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Covid-19 Update



stay home

On behalf of MPI UK & Ireland, we hope you and your families are keeping healthy during these times. The last few weeks have been challenging to see the impact that the Coronavirus outbreak has had on our businesses, communities, industry, and personal well-being. The next few weeks bring a harder challenge as we lockdown and make our social circles even smaller. Our thoughts and sympathies are extended to this entire MPI community and we want you to know that we are here for you. 

MPI prides itself on its ability to create networks and share education and this current situation does not change that. We encourage you take advantage of the virtual communities and education that we provide our members on .

Now, more than ever, we must stand together and help one another through these unsettling times. We have already seen amazing things happening, such as hotels and convention centres converting into temporary hospitals, virtual weddings, social distancing concerts and balcony-singing. If there’s one thing we know, it’s that our industry is about people connecting with people. While we will be in isolation for at least the next few weeks, the meetings and events industry will recover and come back stronger than ever.

Stay healthy and stay strong, 
Your MPI UK & Ireland Chapter Board

TIER: COVID-19 update 25 February


Today’s update includes the recommendation that the UK should move from COVID alert level 5 to 4, the publication of the Northern Ireland Economic Recovery Plan as well as the more guidance on reopening businesses and venues In England


Reopening businesses and venues in England


Further to the release of the UK Government’s COVID-19 four-step plan to ease lockdown in England, new guidance on reopening businesses and venues in Englandhas been published. Please see a summary of the relevant guidance for tourism businesses below. We will continue to keep you informed as more information becomes available


Step 1 - from 8 March

Businesses permitted to open remain the same as currently allowed.


From 29 March

People can use these venues in a group of six people, or with members of up to two households.

  • Outdoor sport facilities: Gyms, swimming pools, sports courts (such as tennis and basketball courts), golf courses, including mini golf, water sports venues, climbing walls, driving and shooting ranges, riding arenas at riding centres, archery venues.


Step 2 - no earlier than 12 April

At this stage the venues must only be attended/used in line with the wider social contact limits- as a single household or bubble indoors; or in a group of 6 people or 2 households outdoors (unless an exemption exists).


  • Self-contained holiday accommodation in which all facilities (including for sleeping, catering, bathing, and indoor lobbies and corridors for entry and exit) are restricted to exclusive use of a single household/support bubble can reopen
  • Outdoor areas at hospitality venues (cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs, social clubs, including in member’s clubs) can reopen, including for takeaway alcohol. These venues may allow customers to use toilets located inside. At any premises serving alcohol, customers will be required to order, be served and eat/drink while seated (“table service”)
  • Outdoor attractions can reopen at adventure parks and activities, animal attractions (such as at zoos, safari parks and aquariums), drive in events, such as for cinemas, theatres, and other performances, film studios, funfairs and fairgrounds, model villages, museums and galleries, skating rinks, theme parks, trampolining parks, water and aqua parks
  • Permitted businesses operating in otherwise closed attractions - such as a gift shop or a takeaway kiosk at a museum may only open where they are a self-contained unit and can be accessed directly from the street.
  • Outdoor gatherings or events, organised by a business, charity, public body or similar organisation, can be organised, subject to complying with COVID-Secure guidance including taking reasonable steps to limit the risk of transmission, complete a related risk assessment; and ensure that those attending do not mix beyond what is permitted by the social contact limits
    • This could enable spectators at a grassroots sports match or a village fete, provided people do not mix beyond groups of 6 people or two households. ‘
  • Indoor events that bring people together - even if they do not mix with other households - must not run until Step 3. However, at this point, funerals can continue to proceed with up to 30 attendees. Weddings, receptions, and commemorative events including wakes will be able to take place with up to 15 attendees (in premises that are permitted to open).
  • Non-essential retail will reopen and includes retail travel agents
  • Personal care facilities and close contact services can reopen, including hair, beauty and nail salons, spas and massage centres (except for steam rooms and saunas), holistic therapy (including acupuncture, homeopathy, and reflexology)
  • Indoor sports and leisure facilities will reopen including: gyms and leisure centres, sports courts, swimming pools, dance studios and fitness centres, driving and shooting ranges, riding arenas, archery venues, climbing wall centres


Step 3 - no earlier than 17 May

At this stage the venues must only be attended/used in line with the wider social contact limits - in a group of 6 people or 2 households indoors; or in a group of no more than 30 people outdoors (unless an exemption exists).

  • Remaining holiday accommodation can reopen
  • Indoor areas of hospitality venues can reopen. As with outdoors, table service will be required.
  • Indoor entertainment and visitor attractions can reopen, including cinemas, theatres, concert halls, museums and galleries, adventure playgrounds and activities, amusement arcades and adult gaming centres, bingo halls, casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks, games, recreation and entertainment venues such as escape rooms and laser quest, play areas (including soft play centres and inflatable parks), model villages, snooker and pool halls, trampolining parks, water and aqua parks, indoor visitor attractions at theme parks and film studios, indoor attractions at zoos, safari parks, aquariums and other animal attractions, indoor attractions at botanical gardens, greenhouses and biomes, indoor attractions at sculpture parks, indoor attractions at landmarks including observation wheels or viewing platforms, indoor attractions at stately or historic homes, castles, or other heritage sites, conference centres and exhibition halls, including for the purposes of business events (subject to the capacity limits set out below)
  • Remaining outdoor entertainment events, such as cinemas, theatres, and other performance events will also be permitted.
  • Both outdoor and indoor gatherings or events, organised by a business, charity, public body or similar organisation can be organised, subject to them complying with COVID-Secure guidance.
  • Spectators will be allowed at elite sporting events and performance events. Attendance at these events will be restricted to 50% of capacity up to 1,000 people for indoor events, and 50% of capacity up to 4,000 people for outdoor events. For outdoor events taking place in venues with seated capacity of over 16,000, event organisers may apply a 25% capacity cap, up to a maximum of 10,000 seated people.
  • Large business events will also be able to go ahead, subject to the same capacity requirements as sporting events and performances.


Step 4 - no earlier than 21 June

  • The hope at this stage is to reopen remaining settings such as nightclubs and adult entertainment venues,
  • To lift the restrictions on social contact and large events that apply in Step 3. This is subject to the outcome of the Events Research Programme, and a review of social distancing measures.
  • The Government will also look to relax COVID-Secure requirements on businesses, subject to the outcome of the reviews.


Northern Ireland Economic Recovery Action Plan

Yesterday the Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance and CBI joined the Minister Dodds for the economy when she announced the publication of the Economic Recovery Action Plan. The plan sets out the key actions required to rebuild the Northern Ireland economy and it is significant as the Tourism industry has been recognised as a key economic driver in that recovery.  The plan can be downloaded here. The plan is based around 4 themes:

  • R&D and Innovation
  • Highly Skilled and Agile Workforce – HATS leads on this for the tourism & hospitality sectors
  • Green Economy
  • Investment, Trade and Exports


There are number of actions relating to Tourism which cover demand stimulation across home markets, Covid Holiday at Home voucher, product and experience development programmes, supporting regional connectivity and the development of a Sustainable and Regenerative Tourism Strategy.


Other updates


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme updates

A reminder of the date for claims for CJRS for furlough days in February 2021 must be made by 15 March 2021 has been added to the following pages:



Information about the banded ranges and employer claim data have been updated on the following pages:


New statistics are available for the following schemes:



Other updates




  • Essential Workers for Covid Testing

DHSC has published guidance on who is deemed to be an essential workers to be prioritised for PCR testing. From a tourism perspective it includes:

    • Those working in air, water, road and rail passenger transport
    • Those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery
    • Teaching and support staff including specialist education professionals


  • Planning Inspectorate Guidance 

The Planning inspectorate has issued guidance to say that they are reviewing how they will operator over the forthcoming months in light of the Government’s Road Map in easing restrictions as well as liaising with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on their expectations for the planning system in the light of planning reform and wider system changes. After which they will “carefully evaluate the full range of practical options” continue to “engage with all customers, participants and stakeholders”.


  • Passenger Arrivals

The Home Office has released data on arrivals into the UK since the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak. The key findings are:

    • There were around 630,000 air passenger arrivals to the UK in January 2021
    • This monthly average for April to June 2020 was less than 200,000
    • The figure for January 2021 is around 91% lower than the figure for January 2020, when there were 7.1 million arrivals.


  • Apprenticeship Guidance Updated Again

The guidance for businesses providing apprenticeships has been updated again to state that eligible apprentices can now start their EPA before they achieve their functional skills qualifications, if they have been prevented from doing so by coronavirus restrictions.





TIER: COVID-19 update 24 February


Levelling Up Fund extended to include the whole of the UK

Today the Treasury announced that the Levelling Up Fund will be extended to include Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


The initial £4 billion fund, announced at the Spending Review, will be increased to £4.8 billion as the scheme becomes UK-wide. It will be for investment in local infrastructure that has an impact on people and their communities, such as regeneration and transport.


Further details on how the Fund will operate, including who can bid, the types of projects eligible for funding, and the criteria for assessing will be published in the prospectus at Budget on 3 March.


Find out more information here.


UK Government press briefing

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson was joined by Dr Jenny Harries, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England at a press briefing this afternoon. He provided an update on the plan on the return to schools and was asked the following questions:


  • When asked if the data appears to better than expected, would restrictions in England be lifted faster, Gavin Williamson stated that Prime Minster has said there were no plans to move ahead of the proposed roadmap dates. Jenny Harries reiterated that the timeline gives the Government the opportunity to look at the impact of each step.
  • A further question was asked about the possibility of extending quarantine in light of evidence that suggested the Kent variant infects people for longer. Dr Harries said they were continually looking at these variants, but they were working to keep quarantines as short as possible to limit impact.


Other Government updates





  • Well, That Explains Everything …

I offer up the following question on the Roadmap in the House of Lords without comment.


Baroness Doocey (LD)

My Lords, self-catering accommodation can open from 12 April, but only if there are no shared facilities. Camping grounds cannot open because they have shared toilet blocks. Pubs can also open from 12 April, for those people sitting outside, and those people can use the pub’s toilets. Could the Leader explain why it is considered safe to use a shared toilet in a pub but not in a camping site?


Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)

No, I am afraid I cannot.


  • Business Grants Data

The government has published the latest round of business grants data, showing the government funding delivered to each council in England to support their local businesses. What is of particular interest in this table on the percentage of LRSG and ARG grants that has been allocated. Although the table is over a month out of date, it shows that Councils have been slow to allocate this funding to businesses - especially the ARG grants that many businesses are depending on.


BVEP data

TIER: COVID-19 update 23 February


Updated strategic framework for easing lockdown restrictions for Scotland

This afternoon First Minister Nicola Sturgeon outlined Scotland’s approach to easing lockdown restrictions and Scotland’s updated COVID-19 strategic framework has been published.  

Assuming that progress in suppressing the virus and vaccinating key groups remains on track restrictions would be eased as follows, with a likely gap of at least three weeks between each phase to assess the impact of changes, and to check that it is safe to proceed further using the six conditions for safe easing set out by the World Health Organisation:


  • Phase 1 of the framework began on 22 February (yesterday) with early learning and childcare, schools for primary years 1-3 and some senior phase pupils for essential practical work returning.
  • Phase 2 (minimum 3-week gap from phase 1, indicatively from 15 March, subject to conditions being met, unlikely before 15 March) The next phase of school returns. Also the limit on outdoor mixing between households to increase to four people from a maximum of two households
  • Phase 3 (minimum 3-week gap from phase 2, indicatively from 5 April and subject to conditions being met) The stay at home restriction to be lifted and any final school returns to take place. This phase would also see the re-opening of retail, starting with an extension of the definition of essential retail and the removal of restrictions on click-and collect. In this phase the government will seek to ease the restrictions on outdoor gatherings so that at least 6 people from 2 households can meet together.
  • Phase 4: (minimum 3-week gap from phase 3, indicatively from 26 April and subject to conditions being met) return to a levels approach with all of Scotland moving to at least level 3, with some possible adjustments. This would include the phased re-opening of the economy, including non-essential retail, hospitality and services like gyms and hairdressers.


Financial support will continue to be available to businesses as Scotland comes out of lockdown, including the ongoing commitment to fund the Strategic Framework Business Fund and to provide Level 4 payments for an additional month once businesses are moved down a level. These proposals are contingent on receipt of additional consequentials from the UK Government.


In her statement, Nicola Sturgeon said that further details will be set out in mid-March including on the indicators that will guide decisions on levels, and the expected order of the reopening of the economy and restricted businesses. and Read the press release here.


Other updates:




  • The Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG (Closed) Addendum)

The second wave of LRSG payments for closed businesses has been announced and covers the period 16th February to 31st March 2021. The payments for this 44 day period are:


    • £2,096 - if your business has a property with a rateable value of up to £15,000
    • £3,143 - if your business has a property with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000
    • £4,714 - if your business has a property with a rateable value of £51,000 or more


  • Apprenticeships During Coronavirus

The Government has revised and updated the guidance publication on managing apprenticeships to provide information on:

    • the temporary flexibilities that have been applied during the coronavirus (COVD-19) outbreak
    • how and when apprentices can safely train and undertake an assessment in the workplace and educational and assessment settings


  • Road Map Scenarios

If you’ve got a bit of time and interested about these things, the Government has published a series of papers by different research groups including Imperial College and Warwick University which model a range of reopening scenarios including ones very similar to the road map published yesterday

TIER: COVID-19 update 22 February


Roadmap for easing of restrictions in England announced

In his statement to the House of Commons today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the government roadmap that outlines how lockdown restrictions will be eased in England. The roadmap is in four steps. Before proceeding to the next step, the Government will examine the data to assess the impact of previous steps.


This assessment will be based on four tests:

  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully.
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
  • Assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern.

There will be a minimum of five weeks between each step: four weeks for the data to reflect changes in restrictions; followed by seven days’ notice of the restrictions to be eased.


The full roadmap document is available here. A simplified table of the steps is available on pages 47-48. See below for a summary of the key points:


Step 1 (two parts split between 8 and 29 March)

From 8 March

People will be allowed to spend time in outdoor public spaces for recreation on their own, with one other person, or with their household or support bubble. People must continue to maintain social distance from those outside their household. This is in addition to outdoor exercise which is already permitted.


There will continue to be restrictions on international travel. Holidays will not be a permitted reason to travel. Those seeking to leave the UK must complete an outbound declaration of travel form ahead of departure.

From 29 March

People will no longer be legally required to stay at home, but some restrictions will remain such as continuing to work from home where possible and minimising all travel. The rule of six will return for outdoors, and meetings of two households will also be permitted. This includes in private gardens.


Outdoor sports and leisure facilities will be able to reopen and formally organised outdoor sports will be able to resume, subject to guidance.


Step 2 – from 12 April at the earliest, subject to an assessment of the data against the four tests

Outdoor gatherings must still be limited to six people or two households as in Step 1, and no indoor mixing will be allowed unless otherwise exempt. Additional premises will be able to reopen but should only be visited alone or with household groups:


  • Non-essential retail
  • Personal care premises such as hairdressers, salons and close contact services
  • Indoor leisure facilities such as gyms and spas (but not including saunas and steam rooms, which are due to open at Step 3).
  • Public buildings such as libraries and community centres
  • Hospitality venues for outdoor service, without any curfew or the requirement for alcohol to be accompanied by a substantial meal - customers must order, eat and drink while seated
  • Most outdoor settings and attractions including outdoor hospitality, zoos, theme parks, drive-in cinemas/performances/events will reopen

In addition:


  • Domestic overnight stays will be allowed and self-contained accommodation - those that do not require shared use of bathing, entry/exit, catering or sleeping facilities - can also reopen, though must only be used by members of the same household.
  • Weddings, receptions, and commemorative events including wakes will be able to take place with up to 15 attendees (in premises that are permitted to open).
  • International holidays will not be permitted.

All newly open settings must abide by the social contact rules. This will be accompanied by mitigations including workforce testing and continued social distancing guidance. People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise domestic travel where they can. International holidays will still be prohibited.


Step 3 – from 17 May at the earliest and at least five weeks after Step 2

Most legal restrictions on meeting others outdoors will be lifted, but gatherings of more than 30 people outdoors will remain illegal. Indoors, people will be able to meet socially in a group of six, or with one other household (though it may be possible to go further than this at Step 3 depending on the data). COVID-Secure guidance will remain in place and premises must not cater for groups larger than the legal limits.


Sectors which will reopen include:

  • Indoor hospitality, with no requirement for a substantial meal to be served alongside alcoholic drinks, and no curfew. The requirement to order, eat and drink while seated (‘table service’) will remain;
  • Remaining outdoor entertainment, such as outdoor theatres and cinemas;
  • Indoor entertainment, such as museums, cinemas and children’s play areas;
  • Remaining accommodation, such as hotels, hostels and B&Bs;
  • Adult indoor group sports and exercise classes; and
  • Some large events, including conferences, theatre and concert performances and sports events.
  • Controlled indoor events of up to 1,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower, will be permitted, as will outdoor events with a capacity of either 50% or 4,000 people, whichever is lower.
  • The Government will also make a special provision for large, outdoor, seated venues where crowds can be safely distributed, allowing up to 10,000 people or 25% of total seated capacity, whichever is lower.
  • In addition, pilots will run as part of the Events Research Programme to examine how such events can take place without the need for social distancing using other mitigations such as testing.

In addition

  • Weddings, receptions, funerals, and commemorative events including wakes can proceed with up to 30 attendees.
  • A broader range of stand-alone life events will also be permitted at this step, including bar mitzvahs and christenings.

Step 4 – from 21 June at the earliest, and at least five weeks after Step 3

With appropriate mitigations in place, by Step 4, the Government aims to remove all legal limits on social contact, reopen the remaining closed settings, including nightclubs and enable large events, theatre performances, above the Step 3 capacity restrictions (subject to the outcome of the scientific Events Research Programme) and remove all limits on weddings and other life events, subject to the outcome of the scientific Events Research Programme.


Read the press release here and the Prime Minister’s Statement here.

In parallel to these steps, four formal reviews will also take place on the issues of:

  1. Social distancing and face masks
  2. The resumption of international travel – the global Travel Taskforce will report on 12 April with recommendations aimed at facilitating a return to international travel as soon as possible while still managing the risk from imported cases and variants of concern. Following that, the Government will determine when international travel should resume, which will be no earlier than 17 May.
  3. COVID status certification to enable reopening of businesses, mindful of discrimination and privacy
  4. The return of major events

Further details of business support will come from the Chancellor’s budget next Wednesday. A plan for reacting to local outbreaks will also be published next month, with measures to tackle new variants. He could not rule out implementing restrictions at a local level if required.


Update from Visit Wales on accepting bookings for Easter in self-contained holiday accommodation

In response to queries regarding accepting bookings for the Easter period in self-contained holiday accommodation, the latest industry newsletter from Visit Wales states that:

  • Any bookings that fall beyond the 21-day review period (the next review is on the 12 March) are at the business’s and the customer’s own risk.  No bookings can be taken ahead of 12 March.


Wave 25 of VisitBritain consumer sentiment research published

VisitEngland has published the next wave of its consumer sentiment research. Please see the report here. They are pleased to report that they will be continuing this research until the end of August. The next report will be in four weeks’ time.

Other updates

TIER: COVID-19 update 19 February


Update on Wales lockdown, changes to some of the rules and schools reopening

First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed today that following the recent review of restrictions, Wales will remain at Alert Level 4. The next review will take place in three weeks’ time.


The following changes to the current rules were also announced:


  • From Saturday 20 February, four people from two different households will be able to meet outdoors for socially distanced local exercise. This doesn’t apply to private gardens.
  • From 1 March, the law will be changed to allow licensed wedding venues, such as visitor attractions and hotels, to re-open but only to perform wedding and civil partnership ceremonies.
  • Sport Wales will make arrangements for talented athletes to resume training and playing.
  • With more people living and working in older people’s care homes being vaccinated, guidance for care home visits will be looked at.

He also stated that from Monday 22 February, children aged three to seven will begin returning to schools in a phased way, while some vocational learners, on courses that require practical learning, will return to college.

Business Rates Review update

The Government has announced that it will now publish the final report on the fundamental review of business rates in Autumn 2021.


The review was announced at last year’s Budget and the call for evidence closed in July. An interim report which will include a summary of responses to the call for evidence will be published on 23 March 2021.




  • Social Impact of Coronavirus

The ONS’s weekly update has been published and, somewhat surprisingly, even though the roll-out of the vaccine has been successful and the Prime Minister is set to announce the reopening Roadmap next week, there hasn’t been a corresponding increase in optimism regarding life getting back to normal. Just 20% of people feel that life will return to normal in six months or less (compared to 21% last week), while 29% of people feel that it will take more than a year for life to return to normal (up from 27% last week).


This indicates that while there is considerable demand for some sectors of the tourism industry such as self-catering, considerable effort will be required to encourage people to return to city destinations and activities such as going to pubs and restaurants or entertainment venues.


  • GVA By DCMS Cluster

DCMS has published data on the GVA of different industries under their responsibility. These figures show that the GVA from tourism is £74.5bn of the total GVA of £291.9bn generated by businesses across Arts, heritage and Libraries, Design and media, Digital, Gambling, Sport and Civil Society


There are also figures for employment in industries under DCMS’s remit which unfortunately don’t include any figures for tourism. This is extremely disappointing both in terms of the current economic situation and that it would be relatively easy to produce figures for tourism by applying Tourism Satellite Account ratios for tourism-related industries to the Labour Force Survey


  • Repaying EOTHO

HMRC has update their factsheet for businesses that participated in the Eat Out To Help Out Initiative on how to repay any money that was accidently overclaimed and of their new powers to recover amounts of Eat Out to Help Out payments businesses have overclaimed.


TIER: COVID-19 update 18 February


Northern Ireland restrictions extended for 4 weeks

First Minister Arlene Foster and Finance Minister Conor Murphy announced that COVID-19 restrictions will be in place for another 4 weeks (until 1 April) with another full review on 18 March. The Northern Ireland Executive will publish their decision making framework, the pathway to recovery on 1 March.

They shared an overview of how the health situation is progressing, the R rate in Northern Ireland is now around 0.7-0.8 and the peak period of the infection has passed. However, with the prevalence of the new variants being more infectious community transmission is still a concern, meaning the lifting of restrictions will be cautious and gradual based on the scientific data.

They also announced the gradual return of children to schools from 8 March for some school years. Parents were urged to restrict contact as much as possible.

Other changes will include:

  • From Monday 8 March up to 10 people from 2x households will be able to meet outdoors in parks and public spaces
  • From Monday 8 March there will be a reinstatement of some Click and Collect services for items that have now become essential (e.g. shoes, clothing and baby equipment (click and collect will be looked at more widely as part of the next  review).

People were urged not to make plans or book anything for the Easter weekend. Financial assistance is being looked at.

Other updates




  • Ordering Home Testing Kits

The Government has announced that it is making it is introducing three new measures to make it easier for people to order home testing kits. These measures are:

    • Home test kits can now be ordered over the phone by calling 119 as well as via  the internet
    • NHS Test and Trace partnership with Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to improve home testing service for people with visual impairments
    • New video-call support service with specially trained NHS Test and Trace staff will assist people with vision impairments to test at home


  • WTTC letter to the Prime Minister

WTTC have written to the Prime Minister  putting forward four principles of an exit strategy for reopening international tourism flows. The four principles are:

    • An international coordinated approach, led by the UK, including public and private collaboration, to establish an international mobility framework to allow the safe movement of people and remove restrictions such as blanket quarantines, hotel-based requirements and travel bans.
    • Shift to individual traveller risk assessments instead of country risk assessments, to avoid importing and exporting the virus through robust testing, supported by technology, such as digital health passes, virus detectors and contact tracing systems, to ensure a seamless experience.
    • Reinforce health & hygiene protocols, including mandatory mask wearing, in addition to the vaccination roll out, as part of an integral solution.
    • Continued support for the sector, including, fiscal, liquidity and worker protection, with a clear strategy to resume economic activity and provide consistency and certainty, in addition to promoting the importance of the sector.


  • Regional Coronavirus Briefing

Here’s a link to the weekly regional coronavirus update that is provided as a briefing to MP. It’s an excellent source of information on coronavirus infection rates at the national and regional levels. Of particular interest in the national summary which show how infection rates have started to fall rapidly across the country.


  • Business Growth Programme for Leeds

BEIS have launched a business growth programme through the Leeds LEP which will provide grants of between £10,000 to £250,000 to small and medium-sized businesses and between £100,000 to £250,000 to large businesses (those with more than 250 employees)


To be eligible, businesses must be based in or moving to the Leeds City Region and:

    • have a capital investment project over £50,000, that will create jobs
    • have been established for at least 12 months
    • operate from commercial premises


TIER: COVID-19 update 17 February


Please see below today’s updates

  • Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng today called on businesses to continue supporting the national vaccine rollout effort, recognising warehouses, pubs and shops that have been repurposed used as vaccination hubs, restaurant chains delivering free meals to volunteers at vaccination centres and employers offering paid time off for employees to receive their jab and volunteer. See what organisations pledged


  • The First Minister for Wales has announced that St David’s Day will be used to support delivery of their International Strategy, to encourage people to buy Welsh, make plans to visit or study in Wales in the future, invest in Wales and share content on Wales. Read the statement here.


Tourism Alliance Update – 17 February


  • £650m in Support for Wales

Westminster has allocated an additional £650 million to the Welsh Government to support people, businesses and public services affected by coronavirus. The Welsh Government will be able to carry over any of the £650 million not spent this year into the 2021/22 financial year in order to provide continuing support.

  • Kick Start Brand Guidelines

Those businesses that have been approved funding for taking on an unemployed young worker through the Kick Start scheme are allowed to use the Kick Start branding to advertise that they are part of this initiative. The branding and the guidelines for using it are on the following list.

  • Scottish Reopening

While the focus is on the Government’s reopening roadmap being announced on Monday, it is worth noting that the Scottish Government has announced that it is currently preparing a revised strategic framework, which will set out in much more detail when and how the country might gradually emerge from this lockdown. It is hoped that the new strategic framework will be published next week (probably Tuesday). The framework will:

    • set out as far as possible the conditions that we think need to be met, in terms of the data, for us to start lifting restrictions.
    • detail the broad order of priority for re-opening, including what a return to a geographic levels approach might look like in due course.
    • try to be clear about what the government doesn’t think will be possible for a while longer.
    • advise against booking Easter holidays, either overseas or within Scotland, as it is highly unlikely that we will have been able to fully open hotels or self catering accommodation by then


The First Minister, in making this announcement stated that, for the summer, it is still highly unlikely that overseas holidays will be possible or advisable. However, staycations within Scotland might be allowed by then depending on the data nearer the time.

In Wales, the publication of a reopening strategy has yet to be announced by First Minister Mr Drakeford has said that discussions are being held with tourism and hospitality leaders in Wales about the possibility of opening up around Easter and that Wales would implement a process of slowly moving down the alert levels.


  • Testing for Coach Drivers

The government has updated the  guidance on testing for coach drivers which includes a list of locations where they can take a COVID-19 test, which they need to travel to:

    • Denmark
    • France
    • Germany
    • Netherlands


TIER: COVID-19 update 16 February


Review of restrictions in Scotland

The First Minister for Scotland Nicola Sturgeon gave a statement today in which she confirmed the core stay at home requirement will be in place until at least the beginning of March.

She confirmed that the phased and gradual return to school will start from Monday 22 February and that being able to get children back to education may other restrictions are in place for longer.

She confirmed that the Scottish Government is revising the strategic framework, which will set out in more detail when and how Scotland might come out of lockdown and this would be published next week. Continued travel restrictions were mentioned as a trade off for continuing to prioritise education, followed by greater family contact and the phased re-opening of the economy.

The framework will try to clarify what may not be possible for a while longer. In giving examples, she said they are likely to advise against booking Easter holidays either overseas or domestically as it is highly unlikely hotels and self-catering accommodation will have been able to open fully by then. She then said it is unlikely that overseas holidays in summer may be possible or advisable, however staycations might be possible depending on the data nearer the time.

Scottish budget update

In a statement to Scottish Parliament, Finance secretary Kate Forbes outlined proposals following confirmation of a further £1.1 billion of consequential funding arising from UK Government coronavirus (COVID-19) spending. The Scottish Government will be able to carry over any of the £1.1 billion not spent this year into the 2021/22 financial year on top of their existing tools to transfer funding between years.

She also confirmed that extension of 100% non-domestic rates relief for retail, tourism, hospitality and aviation businesses in Scotland for the whole of 2021-22.

Other government updates



  • Clarification on Who’s Banned from Travel to the UK

The Government has amended statements that it has made regarding who is banned entry into the UK under the new quarantine regime. Previous statements had been that only UK residents were able to travel to the UK from Red List countries. The new guidance is that British or Irish nationals or those with UK residency rights are able to travel to the UK from Red List countries

  • Asking HMRC Not to Publish CJRS Details

HMRC have published an amendment to the guidance on businesses making requests to HMRC that they do not publish details of their furlough claims after complains from businesses that requests could only be made but the company rather than by their accountants who handle CJRS claim processing. As a result, the updated guidance is that agents can make requests on behalf of the businesses that they represent.

Here is a link to the updated guidance where businesses (and their agents) can submit a request.

  • Support for Self-Catering and B&Bs in Scotland

The Scottish Government has introduced a new package of sector specific support to help the following accommodation businesses closed or impacted by current protective measures. 

    • Large self-catering properties
      • Self-catering businesses are eligible if they have a property which accommodates 7 or more people for which they pay Non Domestic Rates. The number of bed spaces will be linked to records held by Rates Assessors. The large self-catering grant will make one off payments of £2,000 available to eligible applicants. 
    • Exclusive use properties that provide accommodation
      • Exclusive use properties that provide accommodation are eligible for one off grants of £10,000, if they pay Non Domestic Rates and have been evaluated by the Scottish Assessors Association as an Exclusive Use Venue providing overnight accommodation,
    • B&Bs paying Council Tax
      • B&Bs paying Council Tax will get equivalent support - comprising £2,000 for every 4 weeks of Level 4 restrictions.

  • Scottish Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Project Fund

Staying with Scotland, the Government has also launched the Scottish Zoo and Aquarium Project Fund which is up to £400,000 for businesses experiencing financial hardship which is affecting your conservation projects. The eligibility criteria are:

    • the project is for the conservation benefit of native Scottish species
    • the project is for promoting or developing understanding of scientific matters
    • all reasonable actions have been taken to minimise costs while maintaining conservation project objectives such as the coronavirus job retention scheme, business rates holiday, tax deferral, statutory sick pay rebate, etc
    • the project has budget monitoring and forecasting
    • the organisation is in possession of a current full licence or dispensation under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981, or have been inspected and granted an exemption under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 due to your small size

TIER: COVID-19 update 15 February


This afternoon Prime Minister Boris Johnson led a coronavirus news briefing from Downing Street. Joining him were Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Chris Whitty and Chief Executive of NHS England Simon Stevens. Johnson spoke about the vaccination programme and mentioned next week he will set out the roadmap out of lockdown.


During the briefing there were questions on next week’s announcement of the roadmap and the lifting of restrictions. Boris Johnson answered that decisions are yet to be taken and will be made based on the data, which will become clearer over the course of this week, Current reports in the media are speculation.


There was a question whether people should rule out get togethers and get aways at Easter. The Prime Minister Johnson said he could not give any guarantees and that whilst he was optimistic about the future, the roadmap needs to be realistic and cautious.


Asked about vaccine passports, Johnson acknowledged other countries may insist there is evidence of vaccination, much like the vaccination against yellow fever. He said it was still early days, but under consideration in this country for opening up the domestic economy is mass vaccination and lateral flow/rapid/on the day testing, especially for those businesses which could not reopen last year, such as night clubs and theatres.


On hotel quarantine, Boris Johnson was asked if someone had to extend their stay following a positive test would they pay for the accommodation. He restated that it is illegal to travel abroad and he expects people who are travelling from red list countries to cover their cost.


New guidance to support mandatory hotel quarantine introduced today


From today, Monday 15 February, anyone who has visited a country on the UK’s travel ban ‘red list’ will have to enter England through a designated port and have pre-booked a quarantine package to stay at one of the government’s managed quarantine facilities.


Details for arrivals on what to expect at managed quarantine hotels have been published and include what to do before travel, what to expect at the hotel, tips on what to pack and details of when the passenger will take a COVID-19 test on the second and eighth day of quarantine.

Anyone arriving in England from today who have not visited a red list country must still quarantine for 10 days at home and more detailed guidance on completing
two mandatory COVID-19 tests on the second and eighth day after arriving is now available. Details of jobs with COVID-19 testing travel exemptions have been published.

Read today’s press release.


Guidance on the new quarantine rules has been updated on the following pages:


In Scotland, from today, people who are travelling from outside of the Common Travel Area (comprising of the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands), and do not qualify under an exemption, will be required to quarantine in managed isolation for 10 days on arrival in Scotland.
Guidance is available on
international travel and managed isolation. Read further information what a passenger must do on arrival into Scotland.


At her daily update today, First Minister for Scotland Nicola Sturgeon spoke about the new rules for international travel into Scotland. She spoke about the difference in hotel quarantine rules in Scotland and the risk should someone arrive at a port elsewhere in the Common Travel Area and travel on to Scotland.


Support for self-catering, exclusive use properties and bed and breakfast establishments and zoos and aquariums in Scotland


Eligibility details have been published for:


  • Grant payments to support large self-catering properties, exclusive use properties that provide accommodation and B&Bs paying council tax. These grants were announced on 21 January 2021. Local authorities will identify and invite eligible businesses to register for payment from 15 February 2021. There is no need to apply.
  • Zoos or aquariums in Scotland experiencing financial hardship which is affecting conservation projects may be able to apply. Details on how to apply have been published.


Office for National Statistics publishes an analysis of the coronavirus impact on travel and tourism in the UK.


The Office for National Statistics has published an analysis of the how industries related to travel and tourism in the UK have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Key figures include:


  • Monthly air passenger arrivals to the UK fell from 6,804,900 in February 2020 to 112,300 in April 2020, a fall of 98.3%.
  • Greater London saw the largest fall in room occupancy of any English region from 2019 to 2020, with 20% of rooms occupied in July 2020 compared with 90% in the same month in 2019.
  • Accommodation and travel agency businesses saw the sharpest decline in turnover during the first national lockdown, falling to 9.3% of their February levels in May 2020.
  • In the three months to June 2020, employment in accommodation for visitors fell by 21.5% compared with the same three months of 2019.
  • In travel and tourism industries overall, the number of people aged 16 to 24 years saw the largest fall in employment of any age group between Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2019 and Quarter 3 2020.


The analysis looks at the demand for travel and tourism during the pandemic including passenger numbers as well as the impact to business turnover and trading status.




  • Quarantine Hotels and Testing

With the implementation of the new testing and quarantine regime for people entering England today, there are a few details that are worth being aware of


Who needs to Quarantine

There seems to be some confusion on who needs to quarantine.

    • DCMS have informed me that if there is a flight from a non- Red List Country (say Spain) which has someone on board that has been in a Red List country within the last 10 days, then it’s only that person that needs to use a quarantine hotel.
    • However, they are also saying that if a flight from a non Red List country stops over in a Red List country, then everyone on board needs to use a quarantine hotel


Personally, I’m struggling to see the difference between 2 Red List people getting on a plane in a non Red List country and 2 red list people getting on a plane from a non Red List Country when it travels through a Red List country so I’ve asked DCMS to check this as it will impact flights through airports like Dubai.


Transiting airside through the UK

People transiting through the UK who stay airside do not need undertake a  do not need to show a passenger locator form or pre departure test as they will will not pass through the UK border.


Exemptions from Testing

Bus and coach drivers are exempt from testing if they can to show that their travel is part of their job, for example a letter from your employer, a consignment note or your operator’s licence. This applies to drivers of public service vehicles and other employees of community licence holders for the international carriage of passengers by coach and bus.


Aircraft pilots and crew as defined in paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the Air Navigation Order 2016(h), where such crew have travelled to the UK in the course of their work


  • Clarification on Support Groups

The Government has produced greater clarification on the support groups exemption from the lockdown rules. Support that has to be delivered in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. Support groups must not take place in a private home. Examples of support groups include those that provide support to:

    • victims of crime (including domestic abuse)
    • those with, or recovering from, addictions (including alcohol, narcotics or other substance addictions) or addictive patterns of behaviour
    • recent parents (including breastfeeding, postnatal, and baby and toddler groups, for the provision of support)
    • those with, or caring for persons with, any long-term illness or terminal condition or who are vulnerablethose facing issues related to their sexuality or identity including those living as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender

The limit of 15 does not include children under 5 who are accompanying a parent or guardian.


Where a group includes someone covered by an exception (for example, someone who is working or volunteering), they are not generally counted as part of the gatherings limit. This means, for example, a tradesperson can go into a household without breaching the limit, if they are there for work, and the officiant at a wedding would not count towards the limit.


  • ALVA Sentiment Tracker

I have attached a copy of the latest wave of ALVA’s Customer sentiment Survey. The main findings of which are:

    • Confidence around visiting attractions is now more polarised compared with the first lockdown – whilst more will return quickly, there has been even greater growth in the segment unlikely to visit for a long time
    • Around 40% feel less positive about visiting than they did during the first lockdown (18% feel more positive), with the impact of the virus now feeling greater for many – high infection rates, new variants etc.
    • Concerns around distancing remain the focal point – pre-visit reassurance around limiting capacity (via pre-booking) and the ability to control distancing in practice will continue to be vital. The market is now much more accepting of mandatory mask wearing
    • But when re-opening again, we need to remember that there are growing numbers who are questioning the value of the experience – we need to try to offer as full / normal a visit as possible
    • With that in mind, it is important to note that anxiety around using facilities at attractions, while still high for many indoor facilities, is easing slightly – apart from interactives and audio guides
    • The advent of vaccines is beginning to have some positive impact upon attraction visiting prospects, although this will be limited until the market feels that rollout to the wider population is complete
    • In the short term, the impact of the vaccine is mainly in encouraging the fearful to at least consider a visit - moving people from ‘unlikely to visit for a long time’ to ‘wait and see what happens for a short while’
    • Attractions are unlikely to see short term rapid increases in visits driven by a vaccination rollout – the impact of having the first vaccine dose increases the proportion saying they will visit any attraction from 44% to 48%, although the impact is greater (+7%) among those aged 55 or over

TIER: COVID-19 update 11 February

Additional COVID-19 funding for freelancers and events sector in Scotland

A further £17.5 million of emergency coronavirus (COVID-19) funding has been allocated to support creative freelancers and the events sector. Of that, £8.5 million will go towards the events sector – distributed through the Pivotal Event Businesses Fund and the Events Industry Support Fund 2 as well as targeted support.  The remaining £9 million will be distributed as a top-up to the Creative Freelancers Hardship Fund bringing the total value of support for creative freelancers to £17 million.

New guidance for internationals arrivals from 15 February (England)


Details of the steps individuals need to take before entering England, on arrival and during quarantine have now been published on


  • Take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test and get a negative result during the 3 days before travel - this includes UK citizens. Proof of a negative coronavirus test is needed to travel to England – this includes UK citizens.
  • Book and pay for a travel test package, which will include COVID-19 tests to be taken on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of your quarantine. Everyone must book a travel test package – this costs £210.
  • Complete a passenger locator form with details of where they will be home quarantining on arrival and the travel test package booking reference number


If people are travelling from somewhere in the Common Travel Area and you have not left the Common Travel Area for the past 10 days, they do not need a test before leaving or to home quarantine and take tests after arriving.


New guidance for booking and staying in a quarantine hotel for England

The guidance details how to book a place in a quarantine hotel (the link to the booking portal is due to be available later today) and arrange coronavirus (COVID-19) tests for people who have travelled to England from a country on the banned travel list.  The costs have been confirmed as follows:

  • Rate for 1 adult in 1 room for 10 days (11 nights): £1750
  • Additional rate for 1 adult (or child over 12): £650
  • Additional rate for a child aged 5–12: £325

All package prices will be reviewed before the end of March and may change. While hotels normally set a zero fee for children aged under 3, the Government is setting this for children under 5 years old because they will not be tested. For those facing significant financial hardship as a result of this charge, there will be an opportunity to apply for a deferred repayment plan when booking. This is only available for individuals who already receive income-related benefits, and they will be required to pay back in 12 monthly installments.

The only ports of arrival in England for people arriving from banned travel list locations currently are - Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport, London City Airport, Birmingham Airport, Farnborough Airfield. Other ports of entry may be added in the future. People are responsible for changing their own booking if they are not due to land at one of these airports. After 15 February carriers will not be permitted to carry anyone who has been in a red list country in the previous 10 days to any other port of entry other than those specified.

Read the full guidance to find out more about how the quarantine arrangements will work

New testing, self-isolation and quarantine rules updates

The following pages have been updated with links to the new testing, self-isolation and quarantine rules that will apply from 15 February:



Other updates





Here’s today’s update which concentrates on the new quarantine regime that come into effect on the 15th Feb. It is worth noting that the booking portal for tests and quarantine accommodation is not yet live due to a technical problem. I’ll send round links when they sort that out.

  • People Arriving From a Non-Red List Country

This applies to everyone entering the England (with minor exceptions) from a destination outside the Common Travel Area that is not a Banned or Red List country

Before travelling, all people entering the country must:

    • take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test and get a negative result during the 3 days before travel
    • book and pay for a travel test package, which will include COVID-19 tests to be taken on or before Day 2 and on or after Day 8 of quarantine
    • complete a passenger locator form with details of where they will quarantine and the travel test package booking reference number


People entering the country who have not been in a banned (red list) country within 10 days of arrival can quarantine:

    • in their home
    • with friends or family
    • in temporary accommodation that is not a managed quarantine hotel


The place of quarantine must be the one they list on the passenger locator form and the person must stay there for the entire 10 days. People must travel directly from the port of entry to the place of quarantine, and only using public transport or stay somewhere along the way if absolutely necessary.

During the 10 day quarantine period:

    • no visitors are allowed outside medical and other emergency assistance
    • no leaving the property is allowed, not even for shopping, exercise or walking a dog


Other people living in the property do not need to quarantine, unless:

    • they also travelled overseas
    • someone living in the property develops coronavirus symptoms


The 10 day quarantine can be ended after 5 days if a person:

    • takes the test for variant surveillance on or before Day 2
    • takes a test on the 5th full day of quarantine under the “Test to Release” scheme and the result is negative
    • takes the test for variant surveillance on or after Day 8


People traveling to the UK in the next 7 days and facing a set of circumstances that are not covered by the guidance are asked to contact the NHS using the following address

  • How to Test at Home

To tie-in with the need to undertake home testing if returning from overseas, the Government has updated and expanding the guidance for the public on how to conduct testing at home. This includes a step by step guidance, a guidance on how to test children and a guide for use in Wales.

  • People Arriving from Banned or Red List Countries

People arriving into the UK who have been in, or passed through, a banned or red list country within 10 days of arrival are only allowed to arrive into England at:

    • Heathrow Airport
    • Gatwick Airport
    • London City Airport
    • Birmingham Airport
    • Farnborough Airfield

(others will be added to this list)

People with a pre-existing booking to a different port of entry on or after the 15 February have to change it to one of the ports of entry specified above.

Before travelling, all people entering England from a Red List country must:

    • take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test and get a negative result during the 3 days before travel
    • book a managed quarantine hotel package which includes the hotel accommodation, quarantine transport and a travel test package for COVID-19 tests on day 2 and day 8 of quarantine
    • complete a passenger locator form with details of where they will quarantine with the quarantine package booking reference number


The cost of a package is

    • Rate for 1 adult in 1 room for 10 days (11 nights)               £1750
    • Additional rate for 1 adult (or child over 12)                         £650
    • Additional rate for a child aged 5–12                                        £325


People staying in a Quarantine Hotel are not allowed visitors are can only  leave their room in very limited circumstances including:

    • to travel directly to leave the Common Travel Area
    • to fulfil a legal obligation including attending court or satisfying bail conditions or to participate in legal proceedings
    • to exercise but only with special permission from hotel staff or security. This is not guaranteed
    • in exceptional circumstances


People staying in a quarantine hotel will be tested on Day 2 and Day 8

  • A person with a positive test result on Day 2, and anyone they travelled with, must quarantine until day 12
  • A person with a positive test result on Day 8, and anyone they travelled with, must quarantine until day 18
  • There is no option of undertaking a “Test to Release” test on Day 5 to shorten a stay

  • Red List Countries

Here is a link to the current Red List countries. Talking to DCMS officials earlier, they envisaged the list would be review approx. every two weeks but that changes to countries on the list will be driven by the spread of variants that are of concern rather than specific dates.


There is also more detail coming on what constitutes arriving from a red list country but working assumption is that it includes passenger who remain airside when transiting through a red list country. This includes situations where they remain on the plane while other passengers board.


  • Restaurants, Pubs and Cafes Guidance Updated

The primary guidance for restaurants, pubs and cafes has been updated to include a section on Workplace testing which states that it’s important to continue to follow the working safely measures, even if employees have:

    • received a recent negative test result
    • had the vaccine (either 1 or 2 doses)


Also that employers can order rapid lateral flow tests, to test employees with no coronavirus symptoms if:

    • the business is registered in England
    • the business employs 50 people or more
    • employees cannot work from home


There is also a requirement that the businesses have to be operating at the moment so many businesses in these sectors will probably have to wait until they reopen in order to be able to order tests.

  • Test And Trace Payment Privacy Notice

The Government has updated the Private Notice to inform people that local authorities can use Test and Trace Payment Support data for wider benefit accuracy checks.  Local authorities will also validate bank account details before making payments to ensure they align with the applicant, for anti-fraud purposes.




TIER: COVID-19 update 10 February


In his statement at Downing Street today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was joined by Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance. The statement provided an update on the vaccination programme, as well as an update that the number of hospital admissions and the number of people testing positive for coronavirus were reducing.

In the Q+A

  • When asked whether the public should be booking holidays, the Prime Minister stated that it’s currently illegal to go on holiday but they were looking at the data every day. The roadmap for reopening would be released on the 22nd and that would hopefully provide some more clarity on timings.
  • On whether lateral flow tests could be used to help restart weddings and events, numbers need to come down first, but lateral flow tests could be a useful tool for the sector when it does reopen.
  • Channel 5 asked about IATA’s plan to develop a travel app that could record vaccination status, and whether the government had been involved in these conversations. The Prime Minister response was that they’re looking at things they may wish to do in the months ahead, but the vaccination programme is the priority at the moment, to give people the protection they need.

    View the statement and the slides.

    Other updates

  • The travel advice: coronavirus page has been updated to reflect yesterday’s announcement on changes at the border from Monday 15 February, as well as a link to Scottish government quarantine guidance.



  • Tourism Alliance Update – 10 February


    • Innovate UK EDGE
    • BEIS has launched Innovate UK EDGE as part of the UK innovation agency’s investment in the innovative businesses that drive economic growth. It is an addition to Innovate UK project funding and will provide free tailored support and advice to help small businesses (up to 250 employees) innovate and grow internationally. This support includes:

        • finding the right partners for research, development and innovation
        • finding new markets for your products
        • accessing funding and finance
        • assessing and planning your internal resources

          While the video and support material on the website is very much focused on high tech research and development, this support is actually available to businesses from any sector and might be of interest to some of your member who have a new product or service that they would like to develop.



          • Lateral Flow Results in 30mins
          • The Government has announced that people undertaking lateral flow tests should now get their results within 30mins rather than the previous 2 hour waiting period. This reduction in waiting time may increase the usefulness of these tests for enabling the freer flow of tourism.




            • Covid-19 Community Testing/Postcode checker
              The Department for Health and Social Care have announced that over 230 local authorities in England are now offering rapid Covid-19 testing. They have also launched a new postcode checker to help people who need to leave home for work find out if rapid Covid-19 testing is offered by their local authority or near their place of work.


              • Caravan Importation for Northern Ireland
              • Finally. a slightly niche one but HMRC have just introduced a new form for anyone importing multiple caravans from Europe who’s final destination is Northern Ireland


              TIER: COVID-19 update 29 January


              Lockdown in Wales extended for further 3 weeks

              The First Minister has announced that alert level 4 lockdown restrictions will remain in place in Wales for the next 3 weeks.

              The following changes will also be made to the current alert level 4 restrictions and will come into effect on Saturday 30 January 2021:

              • A maximum of two people from different households will be able to exercise outdoors together, as long as they maintain social distancing. This must involve exercise starting from and finishing from home – driving for exercise to beauty spots should still not take place.
              • If a support bubble arrangement has broken down, a new one can be formed as long as there is gap of 10 days before doing so.

              Read the full press release here.

              Further details of £200 million package of support in Wales announced

              The Welsh Government has revealed further details of the £200 million package of support for non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses that continue to be impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

              The latest funding is linked to the non-domestic rates system and will operate as a top up to the Restrictions Business Fund which was put in place in early December.

              A further £30 million is also being made available through the discretionary fund to provide up to £2,000 grants for businesses not on the non-domestic rates system. See more details below.

              The Restrictions Business Fund Non-Domestic Rates (NDR) and Discretionary based grants for non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism (NERHLT) sectors have been extended to provide a single top up payment to cover the period between the 25 January and end of March 2021 for businesses affected by national restrictions.

              Businesses Eligible for the Extended Restrictions Business Fund will receive the following top up:

              • NERHLT businesses in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) and with a rateable value of £12,000 or less will be eligible for an additional £3,000 payment. Supply chain businesses qualifying for SBRR will also be eligible for this support if they have greater than 40% reduction in turnover during the restriction period.
              • NERHLT businesses with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £51,000 will also be eligible for a £5,000 payment if impacted by the restrictions. Supply chain businesses in the same rateable value bracket will also be eligible for this support if they have greater than 40% reduction in turnover during the restriction period.
              • NERHLT businesses with a rateable value of between £51,001 and £500,000 will also be eligible for a £5,000 payment if impacted by the restrictions. Supply chain businesses in the same rateable value bracket will also be eligible for this support if they have greater than 40% reduction in turnover during the restriction period.
              • NERHLT businesses with a rateable value up to £150k who registered and received the ERF Restriction Fund Grant in December/January via their Local Authority will begin receiving payments into their bank account during February. These businesses will not be required to re-register their details.
              • This extension will also provide support to retail, leisure and tourism business properties with rateable values of between £150k and £500k p.a. This will enable support to be provided to a cohort of medium sized firms that to date have not received support via the Restrictions Business Fund schemes. These businesses will be required to register their details, as well as making a short on-line application to their respective local authority.
              • Business will be able to access the registration and application process to access the funding through the Business Wales and Local Authority websites, links can be found on the Restrictions Business Fund - Local Authorities page.
              • To support businesses who are not registered on the NDR register and with a turnover below £50k, a further phase of the Local Discretionary Fund has also been approved and will provide a £2,000 grant via a second round application and payment. Businesses will need to submit an application to the fund.

              Find out more information here.



              • Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme

              The Government has opened applications for much needed support for Airports and Ground handlers. Under the scheme, airports and ground handlers in England will be eligible to receive up to £8m to help with their fixed costs while travel restrictions are in place. To be eligible, a business needs to be either:

                • A commercial airport situated within England with a valid commercial licence from no later than 24 November 2020 that operated at least 12 scheduled commercial passenger flights in 2019
                • A ground handling company providing any of the handling service listed in EI Directive 96/67/EC in accordance with serving a commercial airport in England

              It must also:

                • have been in receipt of business rates liabilities for the 2020 to 2021 financial year
                • demonstrate the business’s coronavirus (COVID-19) losses for the 2020 to 2021 financial year


              The use of the funding is limited to:

                • Airfield operations of policing or security, air traffic control, fire services costs, as well as costs incurred by law and essential to the operation of an airport
                • Contracted services including payments to companies, other than airlines, for the legally required and essential provision of airport facilities, services and utilities, including airfield and runway maintenance, plus services contracted for fulfilment of legally mandated projects, such as security upgrades
                • Ground handler costs including maintenance of equipment essential to the provision of ground handler activities
                • Insurance premiums required for the legal operation of an airport
                • Business rates already paid or billed for the 2020 to 2021 financial year where the applicant will make a declaration that these funds will be used to fully offset those business rates liabilities


              Further information and an application portal is available on the following link


              • Instructions for Self-Testing

              Following on from the item I send through yesterday regarding how to report the results of self-testing, the Department for health has now published guidance in a range of formats on how to undertake a self-test for Covid. The guidance explains how to:

                • prepare the test
                • collect a sample
                • process the sample
                • read and report the result


              It also includes a link to a demonstration video on how to self-test. While this guidance is not specifically targeted towards businesses, it is very useful for business that are looking to undertake their own testing regimes.


              • ONS Social Impact Research

              This weeks new wave of the ONS research on the Social Impacts of Covid has been published and show that:

                • Personal well-being scores for life satisfaction, feeling that things done in life are worthwhile and happiness remained at some of the lowest levels recorded since this survey began in March 2020
                • The proportion of adults who felt that it will take more than a year for life to return to normal (28%) continued to gradually rise this week and is higher than those who feel life will return to normal in six months or less (20%).




              • UKVI Update

              UK Visas and Immigration have sent out an update which highlights

              The Hong Kong British National (Overseas) (BNO) visa scheme to open from 31 January

              UKVI will open a Hong Kong British National (Overseas) (BNO) visa for British nationals (overseas) and their immediate family members from 31 January 2021. Eligible customers will be able to apply from outside or inside the UK. Customers are encouraged to check regularly the BNO page here. This page will be updated with the latest information about this new visa route.

              Reintroduction of some in-country priority visa services

              UKVI have reintroduced the next working day Super Priority (SPV) service and the 5 working day Priority (PV) to in-country work and student application routes.

              All other in-country immigration application routes will continue to offer a standard service at this time. The service will be reintroduced to further in-country routes as and when those factors allow.

              Further information on our in-country SPV and PV offers can be found here, including a table of eligible visa categories.

              New temporary helpline opening hours

              The Sponsor and Educator’s Help Line opening hours are being revised from Monday 1st February 2021. Our new opening hours are:

                • Monday to Thursday: 11:00 – 16:00
                • Friday, Weekends and Bank Holidays: Closed

              This is a temporary change due to the impact of COVID-19 that we will continue to review.

              • R Rate and Growth Number

              The latest R range for the UK is 0.7 to 1.1, while the growth rate range for the UK is -5% to 0%. This is practically the same as last weeks figures which were 0.8 to 1.0 and -4% to -1%.


              TIER: COVID-19 update: new lockdown grants to support businesses and other updates, 5 January


              Please see today’s updates below.


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


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

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

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

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


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


              • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
              • £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
              • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000

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


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

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

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


              Update to information for individuals and businesses in Scotland

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

              Other updates

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


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




              Here’s today’s update


              • Clarification on New Grants

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


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


              • CJRS Update

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

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


              Examples of caring responsibilities include caring for:

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




              • Stay and Home Poster

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




              • Community Facilities

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

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







              • New National Restrictions from 5 November

              The Government has published the guidance on the national restrictions that came into force yesterday. This is the public-facing guidance that goes through all the rules and restrictions including:

                • Meeting others safely
                • Where and when you can meet in larger groups
                • Businesses and venues
                • Weddings, civil partnerships, and funerals
                • Going to work
                • Education, school, college and university
                • Childcare and children’s activities
                • Protecting people more at risk from coronavirus
                • Visiting relatives in care homes
                • Travel
                • Staying away from home overnight
                • Moving home
                • Financial support




              • Closing Certain Businesses and Venues in England

              The Government’s guidance on which businesses are required to close and what services businesses that are not required to close are able to provide has been updated to provide clarifications that reflect the new lock down regulations. The guidance contains:

                • A list of the essential businesses that are able to remain open
                • Guidance on mixed retail
                • How restaurants, pubs and cafes are able to operate
                • The people that are able to stay in visitor accommodation
                • A list of tourism and leisure businesses that are required to close
                • The rules for libraries, community halls and places or worship
                • Compliance and enforcement of the restrictions.


              There is nothing new in all this as it follows the legislation that I sent round a couple of days back -  but the guidance is a far easier to read and provides more detail on how you should interpret the regulations.



              • Support Funding Clarification

              There has been some confusion as to what support is available to businesses during the lockdown period so it’s probably worth a quick run through of the support three support schemes:


              1. Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed)

              This Grant is available to businesses that are mandated to close during the lockdown and includes non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality businesses (including museums and galleries, indoor attractions, zoos, bingo halls, casinos, sports facilities restaurants and pubs. It is based on the rateable value of the premises and provides businesses with up to £3,000 per month. This fund was originally introduced to support businesses that were required to close in Tier 3 areas and but was extended to businesses that are not able to open during the lockdown via an Addendum that was published on3 November


              Here's the guidance



              And here’s the Addendum



              1. Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open)

              This is the grant that was established to support retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses in Tier 2 and 3 areas. These businesses were not legally required to close but suffered from reduced demand due to restrictions on socialising associated with being in Tier 2 and 3 areas. The scheme is essentially the same as the “Closed” scheme but the grant is only 70% of the vale of the “Closed” grant.


              The important thing to note is that this fund is only available for the period between 1 August and 5 November 2020 – it is not available during the lockdown as the Addendum suspended it for this period.



              1. Additional Restrictions Grant

              The third grant is what is commonly known as the Discretionary Grant, which is the £1.1bn that the Government is allocating to local authorities to distribute to businesses in their areas that have been impacted by coronavirus but are not covered by the other grants.




              What is uncertain at this stage is what grant accommodation businesses are eligible for. They were in the Open Grant but not mentioned in the Addendum which closed this Grant and made hospitality businesses eligibility for the Closed Grant.


              • Air Corridor Update

              Overnight, in the addition to removing Germany and Sweden from the Air Corridor list yesterday, the Government decided to also remove Denmark from the list due, interestingly, to widespread outbreaks of coronavirus in mink farms in the country, with that strain of the virus spreading to some local communities.


              The removal of Denmark from the Air Corridor list was effective immediately (from  04:00 on 6 November 2020)


              • Amended Definition of a Support Bubble

              The Government has slightly tweaked the definition of a support bubble to provide clarity on the age of children. A support bubble is now defined as:


              “a close support network between a household with only one adult or a household with one adult and one or more people who were under the age of 18 on 12 June 2020 in the home (known as a single-adult household) and one other household of any size. This is called making a ‘support bubble’.


              Once you’re in a support bubble, you can think of yourself as being in a single household with people from the other household. It means you can have close contact with that household as if they were members of your own household.


              Once you make a support bubble, you cannot change who is in your bubble”



              • Childcare Bubble

              The Government has also published guidance on how to form a childcare bubble which allows friends or family from one other household to provide informal childcare for another household who have a one or more children aged 13 or under. For example, grandparents providing childcare for parents with small children. They can provide the childcare in either or both of the homes from the 2 households or in any other location , regardless of whether it is public or private, indoors or outdoors. However, people cannot use a childcare bubble as a rationale to mix with another household for other reasons.


                            For businesses that are able to remain open, it is worthwhile making staff aware of rules related to support and childcare bubbles so that they can advise customers accordingly.



              • R Number and Growth Rate

              As ever on a Friday, the R number and Growth rate for the week have been published. This week’s R number range for the UK  is 1.1-1.3, while the growth rate range for the UK is +2% to +4%. These are the same figures as last week, which provides some good news in terms that the spread of coronavirus is not accelerating.


              TIER: COVID-19 update, 6 November


              Wales post-firebreak guidance

              Guidance about the coronavirus rules that will be in place from Monday 9 November in Wales has been published. FAQs include information for hospitality reopening (pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants) Read the FAQs


              Update to travel corridors

              Denmark will be removed from the government’s travel corridor list as a precautionary measure, following reports of widespread outbreaks of coronavirus (COVID-19) in mink farms, with a variant strain of the virus spreading to some local communities. From 4am, 6 November, people arriving to the UK from Denmark will need to self-isolate for 14 days.


              Other government updates:


              Other updates:

              VisitEngland’s latest COVID-19 Consumer sentiment tracker report (wave 18) is now available. Please note that survey results were obtained before the national lockdown was announced, so results showing intent, confidence and levels of planning and booking are likely to be lower than the figures suggest.


              Points to note include:


              • 15% of UK adults claim to have taken a domestic overnight trip during Sept – Oct.  This is down on the 20% who intended to take one during the same period.
              • Just 34% are confident they would be able to take a domestic overnight trip next March.  As per the last few waves, ‘restrictions on travel from Government’ is the leading reason cited for this lack of confidence.
              • 10% anticipated taking a trip between now and the end of the year, with an additional 11% intending to take one between Jan – March next year.
              • For those who intended to take a trip between Jan – March next year, 70% have yet to enter the planning stage and 83% are yet to book it.


              The next report, with results reflecting the lockdown is due out on 20 November.


              COVID-19 Situation update 6 November 2020


              6 NOV 2020


              • VAT Retail Export Scheme Campaign

              Lobbying work continues on getting the Government to reconsider the decision to end the VAT Retail Export Scheme when the UK leaves the EU at the end of the year. Ending the scheme, rather than extending it to visitors from the RU, will have a considerable impact on tourism especially from high value markets such as China and the Middle East.

                        Attached is a fact sheet on just how considerable the impact this will have on tourism jobs and revenue. The key message is              that if the Government extended the scheme to EU visitors rather than abolishing it, this would generate:

                • over 1.3 million more visitors
                • £1.9 billion
                • more than 28,000 jobs

              If you have an opportunity to raise this with officials, MPs or Ministers, that would be greatly appreciated

               20-11-06 Key figures


              Changes in Food Labelling and Logos

              This guidance will be of interested to businesses that produce their own food products, especially in rural and seaside areas.

              • Country of Origin labels

              From 1 January, food from GB must not be labelled as ‘origin EU’ (there is an exemption for Northern Ireland) and you cannot use the EU emblem on goods produced in Great Britain unless you have been authorised by the EU to do so – this includes accreditation schemes like the EU organic logo. There is specific guidance for a range of produce including honey, eggs, fruit and vegetables and meat.

              • Geographical Indication Logos

              The UK will be setting up its own GI schemes from 1 January 2021 to replace the European Scheme. If you produce food, drink and agricultural GI products registered before 1 January 2021, you have until 1 January 2024 to change packaging and marketing materials to display the new UK GI logos. However, from 1 January 2021, the UK logo will be mandatory for any new product.


              •  Data Protection Campaign

              The Government has just published the attached Partner Pack for a new campaign to make sure that businesses prepare for new data protection requirements that will result from the UK leaving the EU at the end of the year. The three key messages of this are:

                • If you’re a business or organisation that receives personal data from the EU/EEA, you must check if you need to take action on data protection to ensure data can flow lawfully from January 1st 2021.
                • Visit GOV.UK to find out how you can lawfully continue to receive personal data such as names, addresses or payroll details from organisations in the EU or EEA from January 2021.
                • Sign up to the Information Commissioner Office (ICO) newsletter for up-to-date information on steps you can take to ensure that personal data you receive from the EU/EEA can flow lawfully from January 2021.
              • HMRC Letter to VAT Businesses

              HMRC will be writing to all VAT registered businesses next week explaining what they need to do to prepare. The letter specifically urges businesses to:

                • decide how they are going to deal with customs declarations – most companies use a specialist for this;
                • check to see whether they might be able to delay your declarations and duty payments; they may be eligible for this if their goods are not on the controlled goods list and they do not have a poor compliance record
                • register for the free Trader Support Service if they plan to move goods into Northern Ireland.




              Here’s today’s update with a few more details on the Lockdown. One thing from the Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament was that at the end of the lockdown period, England would return to the three tier alert system but that assignation of tier levels to regions would be dependent upon the scientific data at that time.


              • Extension of Loans Application Deadline

              In a statement in Parliament, the Prime Minister announced that the various Coronavirus loan schemes will remain open for applications until the end of the year



              • Repaying Eat Out to Help Out

              The Government has launched an online facility whereby businesses can make Eat Out to Help Out repayments if they:

                • received a letter from HMRC telling them they’ve claimed too much
                • realise that they have been overpaid or were not eligible
                • do not need the money and want to voluntarily pay it back



              • UKinbound Campaign for Inbound Tourism Resilience Fund

              UKinbound has launched a campaign calling on Government to support the inbound tourism sector. The campaign is based on the attracted document and infographic which highlights the value of inbound tourism to the UK economy, the impact of coronavirus on the sector and what is needed in terms of support.

              UKinbound Tourism Resilience Fund Proposal FINAL

              The three key asks of the campaign are:


                • Inbound Tourism Resilience Fund

              To help those businesses wholly reliant on international visitors to survive until demand can return in 2021, UKinbound proposes a capped grant award fund based on the level of turnover lost in 2020 and forecast operating costs.

              Inbound tourism infographic (to&dmc) FINAL


                • Business Rates Relief and Grants

              In continuing Business Rates Relief for tourism businesses as part of the Leisure and Hospitality Scheme, it is essential that this support is reformed so that all tourism businesses, as previously promised by the Chancellor, including tour operators and DMCs, receive this support.


                • Introduction of Testing

              To minimise further loss of demand, Government needs to work immediately with the industry to replace the current quarantine system with a best in class testing regime for passengers, and a regionalised approach to Travel Corridors in order to bring stability and confidence to international travel. If our testing regime is not focussed towards driving demand, then the UK will simply lose out to competitors.




              Thank you to everyone for forwarding questions regarding the announcement on a month-long lockdown. I’ve forwarded everything to the DCMS team and they will try to get answers back to us as soon as possible. If you have further questions, please keep sending them through and I’ll try to get answers for you.


              Some semi-answers so far:


              1. Do people on holiday have to return home on Thursday ?

                                The Prime Minister said in his announcement that:

                Inbound international travel will continue to be governed by the travel corridor approach, and those currently on a domestic holiday will be allowed to finish their holidays, but are still subject to the requirements in England not to go out without a reasonable excuse.


                I’ve asked DCMS to confirm this as it was not mentioned in the guidance that followed the announcement but, in the meantime, we are working on the basis that people already on holiday before Thursday can complete their stay.


              1.            The Guidance says that people can travel and stay away overnight for work – is this all workers or just essential workers?

                DCMS is checking this and think that the final guidance will be somewhere between the two – a wider list than last time but not something that would allow everyone to claim that they are travelling for work.


              1. How will the Furlough Scheme work this time?

                The Furlough scheme will essentially work in the same way as it did in August, which the Government paying 80% oif a furloughed employees salary and the employer paying the NI and Pension contributions. People will be able to be furloughed on a flexible basis.

                 The guidance on the furlough scheme has been updated in line with the Prime Minister’s announcement





              TIER: COVID-19 and Brexit update 2 November 


              Prime Minister’s statement in House of Commons (For England)

              The Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke in the House of Commons this afternoon to inform MPs of the new measures coming into force on Thursday. He outlined the measures that were announced in his press statement on Saturday that will be voted on in Parliament on Wednesday. In addition, he


              • Confirmed Remembrance Sunday events can go ahead, provided they are held outside, and observe social distancing.
              • Recognised the efforts businesses across the country have gone to make themselves COVID secure which have helped to bring the ‘R’ rate down
              • Announced that in addition to extending the furlough scheme, that for November the Government will double their support from 40% to 80% of trading profits for the self-employed (see more detail below)
              • Announced the deadline extension for applications to COVID loan schemes from the end of this month to the end of next month

              He also stated that after four weeks, on Wednesday 2nd December, these restrictions will expire. The Government’s intention is to return to a tiered system on a local and regional basis according to the latest data and trends and the House will have a vote to agree the way forward.

              Support for the self-employed through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) (UK-wide)


              The Government has announced it is increasing support through the third instalment of the UK-wide Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, with people receiving 80% of their average trading profits for November. The claims window is being brought forward from 14 December to 30 November.

              New national COVID measures for Wales
              The Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has today set out the new Wales wide post fire-break measures. The new measures will apply from 00:01 on Monday 9 November.
              The new national measures include:

              • All premises, such as restaurants, cafes, pubs and gyms, closed during the firebreak, will be able to reopen. Ministers are having ongoing discussions with the hospitality sector about the detailed rules for reopening. This includes about meeting in public indoor spaces.
              • People should avoid non-essential travel as much as possible. There will be no legal restrictions on travel within Wales for residents, but international travel should be for essential reasons only.
              • Maintaining the two metre social distancing and wearing of face masks in enclosed public places, including on public transport and taxis, will continue
              • The requirement to work from home whenever possible
              • People should only meet with their ‘bubble’ in their own home and only two households will be able to form a ‘bubble’. If one person from either household develops symptoms, everyone should immediately self-isolate
              • Up to 15 people can take part in an organised indoors activity and up to 30 in an organised activity outdoors, providing all social distancing, hand hygiene and other COVID safety measures are followed


              Read the announcement in full on Gov.Wales.


              New level system in Scotland in force from 2 November

              First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gave a statement today to remind people that in Scotland, the new system of levels came into force at 6 AM this morning. The full details of the rules that apply for each level are available on the Scottish Government’s website, a postcode checker is now also available.



              Other Government updates


              TIER: COVID-19 update 7 October 

              A Taskforce for safe return to global travel has been launched

              A new Global Travel Taskforce to support the travel industry and the safe recovery of international travel has been launched by the UK Government today. The taskforce’s work will include:

              • Considering how a testing regime for international arrivals could be implemented to boost safe travel to and from the UK
              • What steps the UK can take to facilitate business and tourist travel on a bilateral and global basis, through innovative testing models and other non-testing means
              • More broadly, what steps the UK can take to increase consumer confidence and reduce the barriers to a safe and sustainable recovery of international travel.


              The taskforce will report to the Prime Minister no later than early November. Please note, the ongoing travel corridor process and related policy will not be within scope of the taskforce.


              Additions from Tourism Alliance:

              Here’s the Statement to Parliament



              And here’s the Press Release



              New lockdown restrictions announced today for Scotland

              Today, the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, announced a number of new measures for Scotland affecting the hospitality sector. These measures will be effective from Friday 9 October at 6pm for 16 days and include:


              Nationwide restrictions, except for the below five Health Board areas, will be introduced as follows:

              • Pubs, bars, restaurants, and cafes operating indoors can only open during the day between 6am to 6pm for the service of food and non-alcoholic drinks only.
              • Hotel restaurants will be able to operate beyond 6pm but only for residents but no alcohol can be served
              • Hospitality (food and drink): premises may open outdoors until 10pm, with sales of alcohol (where licensed)
              • Exemptions apply for specific life events, such as weddings and funerals where alcohol may continue to be served, with current meeting rules for these events (20 person limit in regulated premises only)
              • All current regulations and rule of six up to a limit of two households continue to apply.


              Additional restrictions for 5 Health Board areas: Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian, and Forth Valley are as follows:

              • All licensed premises will be required to close, with the exception of takeaway services
              • Cafés (unlicensed premises) which don’t have an alcohol licence will be able to open between 6am and 6pm
              • Takeaways (including from pubs and restaurants) can continue
              • Evening meals may be served in accommodation for residents only but no alcohol can be served
              • Specific life events, such as weddings and funerals, may continue with alcohol, with current meeting rules for these events (20 person limit in regulated premises only)
              • No group exercise classes for indoor gyms and sports courts, pools with an exemption for under 18s
              • No adult (18+) contact sports or training may take place, indoor or outdoor (except professional sports)
              • No outdoor live events can take place
              • Snooker/pool halls, indoor bowling, casinos and bingo halls are to close
              • Public transport use should be minimised as much as possible, such as for education and work, where it cannot be done from home
              • Current meeting rules, maximum of six people from two households, continue to apply.


              The First Minister also announced an additional £40 million to help those businesses affected by this two week period. The Scottish Government will be conducting a short consultation with the sector to establish how to best financially support these businesses using this fund and details will be released in due course. For the rest of this month, businesses can also use the UK Government’s job retention scheme, however the Scottish Government will discuss with businesses how they can mitigate the required contribution.


              Over the next period they will also be introducing the following steps:

              • Regulations to extend the mandatory use of face coverings in indoor communal settings - this will include, for example, staff canteens and corridors in workplaces
              • Action to strengthen compliance with the different strands of the FACTS advice, focusing on areas such as the need to self-isolate
              • From this weekend and across Scotland, shops will need to return to the 2 metre physical distancing, asking them to reintroduce the mitigations they put in place earlier in the pandemic - for example, one way systems in supermarkets
              • Conducting a review across all other sectors guidance and regulation on their operating practices
              • Conduct a further review of our testing strategy
              • And, lastly, finalise a strategic framework, setting out the different levels of intervention which can be adopted in future, which they hope to align with other UK nations.



              The Welsh Government has released further guidance for businesses applying to its Economic Resilience Fund

              Businesses across Wales can now find out if they can apply for funding from the third phase of the Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) by visiting the online Eligibility Checker. Economy Minister Ken Skates announced the new phase of the fund last week which will see an additional £140m being made available to businesses. The eligibility checker will enable businesses to see if they can access the £80m tranche of the fund, it will be open to micro businesses, SMEs and large businesses. Of this, £20m will be ring fenced to support tourism and hospitality businesses  who are facing particular challenges as we enter the winter months.


              • Micro businesses (employing between 1 and 9 people) will be able to apply for up to £10,000 on the condition they match this with their own investment of at least 10%; for Tourism and Hospitality micro businesses there will be discretion for grant awards of up to 100% 
              • SMEs (employing between 10 and 249 people) will be able to apply for up to £150,000. Small businesses (up to 50 employees) will be required to match this with their own investment of at least 10% and medium businesses (between 50 and 249 employees) with at least 20% of their own funding; For Tourism and Hospitality SME’s there will be discretion for grant awards of up to 100%
              • Large businesses (employing 250+ people) will be able to apply for up to £200,000 on the condition they match this with their own investment of at least 50%.


              The Welsh Government is currently working with local authorities and the Welsh Local Government Association on the detail of the £60m Local Lockdown Business Fund that will support businesses impacted by local restrictions. Further details and information on how to access this fund will be published shortly on the Business Wales website.


              Situation update 7 October 2020

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



              • Guidance on Weddings Updated

              The Guidance document for weddings and civil partnerships (including receptions) has been updated to include changes relating to rules on face coverings, distance between tables, singing in groups of more than 6, dancing, music volume and enforcement.




              • Delays in DFT Statistical Publications

              DFT has announced that due to Coronavirus, it is having to delay the publication of some of its regular statistical publications. From a tourism perspective, the one of note is customer satisfaction with security clearance at airports.




              • Save Future Travel Petition

              Here is a link to a parliamentary petition organised by the Save Future Travel for you to circulate to members for signing. The campaign being run by ABTA and UKinbound urges the Government to:

                • Adopt a fully regionalised quarantine policy
                • Introduce testing
                • Provide recovery grants for SMEs and other businesses that missed out on previous support
                • Review the Job Support Scheme to save travel jobs
                • Grant an APD holiday covering summer 2021




              • Baroness Doocey Questions

              Baroness Doocey has been asking a range of questions in the Lords to support the Tourism industry including the following:


                              Question:To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to compensate pubs, restaurants and bars for any revenue lost as a result of the introduction of a 10pm closing time. (HL8412)

              Answer: Lord Agnew of Oulton:

              The Government recognises that the necessary restrictions on opening hours for hospitality venues will be disruptive for businesses in this sector.

              We recognise that the sector is a vital source of employment across the country, and that is why – in addition to the CJRS, tax deferrals and loans – we have prioritised support for hospitality businesses. This has included:

              • A 12-month business rates holiday for all eligible retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in England
              • The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund
              • The Eat Out to Help Out Scheme, which subsidised 100 million meals through August
              • A temporary reduction in the VAT rate from 20% to 5% on most tourism and hospitality-related activities.


              On 24 September the Chancellor set out the next phase of our plan to support the economy, following announcement of measures to control the spread of COVID-19. This is a targeted package of measures to support jobs and business through the winter months, including a new Job Support Scheme, an extension of the reduction in VAT (5%) for the tourism and hospitality sector to 31 March 2021, and changes to the existing government backed loan schemes to help business access the finance they need and plan their cashflow.


              The Government is continuing to collect evidence on the impact of the pandemic on the hospitality sector and to work with businesses and representative groups to inform our efforts to support this sector.

              Date and time of answer: 07 Oct 2020 at 14:48.


              Question:To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the financial impact on the hospitality sector of the decision to not permit conferences, exhibitions and events to take place. (HL8411)


              Answer: Baroness Barran:

              We recognise that the events industry and its supply chain has been severely impacted by Covid-19. We continue to engage with the stakeholders, including through the Visitor Economy Working Group and the Events Industry Senior Leaders Advisory Panel, to monitor the situation. As with all aspects of the Government’s response to Covid-19, our decisions have been and will continue to be based on scientific evidence and public health assessments.

              Events businesses can continue to make use of the broader support package available to them. This includes the Bounce Back Loans scheme, the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Meetings of up to 30 can still take place in permitted venues, as per the Covid-19 Secure guidance for the visitor economy.

              Date and time of answer: 05 Oct 2020 at 12:21.


              Question: To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they plan to take to address concerns from the tourism industry, including from tour operators, about employees who are unable to meet the requirement to work at least 33 per cent of their usual hours to qualify for support from the Job Support Scheme. (HL8514)


              Answer: Baroness Barran:

              We recognise that these are extremely challenging conditions for businesses in the tourism sector, including tour operators. We continue to closely monitor the situation. While it will not be possible to preserve every job or business, the Chancellor’s recent package of targeted measures will help businesses to protect jobs and manage their finances in the face of reduced or uncertain demand. Tour operators have been able to access the Government’s comprehensive economic support package, which includes the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme until the end of October. It also includes a significant cut to VAT for most tourism and hospitality activities until the end of March. We are offering impacted businesses generous terms for the repayment of deferred taxes and government-backed loans, as well as extending the application window of the government-backed loan schemes. We are continuing to engage across Government and with stakeholders to assess how we can most effectively support the recovery of tourism across the UK.

              Date and time of answer: 05 Oct 2020 at 12:18.


              • Today’s PMQs

              Speaking of questions, there were a range of tourism related questions at PMQs today:


              Starmer – stated that next week MPs will vote on the 10pm closing time rule. Is there a scientific basis for it? If there is, will the government publish it?

              Johnson - replied the basis for it is the same as it was when Labour backed it two weeks ago. 


              Andrew Jones -  asked will the events industry be offered a support package

              Johnson - said it is a very important industry and that here is already support available. But the best solution would be to have a testing system that can allow conferences to take place and theatres to open


              Maria Eagle -  asked if the PM agrees that tighter local lockdown restrictions should trigger automatic local support schemes. And will he agree one for Merseyside as a matter of urgency?

              Johnson - said he shares the concern about the loss of jobs but he has already given money to councils and it will continue to put its arms around communities.


              Liz Twist - said restrictions in the north-east are making it uneconomical for businesses to stay open. What will the

              government do to help, and to protect the 80,000 jobs in the hospitality industry? And will he meet local leaders?

              Johnson – said that the government will continue to offer support.


              TIER: COVID-19 update 25 September


              Local Restrictions Support Grant for businesses

              Businesses can now check if they are eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG). The grant is for businesses that were open as usual, providing services in person to customers from their business premises, but which were then required to close for at least 3 weeks due to local lockdown restrictions imposed by government. The grant is for businesses that pay business rates on their premises. Local councils may at their discretion also provide funding for businesses that don’t pay business rates.


              Guidance for local authorities setting out the details of the grant has also been published.


              Updated information added to the Deferral of VAT payments guidance

              On 24 September 2020, the Chancellor announced that businesses who deferred VAT due from 20 March to 30 June 2020 will now have the option to pay in smaller payments over a longer period. Instead of paying the full amount by the end of March 2021, businesses can make smaller payments up to the end of March 2022, interest free.


              New restrictions to be introduced in Leeds, Blackpool, Wigan and Stockport

              In a statement today Health Secretary Matt Hancock outlined new restrictions to be introduced in Leeds, Blackpool, Wigan and Stockport. The regulations will come into effect from Saturday 26 September and will impose restrictions on inter-household mixing in private dwellings and gardens in Leeds, Stockport, Wigan and Blackpool.


              • People who live in these areas will not be allowed to gather in a private dwelling or garden with any other household unless in a support bubble.

              Also as part of his statement he said they have also reviewed the position in Leicester, the Borough of Oadby and Wigston, Birmingham, Solihull, Sandwell, Wolverhampton, Bolton, Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale and the remaining local authorities in Greater Manchester and have decided to maintain their position on the watchlist as areas of intervention, as well as the current restrictions in these areas.

              Further local restrictions introduced in Wales – Llanelli, Swansea and Cardiff 

              Local restrictions will come into force in Llanelli from 6pm on and in Swansea and Cardiff from 6pm on Sunday. The restrictions, which will apply to everyone living in Llanelli, Cardiff and Swansea are:


              • People will not be allowed to enter or leave these areas without a reasonable excuse, such as travel for work or education;
              • People will only be able to meet people they don’t live with outdoors for the time being. They will not be able to form, or be in, extended households (sometimes known as ‘bubbles’). This means meeting indoors (in people’s houses, in a pub or elsewhere) with anyone you don’t live with is not allowed at the moment unless you have a good reason, such as providing care to a vulnerable person.
              • All licensed premises have to stop serving alcohol at 10pm.


              Ministers will also meet public health experts, local authority leaders and others over the weekend to consider whether local restrictions need to be extended to Neath Port Talbot, the Vale of Glamorgan and Torfaen on Sunday evening.


              Only necessary travel advised for border crossing between Donegal and neighbouring areas in Northern Ireland

              The Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland and the Acting Chief Medical Officer for the Republic of Ireland met on Friday 25 Sept 2020 to review the ongoing COVID19 pandemic. They have advised: “Given the current number of new cases in Donegal and neighbouring areas of NI in Derry/Londonderry, Strabane and Fermanagh we would appeal to everyone to avoid all but necessary travel across the border. It is also recommended that employers on both sides of the border make every effort to facilitate employees to work from home in so far as is possible…”


              Other Government updates


              COVID-19 Consumer Sentiment Tracker latest results


              The latest results of the COVID-19 consumer sentiment tracker are now available on VisitEngland’s website. Please see the areas showing the strongest declines in sentiment:


              • National Mood: down to 6.5 (from 6.7 last wave)
              • The % feeling the ‘worst is still to come’: significantly climbs to 58% (from 41% in the last wave)
              • The % expecting life returning ‘close to normal’ by December: significantly down to 6%
              • Appetite for Risk: overall score down to 2.5 (from 2.7 last wave) with all the activities exhibiting declines
              • Confidence in taking an overnight trip next March: down 7 percentage points to 48%


              Of interest is the leading reason cited by those who do not have near-term confidence in taking a domestic trip (ie. for trips during September or October) as this has nearly always been ‘concerns about catching COVID-19’.  However, this wave the top reason given was ‘restrictions on travel from government’.


              Please note: this wave’s fieldwork was conducted last week, prior to the extra measures that were announced on Tuesday.  The next report is due out in early October.


              Situation update 25 September 2020



              • QR Codes and Self-Catering

              I’ve been in discussion with DCMS as to whether QR codes are needed on self-catering properties as the operator will already have the information required through the booking process and the people staying there are not sharing the premises with any other customers. After consulting with DHSC (Department for Health), they’ve come back to say that operators need to put QR code posters in self-catering properties.


              • QR Codes and Unstaffed Outdoor Sites

              However, DCMS have advised that the requirement to display QR Cades does not apply to outdoor, unstaffed and unticketed heritage sites, or to archaeological and historic sites which are not open to the public.


              • Coronavirus Local Restrictions Support Grant

              The Government has published new guidance on the eligibility criteria for businesses applying for the new Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG), which has been established to support businesses that have been required to close due to temporary COVID-19 local lockdown restrictions. Business may be eligible if it:

              • occupies property on which it pays business rates
              • is in a local lockdown area and has been required to close because of the formal publication of local restrictions guidance that resulted in a first full day of closure on or after 9 September. This funding is not retrospective
              • has been required to close for at least 3 weeks because of the lockdown
              • has been unable to provide its usual in-person customer service from its premises


              •  Joined-up Governments

              The UK Government, the Northern Ireland Executive, the Scottish Government, and the Welsh Government have issues a joint policy statement setting out that they will continue working together in the same joined up manner as they have been up to this point





              • Scottish Winter Economy Plan

              The Chancellor has announced that the key components of the Statement he made yesterday will apply to Scotland



              • ONS Furlough Data

              ONS has published the latest furlough data which runs to the end of July. This data shows that 38% of people working in accommodation and food services and 55% of people working in Arts, Entertainment and Recreation were furloughed between 29th June and 26th July compared to the average of 16% across all industries.




              • National Museum Visitors

              The latest visitor figures from the national Museums have been published and, worryingly, show that visitor numbers have declined from 25% or normal to 20% of normal over the past two weeks





              • R Number and Growth Rate

              This week’s R number for the UK is 1.2-1.5, while the growth rate range is +4% to +8% - meaning that virus is spreading at between 4-8% per day. This is up from +2 to +7% last week and -1% to +3% the week before that – which give a good indication of the increased rate of spread over the last few weeks.


              TIER: COVID-19 update 22 September


              New restrictions in England due to rising coronavirus cases

              The Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement to the House of Commons this afternoon to outline the Government’s response to the rising number of Coronavirus cases, including new restrictions in England.


              In summary:


              • From Thursday 24 September all pubs, bars, and restaurants must operate a table service only (except for takeaways)
              • Also, from Thursday, all hospitality venues must close at 10:00pm. Takeaways should also close, but they can continue to provide delivery services after 10:00pm
              • The requirement to wear face coverings has been extended to include staff in retail, all users of taxis/private hire and to staff and customers in indoor hospitality with the exception of when seated at a table to eat or drink.
              • In retail, leisure, tourism and hospitality settings, the Government’s COVID-19 secure guidelines will become legal obligations. Businesses will be fined and can be closed if they breach the rules.
              • From Monday 28 September a maximum of 15 people will be able to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions. Up to 30 will still be able to attend funerals.
              • Business events, and large sports events, will not be able to reopen from 1 October as intended.
              • Office workers who can work from home have been asked to do so. In professions where this is not possible, people should continue to go into their workplace.
              • The rule of six will be extended to all adult indoor team sports.


              These rules will be enforced by tighter penalties. The penalty for breaking the rule of 6 or not wearing a mask when required will double to £200 for a first offence. The police will be provided with extra funding, and given the ability to draw on military support when needed. We will update you as and when more guidance becomes available. Read the full statement.


              Additional restrictions introduced in Scotland to tackle COVID-19 in Scotland

              The First Minster of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, has given a statement outlining additional restrictions to help tackle COVID-19 in Scotland. In summary the restrictions include:


              For the hospitality sector from Friday 25 September:

              • A strict curfew across Scotland for pubs and restaurants to close at 10pm.
              • There will be increased inspection and enforcement for pubs and restaurants.
              • Table service will continue to be required in all hospitality premises


              Scotland wide gathering restrictions to be introduced from 23 September:

              • In Scotland people will not be able to meet others from outside their household in private indoor spaces (people’s homes). There will be exceptions for those living alone, extended families and non-cohabiting couples
              • A maximum of six people from two households can meet in public indoor spaces such as cafes, pubs and restaurants. Children under 12 from those two households do not count towards the limit.
              • A maximum of six people from two households can meet in outdoor spaces.


              A package of support will be available for those asked to self-isolate, including £500 for those on low incomes. Details of these measures will be announced in due course.


              She also said that people should not book trips abroad during half term, unless it is essential. You can read the full statement here.  


              Other Government updates

              • Updated statistics available for Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) and Future Fund Scheme.
              • Updated data (up to Sunday 20 September) is available for Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, and the VAT payments deferral scheme.


              Situation update 22 September 2020



               Tourism Alliance logo

              The Government has produced more detailed guidance to accompany the announcement by the Prime Minister on further restrictions yesterday.  One area where I’m a bit uncertain is whether groups of 30 can still be guided and whether meetings can be held for up to 30 people. These do not appear in the exceptions and the Working Safety During Coronavirus guidance for Hotels and Guest Accommodation and the Visitor Economy has yet to be updated in line with yesterday’s announcement.

              • New Rules on Wearing Face Masks
                • Customers in private hire vehicles and taxis must wear face coverings (from 23 September).
                • Customers in hospitality venues must wear face coverings, except when seated at a table to eat or drink. Staff in hospitality and retail will now also be required to wear face coverings (from 24 September).
                • People who are already exempt from the existing face covering obligations, such as because of an underlying health condition, will continue to be exempt from these new obligations.
                • Guidance stating that face coverings and visors should be worn in close contact services will now become law (from 24 September).
                • Staff working on public transport and taxi drivers will continue to be advised to wear face coverings.

               New Rules and Restrictions on Businesses

                • Businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), social clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (and other indoor leisure centres or facilities), funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls, must be closed between 10pm and 5am. This will include takeaways but delivery services can continue after 10pm (from 24 September).
                • Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open after 10pm, only if the performance started before 10pm. They should not serve food or drink after this time.
                • In licensed premises, food and drink must be ordered from, and served at, a table.
                • Customers must eat and drink at a table in any premises selling food and drink to consume indoors, on site (from 24 September).
                • Businesses will need to display the official NHS QR code posters so that customers can ‘check-in’ at different premises using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details once the app is rolled out nationally (from 24 September).
                • Businesses and organisations will face stricter rules to make their premises COVID Secure (from 28 September):
                • A wider range of leisure and entertainment venues, services provided in community centres, and close contact services will be subject to the COVID-19 Secure requirements in law and fines of up to £10,000 for repeated breaches.
                • Employers must not knowingly require or encourage someone who is being required to self-isolate to come to work.
                • Businesses must remind people to wear face coverings where mandated.

               Restrictions on Groups

                • Support groups must be limited to a maximum of 15 people (from 24 September). Support groups are formally organised groups to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. This includes support to victims of crime, recovering addicts, new parents, people with long-term illnesses, those facing issues relating to their sexuality or gender, and those who have suffered bereavement.
                • Indoor organised sport for over 18s will no longer be exempt from the rule of six. There is an exemption for indoor organised team sports for disabled people (from 24 September).
                • There will be a new exemption in those areas of local intervention where household mixing is not allowed to permit friends and family to provide informal childcare for children under 14 (from 24 September).
                • Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions will be restricted to a maximum of 15 people (down from 30). Other significant standalone life events will be subject to the ‘rule of six’ limits, except funerals (from 28 September).


              • Exemptions to the Rules of Six

              New Guidance has been produced stating the exceptions to the Rule of Six. These are now:

                • for work, or the provision of voluntary or charitable services
                • registered childcare, education or training
                • supervised activities provided for children, including wraparound care, youth groups and activities, and children’s playgroups
                • providing support to a vulnerable person
                • providing emergency assistance, and to avoid injury or illness or to escape risk of harm
                • for arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents
                • fulfilling a legal obligation, such as attending court or jury service
                • elite sporting competition and training
                • wedding and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions – up to 15 people
                • funerals – up to 30 people. This does not include wakes, other than for religious ceremonial purposes
                • exercise classes, organised outdoor sport or licensed outdoor physical activity, and supervised sporting activity (indoors or outdoors) for under-18s
                • indoor organised team sports for disabled people
                • support groups of up to 15 participants – formally organised groups to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. This includes support to victims of crime, recovering addicts, new parents, people with long-term illnesses, those facing issues relating to their sexuality or gender, and those who have suffered bereavement.
                • protests – if organised in compliance with COVID-19 Secure guidance. All individuals must be socially distanced


              • Updated FAQ

              The comprehensive FAQ on what can and can’t be done has been updated in accordance with the changes in guidance.


               Guidance foe Transport Operators

              The guidance for transport operators has been updated to incorporate the new legislation on social contact and the requirement for passengers to wear face coverings in taxis and private hire vehicles.






              Consumer tracker report from VisitBritain (Week 14)

              The latest UK COVID-19 Consumer Tracker Report are available on, for week 14, based on fieldwork from 31 August – 4 September (please note this wave took place before the ‘rule of six’ announcement). The tracker will run fortnightly until February 2021.

              Some highlights from the report:


              • While just 16% feel ‘the worst has past’, there’s been a significant decline in the proportion of adults who believe ‘the worst is yet to come’ at 41% (versus 46% in wave 13). There continues to be very little expectation that ‘normality’ in our lives will be returning anytime soon, as only 11% are expecting ‘normality’ by December (compared to 18% last wave).
              • 27% of adults have taken an overnight trip during July and August, compared to 15% who expected to take a summer staycation when surveyed in June. 61% of these trips were self-defined as holidays, while a third (33%) were VFR, indicating they may have been more spontaneous than other leisure trips.
              • The leading holiday destination type for those who took a trip during July-August is ‘countryside or village’. However, if we include VFR and Business trips, then ‘city or large town’ emerges with the highest share overall.
              • In-line with intentions, ‘caravan/camping’ was the leading accommodation type people stayed in, closely followed by a ‘private home’ (which could include staying at a friend’s house or renting an Airbnb).
              • The South West received the highest share of visitors at 17% of holidays and 15% of all visits during the July-August period.
              • 43% of U.K. adults expect to be taking the same number or more domestic short-breaks over the rest of the year compared to normal and 42% express this for holidays respectively.
              • Confidence in the ability to take a (hypothetically booked) UK holiday during September is marginally up at 38% (vs 35% last wave) however, this metric doesn’t really start building until the New Year.
              • The main reason cited among those lacking confidence is having ‘concerns about catching COVID-19’ but ‘personal finances’ is increasingly becoming a concern (the second and third most cited reason for the autumn and winter periods respectively).
              • Of the reassurances people are seeking in order to feel comfortable staying in a hotel, the leading categories are measures to reduce contamination (e.g. hand sanitisers and enhanced cleaning regimes) and measures designed encourage social distancing. Offering free cancellations also continues to remain important, being the third most cited individual reason overall, with 55% of mentions.
              • 19% anticipate taking an overnight trip during Sept-Oct, with a further 21% intending to take a trip between November-March.
              • Uncertainty is evident as approximately half of Sept-Oct intenders are yet to book, or indeed reach the planning stage of their trip. The levels of planning and booking winter trips are understandably lower at 29% and 19% respectively.
              • In terms of region/nation likely to be visited between now and the end of October, the South West continues to dominate with 19% of intenders citing this as their destination, followed by Scotland and Yorkshire & the Humber (both on 12%).
              • ‘Countryside or village’ is the leading destination type for summer (35%), autumn (38%) and winter (36%), while intention to travel to a ‘city or large town’ jumps significantly from autumn (21% of intended trips) to winter (34%).
              • Almost half of autumn intenders would ideally book their accommodation directly (e.g. with the hotel company or owner). Among winter intenders, the preferred channel to use is an online travel website (e.g. Expedia). This difference is likely to be partly linked to the younger profile of those planning trips during the winter period.



              Situation update 15 September 2020

              The Rule of Six in the Different Home Nations


              As the rules for Wales and Scotland are not the same as those that will apply in England here’s a rundown of the differences as we know them so far.



              • In Wales, the “rule of Six” will only apply to people meeting indoors and all six people must all belong to the same “extended household group”. Outside, people will still be able to meet in groups of up to 30 under existing social distancing rules
              • An “extended household group” can contain people from up to four separate households
              • Children under 12 will be exempt and will not count towards that total.
              • The Rule of six will not apply in Caerphilly because it is under a local lockdown so stricter rules are in place there.



              • In Scotland, the six people can only be from a maximum of two households
              • However, like Wales, children under the age of 12, who are part of the two households will not count towards the limit of six people
              • But, like England, the Scottish Rule of Six will apply in all public and private gatherings, both indoors and outdoors
              • There will be “some limited exceptions”, covering organised sports and places of worship.
              • Up to 20 people will be able to attend weddings, civil partnerships and funerals (and the associated receptions)


              Northern Ireland

              • No announcement on adopting a Rule of Six has been made in Northern Ireland yet.


              BVEP logo

              BVEP Partners Update

              Friday 11th September 2020

              From: Simon Hughes – Chair


              Knocked for 6

              I’m not going to take up too much of your time with this update as words are failing me at the end of a roller coaster week of ups and downs.   Since the announcement that introduced the Rule of Six was made by the PM, chaos has ruled in our industry.  I don’t think I have ever heard so much genuine anger and frustration before, from right across the event business.  Organisers thwarted and closed down by intransigent local authorities despite everything they have done to risk assess and meet Covid-19 secure standards.  Venues that have staffed back up to help market Q4 now find that they are dealing with more cancellation calls from concerned clients that have got the rule of six message loud and clear – and bailed.  Many of those teams will now finally get some certainty in this uncertain world.  They will be made redundant.


              Latest numbers from the MIA indicate that 126,000 job losses to date are just the beginning.  We can then get in line with all the other hard pressed sectors looking for support.  Extending furlough?  No chance. Across the industry the scale of support required to sustain us into 2021/2 is going to be huge – or won’t be, resulting in a radical re-structure and shrinkage of one of the industrial sectors that really has the ability to drive recovery and support so many other key businesses linked to the visitor economy. 


              I’m pretty sure that I recently heard someone commenting on a Select Committee report, pointing out that the shambles they had been asked to look at was evidence of the complete lack of business experience and commercial acumen that is endemic in the majority of our career politicians.  This week was a good example of just that.  That headline Rule of Six was launched like some malign missile, straight at everyone in the UK events industry.  As usual the detailed guidance and review status of the long awaited re-opening date would follow.  Thanks a bunch.  It is clearly evident that there was no thought of how the main messaging would impact on the event industry. 


              There is also a staggering lack of clarity that results in Public Health England officials musing at pilot events how odd it is that an industry so obviously geared to deliver safe, secure and professionally managed events is being asked to prove its competence ahead of so many other sectors where standards are often variable at the best and shambolic at the worse.  The ups and downs of the week.  I’ll give you the ups next week.  I’ve had enough now, like many, many others I’ve spoken to over the last few days. Knocked for six.    


              BVEP logo

              TIER Update - 11 September 2020

              NHS COVID-19 App to launch on 24 September in England and Wales

              The NHS Covid-19 App team has announced the date in advance to allow venues to prepare for launch of the NHS COVID-19 App and to download and display QR codes to support NHS Test and Trace in England and NHS Test, Trace, Protect in Wales contact people if coronavirus outbreaks are identified. Attached are advice sheets that set out how these QR codes could be used in tourism and leisure; and retail settings. 

              In England, using QR codes will help businesses meet the new legal requirement to record the contact details of customers, visitors and staff on their premises. Businesses who are already using their own QR system are being encouraged to switch to the NHS Test and Trace QR code. An alternative check-in method must be maintained to collect the contact details of those who don’t have the app, for example a handwritten register.

              Wales will also be launching the NHS Covid-19 app and in will work in exactly the same way in both nations.  Businesses are strongly encouraged to download and to display the QR code poster within their premises, to support customers using the app. In Wales it is compulsory for businesses in certain high risk sectors to collect and keep records of staff, customers and visitors (see:  Checking in with the app does not replace this requirement.   High risk premises in Wales must continue to keep a full record of staff, customers and visitors, including people who check in using the QR code poster for the location.   

              Please continue to talk to your members and audiences about the app and how it works. If you could the NHS COVID-19 App team would be really grateful if you could share their assets via your communications channels.  If you could help to amplify the message via your social media, the handles to use are : @NHSCOVID19app (Twitter) and @OfficialNHSCOVID19app (Facebook)

              Please find attached information about the app and how organisations can prepare:

              Further assets and materials are available at 

              Written Statement from the First Minister of Wales

              From Monday 14 September a tightening of restrictions across Wales will be introduced, the new restrictions will limit on the number of people who can meet indoors.  

              • From Monday, it will become compulsory for people over 11 to wear a face covering in public indoor spaces, such as shops. There will be exemptions for people who cannot wear face coverings.
              • Face coverings will not be required in pubs or restaurants for the time being, this is currently under review.
              • At the moment, people are allowed to gather socially indoors with people from up to four other households, but only if they have formed an exclusive extended household (also known as a bubble). From Monday, only a maximum of six people from the extended household will be able to meet indoors at any one time. This rule applies in pubs and restaurants as well as in people’s homes. Children under 11 will not be counted in the six.
              • There are currently no changes to the rules for meeting outdoors but it is important that social distancing is maintained at all times.
              • Ministers will also be giving local authorities new powers to close premises on public health grounds to tackle the spread of the virus.
              • This will not apply in Caerphilly County Borough Council while local restrictions are in place.
              • Permanent skating rinks will be able to reopen from 3 October, subject to the conditions at the time.


              New restrictions in Birmingham announced

              New restrictions on meeting other people have been announced in order to push down the coronavirus rate of infection in Birmingham. From Tuesday 15 September Birmingham residents will not be able to mix with any other households, indoors or in private gardens, except for those in a support bubble. This applies both inside and outside the city boundaries.


              Sections of working safely during coronavirus (COVID-10) guidance updated


              Heritage locations guidance updated

              • Priority actions to take to protect staff, visitors and customers information added.
              • Updated guidance on social gatherings of more than 6 people and Test & Trace (section 1),
              • Heritage sites and visitor attractions open to the public, and collecting data for NHS Test and Trace (section 2.1).


              Hotels and other guest accommodation guidance updated

              • Priority actions to take to protect staff and customers information added.
              • Updated guidance on social gatherings of more than 6 people and Test and Trace (section 2.2).


              Duty Free extended to the EU from January 2021

              From January 2021, there will be changes to duty free shopping. The following rules will apply from 1 January 2021:


              • Duty-free sales will be extended to EU-bound passengers.
              • Tax-free sales will be withdrawn and will not be extended to EU passengers.
              • Personal allowances will be introduced for passengers entering GB from the EU, with alcohol allowances significantly increased. Tobacco allowances will be maintained at current levels.
              • The VAT Retail Export Scheme will be withdrawn and will not be extended to EU residents.



              Other Government updates



              Business Events industry updates

              • The Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced $50 million (AUD) funding for Exhibitions and Business Events
              • EventCity has announced the closure of their venue by 31 March 2021 and  the withdraw of plans for their new facility that was approved in February 


              Situation update 11 September 2020





              Here’s today’s update. The tourism specific guidance on the Rule of Six is not available yet but there is still a lot going on. 


              • Guidance to Businesses of Rule of Six

              A raft of existing guidance has been amended in preparation for the Rule of Six coming into operation on Monday. It is important to note that all the guidance emphasises that:


              Venues following COVID-19 secure guidelines can host more than 6 people in total, in line with guidance for their sector, but no one should visit or socialise in a group of greater than 6 (unless they are all part of the same household or support bubble). It is also important that people from different households (who are not meeting as a support bubble) remain socially distanced.


              So all tourism businesses operating in accordance with the government’s Covid-Safe guidelines can continue to operate at their current Covid Safe capacity provided that individual parties of customer obey the Rule of Six. So accommodation businesses, attractions, performance venues, coach operators, tour guides, pubs and restaurants can all continue as they are provided that they made sure any individual party of visitors complies with the Rule of Six.



              • Rule of Six and Tour Groups

              One of the issues that has come up repeated over the last couple of days is the position with Tour groups with relation to the Rule of Six. We are seeking clarification on this from DCMS at the moment but, in the meantime, our view is:


              The Government guidance that has been amended in relation to the Rule of Six still states that any business or activity that is currently operating in accordance with Covid Secure Guidance can continue operating at the same capacity provided that any individual party visiting the premises or using the service complies with the Rule of Six. So, for example, restaurants can operate at the current capacity provided that any individual group of people coming to the restaurant complies with the Rule of Six.


              So, in relation to tour groups, this means:

                • Coaches, and other modes of transport, can still operate to their Covid Secure capacity provided that each individual party using the mode of transport complies with the Rule of Six and social distancing remains between each party
                • Once off the mode of transport, each individual party must stay socially distanced and enter any attraction/accommodation as an individual party complying with the Rule of Six.
                •  A tour guide can still take up to 30 people from the coach, or other method of transport, on a walking tour around a destination - but again the people must stay in their individual groups that comply with the Rule of Six with social distancing between them (and any rules in place at the destination)


              • Priority Actions

              All the Primary Guidance for Businesses on Working Safely with Coronavirus has been updated with a new section on Priorities Actions. This reads (with various for different business types):


              Seven steps to protect yourself, your staff and your customers during coronavirus.

              1. Complete a COVID-19 risk assessment. Share it with all your staff. Find out how to do a risk assessment.
              2. Clean more often. Increase how often you clean surfaces, especially those that are being touched a lot. Ask your staff and your customers to use hand sanitiser and wash their hands frequently.
              3. Ask your customers to wear face coverings in any indoor space or where required to do so by law. That is especially important if your customers are likely to be around people they do not normally meet. Some exemptions apply. Check when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own.
              4. Make sure everyone is social distancing. Make it easy for everyone to do so by putting up signs or introducing a one way system that your customers can follow.
              5. Increase ventilation by keeping doors and windows open where possible and running ventilation systems at all times.
              6. Take part in NHS Test and Trace by keeping a record of all your customers for 21 days. From 18 September, this will be enforced in law. Some exemptions apply. Check Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace for details.
              7. Turn people with coronavirus symptoms away. If a staff member (or someone in their household) or a customer has a persistent cough, a high temperature or has lost their sense of taste or smell, they should be isolating.


              Four more things to be aware of if your business is part of the ‘visitor economy’:

              • From 14 September, let customers know that by law they can only visit in groups of up to 6 people (unless they are visiting as a household or support bubble which is larger than 6). Until 14 September, the current guidelines apply. Check with customers on arrival who they are with and how many people will be attending. Put up signs to remind customers to only interact with their group.
              • Encourage contactless payments. Whenever possible, use online booking and pre-payment and ask for contactless payments.
              • Manage food and drink service safely. Minimise customer self-service of food, cutlery and condiments, as well as contact between staff and guests.
              • Understand how your business interacts with the local area. Limit risk by reducing queues on the street outside, staggering check in times and opening hours to other businesses, and advising customers to avoid particular forms of transport at busy times or routes to avoid crowded areas.



              • Local Lockdowns

              Birmingham City Council have announced that from Tuesday 15 September, residents of Birmingham Sandwell and Solihull will not be able to mix with any other households, indoors or in private gardens, except for those in a support bubble. There’s announcement indicates that there are no restrictions on the businesses in the area.



              • CJRS Guidance Update

              The guidance has been updated with a new section added  “Work out your employee's usual hours and furloughed hours” that explains how to calculate the number of working and furloughed hours for an employee that comes off furlough or flexible furlough partway through a claim period. Employers using this calculation do not need to amend previous claims.



              • Question in the Lords

              There where questions on Aviation in the Lords on Wednesday where Baroness Doocey raised the impact of dramatically reduced inbound tourism on London’s economy and asking what the Government was going to do to address this. The heartening answer from Baroness Vere was that the government recognised the issue, was engaged and is looking for solutions to support city-based tourism.


              Baroness Doocey (LD)

              Does the Minister acknowledge that while international travel is something of a roulette, the Government should do everything possible to encourage a renaissance in domestic travel in the UK? The Government’s tourism industry body VisitBritain is forecasting that inbound tourism revenue will be down by £24 billion this year, which equates to about 340,000 jobs, half of which will be in London. What specific measures will the Government put in place to support London’s tourism sector, which is so reliant on inbound tourism?


              Baroness Vere of Norbiton (Con)

              The noble Baroness is right that London is very reliant on inbound tourism, as are many other major cities across the country. The Government are well aware of this and there are a number of conversations going on at the moment which are looking at potential solutions, not only for London but on a nationwide basis for the larger population hubs to ensure that people can travel safely. Within all this we have a very difficult balance between keeping the virus under control, making sure that people can travel safely and protecting jobs and the economy.


              • Tourism Debate

              As you know there was a backbenchers debate in the Commons Yesterday. I’ve put the link to the transcript below so you can read it over the weekend – but the key take-outs are that I can see a lot of input from TA members in the debate and the MPs speaking were very much on message regarding the key issues facing the industry. Alex Sobel and Nigel Huddleston both speak very well at the end and there is a united view that more has to be done to support tourism businesses.



              • National Museums

              This week’s visitor numbers to the National Museums have been published with the average footfall being 25.2% of what would normally be expected, which is only 0.4% up on last week.



              • R Number

              This week’s R number and growth rate have been published. The R number is 1.0-1.2 and the  growth rate range for the UK is -1% to +3%, indicating why the Gobvernment has deemed it necessary to introduce the Rule of Six on Monday.



              • Duty Free Shopping

              The Government has responded to the Duty Free Shopping Consultation. The main outcomes from the consultation are:

                • Passengers travelling from GB to the EU can purchase duty-free excise goods once they have passed security controls on the same basis as currently applies to passengers travelling to non-EU destinations.
                • Passengers travelling back from the EU will no longer be able to bring back unlimited amounts of alcohol, tobacco, or other goods for personal use (personal allowances will be introduced)
                • Tax-free sales is not being extended to passengers travelling to the EU and is being withdrawn for all passengers.
                • The VAT Retail Export Scheme will also not be extended to EU visitors and will be withdrawn for non-EU visitors in GB
                • Retailers will continue to be able to offer VAT-free shopping  to non-EU visitors who purchase items in store provided that the items are sent direct to their overseas addresses. This will be extended to EU visitors.


              The removal of the ability to take VAT-free goods home in their luggage could have a significant impact on some markets such as China and the Middle East.




              BVEP logo

              TIER Update - 10 September 2020


              The Government has published further guidance on the new “Rule of Six” including a FAQ (note that this applies just to England) 

              • Meeting Others Safely

              This new guidance provides more detail  on the exemptions, which include:

                • Weddings
                • Education and training
                • Work or voluntary/charitable services
                • Some organised indoor and outdoor sports, physical activity and exercise classes (further linked details are provided on this)
                • Youth groups or activities

               The guidance also clarifies that  COVID-19 secure venues can continue to host people up to their social distancing capacity but that no one can visit in a group of ,ore than 6 (except for the exemptions and where the household (including bubble) is greater than 6)


              • Rule of Six FAQ

              There is also a FAQ document to go with the guidance which states, among other things:

                • People should not go on holiday in England with people outside their household (including bubble) in a group larger than 6 people
                • Where people can travel to or what they can do on a holiday is not affected provided that the group size is not exceeded
                • This does not change the guidance on what to do if someone catches Coronavirus while on holiday



              BVEP logo

              TIER Update - 9 September 2020

              New measures announced by the Prime Minister this afternoon

              This afternoon the Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a press conference with the introduction of some new measures from Monday 14 September in England. 

              General measures and rule of six

              • From Monday 14 September, it will no longer be legal to meet socially in groups of more than 6. This will apply indoors and outdoors, including in private homes and hospitality settings like the pub. There will be a limited number of exemptions.
              • This single measure replaces both the existing ban on gatherings of more than 30 and the current guidance on allowing 2 households to meet indoors.


              Work settings and weddings and funerals

              • Education and work settings are unaffected, and organised team sports will still be able to proceed, as will weddings and funerals up to 30. From Monday 14 September, this limit will be enforceable in law.


              COVID Secure venues – tourism and hospitality

              • COVID-19 Secure venues, such as places of worship, restaurants and hospitality venues, can still host larger numbers in total but groups of up to 6 must not mix or form larger groups. This rule will not apply to individual households or support bubbles of more than 6 who will still be able to gather together.
              • Premises and venues where people meet socially will be legally required to request the contact details of a member of every party, record and retain these details for 21 days, and provide them to NHS Test & Trace without delay when required.
              • The government will support local authorities to make further and faster use of their powers to close venues that are breaking the rules and pose a risk to public health.
              • Fines will be levied against hospitality venues that fail to ensure their premises remain COVID Secure.
              • The government will boost the enforcement capacity of local authorities by introducing COVID Secure Marshalls to help ensure social distancing in town and city centres, and by setting up a register of Environmental Health Officers that local authorities can draw upon for support.
              • The government will restrict the opening hours of premises, initially in local lockdown areas, with the option of national action in the future.


              Simplified guidance is due to be published imminently and will be available on 


              Events, conferences and sport

              • Plans to pilot larger audiences in venues later this month will be reviewed along with the intention to return audiences to stadiums and conference centres from 1 October. That doesn’t mean the programme will be scrapped entirely. The Culture Secretary is expected to provide an update in due course.
              • Planned sports pilot events will be limited to smaller, safer numbers, with strict conditions to ensure social distancing, and will not take place in areas where incidence is high.


              International travel

              • The government will take steps to improve compliance with border requirements. They will simplify the Passenger Locator Form needed for travelling to the UK, and take measures to ensure these are completed and checked before departure.
              • Border Force will step up enforcement efforts at the border to ensure arrivals are complying with the quarantine rules.


              New grants for businesses affected by local lockdowns

              Businesses in England required to close due to local lockdowns or targeted restrictions will now be able to receive grants worth up to £1,500 every three weeks. To be eligible for the grant, a business must have been required to close due to local COVID-19 restrictions. The largest businesses will receive £1,500 every three weeks they are required to close. Smaller businesses will receive £1,000. Payments are triggered by a national decision to close businesses in a high incidence area. Each payment will be made for a 3-week lockdown period. Each new 3-week lockdown period triggers an additional payment. Currently these payments are available in Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle, and Oldham as part of an ongoing trial scheme.

              Guidance for Welsh businesses on visitors from areas with higher incidence of coronavirus

              The Welsh Government has published guidance for businesses on taking all reasonable measures to minimise risk to exposure of Coronavirus. The guidance outlines the following:

              • Premises may wish to consider their approach to accepting guests from areas/regions where incidence is higher. Hotels and other accommodation providers, will have discretion to refuse admission to people as they are likely to have advance information on the home address of upcoming visitors.
              • Any legal obligations with regard to individuals residing in areas of higher incidence will be on those individuals. There will be no legal obligation for accommodation providers outside an area where travel restrictions are in place to check whether guests are resident within that area, or to enforce the law by turning people from that area away. They should not, however, knowingly accommodate people who are acting in breach of the law.
              • The Welsh Government encourages all accommodation providers to consider their approach towards guests who may come from areas experiencing lockdown restrictions or other areas of high incidence. For example accommodation providers may wish to communicate to all customers with existing bookings, reminding them of the law and giving them a chance to cancel or postpone their bookings.


              Situation update 9 September 2020




              • Prime Minister’s Announcement

              As above +:

              New Tests - The government is looking at new tests, involving swabs or saliva, that can give results in 20 minutes – which would be extremely useful for stabilising international travel. This will be piloted in Salford

              for outdoor and indoor venues.


              Chris Whitty has commented that these new rules are unlikely to be lifted within three weeks.


              Here’s a copy of the Prime Minister’s announcement:



                             And here’s the slides from the presentation:



              • Bounce-Back Plans for Consumer and Retail Industry

              The Department for International Trade has announced new measures to help boost exports and increase British retail firms’ readiness to sell overseas, include creation of a Consumer and Retail Export Academy to help businesses export, via a digital learning syllabus.



              • CMA Position on Wedding Cancellations and Refunds

              The CMA has published a position statement on how it believes the law operates in relation to wedding cancellations and refunds. It states that a wedding contract has been frustrated and the customer is entitled to a refund when going ahead with the wedding could breach lockdown laws including:

              • the restrictions imposed under the original lockdown laws in the early stages of the pandemic, which required wedding venues to close and prohibited people leaving their homes and attending gatherings
              • further restrictions imposed under revised lockdown laws, which limited the numbers of people who could attend a wedding
              • restrictions imposed by local lockdown laws, such as local laws that require venues to close or require people to stay at home
              • specific restrictions imposed by local authorities under their lockdown legal powers


              It accepts that there can be exemptions to a full refund where goods and services have already been provided



              • Local Lockdown Changes



              The following businesses are now permitted to reopen in the protected area

                • Indoor fitness and dance studios 
                • Indoor gyms  
                • Indoor sports courts and facilities 
                • Indoor swimming pools and indoor water parks 





              Further restrictions have been introduced in Bolton

                • All businesses providing food and drink will be restricted to takeaway only
                • Late-night restriction of operating hours, meaning venues will be required to close between 10pm and 5am
                • The ban on mixing outside households in homes and in public outdoor settings will be enforceable by law




              • Air Corridors

              From today people arriving from the following Greek Islands will have to undertake Quarantine for two weeks.











              BVEP logo

              TIER Update - 8 September 2020

              New restrictions introduced in Bolton, England

              This afternoon Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock announced new measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Bolton.


              The new measures, which come into force immediately, include:

              • All hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to takeaway only
              • Late-night restriction of operating hours, meaning venues will be required to close between 10pm and 5am
              • Socialising outside of your household will be banned and will be enforced by law, in all settings including outdoors.


              New restrictions in Caerphilly County, Wales

              Following a sharp increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Caerphilly County, new restrictions have been introduced to reduce the spread of the virus and protect public health for people living in the area. The restrictions come into force at 6pm on 8 September 2020 and will be kept under review. People will not be allowed to enter or leave the Caerphilly County Borough Council area without a reasonable excuse


              New restrictions in Scotland for East Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire

              Following an increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the West of Scotland, new restrictions have been introduced in East Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire, these follow restrictions that were introduced for people living in Glasgow City, East

              Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire. The restrictions will be introduced for an initial 2 week period and reviewed in 7 days.

              Travel to/from affected areas - These local restrictions do not affect travel in or out of the affected areas, providing the guidance on mixing with other households in their home is followed. If you are already in the affected area visiting family or on holiday then they do not need to leave, but you should follow the recommendations in this guidance and take extra care when returning home. If you are planning to use self-catering accommodation in unaffected areas with different households from affected areas, you should not do so.

              Updated ONS Business Impact of Coronavirus data

              The data looks at turnover expectations of the same businesses over time, using the final results of waves 6 to 11 of the voluntary fortnightly Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey, covering the period 1 June to 23 August 2020.


              Some key findings include

              • Between early June and mid-August 2020, the proportion of businesses expecting an increase in turnover gradually fell from 27% to 18%, while the proportion of those expecting a decrease also fell, from 16% to 10%.
              • The likelihood of a business's turnover turning out to be lower than they predicted two weeks’ prior was 48% between early June and mid-August.
              • Businesses in the accommodation and food service activities industry were consistently the most optimistic sector (that is, turnover turned out to be lower than they expected two weeks prior).
              • Smaller-sized businesses in this sample (those with fewer than 250 employees) correctly predicted their turnover 39% of the time, compared with 34% for larger businesses.


              Other Government updates


              Situation update 8 September 2020




              Business Rate Consultation Feedback Reminder

              As you know the Treasury’s consultation on Business Rates Reform which is a significant problem for large components of the tourism industry. As mentioned in the paper I sent out yesterday, UKHospitality has calculated that businesses such as hotels, pubs, restaurants and visitor attractions  pay £2.7bn in business rates, which represents 9% of the total business rates paid in the UK, even though the these business represent just 4% of UK business turnover.


              The consultation closes next Friday (18th Sept). In order to put together a Tourism Alliance response to this, could you please send me your comments by Monday 14th September.


              Here’s a link to the Consultation document -



              VEWG Updates – 08/09/2020


              Autumn Staycation Campaign

              VisitBritain is planning an Autumn Staycation Campaign. The slides are attached.


              Autumn Staycation campaign - Update wc 17 August V3


              CMA open letter

              Yesterday the CMA published an open letter to the weddings sector. The purpose of this letter is to help businesses in the sector understand how the CMA considers that consumer protection law applies to the wedding contracts they have with consumers during COVID-19. The letter can be found here.


              Voluntary calorie guidelines

              Public Health England has launched new voluntary calorie guidelines to help the food industry tackle obesity. The voluntary guidelines for industry are a key commitment of the Government’s obesity strategy. The press release is here and the guidelines are here.


              BVEP logo

              TIER Update - 7 September 2020


              Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) template update

              A new template is available for download for businesses claiming for 100 or more employees through CJRS. Employers must now include if an employee has returned from statutory leave before being put on furlough.


              Lifting of some restrictions from 8 September in Leicester City, Blackburn with Darwen, Oldham, Pendle and other areas with restrictions in the North of England

              From 8 September, several businesses and venues that were closed will be able to re-open in Leicester City, Blackburn with Darwen, Oldham, Pendle and other areas in the North of England. Each area has slightly different changes, to see the area specific changes please see the information relevant to your area using the links above.


              Update to travel corridors policy in England

              In a statement today Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced
              a new islands policy for England. The policy is a targeted approach to add or remove a country’s islands to the travel corridors list. This means that an area (i.e. an island) that presents a higher or lower public health risk to UK travellers can be assessed separately to the rest of the country


              As part of the announcement Grant Shapps said that Greece remains part of the corridor scheme, but the Greek Islands of Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos are no longer on the travel exemptions list. Passengers arriving into England from these islands will need to self-isolate from 4:00am on Wednesday 9 September. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has also updated its travel advice for Greece to advise against all but essential travel to Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos. The rest of Greece remains exempt from the FCDO’s advice against all non-essential international travel.


              Other Government updates


              Situation update 7 September 2020


              BVEP logo

              TIER Update - 4 September 2020

              DCMS Coronavirus Impact Business Survey - reminder

              A reminder that DCMS invites you to take part in a second round of a survey being conducted to understand the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on organisations in the digital, culture, media, sport, gambling, telecoms, and tourism sectors. This survey has been commissioned by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to better understand the needs of its stakeholders. Your answer will remain anonymous and will be used to inform DCMS’ preparedness efforts.


              We have already had a significant number of responses from the events and exhibitions sector and about 200 from the tourism sector.  The survey should take around 10-20 minutes. The deadline for responses to the survey will be at 23:59 GMT on 08/09/2020. Please follow this link to begin submitting your response. 


              Travel corridor updates for Scotland and Northern Ireland 

              • Scotland - Portugal and French Polynesia have been removed from the exempt travel corridors list, passengers who arrive in Scotland from 04:00 on 5 September you will need to self-isolate 
              • Northern Ireland – there are no additions to or removals from the travel corridor list in Northern Ireland this week. The list continues to be kept under review.


              Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain ONS data update

              The survey covers the period 26 August to 30 August 2020.

              Some key findings include:

              • More than half (53%) of adults who had heard about the Eat Out to Help Out scheme said they had eaten out during the month of August just to make use of the scheme.
              • Of all adults, 47% said they would have eaten out during August without the discount from the scheme.
              • Over the summer there has been a gradual return to socialising with others and participating in leisure activities; in the last seven days, nearly 3 in 10 (29%) adults met up with people in a public place – an increase from 13% three months ago (period covering 28 to 31 May 2020).


              Other Government updates


              Travel industry updates



              Situation update 4 September 2020



              (with duplicate remove)

              • Tourism Debate

              Yesterday the leader of the House of Commons announced that next Thursday (10 Sept) there will be a general debate on the aviation sector, followed by general debate on support for the tourism industry after the covid-19 lockdown. So get those briefings for local MPs ready.



              • Guidance for Visa Nationals

              The Home Office has updated the guidance for visa nationals whose visa or leave to stay in the UK expires after 31 August 2020 – which  was when the grace period ended. People who took advantage of the grace period are now expected to take all reasonable steps to leave the UK where it is possible to do so or apply to regularise their stay in the UK. They can do this by submitting an application form from within the UK instead of applying from their home country. They will also need to show the application is urgent as well as paying all normal fees and visa requirements.



              • R Rate

              This week’s R number range for the UK  is 0.9-1.1 and the growth rate range is -1% to +2% ( up from -2% to +1% last week) indicating that the number of Coronavirus cases is starting to expand again.



              BVEP logo

              TIER Update - 3 September 2020

              Travel Corridors in England

              The government has confirmed that there are no additions to or removals from the travel corridor list in England today. The list continues to be kept under review.


              Travel Corridors in Wales

              The Welsh government has removed the following countries and territories from their travel corridor list:

              • Mainland Portugal (the Azores and Madeira will remain exempt to quarantine requirements)
              • Gibraltar
              • French Polynesia
              • Greek islands of Mykonos, Zakynthos, Lesvos, Paros, Antiparos and Crete


              Arrivals into Wales from these territories after 04:00 on Friday 4 September will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.


              Reminder: DCMS Coronavirus Impact Business Survey – Wave 2 closing 8 September

              DCMS invites you - and the businesses that you represent - to take part in a second round of a survey being conducted to understand the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on organisations in the digital, culture, media, sport, gambling, telecoms, and tourism sectors. This survey has been commissioned by DCMS to better understand the needs of its stakeholders.


              Answers will remain anonymous and will be used to inform DCMS’ preparedness efforts. The survey should take around 10-20 minutes and can be found here. The deadline for responses to the survey will be at 23:59 GMT on 8 September 2020.

              Other government updates

              • Early experimental data has been updated on the impact of coronavirus on the UK economy and society, including data on the business impacts of the coronavirus, social impacts on Great Britain, company incorporations and voluntary dissolution applications, online job adverts, footfall and road traffic. Latest report includes data collected up to 30 August.

              Situation update 3 September 2020




              Wedding Consultation

              You may remember that last year the Tourism Alliance was involved in pre-consultation discussions with the law Commission aimed at informing and shaping the development of a consultation paper on reforming the legislation surrounding holding weddings. At these meetings we pushed for a relaxation on the current restrictions that would include the ability for tourism businesses to host weddings outside at venues like historic houses and visitor attractions or in venues where they are currently prohibited such as on heritage trains or sightseeing boats.


              The Law Commission has just published its consultation document which would allow for these types of weddings – which would help a lot of tourism businesses generate an additional revenue stream. Also, the consultation goes further in proposing that weddings could also be able to be held in public spaces and private residences. The consultation is open until 3 December 2020 so let me know your views and I’ll incorporate them into the Tourism Alliance response.


              Here is a link to the consultation documents which are too large to send as attachments - the full consultation document is 458 pages and even the summary version 38 pages.



              Tourism Alliance presentation on tourism recovery at the Trial Conference  

              I’m going to be out of the office today speaking at the Trial Conference and recording an interview for GTO’s online conference so I probably won’t be able send out a Coronavirus Update. However, to make sure that you have something from me to read, I have attached a copy of the presentation on tourism recovery that I’ll be giving at the trial conference and will follow this up with a more detailed paper tomorrow.


              BVEP logo

              TIER Update - 2 September 2020


              Updates to local restrictions in England

              • Blackburn with Darwen, Oldham, Pendle: 
                • Residents of the specific areas of Blackburn with Darwen, Oldham and Pendle with additional restrictions should not meet people at indoor or outdoor public venues who are not members of their household.
                • If you operate a business or organise events within the affected areas you should take steps to ensure people do not socialise with people they do not live with, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance.
                • If you operate a hospitality venue (including restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes) inside the areas with additional restrictions (all of Oldham and parts of Blackburn with Darwen and Pendle) then you are advised that you should halt walk-ins, and only seat people who make reservations in advance, up to a maximum of six people per table from the same household. You should also take steps to ensure that people do not socialise outside of their households inside and outside your premises.


              • Bolton and Trafford are to remain under existing restrictions.  The lifting of restrictions in Burnley, Hyndburn, Stockport and parts of Calderdale, Kirklees and Bradford will go ahead from 2 September.


              A list of areas with additional local restrictions is available here.


              Kickstart Scheme

              See Tourism Alliance Update below.


              Changes to travel corridors in Scotland and Wales

              • Scotland has removed Greece from the list of exempt travel corridor destinations, passengers from Greece who arrive in Scotland from 04:00 on 3 September will need to self-isolate
              • Wales has removed the Greek Island of Zante from the exempt travel corridors list. A statement issued on 1 September by Vaughan Gething MS, Wales’ Minister for Health and Social Services asked all passengers returning from Zante/Zakynthos to self-isolate for 14 days due to the risk of unknowingly spreading COVID-19 to others. Those returning have also been requested to take a test once they arrive home and to repeat the test 8 days after returning home.


              Other Government updates


              Situation update 2 September 2020




              Here’s todays Coronavirus Update which includes details on the Government’s new £2bn Kickstart scheme which aims to provide six months work placements for young people. While undoubtedly a very welcome scheme, it does beg the question from tourism businesses – “why not protect existing jobs for six months as well?”


              • Kickstart Scheme

              The government has introduced a new Kickstart Scheme which consists of a £2 billion fund aimed at generating high quality 6-month work placements for people aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long term unemployment. The funding available for each job will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. The core criteria are as follows:


              1. Applications must be for a minimum of 30 job placements.


              1. Any organisation can apply for funding provided that the job placements created are new jobs which do not:
                  • replace existing or planned vacancies
                  • cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment


              1. The placements must be:
                  • a minimum of 25 hours per week, for 6 months
                  • paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their age group
                  • should not require people to undertake extensive training before they begin the job placement


              1. Each application should include how you will help the participants to develop their skills and experience, including:
                  • support to look for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals
                  • support with CV and interview preparations
                  • supporting the participant with basic skills, such as attendance, timekeeping and teamwork


              You can find detail on this scheme from the guidance and promotional materials on the following link:



                             Important Bit

              As mentioned above, an application must be for a minimum of 30 job placements which will be a problem for most tourism and hospitality businesses which are SMEs. To get around this, there is the option for representative bodies such as Trade Associations and DMOs to submit applications on behalf of their members or for individual businesses to join together to submit an application. Here’s a link on how to do this.



              • Glasgow Restrictions

              Late yesterday the Scottish Parliament announced that there would be a local lockdown in Glasgow City, East Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire. People living in these areas should not:

              • host people from any other households in their home, unless they are part of the extended household (this includes sharing economy accommodation where people stay with the host)
              • visit people they do not live with in their home no matter where that is, unless they are part of the extended household


              People can still travel in and out of these areas on holiday and meet people in pubs and restaurants, but should not share self-catering accommodation in unaffected areas with different households.


              The restrictions have been introduced for an initial 2 week period and will be reviewed in 7 days



              • DCMS Digital Identity Work – Input Required

              Last year DCMS held a call for evidence on how government can support the development and secure use of digital identities to support the growth of the UK economy. I have a meeting with DCMS official about how development of more secure and easily usable digital identities might help the tourism industry so if you have any ideas on this, please let me know. This could include things like receiving payments, ensuring that someone was able to work in the UK or maybe linking to visa and ETA applications.


              Here's a copy of the Government’s response to the call for evidence that was published yesterday with more information on digital identities which may stimulate some ideas.



              • DCMS Participation and Confidence Survey

              DCMS have just released the latest data from the participation survey which includes a section asking people about how comfortable they feel visiting particular attractions and facilities. The new data is for the first two weeks of July which, in terms of Coronavirus, is a lifetime ago but it is interesting nevertheless. The survey shows that participation in arts and exercise decreasing which participation in heritage has increase. In terms of confidence, about 25% of people said that they would feel comfortable in indoor arts, culture and heritage settings, although this increases to 35-40% for people who have undertaken that activity in the last 12 months – showing that people are much more confident if they have recently undertaken that activity which bodes well for the lasting affect of initiatives such as Eat Out to Help Out.



              BVEP logo


              TIER Update - 1 September 2020


              Scottish Government outlines new plan for 2020-2021

              First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has today published 'Protecting Scotland, Renewing Scotland: The Government's Programme for Scotland 2020-2021', which sets out the actions the Scottish Government is taking “to ensure Scotland’s economic, health, and social recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and beyond”. A safe and strong recovery for tourism is cited as being vital to economic recovery, inclusive growth and wellbeing. The Tourism Strategy ‘Scotland Outlook 2030’ (published in March 2020) is referenced as providing the framework for recovery, which will see the Scottish Government work with VisitScotland to develop a recovery marketing strategy, to identify medium/long-term market opportunities to support tourism and increase visitors.


              Highlights from the plan include:

              • The Scottish Government will build on the work of the ‘Rural tourism infrastructure fund’
              • Work with Skills Development Scotland and the Tourism Recovery Taskforce to ensure the sector has the skills it needs to recover
              • Will create a ‘Culture Collective’ to harness and maximise the contribution of Scotland’s creative workforce to the building of a wellbeing economy
              • Tourism is highlighted as one of the traditional sectors around which ‘tech’ companies are ‘igniting innovation’ and the Scottish Government intends to extend their CivTech programme.
              • Environmental sustainability is a further theme in the document, and Tourism will be one of the sectors included in the ‘Blue Economy Action Plan’ for the marine environment. Tourism is also mentioned within the Green Jobs section, where the plan talks about green skills’ ability to deliver for sectors such as ‘nature based tourism’.
                • A £2m Green Recovery Programme for the Islands will deliver projects related to green jobs, and support micro and SME businesses people to develop new skills.
              • Looking at transport, the document recognises the reduction in demand for public transports due to the impact of COVID on the Tourism sector (amongst other factors) and states that considerations will be made for the implications of this on transport, so that interventions can be identified which may aid the recovery of the sector.
                • They remain committed to the Air Departure Tax (ADT) when a solution to the Highlands and Islands exemption issue has been found. They will engage with the HM Treasury on their consultation on Air Passenger Duty reform and will work with stakeholders to find a solution for aviation that remains consistent with climate ambitions.
              • Plans for the implementation of a Transient Visitor Levy were put on hold as part of the response to the COVID‑19 crisis and in recognition of the severe economic impact COVID‑19 has had on the sector. The Scottish Government’s stated priority is to work with the sector to ensure a ‘vibrant and sustainable future for the tourism industry in Scotland’ and future consideration of the levy will take account of the changed context the industry is operating in.

              ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme now closed, accepting claims until 30 September 2020

              The ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme has now closed. Restaurants and other food service businesses that have already registered can submit a claim for reimbursement until 30 September 2020.


              Industry updates

              • The workforce at Heathrow Airport is taking part in three rapid point of care COVID-19 testing trials. The airport will share the resulting data with the UK Government to inform its strategy for further reopening the aviation sector.
              • United, Delta and American Airlines have permanently eliminated all change fees for travel within the US effective immediately. United and Delta have also waived change fees for all international travel booked through 31 December 2020.
              • London-based tour operator Vivid Travel has suspended operations.

              Situation update 1 September 2020





              • 2025 Border Strategy

              First, a thank you to everyone who came back to me with input for the 2025 UK Border Strategy submission. This was sent in on Friday and highlighted:

                • The need to expand e-gates in both physical numbers and in the  number of nationalities that are able to use them
                • The need to improve the SLAs for waiting times – a 45min wait at immigration is not acceptable.
                • The need to develop competitive visa products such as a low-cost five year visa and a special visa for the parents of students studying in the UK so that they can visit their children at anytime while they have a valid student visa.
                • The need to develop a two tier system for visas national countries whereby high value, low risk visitors and delegates to conferences could use ETAs to come to the UK while higher risk visitors would still be required to apply for a visa
                • The need to extend duty free shopping to people travelling to/from the EU to make the UK a key European shopping destination and the need to have a VAT reclaim process that is fit for purpose to go alongside this.


              • CJRS Guidance Update

              The Guidance to businesses on the CJRS have been updated to take account of the changes that come into effect today. You can download a copy of the new guidance from the following link



              • Local Lockdown Restrictions Being Lifted Tomorrow

              As I mentioned on Friday, the Government has announced a lifting of some local lockdown restrictions. From tomorrow, restrictions on two households mixing will be lifted in:

              • Bolton
              • Stockport
              • Trafford
              • Burnley
              • Hyndburn
              • parts of Bradford excluding Bradford city and Keighley town
              • parts of Calderdale excluding Halifax
              • parts of Kirklees excluding Dewsbury and Batley


              Local Lockdown restrictions will continue in the following areas.

              Greater Manchester:

              • a ban on 2 households mixing indoors will continue in City of Manchester, Salford, Rochdale, Bury and Tameside
              • in Oldham, in addition to a household mixing ban indoors, residents will continue to be advised to avoid mixing with anyone from anther household anywhere.


              • in Pendle and Blackburn residents will continue to be advised to avoid mixing with anyone from another household anywhere. Some businesses and organisations remain closed in Blackburn and Darwen.
              • the ban on 2 households mixing indoors will continue in Preston



              • on top of the indoor gatherings restrictions, some leisure sector businesses will continue to remain closed


              West Yorkshire:

              • in urban areas of Bradford, the ban on indoor household gatherings remains in place and some businesses and organisations remain closed
              • in Kirklees, the ban on indoor household gatherings will continue in Dewsbury and Batley
              • the ban will also continue in parts of Calderdale



              Blackburn with Darwen, Oldham and Pendle

              For Blackburn with Darwen, Oldham and Pendle, the local guidance has been updated with the additional restrictions that residents should not meet people at indoor or outdoor public venues who are not members of their household.



              • Guidance on Apprenticeships

              The Government has updated the guidance for employers, trainers and assessors in relation to apprenticeships This includes

                • Information on the actions that training providers should take for the return of apprentices from September. Read more about it in the returning to workplace and educational settings section.
                • Information on how apprentices who have been made redundant, or who are at risk of redundancy, can access online and telephone support through the Redundancy Support Service for Apprentices. Read more about it in the redundant apprentices section.
                • Confirmation that we are planning to restart routine funding audits from September 2020. Read more about it in the audit section.
                • Information on the new incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice. Read more about it in the apprenticeship programme response section.



              • DCMS Coronavirus Impact Business Survey For You to Complete

              DCMS is undertaking a second round of a survey being conducted to understand the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on organisations in the tourism and hospitality sectors. Could you therefore distribute the following link to your members and ask them to compete it (in addition to completing it yourself).  The survey, on the following link, should take around 10-20 minutes to complete and any information provided will remain anonymous and only used to inform DCMS’ preparedness efforts.



              The deadline for responses to the survey is at 23:59 GMT on 8th September 2020.


              • Surveillance Report

              Here’s a link to the latest Surveillance Report that was published late on Friday. The two areas of concern with rising Covid cases which could lead to a local lockdown are Swindon and Stoke on Trent, while there is good news in that the incidence of Coronavirus in Birmingham is falling which suggests that the city might escape the need for a lock down.



              • Virtual Conservative Party Conference

              The Conservative party is holding its annual conference online this year. Because of this there is the opportunity for you register for free to be an observer, which allows to you to watch all the major speeches as well as the fringe meetings.




              BVEP logo

              TIER Update - 28 August 2020



              Changes to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to take effect 1 September

              From 1 September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a maximum cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% (up to £2,500). The caps are proportional to the hours not worked. Read more information about the changes.


              Unless you’re making a new claim for an employee who is a military reservist or is returning from statutory parental leave, you can only continue to claim through the scheme if:

              • you have previously furloughed the employee for 3 consecutive weeks between March 1 and 30 June
              • There were an estimated 1.3 million passenger arrivals (including returning UK residents) in April to June 2020. This is 97% (27.7 million) fewer than the same period in 2019, and it is because of the coronavirus travel restrictions.
              • The number of applications for visitor visas in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020 was 99% lower than in the same period in 2019.
              • The arts, entertainment and recreation sector had the largest proportion of the workforce furloughed (51%) compared with 13% across all industries. The industry with the next highest proportion of furloughed workers is the hospitality industry (27%).
              • When asked about insolvency, almost a quarter of arts and entertainment businesses (23%) reported the risks as severe to moderate; this is the joint-highest proportion of any industry, along with the hospitality sector. Across all sectors, 11% of businesses said their risk of insolvency is severe to moderate.

                Situation update 28 August 2020

              • you submitted your claim before 31 July


                Information about the Job Retention Bonus was published on 31 July.

                Further guidance on cancellations and refunds during COVID-19

                The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued a statement that a consumer will generally be entitled to a refund when they have paid money in advance for services or goods that cannot be delivered due to the coronavirus pandemic.

                Lockdown laws:

                If contracts cannot go ahead due to lockdown laws, the CMA would expect customers to be offered a full refund. If contracts are partially impacted by lockdown laws, consumers may be entitled to a refund or price reduction depending on the scale of the impact.

                Government guidance:

                Whether a consumer is entitled to refund as a result of government guidance will vary according to the specific circumstances. It is not always the case that a full refund is due because government guidance does not create legal restrictions and will not necessarily mean that a contract cannot be performed, but it is important for businesses and customers to follow government guidance and businesses should treat their customers fairly to find a mutually acceptable solution.

                Read the CMA’s full statement on cancellation and refund updates.

                ONS COVID-19 roundup

                See the latest data and analysis from ONS related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its impact on our economy and society, analysing data up to the week ending 14 August. Read the full report here.

                Some key findings on the travel and leisure sectors:



              Tourism Alliance Update

              • Reminder on Increased Fines

              With the August Bank Holiday here it is worth noting that the increased fines for holding or attending illegal gatherings come into force today as the Government attempts to dissuade people from breaking social distancing rules. The fines are:

                • The fine for attending an illegal gathering is £100 for the first offence. This then doubles for every subsequent offence up to a maximum of £3,200
                • The fine for staging an illegal event attended by 30 or more people is up to £10,000. While this is targeted to people organising illegal parties or music events but applies to any gathering of 30 people.



              • CMA Statement on Consumer Contracts, Cancellation and Refunds

              As part of it’s ongoing investigation on the cancellation of tourism-related contracts, the CMA has published a statement today which outlines how it believes the law operates in relation to contracts impacted by Coronavirus. The main part of this statement is as follows:


              In some circumstances, due to lockdown laws, a contract cannot go ahead as agreed or at all, and is therefore ‘frustrated’. A contract will be frustrated as a matter of law if, due to no fault of the parties, something happens after the contract was entered into which means it can no longer be performed at all or performance would be radically different to what was agreed.

              As a result, the contract comes to an end and, where consumers have paid money in advance for services or goods that they have yet to receive, they will generally be entitled to obtain a refund.


              CMA would expect a consumer to be offered a full refund where:

                • a business has cancelled a contract without providing any of the promised goods or services
                • no goods or services are provided by a business because this is prevented by the lockdown laws
                • a consumer is prevented from receiving any goods or services, because, for example, lockdown laws in the UK or abroad have made it illegal to receive or use the goods or services


              Examples of legal restrictions in lockdown laws include:

                • restrictions imposed under the original lockdown laws in the early stages of the pandemic
                • restrictions imposed by local lockdown laws
                • specific restrictions imposed by local authorities under their legal lockdown powers
                • mandatory self-isolation following a direction from a public health officer
                • mandatory self-isolation when returning to the UK from certain countries which may affect the consumer’s ability to use a service during the self-isolation period (provided that the requirement to self-isolate was imposed after the consumer had entered into the relevant contract and was not reasonably anticipated by the consumer)


              With local lockdowns likely to continue, it is important that tourism businesses are aware of this statement and modify their terms and conditions and customer service accordingly.

              Here’s the Press Release from the CMA


              And here’s the full statement, with further detail



              • Change to Test and Trace Guidance for Tourism and Hospitality Businesses

              The Guidance to tourism and hospitality businesses on the test and trace data that they must collect has been amended to remove a line in that guidance that said that NHS Test and Trace will ask a business for their Test and Trace records when someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 has listed the premise as a place they visited recently due to data protection issues.



              • Changes to CJRS

              Please remember that the terms of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Will change on Tuesday. From 1 September, the Government will pay 70% of wages up to a maximum cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough,  will businesses required to pay the additional 10% required to ensure that employees receive 80%  of their wages (up to £2,500). The caps are proportional to the hours not worked..

              Unless  a business is making a new claim for an employee who is a military reservist or is returning from statutory parental leave, it can only continue to claim through the scheme if:

                • The employee has previously been furloughed for at least 3 consecutive weeks between March 1 and 30 June
                • A claim for the employee was submitted before 31 July



              • National Museum Figures

              This week’s National Museum figures are encouraging with a rise in average visitor numbers from 15% to 21% of normal footfall.



              • The R Number

              Reflecting the recent increase in the number of cases, this week’s R number for the UK is 0.9-1.1 and the growth rate is -2% to +1% per day



              BVEP logo

              TIER Update - 27 August 2020


              Update on travel corridors

              This week’s review of Travel Corridor countries has concluded, based on data from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England, with Ministers agreeing to remove the following from the list of exempt countries:


              Czech Republic




              This is due to a significant increase in both the level and pace of confirmed cases in these countries. These removals apply UK-wide and will be effective from 04:00 on Saturday 29 August. 


              Ministers have agreed to add the following to the list of exempt countries, following a decrease in the number of confirmed cases:




              This addition applies UK-wide and will also be effective from 04:00 on Saturday 29 August. Passengers arriving from these countries before this time will still need to self-isolate upon arrival into the UK.


              FCO Travel Advice is being updated to reflect these changes. See the full list of travel corridors on the Gov website.




              Update on spectators to elite sports events


              On a separate note, the Government has announced further pilots for the return of spectators to elite sport to allow fans to return to live sport from 1 October with social distancing.

              Situation update 27 August 2020


              Tourism Alliance Update - 27 August 2020


              20.08.27 Services Sector Survey August 2020

              • Changes to Air Corridors

              The Government has just announced that the following countries will be removed from the air corridors list, meaning that people arriving from these countries will need to quarantine for two weeks

              Czech Republic




              At the same time, Cuba has been added to the Air Corridor list


              These changes apply UK-wide and will come into effect at 04:00 on Saturday 29th August.



              • Payment for People Self-Isolating in Highest Risk Areas

              You will have seen considerable attention in the media to the new payment for people on low incomes in areas with high rates of COVID-19 who need to self-isolate and can’t work from home. The payment is, which will be first trialled in Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle and Oldham, will pay £130 to eligible individuals who test positive for their 10-day self-isolation period. This payment is in addition to any other benefits that the person already receives of may be entitled to. Other members of their household, who have to self-isolate for 14 days, will be entitled to a payment of £182.


              To be eligible for the funding, individuals must:

                • have tested positive for COVID-19 or received a notification from NHS Test and Trace asking them to self-isolate
                • have agreed to comply with the notification from NHS Test and Trace and provided contact details to the local authority
                • be employed or self-employed:
                  • employed people will be asked to show proof of employment
                  • self-employed will be required to show evidence of trading income and that their business delivers services which the local authority reasonably judges they are unable to carry out without social contact
                • be unable to work from home (checks will be undertaken on all applicants) and will lose income a result
                • be currently receiving Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit




              • Passenger Arrivals in July

              The Home Office has released data today showing that there were 1.3m arrivals into the UK by air during July. This is 89% lower that the number of arrivals in July 2019, when 11.1m people entered the country. The data also indicates that arrivals into the UK by rail were down 65% and arrivals by sea were down by 69%.


              It should also be noted that the arrivals data includes British nationals returning from overseas. When British nationals are removed, the number of arrivals falls to 640,000 people. However, there should be slight bit of caution in thinking that this is the number of overseas visitors as this figure will include foreign nationals that live in the UK returning from holidays overseas.




              • Trial of Sport Events with Spectators

              DCMS has announced a series of sports events where there will be spectator trials in England, The initial sports being trialled are as follows with further trials of other sports to be announced in September

                • Football
                • Rugby
                • Cricket
                • Horse racing
                • Basketball
                • Speedway

              A link of the trial events is available on the following link:



              • CBI Service Sector Report

              I’ve attached a copy of CBI’s service sector report that has been published today. The survey includes data on sentiment within the Hotels, bars & restaurants; travel services and leisure sectors which shows that costs per employee have increase by 20-30% while the volume of sales is down 30-60% and employment is down 30-90% depending on the sector.


              • How HMRC Will Continue to Support Customers and the Economy

              HMRC have published a policy paper setting out how they will continue to support individuals and businesses through the Coronavirus outbreak. While there are no initiatives in the policy paper it presents a series of principles on how it will operate:

              • Our approach will be to collect the tax due in a way that recognises the very real needs and challenges that businesses and individuals face.
              • We will communicate openly and transparently, to give people as much certainty as possible.
              • It is more important than ever that we are professional, fair and even-handed in the way we interact with our customers.
              • Where we have introduced temporary administrative arrangements that have improved the customer experience or created operational improvements, we will try to build on these changes to deliver long-term sustainable solutions.
              • We will continue to prioritise tackling serious fraud and criminal attacks on the tax system, while increasing wider activity to make sure individuals and businesses pay the right tax.




              • ONS Survey

              The ONS has produced the latest results of their ongoing survey of economic and social indicators.  The main tourism related findings are:

                • 13% of the workforce remain on furlough
                • Accommodation and food services, and  Arts, entertainment and recreation sectors were the only sectors that reported less than 90% of businesses had been trading for more than the last two weeks, at 82% and 63% respectively.
                • 23% of businesses in these two sectors said their risk of insolvency was moderate or severe
                • Job adverts in the hospitality sector are 38% of what they were last year compared to 55% for UK businesses as a whole




              • PASC Survey

              The Professional Association of Self-Caterers (PASC UK) and the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC) have commissioned a survey to evaluate the effects of Covid-19 on the self-catering sector across the UK. The survey will also help us to identify what the sector’s business priorities are over the next 12 months to support recovery and growth.

              The results will be shared with UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments to inform autumn budgets and spending reviews, as well as policy decisions going forward.

              The survey is being undertaken by The South West Research Company. Answers will be treated as strictly confidential and will be combined with those from other businesses in various regions to provide overall results.



              BVEP logo

              TIER Update - 26 August 2020

              Hospitality businesses in Aberdeen to reopen from 26 August

              In line with the lifting of local lockdown restrictions in Aberdeen, restaurants, pubs, cafés, casinos and other hospitality premises are able to reopen from today, 26 August. Other restrictions have been lifted including a five-mile travel limit and restrictions on gatherings, and other businesses in Aberdeen are allowed to open in line with Scotland’s national route map for reopening.


              ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme statistics (23 August)

              New figures show that restaurants have claimed reimbursement for 64 million meals or purchases so far through the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme. The latest statistics on the scheme as of 23 August show that:

              • 84,000 individual restaurant premises have registered for the scheme
              • 87,000 claims have been received by HMRC
              • The total value of claims has reached £336 million


                VisitBritain report: Revised inbound forecast for the UK in 2020

                The inbound outlook for the UK in 2020 from VisitBritain has been revised as of 25 August. Key updates from the revised forecast:

                • Our central scenario forecast for inbound tourism to the UK in 2020, as of 25 August, is for a decline of 73% in visits to 11.0 million and a decline of 79% in spending to £6.0 billion. This would represent a loss vs the pre-COVID forecast of 30.7 million visits and £24.0 billion spending.
                • This central scenario assumes that a vaccine will not be widely available during 2020. It assumes that the UK will not go back to the April-June situation of national lockdown and near-zero international travel although it is consistent with some local lockdowns being imposed.
                • A major short-term uncertainty in inbound tourism prospects is which countries will require quarantine upon arrival. Quarantine exemptions for many countries took effect from 10 July; however, since then the requirement has been re-imposed for several countries. At time of writing, around half of potential European visitors would face quarantine, including those from near neighbours France, Belgium and Netherlands, and the vast majority of visitors from non-European countries would face quarantine. The forecast assumes that quarantine restrictions are, in aggregate, eased gradually over the rest of the year but even by the end of 2020 it assumes that some European and most non-European visitors are likely to still face restrictions on arrival.


                  Notes about the forecast:

                • From mid-March to mid-July, COVID-19 triggered a near-total shutdown in international tourism to/from the UK. Forecasting at this time is difficult, given the fast-moving situation and the unique circumstances. Events are moving fast during the COVID-19 pandemic and the outlook can change daily. Our new central scenario below therefore reflects a snapshot in time based on current understanding and a set of assumptions. Subsequent developments could change the outlook.
                • This central scenario is merely one possible outturn and involves several assumptions and simplifications due to the fast-moving and uncertain situation; it is therefore subject to revision as the situation develops.
                • This is a short-term forecast. The longer-term impact and path to recovery depend, apart from the progression of the pandemic and treatments/vaccines, on wider demand (especially economic) and supply factors.


                  Bank Holiday Domestic Trip Tracker from VisitEngland (August 2020)

                  Please see attached the full report from a VisitEngland survey looking at domestic travel intentions during the upcoming August bank holiday. Some key insights from the report.


                • 9% of adults in Britain definitely plan to take a holiday in the UK over the August Bank Holiday (4.8M adults) and 9% definitely plan to take a holiday in England (4.5M adults). This corresponds to an estimated spend of £1.2 billion in the UK, and £1.1 billion in England alone.
                • Among those who are planning or considering an overnight trip, 56% are planning a holiday or short break, and 35% plan to visit friends and relatives.
                • In total, 10% of British adults ‘definitely’ plan to take an overnight trip over the August bank holiday weekend, and 13% are undecided. The top two factors for deciding are waiting to see what the weather will be like, followed by concerns around COVID-19.
                • 12% of Brits will ‘definitely’ take a day trip over the August bank holiday weekend, and a further 26% ‘might or might not’.


                  Industry updates

                  • Gatwick Airport has announced plans for a significant restructure across its business designed to further reduce operating and staff costs due to the impact of the pandemic, including potentially cutting around 600 job roles (24% of its current employees).
                  • Lufthansa Group is waiving booking fees for Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines flights through the end of 2020.
                    • Analysis from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) forecasts that the UK economy will lose £22 billion in 2020, about £60 million per day, due to the collapse of international travel this year.


                      Situation update 26 August 2020

                    • To see the number of cases of COVID-19 in England and the UK visit the UK COVID-19 dashboard.
                    • To see the number of cases globally see the World Health Organisation dashboard.


              Tourism Alliance Update - 26 August 2020


              • VB’s Updated Forecast for Inbound Tourism

              VisitBritain has updated its forecast for inbound tourism in 2020. Their central prediction is that is for a decline of 73% in visits to 11.0 million and a decline of 79% in spending to £6.0 billion. This would represent a loss vs the pre-COVID forecast of 30.7 million visits and £24.0 billion spending.

              This central scenario assumes that a vaccine will not be widely available during 2020 and that the UK will not go back to the April-June situation of national lockdown and near-zero international travel although it is consistent with some local lockdowns being imposed.

              This has significant implications for the tourism businesses that depend on inbound tourism and the economies of destinations such as at London, Edinburgh and Manchester that have high levels of inbounds visitors. For London alone, this equates for £12bn less coming into the economy and over 180,000 jobs at risk – and that doesn’t include the drop in revenue and employment derived from the airlines and airports servicing London.



              • Urgent Call for Volunteers for Conference Trial

              As you will be aware, the Government has decided to undertaking a series of trial events ahead of the conference, events and exhibitions sectors being reopened on 1st October in order to determine how these events should be organised to ensure that they are Covid Safe. These trial events will determine whether all appropriate mitigations are in place, and whether any parts of the existing guidance need to be strengthened or changed to support the sector to organise future business events.


              To help with this, another 50 volunteers are needed to attend a conference event at the Hilton Canary Wharf on Thursday 3rd September 11am-2pm

              If you are interested could you please put together a list of individuals at your organisation who can join and send this to the DCMS Tourism team by COP Thursday 27th August. Once you done this, the venue will be in touch with you regarding registration details.

              This is a good opportunity for those attending to understand how conferences will be held when they reopen so that you can inform you members and your own activities. And please note that by attending you need to permit your contact data to be shared with govt and the event organiser – and to be contacted by the event organiser.

              • Being Able to Leave Self-Isolation

              The guidance on quarantining has been updated to say that peopple are able to only leave their self-isolation premises in England under exceptional circumstances. This includes such things as:

              • accessing basic necessities like food and medicines where you cannot arrange for these to be delivered
              • moving to a different place for self-isolation where you can no longer remain where you are

                There may be other exceptional circumstances which may permit you to leave your place of self-isolation. You will need to consider carefully whether your circumstances are exceptional circumstances that require you to leave your place of self-isolation. It may be useful to seek advice from a medical or other professional to discuss your circumstances so that you can decide whether they require you to leave the accommodation where you are self-isolating.

                People are not allowed to change the place of self-isolating except in very limited circumstances, including where there is:

              • a legal obligation requires to change address
              • it is necessary for you to stay overnight at accommodation before travelling to the place where you will be self-isolating for the remainder of the 14 days
              • there are exceptional circumstances in which it becomes impracticable to remain at the original address


                If this happens, they should provide full details of each address where they will self-isolate on the public health passenger locator form.


                • Transport Use Update
                • DFT has produced the latest figures on transport use when, again shows that private and commercial transport is back to normal but public transport usage has stalled at between 30-50% of normal use depending on the transport type. While some of this will reflect lower commuter traffic due to people still working from home, it indicates that people are still concerned about travelling in close proximity to others.



                  • CJRS Video Update
                  • HMRC’s  video about the extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and flexible furloughing has been updated.




                  BVEP logo

                  Tourism Alliance Update - 25 August 2020


                  Guidance for guests who become unwell while on holiday in England

                  The government has outlined advice for people who become unwell while on holiday in England:

                  • Guests who develop coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms while staying in overnight accommodation should inform the accommodation provider immediately, self-isolate and request a test by calling 119 or online at
                  • Guests who test positive should return home as quickly and directly as possible, continuing to self-isolate until they can arrange for private transport.
                  • In most cases it will not be possible to self-isolate in the holiday accommodation and guests should arrange to return home as safely and quickly as possible.
                    • If the accommodation provider agrees, guests may extend their stay in order to self-isolate until they are well enough to travel. Unless otherwise provided for in contractual terms of the booking, the guest will be expected to pay the costs of an extended stay in all but exceptional circumstances.

                      As a reminder, here is guidance for accommodation providers on hosting guests that have symptoms of coronavirus 

                      General updates

                      • STA Travel Holding AG, the Swiss-based parent company of student and youth travel company STA Travel, has announced that it is filing for insolvency.
                      • Brittany Ferries has announced line suspensions and schedule changes post-August due to a fall in demand given UK quarantine on arrivals from France. 35,000 ferry passengers have cancelled/delayed their travel plans according to the company. 50,000 passengers with existing bookings are expected to be affected by these changes.
                      • In Germany all ferry ports are now located in countries which have been removed from the quarantine exemption list. This has led to a considerable number of cancellations for FIT tour operator bookings as well as coach groups for the next weeks.
                      • Negative media coverage in Spain continues due to quarantine on arrival to UK.
                      • With the quarantine back in place for France the majority of potential French visitors on social media say they will wait 2021 to travel back to the UK.

                        Trade feedback

                      • Boreal Travel AS, one of the larger tour operators in central Norway is reporting they have cancelled and refunded virtually all tours for autumn. They do not believe they will be able to complete any tours within the next six months.
                      • Classic World in Sweden have praised the support and understanding offered by UK suppliers. They have managed to move all booked tours over to 2021 due to cooperative partners. They are however struggling due to airlines not refunding cancelled flights.

                         Airline updates

                      • TAP Portugal is actively promoting travel from Brazil to Portugal as the airline resumes flights from more Brazilian cities to Lisbon with onward connections to London.
                      • From w/c 17 August, SAS flights to gradually increase from current level of 7 per week to 13 per week by early/mid-September (flight route: CPH – LHR).
                      • Wizz Air to open two new routes from Spain (Malaga and Alicante) to Doncaster from 22 October Wizz Air.
                      • Airport operator Swedavia reports that airlines are beginning to reduce capacity again from Sweden to Britain with BA, SAS and Ryanair included. Swedavia will also go through another round of redundancies which will be announced in two weeks’ time.
                      • JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes has confirmed that the airline’s transatlantic routes from London to Boston and NYC have been delayed and will likely launch in Q3 of 2021.
                      • Virgin Atlantic has postponed the return of its Manchester to Orlando route from August until October.
                      • The new wave of infections across Europe is affecting airlines. Ryanair has decided to cut one in five flights across its schedule in September and October. The destinations most affected are France, Spain, Sweden and Ireland.

                         Situation update 25 August 2020

                    • To see the number of cases of COVID-19 in England and the UK visit the UK COVID-19 dashboard.
                    • To see the number of cases globally see the World Health Organisation dashboard.


                  BVEP logo

                  TIER Update - 21 August 2020

                  New measures announced today for Oldham, parts of Pendle and Blackburn

                  Additional restrictions will be introduced in Oldham, parts of Pendle and Blackburn from midnight on Saturday to curb the rising number of COVID-19 cases.


                  The measures include:

                  • Local residents in these three areas cannot socialise with anyone from outside their household.
                  • Social activities indoors and outdoors can only be shared with people that you live with and in your immediate household
                  • People can still shop, go to work, send children to childcare and to school (which open from 1 September)
                  • Residents are advised to avoid using public transport except for essential travel
                  • The number of people who can attend weddings, civil partnerships and funerals has been reduced and should be limited to household members and close family (no more than 20 people).
                  • Local restaurants are encouraged to halt walk-ins, and only seat people who make reservations in advance, up to a maximum of 6 people per table.


                  The new rules – are in addition to the existing ban on indoor gatherings of more than 2 households in place across parts of Lancashire, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire.


                  Meanwhile, Birmingham has been added to this week’s watch list as an ‘area of enhanced support’, meaning the area will benefit from additional testing, locally led contact tracing and targeted community engagement. Northampton has become an ‘area of intervention’. Restrictions will be lifted in Wigan, Rossendale and Darwen. See the announcement for the detailed list of impacted areas.


                  Latest Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)and Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)figures up to end of July released


                  Key take-outs from the data include:


                  • The accommodation and food services sector has seen 77% take-up rate in terms of employments, with over £4.7 billion claimed through CJRS. With 87% of employers in this sector furloughing at least one employment.
                  • Arts, entertainment, recreation and other services, has seen 76% of employers in this sector furlough at least one employment. With a total of 474,000 employments furloughed in this sector with a take-up rate of 70% claiming £1.3 billion in total.


                  Outdoor events to be trialled in Wales and some further restrictions lifted

                  First Minister Mark Drakeford announced today that a limited number of small scale outdoor performances and sporting events are set to be trialled in Wales in an effort to begin a phased approach to the safe reopening of the events industry. Initially three small events, with limits of up to 100 people, and subject to strict risk assessments, will be held across Wales later this month.


                  Outdoor events are being prioritised in this review period, while the weather is mild, due to evidence of lower transmission of coronavirus outdoors. The Minister said if these small events can be carried out safely, and transmission of the virus remains low, it is hoped the next stage will be increased numbers of participants, allowing a limited number of spectators to attend sporting events and potentially considering trialling small scale business events.


                  He also announced some further restrictions will be lifted including:

                  From 22 August:

                  • Extended households can expand to include up to four households in an exclusive, extended arrangement.
                  • Weddings and funerals will be able to include a meal for up to 30 people, in suitably socially distant settings.


                  Subject to the successful resumption of weddings and funerals, it is hoped to further increase the range of indoor ceremonies allowed in the next review period.


                  From 29 August :

                  • Casinos will be allowed to reopen provided they follow the guidance available to them.


                  Travel Corridor update for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

                  Following yesterday’s travel corridor announcement for England, Portugal has been added to travel corridor list in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, while Croatia, Austria and Trinidad & Tobago have been removed

                  Points Based Immigration system resources for employers

                  The Home Office has published some resources to help employers understand/prepare for the new points based immigration system:

                  • Information Pack: Informative document with infographics. This outlines the process of becoming a licensed sponsor, explains the points system and suggests alternative routes for potential employees (e.g. Start-up and Innovator routes, Sports routes, short term Creative routes)
                  • Animations: Brief YouTube clips introducing the concepts: Hiring people from outside the UKSponsoring a skilled worker
                  • Email Update Subscription Link: Link for employers to sign up for live updates on the Points-based Immigration System.

                  Call for evidence for integrated review of security, defence, development and foreign policy

                  The Government is calling for evidence for the integrated review of security, defence, development and foreign policy. The Review will cover all aspects of international and national security policy, such as defence, diplomacy, development and national resilience. It will re-examine the UK’s priorities and objectives in light of the UK’s departure from the European Union and at a time when the global landscape is changing rapidly, including as a result of COVID-19. Further details along with the “call for evidence” questions, a response template and email address to return the evidence to Government can be found here.

                  Other Government updates

                  Industry updates


                  Situation update 21 August 2020




                  • Impact of Eat Out to Help Out

                  The ONs has produced new research which, among other things, shows the very positive impact that the Eat Out to help Out initiative is having. In particular,

                    • 93% of people know of the scheme – which is an incredibly high recognition rate
                    • 11% of all people have taken advantage of the scheme so far which, again, is a very high take-up rate
                    • The percentage of people who left home to eat out has risen from 21% to 34% in the two weeks of the scheme’s operation


                  The one worrying factor is that the percentage o people who say that they are comfortable eating inside at a restaurant has only risen from 37% to 43% since the beginning of August so there is still considerable work that still needs to be done in terms of reassurance.





                  The same research found that Coronavirus is having a significant impact on holiday plans, not just for travel overseas but for domestic tourism as well.

                    • 40% of people say that they have no travel plans this year
                    • 27% of adults said they were either likely or very likely to go on holiday in the UK this summer
                    • 6% said they were likely or very likely to go on holiday abroad (down from 9% last week)
                    • Only 8% of people said they would be likely to travel overseas knowing that they had to self-isolate for 14 days
                    • 18% reported that they had cancelled their travel plans
                    • 14% said they had decided to holiday in the UK instead of travelling abroad this year – which is lower than many people would have expected.


                  • Latest National Museums Figures

                  There is some improvement in the visitor figures for the national museums – up to 15.1 % of average from 12.8% last week. It is worth noting that a lot of the decline is associated with social distancing requirements and the need to pre-book tickets but a quick check of ticket availability on their websites suggests that there is significant spare capacity. 



                  • R Rate and Growth Rates

                  The Government has just published this weeks R and Growth Rates - the R Rate is now 0.9-1.1 and the growth rate is -3% to +1%. Of particular note is that the R rate is at it’s highest level since figures were first published in May. 



                  • SEISS  Statistics

                  HMRC has published data on the uptake of the SEISS scheme. What is notable is that of the 5m self-employed people in the UK, only 52% (2.6m) received support. In the accommodation and food services sector, the figures are even worse with only 48% receiving support. A lot of this will be because whose self-employed are structured as a company rather than a sole trader, their trading profit was less than their income from other sources or were self-catering operators whose income was deemed to be from property investment.


                  • Face Mask Update

                  The facemask Guidance has been updated again to reflect that with spectators to be allowed back into watch professional sports events soon, face coverings will be required in sports stadiums. The exemptions section on when face coverings are not required has also been updated to give added guidance related to a range of scenarios such as being asked for age verification before selling alcohol.




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                  TIER Update - 20 August 2020

                  Portugal added to travel corridor list in England; Croatia, Austria and Trinidad & Tobago removed

                  From Saturday 22 August, people arriving in England from Croatia, Austria and Trinidad & Tobago will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) will update its travel advice to advise British travellers against visiting these destinations due to rising incidence rates of COVID-19.


                  Portugal has been added to the list of countries exempt from quarantine requirements, so from Saturday 22 August people arriving in England from Portugal will not be required to self-isolate. The FCO will also update its travel advice so it no longer advises against travel to Portugal from 22 August.


                  Swimming pools and indoor sports courts in Scotland to reopen from 31 August

                  First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that gyms, swimming pools and indoor sports courts can reopen in Scotland from 31 August subject to guidance.


                  From 24 August organised outdoor contact sports, some outdoor live events, driving lessons, child contact centres, face-to-face advice services, bingo halls, amusement arcades and casinos, snooker and pool halls, indoor bowling and both static and travelling funfairs can re-open – subject to strict adherence to guidance and appropriate safety measures such as physical distancing.

                  With effect from Monday 14 September (indicative dates only – conditional on 10 September review), it is hoped the following will also be able to re-open:

                  • Certain indoor live events – with physical distancing, enhanced hygiene and restricted numbers – following guidance. Work will be undertaken with the sector on options for pilot events.
                  • Other indoor entertainment venues – following guidance with physical distancing requirements (e.g. theatres, live music venues). Not nightclubs.
                  • Indoor sports courts– including skating and dance studios – can be used by adults and young people (12+) for contact sports – subject to guidance.
                  • Stadia – limited re-opening – following guidance (e.g. physical distancing, restricted numbers) – with option for testing on earlier dates subject to agreement with government.
                  • Outdoor focussed standing live events – with physical distancing, enhanced hygiene, and restricted numbers – following guidance. Work will be undertaken with the sector on options for larger pilot events.
                  • Indoor soft play – following guidance (e.g. no ball pools, enhanced hygiene).

                  Hospitality businesses in Wales to collect customer info to support Test, Trace, Protect

                  All hospitality businesses and high-risk settings must collect customers’ name and phone number to assist with the Test, Trace, Protect (TTP) approach. The following businesses or premises must collect and retain contact information for 21 days:

                  • Hospitality, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes.
                  • Cinemas.
                  • Close contact services including hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, tattooists, sports and massage therapists.
                  • Swimming pools, indoor fitness studios, gyms, spas or other indoor leisure centres or facilities.


                  Bilingual posters are available for download to help explain to customers why their contact information is being collected as a legal requirement.


                  Essential travel restriction on public transport has been lifted in Wales

                  The essential travel restriction on public transport has been lifted, opening trains and buses for non-essential travel in Wales. The requirement to wear a face covering on public transport in Wales remains in place.

                  Extensions to seasonal occupancy of caravan sites in Wales, planning guide available

                  A booklet has been written for caravan site owners and operators as a guide to making planning applications to allow existing caravan sites to open all year where seasonal occupancy conditions prevent this. The guide has been prepared in light of the implications for caravan site businesses from the COVID-19 restrictions. 


                  Restrictions on gatherings reintroduced in Northern Ireland

                  Northern Ireland’s Health Minister Robin Swann, Chief Medical Officer and Dr. Michael McBride gave an update on the changes of restrictions on gatherings that will come into force next week due to the increase in positive COVID-19 cases.


                  The new restrictions include:

                  • Indoor gatherings will be reduced from 10 people from four different households to six people from two different households
                  • Outdoor gatherings will be reduced from 30 to 15 people.

                  Watch the full briefing.


                  Other government updates

                  • A new video is available about claiming the second grant through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Registration for live webinars to learn more about the scheme is also available.
                  • Updated weekly data (up to end of Sunday 16 August) is now available for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, VAT payments deferral scheme and the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme.
                  • Early experimental data has been updated on the impact of coronavirus on the UK economy and society, including data on the business impacts of the coronavirus, social impacts on Great Britain, footfall, online job adverts, online price changes for high-demand products and trends in shipping. Latest report includes data collected up to 16 August.


                  Situation update 20 August 2020




                  • Keeping Track of Local Spikes in Coronavirus

                  You may have noticed on the news today that Birmingham may be added to the Government’s Coronavirus watchlist as an “Area of Concern”. If you are unsure what this means, here’s a quick explainer:


                  Public Health England publish a weekly National Surveillance Report which pulls together all the information on Coronavirus cases across the country. From this they develop a Watchlist by considering the local authorities with the highest weekly incidence rate, the trend in this rate, and a range of other indicators including the test positivity rate, an assessment of the local response and plans, and healthcare activity.


                  There is a three stage classification given to areas added to the watchlist:

                  1. Areas of concern

                  This is where cases are increasing and local targeted actions are needed to reduce prevalence e.g. additional testing in care homes and increased community engagement with high risk groups

                  1. Areas for enhanced support

                  If local targeted actions don’t succeed, areas move on to Enhanced Support where a more detailed plan agreed with the national team is implemented, with additional resources being provided to support the local team (e.g. epidemiological expertise, additional mobile testing capacity)

                  1. Areas of intervention

                  If the enhanced support fails to bring the outbreak under control, a further detailed action plan is implemented which includes changes to the rules on social distancing and business operations.


                  So by keeping an eye on the weekly National Surveillance Reports, you can see the trends in watchlist areas and let members know where they might expect restrictions to occur or be  removed. Here’s a link to last the latest Report:


                  • Further ONS Data

                  ONs has produced another report on economic and social trends which has some interesting data including

                    • Footfall across all retail locations rose to 68% of what it was last year, despite the need to wear face masks in most shops
                    • 95% of businesses in the UK are now open
                    • Only 12% of the workforce is now on furlough
                    • 57% of businesses reported that their turnover had decreased below what is normally expected for this time of year
                    • Only 11% of businesses said that they faced a moderate or severe risk of insolvency




                  • HMRC CJRS Repayment Phoneline and Videos

                  HMRC have implemented a new phone service for businesses that want to make a voluntary repayment of any money that has been overpaid through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and where the company is not submitting anther claim. The number is  0300 322 9430


                  HMRC have also updated their Self-Employment Income Support Scheme videos for claiming the second grant and for Universal Credit and Child Benefit.


                  • Duty Free Shopping Campaign

                  The Tourism Alliance is supporting New West End Company’s campaign to extend tax-free shopping to visitors from EU member states at the end of the Transition Period on December 31st 2020 as one of a package of measures needed to support the recovery of international tourism. Two thirds of visitors to the UK are from the EU and VB research shows that around a quarter of all overseas visitor expenditure in the UK is on shopping – which means that offering tax free shopping would be a big incentive for Europeans to visit the UK.


                  The New West End Company has calculated that moving to duty free shopping for EU members could add over £2.3 billion to retail and tourism sales annually and it is kicking-off the campaign  with a letter from New West End Company Chairman, Sir Peter Rogers, to the Financial Secretary to the Treasury.


                  Tourism Alliance members are urged to add their name to this letter to reflect the benefits that allowing duty free shopping would bring to the recovery of the UK tourism industry


                  You can read the letter here:



                  and add your company’s details to be a cosignatory by clicking here:



                  • English Language School Position Paper

                  One of the sectors that has been particularly impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak is the EFL. In additional to not being eligible for business rates support and being impacted by the decline in inbound travel, the sector is also being significantly impacted by uncertainly surrounding Brexit and the Government’s policy of phasing out the ability of EU nationals to use  national ID cards to travel to the UK, which will have a significant impact on youth and family travel.


                  They have produced an excellent position paper laying out the value of the sector to the UK and local economies and the measures that need to be undertaken to support this sector. This includes:

                    • Extend visa validity periods for those unable to travel during the pandemic and if up-to-date information is required for such students, the original fee to cover the application.
                    • Keep ID-card travel for under-18 EU/ EEA/ Swiss group travel.
                    • Enable students already studying to apply for a new visa for further study (e.g. at an HEI) without leaving the country




                  • Points-Based Immigration System: Employer Information

                  The Home Office has just updated its guidance on the Points based Immigration System to provide employees an overview of the new system and explains how employers are affected. The updated guidance and two new video explainers are available on the following link



                  From 1 January 2021, if businesses want to recruit anyone from outside the UK you must be a Home Office licensed sponsor. If any of your members are thinking of recruiting from overseas next year, they should apply to be a sponsor now. Details on how to do this are on the following link



                  Finally, if any of your members would like to be kept updated on the new immigration system they can sign up to receive email updates on the new immigration system here



                  BVEP logo

                  TIER Update - 19 August 2020

                  Further advice on wearing a face covering

                  • Guides: Speaking as a guide comes under the exemption that it is required for their job (e.g. a vicar giving a sermon or news reporter is in a similar position) and don't have to wear a face covering for this reason.
                  • For private coaches: passengers wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged as it is an enclosed public space. Although coaches are private transport vehicles, if it is a tour group, generally people will be mixing with people outside of their household so they should wear face coverings. See also the Guidance on face coverings for public transport

                  Updated Visa Application Centre closure advice

                  Updated guidance is available for customers outside of the UK who may be affected by VAC closures, it states:

                  “If your VAC is still closed due to coronavirus restrictions, you can visit a VAC in any country worldwide, subject to that country’s entry requirements, to submit your application and biometrics. You’ll be able to make any type of application. This temporary concession will be reviewed by 30 November 2020.”


                  Other Government updates


                  • Spectator guidance has been updated and added to the phased return of sport and recreation guidance.
                  • Updated data until 16 August is available for how local authorities have received and distributed funding to support small and medium businesses in England during coronavirus.
                  • The latest data for transport use during COVID-19 has been published.


                  Industry updates

                  • Collinson and Swissport have announced a COVID-19 testing facility is set up and ready for use at Heathrow Airport Terminal 2 with another to be ready for use by the end of August in Terminal 5.
                  • Following the UK Government’s quarantine announcement last week, Brittany Ferries has announced a consolidation of their schedules, that will begin from the end of August.

                  Situation update 19 August 2020




                  • Check if Simplified Expenses Could Save Your Business Money

                  This is not strictly coronavirus related but helpful for sole traders or business partnerships that want to cut costs at the moment. BEIS has updated its online tool for these businesses to assess whether transferring to the Simplified Expenses scheme could save them money.





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                  TIER Update - 17 August 2020

                  Second round of claims for Self-Employment Income Support Scheme now open for businesses impacted since 14 July

                  The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme claim service is now accepting the second round of applications. Eligible self-employed applicants may apply to receive a second and final government grant worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits, up to £6,570.


                  Anyone whose self-employed business has been adversely affected by coronavirus since 14 July is eligible to apply for the scheme. Guidance is available to help potential applicants decide if your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus, check if you’re eligible for the scheme and learn about how different circumstances might affect your eligibility to submit a claim.



                  DfT advice on self-isolation after transiting through non-travel corridor countries

                  Further to our update on Friday regarding self-isolation after transiting through countries by car, ferry, coaches, trains, etc that are not exempt from quarantine rules, advice from DfT today is as follows:

                  The circumstances of whether self-isolation would be required is governed by that of the transport operator – so for Eurotunnel this is very straightforward as travellers do not need to exit their vehicle and therefore can avoid mixing with people. Unfortunately this would be more difficult for those travelling by ferry as passengers need to disembark their vehicle and leave the car deck, so would mix with other travellers before arriving back in the UK, and therefore need to self-isolate.


                  Here is the guidance for quarantining after travelling through transit stops and travelling with private vehicles:

                  Transit stops

                  A transit stop is a stop where passengers can get on or off. It can apply to coaches, ferries, trains or flights. Your ticket should show if a stop is a transit stop.

                  If your journey involves a transit stop in a country not on the list, you will need to self-isolate when you arrive in England if:

                  • New passengers get on
                  • You or other passengers get off the transport you are on and mix with other people, then get on again

                  You don’t need to self-isolate beyond normal timescales if, during your transit stop in a non-exempt country:

                  • No new passengers get on
                  • No-one on-board gets off and mixes with people outside
                  • Passengers get off but do not get back on


                  Private vehicles

                  You don’t need to self-isolate if you travel through a non-exempt country and you don’t stop in the country.

                  If you do make a stop, you don’t need to self-isolate if:

                  • No new people get into the vehicle
                  • No-one in the vehicle gets out, mixes with other people, and gets in again


                  You do need to self-isolate if you make a stop and:

                  • New people get into the vehicle, or
                  • Someone gets out of the vehicle, mixes with other people and gets in again  

                  Situation update 17 August 2020



                  BVEP logo

                  TIER Update - 14 August 2020

                  The Government made a number of important announcements last night which will impact on tourism businesses.

                   Approved Travel List

                  As you may know, the Joint Biosecurity Centre, Public Health England and Ministers hold a weekly meeting where they review the exemption list for Air Corridors. At yesterday’s meeting they agreed to remove France, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, the Turks and Caicos Islands and Aruba from the approved travel list due to spikes in Coronavirus cases in these countries. These removals apply to England and are effective from 04:00 tomorrow. The cost, disruption and lack of confidence they cause to both businesses and consumers again highlights the need to develop a more stable system for facilitating international travel which is robust enough to remain in place when spikes occur in different destinations.




                   Permitted Activities

                  Last night the Prime Minister announced the removal of restriction on certain businesses and activities. This means that, from tomorrow, the following are permitted:


                    • Indoor theatres, music and performance venues will be able to reopen with socially distanced audiences under updated performing arts guidance published by the Government. This follows a successful series of pilots and marks stage 4 of the government’s 5-stage roadmap for the return of professional performing arts
                    • Wedding receptionsin the form of a sit-down meal in a COVID-secure location for up to 30 guests will now be permitted.
                    • The piloting of a small number of sporting events to test the safe return of spectators will resume from August 15 with a view to reopening competition venues for sports fans, with social distancing measures in place from 1 October. This will commence with the final of the World Snooker Championship at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre during 15-16 August, with a full pilot programme to follow.
                    • Indoor play and indoor soft play, bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos will be permitted to reopen.
                    • Beauty salons, spas and barbers across England will be able to offer all close contact services – including front of the face treatments such as eyebrow threading, eyelash treatments and facials from August 15 under new guidance.
                    • A number of pilots will now take place at event venues across the country to help plan how best to restart indoor business events and implement social distancing practices. Business events and conferences will be permitted to resume from 1 October provided rates of infection remain at current levels.


                  It should also be noted that the Prime Minister also announced that fines will double to a maximum of £3,200 for those who repeatedly flout face covering rules and that few fines to be introduced for people hosting unlawful gatherings of more than 30 people


                  DCMS Coronavirus Impact Business Survey - Wave 2 DCMS invites you - and the businesses that you represent - to take part in a second round of a survey being conducted to understand the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on organisations in the digital, culture, media, sport, gambling, telecoms, and tourism sectors. This survey has been commissioned by DCMS to better understand the needs of its stakeholders. Your answer will remain anonymous and will be used to inform DCMS’ preparedness efforts. The survey should take around 10-20 minutes and can be found here. The deadline for responses to the survey will be at 23:59 GMT on 8th September 2020.


                  Changes to restrictions in Wales and amendments to regulations to make collecting customer contact details mandatory

                  First Minister Mark Drakeford announced today that if conditions remain stable over the next week, people will be able to see more of their family and friends as part of the next review of Wales’ coronavirus restrictions:


                  The intention is that from Saturday 22nd August:

                  • Up to four households will be able to join together to form a single extended household.
                  • A meal following a wedding, civil partnership or funeral will be allowed for up to 30 people indoors if social distancing can be maintained.


                  However, the Welsh Government will not be making any changes to the rules on people meeting indoors with people who aren’t part of their household or extended household.


                  The Welsh Government has also introduced new enforcement powers to make sure all premises follow COVID rules. Amendments to the regulations will come into force next week to make it obligatory for hospitality businesses and other high-risk settings to collect contact details of customers. The Welsh Government recently strengthened the powers local authorities have to enforce these regulations. 


                  New regulations for collecting customer contact details in Scotland

                  Regulations introduced in Scotland today make it mandatory for hospitality settings to collect the contact details of visitors to their premises in support of Test and Protect. The new regulations apply to restaurants, cafes, pubs and hotels in which food or drink are sold for consumption on the premises.


                  These businesses must now record:

                  • Name and contact number of an individual - or lead member of each household in a group - that visits the premises.
                  • Record the date of the visit, the time of arrival, and where possible the departure time.


                  The new regulations include customers, staff working on a particular day and visitors such as delivery drivers or cleaners. Premises must store the information for 21 days and share it when requested to do so by public health officers within 24 hours.


                  New statutory guidance for the hospitality sector has also been published which explains how to keep a record of customer and visitor contact details securely ensuring data protection principles are upheld. The Scottish Government has also published updated guidance for hospitality customers to reinforce key safety measures, including physical distancing and the strict limits on the number of households that can meet at a time - 8 people from up to 3 households indoors and 15 people from up to 5 households outdoors.


                  DfT advice on transit stops

                  Following enquiries regarding what constitutes transit for people travelling from a country covered by the travel corridor exemption, through a non-exempt country to England via, e.g. a ferry, DfT advice is as follows:


                  A transit stop is a stop where passengers can get on or off. It can apply to coaches, ferries, trains or flights. Your ticket should show if a stop is a transit stop.
                  If your journey involves a transit stop in a country not on the list, you will need to self-isolate when you arrive in England if:

                  • New passengers get on
                  • You or other passengers get off the transport you are on and mix with other people, then get on again

                  You don’t need to self-isolate beyond normal timescales if, during your transit stop in a non-exempt country:

                  • No new passengers get on
                  • No-one on-board gets off and mixes with people outside
                  • Passengers get off but do not get back on


                  Ferries should have safety measures in place on board (social distancing, face coverings, etc.) so passengers should not need to self-isolate unless they have made a transit stop en-route to the ferry


                  ONS COVID-19 round-up

                  See the latest data and analysis from ONS related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its impact on our economy and society.

                  Some key findings on going on holiday include:

                  • A third of adults (33%) in the UK have said that their household would not be able to afford a week’s holiday this year.
                  • They were asked about their holiday plans this year, amid the disruption in the tourism industry caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and 59% said they could afford a week away.
                  • Just 10% of adults said they were likely or very likely to travel abroad with the knowledge that they would have to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to the UK. 62% said they were very unlikely to travel if this were the case.
                  • Adults said the requirement for self-isolation upon return from outside the UK had affected their travel plans, and 1 in 5 (20%) reported that they had cancelled their travel plans, and 14% said they’d decided to holiday in the UK instead of travelling abroad this year.


                  There is also a section on services, production and construction which shows impact on accommodation and food services.


                  Other Government updates



                  Situation update 14 August 2020




                  Quite a large update today as the announcement’s last night have had a knock-on effect on other guidance, plus a survey for you to distribute to your members and figures on the public’s perception of undertaking various tourism-related activities such as visiting the national museums, going to pubs and restaurants and going on holiday overseas. I’m going to be out of the office on Monday but will be back with updates from the Tuesday – in the meantime, have a good weekend. 


                  • Face Covering Requirements

                  With the announcement that further businesses and activities are being allowed to reopen, the guidance on wearing face coverings has been updated to say that face coverings are required in casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor play areas, exhibition halls and conference centres.


                  • Clarification on Spas Reopening

                  While spas will be able to reopen from tomorrow, the updated guidance from Government for Close Contact Services says that Saunas and Steam Rooms should remain closed until further notice and that the use of changing rooms should still be discouraged wherever possible with customers advised to change and shower in their rooms or at home.



                  • DHSC Local Lockdown Email

                  The Department for Health and Social Care has set up a new email address that businesses and business representative bodies in lockdown areas can use raise any queries that they have with regards to local rules and requirements. The address is


                  • Changes in Wales

                  First Minister, Mark Drakeford, has announced that from Saturday 22nd August:

                    • Up to four households will be able to join together to form a single extended household.
                    • A meal following a wedding, civil partnership or funeral will be allowed for up to 30 people indoors if social distancing can be maintained.


                  However, he also stated that the Welsh Government will not be making any changes to the rules on people meeting indoors with people who aren’t part of their household or extended household. This means that people should only visit pubs, restaurants or other places indoors with people from their household or extended household.



                  • FCO Travel Advice

                  In line with the announcement that the France, Netherlands, Malta, Monaco and  the FCO has updated its travel advice to advise against non-essential international travel to these countries. The list of countries and territories exempt from the FCO’s general advice against ‘all but essential’ international travel can be found on the following link:    


                  • Working Safely Updates

                  Again, with the easing of restrictions announced last night the performing arts and Close Contact Working safety Guidance has been updated.  Apart from the obvious businesses, this will also be of importance to businesses such as holiday parks, attractions and hotels that provide these types of activities and services.


                  Performing Arts



                  Close Contact Services



                  • National Museum Figures

                  The visitor figures for the week until 9th August have been published. Since the previous week the Natural History Museum, while the Imperial War Museum and the V&A have partially opened which is good news. Footfall however, at an average of 10%, remains very depressed but at least is up from the previous week’s 8.8%


                  • Coronavirus Tourism and Hospitality Impacts

                  Another piece of research from the ONS on the impact that Coronavirus is having on people’s behaviour. This latest research covers the period of 5-9th August so comes after the first week of “Eat Out to Help Out”. It shows that:

                    • 40%  of people feel comfortable or very comfortable eating indoors at a restaurant, an increase from 37% last week, and 34% the week before
                    • Of adults who left their homes this week, 28% said they had visited a café, pub or restaurant, an increase from 10% four weeks ago
                    • 62% of people said they were very unlikely to travel abroad on holiday if they had to self-isolate at home for two weeks upon their return to the UK
                    • 20% of people said they had cancelled travel plans abroad because of rules that say people need to self-isolate at home for two weeks upon returning to the UK from certain foreign countries.



                  • Updated Guidance on Applying to Enter or Remain in the UK

                  The Home Office has updated guidance for people applying to enter the UK or remain on the basis of family or private life and also how to apply for a visa to enter the UK is the VAC is closed.



                  • Transport Demand Management Toolkit for Local Authorities

                  DFT have published a new public transport demand management toolkit for English local authorities outside London to help them adjust to the expected increase in demand for public transport when the schools reopen. The toolkit provides a five step plan for managing increased demand – the steps, which are hard to argue against, being:

                    • Collect and Analyse Data
                    • Identify Possible Solutions
                    • Implementation of Solutions
                    • Implementation of Marketing and Communications
                    • Monitor, Evaluate and Adapt




                  BVEP logo

                  TIER Update - 13 August 2020


                  Here is today’s update, which includes the latest Consumer Sentiment tracker report from VisitBritain (full report attached). Also included is VisitBritain’s report on consumer sentiment in France and Germany.

                  VisitBritain report: consumer sentiment in France and Germany


                  A new report on Coronavirus consumer sentiment testing in France and Germany is available. The report revealed that 12% of the French and 11% of the Germans who plan to go on a holiday abroad in the next six months consider travelling to Britain.

                  Consumer Sentiment Tracker report from VisitBritain (Week 12)

                  Please find attached the latest draft of our UK COVID-19 Consumer Tracker Report for week 12, based on fieldwork from 3-7 August. Some key findings from this week:

                  A continuation of negative publicity surrounding local lockdowns and retraction of some travel corridor exemptions from quarantine continues to have an impact on results. Over half of UK adults (51%) believe that the worst is still to come, a significant increase on week 11 and the highest level so far since the survey began.


                  Only 15% are now expecting ‘normality’ by the end of this year and confidence in the ability to take a domestic trip between Oct-Dec continues to slowly decline to 38%. For those lacking confidence around winter trips, concerns around catching coronavirus is a major factor (with 52% citing this) but in second and third positions we see people saying ‘restrictions on travel from government’ and ‘it’s not responsible to travel’, which may be linked to new self-quarantine rules on returning from some destinations.


                  More positively, over half (57%) of Summer Intenders have already planned their trip and 49% have committed to booking it. Of course, the broader challenge is encouraging more bookings from Winter Intenders (for trips between October 2020 – March 2021) which currently stands at 20%, although this proportion has reassuringly increased again this week.


                  Other points of note:

                  • At just 12%, significantly fewer UK adults think ‘the worst has past’ regarding the coronavirus situation compared to last week. This represents the lowest proportion recorded thus far in the survey.
                  • As for when people feel things will be returning ‘close to normal’, this is also exhibiting decline. As might be expected, fewer UK adults (3%) are predicting ‘normality’ to return by September. However, if we extend the time horizon to the end of the year, we now only see 15% expecting ‘normality’ by December. This is a significant decline on the 22% reported in week 11.
                  • After four weeks of decline, confidence in the ability to take a (hypothetically booked) UK holiday during August increases slightly to 31% (+1%) as fieldwork took place the first week of August. However for the October-December period we see another decline to 38%
                  • The main reason cited among those lacking confidence is having ‘concerns about catching COVID-19’, equally for trips during summer and the winter period. Other barriers for both summer and winter trips are now linked to ‘restrictions on travel from government’ and concern that ‘it’s not responsible to travel in this period’ which may be linked to fears over a second wave.
                  • The proportion expecting to go on a domestic short break or holiday by this September has fallen for the third consecutive week to 19%, although this figure is likely to diminish through the summer as holiday intenders become takers. 30% of adults intend to, or have already taken a domestic short break or holiday between July-Sept.
                  • Over half of Summer Intenders have already planned their trip (57%), with 49% claiming to have also already booked it. The level of commitment from Winter Intenders is substantially lower, with 24% at the planning stage and 20% claiming to have booked their trip.
                  • Of the reassurances people are seeking in order to feel comfortable staying with an accommodation provider, measures to reduce contamination (e.g. hand sanitisers and enhanced cleaning regimes) are as important as booking incentives such as ‘free cancellation’ (60%) and measures designed encourage social distancing. A government or industry certification mark is cited by 49%, again up on last week.

                  Reducing transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19)

                  The government has published guidance summarising advice for the public to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) and rounding up resources to find more information. 


                  Other government updates

                  Situation update 13 August 2020




                  • Love Culture Week

                    As part of the Government’s ongoing “Enjoy Summer Safely” campaign, next week will be “Love Culture Week” which will highlight museums, galleries, heritage sites, libraries, cinemas and cultural organisations across the UK. Part of this week includes “Throwback Thursday” where they want people to use the hashtag #ThrowbackThursday to post pictures from UK holidays and day trips of the past and say why you can’t wait to visit again.


                    More information and a toolkit is available on the following link



                  • Face Coverings Exemptions Toolkit

                    I’ve attached a copy of the updated Face Coverings Exemption Toolkit. Of particular note for frontline staff are the exemptions from the mandatory need for use face covering in public indoor areas of tourism business that are not associated with the provision of food and beverages. The exemptions include:

                    • young children under the age of 11
                    • not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
                    • if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause a person severe distress
                    • travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate


                  • Economic Impacts of Coronavirus

                    The latest ONS data has been released which contains some worrying data:

                    • 42% of businesses in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector reported that operating costs are exceeded turnover
                    • 16% of food and accommodation businesses are still not open (and 33% of the arts, entertainment and recreation sector)
                    • 33% of food and accommodation businesses report that business is down by over 50%
                    • only 14% of food and accommodation business report that turnover has not been impacted or has increased – compared to 40% across UK industry as a whole




                  • Excess Mortality

                    Not the most cheery subject but the Government has produced a series of regional studies on excess mortality across England. There are some interesting take-outs from the data

                    • There were significant number of non-attributed excess deaths when the Coronavirus outbreak was at its peak suggesting that the actual number of associated deaths may have need higher than the official figures
                    • In most areas, the level of excess deaths has been negative since June – meaning that although people have still been dying from Covid, the total number of deaths is lower than expected because people have not been going out and doing things which are a risk to their lives.



                  VEWG UPDATES – 13 AUGUST

                  New dates available for HMRC’s business support webinars

                    – Friday 14 August 14:15 – 15:15.

                  NHS Test and Trace App

                  The new NHS Test and Trace app begins the trial phase today with residents on the Isle of Wight and NHS Volunteer Responders across England. This will be followed shortly by residents in the London borough of Newham, as part of the country’s NHS Test and Trace service. For more information please see here.


                  Plastic Packaging Tax consultation

                  This consultation was due to close on 20th May, however the deadline for responses was extended to 20th August. Please find the consultation here.


                  Transport data

                  The Department for Transport has updated the latest data on use of transport during COVID-19. You can find more information here.


                  2020-08-10 Face Coverings Toolkit England V1.0 OFFICIAL


                  COVID-19 Consumer Tracker GB Report Week 12


                  BVEP logo


                  TIER Update - 11 August 2020

                  Brunei and Malaysia added to travel corridor list

                  From 4:00am on Tuesday 11 August 2020, passengers arriving to England from Brunei and Malaysia  will no longer need to self-isolate, so long as they haven’t been in, or transited through, any other non-exempt countries in the 14 days preceding their arrival.


                  New dates available for HMRC’s business support webinars


                  Other Government updates


                  Industry updates

                  • Costa Cruises is planning to restart its operations from Italian ports gradually from 6 September.  
                  • P&O cruises has extended their pause of operations until 12 November 2020 and cancelled a selection of longer term cruises until 31 March 2021.
                  • Seabourn, has announced that it will cancel upcoming voyages for three cruise ships in its fleet as a part of its pause in global ship operations. The announcement applies to Seabourn Encore, Seabourn Ovation, and Seabourn Sojourn with each ship having a different “effective through” date.


                  Situation update 11 August 2020




                  • UK Internal Market Consultation – comments required :

                  I know everyone has been focused on Coronavirus issues but I just wanted to remind you that submissions on BEIS's Internal Market White Paper closes on Thursday. The paper (link below) proposes to enshrine in law two principles to protect the flow of goods and services in the UK's Internal Market: the principle of mutual recognition and the principle of non-discrimination.



                  The reason that the paper is needed is that, post Brexit, many of the powers previously delegated to the EU will be assigned to the devolved administrations. As a result, there is the possibility of future diverge on issues such as standards, regulatory issues and qualifications that could disrupt the efficiency of the internal market.


                  From a tourism perspective, both domestic tourism and international tourism rely on the sale of products and services, and the transport of people, across borders within the UK. It is therefore important that there is as little internal divergence as possible. If you have any specific comments or examples that you would like included in a submission, can you let me know by the end of play tomorrow at


                  • Eat Out To Help Out Take-Up

                  HM Treasury has published figures that show that there has been a very high take-up of the Eat Out to Help Out initiative. After the first week of operation 83,000 business premises had signed up to the scheme and 10.5m covers claimed for with a value of £53.7m. However, what is noticeable is that only 22,000 business premises had put in claims. It may well be that other businesses used the scheme last week and haven’t yet put in claims, meaning the take-up was even larger.


                  What is also interesting in the HMRC update is that the number of people on furlough has not changed from the 9.6m recorded last week and is greater than the 9.3m people that were on furlough before most parts of the tourism and hospitality industry reopened on 4th July. However, the amount claimed through the scheme was only £0.9bn last week compared to £2.1bn the week before and £1.9bn the week before that, which suggests that many of those on furlough are now on flexible furlough rather than fully furloughed.



                  • Shop Local Week

                  This week is Shop Local Week – the latest part of the government’s Enjoy Summer Safely campaign. This campaign, along with “Eat Out to Help Out” is designed to rebuild consumer confidence by encouraging people back out onto the high street. The emphasis is on protecting jobs and the heart of local communities.



                  • Updated Visa Guidance

                  The Home office has updated it’s visa guidance for those people coming to the UK via the Global Talent, Start-Up and Innovator visa routes to say that if an endorsement has expired because the person has not been able to travel to the UK, they may still be eligible for a visa.



                  • Updated Q&A on RDPE Growth Programme Funding

                  If there is anyone who is involved in a RDPE project or is putting in a bid in as part of the Round 3 call, DEFRA and MHCLG have updated their Q&A to provide guidance if there are Covid-related issues associated with completing projects or submitting bids.




                  BVEP logo

                  TIER Update - 10 August 2020

                  Consumers urged to support local high street for Shop Local Week (10-16 August)

                  Shoppers across the UK are encouraged to support their local businesses during Shop Local Week (10-16 August), part of the government’s Enjoy Summer Safely campaign. As part of Shop Local Week, the government has shared eight reasons why customers should shop local this week and is providing digital assets to small businesses to help them engage customers in person and online, including template digital content to share with online followers.



                  Other government updates

                  • As part of the lockdown restrictions in Leicester, people from different households may not meet in private homes or gardens or travel beyond the protected area in Leicester to meet people in these private spaces. Exceptions include people entering a private home for work, such as cleaners or childcare providers.
                  • From 10 October 2020, Companies House will resume the compulsory strike off process, taking steps to remove a company from the register if there is reasonable cause to believe it is no longer in operation. 

                  Industry updates

                  • The 2021 edition of the Business Travel Show has been postponed to 22-23 June 2021. The exhibition will be held at ExCeL London and will take a hybrid format, offering virtual content as well as the in-person event.
                  • British Airways has extended their flexible booking policy for customers booking flights and holidays through September 2020, covering journeys for a whole year up to 31 August 2021. Customers may change the dates and destination of their booking without incurring a change fee, or cancel their booking and receive a voucher for use at a later date. 

                  Situation update 10 August 2020




                  • DCMS Request on Employer Liability and Public Liability Insurance - I’ve received a request from DCMS for any comments or insights on how the Employer Liability and Public Liability markets are operating at the moment to determine whether any Government intervention is needed.  HM Treasury is of the view that the coronavirus outbreak doesn’t seem to be causing businesses any problems in gaining these insurances or significantly increased premiums for businesses. However, they want to check with different sectors to make sure that this is the case.  Therefore, can you let me know (by email at by the close of play on Wednesday whether you are receiving any reports from your members of problems in this regard.


                  • LGA Guidance to Local Authorities on Outdoor Events

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



                  • Preston Included in Lockdown Area

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



                  • Small Business Grant Fund

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



                  • Home Testing Service

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




                  • Accommodation Guidance for Lockdown Areas

                  Late Friday the Government published new guidance for people travelling into lockdown areas.  The new Guidance is that:

                  • People can only stay in a private home - which includes self-catered accommodation such as holiday cottages, apartments or boats - with members of their own household and support bubble
                  • People can stay in a hotel or similar accommodation (for example, a hostel or bed and breakfast) with another household, but should avoid sharing rooms with people they do not live with or socialise indoors, for example in each other's rooms, in reception areas, or in restaurants and bars
                  • People are advised against sharing a caravan with another household.
                  • People currently on holiday with another household in a lockdown area that are staying in a private home, where it unreasonable to curtail their stay, should finish their holiday as planned.



                  BVEP logo

                  TIER Update - 7 August 2020

                  Guidance on holidays in areas with local coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions in England


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


                  Staying inside the area

                  Steps you should take

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


                    Travelling outside the area

                    Steps you should take

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


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


                  Read the full guidance to find out more.


                  Reopening update for Wales

                  Swimming pools, indoor fitness studios, gyms and leisure centres will be able to re-open from Monday 10 August, First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed today (Friday 7 August). Children’s indoor play areas will also be able to open their doors again as part of the latest changes to the coronavirus regulations in Wales. However, areas such as ball pits, which cannot be easily cleaned, should remain closed.

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


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


                  What you’ll need to claim

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

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


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

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


                  Travel corridors update for arrivals in England

                  Andorra, The Bahamas and Belgium will be removed from the exempt list for arrivals at 4am, 8 August 2020.

                  Other Government updates
                  ·         New data published on the areas of the UK the through government-backed coronavirus loan schemes have reached.
                  ·         Data on COVID-19 Business Rates Relief has been made available
                  ·         Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) and Future Fund Scheme data is now available by Constituency.
                  ·         New information on how to calculate on how to calculate your claim for fixed pay employees who have worked enough overtime (in the tax year 2019 to 2020) to have a significant impact on the amount you need to claim for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
                  Situation update 7 August 2020




                  Here’s today’s update – hope everyone enjoys the sunshine this weekend


                  • Mandatory Face Marks Tomorrow

                  Remember that the mandatory requirement to wear a face mask in certain locations comes into force tomorrow. They are required in:

                    • Indoor places of worship.
                    • Community centres including youth centres
                    • Public areas in hotels and hostels.
                    • Concert halls, exhibition halls and other public halls.
                    • Cinemas.
                    • Museums, galleries, aquariums, indoor zoos and visitor farms, and other indoor, or indoor parts of, tourist, heritage or cultural sites.
                    • Bingo halls.
                    • Public libraries and reading rooms.




                  • North West Lockdown Legislation

                  Here’s a link to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions on Gatherings) (North of England) Regulations 2020 which set out the restrictions that apply to the North West Lockdown area. The legislation makes a distinction between private dwellings and tourism accommodation, with tourism accommodation being outside the restrictions on people meeting up in private dwellings.



                  The first review of this legislation will be 19th August 2020.


                  • Visitor Numbers to National Museums

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



                  • Social Impacts of Coronavirus

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

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


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



                  • Public Sector Relief Scheme

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



                  • Business Support by Region

                  The Treasury has published tables of business support by region. As would be expected, London and the South East are at the top of the tables from business support but it is interesting to note that less urban areas like the South West and the East of England are high up on the list for loans.



                  If you want a breakdown by local authority or constituency, you can find it here



                  • Infection Levels in England and Wales

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



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


                  VEWG Updates 07/08/2020


                  A few updates as we head into the weekend:

                  Updated guidance

                  Today the accommodation guidance has been updated to advise on local restrictions for accommodation providers - please see chapter 2.5. In addition, we have just published guidance on holidays in areas with local coronavirus restrictions.


                  Travel corridors update

                  Brunei and Malaysia have been added to the list of travel corridors for England having been assessed as posing a lower infection risk. For more information please see here.


                  Love Culture week

                  As part of the Enjoy Summer Safely campaign, there will be a Love Culture week beginning on 17th August. The Government will be highlighting museums, galleries, heritage sites, libraries, cinemas and cultural organisations, big and small, across the UK. We will be circulating a toolkit next week that will include example social media posts and draft newsletter text. 


                  Key moment: Throwback Thursday

                  On Thursday 20 August, we want you to join us and some famous faces in sharing #ThrowbackThursday snaps from your UK holidays and day trips of the past and say why you can’t wait to visit again.


                  We’re looking for sandy toes on Blackpool beach, childhood museum trips or a picture of you watching your first film and would love it if you could take a look through the archives for a throwback image of your institution for corporate channels, and encourage the public to do the same.

                  BVEP logo


                  BVEP Chairman Update - 7 August 2020


                  One Industry, One Voice Campaign Update


                  Over the last couple of weeks the news from government continues to hold large scale activation

                  across our industry back, although small steps have been taken in some areas. Both the deep

                  frustration being felt has increased, as has the focus on the need to reassure our teams, suppliers,

                  stakeholders and, above all, our clients that we can deliver Covid-19 secure meetings and events of

                  all types and that we are ready to do so. Yet so much lies outside our direct control that it was

                  inevitable that any number of campaigns to support the event industry would spring up.

                  I took an executive decision when attending an Emergency Event Leaders Summit hosted by Mash

                  Media that the BVEP was perfectly placed to help support the campaign that has morphed into One

                  industry, One voice. This was very much born out of the combined efforts of Martin Fullard leading

                  the charge via Conference News and Rick Stainton from Smyle, rallying the production, brand

                  activation, experiential and comms agencies together.


                  The key to the campaign that is now being developed is to ensure an equal weighting across the

                  different parts of the events industry and targeting the public, national press and via the campaign

                  outputs the government, leaving a legacy that we can all use to advocate for our industry moving

                  forward. We need our message to be clear and concise: how the events industry touches everyone’s

                  lives, safely and by using the power of shared experiences.


                  The campaign brief includes the following elements:

                  The Power of Events to Inspire (covering product launches, brand experiences)

                  The Power of Events to Educate (covering conferences, conventions, exhibitions)

                  The Power of Events to Celebrate (festivals, music, weddings, sport, culture)

                  The Power of Events to Support Society (third sector, charity, government)

                  The Power of Events to Grow (to show our value to GDP, regional/national economy, jobs, exports,

                  global leadership)


                  Moving at pace we have assembled an Action Group which met on Wednesday and are fine tuning a

                  brief that will be used to select a PR agency to devise and deliver the campaign. Several other work

                  streams have also been established to help share the load.


                  The initial target for the campaign was £30k and we have already secured pledges for that amount,

                  which can now been made via our recently launched just giving account at:



                  Many thanks to the team at the HBAA for organising this for the campaign - get your donations in

                  and please share as widely as possible. I’m pleased to report that several of our partners are already

                  actively involved in the campaign and I look forward to keeping everyone else up to speed with



                  Question from DCMS re: Insurance

                  This just in – verbatim from the email:

                  The Treasury is interested in gathering evidence on the impact of Covid-19 on events insurance.

                  We would be grateful if you could please share examples and intelligence on the impact of the lack

                  of Covid-19 insurance cover in the events industry, in particular for planning for 2021.

                  Please could you provide information by COP Thursday, 13th August so that I can share it with

                  colleagues in the Treasury.


                  If there are any questions, please let me know.


                  My immediate question was to ask why they were interested and what context is this information

                  going to be used in. So as usual a rather short lead time – but as I know that the team are working

                  flat out on spending review stuff, they can be forgiven. Just.


                  Insurance issues have of course been a massive challenge, so I’m confident that we can supply some

                  useful intel on this.


                  Survey Results

                  Thanks to everyone that completed the survey – such a good response we are still working our way

                  through the data and will share as soon as we have completed that.

                  Hope you all have a very good weekend. Stay safe in the sunshine too!


                  Simon Hughes


                  BVEP logo

                  TIER Update - 6 August 2020

                  20-07-30 Press
                  News UK travel update 060820

                  Filming and broadcasting at permitted visitor economy venues update

                  The Business Visits & Events Partnership has sought guidance on filming and broadcasting at permitted visitor economy venues and can share that both can take place subject to those using the premises following the guidance issued for filming from the British Film Commission or in the case of TV production the BBC. The number of persons allowed on site will be in accordance with the filming or TV production guidance. However, arrangements for meetings, accommodation or food and refreshments will need to follow the relevant visitor economy guidance. Exhibition and conference centres are not permitted venues presently and therefore not able to use their facilities for these purposes.


                  VisitBritain’s Overseas monitoring report

                  • Since the announcement of the quarantine for travellers from Spain, the Spanish Corporate Association of Specialised Travel Agencies (ACAVE) has seen a constant drip of cancellations, which up until 30 July amount to 20% of the total reservations made, this could reach 100% of the trips to the UK from Spain in August if the quarantine continues.
                  • Several German group travel operators have had to cancel planned tours with existing bookings to the South of England due to the lack of hotel availability. This was due to the current high demand and Southwest hotels no longer accepting groups with lower yields than individual bookings.

                  Covid-19 Consumer Tracker Report

                  The latest Covid-19 Consumer Tracker Report for week 11, based on fieldwork from 27-31 July.


                  These latest results may be being influenced by some of the negative publicity, both domestically and overseas, around the pandemic.  We’ve seen lockdown measures being re-introduced in Leicester and the Manchester/Bradford regions, while the spikes in cases in some parts of Spain resulted in holidaymakers returning from the country having to self-quarantine for 14 days.  This has manifested itself in just 16% of UK adults now thinking the worst has past (compared with 31% back in Week 4 of the survey).


                  Only 22% are now expecting ‘normality’ by the end of this year and confidence in the ability to take a domestic trip continues to slowly decline.  For those lacking confidence around winter trips, concerns around catching coronavirus is a major factor (with 52% citing this) but in second and third positions we see people saying ‘it’s not responsible to travel’ and ‘general unease about travelling’, which suggests reassurance is going to be a major factor in encouraging trips during this period.


                  More positively, over half of Summer Intenders have already planned their trip while 44% have committed to booking it.  Of course, the broader challenge is encouraging more bookings from Winter Intenders (for trips between October ‘20 – March ‘21) which currently stands at 17%, although this is +5 points up on Week 10.


                  Please see the full report for further details.


                  Other Government updates

                  Situation update 6 August 2020


                  CBI CJRS Factsheet

                  CBI have produced an extremely comprehensive factsheet for businesses on the changes to the CJRS and how it applies. This covering everything from the simple questions regarding rates through to how it interacts with the Apprenticeship Levy. It is an excellent reference guide for businesses.

                  Here’s a link to the new consultation on changes to the planning regime that has just been published. The main proposals are:

                  International Retail Campaign

                    The Association of International Retailers has launched a campaign to get government support for retailer impacted by the fall in inbound tourism which has impacted many retail businesses. The asks of the campaign include

                  • A VAT Reclaim scheme for EU visitors when the UK leaves the EU
                  • Targeting the big spending markets of Gulf region which currently account for 30% of all UK tax free shopping
                  • Protecting tourist and student travel from China
                  • Air Campaign

                  BVEP logo

                  TIER Update - 4 August 2020

                  Updated Visitor Economy guidance for England


                  20200803 2025 UK Border Strategy - Visitor Economy Working Group


                  The Visitor Economy guidance for England has been updated to reflect the current permissions. Of note:


                  • Guided tours of up to 30 people may take place indoors or outdoors provided businesses undertake risk assessments in line with this guidance document and put any necessary mitigations in place.


                  For the events, in summary the guidance shows:

                  1. Meetings of up to 30 people indoors are allowed in permitted venues if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance.
                  2. If permitted venues have multiple, separate meeting facilities, these can be hired out simultaneously for separate meetings/events if social distancing can be maintained, groups can be kept separate, and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance.
                  3. Business meetings and events of over 30 people should not currently take place in any venue.
                  4. Banqueting and private dining events should not currently take place in any venue. [NB. If a banqueting venue is able to operate as a restaurant (following the relevant BEIS guidance, adhering to rules on social distancing, keeping household groups/bubbles separate, etc) this would be allowed.]
                  5. Conference centres and exhibition halls remain closed. They will reopen when the balance of risk allows. Where such venues have small, separate and directly accessible meeting facilities as part of the site, these may be used to host business meetings and events of up to 30 people if social distancing can be maintained, groups can be kept separate, and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance. Business meetings and events of over 30 people should not currently take place in conference centres and exhibition halls.
                  6. Academic venues (Universities and Colleges) can use their lecture theatres and classrooms for external meetings of up to 30 people and as above, separate and directly accessible meeting facilities can be used as long as groups are kept separate and all other guidance is followed.
                  7. Basic catering can be provided at meetings and events, following the COVID-19 guidance forbars, pubs and takeaway services. However, it is advised not to hold extended sit down meals for large groups. The UKHospitality guidance may also be useful; it recommends grab and go and pre-packed food rather than buffet.
                  8. The guidance states that events should operate at a capacity allowing for compliance with social distancing of 2m, or 1m with mitigations. This should be the fundamental principle. It notes that for conferences and events, venues should consider social distancing approximately equivalent to a density of 10 per person, given the additional risks of large groups interacting in this specific environment. The pilots (when they take place) will assess the guidance and whether the mitigations suggested are appropriate/sufficient.


                  Also to note, the dining provision for groups of up to 30 would have applied to weddings only, more widely we advise against extended sit down meals for large groups. Allowing wedding receptions of up to 30 will be kept under review with the earliest start date of 15 August. Guidance will be shared as soon as it is available and cover dining provision for these specific events.


                  Receptions, award ceremonies, examinations, filming, fashion shows, product launches, team building exercises are not expected to take place until restrictions on business events are lifted. The current provisional date for this is 1 October, if public health assessments allow. It is expected that risk assessments in line with Visitor Economy and AEO guidance will need to be undertaken. The pilots will assess whether that guidance is sufficient or needs updating in anyway. We will keep you updated. Venues may also need to consider mitigations depending on specific aspects of their events (e.g. performing arts guidance on singing/dancing if relevant). 


                  Other Government updates

                  • The next review of the lockdown in Leicester will be 14 August
                  • Updated weekly data (up to end of Sunday 2 August) for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme.
                  • Estimates of cultural, digital and sporting engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic data tables have been updated with data collected in wave 2 (3-18 June)
                  • Updated weekly statistics for HMT management information about the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) and Future Fund Scheme (up to 2 August)

                  Travel industry updates

                  • Following their Q3 results easyJet has decided to expand their schedule over the fourth quarter to fly c.40% of capacity.


                  Situation update 1 August 2020


                  TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 4 AUGUST 2020


                  • More Tourism Guidance on North West Lockdown Coming

                  At the meeting with the Tourism Minister today we were informed that more guidance was being developed on how the restrictions apply in a tourism context. We’ve already sorted out a few issues such as whether two families from within the area can holiday together outside the area (they can’t) and whether there are any additional restrictions on people travelling in and out of the area using public transport such as coaches (there aren’t) and are sorting out whether two households from outside the area can still holiday together within the lockdown area. So if you have a query, please let me know and I can feed that through into the development of this further guidance.


                  On the issue of local lockdowns, the Government has also announced that the next date for considering the easing of restrictions in Leicester will be 14th August. 


                  • Give Me Space

                  The Government has produced badges (available in print or mobile phone versions) that can be used by people who have concerns regarding social distancing so that they can signal to others around them that they need to pay attention and be given space.




                  • 2025 Border Strategy Consultation

                  Not specifically Coronavirus related but certainly something that should be viewed within the context of what need to be done to help support the UK’s international tourism industry recover from the Coronavirus outbreak, the Government is consulting on a new border strategy for the UK. Attached is a copy of a presentation we were given on this today.


                  The consultation is open until 25th August and one of the main issues I’ll be pushing is the introduction of a low-cost 5 year visa as per the paper I sent round last week. If you have other issues that you would like included in the Tourism Alliance submission, please let me know.


                  Here’s a link to the consultation paper itself




                  • Government’s Advice to Itself

                  The Government has produce guidance for Government Departments on how to operate in a Covid Safe manner. This mirrors the process that businesses have been asked to undertake as part of working with employees on how to ensure that staff returning to the premises are able to do so safely. It’s also worth being aware of how Government departments will be operating as we slowly get closer to returning to in-person meetings.




                  • DCMS Taking Part Survey

                  DCMS has just published new data on consumer participation in Arts, Sports, Heritage and Digital. The survey was conducted in June – which is slightly ancient history now – but it is interesting to see the relatively high levels of public engagement on heritage and arts. In particular, 27% of people said that they had engaged with heritage and 17% of people had said that they had visited a place of interest. Although what really strikes me as impressive is that:

                    • 25% of people said that they had written a poetry, play or story
                    • 27% of people said that they had undertaken a painting, drawing, print or sculpture
                    • 28% of people said that they had taken part in a dance or music performance




                  2025 UK Border Strategy List of Workshops

                  Workshop Focus Date Time Booking link
                  Logistics Improving the user-experience for the trade of goods for the logistics industry Monday 10 August 2020 15:00 – 16:30
                  Password: BPDG2025
                  Ports and Rail Freight Improving the user-experience for the trade of goods for ports and the rail freight industry Tuesday 11 August 2020 15:00 – 16:30
                  Password: BPDG2025
                  Aviation / Air Freight Improving the user-experience for the trade of goods via air Wednesday 12 August 2020 15:00 – 16:30
                  Password: BPDG2025
                  Businesses and trade associations Improving the user-experience for the trade of goods for businesses of all sizes Thursday 13 August 2020 15:00 – 16:30
                  Password: BPDG2025
                  Customs Improving customs processes through the 2025 UK Border Strategy Tuesday 18 August 2020 15:00 – 16:30
                  Password: BPDG2025
                  Passengers Improving the user-experience for passengers and travellers Wednesday 19 August 2020 15:00 – 16:30
                  Password: BPDG2025
                  Data and technology Improving the use of technology and data to deliver the 2025 UK Border Strategy Thursday 20 August 2020 15:00 – 16:30