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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

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

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

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

 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/

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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.

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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

 ------------------------------

 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

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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

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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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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
    • Devon County Council
    • Plymouth City Council
    • Torbay Council
    • East Devon District Council
    • Exeter City Council
    • Mid Devon District Council
    • North Devon District Council
    • South Hams District Council
    • Teignbridge District Council
    • Torridge District Council
    • West Devon Borough Council 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/extra-covid-19-support-deployed-to-parts-of-the-south-west 

  • RHA Coach Policy

The Road haulage Association have published a new policy document regarding rebuilding the sector. The policy document covers the following issues:

    • Covid recovery for the coach industry
    • Environmental challenges – urban access and clean air
    • Accessibility on vehicles
    • Recruitment into the industry including apprenticeships and training
    • Image of the industry
    • Roads as our workplace

                      https://www.rha.uk.net/Portals/0/News/Policy%20and%20Campaigning/Policy%20and%20Campaigning%20Documents/RHA%20Coaches%20Policy_vFinal%202.pdf?ver=2021-08-23-105058-643&timestamp=1629712595485

  Tourism Alliance Coronavirus Update - 1 September

  • Tourism Disability And Access Ambassador

Following on from the appointment of 17 Disability and Access Ambassadors in July (including Kate Nicholls as the Hospitality Ambassador) the Government Disability Unit is now seeking to appoint a Tourism Ambassador. If you would like to apply for the position, please contact

 Belinda Blank

Policy Advisor, Disability Unit

E: Belinda.Blank@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

M: 07770 634192

 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/list-of-disability-and-access-ambassadors/list-of-disability-and-access-ambassadors

  • Advice For Visa Applicants

The Home Office has updated it’s guidance for  people who intend to stay in the UK and those outside the UK to reflect increased international travel and the return to a more normal situation regarding applications to come to the UK and remain in the UK.

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

 ----------------------

 TIER UPDATE 27 AUGUST

Tourism Alliance Coronavirus Update – 27 August

  • Changes to the Green and Red Lists

Following the latest review , the following changes have been made which will come into effect on Monday 30th August.

    • Montenegro and Thailand will move to the red list
    • The Azores, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania and Switzerland will move to the green list.

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

  • DCMS Sectors Economic Estimates 2019

DCMS has just published monthly economic estimates of sectors under it’s responsibility. The data below is indexed to 100 in January 2019, so the figures show that the economic contribution of tourism in June 2021 was 81% of what it was in January 2019.

2021 January

61

2021 February

62

2021 March

63

2021 April

69

2021 May

76

2021 June

81

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

They have also published a paper on the regional economic contribution of sector under their responsibility for 2019. The disappointing aspect to this is that the figures cover everything except tourism which doesn’t help with the understanding of the performance of the sector or the impact of the pandemic on the sector.

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

  • New Participation Survey

DCMS have also announced a new Participation Survey that will begin running in October 2021 and will be a main evidence source for DCMS and its sectors by providing statistically representative national estimates of adult engagement with the DCMS sectors. The survey’s main objectives are to:

    • Provide a central, reliable evidence source that can be used to analyse cultural, digital, and sporting engagement, providing a clear picture of why people do or do not engage.
    • Provide data at a county level to meet user needs, including providing evidence for the levelling up agenda.
    • Underpin further research on driving engagement and the value and benefits of engagement.

The Participation Survey will collect data on engagement in:

  • arts
  • museums and galleries
  • libraries
  • heritage
  • tourism
  • major cultural events
  • major sporting events
  • sport
  • gambling
  • digital sectors

It includes information on frequency of participation, reasons for participating, barriers to participation and attitudes to the sectors.

                https://www.gov.uk/guidance/participation-survey

  • R Number and Growth Rate

This week’s R number and Growth Rate are, respectively, 1.0 to 1.1 and 0% to +2% which is pretty much the same as last week so new cases are pretty stable.

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

DCMS Request

The below message from DHSC should be circulated to event organisers for large events, encouraging these to be utilised where not in place already. 

Message to event organisers

 While the precautions you’re taking will help limit transmission, there is still a chance some people could bring the virus with them to your event. Given the large number of attendees who are likely to be in close contact with each other, the Government advises event organisers to encourage attendees to take an LFD test when they get home. This will help identify cases early and stop onward transmission.

 Text for event organisers to send to attendees, as part of event comms

The Government is encouraging attendees at festivals this weekend to take an LFD test when you get home from the event. While the precautions you and [the festival] are taking will help limit transmission, there is still a chance some people could bring the virus to the event. Taking an LFD when you get home, and continuing to test with an LFD twice a week, will help identify cases early and stop onward transmission. Please see guidance on testing at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing/get-tested-for-coronavirus/

You are advised to take a test after the event, even if you are fully vaccinated. Around 1 in 3 people who have COVID-19 do not have any symptoms but they can still pass it on and put others at risk.

If you do not have COVID-19 symptoms, you can collect a free LFD test kit from a local pharmacy or order a free home LFD test kit at www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

If you do have COVID-19 symptoms, please stay at home and book a PCR test at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

For further information and guidance please visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

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

TIER UPDATE 26 AUGUST

Please find below a series of updates from the last few days.

 International travel update 

From 4am Monday 30 August the following changes apply for entry into the UK:

  • Canada, Azores, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania and Switzerland will move to the green list
  • Montenegro and Thailand will move to the red list.

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

Clarification on what counts as fully vaccinated for arrivals

The guidance has been updated stating that - you may not be considered to be fully vaccinated for the purpose of entering the UK even if you’re considered to be fully vaccinated in your country of origin.

In the UK, ‘fully vaccinated’ means you’ve had either:

  • 2 doses of an approved 2 dose vaccine (such as Pfizer or AstraZeneca)
  • one dose of an approved single dose vaccine (such as Janssen) 

You must have had your final dose at least 14 whole days before you arrive in England. The day you had your final dose does not count as one of the 14 days. 

2 dose vaccines

If you were vaccinated with a 2 dose vaccine (such as Moderna or Pfizer) you must have had both doses to be considered fully vaccinated. This applies in all cases, even if you have recently recovered from COVID-19 and have natural immunity. Those who have had COVID-19 and have only had one dose of a 2 dose vaccine must follow the rules for unvaccinated arrivals.

Each dose must be with the same (MHRA, EMA, Swissmedic or FDA) approved vaccine. For example, if your first dose was Moderna your second dose must also be Moderna.

For the UK programmes you can have one dose under the UK vaccination programme and the other under the UK vaccine overseas programme.

Single dose vaccines

If you had an approved one dose vaccine, such as Janssen, you are fully vaccinated.

Clarification on short stays and day 2 tests for fully vaccinated arrivals from amber countries

The guidance on quarantine and testing if you've been in an amber list country has been updated to say that it does not matter how long you’re visiting England you must still book and pay for the day 2 test. You will need to enter the booking reference number on your passenger locator form.

82 travel testing providers to be issued with warnings over misleading prices

On Monday, the Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, announced more than 80 private travel testing companies will be issued a 2-strike warning and could be removed from GOV.UK for misleading prices. This follows a review of the pricing and service standards of day 2 and day 8 testing providers listed on GOV.UK where 82 providers – making up around 18% listed – have been identified as displaying lower prices on GOV.UK than are available on their website at the point of checkout. In addition a total of 57 companies were removed from the GOV.UK as they no longer exist or don’t provide day 2 and day 8 testing. Minimum standards for providers has been updated including their obligations if test kits are not satisfactory

  • Guidance For Businesses That Have Staff Travelling Overseas

With international travel increasing, the Government has updated the guidance for businesses whose staff regularly travel overseas. The core guidance is that if you’re an employer that requires staff to travel regularly across UK borders you must:

    • make sure your employees understand what coronavirus tests they have to take after international travel
    • take reasonable steps to support them in taking these tests

You have a legal obligation to do this if:

    • you employ more than 50 people
    • any of your employees, including agency workers, have to take COVID-19 tests for work purposes

Further information, including a link on how to establish a workplace testing regime are available at

 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-employer-testing-duty 

  • Right To Work Checks 

The Government’s guidance on the Right To Work checks that employees are required to undertake has been updated to reflect that the temporary changes on how the checks are to be conducted have been extended until 5 April 2022. These temporary changes are:

    • Checks can  be carried out over video calls
    • Job applicants and existing workers can send scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile app, rather than sending originals
    • Employers should use the Home Office Employer Checking Service if a prospective or existing employee cannot provide any of the accepted documents

If you are carrying out a temporary adjusted check, you must:

    • Ask the worker to submit a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents via email or using a mobile app
    • Arrange a video call with the worker – ask them to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents, record the date you made the check and mark it as “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19”
    • If the worker has a current Biometric Residence Permit or Biometric Residence Card or has been granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme or the points-based immigration system you can use the online right to work checking service while doing a video call – the applicant must give you permission to view their details.

With many tourism businesses desperate for staff, it is important that they follow these procedures to avoid accidently recruiting someone who is not entitled to work in the UK

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

  • Passenger Arrivals Into The UK

The Home Office have issued a report on arrivals into the UK since the start of the Coronavirus Pandemic up to August this year. Some of the key findings are:

    • From April 2020 through to August 2021, there have been 15,505,800 arrivals into the UK – which is 90% down on the corresponding pre-pandemic period
    • While 1,439,800 passengers arrived in the UK in July 2021, this is down 87% from July 2019
    • Arrival numbers for July 2021 are only 14% higher than they were in July 2020 meaning that the rate of recovery is slower than expected by the Tourism Recovery Plan. 

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

  • DMO Review

Finally, a quick update on the DMO Review. The finalised report has now been submitted to the Tourism Minister and Culture Secretary so unless there are any significant issues with the report it should be published within the next few weeks.

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TIER UPDATE 20 AUGUST

  1. The Events Research Programme has published a Data Dashboard: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/events-research-programme-phases-i-ii-and-iii-data-release. This shows how many people with positive PCR test results (cases), reported through the NHS Test and Trace system, reported that they had attended an event that was part of the Events Research Programme. Four events have been associated with higher numbers of cases (over 1,000). These are the EURO 2020 final (Italy vs England, 11 July) and one of the semi-finals (England vs Denmark, 7 July), Latitude Festival and Tramlines Festival. These events all took place during a period of higher underlying community prevalence with Latitude and Tramlines taking place during Step 4 of the roadmap. No policy recommendations are being made at this time with respect to this data although it is anticipated there will be a further report in due course which may recommend further measures to be incorporated into guidelines.
  2. A press release is attached giving advance notice that the Partnership’s “Shape of Events” report is to be published shortly. A big thank you to Richard Smith of Team Tourism and John Gallery for collating the over 250 responses from across all sectors of the Industry to the survey from which the Report draws it conclusions. Davies Tanner have generously agreed to provide the graphic design and layout of the Report. The expected timetable is that Partners will receive advance  confidential copies of the report at the beginning of September with publication currently expected the week of the 6th September.  A media release to announce the imminent publication of the Report is attached.

ALVA-commissioned visitor sentiment research

 

The latest wave of their visitor sentiment research has been published this week. It takes account of changes in visitor sentiment since the lifting of restrictions on the 19th July.  The key findings are:

  • With mandatory restrictions lifting, there has been another strong positive shift in appetite for visiting attractions. 80% of the market has now either visited an attraction in 2021 or will do so as soon as the opportunity arises, with only around 5% losing the confidence to visit as a result of restrictions lifting
  • Appetite for visiting is now similar across all regions, with confidence growing most in the North of England since mid-June. Appetite for visiting among the over 55s is also growing rapidly
  • However, with restrictions lifting there also remains a strong desire to retain supporting safety measures at attractions in order to build confidence – measures to maintain distancing, but especially mask wearing in indoor environments. Pre-visit messaging will be key here as the public begins to assume measures are being removed
  • Only 27% support the removal of all Covid-19 safety measures from attractions – little change from the 24% in April
  • There remains notable support for some form of ‘proof of vaccination / exemption’, especially for events (whether indoors or outdoors) and indoor attractions, with support also now growing among the younger age groups.
  • Around a third of those who would ordinarily visit indoor attractions/events claim they would not visit unless all visitors had some form of vaccine proof. Evidence continues to indicate that vaccine proof would be a trigger for tempting many from the more cautious segments to return to indoor attractions and there is also growing support among those who have already returned to visiting – now outweighing those who would be alienated

VisitEngland Consumer Sentiment Tracker

Wave 37 of the VisitEngland Consumer Sentiment Tracker report is now available.  The fieldwork for this was conducted last week between 9th-13th August. Whilst some of the measure have dipped this wave (national mood, expectations of when normality will resume) there has also been some positive movement in terms of higher confidence in an August trip going ahead as planned and attitude to risk. There has also been an increase in short-term day trip intention, likely boosted by the school holidays.

CMA Review of PCR Testing Market

As many of you are aware, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has asked the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to conduct a rapid review of the PCR testing market.

The CMA has contacted several stakeholders with requests for specific information but are keen to hear any insights from other interested parties, particularly views on the following:

  • Any evidence or observations on how this market is working and how it could be improved?
  • How well the testing market is serving passengers and the impact on passengers?
  • What the experience of the travel industry has been as a consequence?

The CMA are expecting to provide their final advice to the Health Secretary shortly so contributions would be gratefully received in the next week to help shape their advice and recommendations. Due to the compressed timeframe the CMA are operating to, they will be unable to offer to meet all interested stakeholders but have asked me to thank you for any contributions in advance.

You can send any submissions to the project email address: PCR-Testing@cma.gov.uk, and feel free to cc me if you would like to share this information with us too.

For your background, please see links to:

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TIER UPDATE 17 AUGUST

TIER have advised that following the easing of many COVID restrictions across the UK, they will be pausing their daily TIER updates as of today. They will of course continue to monitor the situation and keep members up-to-date with any significant changes to travel restrictions and advice as and when they arise.

The Tourism Alliance is yet to advise about their daily updates, currently suspended whilst Kurt Janson is on holiday. If The Alliance continues to issue updates these will of course be forwarded to you as will any information for onward distribution sent ed direct to the Partnership

On behalf of the BVEP, I will extend our thanks to Patricia Yates, Shivah Jahangir-Tafreshi and their team at VisitBritain for keeping us well informed with the daily TIER updates. I know you have found these invaluable over the past 18 months, and we all appreciate the hard work that has been done to ensure these are issued in a timely fashion

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TIER UPDATE 16 AUGUST

Cost of NHS travel tests to be reduced and private provider list reviewed

The cost of NHS Test and Trace tests for international arrivals has been reduced from £88 to £68 for green or fully vaccinated amber arrivals, and from £170 to £136 for two tests for amber arrivals who are not fully vaccinated.

The Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid also announced there will be a rapid internal review of the pricing and service standards of all providers of day 2 and 8 tests. Any misleading pricing will be clamped down on and listings found to have misleading prices will be removed. The review started at the weekend and lasts 10 days. Providers which fail to meet necessary standards will be removed.

NHS Test and Trace advertises these tests alongside private companies’ testing packages and they are available to purchase to fulfil the UK government’s testing requirements for international travel.

This follows a request for an urgent high-level review from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to address behaviour in the private testing market and crack down on excessive pricing or misleading claims.

Other updates:

EXTENSION on deadline for expressions of interest in the potential expansion of the Daily Contact Testing (DCT) scheme to non-critical workforces - 3pm on Wednesday 18th August

DCT aims to provide a safe alternative to self-isolation, helping reduce the risk of onward transmission while enabling people to undertake work activities, though this is currently limited to those activities deemed essential/critical (e.g. NHS workers, food supply, some CNI workers). The government is committed to considering expanding DCT further to non-critical workforces in sectors that may have younger workers - though this would be contingent on operational capacity from T&T as well as demand.

 Although from 16 August fully vaccinated contacts will no longer need to self-isolate, DCT will remain a valuable tool in the weeks after 16 August for those not fully vaccinated. 

 In theory, do you think this would be of interest to you/your members that are experiencing issues with staff isolating? If so, please send us the following information (5 bullet points) by 3pm Weds 18th August. You will then be sent an invitation to join an information sharing portal, where you can read all the necessary documentation about DCT which will enable you to decide whether you would like to proceed ahead or not.

 If you are interested, please provide the following information by 3pm Wednesday 18th August:

·  Organisation name

·  Whether they are a public or private organisation

·  The number of asymptomatic testing sites required by the organisation

·  The name of a single point of contact (SPOC) within the organisation

·  The email address of the SPOC

 Please note: There are no limits on how many organisations can apply, but they must have a workforce of at least 50 people. There are a limited number of sites allocated (linked to testing capacity), so not every organisation applying will be successful. Once registered, a DCMS account manager will contact you and will be able to respond to any more specific queries and take them through how the scheme is going to work in practice.

 Please note the associated costs: DCT requires in-person assisted testing and they would need space in which to run a site and to resource it. HMG pays for the tests only, so set-up and running costs and any administration etc are borne by the organisation opting to establish an ATS (asymptomatic testing site) to utilise DCT for their workforce.

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TIER UPDATE 13 AUGUST

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TIER UPDATE 12 AUGUST

More restrictions to ease in Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Executive has agreed to ease some more restrictions, including removal of the need to self-isolate for those who have received both vaccinations, and to permit the return of conferences and exhibitions.

From 00:01 on Monday 16 August, the following changes will come into effect, amongst others:

  • The limit of numbers permitted at tables will be removed. This will also apply to post marriage celebrations.
  • Conference centres can reopen allowing conferences and exhibitions to resume.
  • The requirement to maintain social distancing on public transport at all times will be lifted, to allow for a return to higher capacity. No other amendments were made on the requirement to socially distance.

In all areas the use of Lateral Flow Testing is encouraged, alongside all other mitigations, including maintaining social distancing, having good ventilation, washing hands and wearing face coverings.

They are keen to continue to make further relaxations when the data allows, particularly across hospitality and to permit live music and dancing in indoor venues. The Executive Covid Taskforce has been asked to work closely with the sector to get us to a safe place to do this in the coming weeks.

Read the full statement

Other updates:

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TIER UPDATE 11 AUG

  • The CMA has published a brief response to the letter from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the Right Honourable Sajid Javid MP raising issues in connection to PCR travel tests. They have confirmied that they will look into the concerns raised such as pricing and quality of service and respond within the next month.

Potential expansion of the Daily Contact Testing (DCT) scheme to non-critical workforces in sectors with younger workforces, including hospitality/tourism. 

DCT aims to provide a safe alternative to self-isolation, helping reduce the risk of onward transmission while enabling people to undertake work activities, though this is currently limited to those activities deemed essential/critical (e.g. NHS workers, food supply, some CNI workers). The government is committed to considering expanding DCT further to non-critical workforces in sectors that may have younger workers - though this would be contingent on operational capacity from T&T as well as demand.

Although from 16 August fully vaccinated contacts will no longer need to self-isolate, DCT is a very useful measure in the interim, and will also remain a valuable tool in the weeks after 16 August for those not fully vaccinated. 

Please note: There are no limits on how many organisations can apply, but they must have a workforce of at least 50 people. There are a limited number of sites allocated (linked to testing capacity), so not every organisation applying will be successful. Once registered, a DCMS account manager will contact you and will be able to respond to any more specific queries and take them through how the scheme is going to work in practice.

Please note the associated costs: DCT requires in-person assisted testing and they would need space in which to run a site and to resource it. HMG pays for the tests only, so set-up and running costs and any administration etc are borne by the organisation opting to establish an ATS (asymptomatic testing site) to utilise DCT for their workforce.

Potential interested organisations should respond to bethan.smyth@dcms.gov.uk by midday tomorrow –  (A request to delay this deadline has been made)

Details required from the individual organisations are as follows:

  • Organisation name
  • Whether they are a public or private organisation
  • The number of asymptomatic testing sites required by the organisation
  • The name of a single point of contact (SPOC) within the organisation
  • The email address of the SPOC

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TIER UPDATE 10 AUG

Clarification on quarantine and testing for people who have been in amber list countries

There has been a clarification of the ‘fully vaccinated’ rules. For Europe and USA, if you had a 2-dose vaccine both doses must be of the same approved vaccine type. For the UK you can have different types of an approved vaccine for each dose.

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TIER UPDATE 9 AUG

TIER have advised there is nothing significant to report today and they are reviewing the frequency of updates given the present easing of restrictions. There are no Tourism Alliance updates this week.

 

BTA REVEALS £4.45 BILLION LOSS TO UK GDP

6th August, 2021 – Today, the Business Travel Association (BTA), has revealed the UK has lost £4.45 billion in GDP last week due to the decline of business travel trips following Covid-19*.

Data from Travelogix shows that in the fourth week of July 2021, international business travel trips from the UK dropped by 86.27% from 2019 pre-pandemic levels – with a reduction of 338,310 business trips in the past week. 

The data shows travel restrictions to:

  • France has cost UK GDP £547 million this week,
  • USA has cost UK GDP £528 million this week,
  • Germany has cost UK GDP £485 million this week, and
  • Spain has cost UK GDP £363 million this week

all from the decline of business travel trips.
The tenth edition of the BTA’s Business Travel Tracker can be found here. 

Data from leading travel data provider Travelogix shows this decrease in business travel trips across ten key routes has cost the UK Government £3.44 billion from international business travel and an additional £1.01 billion from domestic business travel, equalling a total of £4.45 billion missing from UK GDP in the past 7 days.

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TIER UPDATE 6 AUGUST

New Government-backed insurance scheme for the events industry

A Government-backed insurance scheme worth over £750 million for the live events sector has been announced. The Live Events Reinsurance Scheme is a cost indemnification scheme which protects against costs incurred due to the event being legally unable to happen due to Government COVID restrictions.

 If events do have to cancel, after organisers have covered the agreed excess, the government and insurers have agreed a risk share per claim. This starts with the government paying 95% and insurers 5%, progressing to them covering 97% and 3% respectively and finally the government covering 100% of costs. The split depends on the losses incurred by the insurer from the scheme to date.

Wales moves to alert level zero on 7 August

First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed Wales will move to level 0 from 6am on Saturday 7 August. At alert level zero, all restrictions on meeting with others will be removed and all businesses will be able to open.

Some protections will continue to be in place, these include:

  • Everyone must continue to isolate for 10 days if they have Covid-19 symptoms or if they have a positive test result.
  • Face coverings will continue to be required in most indoor public places in Wales, including on public transport, in shops and in healthcare settings. There will be exemptions for people who cannot wear them, as there are currently.
  • All those responsible for premises open to the public and workplaces must carry out a Covid risk assessment and continue to take reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus.   
  • Also on 7 August (from 00.01), adults who are fully vaccinated and children and young people under 18, will no longer need to isolate if they are identified as close contacts of someone who has coronavirus.

The alert level 0 frequently asked questions guidance has also been updated.

Other updates:

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 6 AUGUST

  • New Events Insurance Scheme

The Government has announced a new £750m Live Events Reinsurance Scheme. The scheme will see the government act as a ‘reinsurer’ – stepping in with a guarantee to make sure insurers can offer the products events companies need. The scheme will support live events across the UK that are open to the general public, such as music festivals and business events. It will cover costs incurred in the event of cancellation due to the event being legally unable to happen due to Government Covid restrictions. The scheme will be available from September 2021 and run until the end of September 2022

               Further guidance on how the scheme will operate is expected shortly.   https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-backed-insurance-scheme-to-give-boost-to-events-industry

  • Welcome Back Fund Guidance

MHCGL has published the third version of the guidance and Q&A that accompanies the Welcome Back Fund. To recap, this is a £56m fund distributed to local authorities which can be used to:

    • Boost the look and feel of their high streets by investing in street planting, parks, green spaces, and seating areas to make high streets welcoming.
    • Run publicity campaigns and prepare to hold events that will boost footfall and encourage people back into the high streets and thereby supporting local businesses.
    • Install and refresh signage and 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.

Of particular note is that MHCLG expects local authorities to engage with stakeholders including local businesses, BIDs and DMOs when putting together plans for the expenditure of this funding.

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

  • Social Impacts of Coronavirus

This week’s wave of the ONS’s ongoing research on the social impact of coronavirus has been published. The key findings include:

    • The percentage of people that are wearing masks and who believe that measures such as mask wearing and social distancing are important remains over 90%
    • The proportion of adults that reported self-isolating in the last seven days fell to 4% from 6% last week, suggesting that the pingdemic is easing
    • 62% of adults said they met up indoors with someone not in their household in the past seven days, which is up significantly from 55% last week and suggests that people are becoming more confident on meeting others in indoor locations
    • This growing confidence is reflected in the percentage of people think that it will take at least a year for things to return to normal falling from 33% to 28% this week.

https:/www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandthesocialimpactsongreatbritain/6august2021

  • VisitBritain Sentiment Tracker

Speaking of public sentiment, the latest wave of VisitBritian’s Consumer Sentiment Trackert contains a lot of detailed information on perceptions of the current and future travel environment, the level of risk associated with travel, travel intentions and barriers to travelling.

  • Updated Quarantine Rules for Children

The rules related to children entering the country have been updated. They now read:

Children resident in the UK, British Overseas Territories, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, USA or the specific European countries (including France from 8th August)

Children of all ages who are resident in these countries or territories do not have to quarantine.

    • If they are aged 4 and under they do not have to take any COVID-19 travel tests.
    • If they are 5 to 10, they:
  • do not have to take a pre-departure test
  • must take a day 2 test on or before day 2 – arrival day is day 0
    • If they are 11 to 17, they must take a:
  • COVID-19 pre-departure test before travelling to England
  • day 2 test on or before day 2 in England – arrival day is day 0

Children not resident in the UK, British Overseas Territories, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, USA or the specific European countries

    • If they are aged 4 or under they do not have to take travel tests.
    • If they are 5 to 17, they must:
      • take a COVID-19 pre-departure test before travelling to England
      • take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 in England – arrival day is day 0
      • take a COVID-19 test on or after day 8 in England – arrival day is day 0
      • quarantine at home or in the place they’re staying for 10 days, or for the duration of their stay if it’s less than 10 days

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-quarantine-when-you-arrive-in-england#rules-for-children-and-young-people

  • Webinar Invite: Horizon Europe Research Funding For Creative And Cultural Sectors

The Economic & Social Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and DCMS are holding a online seminar on Horizon Europe Research Funding. Horizon Europe is the EU's key funding programme for research and innovation and is open to applications from cultural organisations, research institutions and freelancers.

The webinar is at 1-3pm on 10 August 2021 and will provide attendees with an introduction to the funding opportunities that Horizon Europe offers to the Arts, Heritage and Creative Industries sectors with the aim of helping organisations understanding the potential opportunities for engaging with Horizon Europe. 

You can book to attend this event on the following link

https://ukri.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_1C2GVtFkSLS158qxkEO5zA

  • R Number and Growth Rate

Some good news to end the week on. The R Number and Growth Rate this week are, respectively, 0.8 to 1.1 and -3% to +1%. This is a decrease from last week’s figures of  1.1 to 1.4 and +2% to +5% and are the slowest figures since the second week of May when the UK was still in Step 2 and bodes well for the main summer period.

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

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TIER UPDATE 5 AUGUST

International travel: country listings update

From 4am Sunday 8 August the following changes apply for entry into the UK

  • Austria, Germany, Latvia, Norway, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia will move to green list.
  • Bahrain, India, Qatar and UAE will move to amber list. Arrivals from France will no longer need to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated, aligning France with the rest of the amber list.
  • Georgia, Mayotte, Mexico and Reunion will move to red list.

Arrivals from Spain and all its islands are advised to use a PCR test as their pre-departure test wherever possible, as a precaution against the increased prevalence of the virus and variants in the country.

The change to the status for France means that the system is simplified to 3 categories, plus the green watchlist.

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

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme update

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be ending on 30 September 2021. Claims for September must be submitted by 14 October 2021 and any amendments must be made by 28 October 2021.

Other updates:

  • Kickstart Scheme Grant updated with new information about advertising vacancies yourself, remittance advice employers receive when they get the funding and updated instructions for adding more jobs to the grant agreement following launch of the‘online route for employers’.

Latest wave of VisitEngland’s domestic consumer sentiment tracker now available

Wave 36 of the Consumer Sentiment Tracker is now online. The report shows a recovery in the national mood and more optimism with regard to sentiment towards COVID-19.

27% of those surveyed between 26-31 July believe that the ‘the worst has passed’, up from 23% from the previous wave. This wave fewer believe that ‘the worst is still to come’, 27% vs 34% last wave, indicating increased optimism around the Covid situation.

Over half (54%) are confident an August trip would go ahead as planned. Read more in the latest report.

  • Increases In Quarantine Costs

As well as the changes in the categorisation of countries, the Government has significantly increased the charges for people staying in Quarantine Hotels. The new charges are

  • CJRS Update

The guidance on the CJRS has been updated in light of the scheme coming to an end on 30th September. With September being the last month claims for that month must be submitted by 14 October 2021, with any amendments being made by 28 October 2021.

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

  • Updated Kickstart Guidance

There have been a few changes to the guidance on the Kickstart scheme. The first is to say that businesses can advertise vacancies themselves but all jobs must receive an introduction through a DWP work coach to receive full funding. The guidance has also been updated to say that when businesses receive a remittance advice notice from HMRC, they will be able to identify the young person in the remittance advice by their ‘Introduction ID’ which the businesses will receive by email when the young person is referred by a work coach.

Finally the guidance has been updated to say that businesses can add new jobs to their grant agreement after it has been approved by using an online application service using the following link https://www.apply-kickstart-grant-employer.service.gov.uk/

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

  • Changes to Self-Isolation in Wales

The Welsh First Minister has announced that, from 7th August, all adults who have been fully-vaccinated will no longer have to self-isolate if they are identified as close contacts of someone with coronavirus. Children and young people under 18 will also be exempt from the need to self-isolate if they are also identified as close contacts of a positive case. However, everyone who tests positive for coronavirus or has symptoms must continue to isolate for 10 days, whether they have been vaccinated or not.

https://gov.wales/changes-self-isolation-fully-vaccinated-adults

They have also announced that from that date, the self-isolation support payment in Wales will increase from £500 to £750. The payment scheme, which has been extended until March 2022,  has been increased to compensate anyone earning up to the personal income threshold with their loss of earnings over the ten day isolation period.

 https://gov.wales/self-isolation-support-payment-increased-750

  • Visa Free Travel For Short Tours

DCMS has announced that touring performers and support staff are allowed to come to the UK for up to 3 months without a visa, which will be of significant benefit for destinations and businesses that are hosting cultural festivals and events. Reciprocal arrangements have also been made with 19 EU countries  - Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/visa-free-short-term-touring-allowed-in-19-member-states

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TIER UPDATE 4 AUGUST

There has been no COVID related news or guidance relevant for the tourism industry today. We will of course continue to monitor the situation and keep you updated when there is news to share.

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 4 AUGUST

  • Analysis Of Call For Evidence On Commercial Rents

MHCLG has published an analysis of the evidence that they received in relation to the call for evidence from businesses on their experiences in trying to negotiate settlements on rent debt during the pandemic. The call for evidence also sought views on a number of options for withdrawing or replacing the existing tenant protection measures that will inform  moves that the Government is making to resolve this issue. Some on the main findings were:

    • The vast majority of businesses affected were pubs & bars, restaurants and accommodation providers
    • The location of impacted businesses was reasonably evenly spread throughout England
    • 53% of businesses believe that only 0-20% of landlords were acting in accordance with the Government’s code of practice on rent settlement negotiations.
    • The preferred option for businesses to resolve the issue of rent settlement was binding arbitration
    • The preferred option for landlords is to allow the current tenant protection measures to expire

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/commercial-rents-and-covid-19-call-for-evidence/outcome/call-for-evidence-on-commercial-rents-responses-and-analysis

In response to this call for evidence, the government has published a policy statement which side with businesses on this issue, stating:

In order to provide a long-term solution to the resolution of rent arrears, and bring certainty to both landlords and tenants, the government is outlining a plan to legislate for binding arbitration, following the call for evidence and engagement with stakeholders.

 Ahead of the arbitration system being in place, we will publish the principles which we will seek to put into legislation, to allow landlords and tenants time to negotiate on that basis. We would encourage all landlords and tenants to seek to agree mutually beneficial solutions as soon as possible.

Once the new system is in place this will mean:

  • landlords will be able to exercise their rights to evict any tenant for the non-payment of rent debt incurred prior to March 2020 and from the end of the ringfenced period
  • the new legislation applies only to debt for tenants impacted by COVID-19 business closures. Landlords will be able to evict any tenant who falls outside the scope of arbitration legislation over the non-payment of rental arrears accrued at any time
  • landlords will also be able to charge interest on rent incurred from the end of the ringfenced period onwards, if such interest payments are included in the terms of their lease

If a tenant breaches any other terms of their contractual agreement with their landlord (i.e., by causing damage to the property), which gives rise to a right to forfeit the landlord is still able to move to evict them. Tenants will also be bound by the decision of the arbitrator and will have to pay rent debts accrued during the ringfenced period in accordance with that decision.

 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/resolving-commercial-rent-arrears-accumulated-due-to-covid-19/supporting-businesses-with-commercial-rent-debts-policy-statement#binding-arbitration

  • JCVI Advise That All 16 And 17 Year olds Are Vaccinated.

The JCVI has issued a statement advising that all 16 and 17 year olds should receive their first dose of vaccine.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/jcvi-issues-updated-advice-on-covid-19-vaccination-of-young-people-aged-16-to

And in response, the Health Secretary has issued a statement accepting this advice.

 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/statement-on-offering-covid-19-vaccination-to-young-people

  • Self-Isolation Exemption Extended For 18 Year Olds

Staying with age-related guidance, the public guidance has been updated that reduce the length of time people who turn 18 year are exempt from self-isolating if they are a contact of someone who has coronavirus. Previously they were exempt for 4 months after they turned 18, but this has now been extended to 6 months. This is help relieve some of the pingdemic pressure on businesses that have significant numbers of young sta

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

  • Transport Use

DfT’s weekly figures on transport use show, yet again, that the recovery in public transport use remains very show. National rail usage, at around 55% of usual is only 10% higher that it was in June while bus usage is about the same level that it was in April. On the other side of the coin, the use of private vehicles over weekend periods remains between 105% – 110% of usual, highlighting how cautious people are of sharing transport with other people.

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

  • Encouraging Young People to Get Vaccinated

DCMS has been in touch to ask for examples of tourism businesses encouraging young people to get vaccinated. A good example of this is Thorpe Park which is operating a pop-up vaccination centre

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-surrey-57999680

They are also asking for suggestion regarding other opportunities and incentives that would encourage young people to get vaccinated and up the vaccination rate.

One thought would be pop-up vaccination centres at festivals and events over summer, as well as at other attractions but if you have other suggestions as to how the tourism industry and the Government can work together to improve vaccination rates among young people, please let me know.

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TIER: COVID 19 Update 3 August 2021

Scotland to move beyond level 0

 First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gave a statement to Scottish Parliament in which she confirmed that Scotland will move beyond level 0, lifting of most of the remaining legally imposed restrictions. The legal requirement for physical distancing and limits on gatherings will be removed on 9 August when all venues across Scotland are able to re-open.

 Some protective measures will stay in place such as the use of face coverings indoors and the collection of contact details as part of Test and Protect. Capacity limits of 2,000 people indoors and 5,000 people outdoors will also remain in place although some exceptions may be possible on a case by case basis. These will be reviewed on a three weekly basis to ensure they remain proportionate.

 Adults identified as close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will also no longer be automatically required to self-isolate for 10 days from 9 August. Anyone who is double-vaccinated with at least two weeks passed since their second dose and who has no symptoms will be able to end self-isolation if they return a negative PCR test.

 Read the press release here.

 TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 3 AUGUST

  • Changes to Test And Trace App To

In response to the “pingdemic” the Test & Trace app has been modified so that few people will be pinged for being in close contact with someone who has a positive test.         

Up until today, if people who were asymptomatic entered a positive test into the app, the app pinged all close contacts the person had for five days prior to the test. This has now been dialled back so that only those close contacts the person had within two days prior to the test will be pinged.

Let me know whether your members notice any difference in employee self-isolation rates as a result of this change and I’ll feed this through to DCMS.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/nhs-covid-19-app-updated-to-notify-fewer-contacts-to-isolate

  • Guidance For Visa Applicants And Temporary Residents

This guidance has been updated again. This time it’s the guidance for students whose 90 day student visa vignette has expired

The new guidance is that if their 90 day visa vignette has expired and they either:

    • have been unable to travel due to coronavirus, but have been undertaking your studies remotely from overseas and intend to travel to study the same course in the UK
    • have completed an eligible course by distance learning under coronavirus concessions and are coming to the UK by the relevant date to apply under the Graduate route. Read the guidance for further information

Then they will need to make a paid application for a vignette transfer at a cost of £154 and make an appointment to resubmit their biometric information.

However, if their 90 day visa vignette has expired and they either:

    • have deferred your course start date due to coronavirus but have been unable to undertake your studies remotely, meaning that your course cannot be completed during your existing visa period, and you now intend to travel to the UK
    • can still complete your course within the dates covered by your existing visa period, but your course end date has changed, and you would like a new visa with a revised end date

Then they will need to submit a new paid student visa application with a new Certificate of Acceptance of Study (CAS) to cover the revised dates of their course. They will also need to make an appointment to resubmit their biometric information.

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

  • Daily Workplace Testing

The Government has produced new guidance on daily workplace testing, which is an alternative to self-isolation for essential sectors of the economy. While this doesn’t apply to tourism and hospitality businesses because they are not deemed to be essential businesses, it is worth noting now the scheme works just in case there is a change in the guidance which allows tourism businesses to use this scheme before the 16th August.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-workplace-guidance#daily-contact-testing

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Message on behalf of TIER: Brexit and COVID 19 Update 2 August 2021

Outbound updates:

  • The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office has updated advice for Britons when visiting France. From 9 August people will need to demonstrate their COVID-19 status (vaccination status, negative test or proof of recent recovery) to access a wider group of leisure activities as well as some public transport. Information and guidance is available from the French government website.
  • The Italian Government has extended the requirement for UK travellers to quarantine on arrival. Until 30 August, travellers who have been in the UK, in the previous 14 days, must present a negative test taken in the 48 hours preceding entry into Italy. They must also self-isolate for 5 days, at the end of which they must take a COVID-19 test and test negative for release.
  • The Northern Ireland Executive has extended the availability of vaccine certificates for those travelling abroad up to and including 17 August.

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 2 AUGUST

  • Introduction Of Self-Isolation Exemption For People From EEA And US

The exemption for people arriving into England from EEA countries and the US came into effect today. I have received a question regarding whether the exemption applies to people from Switzerland who have already had Covid. The reason being that the Swiss authorities deem these people to be fully vaccinated after receiving just one jab.

The guidance on the exemption from self-isolation itself says:

You must be fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorised by:

    • the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for Europe
    • Swissmedic for Switzerland
    • the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the USA

You must have had your final dose of the vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive in England.

Because it says that you need to be “fully vaccinated” rather that have had two vaccinations, I presume that these people qualify for the exemption but will confirm this.

  • Jobs that Qualify for Travel Exemption

The guidance on workers that are exempt from the travel restrictions has been updated to include isolated train, maritime and aviation workers. The restrictions that apply to are that they must:

    • travel on a plane/train/vessel that does not carry passengers
    • travel in a part of a plane/train/vessel that is not accessible to passengers
    • do not disembark either upon their arrival in England from another country or, if travelling from England to a country outside the common travel area and returning to England, do not disembark the vessel while it is abroad

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

  • Dame Judith Macgregor Appointed Interim Chair Of British Tourist Authority

Lord McLoughlin has stepped down as Chair of the British Tourist Authority early to become the new Chair of Airlines UK. Here is a link to the announcement as well as an outline of Dame Judith’s career.

              https://www.gov.uk/government/news/dame-judith-macgregor-dcmg-lvo-appointed-as-interim-chair-of-the-british-tourist-authority

  • Bus and Coach Guidance Updated

The guidance for buses and coaches travelling to Europe has been updated to state that Green Cards are no longer required as proof of insurance when travelling to EU (including Ireland), Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia or Switzerland.

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

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

TIER UPDATE 30 JULY

Please find below today’s TIER and Tourism Alliance updates. Additionally, please note:

The Recording of the Tourism Alliance AGM includes a summary of the Alliance’s activities over the past year and presentations by Kate Nicholls, Chair of the Alliance, Steve Double, MP, Chair of the Hospitality and Tourism APPG, Laura Backhouse, Head of Tourism , DCMS and a Tourism Alliance response to the Tourism Recovery Plan by Kurt Janson. Please send your questions, comments and feedback to: marketing@etoa.org. Watch Recording here. For those that are interested in being more involved in the work of the APPG, Richard Clifford provides the secretariat and his detail are: Richard Clifford, Public Affairs and Policy Manager, UKHospitality, rclifford@ukhospitality.org.uk

IEM – Extending Workforce Survey Response time - The Event Workforce survey has been designed to get a clearer picture of the size and scope of the events sector in the UK together with a better understanding of the current roles and responsibilities.  Building on the work already completed around the SIC and SOC codes, the outputs from this survey will aid development of the professional standards at the kick off meeting on 19 August at ACC Liverpool.   In addition the outputs will further enhance the recognition of events as a professional sector with a strong voice in the UK Economy as a whole.  The Institute of Event Management Stakeholder Group and wider events sector need to better understand the scope and scale of the profession to help further its narrative and understand what the profession stands for in terms of its future development.  Please follow the link below to complete the survey by 31 August 2021:  https://cardiffmet.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_esMkk5E9If7n0Me. The Institute of Event Management is grateful to Cardiff Metropolitan University for its support in hosting this survey. For further information please contact: Susan Spibey, Executive Board Chair, susan.spibey@event-managers.institute   

Update items

Welsh Government announce changes to self-isolation for fully-vaccinated adults

First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed that from 7 August, all adults who have been fully-vaccinated will no longer have to self-isolate if they are identified as close contacts of someone with coronavirus.

The changes to the NHS Wales Test Trace Protect (TTP) service for fully-vaccinated adults will come into effect from 7 August – the same day as Wales is expected to move to alert level zero, if the public health situation allows.

Read the press release or read a statement from Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services.

Other Government news:

  • Guidance has been published on how equipment for temperature screening is regulated; the limitations of temperature screening for detecting COVID-19; and advice on buying and using these products.

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 30 JULY

  • Social Impacts Of Coronavirus

The results of ONS’s ongoing weekly research on the social impacts of coronavirus have been published. The results are for the week to 25th July and the key findings are:

    • A third of people still think that it will take at least a year for things to get back to normal (same as last week)
    • 6% of adults reported that they were self-isolating at some point in the last seven days – 9% for people aged 16-29 which indicates the impact of the “pingdemic” on tourism and hospitality staff
    • 89% of people still consider it important to wear facemasks when in shops while 88% are still consider it important to maintain social distancing
    • For the first time, over 50% of people met with someone indoors this week - which is good news for indoor venues
    • The percentage of people solely working from home continues to fall (22% this week)  but the number of people solely travelling to work remains at just under 50%

These findings continue to indicate that the public are exercising a cautious approach to the reopening following the move to Step 4 and that businesses need to continue to reassure customers that they are undertaking covid-safe measures.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandthesocialimpactsongreatbritain/30july2021

  • Changes To Self-Isolation Requirements In Wales

The Welsh First Minister has announced that, from 7th August, all adults who have been fully-vaccinated will no longer have to self-isolate if they are identified as close contacts of someone with coronavirus. In addition, whose aged under 18 will also be exempt from the need to self-isolate if they are identified as close contacts of a positive case.

https://gov.wales/changes-self-isolation-fully-vaccinated-adults

  • How Long Will Vaccinations Be Effective ?

Not tourism related but interesting nevertheless, the government has published a Sage paper on the how long they think that vaccinations will be effective. Some of the key point are:

    • It is likely that there will be vaccination campaigns against SARS-CoV-2 for many years to come
    • We currently do not know what will be the optimal required frequency for re-vaccination to protect the vulnerable from COVID disease.
    • Different vaccines may induce different sorts of immunity, which may have different duration

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-long-will-vaccines-continue-to-protect-against-covid-19-30-july-2021

  • Distribution Of Grants By Councils

The figures for the distribution of Grant funding for the period up until the end of June have been published. Looking through the figures it seems that most councils have distributed their allocations from Government but there were still a few that needed to allocate significant sums during July in order to meet tomorrow’s deadline. They include:

    • Exeter has £1.1m to distribute
    • Ipswich has £0.9m to distribute
    • Norwich has £0.7m to distribute
    • Kingston upon Thames has £2.6m to distribute
    • Southend has £4m to distribute
    • Westminster has £3m to distribute

What is disappointing about this is that with just 30 days left, some of these councils hadn’t distributed half the funding that they had been given by the Government at the beginning of the year to support businesses in their area which will have resulted these businesses facing unnecessary hardship over this period.

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

  • Free Training From ACAS

I’ve received a call from ACAS who are looking for employers to take part in a new training product for line managers, which will give them the skills to handle complex workplace issues more effectively. Employers will get access to new, evidence-based conflict management training for up to 15 line managers free of charge, in return for feedback on the training. I’ve told them that the timing isn’t great as businesses will be busy over summer but it is worth remembering that training such as this is allowed for staff that are still on furlough without it affecting CJRS payments.

https://skilledmanagers.org/

  • R Number and Growth Rate

As ever, here is this week’s R Number and Growth Rate - which are, respectively,  1.1 to 1.4 and +2% to +5%. This is good news is that while the number is infections is still increasing, they are increasing at the lowest rate since the beginning of July which, if it continues, suggests that we may not experience the large spike in cases that were projected for August.

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

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

Message on behalf of TIER: COVID 19 Update 29 July 2021

Self Employment Income Support Scheme online service now open to apply for the fifth grant

The online service for the fifth grant is now available and claims must be made on or before 30 September 2021. However, the fifth grant is different. In most cases, individuals will need to provide 2 turnover figures when they make a claim. These will be used to work out how much individuals will get. Turnover figures are not needed if you started trading in 2019 to 2020 and did not trade in all of the following tax years:

  • 2018 to 2019
  • 2017 to 2018
  • 2016 to 2017

Find out how to work out your turnover figures here or see the full guidance here.

Guidance on quarantine and testing if you've been in an amber list country updated

From 2 August (4am), if you’re coming to England from an amber list country and have been fully vaccinated in the USA or Europe you will not have to quarantine or take a day 8 test on arrival.

The European countries that this rule applies to are:

EU countries

Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican City

You must be fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorised by:

  • the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for Europe
  • Swissmedic for Switzerland
  • the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the USA
  • You must have had your final dose of the vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive in England.
  • You must still book and take a day 2 test.

Showing your vaccination status

You need to show your travel operator proof that you’ve been fully vaccinated with one of the authorised vaccines before you travel.

This proof should be:

  • an EU Digital COVID Certificate (EU DCC) for Europe
  • a CDC card for the USA – you’ll also need to show proof of USA residency, such as your USA passport, visa or Green Card
  • If you cannot show an EU DCC or CDC card you must follow the rules for those who are not fully vaccinated.

Children from the USA and Europe

Children under 18 who are residents of the USA or the listed European countries also do not need to quarantine or take a day 8 test. They must follow the same rules as children and young people from the UK which are in this guide.

Changes to travel and restrictions in Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Executive has today agreed a number of changes to the Covid-19 restrictions. The following changes will come into effect from 1800 on Friday 30 July.

 Social distancing

The Executive has considered whether some changes can be made to social distancing arrangements at this time, noting that there will be a fuller discussion on 12 August.

The Executive has decided that:

  • In relation to retail and shopping centres, the regulations will move from a requirement for 2 metres to 1 metre.  This will ensure consistency in regulations with other indoor settings such as hospitality and indoor attractions
  • For outdoor venues, the guidance will continue to note the health benefits of 2 metres social distancing.  However, the guidance will further advise that social distancing requirements are strongly advised but are not a requirement.  Where possible, a minimum of 1 metre should be

The Executive has called on all venues, customers and attendees to be mindful of this in organising and attending events, and to follow all the public health advice on matters such as hand washing, wearing of face coverings, the benefits of taking lateral flow tests, and the essential need to self-isolate if you have a positive test or are otherwise asked to do so.

Live music venues

The Executive has expanded their previous decision, to allow the return of live music in concert halls and theatres, to include other indoor venues such as function rooms of hotels, or community halls. There will be no restriction to background or ambient levels of volume. Where the venue is a space within larger premises, access to the venue must be effectively controlled and managed and the venue must be sufficiently isolated from the rest of the premises to ensure that the volume of the music in the venue does not breach ambient or background levels in other parts of the premises.

Entry to performances for audiences will be by ticket only. Tickets must be purchased in advance of the performance. Audiences for indoor events must have allocated seating and remain seated, dancing will not be permitted and social distancing of 1m will be required.

Use of risk reduction measures

The use of lateral flow testing for all events is strongly advised as a measure to reduce risk. Social distancing; the use of face coverings; and holding events outdoors where possible, are also advised as mitigating measures.

International Travel

From 2 August there will be a pilot roll out of the expansion of the amber vaccinated arrivals policy to include people vaccinated in any of the EU27 (except France); EFTA countries (Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein); and the European microstate countries (Andorra, Monaco, and Vatican City) and the United States.

In relation to arrivals from the United States, it was agreed that the policy approach will be that: only people fully vaccinated with FDA-approved vaccines in the US rollout, who can present a CDC card as proof of vaccination, would be included. A requirement to prove residency in addition to the CDC card for US arrivals was agreed, to mitigate against fraud.

From 31 July, international cruises will restart in line with the traffic light system, with strong guidance to the sector outlining the need to manage increased risks and maintain risk mitigations (including use of vaccination and testing), alongside continued monitoring of cruise data and clear contingency plans. Measures will be put in place to facilitate alternative managed isolation arrangements for international student arrivals from red list countries from 9 August.

From 2 August, a bespoke testing regime will be implemented, which will apply to NI international arrivals exempt from self-isolation because they are travelling for work. This will only apply to specific types of work as outlined in the regulations.

An exemption from self-isolation for Villarreal fans and UEFA VIPs travelling for the Super Cup Final on 11 August will be put in place, with the IFA putting in place a range of mitigations.

Easing of restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers from the EU and US to Scotland

Fully vaccinated people from the EU and US will be able to travel to Scotland without quarantining from Monday (2 August). The need for travellers to self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival in Scotland is being waived subject to countries covered remaining on the amber travel list. The easing also removes the need for a PCR test on day eight after arrival and is a major relaxation of travel restrictions.  All travellers will still be required to produce a negative test prior to departure and a negative PCR test on day two after arrival. Inbound travellers from the EU and US are required to produce accepted documentation to prove they are fully protected with recognised vaccines. Concerns about the prevalence of the Beta COVID19 variant mean arrivals who have been in France in the previous 10 days are not eligible and must still undergo quarantine.

International travel changes from 2 August 2021 (Wales)

The Welsh Government issued a statement on 28 July confirming they will be aligning with the move to permit travellers from the EU and US who have been fully vaccinated to visit the UK without having to self-isolate on arrival due to the shared open border with England. The Welsh Government is continuing to caution against international travel for non-essential reasons this summer.

Other updates:

Information on the NHS COVID Pass has been updated to reflect that proof of natural immunity shown by a positive PCR test can be used to demonstrate COVID-19 status when travelling abroad and those who received the Novavax vaccine as part of a formally approved vaccine trial, can now obtain the NHS COVID Pass.

New statistics on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are available with analysis by scheme size, sector, geography, age, gender and flexible furlough. (Statistics are as at 30 June 2021)

 

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 29 JULY

  • Status of Children Arriving From The EU And US After 2nd August

There has been some confusion as to whether children under the age of 18 had to quarantine on arrival into England after 2nd August which two guidance documents giving conflicting advice. This has now been resolved with the updating of the Quarantining guidance to read:

Children from the USA and Europe

Children under 18 who are residents of the USA or the listed European countries also do not need to quarantine or take a day 8 test.

They must follow the same rules as children and young people from the UK which are in this guide.

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

  • Welsh Statement On International Visitors

The Welsh Government has released a statement saying that while they regret the UK Government’s decision to relax quarantine requirements for vaccinated European and US visitors on 2nd August, it would be ineffective to introduce separate arrangements for Wales. As such, they will be aligning with the other UK administrations and implementing this decision for Wales.

However, they continue to caution Welsh residents against international travel for non-essential reasons this summer.

https://gov.wales/written-statement-international-travel-changes-2-august-2021

  • NHS Covid Pass

The guidance on the NHS Covid Pass has been updated to:

    • reflect that proof of natural immunity shown by a positive PCR test can be used to demonstrate COVID-19 status when travelling abroad
    • the Pass can be stored used the Apple Wallet when using an iPhone or iPad
    • reflect that those who received the Novavax vaccine as part of a formally approved vaccine trial can now obtain the NHS COVID Pass.

 

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

  • CJRS Statistics

ONS has published the latest wave of research on the uptake of the CJRS. The figures are for the period through to the end of June (so don’t cover the move to Step 4) but the main points are:

    • The were a total of 1.9 million people on furlough on 30 June 2021
    • the arts, entertainment and recreation sector had the highest take-up rate of all the sectors, with 20% of its employments eligible for furlough on furlough. This sector had 99,400 employments on furlough at 30 June, a reduction of 49,300 employments since 31 May
    • the accommodation and food services sector had 19% of its eligible employments on furlough. However, this sector also saw the largest reduction in the number of employments on furlough between 31 May and 30 June. There were 337,800 employments on furlough in this sector at 30 June 2021 (18% of the total), a reduction of 291,900 from the end of May.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-29-july-2021/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-29-july-2021#furlough-by-industry

  • Public Availability of CJRS Claim Data

The CJRS guidance for businesses has been updated to say that furloughed employees can see if they were included in a grant for claim periods from December 2020 to May 2021 in their personal tax account and that this information will be updated monthly and June 2021 claims will be available for employees to view from 9 September 2021.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme#details-of-your-claim-that-will-be-publicly-available

  • Transiting through France

With the restrictions on quarantining being lifted for EEA nationals arriving in England from 2nd August, I’ve sought clarification on whether people looking to travel by land via France from countries such as Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany have to quarantine on arrival in England. The guidance is:

  • It is not currently possible to transit by road through an amber or red-list country without being subject to the restrictions that apply to those categories, including the requirement to self-isolate for those travelling from or through France, regardless of vaccination status.
  • The Regulations allow for passengers to transit higher-risk countries without being subject to corresponding restrictions provided certain conditions are met, namely that they do not disembark the conveyance and that passengers are unable to join the conveyance at any point in higher risk countries, unless they are segregated.
  • It is possible to meet these requirements when travelling directly by train to the UK, however passengers are advised to check with their operator. 

This means that if a visitor from a third country travels through France by private vehicle or coach, they have to quarantine on arrival in England. However, if they are coming via a train service such as Eurostar, they may be able to avoid quarantining on arrival into England but they need to check with the operator to make sure that the service they are using conditions that have been set.


Message on behalf of TIER: COVID 19 Update 28 July 2021

UK Government waives quarantine for arrivals fully vaccinated from Europe and USA to England and confirms international cruise restart

Today the UK Government has announced that passengers arriving from amber countries who have been fully vaccinated in Europe (EU Member States, European Free Trade Association countries and the European microstate countries of Andorra, Monaco and Vatican City) and the USA will not have to quarantine when entering England, as part of a range of new measures designed to reopen international travel, set out as part of the second Global Travel Taskforce checkpoint review.

From 4am on Monday 2 August 2021, passengers who are fully vaccinated in the EU with vaccines authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or in the USA with vaccines authorised by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or in the Swiss vaccination programme, will be able to travel to England without having to quarantine or take a day 8 test on arrival.

Amber arrivals who have been fully vaccinated in the USA and European countries will still be required to:

Those arriving from France should continue to follow the separate rule. If a passenger has been in France in the 10 days before arriving in England, they must quarantine for 10 days after they arrive and take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8, even if they are fully vaccinated. They must follow the advice on how to quarantine if you are not fully vaccinated.

Today, the UK Government also confirmed the restart of international cruise sailings from England in line with Public Health England guidance. International cruise travel advice will be amended to encourage travellers to understand the risks associated with cruise travel and take personal responsibility for their own safety abroad. Guidance has been published for British people about taking cruise ship holidays abroad during COVID-19.

All measures announced will be kept under review and be guided by the latest data. In their press release, the UK Government stated they will not hesitate to act should the data show that countries risk ratings have changed.

You can read the press release here or read the red, amber and green list rules for entering England.

Advice on NHS Test & Trace COVID-19 compliance checks in hotels and other guest accommodation 

The Home Office has issued further advice for hotels and accommodation providers on facilitating COVID-19 compliance checks on individuals who have a duty to quarantine following international travel from amber-list countries. Please see the attachment for more information. 

Other Government updates

Outbound news:

  • Finland has opened its borders to allow entry to passengers from the UK who have received a full course of an approved COVID-19 vaccine; or carry a valid certificate of having had the covid-19 virus less than six months prior to arrival.

Industry updates:

  • The World Travel and Tourism Council has published new data collected with ForwardKeys on airline tickets booked for international trips out of the UK. The figures also estimate the lack of inbound international visitors through July could have cost the UK economy £639 million each day.

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATES – 28 JULY

  • Testing Requirements For Children

Guidance on the testing requirements for children entering England have been updated and clarified. The key points are

All Children

    • All children aged 11 to 17 need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test to travel to England
    • Children aged 10 and under do not need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test
    • Children aged 4 and under do not have to take the day 2 and day 8 tests.

Children who are UK residents

On arrival in England, children aged 5 to 17 who are ordinarily resident in the UK:

    • must take a COVID-19 travel test on or before Day 2
    • do not have to quarantine
    • must follow the rules for children who are not UK residents If they’ve been in France in the 10 days before arriving in England.

Children who are not UK residents

On arrival in England, children aged 5 to 17 who are not ordinarily resident in the UK:

    • must take a COVID-19 test on or before Day 2 and on or after Day 8
    • must quarantine at home or in the place they’re staying for 10 full days

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

  • Guidance On International Cruises Updated

The guidance on international cruises has been updated in line with the Government’s announcement today that international cruise sailings can restart from England, in line with Public Health England guidance. The guidance warns people that cruises with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases have previously been denied permission to dock or to disembark passengers and that can have serious implications for passengers. It also says that prospective passengers should:

    • Check the protocols of the cruise operator to ensure they are comfortable with safety measures.
    • Take face coverings, hand gel and wash your hands regularly.
    • Consider waiting until they are fully vaccinated before taking a cruise
    • Research the medical facilities on the ship

One of the most important warnings is that passengers need to pay for costs including medical care, quarantine, testing and return travel to the UK if their cruise is affected by a COVID-19 outbreak and that people should contact their operator and insurance provider to make ensure they are aware of what is and what is not included in their policy

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

  • SEISS Webinars And Video

HMRC is posted a new video in the fifth SEISS grant which includes information on:

    • the aim of the scheme
    • who can apply
    • how much you may be entitled to
    • how to claim the fifth grant
    • what happens after you have claimed

They are also holding two further seminars on the fifth grant on 29th July and 3rd August which you can sign-up to attend on the following link

https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/8528021499696163331?source=June-HMRC-GOV

  • Transport Use Figures

DfT has issues this week’s transport use figures which cover a full week since the move to Step 4. Interestingly the figures show that the move to Step 4 had not resulted in a significant increase in the use of National Rail, Tube of Bus Services in England suggesting that people are responding cautiously to the removal of restrictions.

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


TIER: COVID 19 Update 27 July 2021

Further relaxations of COVID-19 restrictions in Northern Ireland

On 26 July the Northern Ireland Executive announced the following easements will come into effect from 18:00 on 27 July:

Concert venues, theatres and other indoor venues (seated)

  • Audiences will be permitted to return to performances.
  • Live music will be permitted for rehearsals and performances, with no restriction to background or ambient levels of volume.
  • Entry to performances for audiences will be by ticket only. Tickets must be purchased in advance of the performance.
  • Audiences for indoor events must have allocated seating and remain seated (unless using facilities) and are not permitted to dance.
  • Social distancing of 1 metre required.

At this time similar events in other indoor facilities contained within larger premises are not permitted. For example, hotel function rooms.

Indoor domestic settings

  • Up to ten people from no more than three households will be allowed to meet in a home. If one household has ten members, the maximum is increased to 15 from no more than three households. Children 12 and under are not included.

The remaining issues still awaiting ratification will be discussed further at Thursday’s Executive meeting.

First Minister statement 27 July - Scotland

In a statement today First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she hopes to lift more of the remaining COVID19 measures with a move beyond level 0 from Monday 9 August. She will confirm whether the planned changes will go ahead in a statement to Scottish Parliament on Monday 2 August.

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 27th July

  • VAT Deferral Penalties

Under the VAT Deferral Scheme that has been operating over the last year, businesses that deferred VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 were able to either:

    • pay in full by 31 March 2021
    • join the online VAT deferral new payment scheme by 21 June 2021 to spread payments of deferred VAT over smaller, interest free instalments
    • contact HMRC to make an arrangement to pay by 30 June 2021

With this deadline now passed, businesses that did not take any action may be faced with a penalty calculated on the amount of unpaid deferred VAT.

The penalty is charged at 5% of the deferred VAT that’s unpaid when the penalty is assessed and must be paid within 30 days of the date of the penalty assessment – although businesses can appeal against a penalty if they have a reasonable excuse.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/deferral-of-vat-payments-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

  • Impact of Covid And Brexit On Service Trade With The EU

ONS has published a report on the impact that Covid and Brexit have had on the UK’s trade in Services with the EU during Q1 2021. The report compares Q1 2021 with Q1 2019 and, unsurprisingly, shows that businesses that rely on travel were impacted the most. The figures indicates that:

    • Exports of travel services was down 65.8% between the UK and EU countries
    • Exports of travel services was down exactly the same amount between the UK and non-EU countries
    • There are currently an average of 2,100 flights a day compared with 900 flights per day in 2020 and 6,400 in 2019

The report determines that the end of the EU transition period on 31 December 2020 may have impacted business travel, with workers requiring visas or work permits when travelling to the EU for certain business purposes, for which there are specific rules. The impact of this requirement is, however, likely to be masked by coronavirus-related travel restrictions, meaning the real impact of this rule change may not become evident for some time..

https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/nationalaccounts/balanceofpayments/articles/theimpactsofeuexitandcoronaviruscovid19onuktradeinservices/july2021

  • Correction to Public Guidance

The main public guidance has been updated to reflect a correction. It used to say that people should not travel to countries or territories on the red or amber lists, but this has now been amended to say "You should not travel to countries or territories on the red list".

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

  • New PHE Posters

PHE have produced a series of new posters that remind businesses and customers about the new workplace guidance and the behaviours that people should still adopt. The posters cover:

    • App Café
    • App Cinema
    • Face Covering
    • Outdoors
    • Symptomatic Testing
    • Weekly Testing
    • Windows

https://coronavirusresources.phe.gov.uk/covid-19-health-behaviours/resources/posters/

  • Tourism Alliance Supports BBRS Campaign To Help Businesses

The Tourism Alliance is supporting the new Business Banking Resolution Service in a campaign to help the estimated 600,000 businesses that may have an unresolved dispute with their bank. The BBRS offers a free and impartial service that aims to resolve these disputes and free-up businesses to concentrate on recovery and rebuilding. Their decisions are binding on banks that have signed up to support the service (almost all the main business banks have done this) so it is worthwhile highlighting this service to your members.

It is also worth noting that they can also seek resolution to disputes where businesses have become insolvent.


TIER UPDATE 26 JULY 

Please see an update from Wales below:

 

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 26 JULY

  • Public Guidance Updated

The primary guidance to the public on coronavirus has been updated to inform people that the areas where they should take additional care in meeting other people had been expanded to include:

    • Newcastle City Council

    • North Tyneside Council

    • Northumberland County Council

    • Durham County Council

    • Gateshead Council

    • South Tyneside Council

    • Sunderland City Council

    • Darlington Borough Council

    • Hartlepool Borough Council

    • Middlesbrough Council

    • Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council

    • Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

 

However, the following areas have been removed from this list

    • Lancashire County Council

    • Blackpool Borough Council

    • Cheshire East Council

    • Cheshire West and Chester Council

    • Liverpool City Region

    • Warrington Borough Council

    • Bedford Borough Council

    • Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

    • Bolton Council

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

 

  • Guidance if You Cannot Work

The guidance for people who are employed but cannot work due to coronavirus has been updated to reflect the fact that shielding in England, Scotland and Wales has stopped and the time limit for making a backdated claim has passed.

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

 

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TIER UPDATE 23 JULY 

The Northern Ireland Executive met on 22 July to consider the ratification of further relaxations on the pathway out of restrictions. The following modest relaxations have been confirmed from 26 July:

  • At outdoor domestic settings a maximum of 15 people from an unlimited number of households will be permitted. Children aged 12 and under are not counted in the total number.
  • Within close contact services the requirement for an appointment will be removed and overlapping appointments will be allowed.

The remaining issues still awaiting ratification will be discussed further at Executive meetings scheduled for Monday and Thursday of next week.

NHS Test and Trace in the workplace guidance updated with information the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme (England)

If an individual is told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app, they may be eligible for a payment of £500 from their local authority through the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme. The scheme is also open to parents and guardians who have not been told to self-isolate, but who need to take time off work to care for a child who is required to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. Individuals will need an NHS Test and Trace Account ID to apply.

If a person has not tested positive but is identified as a close contact, their employer should call the Self-Isolation Service Hub on 020 3743 6715 to give the individual’s contact details. They will then be sent their NHS Test and Trace ID.

Employers will need to provide the NHS Test and Trace Account ID of the person who tested positive and their name and contact details as a close contact. Individuals will not be able to claim for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if they have not been registered with the Self-Isolation Service Hub.

NHS COVID-19 App close contact notifications and self-isolation advice (Wales)

Eluned Morgan MS, Welsh Minister for Health and Social Services confirmed it is is a legal requirement to self-isolate if instructed by the Test Trace and Protect (TTP) service. The NHS Covid-19 App is not covered by this legal duty.  NHS Covid-19 App users should follow the instruction to self-isolate to help minimise the spread of the virus. In August, as part of the next 21-day review cycle, the Welsh Government aims to remove the requirement for people who have been fully vaccinated to self-isolate if they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive. Other potential exemptions will be considered, such as for those under the age of 18. 

Other updates

VisitEngland’s latest consumer sentiment tracker report

Wave 35 of VisitEngland’s consumer sentiment tracker report is available here. The fieldwork for this wave was conducted between 12-16 July. The research was carried out during the week that the announcement about moving to step 4 on 19 July was made, and the details of what that would entail revealed. In this wave the national mood dipped and sentiment around Covid decreased back to levels that were seen in late January. However, this hasn’t had as big an impact on travel confidence and ‘appetite for risk’, with no drop in confidence that a July trip would go ahead and appetite for risk remaining fairly stable.

Other points of note from Wave 35:

  • The national mood remains dips to 6.6/10 (6.8 last wave)
  • 23% believe that the ‘the worst has passed’ down from 33% last wave. We also see an increase in those saying ‘the worst is still to come’ – up at 34% from 22% last wave.
  • 23% of adults expect ‘normality’ by end of this year – down from 30%
  • The Appetite for Risk score is down slightly at 2.7/4, although not a significant drop
  • 51% of adults anticipate taking more or the same number of overnight domestic short breaks between now and end of the year compared to normal, and 49% think they will take more or the same number of overnight domestic longer breaks in the same period.  This compares with c. 30% of adults with similar intent regarding overseas trips. 
  • Confidence has remained stable this wave, with over half (51%) confident a July trip would go ahead as planned.
  • 7% anticipate taking an overnight trip in July, with 30% planning to travel at any point during the summer (July – Sept) which is a decrease since last wave. Compared to this point in 2020, the intent for travel during the summer period is still higher (up from 24% in 2020 to 30% this year).
  • Among those who are intending to take a trip this summer, 55% have reached the planning and 48% the booking stages of their trips, an increase in booking (46% last wave) whereas planning is fairly flat (56% last wave).
  • The South West remains the lead region for summer trips, with Scotland and Wales the next most popular. For autumn trips, the South West is most popular followed by Scotland and then the North West.
  • The leading destination for the summer period continues to be ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’ (35%). Intent to travel to a ‘city or large town’ is at 27% this wave, compared to 20% at this point last year. For autumn, ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’ is still most popular (33%) closely followed by ‘city or large town’ (30%).
  • The accommodation types most likely to be used on overnight trips this summer are ‘hotel/motel/inn’ (42%), ‘camping/caravanning’ (33%) and ‘private homes’ (31%). For autumn trips ‘hotel/motel/inn’ is most popular (48%) closely followed by ‘commercial rentals’ at 47%.
  • 43% of UK adults intend to take a day trip to a ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’ and 41% to a ‘countryside/village’ destination before the end of the summer.  This compares with 22% intending to visit a ‘large city’.

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 23 July

  • Social Impacts of Coronavirus

The latest wave of ONS’s ongoing research on the social impacts of coronavirus has been published. This covers the period up to 18th July so does not cover any public sentiment since the move to Step 4. However, there are some interesting insights such as:

    • The number of people thinking that it will take at least a year for things to get back to normal continues to increase (up from 28% last week to 32% this week)
    • Anxiety levels slightly decreased from 4.0 to 3.8
    • The percentage of adults who met-up with someone outdoors increased to 58% and while the percentage meeting up inside is at 47%
    • 90% of people feel that compliance with measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus such as wearing a face mask while shopping is very important or important

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandthesocialimpactsongreatbritain/23july2021

  • Q1 IPS Figures

ONS have released the Q1 IPS figures and they obviously don’t make great reading with spend down 94% on 2020

Visits and spend (air passengers only)

 Total

Q1 2021

% change vs. Q1 2020

Visits

195,000

-96%

Spend

£248 million

-94%

Nights

10.4 million

-75%

Visits and spend by journey purpose (air passengers only)

Journey purpose

Visits

Q1 2021

% change vs. Q1 2020

Spend

Q1 2021

% change vs. Q1 2020

Holiday

7,000

-100%

£10 million

-99%

VFR

127,000

-93%

£130 million

-89%

Business

20,000

-98%

£32 million

-96%

Study

11,000

-86%

£38 million

-75%

Miscellaneous (excl. study)

29,000

-92%

£37 million

-80%

Visits and spend by global region (air passengers only)

Global region

Visits

Q1 2021

% change vs. Q1 2020

Spend

Q1 2021

% change vs. Q1 2020

Total Europe

115,000

-97%

£114 million

-93%

   EU Total

104,000

-97%

£98 million

-93%

   EU 15

69,000

-97%

£62 million

-94%

   Other EU

35,000

-94%

£37 million

-86%

   Rest of Europe

11,000

-97%

£16 million

-95%

North America

28,000

-96%

£28 million

-95%

Rest of World

51,000

-96%

£105 million

-93%

While not being surprising, these figures do emphasise the need for support for inbound and outbound tourism businesses and the businesses that rely on international tourism.    https://www.visitbritain.org/2021-q1-inbound-data

  • R Number And Growth Rate

As usual, here’s this week’s R Number and Growth Rate – which are 1.2 to 1.4 and +4% to +6%. While not ideal, the good news is that the figures are the same as last week which means that the move to Step 4 has not caused an acceleration in the growth rate of infections.

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

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TIER UPDATE 22 JULY

NHS COVID Pass update (England)

Nadhim Zahawi, Minister for COVID Vaccine Deployment, shared an update with the House of Commons today on step 4 and NHS COVID pass. Please see some key points below:

  • The NHS COVID Pass has been rolled out this week for domestic use to allow people to demonstrate their COVID status (including vaccination status, test results or natural immunity).
  • Businesses in England can adopt the pass as a means of entry where suitable for their venue or premises where they can see its potential to keep their clients/customers safe.
  • He said for proprietors of venues and events where large numbers are likely to gather and likely to mix with people from outside their households for prolonged periods deploying the Pass is the right thing to do.
  • He reiterated that the Government reserve the right to mandate the use of the Pass in the future. Also that at the end of September they plan to make full vaccination a condition of entry to those high risk settings where large crowds gather and interact, proof of a negative test will no longer be sufficient.

Other updates:

Brexit updates:

  • Insurance green cards will not be needed from 2 August 2021 to drive in the EU (including Ireland), Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia or Switzerland for international bus or coach services and tours.

Member updates:

UKHospitality, The British Beer and Pub Association and The British Institute of Innkeeping issued a joint press release last night following new research re: challenges for the sector. The release warns that the long-awaited easing of restrictions this week does not mark an easing of challenges for sector businesses.

Chief among these are major concerns around staffing, the supply chain and tapering of Government support. Also the ‘pingdemic’ means up to as many as a fifth of staff in the sector are isolating at any one time. This is forcing operators to reduce operating hours or to close venues completely, threatening to derail recovery.

The survey of more than 350 businesses operating tens of thousands of venues found that:

  • 100% of businesses surveyed currently have vacancies; mainly front-of-house (84%), non-head chefs (67%) and kitchen porters (36%). A third are experiencing managerial role vacancies. Vacancy levels are running at 10% across the sector – implying a shortage of over 200,000 workers.
  • Almost all (94%) of hospitality businesses are experiencing difficulties with their supply chain – 66% have reduced product lines; 63% are seeing delays in deliveries; 60% are experiencing products not turning up; and 56% are seeing major price inflation.
  • A return to a VAT rate of 20% next year will have negative impacts on the vast majority of businesses: 43% said they would cut investment; 30% would become loss-making; 28% would cut jobs; 22% would implement a recruitment freeze, and 21% would face business failure.

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 22 JULY

  • New Government Campaign

The Government has launched a new campaign called “Let’s Keep Life Moving” aimed at reminding helping make sure that the public still take a cautious approach the removal of restrictions in England by continuing to let fresh air into enclosed spaces, take up the offer of twice-weekly free testing, wash their hands and book both doses of their vaccine.

The campaign features a short film, narrated by TV doctor and practising GP, Dr Amir Khan, encouraging the public to meet outside if they can, let fresh air in when inside, wear a face covering in crowded places, check-in into venues and test regularly, even if they have been vaccinated.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/public-urged-to-continue-protecting-family-and-friends

  • New Guidance For Grassroot Sports

DCMS has published new guidance for the providers of facilities for grassroots sports and participants. The guidance sets out information for providers and participants on how to organise and participate in grassroots sport and physical activity as safely as possible.

This guidance will be of particular interest to hotels and attractions that either have outdoor sports facilities on their premises or are staging a sporting event over the summer, as well as destinations that are looking to stage a sporting event in the public realm.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-coronavirus-covid-19-measures-for-grassroots-sport-participants-providers-and-facility-operators/guidance-on-coronavirus-covid-19-measures-for-grassroots-sport-participants-providers-and-facility-operators

  • West End Footfall

As an indicator of the impact that the move to Step 4 has had on people getting out of their homes and returning to normal life, the New West End Company’s latest figures show that West End footfall yesterday was up 4% week-on-week and up 14% compared to the same time last year. However, it remains down 61% on compared with 2019. While much of this downturn from 2019 will be attributable to the domestic market, a significant proportion will be a result of the decline in inbound tourism to the UK.

  • International Coach Tour Guidance Updated

The DfT guidance for coach operators organising trips into Europe has been updated to say that insurance green cards will not be needed from 2 August 2021 to drive in the EU (including Ireland), Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia or Switzerland.

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

  • Consultation On The Calculation Of Income Tax For The Self-Employed

Not Covid related but important to know nevertheless, the government has announced it intends to proceed with basis period reform to simplify the system for taxing self-employed people and business partnerships.  The proposal is to change the way profits are calculated for a tax year, so they are based on the profits arising in the tax year itself rather than on the profits of a 12-month set of accounts ending in the tax year. The change will apply from 2023/24.

A short public consultation has been launched on how best to implement the reform with a deadline for comments of 31 August 2021 – link below.

The consultation aims to gather views on how best to implement the proposed reform, looking at some of the key areas identified during the pre-consultation. In particular, they are seeking views on how to make the process of estimation easier for the small number of businesses that may need to estimate part of their tax year’s profits as they have accounting dates falling in the second half of the tax year (HMRC data suggests this is around 3% of sole traders and 15% of partners). They are also asking for views on how to make the transition as smooth as possible, and how to help businesses understand and claim outstanding overlap relief.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/basis-period-reform

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

TIER UPDATE 21 JULY

Carbon Commitment:  Details of an initiative suitable for all event SME’s and being provide at no cost by Positive Impact can be found here: www.positiveimpactevents.com

Security considerations at event:  UKCMA has  put together a document about some of the challenges the security sector is facing and the actions organisers can take to minimise the impact on their events. The document has been designed as a resource for both those at a more advanced stage in the planning process, who can use it as a checklist, or those just beginning the process, who can use it as a frame of reference to get started.

Updated guidance on when to wear face coverings in England

As part of the move to step 4 in England on 19 July, guidance has been updated on when to wear face coverings. Whilst there is no longer a legal requirement to wear one in indoor settings or on public transport:

  • People are expected and recommended to continue to wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed spaces where they come into contact with people they don’t normally meet. For example, on public transport.
  • People should use their judgement in deciding where they should wear one. Businesses, including transport operators, can also ask their employees and customers to wear face coverings.
  • People should check with operators of services, venues, and settings that they use.

Other Government updates:

  • A letter from the Scottish Government to UK Government has been sent which calls for more action to tackle labour shortages. The letter follows recent engagement with employers and representative bodies for sectors including Tourism and Hospitality, Food and Drink Manufacturing and Transport Logistics.
  • The Government has published a report on which powers in the Coronavirus Act 2020 are currently active in England.
  • Guidance to accompany the pavement licence provisions has been updated to note that where licences are deemed to have been granted, to allow these licences to remain in place for a year but not beyond up to 30 September 2022.
  • The Welsh Government has updated the public premises and workplace COVID risk assessment.
  • The Department for Work and Pensions has published findings from the first wave of the COVID-19 Employer Pulse Survey. The survey sought to understand how employers are supporting and managing the health of their workforce during COVID-19, how they are engaging with government schemes and guidance, and whether they have altered certain business practices in response to the pandemic. It is representative of employers in Scotland, Wales and England and data was collected between June 2020 and April 2021.

Other news:

  • A reminder that businesses can sign up to tomorrow’s staffing summit webinar hosted by the Caterer in partnership with VisitEngland. The summit will explore how the industry can better promote the career options available in the sector and highlight the organisations that can assist businesses in finding new recruits. This webinar will be dedicated to equipping operators with the tools to attract new employees and revealing ways to keep staff in long-term sustainable careers. You can register for free here.

  • Guidance On Wearing Masks

The Government’s guidance on wearing masks has been updated. However, it is somewhat confusing when it comes to public transport saying, simultaneously, that mask wearing is not a legal requirement on public transport, wearing one is expected and recommended when using public transport, that you should use your judgement as to whether to wear one on public transport and that you may be required to wear one on public transport.

From 19 July 2021, there is no longer a legal requirement to wear face coverings in indoor settings or on public transport.

Lifting restrictions does not mean the risks from COVID-19 have disappeared, but at this new phase of the pandemic response we are moving to an approach that enables personal risk-based judgments.

While no situation is risk free, there are actions we can take to protect ourselves and others around us.

We expect and recommend that members of the public continue to wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed spaces where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet. For example, on public transport.

You should use your judgement in deciding where you should wear one. Businesses, including transport operators, can also ask their employees and customers to wear face coverings. You should check with operators of services, venues, and settings that you use.

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#when-you-should-wear-a-face-covering

  • Pavement Licences

The guidance on pavement licenses, which enables businesses to set-up tables on footpaths outside their premises, has been updated as a result of the new Business and Planning Act 2020 (Pavement Licences) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2021. These regulations allowed the Housing Secretary to extend the period during for which the new pavement licensed can be granted through to 30 September 2022.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pavement-licences-draft-guidance/draft-guidance-pavement-licences-outdoor-seating-proposal

  • Public Guidance Updated

The main public guidance has been updated to remove Birmingham from the list of areas with where the delta variant is spreading and the public should take additional care. The remaining areas under additional support measures are:

    • Bedford Borough Council
    • Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
    • Blackpool Council
    • Brighton and Hove City Council
    • Cheshire East Council
    • Cheshire West and Chester Council
    • Greater Manchester Combined Authority (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan)
    • Lancashire County Council (Burnley, Chorley, Fylde, Hyndburn, Lancaster, Pendle, Preston, Ribble Valley, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire, Wyre)
    • Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (Halton, Knowsley Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens, Wirral)
    • Oxford City Council
    • Warrington Borough Council

It is notable that a number of these areas are tourism destinations.

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

  • New CMA Powers

Considering the CMAs recent investigations into various components of the tourism industry is it worth noting the announcement today that BEIS is planning to increase the CMA’s powers, including the ability to:

    • impose stronger penalties for companies that don’t comply with its investigations or orders, with new powers for fixed penalties of up to 5% of annual turnover and additional daily penalties up to 5% of daily turnover while non-compliance continues
    • disqualify company directors who make false declarations to the regulator
    • accept voluntary binding commitments from businesses at any stage in its investigations, rather than having to wait till the end - leading to quicker outcomes and reduced costs for both businesses and the regulator
    • block a wider range of harmful mergers, including so-called ‘killer acquisitions’ where big businesses snap up prospective rivals before they can launch new services or products

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ministers-seek-to-stamp-out-rip-offs-with-new-consumer-protections

  • Updated Travel Advice For France

The foreign travel advice for France has been updated to say that, from 21 July, people travelling to France will need to demonstrate their COVID-19 status (vaccination status, negative test or proof of recent recovery) to access events/spaces with over 50 people attending. From 1 August this will apply to a wider group of leisure activities as well as some public transport. You can find information and guidance from the French government regarding the current outbreak of coronavirus disease COVID-19 in France on the French government’s COVID-19 pages.

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_source=e9479418-68b6-4ac5-993a-93bb3a21372e&utm_content=immediatel

  • DFT Transport Use

DFT’s weekly update on transport figures comes a bit early to show the impact of moving to Step 4 on Monday but shows that the use of public transport remained static over the last week. One slight change is the the use of private vehicles reached their highest levels last weekend at 104% and 109% of usual traffic flow which probably reflects the good weather over the weekend and the propensity of people to use their car rather than public transport to make use of the sunshine.

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

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TIER UPDATE 20 JULY

COVID Vaccine Certificates. In regard to the PM’s announcement yesterday of the Government’s intention to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather and at this point proof of a negative test will no longer be sufficient. We have raised with Officials a number of issues relating to this, including that the requirement should be on types of events and not venues, the definition and nature of events where this would apply, the cost burden of compliance and understanding who would have the responsibility of compliance.

TIER update

Updated guidance for areas in England with additional COVID-19 measures in place

Guidance has been set out for local areas with additional COVID-19 measures in place on how to stay safe, including wearing a face covering in enclosed and crowded spaces and keeping spaces well ventilated. The guidance applying to these areas will be updated from Monday 19 July as the majority of COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and personal responsibility and informed choice are emphasised.

Existing guidance applying to these areas, including advice to keep 2 metres apart and minimise travel into and out of the areas, is being removed as part of step 4, but local residents are urged to remain cautious and follow the national guidance, including:

  • to wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport;
  • meet outdoors where possible;
  • let fresh air into homes or other enclosed spaces,
  • and consider minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts.

The areas where additional support is in place are:

  • Bedford Borough Council
  • Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
  • Blackpool Council
  • Cheshire East Council
  • Brighton and Hove City Council
  • Cheshire West and Chester Council
  • Greater Manchester Combined Authority (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan)
  • Lancashire County Council (Burnley, Chorley, Fylde, Hyndburn, Lancaster, Pendle, Preston, Ribble Valley, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire, Wyre)
  • Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens, Wirral)
  • Oxford City Council
  • Warrington Borough Council

Other Government updates:

Other news:

  • The World Travel and Tourism Council has responded to the relaxing of restrictions across the UK and calls on UK Government to extend freedoms to include safe international travel.

  • Updated Guidance on Test And Trace

You will have noticed that there has been a fair bit of confusion within Government regarding the requirement to self-isolate as a result of Test and Trace system with Paul Scully stating that it was up to the individual as to whether they self-isolate if they were “pinged” by the Test and Trace app only for Number 10 to issue the following statement that it was crucial that anyone pinged by the app to self-isolate.

“Isolation remains the most important action people can take to stop the spread of the virus. Given the risk of having and spreading the virus when people have been in contact with someone with Covid it is crucial people isolate when they are told to do so, either by NHS Test and Trace or by the NHS covid app. Businesses should be supporting employees to isolate, they should not be encouraging them to break isolation.”

As the situation stands, it is a legal requirement to self-isolate if the are contacted through Test and Trace (ie., someone calls you to tell you that you need to self-isolate) but it is only guidance to self-isolate if you are “pinged” through the app. However, although self-isolating after being pinged by the app is not a legal requirement, it is expected of people.

In addition, the Government has updated guidance on businesses that it should still be encouraging customers and to check in using QR codes and maintaining records of staff and visitors who choose to provide their contact details. These businesses are:

    • hospitality, including pubs, bars, nightclubs, restaurants and cafes
    • tourism and leisure, including theatres, museums and cinemas
    • close contact services
    • places of worship
    • facilities provided by local authorities such as libraries and community centres

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

  • Nadhim Zahawi’s Statement

In yesterday’s update I mentioned that Nadhim Zahawi had made a statement to Parliament on an extension of the self-isolation exemption for those in critical roles,  advice on vaccination for children and upcoming rules for nightclubs. The statement was subsequently published and is available on the following link. Some of the key passages are:

    • we are drawing up plans for a potential booster programme — subject to advice, the final advice from the JCVI — so we can protect the most vulnerable ahead of winter.
    • we recognise there are some very specific circumstances where there would be a serious risk of harm to public welfare if people in critical roles are unable to go to their workplace – like air-traffic controllers or train signallers. So people in those kinds of roles who have received two vaccinations — plus two weeks beyond a second vaccine — will not need to self-isolate to perform those critical tasks. The people eligible for this will receive personalised letters setting out the steps they must follow.
    • By the end of September, everyone aged 18 and over will have the chance to receive full vaccination – and the additional two weeks for that full protection to really take hold. So at that point we plan to make full vaccination a condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather. Proof of a negative test will no longer be sufficient.

Obviously it is important that we establish what “other venues where large crowds gather” means in practice as this will could have significant implications for a wide range of businesses, events and destinations so I will come back to you as soon as I can get any details on this.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/minister-nadhim-zahawi-oral-statement-on-step-4-of-the-road-map

  • Impact of Coronavirus On Businesses In Different Regions

ONS has published a study on the impact of coronavirus on businesses in different regions of the UK. Of particular interest is the interactive graphic in the study which you can use to look at businesses that are open, have staff on furlough and have experienced a decrease in turnover.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/business/businessservices/articles/businessinsightsandimpactontheukandsubnationaleconomy/july2021

  • Guidance for Pregnant Employees

The guidance for pregnant employees has been updated to take into account the move to Step 4 and the Government’s guidance for workers to return to work

For women less than 28 weeks pregnant with no underlying health conditions

    • The employer must undertake a workplace risk assessment with the employee and occupational health team.
    • Employees should only continue working at the business premises if the risk assessment advises that it is safe to do so.

This means that the employer should remove or manage any risks. If this cannot be done, the employer should offer suitable alternative work or working arrangements (including working from home) or suspend the employee on normal pay.

For women more than 28 weeks pregnant or with underlying health conditions

    • Employers should take a more precautionary approach
    • For many workers, this may require working flexibly from home in a different capacity.
    • All employers should consider both how to redeploy these staff and how to maximise the potential for homeworking, wherever possible.

                Pregnant women of any gestation should not be required to continue working if this is not supported by the risk assessment.

                https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-pregnant-employees/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-pregnant-employees

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TIER UPDATE 19 JULY

Today the Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a press conference with Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, and Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jonathan Van Tam.

The Prime Minister spoke about the move to step 4 in England and the importance of the test, trace and isolate system in identifying people who are more likely to be infected. He also mentioned that some of life’s most important pleasures and opportunities are likely to be increasingly dependent on vaccination. There are already countries that require you to be double-jabbed as a condition of quarantine-free travel and that list seems likely to grow.

He then went on to express the concern of the UK Government by the continuing risk posed by nightclubs, asking them ‘to do the socially responsible thing and make use of the NHS Covid Pass which shows proof of vaccination, a recent negative test or natural immunity – as a means of entry.’

He reiterated that the Government reserves the right to mandate certification at any point and gave notice now that by the end of September - when all over 18s will have had the chance to be double jabbed – of the intention to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather. At this point proof of a negative test will no longer be sufficient.

Read his full statement as well as the press release issued earlier regarding England’s move to step 4 in it’s roadmap.

Updated guidance on the requirements to provide public health information to passengers travelling to England

Guidance on the requirements to provide public health information to passengers travelling to England has been updated. Transport operators are required to ensure that passengers travelling to England by sea, air or rail from outside the Common Travel Area (CTA) are provided with information about coronavirus, and related duties and public health guidance. From 4am 19 July 2021 changes are being made to information to be provided at stages 1 to 3 of the passenger journey and the onboard announcement. Operators should begin to use the new prescribed messaging as soon as possible. A reasonable timeframe for implementation is permitted.

Safe use and management of outdoor public places in England

Advice for local authorities, owners and operators in England has been published to support the safe use and management of outdoor public places, such as urban centres, green spaces, outdoor playgrounds, outdoor gyms, tourist hotspots (including beaches, the countryside and coastal areas) while the risk of COVID-19 transmission remains.

Welsh Government Written Statement on testing requirements following international travel

A statement has been published from the Minister for Health and Social Services for the Welsh Government, Eluned Morgan MS, regarding the international travel restrictions. The advice continues to be not to travel overseas unless it is essential.

Additional restrictions for passengers returning to the UK from France

The amber list rules for fully UK vaccinated people do not apply to France. Anyone who has been in France in the 10 days before arriving in England must follow the amber list rules for people who are not fully UK vaccinated.

This means they must quarantine for 10 days on arrival in the UK and take day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 tests. The tests need to be booked in advance.

Other travel restriction news

  • From today, passengers arriving in Ireland from outside the EU+ Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland (which includes Great Britain) do not need to test or quarantine if they have proof of vaccination or of recovery from COVID in the past 180 days. Arrivals who do not have valid proof of vaccination or recovery will need to:
    • Present evidence of a negative result from a RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival into the country
    • self-quarantine for 14 days
    • if a negative result is received from a RT-PCR test taken from day 5 onwards after arrival into Ireland, the passenger will be able to leave quarantine
  • From today, the UK has been added to Bulgaria’s red list. Arrival from the UK will only be permitted for Bulgarian citizens and long-term residents

Other news

  • Advice on the new rules passengers arriving into England from Amber countries has been added across the following pages:

 

 

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS – 19 JULY 2021

  • Announcements of Covid Passports For Large Crowed Settings and Testing As An Alternative To Self-Isolation

Nadhim Zahawi has announced that Government will require people to be fully vaccinated to attend "large crowded settings" such as nightclubs from the end of September once all over-18s have had the chance to receive both vaccine doses and develop immunity.

He also announced that the Government is going to extend the scheme allowing people who are fully vaccinated to use regular testing as an alternative to isolation if they have been in contact with someone testing positive in order to reduce problems businesses are experiencing regarding  the number of staff that are able to come into work. However, he suggested that this would be restricted to people who provide a vital public service, like air traffic controllers and train station managers.

I will send round details on these announcements when they are published.

  • Coronavirus Impact on Hospitality

ONS has published research on the impact of coronavirus on the hospitality sector from January 2020 to the end of May 2021.  Some of the key findings from the study are:

    • The sector has been one of the hardest hit with spending still 30% down
    • There is significant variation within the sector (bars and clubs have been significantly impacted while campsites have fared relatively well)
    • The number of employees remains 11% below Feb 2020 levels
    • 590,000 employees remained on furloughed at the end of May 2021
    • Only 14% of pubs and bars and only 15% of licensed restaurants reported that they had "high" confidence that they would survive the next three months. This compares to 47% for all businesses.
    • 47% of accommodation businesses said that they were confident that they would survive the next three months (equalling the all business average).

https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/business/activitysizeandlocation/articles/coronavirusanditsimpactonukhospitality/january2020tojune2021

  • Managing Public Outdoor Settings

MHCLG has published new guidance for local authorities and the owners and operators of lands open to the public on how to manage these settings in a covid-safe manner. The guidance covers

    • urban centres
    • green spaces
    • outdoor playgrounds
    • outdoor gyms
    • tourist hotspots, including beaches, the countryside and coastal areas

The guidance covers issues such as hygiene, toilets, holding events, the use of marshals, dealing with anti-social behaviour, car parking, beach safety and waste management.

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

  • Test And Trace Update

The Test and Trace guidance has been updated in line with the move to Step 4 including the removal of the requirement for businesses to display and use QR codes. However it is important to note that It is still a  legal requirement for people to self-isolate if they test positive for COVID-19 or are identified as a contact and told to self-isolate by Test and Trace. Failure to do so can still result in a fine, starting from £1,000.

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

  • Announcement On Vaccination For Vulnerable Young People

The government has announced that young people aged 12 to 15 with severe neuro-disabilities, Down’s Syndrome, immunosuppression and multiple or severe learning disabilities, as well as people who are household contacts of individuals who are immunosuppressed, will be eligible for vaccination soon. However, the Government does not plan to vaccinate those aged under-18s without underlying health conditions at this stage

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/statement-on-offering-covid-19-vaccines-to-at-risk-young-people

  • Wedding Guidance Updated

The guidance on holding weddings has been updated in line with the move to Step 4.  The new guidance is:

    • There are no legal restrictions on the number of people that can attend a wedding, civil partnership, reception or celebration.
    • Legal requirements for social distancing no longer apply and you do not need to stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with.
    • Face coverings are no longer required by law in any setting. However, the government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.
    • COVID-secure rules, including table service requirements and restrictions on singing and dancing, no longer apply. However, there are steps everyone should continue to consider to reduce the risk of transmission, which are explained in this guidance. All businesses should follow the principles set out in the working safely guidance.
    • If someone has been instructed by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate because they have tested positive for COVID-19, or they’re the close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, they must still self-isolate and not attend.

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

  • Public Guidance Updated

In line with the move to Step 4 today, the Government has updated the primary guidance to the public on the measures that are still in place and what people should do to stay safe. This used to be the “What You Can and Cannot Do” guidance but has been renamed “Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread” to reflect the fact that there are now very few legal requirements outside overseas travel. The guidance to the public is:

    • in order to minimise risk at a time of high prevalence, you should limit the close contact you have with those you do not usually live with, and increase close contact gradually. This includes minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts.
    • You should meet outdoors where possible and let fresh air into homes or other enclosed spaces.
    • The Government expects and recommends a gradual return to work over the summer.
    • The Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.
    • You should follow guidance for weddings and funerals to reduce risk and protect yourself and others.
    • COVID-19 has not gone away, so it’s important to remember the actions you can take to keep yourself and others safe. Everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious.

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

  • Change to Amber List Rules

The rules related to arriving in England from Amber List countries has changed today for UK residents returning to England that have been vaccinated in the UK. The new rules are:

Before you travel to England you must:

    • take a COVID-19 test – children aged 10 and under do not need to take this test
    • book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test – to be taken after arrival in England
    • complete a passenger locator form

You will need to:

    • declare that you have been fully UK vaccinated on your passenger locator form, or are taking part or have taken part in a formally approved UK COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial for COVID-19 vaccine, or you are under 18 and resident in the UK
    • show proof of your vaccination status to your carrier (ferry, airline or train) when you travel

It is important to note that those who are not fully vaccinated, or are returning from France, will need to continue under the old rules - quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days and

take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8, or undertake Test to Release after 5 days.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england#amber-list-rules-if-you-are-fully-uk-vaccinated

  • Guidance on Volunteers Updated

Another piece of guidance that has been updated today is that applying to organisations that employ volunteers. This guidance has been updated to bring it into line with Step 4 in terms of encouraging people to volunteer at work rather than from home but, in doing so, pointing out to “employers” that their duty of care on the work premises extends to volunteers as well as staff.

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

  • Safer Aviation Guidance Updated

The safer aviation guidance has been updated to highlight that social distancing still applies between disembarkation and border control at ports of entry into England. The guidance on facemasks has also been updated to say that the Government still expects and recommends that people wear face coverings at airports and on public or international transport.

It also states that airports and airlines are free to determine their own face coverings policy based on their health and safety risk assessments and that customers should follow the rules and guidance set by transport operators during all stages of their journey.

                https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-aviation-guidance-for-operators

  • Cruise Ship Guidance Updated

The guidance on undertaking a cruise has been updated to reflect the move to Step 4, meaning that social distancing requirements no longer apply on domestic cruises. For cruise trips between the different Home nations, the advice is:

    • Check that the cruise activity is permitted in the UK nations you plan to visit.
    • Ensure that you understand the relevant public health and pre-travel information about mitigating the risk of COVID-19 that your travel agent or cruise operator provides at the time of booking.
    • Get travel insurance, and make sure you are content with the level of cover it provides. If you already have travel insurance check it is valid and provides appropriate cover.
    • Familiarise yourself with the UK Chamber of Shipping COVID-19 guidance for passengers.

However, it should be noted that the FCDO is still advising against international cruise travel.

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

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