrive in the UK, they must:

  • quarantine at home or in the place they are staying for 10 days
  • take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8

In England, quarantine can be ended early if they have paid for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.

Travel to the UK from red list countries

From 4am Monday 4 October, passengers arriving in the UK must follow these rules if they are fully, partially or not vaccinated. If the passenger has been in a country or territory on the red list in the last 10 days, they will only be allowed to enter the UK if they are a British or Irish national or have residence rights in the UK.

Before travel to the UK, they must:

  • take a pre-departure COVID-19 test – to be taken in the 3 days before you travel to the UK
  • book a quarantine hotel package, including 2 COVID-19 tests
  • complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in the UK

When they arrive, they must quarantine in a managed hotel, including 2 COVID-19 tests.

  • Hosting Overseas Students

The guidance on hosting overseas students has been updated to say that a Higher Education or Further Education student under the age of 18 arriving into the country from a Red List country can undertake their quarantining with a host family rather than in a quarantine hotel. However, the host family household must isolate with the student for the full quarantine period.

               https://www.gov.uk/guidance/unaccompanied-higher-and-further-education-students-under-18-arriving-from-a-red-list-country 

New guidance has also been produced for students arriving in the county from Red List countries to attend boarding school. 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/unaccompanied-minors-arriving-from-a-red-list-country-to-attend-boarding-school  

  • Hardship Arrangements For Those Unable To Pay For Quarantine And Testing

The Government has published new guidance for people travelling to the UK from Red List countries who are not able to pay for Quarantine and testing requirements. In exceptionally limited circumstances, people may be eligible for a fee reduction or fee waiver if the travel is for essential purposes. 

Essential travel includes:

    • work (where you’re returning from work that could not be completed in the UK)
    • education (including for students coming to study in the UK)
    • urgent medical treatment (where it cannot reasonably be obtained in the UK) and
    • compassionate reasons (for example, where you’ve been to visit a close family member who is dying or critically ill, to attend the funeral of a close family member or to avoid injury or illness or escape the risk of harm)

 Hardship arrangements are only available to UK citizens or individuals with residency rights (for example, international students who possess a student visa) and depends on one or more of the following applying:

    • you have a household income of under £13,800
    • you and your household have no (or limited) savings
    • you have dependents and significant care-related expenses
    • you’re on income-related benefits
    • you’re above state pension age and are on a fixed income

 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hardship-arrangements-for-those-unable-to-pay-for-managed-quarantine-or-testing

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

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE 23 SEPT

  • Clarification On Live Event’s Reinsurance Scheme

There has been some confusion as to whether business events such as conferences and  Event’s Reinsurance Scheme .

There are two eligibility criteria for “Covered Event”. They are an event:

(A) of which advance notice is given to members of the public and/or which is generally available to members of the public to attend or participate in, and, if such event is

(1) ticketed,

(2) requires payment to attend or participate, or (3) is otherwise of limited capacity, then:

(i) it must still be possible for members of the public to obtain the right to attend or participate (as the case may be) when any such advance notice is given; and

(ii) the cost or conditions of attendance or participation must not be disproportionately more onerous for members of the public than for any other person. Any requirement:

(a) to join a supporters’ or members’ association or club which is generally open to members of the public without the need to be proposed as a member of such association or club by an existing member; or

b) to fulfil objective and reasonable criteria, in order to attend or participate in such event shall not, on its own, be disproportionately more onerous for the purposes of this limb                

(B) which is either (i) advertised to; or (ii) attended by or participated in by, professionals of the same industry or related industries (whether or not advertised to or attended by members of the public) and which:

(i) will be for a bona fide business purpose; and/or

(ii) will support or foster growth in local economies and/or supply chains.

So this means that private corporate business events, association conferences and trade fairs are eligible but things like office parties, weddings or social events are not included.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1019546/UK_Live_Events_Reinsurance_Scheme.pdf

  • Safe Volunteering Guidance Updated

There has been a minor update to the guidance to businesses and organisations on managing volunteers that will be of interest to some members. The guidance now reads:

Since Step 4 we have seen a gradual return to offices and workplaces. As workers and volunteers return, you should continue to discuss these arrangements with them to ensure they meet both organisational and individual needs. To help workers and volunteers feel safe to return, you should continue to consult them on any measures you have put in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading.

However, people should not leave home to volunteer if:

  • they have COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test
  • are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace

If a volunteer is fully vaccinated or under 18 and 6 months they’re not required to self-isolate if they’ve had close contact with someone with COVID-19. 

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

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 TIER UPDATE 22 SEPT

Live Events Reinsurance Scheme - DCMS has published the details of its Live Events Reinsurance Scheme that was announced a couple of weeks ago. The key features of the scheme have been summarised below by Kurt from the Tourism Alliance and are as follows:

  • It a cost indemnification scheme which protects against costs incurred due to the event being legally unable to happen due to new government COVID restrictions.
  • The scheme will cover live events that are open to the general public and are physically located in the UK. This includes live music events, festivals, sports events, trade shows and business events. Private events such as weddings and parties would not be covered.
  • In order to be eligible, event organisers must purchase the relevant cover from participating insurers within the scheme. Event organisers must also have or purchase a standard events cancellation policy (or a policy which includes event cancellation coverage) provided at least in part by a participating insurer – the cover backed by the scheme will not be offered on a standalone basis.
  • Premium is set at 5% of the total value of insured costs (plus Insurance Premium Tax).
  • Claims will be subject to an excess of 5% of the value of the insured costs or £1,000 (whichever is higher) per policy.
  • Event organisers can purchase cover up to the full cost of their event, irrespective of when those costs are incurred.
  • Cover must be purchased at least 8 weeks prior to the event taking place. This requirement will however not apply for the first 12 weeks of the scheme.
  • The government’s expectation is that participating insurers will pay no brokerage in connection with the scheme and no deductions for such brokerage will be made to any premiums paid by insurers to DCMS in connection with the scheme.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1019546/UK_Live_Events_Reinsurance_Scheme.pdf

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

Tourism Alliance Coronavirus Update – 21 September

  • Feedback On The Working Safely Guidance

DCMS are seeking feedback on the Hotels and Guest Accommodation and Events and Attractions guidance for businesses since the July 2021 (Step 4). In particular, they are keen to hear your views on:

    • How well the guidance has been working in practice since Step 4
    • Any challenges you have encountered when implementing the guidance
    • Any wider lessons learned to date.

They would also like to hear your thoughts on any ways that they can make the guidance more useful and accessible for your needs. For example,

    • Do you think the structure of the guidance is clear and the language is easy to understand?
    • Do you understand from reading the guidance what you can do to work safely?
    • If not, what can be changed to improve your understand of the guidance?

Any feedback should be sent to Bethan Smyth bethan.smyth@dcms.gov.uk by 10am on Friday 24 September. If you can copy me in so that I can keep track of the key issues, that would be appreciated.

  • Stakeholder Influencer Toolkit

Attached is the latest version of the Cabinet Office’s Stakeholder Toolkit which has been updated inline with the Autumn and Winter plan.  The toolkit holds some useful information, key messages and links to resources which are useful when you are undertaking engagement on Coronavirus. Please note, this Toolkit is for stakeholder use only and is not to be shared publicly.  

  • 5G And The Creative Industries, Arts, Tourism & Heritage

UK5G (the national innovation network dedicated to the promotion of research, collaboration and the industrial application of 5G in the UK) is holding a webinar to discuss the specific 5G benefits to the Arts, Heritage and Tourism sectors on 30th September 10am-12pm (co-hosted by the National Gallery). The webinar is an opportunity to hear how 5G presents new opportunities for these sectors and can help address some of the key challenges. If you would like to attend, you can find more information register to attend on the follow link

https://ktn-uk.org/events/5g-and-the-creative-industries-art-tourism-heritage/

  • Statutory Registration Research In Wales

The Welsh Government has commissioned Strategic Research & Insight (SRI), an independent Cardiff-based research agency to interview stakeholders to explore establishing a statutory registration or licensing scheme for holiday accommodation operators in Wales.

SRI will be speaking to stakeholders in Welsh Government, local authorities and trade associations in Wales, as well as researching best practice in other countries, to consider:

•             Whether developing a registration scheme or licensing scheme would be appropriate in Wales

•             The options for how a scheme would be operated and delivered at national and/or local level

•             Resources required for each of the best options

•             How a scheme would support wider areas of Welsh Government policy such as housing and taxation

•             Whether a scheme should merge or align with the existing Visit Wales grading scheme or follow the Rent Smart Wales model

                Businesses are being asked to channel comments through their representative body. If it is not possible you can email anthony@strategic-research.co.uk with comments.

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TIER: COVID-19 update 20 September

International travel restrictions to be relaxed and simplified in Scotland

Following the announcement by the UK Government on Friday, Scotland has also announced they will change their lists to be in line with England with the green and amber classifications merging. The red list will be retained for those countries deemed to have high COVID19 case rates or variants of concern. 

 The following countries will also be added to the eligible vaccinated traveller policy from 4 October including Canada, Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Singapore, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Brunei, Taiwan, Dominica, Japan, South Korea, Qatar, Kuwait, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain

The changes that will include the removal of the pre-departure test and the use of lateral flow tests on day two in England have not been adopted by Scotland at this stage.

Tourism Alliance Coronavirus Update – 20 September

  • US Travel Ban To End In November

The Transport Secretary has announced to Parliament that the US will remove the travel ban on fully vaccinated UK residents travelling to the USA from early November. The removal of this restriction will also apply to residents of the EU, China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa and India. All visitors from these countries will, however, need to take part in a new testing and contact tracing regime.

  • Guidance On Quarantining Updated

The Guidance on quarantining has been updated to take into account the announcement of the changes that will come into effect on 4th Oct when the system changes to a simple Red/Green categorisation. There have also been a series of other amendments which include:

    • Definitions for ‘unaccompanied minor’ and ‘appropriate adult’
    • Stating that if an appropriate adult cannot enter managed quarantine with the child, they must apply for an exemption from managed quarantine.
    • Additional information on applying for permission for a child to travel alone, where it is not possible for the appropriate adult to travel with the child
    • Additional information on expectations for quarantining at home.

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

  • Recruiting Prison Leavers

On 21st October, the MOJ will be hosting a free interactive virtual summit to support businesses who are interested in recruiting people on release from prison. With many businesses currently experiencing skills gaps, the summit is a timely opportunity to hear first-hand from employers who have significantly benefitted from recruiting prison leavers.  

Businesses that are interested in recruiting people on release from prison to help alleviate their staffing shortage will hear from hospitality employers including Greggs and Greene King about the business benefits and how they can go about employing prison leavers.

You can book to attend using the following link

https://seewhatsontheinside.com/.

  • Performers And Cultural Professionals’ Exemption

From 22nd September there will be exemption from self-isolation for individual domestic artists and cultural professionals returning to England from professional activity abroad. It is also for international artists and cultural professionals travelling into England. In all cases the application must be for work purposes.

The individuals must be attending a paid professional performing arts event in England, for which they are being paid, that would be critically affected by having to self-isolate; or when their work schedule would be critically affected by having to self-isolate.

Applications for self-isolation exemption must be submitted by a well-established and recognised English producing venue or organisation, such as a theatre or theatre company, a concert hall, grassroots music venue or orchestra, a recording studio, dance studio or dance company, on behalf of the domestic or international artist or cultural professional when they are coming into England to work on a specific professional performing arts activity with that producer.

This exemption is not available for those entering England from red list countries.

                https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid-19/self-isolation-exemptions#section-1 

  • The Experience Of Disabled People

The Government’s Disability Unit has published an interesting piece of research on the experience of disabled people during the pandemic. While the study was in relation to accessing healthcare, the findings will be of interest to tourism and hospitality businesses in looking to see what they can do to support and encourage disabled people in going out and taking holidays. Some of the key findings are:

    • During the pandemic, disabled people have felt increased levels of shame and guilt about their ‘disabled’ identities and the needs that accompany them
    • Disabled people found the changing rules around COVID-19 difficult to understand and follow across different areas of their lives
    • The pandemic has exposed and exacerbated the existing inequalities they experienced
    • They felt that people in wider society have often been able to ‘cherry pick’ the COVID-19 rules they are going to abide by, because they have more freedom to do so, whereas disabled people cannot, mainly due to new and existing social barriers

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-lived-experience-of-disabled-people-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/the-lived-experience-of-disabled-people-during-the-covid-19-pandemic

 ----------------------------

TIER: COVID-19 update 17 September

Please see a summary of the latest announcements below.

Countries removed from the red list

Turkey, Pakistan, the Maldives, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh and Kenya will move off the red list for England, Scotland and Wales from 4am Wednesday 22 September. 

New system for international travel

  • The UK Government has announced changes to international travel rules in England. From 4am Monday 4 October:
  • The current traffic light system will be replaced by a single red list of countries and territories  
  • The rules for travel from countries and territories not on the red list will depend on people’s vaccination status.
  • Eligible fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to take a Pre Departure Test when travelling to England
  • England will welcome fully vaccinated travellers from 17 new countries and territories These include arrivals from Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea or Taiwan.

From the end of October

  • Eligible fully vaccinated passengers and those with an approved vaccine from a select group of non-red countries will be able to replace their day 2 test with a cheaper lateral flow test. Anyone testing positive will need to isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test, at no additional cost to the traveller, these will be genomically sequenced to help identify new variants.
  • Passengers who change flights or international trains during their journey will be able to follow the measures associated to their country of departure, rather than any countries they have transited through as part of their journey.

Testing for unvaccinated passengers from non-red countries will include pre-departure tests, day 2 and day 8 PCR tests. Test to release remains an option to reduce self-isolation period.

Changes to the definition of fully vaccinated for entry into England

From 4am Monday 4 October, if you have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days:

  • under an approved vaccination program in the UK, Europe, US or UK vaccine programme overseas
  • with a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines from a relevant public health body in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea or Taiwan – mixing between two-dose vaccines (Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna) in this list is also recognised
  • under a formally approved COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial in the US, Canada and Australia and have a proof of participation (digital or paper-based) from a public health body

People must:

  • book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test – to be taken after arrival in England
  • complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England
  • take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive in England

See more information

Wales to introduce COVID Pass for events and nightclubs

The Welsh Government has announced that people will have to show a NHS COVID Pass to enter nightclubs and attend events in Wales from 11 October.

All over-18s will need to have a NHS COVID Pass to enter:

  • Nightclubs
  • Indoor, non-seated events for more than 500 people, such as concerts or conventions
  • Outdoor non-seated events for more than 4,000 people
  • Any setting or event with more than 10,000 people in attendance

£1 million Conference Support Scheme announced for Northern Ireland

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons has launched a £1 million Conference Support Scheme in partnership with Tourism NI, Visit Belfast, Visit Derry, Belfast City Council and Derry and Strabane District Council.  The scheme is part of the Tourism Recovery Action Plan and is aimed at securing business events for Northern Ireland.

Wave 39 of VisitEngland’s Consumer Sentiment Tracker available

The latest wave of the COVID sentiment tracker is available here. The fieldwork for this was conducted last week between 6-10September.

Measures have continued to remain very stable this wave, with minor fluctuations in mood and sentiment towards Covid. Intent and Confidence to travel in Autumn remain at similar levels to the last wave.

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 17 September

  • Business And Industry Challenges In Filling Vacancies

ONS has produced a report that highlights the problems faced by businesses in filling vacancies. Unsurprisingly, the report highlights that the hospitality industry is struggling the most to fill vacancies. Some of the key findings from the report are:

    • 30% of hospitality businesses said that vacancies were more difficult to fill than normal compared to 13% across all sectors
    • 41% of businesses across all industries were struggling to fill vacancies in late August, up from 32% earlier in the month (businesses with over 10 employees)
    • 25% of businesses said that a reduced number of EU applicants was a factor
    • In the hospitality sector vacancies are up job openings up by 59.1% compared with pre-pandemic (January to March 2020).
    • London has also seen a slower recovery in payrolled employment than other regions and remains 1.8% lower than February 2020

https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/articles/hospitalitybusinessesaremostlikelytobestrugglingtofillvacancies/2021-09-16

  • Volunteering Futures Fund

DCMS had added new guidance to the application forms for the £1.7m Volunteering Futures Fund. The object of the fund is to create better and more volunteering opportunities  in DCMS sectors with the most demand for new and young volunteers (art, culture, heritage, sport and youth) for people:

    • in deprived communities,
    • who are often or always lonely,
    • who experience other barriers to volunteering.

Applications must be submitted by midnight on Sunday 26th September to volunteering-futures-fund@dcms.gov.uk.

FurtHer information and an application form are available on the following link

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/volunteering-futures-fund-invitation-for-grant-makers

  • R Number And Growth Rate

For the this week in a row the R Number and the Growth rate have stayed the same at, respectively, 0.9 to 1.1 and -1% to +1%

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

TIER UPDATE 14 SEPT

Please see an update following the announcement of the Autumn and Winter Plan by the UK Government.

Autumn and Winter Plan for England

In the House of Commons this afternoon Health Secretary Sajid Javid set out the Autumn and Winter Plan for England.  This was followed by a press briefing by Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressing the public. The plan sets out a Plan A scenario and outlines a Plan B contingency plan for England that would only be enacted if the data suggests that further actions are necessary to protect the NHS.

The 5 pillars outlined for ‘Plan A’ include;

  1. Building our defences through pharmaceutical interventions: including maximising vaccine uptake among those who are eligible and not taken up the offer yet, offering booster doses to those who received vaccinations in phase 1 of the vaccine programme, offering a first dose to those aged 12-15.  Antivirals and therapeutics are already being used, and teams are researching further drugs that may assist.
  2. Identifying and isolating positive cases to limit transmission: PCR testing for symptomatic and contacts of cases will be available free of charge. Regular asymptomatic testing will also continue, focused on those who are not vaccinated or are on front line settings. Contact tracing will continue. Support will remain in place for those forced to self-isolate.
  3. Supporting the NHS and Social Care – managing pressures and recovering services. Linked to the announcement of further funding announced last week to clear the backlog of appointments.
  4. Advising people on how to protect themselves and others - For businesses the Government will continue to provide up-to-date Working Safely guidance on how employers can reduce the risks in their workplace. They are encouraging the public to let fresh air in when meeting indoors, wearing a face covering in crowded and enclosed settings, getting tested and self isolating, staying home if they feel unwell, washing hands regularly and using the NHS COVID-19 app.
  5. Pursuing an international approach – playing a part in the global effort towards vaccination, and keeping strong defence at the border. The Government will shortly set out a revised framework for international travel, in advance of the next formal checkpoint review, with a deadline of 1 October.

‘Plan B’

If the data suggests the NHS is likely to come under unsustainable pressure, the Government has prepared a Plan B for England. The Government’s Plan B prioritises measures which can help control transmission of the virus while seeking to minimise economic and social impacts. This includes:

  • Communicating clearly and urgently to the public that the level of risk has increased, and with it the need to behave more cautiously.
  • Introducing mandatory vaccine-only COVID-status certification in certain settings.
  • Legally mandating face coverings in certain settings.

If Plan B is implemented, at that point the NHS COVID Pass will change to display full vaccination only (exemptions will continue to apply). The Government expects that mandatory vaccine-only certification would be introduced for visitors to the following venues:

  • All nightclubs;
  • Indoor, crowded settings with 500 or more attendees where those attendees are likely to be in close proximity to people from other households, such as music venues or large receptions;
  • Outdoor, crowded settings with 4,000 or more attendees where those attendees are likely to be in close proximity to people from other households, such as outdoor festivals; and
  • Any settings with 10,000 or more attendees, such as large sports and music stadia.

There are some settings that will be exempt from requirements to use the NHS COVID Pass, including communal worship, wedding ceremonies, funerals and other commemorative events, protests and mass participation sporting events.

The Government would seek to give businesses at least one week’s notice before mandatory vaccine certification came into force.

Read the full plan.

Other updates

  • The de Bois review of Destination Management Organisations in England, commissioned by DCMS has been published. The review examined and assessed how Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) across England are funded and structured, and how they perform their roles, in order to establish whether there may be a more efficient and effective model for supporting English tourism at the regional level, and if so what that model may be. Read the full report and recommendations here.
  • A wider choice of test providers will be available for people returning to Wales from overseas to book PCR tests from 21 September. The change comes as new standards and spot checks are being introduced, which will help to address long-standing concerns and issues about the market for PCR tests for all travellers returning to the UK.

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TIER & TOURISM UPDATES 13 SEPT

  • Tomorrow’s Winter Plan

The Prime Minister is expected to announce the Government’s Winter Plan for Coronavirus Control tomorrow. In a press release yesterday, Number 10 pre-briefed that the Prime Minister is expected to repeal powers in England that are no longer necessary including:

    • Powers to close-down sectors of the economy, such as business premises, or apply restrictions to events and gatherings.
    • Powers that disrupt education, enabling temporary closure or restricting access to schools, colleges, and childcare.
    • Powers that extend time limits for urgent warrants. Powers to detain infectious people.

Powers expected to be retained includes

    • giving sick pay to those isolating
    • directing schools to remain open
    • requiring someone to isolate if they test positive
    • helping the NHS to get the emergency resource it needs.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prime-minister-to-set-out-next-steps-in-covid-response

  • Impact of Covid On Household Spending

ONS has published research on the impact of Covid on household spending. The key findings from the research are:

    • Households reduced their spending by an average of £109.10 (19%) a week
    • Higher income households, who tended to spend more on travel, and were more likely to be able to work from home, saw a larger drop in spending than low income households.
    • Reduced spending on restaurants and hotels, recreation and culture and transport contributed most to the decline in overall spending for all income groups.
    • Spending on holidays abroad accounted for half of spending falls in the highest income households
    • 42% of workers on lower incomes reporting a decrease in earnings, compared with 31% for those on the highest incomes.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/personalandhouseholdfinances/expenditure/articles/weeklyhouseholdspendingfellbymorethan100onaverageduringthecoronaviruspandemic/2021-09-13

  • VB Sentiment Tracker

In the latest Visit Britain sentiment tracker, some of the interesting findings are that:

    • Only 49% if people think that things will return ‘close to normal’ by the beginning of next summer
    • Less than 60% of people think that a domestic holiday will be able to take place this autumn/winter
    • 25% of people say that they will take fewer domestic breaks between now and the end of the year
    • 38% of people say that they will take fewer overseas breaks between now and the end of the year​​​​​​

Kickstart Scheme Guidance Consolidated

The guidance on the Kickstart Scheme has been updated and consolidated the guidance on Kickstart Scheme into a new series of documents make it easier for businesses to undertake and navigate. The new guidance documents are:

Kickstart Scheme for employers   https://www.gov.uk/guidance/kickstart-scheme-for-employers

How the Kickstart Scheme works  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-the-kickstart-scheme-works

Getting young people into the Kickstart Scheme jobs  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/getting-young-people-into-the-kickstart-scheme-jobs

Manage your Kickstart Scheme funding  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/manage-your-kickstart-scheme-funding

Sign in to manage your Kickstart Scheme vacancies  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/sign-in-to-manage-your-kickstart-scheme-vacancies

Apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant through a Kickstart gateway  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-kickstart-scheme-grant-through-a-kickstart-gateway

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TIER & TOURISM UPDATES 10 SEPT

Vaccine certification plans approved by Scottish Parliament

 On 9 September Scottish Parliament approved the use of Coronavirus vaccination certificates to enter some events and higher risk venues. The Scheme will come into effect from 1 October. It aims to reduce risk while maximising peoples’ ability to keep open certain settings and events where transmission is a higher risk and encouraging uptake of the vaccine. From September 30, people will be able to use the NHS Scotland Covid Status App which also has a QR code, to access venues where certification is required. From this date the current downloadable PDF function will be switched off. Anyone unable or unwilling to use the App can request a secure uneditable paper record of vaccination, with enhanced security features such as thermodynamic ink to prevent forgery. The verifier app will be called ‘NHS Scotland Covid Check’.

 Proof of vaccination will be required to enter:

  • nightclubs
  • adult entertainment venues
  • unseated indoor live events, with more than 500 people in the audience
  • unseated outdoor live events, with more than 4,000 people in the audience
  • any event, of any nature, which has more than 10,000 people in attendance

 Staff at venues affected will be able to download a "verifier app" to a smartphone or device from next week, ahead of the launch, which will allow digital checks on the certification status of those attending. Guidance will be provided for venues on how to use the app, along with options to integrate it into their own systems as the source code is open. Under 18s and adults who are ineligible for vaccination will be exempt. There are currently no plans to introduce certification for the wider hospitality industry but this will be kept under review over the autumn and winter months.

Northern Ireland Executive agree modest relaxations from Friday 10 September

On Monday 6 September, the Northern Ireland Executive agreed a number of modest relaxations to the current Coronavirus Regulations. The following changes will come into effect at 5pm on Friday 10 September 2021:

  • The maximum number of people who may meet indoors in a domestic setting is increased to 15 from up to 4 households.
  • The current requirement for table service at hospitality settings will be eased, both indoors and outdoors, to enable customers to go to the bar to place orders or pay. However, in indoor settings, customers will still be required to return to their table in order to consume their food or drink. Because there is less risk in outdoor settings, the prohibition on standing to consume food and drink outdoors will be removed.
  • The prohibition on movement and standing to allow customers to play darts, pool, gaming machines etc will be removed.
  • The hospitality sector will also need to consider how best to manage the movement and queueing of customers to mitigate risk. In addition, the requirement to wear face coverings while not seated indoors will continue.
  • Indoor, live performance events (concerts and gigs) no longer require tickets to be purchased in advance or allocated seating. However, customers must still be seated and the requirement to record contact details for all attendees continues.
  • In addition, the current restriction on dancing in indoor settings is removed insofar as it applies to post wedding and civil partnership celebrations.
  • While the message to work from home where possible and appropriate remains, the Executive encourage employers to plan for a return to the workplace.

CMA publishes recommendations to improve PCR testing market

The CMA has published advice to the UK Government on ways to make the PCR testing market work better for consumers.

 A number of recommendations were made, including:

  • Creating a one-stop shop list of quality, approved test providers by significantly improving the basic standards to qualify for inclusion and remaining on the GOV.UK list.
  • Introducing a comprehensive monitoring and enforcement programme to ensure providers on the GOV.UK list meet these basic standards and rules, and swiftly removing and sanctioning those firms that don’t.
  • Improving the provider listings on GOV.UK so consumers get the information they need to compare providers properly and find the best deals for them.
  • Developing the NHS Test and Trace travel test as a benchmark for quality and price to drive higher standards and more competition across the sector.
  • Monitoring prices and costs on an ongoing basis, in case price reductions are not seen on the back of other measures.

 Although this advice has been provided at the request of the UK Government, it has the potential to improve the market for consumers across the UK nations where private testing for international travel is allowed. In addition to providing advice to the UK Government, the CMA is already using its powers to act where it can. On 25 August, it published an open letter to all PCR test providers warning them to stay on the right side of consumer law.

 Headline scheme rules for the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme have been published by DCMS

The headline rules for the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme have been published here. Full scheme rules will be available on this page in due course.

VisitEngland Consumer Sentiment Tracker

Wave 38 of the VisitEngland Consumer Sentiment Tracker report is now available.  The fieldwork for this was conducted between 23-27August. The measures have remained very stable this wave, with minor fluctuations in mood and sentiment towards COVID. However, intent to take a trip, confidence in a trip going ahead and destination, accommodation and trip type all remain very similar. The next report will be the final wave (39) of this phase of the research, which currently takes place once a fortnight. VisitEngland hopes to continue the research on a monthly basis.

  • Social Impacts of Coronavirus

ONS has published the latest wave of their research on the social impacts of coronavirus. The key findings from this wave, which is for the period 25th August to 5th Sept, are:

    • 87% of adults still felt that measures to slow the spread of coronavirus either very important or important
    • 46% of adults always or often maintain social distancing
    • 11% of all adults were asked for vaccination or test proof during the week – mostly to attend festivals. sporting events or care settings

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandthesocialimpactsongreatbritain/10september2021 

  • Economic Impact of Coronavirus

ONS has also published their survey on the economic impact of coronavirus during July. The key findings from this survey are:

    • UK GDP increased by just 0.1% with services output remaining broadly flat
    • Accommodation grew by 7.2%
    • Travel Agents and tour operators grew by 72.5% (albeit from a very low base)
    • Air transport increased by 118.4% (also from a very low base)
    • Creative Arts and entertainment grew by  13.8%
    • However, Food and Beverage services fell by 0.9%

It’s worth noting that all the figures are seasonally adjusted so that don’t just reflect the onset of the summer season. 

https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/articles/coronavirusandtheimpactonoutputintheukeconomy/july2021#services-industries 

  • R Number and Growth Rate

This week’s R number and Growth Rate are, respectively, 0.9 to 1.1 and -1% to +1%. This is good news in terms that the level of infection is stable even though business activity continues to rise and more people are returning to work. It is also good news in terms of there being no indication, certainly at the moment, that the Government could be forced to introduce measures to contain a rise in the infection rate.

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

Heroes of Net Zero competition: UK small business opportunity 

The UK Government has launched the ‘Heroes of Net Zero’ competition, as part of the Together for our Planet Business Climate Leaders campaign.

They are inviting businesses to enter the competition by telling them about the most innovative actions they’ve been taking to tackle climate change. In return, the Government is offering a chance to attend the crucial COP26 climate conference in Glasgow and win an exclusive prize package worth £4,500 to help develop and grow your business. 

The best entries will be judged by a panel of experts including the government’s Net Zero UK Business Champion, Andrew Griffith MP. All the shortlisted businesses will be invited to a special Heroes of Net Zero awards celebration at the COP26 conference in Glasgow on 2 November.

If you have 50 employees or fewer, we encourage you to visit the competition website and apply.

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BVEP MESSAGE 9 SEPT

The Cities Restart Report is quite large and some of you might not have received it. You can find the press release and report HERE as attached files - https://www.businessvisitsandeventspartnership.com/research-and-publications/latest-research/1030-business-events-industry-forecast-to-be-worth-27-6bn-by-2026-but-measures-to-support-rapid-post-covid-recovery-are-critical

TOURISM UPDATE 9 SEPT

  • National Lottery Days Out Scheme

VisitBritain has published information for businesses on the £10 million National Lottery Days Out campaign. Under the scheme, £25 vouchers will be available to National Lottery Lotto players this autumn to redeem against a day out in the UK, backed by a multi-million-pound national advertising campaign, launching on primetime television during the National Lottery Lotto draw in October. 

All UK-based attractions are eligible to take part, subject to availability and meeting campaign criteria. to make sure you are registered in time for the campaign launch. 

You also need to:

    • Be bookable online (or be willing to be)
    • Have availability during the campaign period from October into early 2022
    • Agree to the TXGB and VisitBritainShop terms and conditions
    • Be signed-up to the COVID-19 industry standard ‘We’re Good to Go’

VisitBritain will be publishing a promotional toolkit with campaign assets and messaging to support attractions’ own marketing activities and there will  be the opportunity to drive additional bookings by remaining on the VisitBritain Shop and TXGB distribution platform post the campaign

If you are and attraction and are interest in being involved you can email VisitBritain at daysoutcampaign@visitbritain.org

        Further information is available on the following link

https://www.visitbritain.org/node/124423

  • Youth Vaccination Toolkit

The Cabinet Office has produced  a new Youth Vaccines Toolkit for sectors who have higher than average younger people in their workforces. It is aimed to help businesses encourage vaccine take-up, tackle misinformation about vaccinations and set out the benefits of vaccination. Please note, this is for business use only and is not to be shared publicly or on social media.   

  • Comprehensive Spending Review Vision

The Chancellor has Chancellor has launched the 2021 Comprehensive Spending Review which will conclude on 27 October 2021 alongside an Autumn Budget. This will set out the government’s spending priorities for the Parliament. The theme for the CSR is Building Back Better through:

    • Investing in the NHS, education, the criminal justice system and housing
    • Levelling up across the UK to increase and spread opportunity
    • Transitioning to Net Zero across the country and more globally
    • Advancing Global Britain and seizing the opportunities of EU Exit
    • Delivering the Government’s Plan for Growth - including infrastructure and innovation

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-launches-vision-for-future-public-spending

  • CJRS Guidance Updated

HMRC has updated the CJRS guidance to inform businesses that furloughed employees can now see if they were included in a grant for claim periods from December 2020 to June 2021 in their personal tax account. However, if businesses have repaid the full amount of their grant for the published months, they will no longer be able to see that information. This information will be updated monthly and July 2021 claims will be available for employees to view from 7 October 2021

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

  • CJRS Statistics

Speaking of CJRS, ONS has published new data based on an analysis of claims for periods up to 31 July 2021. The key points to note are:

    • provisional figures show that all sectors saw a reduction in levels of furlough between 30 June and 31 July
    • the arts, entertainment and recreation sector, and accommodation and food services sector had the highest take-up rate of all the sectors, with 15% of employments eligible for furlough on furlough at 31 July 2021
    • the accommodation and food services sector saw the largest reduction in the number of employments on furlough between 30 June and 31 July. There were 259,100 employments on furlough in this sector at 31 July 2021, a reduction of 96,700
    • the construction, transportation and storage, and manufacturing sectors have relatively high take-up rates and have been slower than other sectors in reducing the number of employments on furlough in July

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-9-september-2021/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-9-september-2021#furlough-by-industry

  • Claiming Back Statutory Sick Pay

HMRC’s guidance on whether businesses are able to claim back statutory sick pay paid to employees due to coronavirus has been updated to confirm that employers can only claim for employees who were off work on or before 30 September 2021.

 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

  • End Of Temporary Insolvency Measures

Government has announced that the temporary measures brought in to support businesses from insolvency during the pandemic will be phased out from 1 October. New measures will be brought in to help smaller companies get back on their feet to give them more time to trade their way back to financial health before creditors can take action to wind them up. This will particularly benefit tourism and  hospitality and leisure businesses. The new legislation will:

    • Protect businesses from creditors insisting on repayment of relatively small debts by temporarily raising the current debt threshold for a winding up petition to £10,000 or more.
    • Require creditors to seek proposals for payment from a debtor business, giving them 21 days for a response before they can proceed with winding up action.

These measures will be in force until 31 March 2022.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/end-of-temporary-insolvency-measures

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TIER & TOURISM UPDATES 6 SEPT

  • Live Events Reinsurance Scheme

The Government has announced the launch of a new  Live Events Reinsurance Scheme which will offer cost indemnification if an event has to be cancelled, postponed, relocated or abandoned due to new UK Civil Authority restrictions in response to COVID-19. All live events including music festivals, conferences and business events are eligible to purchase that additional cover, which will be available alongside standard commercial events insurance.

The key features of the scheme are:

    • It will cover live events that are open to the general public and are physically located in the UK. This includes live music events, festivals, sports events, trade shows and business events. Private events such as weddings and parties would not be covered.
    • In order to be eligible, event organisers must purchase the relevant cover from participating insurers within the scheme. Event organisers must also have or purchase a standard events cancellation policy (or a policy which includes event cancellation coverage) provided at least in part by a participating insurer – the cover backed by the scheme will not be offered on a standalone basis.
    • Premium is set at 5% of the total value of insured costs (plus Insurance Premium Tax).
    • Claims will be subject to an excess of 5% of the value of the insured costs or £1,000 (whichever is higher) per policy.
    • Event organisers can purchase cover up to the full cost of their event, irrespective of when those costs are incurred.
    • Cover must be purchased at least 8 weeks prior to the event taking place. This requirement will however not apply for the first 12 weeks of the scheme.
    • The government’s expectation is that participating insurers will pay no brokerage in connection with the scheme and no deductions for such brokerage will be made to any premiums paid by insurers to DCMS in connection with the scheme.

The Scheme will run to 30 September 2022 with a review point in Spring 2022. Cover will be available to purchase through participating insurers which include Arch, Beazley, Dale, Hiscox and Munich Re (more are expect to follow). Event organisers can now start approaching these insurers to discuss their cover.

Here is a link to the details of the scheme

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/live-events-reinsurance-scheme/outline-of-scheme-rules-html-version

  • Shape Of Events Report
  • BVEP has published a new report on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the events sector. The main findings of the report are that
  • Overall event activity was down 95% across the UK during the past 12 months
    • The UK events industry lost £57 billion of value from the pre-pandemic level of £70 billion
    • 17% of event and exhibition businesses permanently ceased trading during 2020
    • 126,000 jobs were lost during the same period

However, the BVEP finds that the pandemic has also been a catalyst for change and innovation across the entire events sector and while the industry has been far more engaged with government during this period, there is still a need for greater, deeper, and longer-term industry representation

https://www.businessvisitsandeventspartnership.com/component/phocadownload/category/10-other?download=446:the-shape-of-events-bvep-report

  • Attitudes Of Arrivals Regarding Covid

ONS has published a report on the attitudes of people arriving into the UK between Feb and July 2021. The main findings were:

    • Most UK residents arriving in the UK found following overseas coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions either difficult, or very difficult (84% in July 2021); but conversely, most overseas residents said that they understood UK COVID-19 restrictions either quite well, or very well.
    • Despite understanding UK COVID-19 restrictions quite well or very well, most overseas residents said between February and July 2021 that they were either not at all confident, or not very confident in accessing information about UK COVID-19 restrictions.
    • The number of UK residents arriving back into the UK who have been vaccinated rose between February to July 2021, from 6% to 78%, a trend broadly reflecting the vaccine rollout in the UK over this time period.
    • Roughly two thirds of all UK (64%) and overseas residents (68%) interviewed felt safe with social distancing during their journey in July 2021, which has remained broadly consistent since April 2021 for UK residents, and since February 2021 for overseas residents.
    • More than two thirds of both UK and overseas residents arriving in the UK in July 2021 said the wearing of face coverings made them feel safe during their journey.
    • The proportion of both UK residents and overseas residents in July 2021 who said COVID-19 testing was very important (53% and 61% respectively) remained consistent with June 2021 (52% and 64% respectively), but had fallen compared with May 2021 (64% and 73% respectively).

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/leisureandtourism/bulletins/attitudestowardscovid19amongpassengersarrivingintotheukfebruary2021tojune2021/september2021

TIER UPDATE 3 SEPT

  • CMA Opens Formal Investigation On PCR Testing

Following on from the open letter to PCR test providers, the CMA is now opening a formal investigation into the activities of companies providing these tests. This follows a further 19 businesses being told to stop advertising misleading prices or risk legal action. This includes Expert Medicals, which is one of the largest providers of PCR travel tests which has not provided tests and results in a timely manner or at all; has failed to respond to customer complaints; and has refused to issue refunds when due.

It is important that the issues associated with PCR testing firms are resolved as a matter of urgency as they are eroding trust in overseas travel and holding back the recovery of the international travel sector. This, in turn has implications for businesses in the sector with the end of furlough approaching.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/cma-launches-next-wave-of-action-in-pcr-testing-market

  • CMOs To Consider Vaccinating 12-15 Year Olds

The Health Ministers in the Home Nations have asked their Chief Medical Officers to advise on the vaccination of 12-15 year olds. The outcome of this could have implications for quarantine requirements for young people travelling abroad.

 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chief-medical-officers-to-consider-vaccinating-people-aged-12-to-15-following-jcvi-advice

  • R Number and Growth Rate

This week’s R Number and growth rate are, respectively, 0.9 to 1.1 and -2% to +2%. This means that the growth of cases is now essentially static and is down on last week.

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

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TIER UPDATE 1 SEPT

Tourism Alliance Coronavirus Update - 31st August

  • Public Guidance Updated

Some good news in that the main public coronavirus guidance has been updated to say that the following areas have been removed from the list of areas receiving enhanced support to deal with increases cases caused by the delta variant.

    • Darlington Borough Council
    • Durham County Council
    • Gateshead Council
    • Hartlepool Borough Council
    • Middlesbrough Council
    • Newcastle City Council
    • North Tyneside Council
    • Northumberland County Council
    • Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council
    • South Tyneside Council
    • Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council
    • Sunderland City Council

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

Unfortunately, at the same time to following areas in the South West have been added to the enhanced support areas list

    • Cornwall Council
    • Council of the Isles of Scilly