June 9, 2021 - June 9, 2021
Professional Development - Decoding the Future: What Comes Next?
Join us for this dynamic session to gain invaluable insights as we navigate into a post-pandemic world.
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MPI UK & Ireland CommuniTea
The first Thursday of each month, 3.30pm-4.15pm
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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 https://u.mpiweb.org/home .

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 5 May

 

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

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

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

 

Test & Trace: Contact Details Briefing session 

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Other Government updates

 

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS – 5 May

 

  • Distribution of ARG Funding

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • West End Footfall

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

 

  • Transport Use

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

 

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

 

 

TIC Update 05.05.21

 

G20 Tourism Ministers meeting

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

 

Levelling Up Fund Appraisal Guidance 

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

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

 

Other updates

 

 

TIER: COVID-19 update 30 April

 

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

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

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

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

 

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 30 APRIL

 

  • ONS Social Impacts Research

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

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

 

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

 

  • Trace and Trace Workplace Guidance

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

 

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

 

  • BVA BDRC Recovery Tracker

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

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

 

  • VisitEngland Consumer Sentiment Tracker

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

    • The national mood is up 0.1 point to 6.7/10
    • 45% of adults expect ‘normality’ by end of this year – up 1 point compared to last wave.
    • Around half of adults anticipate taking more or the same number of overnight domestic trips between now and end of the year compared to normal.  This compares with c. 30% of adults with similar intent regarding overseas trips.
    • Confidence is up significantly, with 44% fairly/very confident a trip booked for this June could proceed as planned (climbing 6 points)
    • 15% anticipate taking an overnight trip this spring (Apr – June) rising to 34% during the summer (July – Sept) which is stable wave-on-wave.
    • Among those who are intending to take a trip this summer, 33% have reached the planning and 26% the booking stages of their trips, which is up from 29% and 22% respectively last wave.
    • The leading destination type for spring trips is ‘countryside or village’ (29%) narrowly ahead of ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’ (28%).  The pattern is similar for the summer period.
    • The accommodation types most likely to be used on overnight trips this spring are ‘commercial rentals’ (e.g. holiday cottages) on 40%, ‘camping/caravan’ (also 40%), a ‘private home’ (38%) and ‘Hotel/motel/inn’ (37%). 

 

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

 

  • Latest R Number and Growth Rate

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

TIER: Update 29 April

 

Government updates:

 

VisitEngland consumer sentiment tracker

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

 

Other points of note from Wave 29:

  • The national mood is up 0.1 point to 6.7/10
  • Virtually the same proportion consider the ‘worst is still to come’ compared to Wave 28 (18%).
  • 45% of adults expect ‘normality’ by end of this year – up 1 point compared to last wave.
  • The Appetite for Risk score climbs to 2.6/4.
  • Around half of adults anticipate taking more or the same number of overnight domestic trips between now and end of the year compared to normal.  This compares with c. 30% of adults with similar intent regarding overseas trips.
  • Confidence is up significantly, with 44% fairly/very confident a trip booked for this June could proceed as planned (climbing 6 points)
  • 15% anticipate taking an overnight trip this spring (Apr – June) rising to 34% during the summer (July – Sept) which is stable wave-on-wave.
  • Among those who are intending to take a trip this summer, 33% have reached the planning and 26% the booking stages of their trips, which is up from 29% and 22% respectively last wave.
  • The South West remains the lead region for spring and summer trips, being the location of choice for a quarter of intenders.
  • The leading destination type for spring trips is ‘countryside or village’ (29%) narrowly ahead of ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’ (28%).  The pattern is similar for the summer period.
  • The accommodation types most likely to be used on overnight trips this spring are ‘commercial rentals’ (e.g. holiday cottages) on 40%, ‘camping/caravan’ (also 40%), a ‘private home’ (38%) and ‘Hotel/motel/inn’ (37%).  Again, we see a very similar pattern for summer trips.
  • 45% of UK adults intend to take a day trip to a ‘countryside or village’ destination later this spring or summer and 44% to a ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’.  This compares with 25% intending to visit a ‘large city’.

 

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 29 APRIL

Economic Impact of Coronavirus

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

  • On Saturday 24 April 2021, estimates for UK seated diner reservations were at 62% of the level seen on the equivalent Saturday of 2019 - an increase of 2% from the previous week
  • The percentage of people dining out in London and Manchester fell by 3% and 2% to 41% and 83% respectively
  • While credit and debit card expenditure is tracking at 98% of normal, spending on social activities that includes hospitality and tourism is only 71% or normal.
  • 58% of people are travelling to work – a 3% increase from last week
  • The percentage of adults that travelled to undertake non-essential shopping this week increased from 20% to 28%
  • Interestingly, the number of job adverts in travel and tourism is at the same level it was in 2019

 

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

 

Updated Business Support Guidance

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

 

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

 

Guidance on Facilities

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

TIER: COVID-19 update 27 April

 

Check In Scotland launches


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

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

Find out more information.

Other updates

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

 

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 27 APRIL

 

  • Reporting Self-Isolation Payments

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

  • Airlines Fined For Passengers Without Correct Paperwork

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

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

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

  • Test And Trace Update

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

 

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

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

  • Event Research Programme Update

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

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

  • Social Impacts of Coronavirus

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

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

 

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

 

 

TIER: COVID-19 update 26 April

 

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

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

Other government updates:

 

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 26 APRIL

  • Coronavirus Restrictions

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

 

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

 

  • Coronavirus And The Outdoors

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

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

 

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

 

  • Payments for NI Businesses

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

 

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

  • Resilient Firms

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

 

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

TIER: COVID-19 update 23 April

Further relaxations in Wales

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alert level two includes the following changes:

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

Domestic cruises guidance

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

Roadmap step 3 – no earlier than 17 May

  • Domestic cruises will be permitted in England under step 3 of the roadmap out of lockdown
  • Domestic cruises will be able to operate with up to 1,000 people or 50% capacity, whichever is lower. This capacity limit applies to passengers only.
  • COVID-secure guidance will continue to apply. Groups of more than 6 people or 2 households will not be allowed to mix indoors – whether or not they originally booked in the same group.

Roadmap step 4 – no earlier than 21 June

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

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

 

Other Government COVID updates:

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

 

Other government news:

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


 

 

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 23 APRIL

 

  • Welcome Back Fund Q&A

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • Wales Announces Further steps in Reopening

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

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


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

 

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

 

TIER: COVID-19 update 22 April

 

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

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

They must have traded in both tax years:

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


They must either:

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


They must also declare that they:

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

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

Find out more information on the scheme here and check the eligibility criteria before making a claim. 


ONS publish latest research on economic impact of Coronavirus

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

Read the research here.

Other updates


TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 22 APRIL

  • Eligibility for CJRS Payments Updated

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

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

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

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

  • Companies House Guidance Updated

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

 

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

 

  • SEISS Repayment Guidance Updated

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

EIF Update

Unwrapping the UK’s new interim festival guidance. 

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

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

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

Speakers: 

Emma Parkinson (Coventry University)

Jennifer Mackley (Mackley Projects and Events Ltd).

Zac Fox (Kilimanjaro Live) 

Dan Craig (Superstruct Entertainment) 

Judy Bec (Boomtown Fair) 

Clare Goodchild (Organise Chaos Ltd) 

Matthew Phipps (TLT Solicitors)  

 

 

TIER: COVID-19 update 21 April

 

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

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

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

Other updates:

Other news:

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

 

TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 21 APRIL

 

  • DMO Review Seminar

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

 

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

 

  • DCMS Q&A Update

I’ve attached a copy of the new DCMS Q&A update. The only new question that seems to be answered over last week is:

 

    1.  

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

         

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

         

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

           

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

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

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

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

                   

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

                   

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

                   

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

                     

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

                     

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

                       

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

                       

                  TIER: COVID-19 update 20 April

                   

                  Scotland to move to level 3 from Monday 26 April

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

                   

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

                   

                  Further changes from 26 April include:

                  • Gyms and swimming pools can reopen for individual exercise
                  • The attendance limit for funerals and weddings – and related events such as receptions – will increase to 50
                  • Cafés, pubs and restaurants can resume full outdoor service, subject to local licensing, and serve food indoors without alcohol until 8pm
                  • Takeaways can resume normal service, with physical distancing and face masks in premises

                   

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

                   

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

                  Outdoor hospitality to reopen in Wales from Monday 26 April

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

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

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

                  Other updates:

                   

                  TIER: COVID-19 update 19 April

                   

                  Today’s update is below, followed by a round-up of updates from last week.

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


                  Round-up of updates

                  England moves to step 2 of the government roadmap

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

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


                  Northern Ireland Executive announces relaxations to COVID-19 restrictions

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

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

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

                  Indicatively on 24 May indoor unlicensed and licenses premises can reopen with mitigations, the remainder of tourist accommodation can open, indoor visits will be allowed in domestic settings, as well as indoor visitor attractions and indoor group exercise and training.

                  Read the full announcement here.


                  Welsh Government announces relaxation of some COVID-19 restrictions

                  The Welsh Government announced that certain COVID-19 restrictions will be relaxed earlier than initially stated. On Monday 3 May (previously Monday 10 May):

                  • Gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities can reopen. This will include individual or one-to-one training but not exercise classes
                  • Extended household will again allow two households to meet and have contact indoors

                  First Minster Mark Drakeford also confirmed that from Monday 12 April: all remaining shops and close contact services could reopen, travel restrictions on traveling into and out of Wales would be lifted (however, restrictions on travel to countries outside the Common Travel Area without a reasonable excuse, remain in place) and wedding ‘show-arounds’ by appointment would be allowed.

                  Read the full announcement here.


                  Early easing of certain restrictions in Scotland

                  On 13 April, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announcedthat certain changes to restrictions in Scotland were to be brought forward. From Friday 16 April:

                  • Travel within Scotland for outdoor socialising, recreation and exercise is allowed. People must continue to Stay Local for other purposes such as non-essential shopping, and public transport capacity will continue to be limited. 
                  • Outdoor meetings in groups of up to six adults from up to six households can take place, with under-12s not counting towards this limit. Socialising in homes is still not permitted.

                  Read more on the accelerated easing of restrictions here.

                  Global Travel Taskforce publish their recommendations to support the safe return of international travel

                  The Global Travel Taskforce have set out their approach to safely restarting international travel in their latest report. A Green, Amber and Red traffic light system will be used to categorise countries and there will be different restrictions and requirements for each category. The list of which countries will be in which category will be published at the beginning of May, along with confirmation of whether or not international travel can resume on 17 May.

                  The full report is available here.


                  Updates to working safely during coronavirus

                  The working safely during coronavirus guidance for heritage locations and for performing arts has been updated in line with step 2 of the government roadmap.


                  Consumer Sentiment Tracker wave 28 figures published

                  VisitEngland has published wave 28 of their Consumer Sentiment Tracker which covers fieldwork conducted between 6-10 April. The full report is attached to this update. 

                  Although the proportion expecting ‘normality’ to return to their lives by the end of the year continues to decline, there is evidence that general levels of optimism are rising. Trip confidence is creeping up and the Appetite for Risk score has improved slightly, suggesting people’s sense of unease is diminishing when it comes to participating in a range of activities, particularly those which are predominantly indoors.

                  Highlights from wave 28 include:

                  • 44% of adults expect ‘normality’ by end of this year – down another 6 points compared to last wave.
                  • The Appetite for Risk score climbs to 2.5/4.
                  • Almost half of adults anticipate taking more or the same number of overnight domestic trips between now and end of the year compared to normal.  This compares with just over a quarter of adults with similar intent regarding overseas trips.
                  • Confidence edges up, with 38% fairly/very confident a trip booked for this June could proceed as planned (climbing 5 points)
                  • 14% anticipate taking an overnight trip this spring (Apr – June) rising to 35% during the summer (July – Sept) which is stable wave-on-wave.  There has been significant uplift in intent from October 2021 onwards, however.
                  • Among those who are intending to take a trip this spring, 62% have reached the planning and 49% the booking stages of their trips, which is up from 50% and 44% respectively last wave.
                  • The South West remains the lead destination for spring trips with a commanding 26% share; 13 percentage points ahead of second placed North West.
                  • The leading destination type for spring trips is ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’ (30%) narrowly ahead of ‘countryside or village’ (27%).
                  • The accommodation types most likely to be used on overnight trips this spring are ‘commercial rentals’ (e.g. holiday cottages) on 40%, ‘camping/caravan’ (39%), ‘Hotel/motel/inn’ (37%) and a ‘private home’ (35%).
                  • Some 48% of UK adults intend to take a day trip to a ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’ or ‘countryside or village’ destination at some stage during this spring/summer.  This compares with 25% intending to visit a ‘large city’.


                  Other updates

                  • Phase 2 of the Cultural Recovery Fund in Wales application window will close tomorrow, 20 April at 5pm. The funding is available to businesses within the culture sector, including theatres, music venues, heritage attractions, galleries and independent cinema. The fund will cover the period from 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021. Find out more information and check eligibility here.
                  • The online service to claim the fourth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will open from late April. The fourth grant covers 1 February 2021 to 30 April 2021. Find out more information about the grant and who can claim here.  
                  • Information about the Event Research Programme (ERP) has been published on GOV.UK. The guidance covers measures in place, information for attendees, how to travel to a venue safely and staying overnight. Find out more information.

                   

                  TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 19 APRIL

                  • Local Authority Grant Allocations

                  BEIS has published updated data on the allocation of Restart Grants to each Local Authority in England as well as updating the data on how much of previous allocations each local authority has didtributed to businesses in their area.

                  As you will remember for when the last figures were released for the period to 16th January, many of the local authorities had distributed very little ARG funding as they had been told by Government that it would have to last until 1 April 2022 and that we encouraged them to distribute this funding as soon as possible.

                  The new figures, which are to the 1 March 2021, show that many local authorities have significantly increased the allocation of ARG funding. However, there are still a significant number of local authorities that had still not allocated most of their ARG funding. Some examples include:

                    • Stratford upon Avon
                      • has distributed just 2%  of the £3.8m that they have received from Government
                    • Southampton
                      • has distributed just 3% of the £7.3m that they have received from Government
                    • Kingston Upon Thames
                      • has distributed just 3% of the £5.1m that they have received from Government
                    • Medway
                      • has distributed just 1.5% of the £8.0m that they have received from Government

                   

                  While these local authorities could well have significantly increased their distribution of ARG funding since 1 March 2021, the fact that they have taken over three months to distribute just 3% of the funding that they have received suggests that these local authorities need to do more to ensure that they allocate their ARG allocations before the 30 June deadline.

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

                  • Revised ARG Guidance

                  While we are on ARG guidance, BEIS has updated the guidance to Local Authorities. As you will be aware, the Government has stated that Local Authorities will only receive the next tranche of ARG funding if they distribute the funding from the first two tranches by 30 June 2021. To clarify this requirement, the guidance has been updated to define “spend” as all funding defrayed or where there has been a validated attempt to defray the funding - a “validated attempt” to distribute this funding being:

                   

                    • Where a payment has been made to an incorrect bank account and has been rejected; the grant can be classed as a validated attempt as long as a further attempt to pay will be made immediately upon discovering the error
                    • Where an application has been approved and the payment has been made, but due to a technical error the payment did not process, this can be classed as a validated attempt as long as payment was made on discovery of the error
                    • Where a payment has been processed, but is on hold by the bank, due to verification checks being undertaken, this can be classed as a validated attempt to make payment
                    • Where a contract has already been signed to provide a service (prior to the date of this guidance being updated on 15 April 2021), such as for business support activity, even if that funding is not yet spent

                   

                  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/978400/additional-restrictions-grant-la-guidance.pdf

                   

                  • Event’s Research Programme

                  The Government has published more information on the Events Research Programme, which is one of the four work streams established by Government to inform decisions on, certification, social distancing, International travel and restarting events. The aim of the research is to determine how a combination of testing and covid secure management can inform decisions on safely lifting restrictions at events.

                   

                  The key points in the update are that:

                    • the first phase of 10-15 pilots are being held in April and May to inform decisions on the safe removal of social distancing from Step 4
                    • The pilots will be run across a range of settings, venue types, and activity types so that findings could support the full reopening of similar settings across multiple sectors
                    • The programme is overseen by an industry-led steering group co-chaired by Sir Nicholas Hytner and David Ross and working closely with national and local public health authorities.
                    • A Joint Programme Board will work across government to inform policy development on reopening sectors ahead of Step 4
                    • The ERP will look at a range of mitigating factors including test-on-entry protocols for use in determining how we can reopen larger venues safely
                    • The first pilot events are
                      • B FA Cup Semi Final, Wembley Stadium
                      • World Snooker Championship, Sheffield Crucible Theatre
                      • Luna Cinema, Liverpool
                      • League Cup Final
                      • ACC Business Event, Liverpool
                      • Circus Nightclub, Liverpool
                      • FA Cup Final, Wembley Stadium
                      • Outdoor gig, Sefton Park Liverpool
                    • Findings will be reported to the Prime Minister to feed into wider discussions around Step 4 of the lockdown restrictions.

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-about-the-events-research-programme-erp-paving-the-way-for-larger-audiences-to-attend-sport-theatre-and-gigs-safely-this-summer/guidance-on-the-events-research-programme

                   

                  • Updated Events Guidance for Councils

                  While on the subject of events, the guidance for councils on events that are able to take place has been updated to include a new section on organised sporting events. This section states:

                   

                  Organised sports participation events include but are not limited to: organised running events, organised cycle races and rides, organised walks.

                   

                  Organised sports including organised sports participation events are not subject to the capacity cap or social contact rules stated above. However, sporting events that are intended to attract spectators (including ticketed events), or events that are likely to a significant number of spectators (e.g. a major marathon) should not take place in a public space, or on private land, until Step 3.

                   

                  As with Step 1b, spectators are not permitted to attend grassroots or professional sporting events taking place on private land, other than for safeguarding reasons or for providing care or assistance to a person with disabilities participating in an organised sporting event or activity. They should maintain social distance and not mix with other households.

                   

                  This does not prevent people from viewing recreational or organised sport that is taking place in a public space (e.g. a park) at Step 1b or Step 2, in groups of up to 6 people or 2 households.

                   

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

                  • Revised Covid Secure Notice for Businesses

                  The Covid Secure notice that businesses can use in their workplace to show that they are abiding by the Government’s Covid-Secure guidance has been revised to include a section on ventilation. This states:

                  We have taken all reasonable steps to provide adequate ventilation in enclosed spaces

                  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/978552/staying-covid-secure-poster-ventilation-step.pdf

                  • Business Support Guidance Updated

                  The guidance for businesses on what support is available has been updated to include an new video about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Job Retention Scheme and a webinar for Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-and-support-if-your-business-is-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19#self-employment-income-support-scheme-seiss--fourth-grant

                   

                  You can sign-up for the webinar, which is 1:45pm – 2:30pm on 28th April, on the following link

                   

                  https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/3667545685723120643?source=Apr-HMRC-GOV

                   

                  • Self Isolation Compliance Checks

                  The Government has updated the guidance on self-isolation compliance checks which are being increased to make sure that those people arriving into the country stay at quarantined for at least 10 days. The guidance now states that officials that are checking compliance will ask to see the person’s driver's licence or passport to confirm your identity.

                   

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

                   

                  • Visiting a Passport Office

                  New guidance has been published to state that people should only visit a passport office if they have an appointment and should not do so if:

                    • they or someone they live with has coronavirus or coronavirus symptoms
                    • they have been told by the NHS Test and Trace service that they have been in contact with a person who has coronavirus
                    • they have recently returned to the UK from abroad and are quarantining

                   

                  A friend or family member can attend on behalf of someone who cannot make the appointment but will need to take:

                    • the applicant’s old passport
                    • a signed and dated letter from the applicant authorising them to attend
                    • the applicant’s signed and dated application form If the appointment is to apply for the Fast Track service
                    • valid ID if the appointment is for the Online Premium service

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/visiting-a-passport-office-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic

                   

                  EIF Update – 19th April 2021

                   

                  New Festival Guidance - An interim guidance briefing note has been produced by the festival industry to help organisers in planning events.   The guidance is available on the Purple Guide website. In the meantime, the festival industry is continuing to work in collaboration with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Public Health England (PHE) on how music festivals can reopen with appropriate COVID-19 mitigation measures in place. 

                  Drone Briefing - The National Outdoor Event Association is organising a free webinar to bring event organisers up to speed with the new UK drone. As part of this new legislation the 150m distance from crowds for drone users was abolished, so knowing how to deal with a drone incident has never been more important.     Director of Operations Andrew Hamilton, who until July 2020 was the Civil Aviation Authority's Drone Unit Lead, will give a summary of the law changes and what organisers need to consider doing about it.   The webinar takes place at 2pm on 30th April – you can register at  https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_1QWmgEvaQcmYXzjkynSTkw

                  Performing Arts Guidance Updated - Following the move to step 2 of the roadmap on 12th April, the Performing Arts guidance has been updated.    Key updates include confirmation that venues that are permitted to open at Step 2 and can operate as hospitality venues (such as grassroots music venues) may provide ancillary performance activity, such as live music, for their seated food and/or drink customers outdoors at Step 2. There are also further details on workplace testing and a new section on ventilation which will be helpful for those venues looking to reopen in step 3. 

                  Pilot Festival without Social Distancing - A pilot festival with live music and no social distancing has been announced.   The Liverpool pilot show will have Blossoms headlining and offers a positive step towards getting festivals back on track this year.

                  EIF Supports Insurance Lobby - The Forum has supported a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson MP, organised by the LIVE group, urging the Government to underwrite insurance for live events.

                   

                  TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 15 APRIL

                  • Heritage Locations Guidance Updated
                    The primary guidance for heritage locations has been updated to take account of the relaxations associated with Step 2 of the roadmap. There is nothing that is particularly new in the guidance but there has been an ongoing issue with regard to wedding show arounds which are not able to be undertaken until 17th May unless the property has a permitted reason for being open. The permitted reasons include there being visitor accommodation or the venue holds business meeting which are able to take place currently. Therefore, if you have a heritage venue that hosts business meetings or has visitor accommodation, then wedding show rounds are able to take place during Step 2.

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

                  • Performing Arts Guidance Updated
                    Similarly, the primary guidance for the performing arts has been updated to take account of Step 2. Again there is nothing that is particularly new in this guidance - in Step 2, Performing arts venues, including theatres and concert halls can only be used by performing arts professionals to rehearse and train, and perform (without an audience) for broadcast or recording purposes. Indoor dance and fitness studios can be used for professional and non-professional use in line with social contact rules.

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

                  • ONS Economic Indicators
                    The Office for National Statistics has released another report on various economic indicators that it is using to measure the performance of the UK economy. One of the more interesting is an estimate of the number seated diner reservations for 12 April 2021 which is 79% of the level seen on the equivalent Monday of 2019. This is somewhat surprising considering the number of restaurants that are not yet open and the businesses that are open are limited to outside dining but probably indicates the pent-up demand for people to dine out after the lockdown.

                  The other finding of note in the research is that online job adverts on 9 April 2021 equalled their February 2020 average level to become the highest level seen since 6 March 2020. This was partly driven by an increase to the “catering and hospitality” category, which also reached its highest level since March 2020.

                   

                  https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/coronavirustheukeconomyandsocietyfasterindicators/15april2021#value-added-tax-returns

                  • European Social Fund Q&A Updated
                    For anyone involved in a ESF project, the associated Q&A has been updated. The new questions include:
                    • Due to the lockdowns, my project will underspend - will this money automatically be lost to the project?
                    • My project has been approved and a Funding Agreement has been issued. I have significant reservations about starting my project at this time and wish to review the options available. What does the ESF Managing Authority advise?
                    • What is happening with Calls that are expected to be launched in the future?
                    • What is happening with project applications that have been submitted to the Managing Authority?
                    • Where activity is significantly delayed or ceased as a result of COVID-19 disruption, has consideration been given to extending projects?

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

                  TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 14 APRIL

                  • Transport Use
                    DfT has released the transport data from this first day of Step 2. While this shows that there has been an uplift in the number of people travelling as a result of the easing of restrictions, there is still a long way to go be fore public transport use returns to normal. The figures show that:
                    • Bus use in London and outside London both rose about 15%, to respectively 60% and 51% of usual use.
                    • National Rail usage only increased by about 5% to 30% of usual
                    • Use of the tube in London increased by about 8% to 34%

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

                   

                  • Deferred VAT Guidance Updated
                    HMRC has updated the guidance on deferring VAT payments by adding information on penalties or interest that may be charged if you do not pay in full or make an arrangement to pay and how you may still be able to avoid these charges.

                  The key information is that businesses may be charged a 5% penalty or interest if they do not pay in full or make an arrangement to pay by 30 June 2021.

                   

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

                   

                  • Local Authority Powers
                    The Government has updated the Guidance on the powers that local authorities have to enforce restrictions during the different steps of the roadmap. Local Authorities have three main powers:
                    • Coronavirus Improvement Notice (CIN)
                      • A Coronavirus Improvement Notice can be issued by a local authority when a business is failing to fulfil a provision set out in the relevant coronavirus regulations relating to COVID-Secure measures. Failure to comply with a CIN by the end of its operational period could lead to a fixed penalty notice (FPN) of £2,000 and/or a Coronavirus Immediate Restriction Notice or a Coronavirus Restriction Notice being issued.
                    • Coronavirus Restrictions Notice (CRN)
                      • A Coronavirus Restriction Notice will be issued by a local authority when there has been a breach of the provisions of the relevant coronavirus regulations, and a recipient has failed to comply with the terms of a Coronavirus Improvement Notice, where this non-compliance creates a risk of exposure to coronavirus. Failure to comply with a CRN during its operational period will result in an FPN of £4,000 being issued and a new CRN or Coronavirus Immediate Restriction Notice may be issued.
                    • Coronavirus Immediate Restrictions Notice (CIRN)
                      • A Coronavirus Immediate Restriction Notice can be issued by enforcement officers where rapid action is needed to close a premises or restrict an activity to stop the spread of the virus, without first issuing a CIN to stop the spread of the virus. Closure will be for a 48-hour period initially. Failure to comply with a CIRN will result in an FPN of £4,000 being issued.

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/additional-covid-19-local-authority-enforcement-powers/additional-covid-19-local-authority-enforcement-powers

                  TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 13 APRIL

                  • Impact Of Coronavirus on Tourism Businesses
                    The GDP figures out today show the severe impact that coronavirus is still having on the UK tourism industry compared with other sectors of the economy. The figures show that, compared to February 2020:
                    • The air transport sector is down by 91.6%
                    • Travel agencies and tour operators are down by 87%
                    • The accommodation sector is down by 73.9%
                    • Creative, arts and entertainment is down by 59.1%
                    • Food and beverage is down 51.3%
                    • Museums, Libraries and other cultural activities is down by 48%

                  This compares to the average for the UK economy as a whole being a reduction of just 7.8%

                  https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/articles/coronavirusandtheimpactonoutputintheukeconomy/february2021

                  • Updated Test and Trace Information to Collect
                    The "Information to collect section of the Test and Trace Guidance has been updated to clarify the information that businesses need to collect and how to do this. The information required is:
                    • the name of the customer or visitor
                    • date of visit, arrival time and, where possible, departure time
                    • a contact phone number for each customer or visitor. If a phone number is not available, you should ask for their email address instead, or if neither are available, then postal address
                    • the name of the assigned staff member, if a customer or visitor will interact with only one member of staff (for example, a hairdresser). This should be recorded alongside the name of the customer or visitor

                  This can be collected via:

                  • a booking system
                  • a QR code
                  • a paper system

                  Other important points to note are:

                  • Venues must not make the specific use of the NHS QR code a precondition of entry (as the individual has the right to choose to provide their contact details if they prefer).
                  • If you are a hospitality venue, you must refuse entry to any customer or visitor who chooses to neither provide their contact details nor scan the official NHS QR code.
                  • You should satisfy yourselves that individuals who are checking in using the official NHS QR code have done so – you may do this by asking the individual if they have scanned the code or ask to view the person’s screen to show the venue check-in screen if you still have reason to believe they haven’t done so.
                  • You must not use this data for any other purposes other than for NHS Test and Trace, unless you would already collect it for another business purpose.

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

                  • Updated Step 2 Guidance
                    I attached the wrong link to the updated guidance for Step 2 reopening yesterday so here is the correct version

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reopening-businesses-and-venues-in-england

                  • Business Support Finder Updated
                    The Government has updated the online tool that businesses can use to determine what support is available to them to take account of the changes in support mechanisms. This tool can be used by businesses in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

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

                  • Updated Support Finder for Individuals
                    The Government has also updated the online tool for individuals This includes support on:
                    • what to do if you’re feeling unsafe where you live, or if you’re worried about someone else
                    • being made redundant or unemployed, or not having any work if you’re self-employed
                    • mental health and wellbeing, including information for children
                    • having somewhere to live
                    • self-isolating
                    • what to do if you’re worried about going in to work
                    • getting food or medicine
                    • paying your bills, rent, or mortgage

                  This is a good resource for employees to make their staff aware of as part of their duty of care for the wellbeing of their staff

                  https://www.gov.uk/find-coronavirus-support

                  • Updated Primary Guidance for Restaurants and Pubs
                    The primary guidance for restaurants and Pubs has somewhat belatedly been updated to take into account that we are now in Step 2 

                  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/restaurants-offering-takeaway-or-delivery

                  TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 12 April

                   

                  • Updated Reopening Guidance
                    The guidance on which businesses can reopen has been updated for Step 2. There is nothing new in this but it is good to bookmark this guidance document as a reference for the next five weeks.

                  (COVID-19) Coronavirus restrictions: what you can and cannot do - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

                  • Step 2 Poster
                    The NHS have produced a new poster that outlines the restrictions associated this stage of the roadmap. This is a great resource to print out for staff and customers who will be returning to businesses today

                  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/977566/COVID-19_Roadmap_Posters_STEP_2_2021_-_digital_.pdf

                  • Weddings Guidance Updated
                    The guidance for holding weddings has been updated for Step 2. The key guidance is that weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are permitted to take place with up to 15 people in COVID-19 secure venues that are permitted to open or where a broader exemption applies.

                  Receptions can take place with up to 15 people in the form of a sit down meal in any COVID-19 Secure outdoor venue that is permitted to open. Such receptions must not take place in people’s private gardens or public outdoor spaces.

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships

                   

                  There is also the guidance on which businesses need to stay closed until 17th May in the following document

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/closing-certain-businesses-and-venues-in-england

                   

                  And finally on the generic guidance there is an updated guidance document for the public on what they can and cannot do during this Step.

                   

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

                  • Guidance for the Self-Employed
                    The Government has produced two guidance documents for self-employed people who are currently getting less work or not work at all. The guidance looks at the options and eligibility of:
                    • Claiming SIESS
                    • Claiming Test and Trace Support
                    • Claiming New Style Employment and Support Allowance 
                    • Claiming New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance
                    • Claiming  Universal Credit
                    • Claiming Pension Credit
                    • Looking for other work

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

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-what-to-do-if-you-were-employed-and-have-lost-your-job

                  • Updated Guidance for Wales

                  The Welsh Government has announced that it will be accelerating elements of its programme to relax COVID-19 restrictions 

                   

                  People will be able to form an extended household, visit the gym or take part in organised outdoor activities a week earlier than planned, as the public health situation - and vaccination rates - continue to improve. The First Minister last week set out a detailed timetable for moving Wales firmly into alert level three.

                   

                  From today, Monday 12 April, the following relaxations are in place:

                    • The full return of children to schools for face-to-face education, all post-16 learners return to further education and training centres, and university campuses are able to open for blended face-to-face/online learning for all students
                    • All remaining shops reopen, completing the phased reopening of non-essential retail
                    • All remaining close contact services open, including mobile services
                    • Travel restrictions on traveling into and out of Wales are lifted. However, restrictions on travel to countries outside the Common Travel Area without a reasonable excuse, remain in place. The Common Travel Area means the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland
                    • Wedding ‘show-arounds’ by appointment are allowed

                  Further easements to restrictions in the coming weeks will be subject to the public health situation remaining favourable. These will be confirmed at the next three-weekly review of the coronavirus regulations on 22 April.

                   

                  On Monday 26 April:    

                  • Outdoor attractions, including funfairs and theme parks, would be allowed to reopen
                  • Outdoor hospitality can resume, including at cafes, pubs and restaurants. Indoor hospitality will remain closed except for takeaways
                  • Organised outdoor activities for up to 30 people can again take place (previously Monday 3 May)
                  • Weddings receptions can take place outdoors for up to 30 people (previously Monday 3 May)

                  On Monday 3 May (previously Monday 10 May):

                    • Gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities can reopen. This will include individual or one-to-one training but not exercise classes
                    • Extended household will again allow two households to meet and have contact indoors

                  TOURISM ALLIANCE  Coronavirus Update – 9 APRIL

                   

                  • Global Travel Taskforce Report

                  The GTTF report has been published which provides more detail than this morning’s press release. The recommendations of the report are broken down into four sections.

                   

                  1. Progressing a risk-based reopening of international travel, making use of existing and new measures to ensure that this is safe, sustainable and robust.

                    • Remove measures limiting outbound travel by 17 May at the earliest and implement a “traffic light” country system, to which different restrictions are applied depending on risk.
                    • Introduce a “Green Watchlist” to support outbound travellers identify countries most at risk of moving from green to amber.
                    • Hold three “checkpoints” on 28 June, 31 July and 1 October to review measures.
                    • Enable residents to prove their COVID-19 status for tests and, if necessary, vaccines for outbound travel to a third country.
                    • Restart international cruises alongside the wider restart of international travel, in line with the country “traffic light” system.

                   

                  2. Ensuring readiness for international travel restart, building on ongoing work to minimise border pressures as passenger flows rise, whilst keeping staff safe.

                    • Improve the Passenger Locator Form, with full e-gates integration across all ports of entry by autumn 2021.
                    • Establish a joint UK government and industry working group to ensure border readiness.
                    • Ensure comprehensive measures are in place to assess and assure safety readiness across all modes.
                    • Use feedback from industry and CAA expertise to make targeted interventions to ensure operational safety.

                   

                  3. Building consumer clarity and confidence through enhanced advice and communications of safety measures and consumer protection when booking travel.

                    • Improve operator(s) and passenger guidance to provide more clarity on health and passenger requirements including, where relevant, how this interacts with travel advice.
                    • Introduce a passenger COVID-19 charter by 17 May setting out consumer rights and responsibilities whilst measures remain. Later this year consult on additional, flexible and modern tools to enforce consumer rights.

                   

                  4. Supporting a transition to future travel, taking the first steps towards co-existing with an endemic COVID-19, in collaboration with global partners.

                    • Maintain leadership role within multilateral organisations including the ICAO, IMO and OECD, and work with like-minded states including the G7, G20 and Five Eyes group to develop strategies for reopening international travel.
                    • Continue close coordination with industry to ensure third party apps can be integrated with a national digital certification system that is interoperable, safe and secure.
                    • Explore the feasibility of bilateral pilots for testing initiatives such as digital solutions on particular routes, or with other countries.

                   

                  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/977446/Report-of-the-Global-Travel-Taskforce-accessible.pdf

                   

                  • Contradictory Guidance on Coaches

                  There is an ongoing contradiction between the DCMS and DfT guidance in relation to coach travel on Monday that we are seeking to resolve. The DFT guidance states:

                   

                  These rules do not place any capacity constraints on public transport services and private hire vehicles, including organised coach travel. Operators should continue to provide transport services that can accommodate separate multiple groups which conform to the requirements of the relevant social contact rules.

                   

                                  As DfT is the department responsible for coach travel, most operators are following this guidance until the issue is resolved.

                   

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

                   

                  • SEISS Guidance Updated

                  The guidance for people claiming the Self Employment Income Support Scheme grant has been updated to incorporate the eligibility criteria for the fourth grant. The main eligibility change to be aware of is that if you submitted your Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2019 to 2020 on or after 3 March 2021 you’ll not be able to lodge a claim for this grant.

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-different-circumstances-affect-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme

                   

                  • Twice Weekly Testing Campaign

                  The Government has launched a campaign for everyone in England to get free, twice weekly COVID-19 testing using rapid lateral flow tests as an essential part of the easing of restrictions, helping identify variants and stopping individual cases from becoming outbreaks.  A major public information campaign will run across TV, radio, press, digital, out-of-home advertising and social media from tonight.

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-campaign-urges-public-to-get-tested-twice-a-week

                   

                  • Updated Guidance for Places of Worship

                  The guidance for places of worship has been updated to take into account the relaxations for Step 2 when the number of people able to attend weddings and civil partnership ceremonies, wakes and  receptions for wedding and wakes are increased to 15 people.

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-during-the-pandemic-from-4-july/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-from-2-december

                   

                  • R Number and Growth Rate

                  As always on a Friday, this week’s R number range is 0.8 to 1.0 and the growth rate is -4% to 0%. This is exactly the same as last week and, although the figures are higher than two week’s ago, they still represent a decrease in the number of infections.

                   

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

                   

                   

                  TIER: COVID-19 additional update 8 April

                   

                  Following today’s daily update, the visitor economy guidance and hotel and other accommodation guidance is now available on gov.uk with more detail on what businesses can open from step two.

                  Visitor Economy - from 12 April, the following will apply:

                  Outdoor recreation and visitor attractions can reopen, but indoor areas and settings must remain closed. Locations which have both indoor and outdoor facilities can open the outdoor areas and facilities, but indoor areas and facilities must remain closed (other than toilets and facilities such as baby changing rooms). Those outdoor venues and attractions that are permitted to remain open can offer food and drink as a takeaway service or to customers that are seated outdoors socially distanced (you can find more information in the section on hospitality. This applies to many visitor economy settings, including:

                  • ziplining and other active outdoor leisure activities
                  • adventure parks and activities
                  • funfairs and fairgrounds
                  • theme parks,
                  • water parks, aqua parks,
                  • drive in events, such as for cinemas, theatres, and other performances
                  • animal attractions, including zoos, safari parks and aquariums
                  • skating rinks and trampolining parks
                  • visitor attractions at film studios
                  • botanical or other gardens, biomes or greenhouses, sculpture parks, landmarks (including observation wheels or viewing platforms) and model villages
                  • museums and galleries
                  • heritage locations such as stately and historic homes, castles, heritage sites and ruins.

                   

                  Non-essential retail can reopen. This will include but not be limited to: clothing stores, charity and antique shops, homeware stores, showrooms (such as for vehicles which would include caravans), retail travel agents, auction houses and markets and betting shops (subject to additional COVID-secure measures, such as limiting the use of gaming machines).

                  Personal care facilities and close contact services can reopen. This will include: hair, beauty and nail salons, spas and massage centres (except for steam rooms and saunas, which must remain closed), holistic therapy (including acupuncture, homeopathy, and reflexology) and tanning salons. You can find more information in the guidance for close contact services and the guidance for sport facilities (for saunas and steam rooms).

                  Indoor sports facilities will be permitted to open in addition to outdoor sports facilities. This includes sport facilities such as pitches, courts, golf and mini-golf courses, swimming pools, gyms and leisure centres. You should check the guidance for sport facilities, and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures.

                  Self-contained accommodation can reopen for leisure stays for groups comprising a single household/support bubble. This is defined as accommodation in which facilities including kitchens, sleeping areas, bathrooms and indoor communal areas such as lounges, sitting areas, and any lifts, staircases or internal corridors used to access the accommodation are restricted to exclusive use of a single household/support bubble. See guidance for hotels and guest accommodation for more information.

                  Outdoor areas at hospitality venues (cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs, social clubs, including in member’s clubs) can reopen, including for takeaway alcohol. These venues may allow customers to use toilets (and facilities such as baby changing rooms) located inside. At any premises serving alcohol, customers will be required to order, be served and eat/drink while seated (“table service”). You should check the guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services, and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures.

                  Business meeting/event show-rounds, viewings and site visits for the purpose of viewing the venue for a future booking can take place at venues which are permitted to open at each step of the roadmap, or where a relevant exemption applies. From Step 2, this will include conference centres and exhibition halls, including conference centres located within hotels. Viewings of other venues can only take place from Step 3 - no earlier than 17 May.

                  Some outdoor events organised by a business, charity, public body or similar organisation, such as fetes, funfairs and fairgrounds, and literary fairs, are permitted. These events can take place if they meet the criteria set out in the section on outdoor events and meet specific conditions: they comply with COVID-secure guidance including taking reasonable steps to limit the risk of transmission, complete a related risk assessment; and adhere to all legal requirements including maintaining group sizes permitted by the social contact restriction at the relevant step in the roadmap, and also preventing mixing between groups; enforcing social distancing guidelines; and mandating face coverings in indoor areas where required. Events guidance will shortly be published for local authorities setting out more information on the events permitted at each step of the roadmap.

                  Skippered boats can operate, with restrictions for some types of vessel. Boats which are open-air can be used within the legal gathering limits (by groups of up to 6 people or 2 households/support bubbles) and multiple groups are permitted if the boat tour is organised by a business/organisation, a risk assessment is completed which will take into account capacity limits, COVID-secure guidance is adhered to, and people maintain social distancing and do not mingle outside of their permitted groups of up to 6 people or 2 households/support bubbles). Where boats are partially enclosed, attendees may only go indoors to access/use the toilet. Boats which are fully enclosed can only be used by people from the same household or support bubble. The skipper does not count as part of the group. For more information see the waterway guidance from British Marine.

                  Self-drive holiday hire of boats where people make overnight stays are permitted for people from the same household or support bubble.

                  See the full guidance to see more and find out what business must still be closed.

                  The hotels and other guest accommodation guidance has also been updated

                  Self-contained accommodation can open as follows:

                  Overnight leisure stays in self-contained accommodation will be permitted. This is defined as accommodation in which facilities including: kitchens, sleeping areas, bathrooms and indoor communal areas such as lounges, sitting areas, and any lifts, staircases or internal corridors used to access the accommodation are restricted to exclusive use of a single household/support bubble. A reception area is not to be treated as an indoor communal area if it is required in order to be open for check-in purposes, but it should only be used for the purposes of check-in. Guests may also use indoor public toilets, baby changing rooms, breastfeeding rooms, and facilities for laundering clothes, which are not to be treated as indoor communal areas. These areas should be cleaned regularly and kept well-ventilated and guests should try where possible to limit their interaction with other households whilst using these facilities. This will mean that any holiday parks, ‘standalone’ holiday lets such as houses and cottages, chalets, yurts, holiday boats, and motels and other accommodation in which kitchens, sleeping areas, bathrooms and indoor communal areas such as lounges, sitting areas, and any lifts, staircases or internal corridors used to access the accommodation are for the exclusive use of a single household/support bubble may open for leisure stays.

                  Campsites and caravan parks will be permitted to open for leisure stays provided that the only shared facilities used by guests at the campsite or caravan park are receptions, washing facilities (including facilities for laundering clothes), public toilets, baby changing rooms, breastfeeding rooms, water points and waste disposal points. Shower facilities should be operated so as to ensure no household mixing takes place. This would involve either assigning shower facilities to one household group/support bubble, (i.e. making them private), or running a reservation and clean process (whereby one household can exclusively book the shared facilities for a fixed time, and the facilities are cleaned between reservations and kept well-ventilated). Other facilities - receptions, facilities for laundering clothes, public toilets, baby changing rooms, breastfeeding rooms, water points and waste disposal points - should be cleaned regularly and kept well-ventilated and guests should try where possible to limit their interaction with other households whilst using these facilities.

                  If a site is open to provide self-contained accommodation for leisure stays, permitted businesses or services can also operate on site and can be used by guests and by the general public. This includes:

                  • Indoor and outdoor sport facilities (swimming pools and gyms), recreation facilities such as ziplining, spas and personal care, and retail. These facilities can open even where access is via shared indoor communal areas such as lifts or corridors, as long as those communal areas are used solely to access the facilities and not to access accommodation. Saunas and steam rooms must remain closed. You should check the guidance for sport facilitiesclose contact services and retail shops, stores and branches and ensure you adhere to any relevant requirements.
                  • Outdoor hospitality such as restaurants, cafes and bars. These facilities can open even where access is via shared indoor communal areas such as lifts or corridors, as long as those communal areas are used solely to access the facilities and not to access accommodation. The use of indoor public toilets (and facilities such as baby changing rooms) is permitted even if access is via shared indoor communal areas such as lifts or corridors, as long as those communal areas are used solely to access the facilities and not to access accommodation. You can find more information in the section on hospitality. You should check the guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services, and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures.
                  • Hospitality venues may provide takeaway food and drink (including takeaway alcohol).

                  If a site is not self-contained and therefore remains closed for leisure stays,  permitted businesses or services can still operate on site and can be used by guests and by the general public:

                  • Indoor and outdoor sport facilities (swimming pools and gyms), spas and personal care, and retail may open for access by the public as well as for guests staying for legally permitted reasons. These facilities can open even where the entrance is within the hotel and access is via shared indoor facilities such as lifts/corridors. Saunas and steam rooms must remain closed. You should check the guidance for sport facilitiesclose contact services and retail shops, stores and branches and ensure you adhere to any relevant requirements.
                  • Outdoor hospitality such as restaurants, cafes and bars can open for the public as well as for guests staying for legally permitted reasons. Outdoor hospitality can open even where the entrance is within the hotel and access is via shared indoor communal areas such as lifts/corridors. The use of indoor toilets (and facilities such as baby changing rooms) is permitted, even if accessed through shared communal areas such as lifts/corridors. You can find more information in section on hospitality. You should check the guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services, and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures. Food and/or drink (including alcohol) can be provided through room service as long as it is ordered by phone or online.
                  • Communal spaces such as lounges or lobbies may remain open to guests but no food or drink should be served in these spaces, people should not be encouraged to gather and social distancing should be observed.

                  If your business provides both self-contained and non-self-contained accommodation, both may only open subject to their respective restrictions, for example:

                  • the hotel may open for legally permitted stays (only)
                  • the self-contained chalets may open for leisure stays and for legally permitted stays
                  • the hotel’s indoor facilities may open to the public and to all guests

                   

                  Read the full guidance to find out more.

                   

                  TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE 1 – 9 APRIL

                  DCMS have sent round the attached update to their Q&As regarding Step 2 reopening on Monday, which provides more detail on the opening of self-catering businesses, and camping and caravanning sites.

                  There are two updates of particular note – on Wedding Show Rounds and Coach Trips 

                  • Wedding Show Rounds

                  While business show rounds were already allowed for Step 2, the guidance has now been changed to allow wedding show-rounds. However, this only applies to businesses that have some ability to open already so a wedding show round is allowed at an accommodation businesses but not at an attraction or historic house – which makes little sense in terms of risk. 

                  Wedding show-rounds, viewings and site visits can only take place at venues when the venue is permitted to open. This means whether an in-person viewing can take place will depend on the current step of the roadmap, and the venues open at that time. For example, in-person viewings at indoor visitor attractions at heritage sites (such as stately or historic homes and castles) can only take place from Step 3 (no earlier than 17 May) when these venues are permitted to reopen. Viewings at accommodation sites can take place at Step 2. People must not visit a closed venue for the purposes of a wedding viewing. Virtual tours or other arrangements should be considered, until venues reopen. 

                  • Coach Trips

                  One other change that makes no sense is the guidance for coach operators. Up until last night the guidance was: 

                  Private hire coach tours can take place for a private group of single households (or support/childcare) bubbles. 

                  This is the guidance that has always applied to coach operators, even during lockdown periods, and allows multiple single households on a coach provided that social distancing is maintained between each household. 

                  This has now been changed to

                  Private hire coach tours are only permitted for a private group of a single household/support bubble. The coach driver and tour guide do not count towards the single household/support bubble rule.

                  Private hire coaches must not accommodate groups containing multiple households (excluding support bubbles) travelling together to the same destination or making the same journey, e.g. for the purposes of a leisure tour, as this is more akin to ‘indoor gathering’ than it is to ‘public transport’ and will therefore not be permitted until Step 3.

                  This means that a coach is only able to carry one household at a time, which is obviously nonsensical . What also doesn’t make sense is that while every other businesses is having the rules relaxed, coach operators are having their restrictions increased. This is going to cause real problems on Monday as businesses have been operating on the guidance that applied until last night and taken bookings for trips to outdoor attractions which open on Monday. As well as all the problems that will cause, the one of the main groups that this will impact are the elderly who are a key market for coach operators.

                  In addition to the New Q&A, the Primary Guidance for Visitor Economy Businesses and Hotels and Other Guest Accommodation has also been updated with more detail on the rules and restrictions that apply to tourism and accommodation businesses during Step 2.

                  Here’s the new Visitor Economy Guidance

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

                  And here’s the new Accommodation guidance

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

                  TIC UPDATES – 8 APRIL

                  In the updated Q& A attached there is updated information on show-rounds for both business and social events and also more information on the service of food at currently permit work related events.

                  • Business Event Show Rounds 

                  Cabinet Office/DHSC have issued a revision to the position on business events show-rounds, which continues at Step 2 to permit show-rounds in conference centres and exhibition halls (including where those facilities exist within hotels) but does not make an exemption to allow showrounds in otherwise legally closed venues:

                  Business meeting/event show-rounds, viewings and site visits for the purpose of viewing the venue for a future booking can take place at venues which are permitted to open at each Step of the Roadmap, or where a relevant exemption applies. From Step 2, this will include conference centres and exhibition halls, including conference centres located within hotels. Viewings of other venues can only take place from Step 3 - no earlier than 17 May.

                   

                  COVID-Secure Guidance

                   

                  Guidance has now been published for Hotels and Other Guest Accommodation and the Visitor Economy, to reflect the Step 2 (12 April) changes. New guidance for local authorities has also been published on Organised Events. Please find attached an updated Q&A document, which contains new information highlighted in yellow. I’d also like to bring your attention to a few issues that have been further clarified:

                   

                  • Cleaning of shared facilities in caravan parks

                  Campsites and caravan parks will be able to open receptions, washing facilities (including facilities for laundering clothes), public toilets, baby changing rooms, breastfeeding rooms, water points and waste disposal points. To mitigate the risk of households from different parts of the UK mixing indoors, shower facilities should be operated on a ‘reservation and clean’ rota basis. Other facilities - receptions, facilities for laundering clothes, public toilets, baby changing rooms, breastfeeding rooms, water points and waste disposal points - should be cleaned regularly and kept well-ventilated and guests should try where possible to limit their interaction with other households whilst using these facilities. The Roadmap at Step 2 opens self-contained accommodation in order to prioritise outdoor activity over indoor activity, and indoor activity within households rather than between them - therefore shower facilities must be operated in such a way as to ensure household mixing indoors does not take place at Step 2 and all reasonable steps should be taken to avoid household mixing elsewhere on site.

                   

                  • Coach Travel 

                  We know that there has been some confusion between DCMS and DfT guidance on coach travel. DfT’s guidance has or will shortly be updated and brought in line with the position recently shared via TIC. 

                  • Private hire coach tours are only permitted for a private group of a single household/support bubble. The coach driver and tour guide do not count towards the single household/support bubble rule.
                  • Private hire coaches must not accommodate groups containing multiple households (excluding support bubbles) travelling together to the same destination or making the same journey, e.g. for the purposes of a leisure tour, as this is more akin to ‘indoor gathering’ than it is to ‘public transport’ and will therefore not be permitted until Step 3. 

                   

                  • Business Event Show Rounds 

                  Cabinet Office/DHSC have issued a revision to the position on business events show-rounds, which continues at Step 2 to permit show-rounds in conference centres and exhibition halls (including where those facilities exist within hotels) but does not make an exemption to allow showrounds in otherwise legally closed venues:

                  Business meeting/event show-rounds, viewings and site visits for the purpose of viewing the venue for a future booking can take place at venues which are permitted to open at each Step of the Roadmap, or where a relevant exemption applies. From Step 2, this will include conference centres and exhibition halls, including conference centres located within hotels. Viewings of other venues can only take place from Step 3 - no earlier than 17 May.

                   

                  Further detail on Step 2 changes can be found in the relevant guidance documents.

                   

                  You may also be interested in the following: 

                  • Commercial Rent Consultation: On 6 April MHCLG published a call for evidence to support the Government’s decision-making on the best way to withdraw or replace legislation to prevent landlords of commercial properties from being able to evict tenants for not paying rent; to restrict landlords’ abilities to recover rental arrears through the seizure of tenants’ goods; and to restrict the service of statutory demands and winding up petitions. These measures are in place until 30 June 2021 and while the Government recognises they cannot – and should not – continue indefinitely, a carefully managed exit is necessary to preserve tenant businesses and the millions of jobs that they support. The call for evidence closes on 4 May.
                  • Minister Scully and Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston have written to the leaders of 314 councils in England urging them to do all they can to pay out grants money more quickly and ensure businesses in their local authority area get the support they need. The letter also encourages councils to support pubs and restaurants to open outdoor areas and host outdoor events in a safe and secure manner.
                  • Organised events guidance for local authorities was published on 6 April 
                  • Prime Minister announces new deal to boost Cornwall economy
                  • Recovery Loan Scheme launched on 6 April: Businesses can access loans varying in size from £25,000, up to a maximum of £10 million. Invoice and asset finance is available from £1,000.
                  • A reminder that the Philippines, Pakistan, Kenya and Bangladesh will be added to England’s red list from Friday 9 April. It would be appreciated if those of you who have customers/members in these countries could help to make people aware of the new requirements. 
                  • Embargoed until 9 Apr 2021 00:01: tomorrow, the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will announce £18m for cycle training across the country to ensure children and their families have the confidence to choose active travel. DfT would be grateful for any amplification or supportive comments you might be able to provide once this has been announced. 

                   

                   

                  Global Travel Task Force Traffic Light System

                   

                  The Government has set out the details of the traffic hight system that has been developed by the Global Travel Taskforce.

                   

                  • Green: Arrivals will need to take a pre-departure test as well as a PCR test on or before day 2 of their arrival back into the UK but will not need to quarantine on return (unless they receive a positive result) or take any additional tests, halving the cost of tests on their return from holiday
                  • Amber: Arrivals will need to quarantine for a period of ten days and take a pre-departure test, a PCR test on day 2 and day 8 with the option for Test to Release on day 5 to end self-isolation early
                  • Red: Arrivals will be subject to restrictions currently in place for “red list” countries which includes a 10 day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, pre-departure testing and PCR testing on day 2 and 8
                  • There will also be a ‘green watchlist’ category of countries most at risk of moving from ‘green’ to ‘amber’ so that people can plan journeys accordingly

                   

                  The Government will set out which countries are in each of these categories in early May, as well as confirming whether international travel can resume from 17 May 2021. The restrictions will be formally reviewed on 28 June 2021 to take account of the domestic and international health picture, and to see whether current measures could be rolled back. Further formal reviews will take place no later than 31 July and 1 October 2021.

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/global-travel-taskforce-sets-out-framework-to-safely-reopen-international-travel

                   

                   

                  TIER: COVID-19 update 7 April

                   

                  Events guidance for local authorities

                  Guidance has been published which is designed to assist local authorities in ensuring that events are able to go ahead safely and in accordance with what is permitted at each step of the Roadmap. Key information is mentioned below for each step. The full page is available here.

                  An event can take place at Step 2 (no earlier than 12 April) if:

                  1. All three of the following conditions are met:
                    1. The event takes place outdoors
                    2. Attendees are expected to arrive and leave the event in a staggered manner throughout the day
                    3. It does not involve attendees converging on and congregating in a site for a specific discrete performance or activity, such as a theatre or music performance, OR
                  2. It is a drive-in performance or show.

                  This could include:

                  • Agricultural shows, steam rallies, flower shows, gardening shows and events, literary fairs, car boot sales, community fairs, village fetes, animal and pet shows, funfairs and fairgrounds.
                  • Drive-in cinemas and drive-in performance events (eg comedy, dance, music, theatre and air shows). Attendees should remain in their vehicle for the duration of the performance.
                  • Food and drink festivals are allowed. To note: where the festival resembles an outdoor food market or outdoor hospitality venue, but if people are consuming food and drink at the venue, the table service rule would apply.

                  Events and activities that are able to commence from Step 3 include:

                  • Business events such as conferences, trade shows, exhibitions, charity auctions, and private dining events such as charity or gala dinners and awards ceremonies, and corporate hospitality
                  • Cinemas
                  • Live performances (professional and non-professional/amateur)
                  • Air shows, historical /battle reenactments, live animal performances such as falconry displays at events, and non-elite and professional sporting events.

                  All events recommencing at Step 3 will be subject to the following capacity caps:

                  • 1,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower at indoor events
                  • 4,000 people or 50% of a site or venue’s capacity, whichever is lower at outdoor events

                  The government has also made a special provision for large, outdoor seated venues where crowds can be safely distributed around the venue. Read the guidance for more details,.

                  Capacity restrictions must be adhered to at any point throughout the event. For example, a theatre can admit over 1,000 people in a single day, but no more than 1,000 people at one time. If an event runs over the course of multiple days, no more than 1,000 people should be admitted at any one time over that period. If a single venue hosts multiple different events at one time, and the attendees of each event are separated for the duration of the event (for example, a cinema with multiple screens, or an exhibition centre hosting multiple business events), the 50% capacity cap will apply to each individual event, rather than the venue.

                  For those events subject to capacity caps, the caps refer to the event attendees only. Staff, workers and volunteers are covered by the work exemption so should not be counted as part of the capacity cap. This includes: 

                  • contractors
                  • administrators
                  • delivery staff
                  • operational team (such as reception, maintenance, cleaning security & stewarding and ticketing staff)
                  • caterers and concession stand staff
                  • presentation/production team
                  • exhibitors, speakers, musicians and performers


                  Catering and hospitality

                  Permitted events at each step of the Spring Roadmap may provide hospitality in line with wider hospitality rules.

                  • In Step 2, outdoor hospitality at events is permitted in groups of up to 6 people, or with one other household.
                  • In Step 3, outdoor hospitality at events is permitted in groups of up to 30 people and indoor hospitality at events will be permitted in groups of up to 6 people, or with one other household.

                  In both steps, there is a requirement for food and drink to be consumed at the table. This means:

                  • if the venue sells alcohol, then all food and drink must be ordered, served and consumed at a table
                  • where the sale of alcohol is not offered, customers will need to be seated when consuming food and drink, but can order and collect food and drink from a counter
                  • if the venue is a cinema, theatre, concert hall or sportsground, then customers with a ticket to the event are able to collect food and drink (including alcoholic drink) to consume at their seats, rather than having to be served at a table.

                  Where there is no seating available, the stall or outlet can provide a takeaway or delivery service. Takeaway food and drink cannot be consumed in the stall or outlet, or in an area adjacent to the stall or outlet, and customers should be reminded to adhere to safe social distancing when queuing for food and drink by putting up signs or introducing a one way system that customers can follow or employing extra marshals to enforce this.

                  In Step 3, indoor private dining events such as charity or gala dinners and awards ceremonies, and corporate hospitality, are permitted. COVID-19 guidance for bars, pubs and takeaway services should be followed for these events.

                  Singing

                  The performing arts guidance sets out how professional singing can take place in both outdoor and indoor settings. While indoor and outdoor venues cannot reopen until Step 3, professional rehearsals and streaming can still take place in theatres and concert halls.

                  The performing arts guidance advises that organisers should take proactive steps to encourage audiences to support the safety of the event and discourage activities which can create aerosol such as shouting, chanting and singing along.

                   

                  Other Government announcements

                  • As part of the Towns Fund, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a £23.6 million investment in Truro, Cornwall. Find out more information about the deal and how the funding will be spent here.
                  • The Government has awarded £3.5 million to support Coventry’s tenure as UK City of Culture 2021. The funding will help the city deliver its celebrations this summer in line with Covid-19 restrictions. Read the press release here.

                   

                  TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 7 APRIL

                  • New Events Guidance

                  DCMS has published new events guidance that includes Step 2 and Step 3.

                                  At Step 2

                  An event can take place if all three of the following conditions are met:

                    • The event takes place outdoors
                    •  Attendees are expected to arrive and leave the event in a staggered manner throughout the day
                    • It does not involve attendees converging on and congregating in a site for a specific discrete performance or activity, such as a theatre or music performance, OR

                  Or the event is a drive-in performance or show.

                                  Examples of events that fit this criteria include

                  • Agricultural/flower/garden shows
                    • steam rallies
                    • car boot sales
                    • community fairs/village fetes
                    • animal and pet shows
                    • funfairs and fairgrounds
                    • food and drink festivals
                    • drive-in cinemas and drive-in live performance events

                   

                  At Step 3:

                  An event can take place where:

                  • People are likely to congregate in one area for the duration of the event.
                  • People are likely to enter or leave the venue in large numbers at a similar time.

                   

                  Examples of events that fit this criteria include:

                  • business events such as conferences, trade shows, exhibitions, charity auctions, and private dining events such as charity or gala dinners and awards ceremonies, and corporate hospitality
                  • cinemas
                  • live performances
                  • circuses
                  • air shows
                  • historical /battle re-enactments
                  • live animal performances such as falconry displays at events
                  • non-elite and professional sporting events

                   

                  All events recommencing at Step 3 will be subject to the following capacity caps:

                  • 1,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower at indoor events
                  • 4,000 people or 50% of a site or venue’s capacity, whichever is lower at outdoor events

                   

                  Capacity restrictions must be adhered to at any point throughout the event. For example, a theatre can admit over 1,000 people in a single day, but no more than 1,000 people at one time. If an event runs over the course of multiple days, no more than 1,000 people should be admitted at any one time over that period. If a single venue hosts multiple different events at one time, and the attendees of each event are separated for the duration of the event (for example, a cinema with multiple screens, or an exhibition centre hosting multiple business events), the 50% capacity cap will apply to each individual event, rather than the venue.

                  It is important to note that capacity limits refer only to customers. Staff, workers, volunteers, speakers, exhibitors etc are covered by the work exemption and are not included the capacity limit.

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

                  • Events Guidance for Local Authorities

                  As a companion document to the guidance for businesses regarding Events, DCMS has also produced guidance for local authorities to use when assessing whether to give permission for events to take place. It is useful for businesses to be aware of this when entering discussions with Local Authorities on how their event should take place.

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

                  • WTTC Impact Assessment

                  WTTC have [published their latest Economic Impact Report which finds that travel and tourism revenue fell from £238 billion (10.1% of UK GDP) in 2019 to just £90 billion (4.2% of GDP) last year. They have calculated that this fall in revenue has resulted in the loss of 307,000 Travel & Tourism jobs in the UK.

                  https://wttc.org/News-Article/Travel-Tourism-sectors-contribution-to-UK-GDP-slumped-a-shocking-148-billion-in-2020

                   

                  • Guidance For Out of School Settings

                  The guidance for businesses or charities providing out of school activities and care for children has been updated to take account of the relaxation that will come into effect on Monday 12 April. From Monday, operators can offer provision to all children, without restriction on the reasons for which they may attend.

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/protective-measures-for-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak

                  • Quarantine Guidance Updated

                  The guidance for people quarantining at home after arriving into the country has been updated to clarify details on travelling to get a test swab taken and how people can raise issues related to the test product that they are using.

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

                   

                  • VisitEngland Sentiment Tracker

                  VisitEngland has published wave 27 of their Consumer Sentiment Tracker which covers fieldwork conducted between 22-26 March.

                  Confidence and overnight trip intent are marginally down, as is the proportion expecting normality to return to their lives by the end of the year (50%). There is a higher proportion of spring trip intenders saying they have already planned and booked their overnight trips, which now stand at 50% and 44% respectively. However, bookings for summer trips remains flat at just 19%. 17% of adults now plan on taking a day trip within the next two weeks, which is significantly up on last wave.

                  Highlights from wave 27 include:

                    • The national mood is up 0.2 points to 6.7/10
                    • The same proportion consider the ‘worst is still to come’ compared to wave 26 (17%).
                    • The Appetite for Risk score is stable at 2.4/4, with ‘visiting a busy city centre’ having the lowest score among the various activities listed (also stable at 2.0).
                    • Almost half of adults anticipate taking more or the same number of overnight domestic trips between now and end of the year compared to normal.  This compares with just over a quarter of adults with similar intent regarding overseas trips.
                    • Confidence edges down, with 33% fairly/very confident a trip booked for this June could proceed as planned (down 5 points)
                    • 14% anticipate taking an overnight trip this spring (Apr – June) rising to 35% during the summer (July – Sept).  This compares to 16% and 37% respectively last wave.
                    • Among those who are intending to take a trip this spring, 50% have reached the planning and 44% the booking stages of their trips, which is up from 43% and 29% respectively last wave.
                    • The South West remains the lead destination for spring trips with a commanding 24% share; 12 percentage points ahead of second placed North West.
                    • The leading destination type for spring trips is ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’ (32%) narrowly ahead of ‘countryside or village’ (31%).
                    • The accommodation types most likely to be used on overnight trips this spring are ‘commercial rentals’ (e.g. holiday cottages) on 39%, ‘camping/caravan’ (37%), ‘Hotel/motel/inn’ (34%) and a ‘private home’ (also 34%).
                    • Some 43% of UK adults intend to take a day trip to a ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’ and 42% to a ‘countryside or village’ destination at some stage this spring/summer.  This compares with 23% intending to visit a ‘large city’.

                   

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

                   

                  TIER: COVID-19 update 6 April

                   

                  Relaxation of restrictions in Northern Ireland

                  On Friday 1 April, the Northern Ireland Executive ratified the relaxations planned for 12 April  as a part of its pathway out of restrictions. In addition a few further relaxations were announced that will come into effect from 12 April:

                  • To permit all pupils to return to school;
                  • To increase the number who can meet outdoors in a garden, from six to 10 (including children) from two households;
                  • To remove the ‘stay at home’ provision in the legislation, moving to a ‘stay local’ and ‘work from home’ message;
                  • To allow contactless ‘click and collect’ for all non-essential retail; and
                  • To allow outdoor sports training to resume by sports clubs affiliated with recognised sports Governing Bodies, in small groups of up to 15 people but with all indoor spaces closed except essential toilet facilities.
                  • To extend the provision for up to 15 people (including coaches), as previously agreed, to also include structured outdoor sports training organised by clubs/individuals affiliated to recognised sports governing bodies or representative organisations for sport and physical activity
                  • To permit potential marriage and civil partnership customers to view the facilities of venues used for marriages and civil partnerships, such as hotels and other venues, restricted to a maximum of four customers per visit.
                  • To reopen outdoor retail, including garden centres.
                  • To increase the number permitted to attend marriages, civil partnerships and funerals, informed by a risk assessment for the venue.

                  The next date that restrictions will be reviewed on is 15 April 2021.

                  Recovery Loan Scheme opens for applications

                  The new government-backed loan scheme was launched today. The Recovery Loan Scheme, which was announced at the budget and runs until 31 December 2021, will be administered by the British Business Bank. See which lenders have been accredited to date.

                  • Businesses can access loans varying in size from £25,000, up to a maximum of £10 million.
                  • Invoice and asset finance is available from £1,000.
                  • The government will provide an 80% guarantee for all loans.
                  • Interest rates have been capped at 14.99% and are expected to be much lower than that in the vast majority of cases,
                  • The Recovery Loan Scheme can be used as an additional loan on top of support received from the emergency schemes – such as the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

                  Read the press release. You can also read guidance on the recovery loan scheme and find out how to apply here.

                   

                  New temporary permitted development rights in Wales

                  To support the reopening of businesses and their efforts to create safe environments for the public to feel confident to return to the high street, hospitality and tourism sectors, the Welsh Government is temporarily relaxing planning control for specified development through amendments to the Town and County Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995.

                  The Amendment Order comes into force on 30 April. 

                  Local Planning Authorities in Wales have been encouraged to support businesses and prioritise any applications where a planning application for temporary use is required.

                   

                  Consumer Sentiment Tracker wave 27 figures published

                  VisitEngland has published wave 27 of their Consumer Sentiment Tracker which covers fieldwork conducted between 22-26 March.

                  Confidence and overnight trip intent are marginally down, as is the proportion expecting normality to return to their lives by the end of the year (50%). There is a higher proportion of spring trip intenders saying they have already planned and booked their overnight trips, which now stand at 50% and 44% respectively. However, bookings for summer trips remains flat at just 19%. 17% of adults now plan on taking a day trip within the next two weeks, which is significantly up on last wave.

                  Highlights from wave 27 include:

                  • The national mood is up 0.2 points to 6.7/10
                  • The same proportion consider the ‘worst is still to come’ compared to wave 26 (17%).
                  • The Appetite for Risk score is stable at 2.4/4, with ‘visiting a busy city centre’ having the lowest score among the various activities listed (also stable at 2.0).
                  • Almost half of adults anticipate taking more or the same number of overnight domestic trips between now and end of the year compared to normal.  This compares with just over a quarter of adults with similar intent regarding overseas trips.
                  • Confidence edges down, with 33% fairly/very confident a trip booked for this June could proceed as planned (down 5 points)
                  • 14% anticipate taking an overnight trip this spring (Apr – June) rising to 35% during the summer (July – Sept).  This compares to 16% and 37% respectively last wave.
                  • Among those who are intending to take a trip this spring, 50% have reached the planning and 44% the booking stages of their trips, which is up from 43% and 29% respectively last wave.
                  • The South West remains the lead destination for spring trips with a commanding 24% share; 12 percentage points ahead of second placed North West.
                  • The leading destination type for spring trips is ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’ (32%) narrowly ahead of ‘countryside or village’ (31%).
                  • The accommodation types most likely to be used on overnight trips this spring are ‘commercial rentals’ (e.g. holiday cottages) on 39%, ‘camping/caravan’ (37%), ‘Hotel/motel/inn’ (34%) and a ‘private home’ (also 34%).
                  • Some 43% of UK adults intend to take a day trip to a ‘traditional coastal/seaside town’ and 42% to a ‘countryside or village’ destination at some stage this spring/summer.  This compares with 23% intending to visit a ‘large city’.

                   

                  TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 6 APRIL

                   

                  • Confirmation of Step 2

                  As you will all be aware from yesterday’s announcement, Step 2 starting on 12th April has been confirmed with no changes to the relaxation of restrictions that were announced in the Roadmap. One good rule of thumb is that only individuals or a single household group can visit an indoor setting, while groups complying with the Rule of Six/Two Households are allowed to meet in outdoor settings.

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-easing-of-covid-restrictions-confirmed-for-12-april

                   

                  • Recovery Loan Scheme

                  The Government’s new Recovery Loan Scheme opens today. This scheme allows businesses to access loans of £25,000 to £10 million and as well as invoice and asset finance from £1,000. The government will provide an 80% guarantee for all loans and interest rates have been capped at 14.99% (although the Government expects the rates will be much lower for the vast majority of cases.

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/recovery-loan-scheme-launches-today

                   

                  New Red List Countries

                  Philippines, Pakistan, Kenya, and Bangladesh have been added to the Red List countries and, as such a travel ban will come into effect for visitors from these countries from 4am on Friday 9 April

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/countries-added-to-red-list-to-protect-uk-against-variants-of-concern

                   

                  • Roadmap Reviews

                  The Government produced an update on the work of the four review groups that were established when the Roadmap was announced on 22nd February. These interim reports contain little in the way of outcomes or proposals – the main points are:

                   

                  Certification

                    • The Government believes that:
                      • businesses are able to ask customers for proof of COVID-status in order to access their premises as long as they are compliant with equalities legislation
                      • it is right for it to provide a means of easily demonstrating COVID-status
                      • COVID-status certification could be acquired through vaccinations, testing or natural immunity
                      • there are some settings (such as essential public services, public transport and essential shops) where COVID-status certification should never be required
                      • it is possible that COVID-status certification could also play a role in reducing social distancing requirements

                   

                  The NHS is working on providing individuals with the means to demonstrate their COVID status through a digital and non-digital route

                   

                  Global Travel Taskforce

                    • Given the state of the pandemic abroad, and the progress of vaccination programmes in other countries, the Government is not yet in a position to confirm that non-essential international travel can resume from 17th May
                    • When non-essential international travel does return it will do so with a risk-based “traffic light” system.
                      • Green – no isolation needed
                      • Amber – home quarantine
                      • Red – no entry except for returning citizens and hotel quarantining
                    • It is too early to say which countries will be on the green list when non-essential international travel resumes.
                    • The Government advises people not to book summer holidays abroad until the picture is clearer
                    • When non-essential international travel does resume, the NHS solution to demonstrating Covid status (above) will facilitate international travel where certification is required, and the Government will look to establish arrangements with other countries and international organisations to establish mutual recognition of certificates

                   

                  Events

                    • Early pilots will focus on demonstrating COVID-status through testing alone, while later pilots will seek to incorporate data on vaccination and acquired immunity.
                    • The Events Research Programme will examine the extent to which COVID-status certification would help towards the return of crowds to mass events and closed settings

                   

                  Social Distancing

                    • The extent of any relaxation in social distancing measures is linked to the questions being explored by the COVID-Status Certification Review - including whether COVID-status certification can enable changes to social distancing.

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021-reviews-terms-of-reference/roadmap-reviews-update

                   

                  • Code of Practice for Commercial  Properties

                  The Government has updated the Code of Practice for Commercial Properties, which sets out how commercial landlords and tenant should work together to protect viable businesses. In short, the code of practices states that, where businesses are able to pay rent, they should do so and where this is not possible, landlords should provide support to businesses if they are able to do so. It encourages tenants and landlords to be transparent in their discussions and to act reasonably and responsibly whilst recognising the impact that coronavirus has had on businesses’ finances

                   

                  As part of the update to the Code of Practice, a new annex has been added to help landlords and tenants resolve the issue of rent arrears and service charges accrued due to Covid-19 and the imposed lockdowns. The annex is a form designed as a questionnaire that allows tenants to bring together the information relevant to individual situations and generate a formal proposal for repayment that the landlord can respond to by either accepting or producing a counter-offer.

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/code-of-practice-for-the-commercial-property-sector

                   

                  Associated with this, the Government has also launched a call for evidence on:

                    • the moratorium on commercial lease evictions established by section 82 of the Coronavirus Act 2020
                    • the restrictions on the use of Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) established by the Taking Control of Goods (Amendment)(Coronavirus) Regulations 2021

                   

                  The government’s objective is to gather more evidence to understand how landlords and tenants are responding to the build-up of rent arrears that has occurred as a result of businesses being unable to trade normally during the pandemic. This will inform a better understanding of the risk to economic recovery posed by remaining rent debts, and to understand how landlords and tenants are adjusting existing lease terms to reflect the period of recovery that many tenant businesses will need once the trading restrictions are lifted. The evidence gathered will inform government policy regarding the exit from the existing measures and any need for additional measures to preserve viable businesses and the jobs that they provide.

                   

                  Responses to the call for evidence are due by 4th May 2021

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/commercial-rents-and-covid-19-call-for-evidence/commercial-rents-and-covid-19-call-for-evidence--2

                   

                  • Updated Test and Trace Guidance

                  The guidance for test and trace requirements has been updated for businesses that are allowed to open. Points of note in the guidance are:

                    • Staff at a venue should check customers phone screens to ensure they have successfully checked in
                    • You do not need to ask for contact details for people whose visit is for the sole purpose of making a delivery or collection by supplies or contractors, including food or physical goods.
                    • You do not need to ask for contact details for those under the age of 16
                    • If someone does not have the mental capacity to provide their contact details, hospitality venues should not refuse entry
                    • Businesses will not be in breach of the requirements if they have reason to believe someone can’t provide the details for disability reasons and don’t ask for them as a result.
                    • Hospitality venues should not deny entry to homeless people who are unable to provide a contact number or email address.

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/maintaining-records-of-staff-customers-and-visitors-to-support-nhs-test-and-trace#displaying-an-official-nhs-qr-code-poster

                   

                  • Travel Within the CTA

                  The Government has updated the guidance for Step 1b by including a section on travel within the Common Travel Area. This includes

                   

                  Travelling to or from Northern Ireland

                  Currently in Northern Ireland it is against the law to leave home without a reasonable excuse. Those arriving into Northern Ireland from another part of the Common Travel Area are asked to self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival.

                   

                  Travelling to or from Scotland

                  Non-essential travel between Scotland and the rest of the UK, and the wider Common Travel Area, remains restricted. This means it is illegal to enter or leave Scotland unless you have a reasonable excuse. Travelling for a holiday is not a reasonable excuse.

                   

                  Travelling to or from Wales

                  Non-essential travel between Wales and the rest of the UK, and the wider Common Travel Area, remains restricted. This means it is illegal to enter or leave Wales unless you have a reasonable excuse. Travelling for a holiday is not a reasonable excuse.

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do#travelling-within-the-uk-the-republic-of-ireland-and-the-channel-islands

                   

                  • APPG Inquiry Extension

                  The Hospitality and Tourism APPG is currently holding an inquiry - After the Vaccine - Saving the UK’s Town and City Centres Post COVID-19

                  Before the pandemic, town and city centres accounted for around 60% of the country’s economic output and more than half of the population. These areas will be vital in the economic recovery of the UK, especially in relation to domestic and inbound tourism. As such, this inquiry looks to tackle a wide range of topics impacting the UK’s cities and towns, before concluding with a report and recommendations outlining the support that businesses in towns and cities need.

                   

                  The deadline for submitting evidence for this inquiry has been extended until the end of next week so members and businesses that depend on a vibrant economically active town centres are encouraged to put in a submission on the following link

                   

                  https://www.ukhospitality.org.uk/page/APPG

                   

                  • Food for Thought

                  I have attached a copy of the Food for Thought Initiative which is looking at the importance of sustainability and local food systems in catering and hospitality education. This provides businesses with the opportunity to influence the curriculum and ensure that students leave education armed with the skills and knowledge that businesses need as the results will be used to establish the content requirements for an educational programme for catering and hospitality students, and to identify optimal learning methods that attract and motivate young learners.

                   

                  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/FFT2021

                   

                  TIER: COVID-19 update 1 April 2021

                   

                  Please see below today’s update. The TIER team will be taking a short break over Easter so our next regular update will be on the afternoon of Tuesday 6 April, although I will provide a summary of the Prime Minister’s statement which is currently schedules for Monday as well as share any significant updates if needed. My contact details are at the end of this email should you need any assistance. In the meantime, I’d like to wish you all a very happy long weekend.

                   

                  Review of coronavirus restrictions in Wales

                  The Coronavirus restrictions in Wales were reviewed today. The Welsh Government has confirmed that, subject to the public health situation remaining favourable will, regulations will be brought forward so that from 12 April:

                  • To allow for all non-essential retail to reopen.
                  • To allow for all close contact services to resume, including mobile services.
                  • Remove travel restrictions within the UK and Common Travel Area.
                  • Include restrictions on international travel unless a person has a reasonable excuse.
                  • To allow for wedding ‘show-arounds’ by appointment in hospitality or other premises otherwise required to close.

                  The Welsh Government is also developing a programme of pilot events that they hope will be able to take place in May. These pilot events will be for between 200 and 1,000 people and will build on the test events held last September. All events would be subject to Local Authority and public health agreement.

                   

                  Cabinet has agreed to the approach to the next review cycle from 22 April, subject to the public health situation remaining favourable. 

                   

                  From Monday 26 April:

                  • Outdoor attractions, including funfairs and theme parks, will be allowed to reopen
                  • Outdoor hospitality can resume, including at cafes, pubs and restaurants.  Indoor hospitality will remain closed except for takeaways.

                  From Monday 3 May:

                  • Organised outdoor activities for adults for up to 30 people can again take place.
                  • Weddings receptions can take place outdoors, but will also be limited to 30 people

                  From Monday 10 May:

                  • Gyms, fitness facilities, leisure centres and swimming pools can reopen.  This will include individual or one-to-one training, but not group exercise classes.
                  • Extended household will be considered (an exclusive bubble of allow two households who can meet and have contact indoors)

                   

                  The next review after those changes will take place on 14 May. Preparations will be made to allow an incoming government to consider further easements, including organised indoor activities, exercise classes, the reopening of community centres and the potential reopening of all accommodation and indoor hospitality, in order for them to be open before the Whitsun bank holiday at the end of May.

                   

                  New Restart Grants scheme launched (England)

                  Through the Restart Grants scheme delivered by local authorities, from today, businesses in England in the non-essential retail sector will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £6,000, while businesses in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym sectors, which are reopening later, will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £18,000.

                   

                  Minister Scully and Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston have written to the leaders of 314 councils in England urging them to do all they can to pay out grants money more quickly and ensure businesses in their local authority area get the support they need. The letter states that Local Authorities may want to support businesses that fall outside the business rates system with this additional cash. This could include travel and tour operators, including B&Bs and event industry providers, wholesalers, breweries, freelance and mobile businesses like caterers, wedding photographers, hairdressers and makeup artists and market traders, and wraparound care providers.

                   

                  It also encourages councils to support pubs and restaurants to open outdoor areas and host outdoor events in a safe and secure manner.

                   

                  Other news

                   

                  TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 1 APRIL

                   

                  • Clarification on Coach Trips

                  Your will have seen  that the DCMS Q&A that I circulated earlier this week stated the Coach trips would only be allowed to take a single household until 17th May.

                   

                  The new Visit Economy guidance has corrected this by stating that:

                  Private hire coach tours can take place for a private group of single households (or support/childcare) bubbles, for day-trips only. Large coach trips and tours with multiple groups are not permitted

                   

                  This means that coaches can undertake daytrips with multiple groups on board provided that each group is a single household and that social distancing is maintained between each single household group on the coach.

                   

                                 It is also worth explaining that were the guidance states Large coach trips and tours with multiple groups are not permitted”, meaning that coach tours longer than a daytrip are not allowed.

                   

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

                   

                  • Track and Trace Requirements for Attractions

                  I’ve been getting a number of queries asking whether attractions that have on-site food outlets such as a café or restaurant have to collect the data of each customer every time that they stop for a break. This would seem to be an unnecessary waste of effort seeing that customers would have to provide their details when entering the attraction. There is a provision in the guidance for operators of food halls whereby a cordon can be placed around the area to take customers data once rather than every time they enter a different food outlet. I’ve asked DCMS whether this approach applies to attractions as the entrance to the attraction is the cordon around the food outlets inside.

                   

                  I’ll come back to you when I hear back

                   

                  • Launch of Restart Grant Scheme

                  The Restart Grants Scheme launches today.

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/fresh-wave-of-grant-funding-launched-as-councils-are-called-on-to-do-their-bit-to-continue-supporting-businesses

                   

                  As part of this launch, Ministers Paul Scully and Nigel Huddleston have sent a joint letter to Local Authority CEOs which encourages them to distribute the funding to businesses as quickly as possible. The letter goes on to state that:

                   

                  “Funds from the latest £425 million ARG top-up will be provided to Local Authorities if existing scheme money has been spent by 30 June 2021. Local Authorities may want to support businesses that fall outside the business rates system with this additional cash. This could include travel and tour operators, including B&Bs and event industry providers, wholesalers, breweries, freelance and mobile businesses like caterers, wedding photographers, hairdressers and makeup artists and market traders, and wraparound care providers.”

                   

                  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/975485/Letter_to_all_LAs_from_Ministers_Scully_and_Huddleston.pdf

                   

                  • LGA Bulletin with ARG and Pavement Guidance

                  The LGA have just sent their latest Culture, Tourism & Sport Bulletin to local authorities. Included in the Bulletin are the following items on the new ARG Funding, which includes the specific reference to the businesses that we have been lobbying on, and the letter from MHCLG regarding support for hospitality businesses

                  Additional Restrictions Grant

                  Given their important role in sustaining the financial models of the wider cultural and visitor economy Government has changed guidance to specifically encourage councils to provide grants to businesses that have been falling through the cracks in the Additional Restrictions Grant. Please speak to your Business Rates Teams as Government guidance has changed to encourage councils to issue grants to: 

                  • Group travel and tour operators (includes coach operators), other tourism businesses (including B&Bs and event industry suppliers)
                  • Wholesalers, English language schools, breweries
                  • Freelance and mobile businesses(including caterers, events, hair, beauty and wedding related businesses)
                  • Wraparound care providers, and other businesses that may have not received grant funding.

                  Letter to local authorities on helping hospitality businesses

                  The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government have written to local authorities reminding them of the relaxation of planning rules to support hospitality businesses to reopen safely. Key measures are:

                  • Allowing pubs, restaurants and cafes to obtain temporary pavement licences to place outdoor tables and seating on footpaths.
                  • Automatic right for restaurants, pubs, and cafes to serve takeaway food.
                  • Temporary rights that allows local authorities to use land to hold a market without having to apply for planning permission.

                   

                  Here’s the link to the Bulletin

                  https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKLGA/bulletins/2ca9823

                   

                  • Restart Grant Allocations

                  The Government has published the allocations of the Restart Grant that have been given to each Local Authority in England. So if businesses would like to see how much has been given to their local authority, here’s the link

                   

                  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/975500/Restart_Grants_-_Local_Authority_Final_Allocations.csv/preview

                   

                  • Reminder on Furlough Claims

                  HMRC has updated it’s guidance of furlough to remind businesses that claims for furlough days in March 2021 must be made by 14 April 2021

                   

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

                  TIER: COVID-19 update 31 March

                   

                  The visitor economy guidance has been published on the Gov.uk website. It confirms some of the updates previously provided by DCMS for step 1b as follows:

                  • Outdoor guided tours are permitted but must operate within the legal gathering limits. Tours can be provided for a single permitted group of visitors (up to 6 people, or two households), or multiple permitted groups that are kept separate throughout the activity.
                  • Private hire coach tours can take place for a private group of single households (or support/childcare) bubbles, for day-trips only. Large coach trips and tours with multiple groups are not permitted.
                  • Heritage railway services which operate as an indoor attraction must remain closed. This applies to services provided primarily for dining or other recreational purposes, or for the carriage of passengers from the same start and end point. Heritage railway services going from place to place (i.e. point A to point B) are considered ‘public transport’, and can be permitted if required for the purposes of transport (provided all social distancing and face covering requirements are followed).
                  • Visiting a business event venue for the purpose of viewing the venue for a future booking for a work-based event (even if the venue is otherwise closed) is permitted if this cannot be reasonably done from home. Other viewings (where there is not a permitted exemption such as essential work) are not permitted, and should not take place in closed venues.
                  • Weddings/civil partnerships and funerals: weddings/civil partnerships and funerals can take place, however there are limitations on the types of activity and the number of guests who can attend. You should check the guidance on weddings and civil partnerships or the guidance for funerals and ensure you follow any relevant measures.

                   

                  Member updates

                  Figures showing the number of visits made in 2020 to visitor attractions in membership with ALVA

                  The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) has released figures that show the number of visits made in 2020. Key findings include:

                  • The total number of visits to ALVA sites in 2020 was 45.4million, an annual decline of 70% from 2019.
                  • The most visited attraction in the UK was Tate Modern with 1,431,704 visits. The Natural History Museum (South Kensington) moved up two places to 2nd with 1,296,763 visits and British Museum 3rd with 1,275,466 visits.
                  • For the first time, two gardens appeared in the Top 10 - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, which moved up 7 places to 4th with 1,226,289 visits and RHS Garden Wisley jumped 21 places into the 7th position with 993,516 visits.
                  • The most visited attraction outside London was Chester Zoo, which moved 8 places to 6th with 1,182,652 visits.

                   

                  Industry news

                  UNWTO World Tourism Barometer figures of international arrivals in January 2021

                  The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has published their World Tourism Barometer which shows an 87% fall in international tourist arrivals in January 2021, compared against 2020.  The figures show that all world regions continued to experience large drops in tourist arrivals in the first month of the year. Asia and the Pacific recorded the largest decrease in international arrivals in January at 96%. Europe and Africa both saw a decline of 85% in arrivals, while the Middle East recorded a drop of 84% and the Americas decreased by 77% in January 2021.

                   

                  TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 31 March

                   

                  • Updated Visitor Economy Guidance

                  As with the primary guidance for  Hotels and Other Guest Accommodation and the Visitor Economy Guidance has been updated to include information on:

                    • The reasonable adjustments that businesses are required to make to protect disabled staff
                    • Changes to NHS Test and Trace regulations
                    • Changes to national restrictions from 29 March.

                   

                  It is important to note when reading the guidance that it is only for the period 29th March to 11th April and will be updated ahead of Step 2 on 12th April.

                   

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

                   

                  • Legal Requirement to Refuse Entry

                  I’ve had a few questions regarding the legal requirement for businesses to refuse entry to people refusing to provide Trace and Trace data. With the new requirement for certain tourism and hospitality businesses to collect the data from all members of a group that are 16 or over, this has the potential to cause conflict between customers and staff. It should be noted that Regulation 16 provides that where certain services are provided, as listed in Part 1 of the Schedule, the person providing the service must take all reasonable steps to prevent access to an individual who refuses to provide the requisite details.

                   

                  This businesses in Schedule One that this relates to are:

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

                   

                  https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1005

                   

                  • ALVA – Visitor Attraction Figures

                  Attached is a copy of ALVA’s visitor attraction figures for 2020 along with the associated press release which highlight a number of important things including:

                    • Visitor number declined by 70% on average
                    • Indoor attractions where the worst affected with most reporting a 70-90% reduction in numbers
                    • No indoor attraction had a fall in visitor number of less than 40%

                   

                  This all emphasises the need for the public to support these businesses when they re-open.

                   

                  FINAL ALVA 2020 full list as flat file

                  Final (UK) ALVA 2020 visitor figures press release March 2021-2

                   

                   

                  TIER: COVID-19 update 30 March

                   

                  Updates to the working safely during coronavirus guidance (England)

                  The hotels and other guest accommodation and restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services sections of the working safely during coronavirus guidance have been updated.

                   

                  Hotels and other guest accommodation guidance 

                  • Self-catering properties and caravans: People can travel where necessary to visit, maintain, clean and collect belongings from their self-catering properties and their caravans on parks which are currently closed, but should minimise travel where possible. Overnight stays are not permitted.
                  • Events and meetings: Visiting a business event venue for the purpose of viewing the venue for a future booking for a work-based event (even if the venue is otherwise closed) is permitted if this cannot be reasonably done from home. Other viewings (where there is not a permitted exemption such as essential work) are not permitted, and should not take place in closed venues.

                   

                  Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services

                  Following the move to Step 2 of the roadmap:

                  • Outdoor areas at hospitality venues can reopen to serve customers in groups of up to six people or two households. These venues may allow customers to use toilets, baby changing rooms or breast feeding rooms located inside.
                  • Some venues may wish to erect outdoor shelters. To be considered ‘outdoors’, shelters, marquees and other structures can have a roof but need to have at least 50% of the area of their walls open at all times whilst in use.
                  • At any premises serving alcohol, customers will be required to order, be served and eat/drink while seated (even if no alcohol is ordered). If a hospitality venue does not serve alcohol, then customers will be able to order and collect food and drink from a counter, but must consume food and drink while seated at a table.
                  • Hospitality venues will also be allowed to provide takeaway alcohol. Takeaway food and drink (including alcohol) must not be consumed on the premises or adjacent to the premises.


                  Changes to restrictions in Scotland

                  First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today confirmed that changes to restrictions in Scotland Friday 2 April and Monday 5 April are able to go ahead.

                  From 2 April:

                  People across Scotland can make non-essential journeys in their local authority area, when the Stay at Home rule will be replaced with the requirement to Stay Local. Restrictions on non-essential travel across local authority boundaries will remain in place for another 3 weeks.

                  From 5 April:

                  Hairdressers, garden centres, homeware stores and non-essential click and collect services will be able to open.

                  Read the full news story here.

                   

                  TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 30 March

                   

                  Here’s today’s update

                   

                  • Correction to DCMS Q&A

                  DCMS have made a correction to the Q&A that they send out regarding the opening of Heritage Railways. The corrected guidance is:

                   

                  Q. When can Heritage Railways reopen?

                   

                  Heritage railway services going from place to place (i.e. point A to point B) are permitted from 29 March for the purposes of transport, providing all social distancing and face covering requirements are followed

                   

                  Heritage railway services provided primarily for dining or other recreational purposes; or for the carriage of passengers from the same start and end point (a loop) must remain closed alongside other indoor attractions until Step 3 - no earlier than 17 May, when they can reopen in line with the wider social contact limits at this stage - in a group of 6 people or 2 households indoors; and multiple groups are permitted.

                   

                                  This means that point to point railways are treated as part of the transport system and can operate now that the Stay at Home requirement has been listed.

                   

                  • Guidance for Step 2

                  Staying with DCMS, I’ve also been informed that the guidance tourism and hospitality businesses related to Step 2 will be published next week.

                   

                  • Business Impacts of Local and National Restrictions

                  ONS has published a report on the impact that the lockdowns and restrictions have had on different sectors of the UK economy by comparing the performance of single-site businesses in different areas. The results of the research show that, unsurprisingly, tourism and hospitality businesses have been impacted the most. The key findings is include:

                    • Tourism and hospitality businesses are four times more likely to have employees on furlough (63%), compared with single-site businesses across all industries (16%).
                    • Regional figures show that the regions with the largest tourism industries generally show the greatest level of impact
                    • 48% of tourism and hospitality businesses are currently trading compared to 74% of single-site businesses across all industries
                    • 43% of single-site businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector have less than three months of cash reserves compared with 35% across all industries.

                   

                  https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/business/businessservices/articles/businessinsightsandimpactontheukandsubnationaleconomy/march2021

                   

                  • Updates to Working Safely During Coronavirus

                  The primary guidance for hospitality businesses has been updated to include information on:

                    • The reasonable adjustments businesses need to make to the workplace so disabled staff can work safely, and the need to assess the health and safety risks for new or expectant mothers.
                    • Changes to NHS Test and Trace regulations
                    • Changes to national restrictions from 29 March

                   

                  Hotels and Other Guest Accommodation

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

                   

                  Restaurants Offering Takeaway or Delivery

                  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/restaurants-offering-takeaway-or-delivery

                   

                  • Airlines UK Report

                  I’ve attached a copy of a new study published by Airlines UK which sets out the opportunity for the UK economy if air travel restrictions are eased to key global markets from 17 May. Findings include: 

                  • Enabling a safe and sustainable resumption of international travel would generate £47.6bn in GDP during 2021 (200m a day) and help secure over one million jobs otherwise under threat
                  • Conversely, the hit to UK GDP of delaying any restart until September would be £26.2bn, in addition to lost trade, encompassing imports and exports, of £55.7bn. Around 574,000 jobs would be at risk including 73,000 within the UK tourism industry. The wider hit to our tourism sector would cost £3.0bn.
                  • No air link to the US alone until September would cost the UK £2.4bn (£23m per day), putting 51,600 jobs at risk 

                   

                  With the vaccine rollout accelerating both in the UK and abroad, and with widespread testing becoming ever further embedded, this new data shows why a phased easing of restrictions is so important to helping the UK’s economy recover.

                   

                  • #WeCreateExperiences

                  The Events industry has launched a B2C version of the #WeCreateExperiences campaign today, on the back of their successful B2B campaign in December 2020 and need your support on social media to ensure the key messages are shared and spread. They are encouraging consumers to feel inspired by the range of experiences they deliver and reassured about planning for live experiences – they are also clear in their messaging that events will only come back in phases over time,

                   

                  Using the #WeCreateExperiences hashtag, can everyone share the event they’re most looking forward to, whether it’s outdoor shows, festivals, live sporting activations, concerts, weddings or any other consumer event that they have missed – so as to showcase the range of experiences that touches people’s lives every day. 

                   

                  • Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme

                  To coincide with the warm weather, the fourth round of vouchers for the fix your bike scheme has been launched. Here’s the link to apply

                   

                  https://fixyourbikevoucherscheme.est.org.uk/

                   

                  TIER: COVID-19 update 29 March

                   

                  This afternoon Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Patrick Vallance and Chris Whitty held a press briefing outlining the latest data and some of the freedoms that have been granted today, including outdoor sports and rule of six in private gardens and outdoor spaces. The Prime Minister urged everyone to proceed with caution.

                   

                  During the Q+A the Prime Minister was asked about relaxing international travel for those with family abroad, or will seeing family be incorporated as an exception to international travel like the exception to travel for business purposes. He said the priority was to protect the country from new variants from abroad, seeing family abroad will be covered by the international travel rules, at the moment it is still forbidden to travel abroad, some further information will be available after 5 April based on the recommendations of the Global Travel Task Force.

                   

                  A further question asked about the next relaxations expected on 12 April for the opening of outdoor hospitality and if there were concerns about the rising cases in some parts of Europe affecting the reopening. The Prime Minister said they are continuing to be cautious, they are evaluating the data and would be saying more in due course and that all of these dates were subject to the four conditions outlined in the roadmap. Vallance explained that they felt four weeks of data was needed to make recommendations, this would be available next week

                   

                  Please find attached clarification issued by DCMS on tourism and hospitality related questions on the reopening roadmap for England. Updates include:

                  Coach tours:

                  Step 1b:  Private coach hire tours are permitted from for a private group of a single household/support bubble (day trips only). Coach driver and tour guide don't  count towards single household/bubble rule

                  Step 2:  Private coach hire tours are permitted from for a private group of a single household/support bubble. Coach driver and tour guide don't  count towards single household/bubble rule

                  Step 3: Larger coach trips and tours in line with wider social contact limits (in a group of 6 or 2 households)

                  Outdoor guided tours

                  Guided walks consisting of either a single permitted group or multiple permitted groups that are kept separate throughout the tour. These types of activities are subject to the gathering limits set out in the Roadmap - i.e. outside in groups up to a maximum of 6 people (the Rule of 6) or with one other household, though people from different households will still need to socially distance from each other. Support bubbles will continue to be counted as part of the same household. The tour guide does not count towards the Rule of 6 or 2 households limits

                  Zoos and other animal attractions

                  DCMS is seeking for outdoor attractions at zoos and other animal attractions to open at Step 2. Indoor attractions at these venues will follow at Step 3. Operators of these businesses must take reasonable steps to ensure that bookings and admissions follow the social contact rules, and that groups do not mix within the premises.

                  Zoos and other animal attractions should not be operating demonstrations or any other events, such as feedings sessions scheduled for public viewing, until Step 3.

                  Zoos will also be able to reopen outdoor hospitality and non-essential retail at Step 2, provided that these are in self-contained units and are directly accessible from the outdoors (i.e. without going through indoor elements). Although visitor centres and other indoor attractions must remain closed at this step, this does not include toilets or through spaces to toilets or to outdoor areas, such as ticket halls.

                  They are seeking to reopen indoor hospitality within animal attractions at Step 3, alongside indoor attractions.

                  Licensed animal attractions and stand-alone bird of prey displays/performances at outdoor events (away from where the birds are kept, which would not be licensed as animal attractions but likely to have a separate animal exhibition licence) are not permitted to take place until Step 3.

                  Other updates include:

                  • That showrounds for business events, meetings, training and education are permitted from 29 March if this cannot reasonably be done from home (even if the venue is otherwise closed). Viewings where there is not a permitted exemption for work purposes or otherwise should not be taking place at closed venues, however.
                  • Weddings showrounds  can only take place when the venue is permitted to open for leisure purposes - people must not visit a closed venue for the purposes of a wedding viewing
                  • Heritage Railways can re-open in line with social contact limits at step three
                  • Visitor information centres not located within an indoor attractions may open at step 2. Visitor centres within indoor attractions should be able to re-open at step 3.

                  View the attachment to see all the full Q&A

                  Guidance updated to reflect step 1b of reopening from 29 March (England)

                   

                  The following pages have been updated to reflect guidance for step 1b that came into effect from 29 March in England. A summary restriction poster for the guidance from 29 March is available.

                   

                   

                  Other updates

                  • Updated guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships: Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are no longer limited to exceptional circumstances. Receptions and celebrations are still not permitted, but small gatherings can take place in line with social contact limits.
                  • Bespoke testing regime: The UK government has announced new details of a bespoke testing regime available from 6 April for international arrivals who will be exempt from quarantine for work purposes, including for hauliers, aircraft crew and pilots, aerospace engineers, international rail crew, passenger and freight operations (Eurostar, Eurotunnel, Network Rail and high-speed rail workers), Seafarers and masters arriving from outside the Common Travel Area into England. Further guidance is available here.
                  • Workplace testing programme expands: from 6 April, the workplace testing programme will supply home test kits to companies with over 10 workers where it is not possible to set up testing on-site, due to a lack of space or because companies operate across multiple sites. Businesses must register interest by 12 April to access free tests.
                  • New testing guidance for employers: Employers that require staff to travel regularly across UK borders must take reasonable steps to facilitate employees to take tests.

                   

                  Member updates – BVEP:

                   

                  On the back of the successful B2B campaign in December 2020, the B2C version of the #WeCreateExperiences campaign is activating on Tuesday 30 March. The campaign encourages consumers to feel inspired by the range of event experiences on offer and feel reassured about planning for live experiences. 

                   

                  Using the #WeCreateExperiences hashtag, the event industry wants everyone to share the event they’re most looking forward to, whether it’s outdoor shows, festivals, live sporting activations, concerts, weddings or any other consumer event that they have missed – to showcase the range of experiences that touch people’s lives every day. 

                   

                  A 30 sec teaser extract from the campaign video to use is available here – https://we.tl/t-OY0yIu6Kiw-  the full length video will be posted on Tuesday morning across social channels and onto the www.wecreateexperiences.co.uk website. TIER members are encouraged to support the campaign on social media. 

                   

                  TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATES – 29 MARCH

                   

                  Here’s today’s update. There has been large swathe of guidance that has been updated today due to the move to Step 1b of the roadmap. In much of this, the changes have been minimal so I’ve concentrated today’s update on the key guidance that you should be aware of.

                   

                  • Guidance for Step 1b

                  The Cabinet Office has produced the full guidance for Step 1b of the Roadmap which came into effect today. The key rules are:

                    • People can meet outdoors either in a group of 6 (from any number of households), or in a group of any size from up to 2 households (a household can include an existing support bubble, if eligible)
                    • People can take part in formally organised outdoor sports with any number of people (outdoor sports venues and facilities will be able to reopen)
                    • Childcare and supervised activities are allowed outdoors for all children
                    • Formally organised parent and child groups can take place outdoors for up to 15 attendees. Children under 5 will not be counted in this number

                   

                  While it is now no longer a legal requirement to only travel for a permitted reasons, people are advised to minimise travel where possible. This means:

                    • Avoiding making unnecessary trips
                    • Combining trips where possible

                   

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

                   

                  • Updated Guidance on Businesses Restrictions

                  With the start of Step1b, the guidance on which businesses are able to open and which businesses must remain closed has also been updated. The key points here are the list of types of outdoor activity that are now allowed includes outdoor sports facilities such as:

                    • 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

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

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reopening-businesses-and-venues-in-england/reopening-businesses-and-venues

                   

                  It is also worth noting that the guidance states that any closed premises can open for the purposes of:

                    • enabling access by the site owners or managers, staff or people authorised by them (including volunteers) for maintenance where this is reasonably necessary. This may include exhibit maintenance, animal or plant feeding, or repairs. Other work to ensure readiness to open, such as receiving deliveries of supplies, may also go ahead
                    • making a film, television programme, audio programme or audio-visual advertisement

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/closing-certain-businesses-and-venues-in-england#what-can-be-done-in-businesses-that-are-closed

                   

                  • DCMS Q&A for Outdoor Activities Operators

                  DCMS have provided the following Q&A for businesses undertaking outdoor activities that are allowed to open from today

                   

                  Q. Can organised walking or climbing groups take place?

                  A. Organised outdoor group activities such as walking and climbing groups can take place and can happen with any number of participants, as long as it is undertaken in line with COVID-secure guidance issued by the organising body.  Restarting organised sport and physical activity should happen when the leaders (volunteers and / or staff) feel ready and comfortable.  There is no obligation for everyone to restart activity from 29th March.

                   

                  • Updated Guidance for Transport Operators

                  DfT has published guidance for transport operators including organised coach travel which seems to contradict DCMS’s Q&A. This guidance states that:

                   

                  These rules do not place any capacity constraints on public transport services and private hire vehicles, including organised coach travel. Operators should continue to provide transport services that can accommodate separate multiple groups which conform to the requirements of the relevant social contact rules.

                   

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

                   

                  • Updated Wedding Guidance

                  The guidance on wedding has been updated to reflect that they are no longer limited to exception circumstances. However, they are still limited to just six people and receptions are still not allowed. However, outside gatherings that comply with the Rule of 6/two households and that have BYO or delivery catering can take place in line with social contact limits.

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships

                   

                  • New Poster on Rules and Restrictions

                  A new poster has been produced regarding the rules and restrictions that apply to this phase of the Roadmap which is a good resource for customers and staff

                   

                  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/974017/COVID-19_Roadmap_Posters_Step1_web.pdf

                   

                  • Increased Test and Trace Requirement

                  It is important to note that the Test And Trace Guidance has been changed to state that from 29 March 2021, every customer or visitor should be asked to scan the NHS QR code or provide their name and contact details, not just a lead member. This requirement applies to:

                    • Hospitality, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés
                    • Tourism and leisure, including hotels, museums, cinemas and amusement arcades
                    • Close contact services, including hairdressers, barbershops and tailors
                    • Community centres, libraries and village halls

                   

                  Annex A of the guidance has the complete list of businesses that have to comply with this new requirement – there are some odd exceptions such as leisure attractions but I’m informed that they are included as well.

                   

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

                   

                  • Guidance on Playgrounds and Outdoor Gyms

                  The guidance on the management of outdoor playgrounds and gyms has been updated has been updated for businesses that are providing this equipment for customers as part of the new relaxations

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-managing-playgrounds-and-outdoor-gyms/covid-19-guidance-for-managing-playgrounds-and-outdoor-gyms

                   

                  • Guidance on Green Spaces

                  This guidance has also been updated in line with Step 1b. The key point in the guidance is that, when accessing green spaces, people should avoid travelling further than is reasonably necessary to access a green space.

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-on-accessing-green-spaces-safely

                   

                  • Rapid Home Testing For Businesses With 10+ Employees

                  The Government has announced that it is expanding the workplace testing regime so that businesses with more than 10 staff can order free testing kits for employees to use at home. To get the free tests, you must register interest by 12 April. The tests will be sent to employers to distribute to their staff and come with clear instructions about how to take the test. Staff will then complete the test at home, before reporting their results to the NHS using the provided gov.uk address. The tests used for this are the lateral flow tests which can detect the virus in 30 minutes which means that staff can use them prior to coming into work.

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/workplace-testing-programme-expands-to-offer-free-rapid-home-testing

                  TIER: COVID-19 update 26 March

                   

                  Wales announce end to stay-local message

                  First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced that Wales’ stay local rule will be lifted from 27 March, and will be replaced by an interim all-Wales travel area, which will remain in place until 12 April, subject to the public health situation. For the next two weeks only those with a reasonable reason, such as work, will be able to travel into or out of Wales. The current restrictions on international travel for holidays will remain in place.

                  From 27 March, self-contained holiday accommodation, including hotels with en-suite facilities and room service, will be able to reopen to people from the same household or support bubble.

                  Other changes include:

                  • Six people from two different households, excluding children under 11, will be able to meet and exercise outdoors and in private gardens;
                  • Organised outdoor activities and sports for children and under 18s will be able to resume;
                  • There will be a limited opening of outdoor areas of some historic places and gardens;
                  • Libraries and archives will be able to re-open.

                   

                  Member updates

                  The Business Travel Association has published its recommendations made to the Global Travel Taskforce on how business travel can safely begin again. Recommendations include:

                  • Implementation of global standards for testing and health certification
                  • Removal of all quarantine requirements for business travellers 
                  • Creation of business travel bi-lateral corridors
                  • Coverage of Red List countries under FCDO “all but essential travel” advice
                  • A 72-hour window before any introduction of a country to a red list.

                  Read the full submission here. 

                   

                  TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 26 March

                   

                  • Guiding Guidance

                  First up, we have received the following guidance on guiding from DCMS that will help operators when restrictions ease on Monday and mean that guided activities can be undertaken over the Easter holidays.

                   

                  Q. Can outdoor guided tours take place from 29 March and if so can these be for multiple groups of 6?

                  From the 29th March, outdoor, socially-distanced, organised activities including workshops such as photography, gardening, and crafts at heritage sites and other outside spaces will be permitted. 

                   

                  Other outdoor activities such as themed walking trails will also be permitted, including guided walks consisting of either a single permitted group or multiple permitted groups that are kept separate throughout the tour.  These types of activities are subject to the gathering limits set out in the Roadmap - i.e. outside in groups up to a maximum of 6 people (the Rule of 6) or with one other household, though people from different households will still need to socially distance from each other. Support bubbles will continue to be counted as part of the same household.

                   

                  The tour guide does not count towards the Rule of 6 or 2 households limits.

                   

                  • Updated Guidance on Self Hire Boats

                  The Environment Agency has updated the guidance on self-hire boats that applies from Monday. Under the new guidance, boat hire premises can open and people can hire a boat for the day under the following rules:

                    • An enclosed boat can only be hired by a single household or bubble
                    • An open boat can be hired by people conforming to the Rule of Six or two households provided social distancing can be maintained between people / different households

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/environment-agency-waterways-coronavirus-covid-19-update/environment-agency-waterways-coronavirus-covid-19-update-5-march-2021

                   

                  • New Regulations Published

                  The new Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021 have been published and looking through there doesn’t seem to be any significant amendments. It will be work bookmarking the following link so that you can easily reference the legislation as we go through the opening phases.

                   

                  https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2021/364/contents/made

                   

                  • Social Impacts of Coronavirus

                  The ONS has published the latest round of its research on the social impacts of Coronavirus. The main points are:

                    • 29% adults felt that life will return to normal in less than six months which is the same as last week
                    • the proportion of adults that felt it will take more than a year for life to return to normal increased to 23% from the 21%  last week

                   

                  https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandthesocialimpactsongreatbritain/26march2021

                   

                  • Claiming Back Statutory Sick Pay

                  The Guidance to employers on how to claim back statutory sick pay for employees with coronavirus  under the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme has been updated with a change to the new weekly rate – from 6 April the new rate is £96.35, up from £95.85 previously.

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19#what-you-can-claim

                   

                  • Applying for a Visa for the UK

                  The Home Office  has yet again amended their guidance on visa applications. The ability for people to apply for a visa online if their VAC is closed, which was to have run-out on 31 March, has now been extended to 30 June 2021. This concession applies to any form of UK visa application.

                   

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

                   

                  • Updated Guidance for Places of Worship

                  The guidance for places of worship has been updated to take into account the easing of restrictions that will occur on Monday. These changes include:

                    • The ability to host outdoor services
                    • The opportunity for singing
                    • The ability to host out-of-school groups for children

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-during-the-pandemic-from-4-july/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-from-2-december

                  • R Number and Growth Rate

                  And, because it’s Friday, we end with the R Number and Growth Rate figures which are, respectively, 0.7 to 0.9 and -5% to -2%. While still decreasing, these figures are slightly worse that last week and are the same as we saw in the beginning to mid-February.

                   

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

                   

                  TIC Update 26 March 2021

                   

                  Please find attached our updated TIC Q&A document with answers to your questions, (new Q&A additions highlighted). Our Visitor Economy and Hotels and Other Accommodation guidance will be updated online shortly to reflect Step 1b changes from 29 March.

                   

                  The Government has extended temporary insolvency measures. The measures were introduced in the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act in March 2020, including protecting businesses from aggressive creditor enforcement and removing personal liability on company directors, and have been previously extended on a number of occasions. The measures are being extended till the end of June 2021.

                   

                  The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has launched a call for evidenceto seek stakeholders’ views on the Intra-company Transfer (ICT) immigration route.  The ICT route has different salary thresholds and requirements than the Skilled Worker route. The MAC have been asked to advise on the points below:

                  • the salary threshold for entry to the ICT route
                  • what elements, if any beyond base salary should count towards meeting the salary requirement
                  • whether, as now, different arrangements should apply to the very highly paid
                  • what the skills threshold for the route should be
                  • the conditions of the route, in particular those where it differs from the main Tier 2 (General)/Skilled Worker route

                   

                  The deadline for submitting your responses to the call for evidence questionnaire is 15 June 2021.

                   

                  Social Distancing Review

                  As you may be aware, under the Roadmap, HMG has committed to conducting a review of social distancing measures to determine when and under what circumstances social distancing guidance can be lifted or amended; and the implications of doing so for other non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), including face coverings and working from home guidance. The review is due to report in two phases: 1) ahead of Step 3, in relation to private interactions; and 2) ahead of Step 4, in relation to workplace measures. You may wish to review the terms of reference of the review that have now been published here

                   

                   

                  TIER: COVID-19 update 25 March

                   

                  Government extends business support measures

                  The UK Government has extended temporary insolvency measures. The measures, that are being extended to the end of June 2021, were introduced in the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act in March 2020, including protecting businesses from aggressive creditor enforcement and removing personal liability on company directors, and have been previously extended.

                  The measures being extended are:

                  • Statutory demands and winding-up petitions will continue to be restricted to protect companies from creditor enforcement action due to debts related to coronavirus.
                  • Small suppliers will not have to continue to supply a business in insolvency. However, larger suppliers will not be able to cease their supply or ask for additional payments while a company is going through a rescue process.
                  • Entry into a moratorium will remain relaxed and a company will be able to enter a moratorium if they have been subject to an insolvency procedure in the previous 12 months. These measures will be extended until 30 September 2021

                   

                  New recovery plan for tourism, hospitality and events sector published (Wales) 

                  The Welsh Government has published a new recovery plan for the tourism, hospitality and events sector. The plan “Let’s Shape the Future: working in partnership to reconstruct a resilient future for the visitor economy in Wales” was developed in consultation with the Tourism Taskforce and informed by stakeholders from across the sector. 

                   

                  It includes a shared partnership framework of essential themes around which interventions will be built to support businesses through short to medium-term recovery.

                   

                  The eight themes include:

                  1. Supporting business.
                  2. Valuing people.
                  3. Reopening safely.
                  4. Rebuilding consumer confidence.
                  5. Stimulating and managing demand.
                  6. Developing local visitor economies.
                  7. Transforming the sector to be more resilient.
                  8. Developing tailored recovery plans.

                   

                  Given the uncertain path to recovery for the industry, the intention is for this plan to evolve, providing an important bridge back to the Strategic Plan for the sector Welcome to Wales: Priorities for the Visitor Economy 2020-2025”.

                   

                  Cultural Recovery Fund Phase 2 grant (Wales)

                  The Cultural Recovery Fund Phase 2 will open for applications from the week beginning 6 April and close on 20 April. The funding is to cover the period from 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021.Application criteria can now be reviewed prior to its opening through the Eligibility Checker. Find out more on the Business Wales website.

                   

                  Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme updates

                   

                  Other updates

                   

                  TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 25 March

                   

                  • New £1.5bn Business Rates Relief Fund

                  The Treasury has announced a new fund for businesses not eligible for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business rates relief. The announcement states that the funding will be distributed according to official data on the impacts of the pandemic on different sectors to ensure an even and more proportionate allocation of support across England based on the economic impacts of COVID-19. The funding will be allocated to local authorities based on the stock of properties in the area whose sectors have been affected by COVID-19. Local Authorities will then use their knowledge of local businesses and the local economy to make awards.

                   

                  I will update you when I find out what the official data is that they are basing this on to make sure that tourism businesses that have missed out on Business Rates Relief previously are included.

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/business-rates-relief-boosted-with-new-15-billion-pot

                   

                  • NI Exemption for Covid Testing and Test and Trace Payments

                  HMRC has announced that any payments that an employer makes to an employee to reimburse them for the cost of a relevant coronavirus antigen test will be disregarded for the purposes of calculating National Insurance contributions. As such, there will be no National Insurance contributions liability for the employee or employer provided that the test that was paid for is one that can detect the presence of a viral antigen or viral ribonucleic acid (RNA) specific to Covid 19.

                   

                  The disregard will apply to any advance payments or reimbursements made to an employee for the cost of a relevant coronavirus antigen test made on or after 25 January 2021, until 5 April 2021.

                   

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

                   

                  In addition, HMRC has also announced that it will disregard payments made under the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme in England to employees who are on a low income and have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace so that payments made under the scheme will not be liable to employer or employee Class 1 National Insurance contributions. Employers will also not be liable to Class 1A National Insurance contributions in respect of the payments.

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/exemption-from-national-insurance-contributions-for-covid-19-test-and-trace-support-payments/exemption-from-national-insurance-contributions-for-covid-19-test-and-trace-support-payments

                   

                  • New Report on Testing to Open Air Travel

                  A new report from Oxera and Edge Health demonstrates that air passenger testing can be used to safely reopen international air travel from 17 May. It found that a single rapid antigen test on-arrival was as effective as completing 10 days quarantine and demonstrates how a risk based ‘traffic light’ framework could be safely introduced to re-open international travel at scale. A single test strategy could be appropriate for countries categorised as medium-risk, with testing and a three days isolation could be used for higher risk countries.

                   

                  The key findings of the report are:

                    • Rapid antigen tests can reduce the number of ‘infectious days’ of an international arrival by 63% — the same as ten days of self-isolation once compliance is taken into account
                    • A two-test strategy (antigen and PCR) with three-day quarantine could be an effective strategy for screening arrivals from countries with higher prevalence rates of COVID-19, capturing 87% of infectious days – and enabling genomic sequencing to mitigate variants of concern.
                    • Analysis of real-world 2020 US/EU passenger data shows that even a single test at the border would have reduced the imported case rate below existing UK community transmission levels.

                   

                  https://www.oxera.com/publications/effectiveness-of-dual-testing-schemes-for-air-passengers/

                   

                  • DMO Review Expert Group

                  The membership of review team for the DMO review has been announced. The membership is:

                    • David Curtis-Brignell
                    • Michael Hirst
                    • John Hoy
                    • Kate Kennally
                    • Franks Rogers
                    • Sarah Stewart
                    • Nigel Wilkinson
                    • Kate Willard
                    • Laura Wyld

                   

                  Background information on the members of the Expert Group are available on the following link.

                   

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

                   

                  • CBILS, CLBILS and BBLS Close, Recovery Loan Scheme Opens

                  Applications for CBILS, CLBILS and BBLS loans end on 31 March 2021 and are being replaced by the new Recovery Loan Scheme, which will run until 31 December 2021 to ensure that businesses can access Government-backed finance during the reopening of the economy. With the end of the old loan schemes the Government has announced that:

                    • three Bounce Back Loans have been issued every minute since May 2020 launch
                    • a total almost £180 billion in loans have been issued  since March 2020
                    • the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) scheme has supported firms responsible for 2.5 million jobs

                   

                  Which you can either view as a significant success or the dire state that many businesses.

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-backed-loans-help-thousands-of-businesses-to-protect-jobs-during-pandemic

                   

                  • CJRS Analysis

                  ONS has published another analysis on use of the CJRS for the period up to 28th February. The main findings are:

                    • The provisional figures show that 4.7m people were furloughed at the end of February
                    • The accommodation and food services sector have the highest take-up of furlough with provisional estimates showing this increased to 69% of employers at 28 February.
                    • Within this, the beverage serving activities sector had the highest proportion of eligible employments furloughed, with a take-up rate of 78%. This was followed by the hotels and similar accommodation sector which had 69%
                    • The provisional estimates show the number of employments furloughed decreased to 1.15m from 1.23m during February
                    • Accommodation and food services account for a quarter of all people on furlough
                    • in the passenger air transport sector, 61% of employers eligible were being furloughed furloughing (35,300 employees)

                   

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

                   

                  • Updated Guidance for Sports Organisations

                  DCMS’s guidance for organisations that are holding sports events that are allowed to restart on Monday has been updated to provide detailed guidance on how sports events should be managed to make sure that they are covid secure. The guidance focuses on four principles for covid secure operation:

                    • Key Principle 1 - Off-field activity
                    • Key Principle 2 - prior to activity
                    • Key principle 3 - during activity
                    • Key Principle 4 - facility usage

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-grassroots-sports-guidance-for-safe-provision-including-team-sport-contact-combat-sport-and-organised-sport-events

                   

                  • Filing Extensions End on 5th April

                  Companies House is warning businesses that the automatic filing extensions that were introduced last year with regard to the following activities come to an end on 5th April 2021:

                    • Accounts
                    • Confirmation statements
                    • Event-driven filings
                    • Mortgage charges.

                   

                  However, for accounts filing deadlines that fall after 5 April, companies can still apply for a 3-month extension.

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/automatic-filing-extensions-granted-by-the-corporate-insolvency-and-governance-act-due-to-come-to-an-end

                   

                  • Updates to CJRS Guidance

                  There has been a update to the guidance to businesses claiming CJRS, to explain that earliest that they can make a claim for May 2021 is 19 April 2021. A new section has also been added regarding the ability to claim for employees that have caring responsibilities. This states that employee are eligible for the grant and can be furloughed if they have Covid-related caring responsibilities that 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 their household

                   

                  The section on training during furlough has also been updated to state:

                    • Furloughed employees can engage in training during hours which you record your employee as being in furlough, as long as in undertaking the training the employee does not provide services to, or generate revenue for, or on behalf of their organisation or a linked or associated organisation. Furloughed employees should be encouraged to undertake training.
                    • Where training is undertaken by furloughed employees during hours which you record your employee as being on furlough, at the request of their employer, they are entitled to be paid at least their appropriate national minimum wage for this time. In most cases, the furlough payment of 80% of an employee’s regular wage, up to the value of £2,500, will provide sufficient monies to cover these training hours. However, where the time spent training attracts a minimum wage entitlement in excess of the furlough payment, employers will need to pay the additional wages

                   

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

                   

                  • £25m for Tourism Recovery in Scotland
                    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today announced £25m of funding to support the tourism sector’s recovery from COVID-19. The programme, which has been developed by the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG) in partnership with businesses, will support the Scottish Tourism Recovery Taskforce objectives.

                   

                  The recovery programme includes:

                    • a holiday voucher scheme to create a more socially sustainable and inclusive tourism industry
                    • a days out incentive scheme to support areas such as attractions, tours, activities and experiences
                    • a talent development and leadership programme for tourism and hospitality staff
                    • a Net Zero Pathway to make Scotland’s tourism industry more green and sustainable
                    • a marketing fund to support organisations to promote their destination or sector when domestic travel is able to resume

                   

                  https://www.gov.scot/news/gbp-25-million-for-tourism-recovery/

                   

                  Additional update from Tourism Alliance issued yesterday evening

                   

                  • Tax Policies and Consultations Summary Document

                  This is the summary document for the large raft of tax papers and consultations that were published yesterday so it probably the one document in the pile that you should skim through to make sure that you are up to speed on that changes that the Government is proposing and don’t miss anything that may be important to your members. The core papers are:

                   

                  Modernising tax administration

                    • Making Tax Digital
                    • HMRC: investment in digital infrastructure
                    • Tax administration framework review
                    • Timely Payment
                    • Raising standards in the tax advice market
                    • Reducing inheritance tax reporting requirements

                   

                  Tackling non-compliance

                  • Clamping down on promoters of tax avoidance
                  • Tackling disguised remuneration tax avoidance
                  • Off-payroll working rules
                  • No Safe Havens
                  • Tax Conditionality: licensing in Scotland and Northern Ireland
                  • Sanctions for illicit tobacco

                   

                  Further tax policy announcements

                  • Fundamental review of business rates
                  • Aviation tax
                  • Strengthening the self-catering accommodation criteria for business rates
                  • Review of the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS)
                  • Residential property developer tax
                  • Dormant Assets Scheme expansion
                  • Pensions tax technical updates
                  • Tax treatment of Superfunds
                  • Aggregates Levy
                  • Landfill Tax review
                  • Carbon Emissions Tax (CET)
                  • Notification by large businesses of an uncertain tax treatment
                  • VAT grouping
                  • Partial Exemption and Capital Goods Scheme
                  • New rules to prevent value shifting for VAT
                  • VAT and the public sector
                  • Simplification of the land and property VAT rules
                  • Capital allowances: technical amendment to allowance statement requirements for Structures and Buildings Allowance (SBA)
                  • Transfer pricing documentation
                  • Securitisation tax rules
                  • Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR)

                   

                  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/972056/Tax_policies_and_consultations_2021_Web_accessible.pdf

                   

                  • APD Consultation

                  This consultation

                    • Seeks views on the government’s position to support domestic connectivity, the effective rate of APD on domestic flights should be reduced and the potential options through which this could be achieved.
                    • Seeks views on a potential increase to the number of distance bands, in order to align the tax more closely with Governments environmental objectives. (Govt wants more bands)
                    • Sets out the position regarding the devolution of APD in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales (which is, respectively, devolved, semi-devolved and not devolved)
                    • Sets the government’s initial position on a potential Frequent Flyer Levy (it’s not keen)

                   

                  The closing date for submission on this is 14th June 2021

                   

                  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/971943/Aviation_Tax_Reform_Consultation.pdf

                   

                  • Strengthening the Self-Catering Accommodation Criteria for Business Rates

                  The government has announced that it will legislate to change the criteria determining whether a holiday let is valued for business rates to account for actual days the property was rented. This is aimed at ensuring that owners of properties cannot reduce their tax liability by declaring that a property is available for let while making little or no actual effort to do so. Further details of the change and implementation will be included in the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government’s response to the consultation on the business rates treatment of self-catering accommodation which will be published shortly.

                   

                  • Business Rates Review – Interim Report

                  An interim  report was published on the Government’s Business Rates Review which the Tourism Alliance submitted evidence to last year. Of particular note for tourism businesses are the sections on Business rate relief  and proposals for an Online Sales Tax.

                   

                    • Most respondents from the retail and hospitality sectors called for extension of the Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure discount, and expressed concerns about a ‘cliff edge’ reintroduction of 100% rates payable in April 2021. Several respondents called for an extension of the current 100% discount, particularly those in the hospitality sector.
                    • Some respondents highlighted abuse by firms claiming SBRR on multiple properties, including in the short-term letting sector. Others raised the issue of second homeowners registering their properties as holiday lets, despite rarely letting them out, to claim SBRR, and proposed strengthening the eligibility to pay business rates rather than council tax
                    • However, some respondents also noted that as well as online retail sales, which account for approximately £100 billion in the UK annually, the wider value of UK online sales (excluding financial services) is £700 billion annually and these respondents argued that sales including travel, accommodation, and software which previously would have occurred on the high street should also be in scope. These respondents stressed that uniform business rates reductions would be provided to all rate payers across industries, whereas the OST would just be paid by online retailers, which they considered unfair.

                   

                  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/971681/Fundamental_Review_Interim_Report.pdf

                   

                  • Costs and Benefits of Making Tax Digital for SMEs

                  A research report from Kantar for HMRC has found a very mixed picture on the costs and benefits of SMEs and micro businesses having to comply with the MTD requirements for VAT filing with a significant percentage of the businesses interviewed feeling that there has been no real benefit in having to use the new system to file returns.

                   

                  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/968418/HMRC_research_report_605_-_Exploring_the_costs_and_benefits_of_MTD_for_VAT.pdf

                   

                  TIER: COVID-19 update 24 March

                   

                  Funding for tourism recovery announced in Scotland
                  First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today announced £25m of funding to support the tourism sector’s recovery from COVID-19. The programme, which has been developed by the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG) in partnership with businesses, will support the Scottish Tourism Recovery Taskforce objectives.

                  The recovery programme includes:

                  • a holiday voucher scheme
                  • a days out incentive scheme to support areas such as attractions, tours, activities and experiences
                  • a talent development and leadership programme for tourism and hospitality staff
                  • a Net Zero Pathway
                  • a marketing fund to support organisations to promote their destination or sector when domestic travel is able to resume.

                  Further details on the allocation of funds will be set out in due course.

                  Call for evidence for the Global Travel Taskforce
                  TIER members who are planning on submitting written evidence to the Global Travel Taskforce are encouraged to do so this week. You can submit evidence by emailing globaltraveltaskforce@dft.gov.uk.

                  Submit views on the Intra-company Transfer (ICT) immigration route
                  The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has launched a call for evidence to seek stakeholders' views on the Intra-company Transfer (ICT) immigration route. The ICT route currently sits alongside the Skilled Worker route for skilled workers in the current immigration route. This route is designed to enable employers in the UK to easily move existing senior employees and specialists who have been employed by the company for at least 12 months from overseas offices to roles in the UK. Those with relevant knowledge, expertise or experience can submit evidence via a questionnaire available here. The deadline is 15 June 2021.

                  VisitBritain Brexit consumer sentiment research
                  VisitBritain’s report on the latest wave of Brexit consumer sentiment research is now live. Please note that at the time fieldwork was conducted (22 February – 9 March 2021), the UK had left the EU, the transition period had ended, and the conditions agreed in the deal between the UK and the EU applied from 1 January 2021. At the same time the COVID-19 pandemic affected the ability to travel to Britain for non-essential reasons from all markets surveyed.  Read the full document here.

                  Other updates

                  • The page COVID-19 and renting: guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities has been updated to reflect the UK Government’s commitment to extend the prevention of evictions by enforcement officers in England to 31 May 2021, and to confirm that legislation requiring landlords to provide 6 months’ notice to tenants in most cases has been extended until 31 May 2021.

                   

                  TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 24 MARCH

                   

                  • Welcome Back Fund

                  The Communities Secretary has announced a new £56 million Welcome Back Fund to boost tourism, improve green spaces and provide more outdoor seating areas, markets and food stall pop-ups. Part of this funding will be allocated specifically to support coastal areas, with funding going to all coastal resorts across England to safely welcome holiday makers in the coming months. The funding can also be used by councils to:

                    • Boost the look and feel of their high streets by investing in street planting, parks, green spaces and seating areas to make high streets as beautiful and welcoming as possible
                    • Run publicity campaigns and prepare to hold events like street markets and festivals to support local businesses
                    • Install signage and floor markings to encourage social distancing and safety
                    • Improve high streets and town centres by planting flowers or removing graffiti

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-raft-of-measures-to-prepare-our-high-streets-and-seaside-resorts-for-summer

                                  Here is a link to how much from this fund has been allocated to each council in England

                                  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/6059f3d4d3bf7f2f1a015bc0/welcome-back-fund-allocations.pdf

                  • Restrictions on Temporary Structures Eased Again

                  The Communities Secretary has also announced plans to ensure that businesses such as pubs and restaurants, including where these premises are in listed buildings are able to make the most of the summer, by allowing them  to use their land more flexibly to set up marquees and provide more outdoor space for diners as restrictions ease. To this end he is proposing that these businesses erect temporary structures for the whole summer rather than the 56 days currently permitted.

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-raft-of-measures-to-prepare-our-high-streets-and-seaside-resorts-for-summer

                  • Guidance on Outdoor Sports and Facilities

                  New guidance has been issued related to the relaxation of rules on social contact that comes into effect on Monday 29th March as part of Step 1b. This relaxation of social contact rules to allows people to meet in groups of up to six people or two separate households. This allows the restarting of certain sorts activities and facilities. So, from Monday:

                    • Outdoor sport for adults and children is permitted in larger numbers, provided it is formally organised (for example, by a national governing body or a qualified instructor 
                    • Where the sport is informal, it is limited to the Rule of 6 or two households
                    • Personal training is permitted outdoors, in outdoor sport facilities, and in private gardens, where it is formally organised and follows COVID-secure guidance.
                    • Organised sport participation events such as races and organised walks can take place outdoors and are exempt from legal gathering limits provided they are managed in a Covid Secure manner
                    • Outdoor sport facilities can reopen, and can be used for sport, physical activity and exercise. This applies to all outdoor sport facilities, including but not limited to outdoor gyms, swimming pools, courts, pitches, golf courses (including mini-golf), water sports venues, climbing walls, driving and shooting ranges, riding arenas at riding centres and archery venues.
                    • Outdoor skating rinks and trampolining parks must remain closed.
                    • Changing rooms should not be used, except by people with disabilities, although toilet facilities can be accessed.

                  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-grassroots-sports-guidance-for-the-public-and-sport-providers

                  • Transport Select Committee Session on Coach Tourism

                  The Transport Select Committee held a session today on the impact of Covid on coach operators. On the Government side, the Minister for Roads, Baroness Vere, and Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston presented evidence on the Government’s approach to the sector. One worthwhile thing that can out of the session was that Nigel Huddleston again emphasised the need to councils to include coach operators in the ARG funding rounds. Here is a link to the video of the session

                  https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/4d6a8442-9e10-413f-9c25-bd3a8ac1c87e

                  • VAT Deferral Scheme Guidance Updated

                  HMRC has updated the guidance on the VAT Deferral Scheme to clarify the maximum number of instalments that a business can make is related to when they joined the scheme. Here’s the table from the Guidance that clarifies this:

                  If you join by Number of instalments available to you
                  If you join by Number of instalments available to you
                  19 March 2021 11
                  21 April 2021 10
                  19 May 2021 9
                  21 June 2021 8

                   

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

                  • Westminster Support for Businesses In Scotland

                  The Government has produced a new publication that highlights the support available for businesses in Scotland that has come from Westminster in the form of national initiatives. This includes schemes such as:

                    • CJRS
                    • SEISS
                    • Kickstart
                    • Business Loans

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-government-support-for-business-in-scotland-march-2021

                   

                   

                  TIER: COVID-19 update 23 March

                   

                  This evening the Prime Minister Boris Johnson led a press briefing in which he was joined by England's Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance. The briefing focused on the collective efforts one year on from the announcement of a first lockdown.

                  A question was asked concerning a third wave in Europe and what measures there are to stop the virus coming into the UK. Boris Johnson answered this question mentioning the mandatory tests for international arrivals; the passenger locator form; the tests on day 2 and day 8 since arriving and managed hotel quarantine for arrivals from red list countries.

                  Another question was asked about international holiday homes ownership. The Prime Minister answered that he understands many are interested in an overseas holiday but that it is too early to say. He said he would wait for the Global Travel Taskforce to report and he hopes to say more by 5 April.

                   

                  Clarity for accommodation and Step 2 of the reopening roadmap for businesses in England

                  The UK Government has published the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021 in relation to the roadmap steps. 

                   

                  Along with this DCMS has shared some clarity on guidance on the reopening of accommodation. 

                   

                  • From Step 2, no earlier than 12 April, separate and self-contained accommodation will be open for leisure stays. This is defined as accommodation in which facilities (kitchens, sleeping areas, bathrooms and indoor communal areas such as: lifts, staircases, lounges, sitting areas and internal corridors for entry and exit) are restricted to exclusive use of a single household/support bubble. A reception area is not to be treated as a shared facility or indoor communal area if they are required in order to be open for check-in purposes.

                   

                  What can open:

                  • At Step 2, accommodation in which all facilities listed above are for the exclusive use of a single household/support bubble may open. This will mean that holiday parks, ‘standalone’ holiday lets such as houses and cottages, chalets, yurts, holiday boats, and motels which do not rely on sharing those facilities listed may open.
                  • Campsites and caravan parks will be permitted from Step 2 provided that the only shared facilities used by guests at the campsite or caravan park are washing facilities, toilets, water points and waste disposal points. These facilities should be operated so as to ensure no household mixing takes place. This would involve either assigning shower facilities to one household group/support bubble, (i.e. making them private), or running a reservation and clean process (whereby one household can exclusively book the shared facilities for a fixed time, and the facilities are cleaned between reservations and kept well-ventilated).
                  • All accommodation may continue to open for the current permitted reasons, such as to provide accommodation for those who are unable to return to their main residence; for the homeless; for those who need accommodation for work, education or training purposes; for those who need to attend medical appointments; or for those self-isolating as required by law including for the Managed Quarantine Service for high risk international arrivals.

                   

                  What cannot open:

                  • This phased approach to reopening means that the rest of the sector will follow at Step 3. Between now and Step 3 this means a continued closure of hotels, hostels, B&Bs, guest houses and any other accommodation that relies on sharing these facilities. This will also require the continued closure of any holiday lets or serviced accommodation within apartment buildings that share any of the facilities listed above.
                  • From Step 3, no earlier than 17 May, all remaining accommodation will be permitted to reopen for leisure stays.

                   

                  Step 2 will also see the reopening of non-essential retail; personal care facilities and close contact services such as beauty salons, spas and massage centres (except for steam rooms and saunas); and indoor sports and leisure facilities such as gyms and swimming pools. Where these facilities are located within a hotel or other guest accommodation, they are permitted to reopen and can be accessed - if necessary - from inside the building i.e. without the requirement for direct street access, though businesses should continue to comply with COVID-secure guidance to mitigate transmission risk. Outdoor hospitality which is permitted to open at Step 2, located on a hotel premises or other guest accommodation, may also reopen, and customers will be permitted to use indoor toilets as required.

                   

                  Regulations set out that pave the way for restrictions easing from 21 June in England

                  The government has set out regulations which will pave the way to the easing of all restrictions from 21 June. The regulations mean that from 29 March outdoor gatherings of either 6 people or 2 households will be allowed including in private gardens. The regulations will be voted on by Parliament this Thursday, and if approved, will replace the ‘all tiers’ regulations which were made to enact the tier system at the end of last year. Read the press release

                  This comes as a new One Year report is published that details which powers in the Coronavirus Act 2020 are currently active.

                   


                  Changes to restrictions in Scotland

                  First Minister for Scotland Nicola Sturgeon today announced that people living in all parts of Scotland will be able to attend places of worship in gatherings of up to 50, where there is space for physical distancing, from Friday 26 March. People will also be able to travel between Level 4 areas to attend their usual place of worship.

                  Na h-Eileanan Siar will move to Level 3 at 6pm on Wednesday 24 March and all other council areas will remain at their current levels, with restrictions on non-essential travel across local authority boundaries.

                   

                  Measures to support the reopening of high streets and seaside resorts in England

                   

                  The Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick announced a package of support to help local economies and businesses in England. The package includes a new £56 million Welcome Back Fund will help councils boost tourism, improve green spaces and provide more outdoor seating areas, markets and food stall pop-ups – giving people more safer options to reunite with friends and relatives. Part of this funding will be allocated to support coastal areas, with funding going to all coastal resorts across England to safely welcome holiday makers in the coming months. The funding can also be used by councils to:

                  • Boost the look and feel of their high streets by investing in street planting, parks, green spaces and seating areas to make high streets as beautiful and welcoming as possible
                  • Run publicity campaigns and prepare to hold events like street markets and festivals to support local businesses
                  • Install signage and floor markings to encourage social distancing and safety
                  • Improve high streets and town centres by planting flowers or removing graffiti

                   

                  Northern Ireland Executive Financial assistance scheme opens for travel agents

                  First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill have announced the opening of a Covid support scheme for travel agents experiencing difficulties as a result of the pandemic. The Travel Agents (Coronavirus) Financial Assistance Scheme 2021 is open for applications and support offered will be via a one-off grant payment of £10,000 for travel agents in Northern Ireland operating from commercial premises, and a one-off single payment of £3,500 for self-employed travel agents working from home in Northern Ireland. 

                  Travel agents with more than one premises may apply for a payment for each premises. The scheme closes on Friday 26 March at 5pm, with all supporting evidence to be provided by 5pm on Sunday 28 March. Read full details on eligibility and how to apply.

                  Other Government updates

                  • Pages advising on the closing certain businesses and venues and reopening certain businesses and venues in England have been updated. Information includes updates on business support and business rates; and changes to reflect that people can leave the home to take part in outdoor recreation and exercise.
                  • Government have outlined the accelerated process that partially exempt VAT registered businesses whose trading activities have been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) should follow to request temporary alterations to their partial exemption method.
                  • Dates that a person can request exceptional assurance, as their visa or leave has expired, have changed. If a person is in the UK and their visa or leave expires by 30 June 2021, they may request additional time to stay, known as ‘exceptional assurance’.

                   

                  TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 23 MARCH

                   

                  • Draft Regulations

                  The Government has published the draft regulations that will apply when businesses reopen. These regulations will be voted on in Parliament on Thursday. Of particular importance is the section on page 57 that relates to accommodation opening on 12th April.

                   

                  (5) Holiday accommodation referred to in sub-paragraph (1) may continue to be provided if that accommodation is provided—

                  (a) in a campsite or caravan park, provided that the only shared facilities used by guests at the campsite or caravan park are washing facilities, toilets, water points and waste disposal points, or

                  (b) in separate and self-contained premises.

                   

                  (6) Premises are separate and self-contained for the purposes of this paragraph only if—

                  (a) they are provided for persons who are —

                  (i) members of the same household, or

                  (ii) members of two households which are linked households in relation to each other, and

                  (b) none of the following are shared with the members of any other household—

                  (i) kitchens,

                  (ii) sleeping areas,

                  (iii) bathrooms, or

                  (iv) indoor communal areas.

                   

                  (7) In this paragraph—

                  (a) a reception area is not to be treated as a shared facility for the purposes of sub-paragraph (5)(a), or an indoor communal area for the purposes of sub-paragraph (6)(b);

                  (b) “communal areas” includes in particular corridors, lifts and staircases used to access premises contained in part of a building, lounges or sitting areas.

                   

                   

                  https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2021/364/pdfs/uksi_20210364_en.pdf

                   

                   

                  • DCMS Guidance on Stage 2 Accommodation Opening

                  DCMS has sent out the following guidance in relation to the interpretation of the legislation above. The guidance is:

                   

                    • At Step 2, accommodation in which all facilities listed above are for the exclusive use of a single household/support bubble may open. This will mean that holiday parks, ‘standalone’ holiday lets such as houses and cottages, chalets, yurts, holiday boats, and motels which do not rely on sharing those facilities listed may open.

                   

                    • Campsites and caravan parks will be permitted from Step 2 provided that the only shared facilities used by guests at the campsite or caravan park are washing facilities, toilets, water points and waste disposal points. These facilities should be operated so as to ensure no household mixing takes place. This would involve either assigning shower facilities to one household group/support bubble, (i.e. making them private), or running a reservation and clean process (whereby one household can exclusively book the shared facilities for a fixed time, and the facilities are cleaned between reservations and kept well-ventilated).

                   

                    • All accommodation may continue to open for the current permitted reasons, such as to provide accommodation for those who are unable to return to their main residence; for the homeless; for those who need accommodation for work, education or training purposes; for those who need to attend medical appointments; or for those self-isolating as required by law including for the Managed Quarantine Service for high risk international arrivals.

                   

                    • Any holiday lets or serviced accommodation within apartment buildings that share any of the facilities listed above will be required to stay closed during Step 2

                   

                    • Step 2 will see the reopening of non-essential retail; personal care facilities and close contact services such as beauty salons, spas and massage centres (except for steam rooms and saunas); and indoor sports and leisure facilities such as gyms and swimming pools. Where these facilities are located within a hotel or other guest accommodation, they are permitted to reopen and can be accessed - if necessary - from inside the building i.e. without the requirement for direct street access, though businesses should continue to comply with COVID-Secure guidance to mitigate transmission risk. Outdoor hospitality which is permitted to open at Step 2,  located on a hotel premises or other guest accommodation, may also reopen, and customers will be permitted to use indoor toilets as required.

                   

                   

                  • Status of Tourism Deal

                  The Shadow Tourism Minister, Alex Sobel MP has received the following answer to a written question regarding the status of the Tourism Deal

                   

                  Question: Alex Sobel

                  To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans to amend the Tourism Sector Deal as a result of the Government announcing the covid-19 recovery strategy.

                   

                  Answer: Nigel Huddleston

                  The UK Government will publish a Tourism Recovery Plan in the Spring. Given the significant impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector, we now face different challenges to when the Tourism Sector Deal was published. The Recovery Plan will build on the foundations of the Sector Deal.

                   

                   

                  • Treatment of Expenses

                  HMRC has updated the guidance for businesses on the treatment of businesses expenses by adding a new section related to paying or refunding transport costs.  

                   

                  If you provide transport to your employee for travel between their workplace and home because of coronavirus, this is considered to be a benefit in kind - journeys between an employee’s workplace and home are private journeys. If you reimburse the cost of transport between workplace and home for your employee, this is treated as earnings and you must deduct and pay PAYE tax and Class 1 National Insurance through payroll. In some circumstances there is an exemption from paying tax on this benefit. For this to happen, all of the following 4 conditions must be met:

                    • the employee has to work later than usual, and until at least 9pm
                    • this happens irregularly
                    • by the time the employee finishes work, either:
                      • public transport has stopped
                      • it would not be reasonable to expect them to to use public transport
                    • the transport is by taxi or similar road transport

                   

                  Your employees may regularly travel to work in a car with one or more other employees using a car-sharing arrangement. If this arrangement stops because of unforeseen and exceptional circumstances, which are coronavirus related, and you provide transport or reimbursement of the expense of transport from your employee’s home to workplace, this may also be exempt. The total number of exempt journeys cannot exceed 60 journeys in a tax year. This is a single limit that applies to the late-night journeys and the failure of any car-sharing arrangement, together. If these requirements are not met, free or subsidised transport is taxable and should be reported through a PAYE Settlement Agreement as a coronavirus related benefit.

                   

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

                   

                   

                  • Temporary Resident Guidance Updated

                  Only four days after saying that foreign nationals with visas to stay in the UK can apply for exceptional assurance to expend their stay if their visa expires before the end of April. The Home Office has realised that it’s unlikely that international flights will resume by the end of April and extended exceptional assurance to the 30th June instead.

                   

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

                   

                  TIC UDPATE 23/03/2021

                   

                  Accomodation and Step 2 of the Roadmap

                   

                  The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021 have been published in relation to the roadmap steps. 

                   

                  I would like to clarify some queries that have been raised regarding the reopening of accommodation and can confirm the agreed Government position is that:

                   

                  • From Step 2, no earlier than 12 April, separate and self-contained accommodation will be open for leisure stays. This is defined as accommodation in which facilities (kitchens, sleeping areas, bathrooms and indoor communal areas such as: lifts, staircases, lounges, sitting areas and internal corridors for entry and exit) are restricted to exclusive use of a single household/support bubble. A reception area is not to be treated as a shared facility or indoor communal area if they are required in order to be open for check-in purposes.

                  What can open

                  • At Step 2, accommodation in which all facilities listed above are for the exclusive use of a single household/support bubble may open. This will mean that holiday parks, ‘standalone’ holiday lets such as houses and cottages, chalets, yurts, holiday boats, and motels which do not rely on sharing those facilities listed may open.

                   

                  • Campsites and caravan parks will be permitted from Step 2 provided that the only shared facilities used by guests at the campsite or caravan park are washing facilities, toilets, water points and waste disposal points. These facilities should be operated so as to ensure no household mixing takes place. This would involve either assigning shower facilities to one household group/support bubble, (i.e. making them private), or running a reservation and clean process (whereby one household can exclusively book the shared facilities for a fixed time, and the facilities are cleaned between reservations and kept well-ventilated).

                   

                  • All accommodation may continue to open for the current permitted reasons, such as to provide accommodation for those who are unable to return to their main residence; for the homeless; for those who need accommodation for work, education or training purposes; for those who need to attend medical appointments; or for those self-isolating as required by law including for the Managed Quarantine Service for high risk international arrivals.

                   

                  What cannot open

                  • This phased approach to reopening means that the rest of the sector will follow at Step 3. We recognise that between now and Step 3 this means a continued closure of hotels, hostels, B&Bs, guest houses and any other accommodation that relies on sharing these facilities. This will also require the continued closure of any holiday lets or serviced accommodation within apartment buildings that share any of the facilities listed above.

                   

                  • From Step 3, no earlier than 17 May, all remaining accommodation will be permitted to reopen for leisure stays.

                   

                  Step 2 will also see the reopening of non-essential retail; personal care facilities and close contact services such as beauty salons, spas and massage centres (except for steam rooms and saunas); and indoor sports and leisure facilities such as gyms and swimming pools. Where these facilities are located within a hotel or other guest accommodation, they are permitted to reopen and can be accessed - if necessary - from inside the building i.e. without the requirement for direct street access, though businesses should continue to comply with COVID-Secure guidance to mitigate transmission risk. Outdoor hospitality which is permitted to open at Step 2,  located on a hotel premises or other guest accommodation, may also reopen, and customers will be permitted to use indoor toilets as required.

                   

                  Rationale

                   

                  The government recognises the significant contribution that hotels and similar accommodation have made by providing their services for managed quarantine, sheltering rough sleepers and other vulnerable groups, and providing safe accommodation for a variety of legally permitted reasons throughout the last year. 

                   

                  However, the Government has set out its plan to allow cautious and gradual reopening of the economy. This is a phased roadmap and we are not opening the sector in one go, meaning leisure stays in different types of accommodation will be permitted gradually alongside the phased reopening of other businesses and services. This is because we need to act cautiously to keep prevalence low and avoid the need for re-escalation. As TIC members have indicated, reopening and then having to close again would be far more damaging than a phased reopening. 

                   

                  Although cases are in decline, the SPI-M scientific modelling shows that opening too early or too quickly risks a further surge which could overwhelm the NHS, leading to another lockdown. As a result, accommodation that relies on the shared use of indoor facilities will not open for leisure stays for a further 5 weeks until Step 3 while we assess the impact of reopening at Step 2. 

                   

                  Further, in aggregate Step 2 prioritises outdoor activity over indoor activity, and activity within households rather than between them. The likelihood of transmission is substantially lower in the open air rather than indoors. Travel and tourism inherently involves a lot of travel across the country, as well as household mixing. Allowing both the opening of all guest accomodation and household mixing before more of the population is vaccinated would substantially increase the risk of the NHS being put under unsustainable pressure. 

                   

                  The approach we are taking is slow and cautious, to ensure it is irreversible. A number of measures have been put in place to assist the sector prior to reopening and to return to profit upon reopening. These include the extension of the furlough scheme, VAT cut and business rates relief, the new restart grants, a new loan scheme and the Help to Grow scheme.

                   

                  Our guidance for Hotels & Other Guest Accommodation will be updated in advance of each step of the roadmap with further detail.

                   

                  Additional Restrictions Grants

                   

                  The Government has updated its guidance regarding eligibility for the Additional Restrictions Grants. Please see here. Of note is paragraph 27 (copied below) which now specifies a greater number of businesses as being eligible:

                   

                  Local Authorities are encouraged to support businesses from all sectors that may have been severely impacted by restrictions, but are not eligible for the Restart Grant scheme. This may include, but is not limited to, group travel and tour operators, other tourism businesses (including B&Bs and event industry suppliers), wholesalers, English language schools, breweries, freelance and mobile businesses (including caterers, events, hair, beauty and wedding related businesses), wraparound care providers, and other businesses that may have not received other grant funding. This list is not directive nor exhaustive, and Local Authorities should continue to issue grants at their discretion, based on local economic needs. 

                   

                  Welcome Back Fund

                  On Saturday, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government announced a series of new measures to support a safe and successful reopening. This includes a new £56m Welcome Back Fund, with a heavy tourism focus. Please see this announcement for further detail.

                   

                  Global Travel Taskforce - written submissions

                  Should you be planning on submitting written evidence to the Global Travel Taskforce, then it would be appreciated if you could do so this week. As per my previous email, you can do this by emailing globaltraveltaskforce@dft.gov.uk .

                   

                  TIER: COVID-19 update 22 March

                   

                  Passengers from Ethiopia, Oman, Qatar and Somalia to Scotland to enter managed quarantine

                  On 19 March, the Scottish Government announced that travellers arriving in Scotland from Ethiopia, Oman, Qatar and Somalia will be required to enter managed quarantine if they have been in one of these countries in the 10 days before arrival, including people travelling on from elsewhere in the UK or in Ireland. Portugal and Mauritius are removed from the list.

                   

                  Wave 26 of VisitEngland’s Consumer Sentiment Tracker

                  The latest wave of VisitEngland’s Consumer Sentiment Tracker has been published, with fieldwork carried out from 8-12 March. The survey has been updated to reflect the evolving nature of the pandemic and includes new questions on the likelihood to take day trips. The survey has additional answers to questions including differentiation between large and small cities or towns, under destination type, and ‘unwilling to travel unless vaccinated’ has been added within the ‘trip confidence’ question.

                  Highlights from wave 26 include:

                  • There has been a significant decline in those believing the ‘worst is still to come’ with a corresponding rise in those who now consider the ‘worst has passed’ (at 40%).  However, there is still pessimism around life ‘returning to normal’ anytime soon, with just 10% expecting this to be the case by June, down from 16% last wave.
                  • Confidence is on the rise with 38% now confident a June trip would proceed as planned (up from 32% in wave 25).  Trip intent is also up with 16% anticipating a trip this spring (up from 14%). Summer trip intent rebounds to 37%, which is a 10 point rise on the last wave. 23% now claim they don’t have any plans to take an overnight domestic trip, which is down 11 points from wave 25. 
                  • There is higher trip intent (for spring) among those who have been vaccinated, although summer intent onwards appears broadly unaffected by the vaccine take-up.
                  • Planning and booking activity remains subdued, with 43% of spring intenders claiming to have planned their trip and just 29% already booking it. Among summer intenders it’s 27% and 20% respectively. 
                  • While planned day-trip activity is low in the near term (next two weeks), it does accelerate later this spring/summer with 37% saying they anticipate a day trip to the countryside/village and 41% to a traditional coastal/seaside town. Trips to urban locations are predictably lower (under one quarter).
                  • The accommodation types most likely to be used on overnight trips this spring are ‘commercial rentals’ (e.g. holiday cottages) on 40%. ‘Hotel/motel/inn’ (36%) ‘camping/caravan’ (35%) and a ‘private home’ closely behind.

                   

                  TOURISM ALLIANCE UDPATE – 22 MARCH

                   

                  • ARG Guidance Amended

                  Some good news to start the week. We’ve managed to get the ARG guidance changed to encourage councils to provide grants to a range of tourism businesses that had previously fallen through the cracks. Para 27 of the guidance now reads:

                  Local Authorities are encouraged to support businesses from all sectors that may have been severely impacted by restrictions, but are not eligible for the Restart Grant scheme. This may include, but is not limited to, group travel and tour operators, other tourism businesses (including B&Bs and event industry suppliers), wholesalers, English language schools, breweries, freelance and mobile businesses (including caterers, events, hair, beauty and wedding related businesses), wraparound care providers, and other businesses that may have not received other grant funding. This list is not directive nor exhaustive, and Local Authorities should continue to issue grants at their discretion, based on local economic needs.

                  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/971482/additional-restrictions-grant-la-guidance.pdf

                   

                  • Further Guidance on Stage 2 Wedding Venues

                  The Government has issued further guidance on holding weddings during Stage 2. The new guidance states that, from 12th April, wedding ceremonies can take place in venues which are permitted to open for the purposes of providing unrestricted services. This includes:

                    • Conference centres and exhibition halls
                    • Holiday accommodation, including hotels (in a room approved for the solemnisation of marriage and formation of a civil partnership)
                    • Any purpose built wedding venue (where that is its sole purpose, and it is not also a hospitality venue or visitor attraction)
                    • Visitor attractions may be used (if licensed) if the part of the venue used to hold the ceremony is used solely for that purpose and is not ordinarily open to the public (for example a building used for wedding ceremonies within the grounds of a botanical garden).
                    • Rooms or spaces within indoor visitor attractions (for example a room within a museum) if they can be accessed directly from the street, or open outdoor areas of the venue.

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships

                   

                  • Wales Tourism Recovery Plan - Let’s Shape the Future

                  The Welsh Government has published a Tourism recovery Plan for the tourism industry in Wales. Developed in consultation with the Tourism Taskforce, the plan includes a shared partnership framework of essential themes around which interventions will be built to support businesses through short to medium-term recovery. The 8 essential themes include:

                  1. Supporting business.
                  2. Valuing people.
                  3. Reopening safely.
                  4. Rebuilding consumer confidence.
                  5. Stimulating and managing demand.
                  6. Developing local visitor economies.
                  7. Transforming the sector to be more resilient.
                  8. Developing tailored recovery plans.

                   

                  It should be noted that this is very much an outline recovery plan and much more meat will need to be added to this framework plan.

                   

                  https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2021-03/lets-shape-the-future_0.pdf

                   

                  • Lockdown Guidance Updated

                  The Lockdown Guidance has been updated to include a summary of the changes that will occur next Monday (29th March) as part of Stage 1b. The main changes are:

                    • People will be able to meet outdoors either in a group of 6 (from any number of households), or in a group of any size from up to 2 households (each household can include existing support bubbles, if eligible)
                    • People will be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports with any number of people (outdoor sports venues and facilities will be able to reopen)
                    • Childcare and supervised activities will be allowed outdoors for all children
                    • Formally organised parent and child groups will be able to take place outdoors for up to 15 attendees. Children under 5 will not be not counted in this number

                   

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

                   

                  • Hotel Quarantine Guidance Updated

                  The guidance for people staying in a quarantine hotel has been updated with the following information

                    • Permission can be requested to leave quarantine for a limited period if a close family member or household member is dying.
                    • Permission can be requested to leave quarantine to attend a funeral. This is limited to the day of the funeral or, in exceptional circumstances, an overnight stay where it is not possible to travel to the funeral and back within one day
                    • If an unaccompanied minor child is arriving, a parent, guardian or appropriate adult is expected to join their child in managed quarantine on arrival. 

                   

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

                                 There has also been an amendment to the guidance to clarify the length of stay of people who test positive while in a quarantine Hotel

                    • If you receive a positive test result on day 2, you must quarantine for 10 days beginning the day after the test was taken.
                    • If you are test positive on day 2 and are in quarantine with people you have travelled with, they will also need to quarantine for 10 further days.
                    • If you receive a positive result for your day 2 test, you will not be required to take any further tests but people you are staying with will need to take a day 8 test.
                    • If you receive a positive test result on day 8 you will be required to quarantine for 10 further days.

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/managed-quarantine-what-to-expect/managed-quarantine-what-to-expect

                  • Test and Trace Support Payment

                  The test and trace Support Payment is the £500 payment that people can get if they’ve been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and told to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020. The guidance on this payment has been updated to reflect that you can claim up to 42 days after the first day of your self-isolation period, and that the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme has been extended to parents and guardians who need to take time off work to care for a child who is self-isolating.

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

                   TIER: COVID-19 update 19 March

                   

                  Coronavirus Control Plan updated for Wales

                  The Welsh Government has updated its Coronavirus Control Plan, setting out how and when Wales will emerge from lockdown. The plan has been updated to take account of Wales’ vaccination programme and the emergence of more infectious variants of the virus. It also reflects the risk of new, potentially vaccine-resistant variants of coronavirus being imported into Wales from people holidaying and travelling overseas.

                  The new plan aims to support the Welsh Government to continue to relax restrictions while the public health situation continues to remain positive. If there are strong signs of a growth in infections, it also sets out how the relaxations may need to be slowed, paused or in the worst case, reversed.

                  New guidance available for businesses to check if they’re eligible for a coronavirus Restart Grant (England)

                   

                  The Restart Grant scheme supports businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation sectors with a one-off grant, to reopen safely as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Eligible businesses in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym sectors may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £18,000 from their local council.

                   

                  Eligibility

                  Your business may be eligible if it:

                  • Is based in England
                  • Is rate-paying
                  • Is in the non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care or gym sectors
                  • Was trading on 1 April 2020

                   

                  What you get

                  Local councils will use their discretion to determine whether businesses meet the eligibility criteria for this grant scheme.

                   

                  Eligible businesses will be paid:

                  • a one-off grant of up to £18,000 in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym sectors
                  • a one-off grant of up to £6,000 in the non-essential retail sector

                   

                  Visit your local council’s website to find out how to apply:

                   

                   

                  Other updates:

                   

                   

                  TOURISM ALLIANCE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – 19 MARCH

                   

                  • Events Research Programme ToR

                  The terms of reference for the Events Research Programme have been published. This is one of the four reviews announced alongside the Roadmap and is being undertaken to support the opening of large scale events. The objective of the research programme is to oversee a range of pilot events in Spring/Summer which will build evidence on the risks associated with Covid-19 transmission routes, the characteristics of events and surrounding activities, and the extent to which mitigation measures can effectively address these risks. The evidence from these pilot events will be used to inform the government's decision around Step 4 of the roadmap and will shape government policy to bring about the phased return of fuller audiences to venues and events up and down England.

                   

                  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/970528/Terms_of_Reference-_Events_Research_Programme.pdf

                   

                  • Destination Management Organisations Consultation Launched

                  The DMO consultation has been launched. The main questions in the consultation are:

                    • What do you feel works well overall about the current ways in which DMOs are structured and operate in England?
                    • what do you think could work differently or could be improved about how DMOs are structured and operate in England?
                    • Why should there be DMOs?
                    • What should DMOs do to be at their best?
                    • Who and/or what do you think benefits from the work DMOs carry out?
                    • What examples do you have of DMOs demonstrating their value and/or Returns on Investment to stakeholders?
                    • What views do you have about the ways in which DMOs are funded currently, and how this could change?
                    • What views do you have about the ways in which individual DMOs are structured currently, and how this could change?
                    • What do you think works well about how DMOs work with:

                  a) other DMOs;
                  b) local/regional tourism businesses; and
                  c) other relevant sectors currently, and what could work better?

                    • What do you think works well about how DMOs work with other local structures (e.g. local authorities, local enterprise partnerships, mayoral combined authorities, universities, etc), and what could work better?
                    •  What do you think works well about how DMOs currently work with the British Tourist Authority (VisitBritain/VisitEngland), and how could this work better?
                    •  What do you think works well about how DMOs currently work to support business visits and events, and how could this work better?
                    • How do you think DMOs can best support government priorities, both locally and nationally?
                    • What lessons do you think can be learned from other historical and/or international models for structuring and/or funding DMOs?
                    • How can DMOs best support the recovery and rebuilding of the tourism sector over the next year both in terms of leisure and business tourism, following the COVID-19 pandemic?
                    • What risks do you see for the potential for DMOs to support the recovery and rebuilding of the tourism sector, again both in terms of leisure and business tourism, over the next year?
                    • What do you see as the biggest opportunities for DMOs over the next ten years?
                    • And what do you see as the biggest challenges for DMOs over the next ten years?
                    • What one thing do you think could be done to ensure the financial and organisational sustainability of DMOs over the next ten years?

                   

                  The consultation will close on Wednesday 28th April and submissions can be make through the Online Survey on the following link

                   

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

                   

                  This is a very important consultation for the future of sub-national tourism support and development, so I’m in the process of organising a seminar on this for Tourism Alliance members in the week of 19th April and will send round more details on this next week.

                   

                  • Business Adaptation to Coronavirus

                  ONS has produced data on how businesses have adapted to lockdowns during the pandemic by finding ways to continue trading in some form. The data show that the number of businesses that have closed completely during the current lockdown is considerably lower than during the first lockdown last year. For example

                    • 54% of food service and accommodation businesses are currently closed compared to 81% in the first lockdown
                    • 56% of arts. entertainment and recreation businesses are currently closed compared to 82% in the first lockdown

                   

                  While this can be seen as businesses becoming more innovative, it could also be seen as a sign that businesses are increasingly desperate for any revenue. It is also worth noting that:

                    • overall, only 12% of all businesses are closed
                    • The percentage of people working in their normal workplaces is increasing – from 37% in the first lockdown to 44% now – which is a trend that will help support hospitality and tourism businesses in city centres when they reopen.

                   

                  https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/economicoutputandproductivity/output/articles/coronavirushowpeopleandbusinesseshaveadaptedtolockdowns/2021-03-19

                   

                  • Lateral Flow Test Sites

                  The Government has launched an online postcode checker so you can see if new rapid lateral flow testing is available in your area. These tests are free and results are available in 30 minutes so they are an important component in a covid management regime.

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/find-covid-19-lateral-flow-test-site

                   

                  • Guidance for Temporary Residents

                  The Home Office guidance for those people in the UK in temporary visas that intend to leave the country but have not been able to do so has been updated again to say that if they have a visa that expires before 30 April 2021, they can request additional time to stay (exceptional assurance) by emailing cihassuranceteam@homeoffice.gov.uk

                   

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

                   

                  • R Number and Growth Rate

                  And because it’s the end of the week, we have the latest R number and Growth Rate – which are respectively 0.6 to 0.9 and -6% to -3%. This is a slight increase from last week’s figures of  0.6 to 0.8  and -7% to -4%

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

                   

                   

                   

                  TIER: COVID-19 update 18 March

                   

                  Today’s press briefing was led by Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty and Dr June Raine, MHRA. The Prime Minister addressed concerns over vaccine supply, stating there is a delay in a shipment which means slightly fewer vaccines will be received in April. The Prime Minister explained that this delay would not impact the current vaccination targets, and that there was no change to next steps of the roadmap. 

                  Updated guidance on the Additional Restrictions Grant and the Restart Grant
                  The guidance on the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) for local authorities in England has been updated to include the £425m top-up from 1 April 2021 announced at the Budget. The ARG funding scheme aims to support businesses severely impacted by coronavirus restrictions. Funding was first made available in Financial Year 2020-2021 and can be used across Financial Years 20/21 and 21/22. However, Local Authorities are encouraged to distribute funding to businesses who require support as soon as possible.

                  Read the full document here.

                   

                  Please find attached the TIER note which highlighted the Tourism Minister stating that these grants are aimed at businesses that have not been eligible for other grants, should you wish to share with your members to help make the case to local authorities. 

                   

                  More guidance for local authorities on the Restart Grant for non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses in England is available here.

                  Under the Restart Grant scheme, Local Authorities will receive funding to be allocated in one-off grants to businesses. Grants of up to £6,000 will be paid to non-essential retail business premises, to help them reopen safely. Grants of up to £18,000 will be allocated to hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym business premises, which may open later under plans set out in the roadmap and will be more impacted by restrictions when they do reopen

                  To note:

                  • The Restart Grant is a one-off grant
                  • Businesses will be eligible for this support from 1 April 2021 and Local Authorities must not make payments to businesses before this date
                  • Local Authorities will be responsible for determining whether businesses are entitled to a grant under the non-essential retail thresholds, or under the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym business thresholds


                  Call for views on independent review of Destination Management Organisations

                  The review of England’s Destination Management Organisations (DMOs is now open for responses and will close at 11.45pm on 28 April 2021. The independent review will assess how DMOs across England are funded and structured, and how they perform their roles, in order to establish whether there may be a more efficient and effective model for supporting English tourism at the regional level. Those interested in submitting a should complete this online survey. More information on the review is available here. 

                  Terms of reference for the Events Research Programme have been published

                  The Government has published the terms of reference for the Events Research Programme, which was committed to in the roadmap.

                  The Events Research Programme will oversee a range of pilot events in Spring/Summer to build evidence on the risks associated with Covid-19 transmission routes, the characteristics of events and surrounding activities, and the extent to which mitigation measures can effectively address these risks.

                  The evidence from these pilot events will be used to inform the government's decision around Step 4 of the roadmap and will shape government policy to bring about the phased return of fuller audiences to venues and events up and down England.

                  Read more information on timings and the scope of the programme
                  here. 

                  Wave 7 of ALVA’s Attractions Recovery Tracker

                  The latest wave of visitor sentiment research, commissioned by ALVA and undertaken by Decision House is now available. The full document is attached, and the headlines are below:

                  • Since the end of January there has been a notable positive shift in confidence around visiting attractions when they re-open.
                  • The growth in confidence has been driven by those living in the south of England and Scotland, with the Midlands and North of England yet to see the same increases
                  • The positive and safe visit experiences at attractions in 2020 have helped lay the foundations for visitor confidence in 2021
                  • This easing of anxiety and growth in confidence is being driven primarily by less concern around new variants and high infection rates, plus perceived success around the vaccine rollout
                  • Vaccines are having a strong positive impact on visit confidence across all age groups, although impact is lower in the Midlands and North of England regions at present (uplift of +6%)
                  • Having the first vaccine dose now increases the proportion saying they will visit any attraction from 47% to 57% (+10%). This compares with an uplift of just 44% to 48% (+4%) at the end of January.
                  • Most safety measures will still be highly comforting to visitors, although with visit confidence now growing, their impact on the visit decision is perhaps diminishing a little. There is now a small minority (around 7%) who will not visit until a ‘normal’ experience can be delivered

                   


                  TOURISM ALIIANCE Coronavirus Update – 18 MARCH

                   

                  • Show Rounds

                  One clarification from DCMS that has come through today is that, from  March 29, visiting a business event venue for the purpose of viewing the venue for a future booking for a work-based event is permitted if this cannot be reasonably done from home (Covid Secure Safety guidelines must be adhered to while doing this). Viewings where there is not a permitted exemption for work purposes or otherwise, should not be taking place in closed venues at this time.

                   

                  In practice that means venue viewings for leisure activities is being treated differently to venue viewings for business activities as the former is restricted while the latter is permitted under the current guidelines. So this means that a show round for a conference or meeting is allowed but a show round for a leisure trip or a wedding is still not allowed.

                   

                  • Clarification on Restart Grants

                  The email that I send round earlier on the restart grants should have read:

                   

                  The rates that apply for the hospitality, accommodation and leisure businesses are:

                    • £8,000 for businesses with a rateable value of up to and exactly £15,000
                    • £12,000 for businesses with a rateable vale over £15,000 and less that £51,000
                    • £18,000 for businesses with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or greater

                   

                  • DFT Travel Tracker

                  DFT has published the third wave of their Travel Tracker – which cover November so it’s somewhat ancient history now. However, it does show that people are very hesitant about using public transport. During the November lockdown, 65% of people drove a car, but only 13% of people took a train and 24% of people took a bus.

                   

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

                   

                  • DCMS Provision GVA Analysis – 2019 and 2020

                  DCMS has published data on the monthly GVA of sectors under it’s responsibility. The data shows that tourism’s GVA in 2020 decreased from £70.3bn to £48.7bn – a decrease of 31%.

                   

                  It is worth noting that I have an ongoing conversation with ONS about the Tourism Satellite Account figures which are used to calculate tourism GVA and employment. ONS have accepted that there are severe problems with how tourism GVA and employment is calculated which means that these figures significantly under-estimate the contribution of tourism to the UK economy. My estimation is that the GVA figure is about £15bn lower than it should be. Nevertheless, these figures are good at highlighting the relative decrease in GVA during 2020.

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/ad-hoc-statistical-analysis-202021-quarter-4

                   

                  • £500 Payment Update

                  This one is for employees - the Government has updated the guidance associated with the one-off £500 payment that is being made to households that receive tax credits. The update is to clarify that the payment is non-taxable and will not affect benefits. It does not need to be declared as income for Income Tax Self Assessment or for tax credit claims and renewals.

                   

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

                   

                  • Environment Agency Update

                  The Environment Agency has updated it’s guidance on what water-based activities (including water sports and boating) are allowed at different stages of the Roadmap

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/environment-agency-waterways-coronavirus-covid-19-update/environment-agency-waterways-coronavirus-covid-19-update-5-march-2021

                   

                  • Northern Ireland Relaxations

                  The Northern Ireland Executive has agreed to gradual changes which will come into effect before the next formal review date on or before 15 April.

                   

                  From 1 April, the regulations will change to:

                    • Permit ten people from two households to undertake outdoor sporting activities as defined in the regulations. This allows sports such as golf and tennis to resume from this date in small groups of individuals from two households, however club houses and sport facilities including changing rooms, showers, kitchens, meeting rooms must remain closed apart from essential toilet facilities.
                    • Up to six people (including children) from two households may meet outdoors in a garden
                    • Garden centres and plant nurseries can operate a contactless click and collect service.

                   

                  From 12 April, it the Executive hopes to:

                    • Increase the numbers who can meet outdoors in a garden from six to ten (including children) from two households;
                    • Allow contactless click and collect service for all non-essential retail;
                    • Allow for sports training to resume by sports clubs affiliated with recognised Governing Bodies, in small groups of up to fifteen people but with all indoor spaces closed except for essential toilet facilities
                    • Remove of the ‘stay at home’ provision in the legislation; promotion of the stay local and work from home messages.

                   

                                 https://www.executiveoffice-ni.gov.uk/news/executive-agrees-number-early-relaxations-covid-19-regulations

                   

                  TOURISM SOCIETY PANEL DISCUSSION

                   
                  Tourism Society
                  We are delighted to invite you to the next installment in our "Big Thinkers in Tourism" series next Wednesday, 24 March, from 12 - 1 pm when we will be joined by a DMO Panel discussing " How could DMOs help English tourism recover?"
                   
                  Nick Brooks-Sykes, Director of Tourism at Marketing Manchester and author of a  paper signed by the 17 most influential English DMOs, has some thought provoking ideas. Is part of the answer a new National Portfolio of Strategic DMOs? Come along and hear what he has to say as well as his fellow panel members: Nigel Wilkinson, Managing Director of Windermere Lake Cruises and Cumbria LEP Board Member and David Andrews Chief Executive of Visit Wiltshire. 
                   
                   
                  Nick Brooks-Sykes
                   
                  Nick Brooks-Sykes is Director of Tourism at Marketing Manchester and Vice Chairman of the Tourism Alliance. He has over thirty years’ experience in the tourism sector, having previously held a number of senior management roles at the North West Tourist Board and North West Regional Development Agency and Chief Executive of Bath Tourism Plus.
                   
                  Nick leads the tourism and convention team at Marketing Manchester, the agency charged with promoting Manchester on the national and international stage and the official tourist board for the city region. Marketing Manchester is recognised as one of the country’s leading destination management organisations.
                   
                  Nigel Wilkinson
                   
                  A graduate engineer and Chartered Accountant, Nigel Wilkinson has been managing director of Windermere Lake Cruises Limited since 2004. He is also managing director of Winander Leisure Limited and a director of Winander Group Holdings Limited, Lakeland Motor Museum Limited and Rushbond plc.
                   
                  He served as a director of Cumbria Tourism for almost ten years, prior to his retirement at the 2017 Annual General Meeting. Nigel has been previously involved in the county’s Visitor Economy sub group and development of the associated sector growth plan, and is a past chair of the Lake District National Park Partnership’s Business Task Force. He is also a Cumbria LEP board member. 
                   
                  David Andrews
                   
                  David Andrews is currently the Chief  Executive of Visit Wiltshire and has worked in destination marketing and management for over 25 years. This includes working for Visit Britian, including roles based in Singapore, Chicago, Amsterdam and London, plus roles at the Mersey Partnership and Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority. 
                   
                  Joining details will be sent in advance of the event. We hope to see you there! 

                  Tourism Alliance Brexit Update - 17 March 2021

                  SME Brexit Support Fund
                  The SME Brexit Support Fund is now open for applications. This fund provides up to £2,000 to help with training or professional advice for businesses with up to 500 employees and a turnover of less than £100m. There are two types of grants:

                  • Grant for Training

                  These grants can be used to provide training on the following: How to complete customs declarations; How to manage customs processes and use customs software and systems; Specific import and export related aspects including VAT, excise and rules of origin.

                  https://www.customsintermediarygrant.co.uk/sme-grants-available-training

                   

                  • Grant for Professional Advice

                  This grant can be used to get professional advice, so your business can meet its customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements.

                  https://www.customsintermediarygrant.co.uk/sme-grants-available-advice

                   

                  Applications will close on 30 June 2021 or earlier, if all funding is allocated before this date

                   

                  Statement provided by DCMS for the Outdoor Events sector to provide some information as to the progress of the Events Research Programme. A similar statement for business events has been requested and will be circulated once received.

                   

                  ‘We have so far only announced that the F.A cup final at Wembley stadium on May 15, and the world snooker championships at the Crucible theatre in Sheffield, which conclude on May 3, will be pilot events. The pilots will not be just sporting events and we have supplemented these via our partnership with Liverpool City Council (‘Project Encore’) to ensure the events represent a comprehensive range of settings. Over the coming weeks the research programme’s board will continue to assess which types of events and settings will be most suitable for establishing an evidence base, following the criteria set by our Science Board. The shortlist of pilot events takes into account a range of requirements needed to test different science-led criteria, including but not limited to indoor and outdoor settings, small and large venues, seated and standing events, different forms of audience participation, transport to events, duration, and ventilation’.

                  TIER: COVID-19 update 17 March

                   

                  Early relaxations for some COVID regulations announced in Northern Ireland

                  The Northern Ireland Executive has agreed to gradual changes which will come into effect before the next formal review date on or before 15 April.

                   

                  From 1 April, the regulations will change to:

                  • Permit ten people from two households to undertake outdoor sporting activities as defined in the regulations. This allows sports such as golf and tennis to resume from this date in small groups of individuals from two households, however club houses and sport facilities including changing rooms, showers, kitchens, meeting rooms must remain closed apart from essential toilet facilities.
                  • Up to six people (including children) from two households may meet outdoors in a garden
                  • Garden centres and plant nurseries can operate a contactless click and collect service.

                   

                  The Executive also agreed an indicative date of 12 April for:

                  • Increasing the numbers who can meet outdoors in a garden from six to ten (including children) from two households;
                  • Allowing contactless click and collect service for all non-essential retail;
                  • Allowing for sports training to resume by sports clubs affiliated with recognised Governing Bodies, in small groups of up to fifteen people but with all indoor spaces closed except for essential toilet facilities; and
                  • Removal of the ‘stay at home’ provision in the legislation; promotion of the stay local and work from home messages.

                   

                  These relaxations planned for 12 April will be subject to Executive ratification in the week after the Easter weekend.

                   

                  The Executive has also agreed to increase the provision for elite sports from 25 March to allow a number of new competitions to begin.

                   

                  No spectators will be permitted at any sporting event.

                   

                  Find out more.

                   

                  TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 17 MARCH

                   

                  • Digital Green Passport

                  Further to the emails I’ve been sending round regarding certification, the European Commission has launched a proposal for a Regulation on the Digital Green Certificate to facilitate safe free movement inside the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic.

                   

                  The Digital Green Certificate will be a proof that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result or recovered from COVID-19. It will be available, free of charge, in digital or paper format and will include a QR code to ensure security and authenticity of the certificate. The Commission will build a gateway to ensure all certificates can be verified across the EU, and support Member States in the technical implementation of certificates.

                   

                  European tourism associations have welcomed the initiative and asked for more action to coordinate travel restrictions; create an EU framework for travel-related testing activities and launch a coordinated approach for reopening the tourism businesses.

                   

                  It is therefore important that any UK certification programme either links with the EU’s Digital Green Passport, or that there is mutual recognition of EU and UK schemes, in order for tourism flows to be as smooth a possible.

                   

                  https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/en_green_certif_just_reg130_final.pdf

                   

                  • Unanswered Questions

                  I’m very conscious that there are a large number of unanswered questions on issues such as:

                    • Shared facilities
                    • Day Visitors
                    • Guiding
                    • Weddings

                   

                  There is a Tourism Industry Council meeting tomorrow so I will raise the issue of how guidance on these issues is urgently needed if businesses are to be able to plan to open from 12th April. If there are other key issues that guidance is needed on for the 12th April, please let me know and I will include this as well.

                   

                  TIER: COVID-19 update 16 March

                   

                  Timetable for further easing of lockdown in Scotland

                   

                  This afternoon First Minister Nicola Sturgeon outlined a timetable for the easing of lockdown in Scotland. The key dates include:

                   

                  2 April

                  • Stay at Home’ requirement to be replaced with a ‘Stay Local’ message (retaining the current, local authority-based travel restrictions for at least a three-week period)

                   

                  5 April – subject to review

                  Easing a wider range of current restrictions in level 4 areas, including:

                  • Reopening of non-essential ‘click and collect’ retail
                  • Extending the list of retail permitted to include:
                    • garden centres (indoor and outdoor), key cutting shops, mobility equipment shops, baby equipment shops, electrical repair shops, hairdressers and barbers (with shopfronts – not mobile services), by appointment only, homeware shops, vehicle showrooms (appointment only) and forecourts
                  • The prohibition of in-home socialising will continue to be kept under review at this date.

                   

                  26 April – subject to review

                  If the data allows it, the Scottish government expects a more significant reopening and easing of restrictions from 26 April. This will likely include the following: (some of these activities/settings are already permitted/open in Level 3 island communities).

                  • Extending outdoor socialising to permit up to 6 people from up to 3 households to gather
                  • Allowing 12-17 year olds to meet outdoors in groups of 6 from up to 6 households
                  • Extending outdoor socialising to permit up to 6 people from up to 3 households to gather
                  • Social mixing in indoor public places will be subject to current maximum of 4 people from up to 2 households The prohibition of in-home socialising will continue to be kept under review at this date.
                  • Travel within all of mainland Scotland permitted (subject to other restrictions that remain in place)
                  • Tourist accommodation to reopen (self-catering accommodation to be restricted in line with rules on indoor gathering)
                  • Weddings and funerals for up to 50 (including wakes and receptions with no alcohol permitted)
                  • Libraries, museums, galleries to re-open
                  • Outdoor hospitality to open till 22:00 with alcohol permitted. Indoor hospitality permitted without alcohol and closing at 20:00
                  • Remaining shops can reopen and mobile close contact services can resume
                  • Gyms can reopen for individual exercise

                   

                  17 May – subject to review and progress of vaccination programme

                  New indicative date for further easing of restrictions. From 17 May it is hoped the following easing of restrictions can be introduced:

                   

                  • Further re-opening of hospitality: bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes can stay open until 22:30 indoors with alcohol permitted and 2 hour time-limited slots and until 22:00 outdoors with alcohol permitted
                  • Re-introducing in-home socialising for up to 4 people from up to 2 households
                  • adult outdoor contact sport and indoor group exercises can resume
                  • cinemas, amusement arcades and bingo halls can re-open
                  • small scale indoor and outdoor events can resume subject to capacity constraints (to be confirmed following stakeholder engagement)
                  • non-professional performance arts can resume outdoors

                   

                  June

                  • At this stage no specific dates have been given for easing of restrictions beyond May.
                  • To help businesses plan it has been indicated from the start of June, it is hoped that Scotland can move back to Level 1.
                  • From the end of June, it is hoped that Scotland will be able to move to Level 0.

                   

                  Support for business announced

                  It was also announced that grants of up to £7,500 for retailers and up to £19,500 for hospitality and leisure businesses will be paid in April to help businesses re-open progressively. These one-off re-start grants will replace ongoing Strategic Framework Business Fund (SFBF) payments and will provide more money up front to help with the costs of re-opening.

                   

                  Eligible businesses must have applied to the SFBF by 22 March in order to receive these payments. The last four-weekly SFBF payment of up to £3,000 will be paid on 22 March, as scheduled.

                   

                  Targeted restart grants for businesses that are not in scope for the current SFBF support package may be considered if the Scottish Government receives further consequentials from the UK Government.

                   

                  The Scottish Government will continue to work with sector bodies and business organisations to ensure that guidance is developed collaboratively. They recognise that some sectors will still be restricted even at Levels 0 and 1, they will continue to talk to business and other sectors about the contents of Levels 0, 1 and 2, for example the size of gatherings allowed at sporting and cultural events and in places of worship.

                  The need for physical restrictions and social distancing will also be kept under review. 

                   

                  Travel

                  The Scottish Government will ease restrictions on international travel, including the requirement for some travellers to enter managed isolation on arrival in Scotland, as soon as it is safe to do so. Discussions with the aviation sector on what conditions would need to be met to restart nonessential travel to some international destinations again will be taking place. Even when overseas travel does resume, it is very likely that pre-departure and post-arrival testing will remain in place for some time to come. However, this will be kept under close review.

                   

                  Currently non-essential travel between Scotland and the rest of the UK and the wider Common Travel Area (CTA) (i.e. the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) is prohibited as a measure to reduce the risk of importation of the virus. Travel within the UK and the wider CTA is important to many families and to the tourism sector. This will be kept under review.

                   

                   

                  Input into UK Government's review on COVID status certification

                   

                  The UK Government is seeking views on the role of Covid-status certification could play in reopening our economy, reducing restrictions on social contact and improving safety. COVID-status certification refers to the use of testing or vaccination data to confirm in different settings that individuals have a lower risk of getting sick with or transmitting COVID-19 to others. Views are being sought from a wide range of interests and concerns

                  To submit evidence go to -  https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/covid-status-certification-review-call-for-evidence

                   

                  See the Terms of Reference for the Covid-status certification review. 

                   

                   

                  Countries added and removed fromUK red list  

                  Ethiopia, Oman, Somalia and Qatar have been added to the UK’s red list. From 4am on Friday 19 March 2021, visitors who have departed from or transited through these countries in the previous 10 days will be refused entry into the UK. Only British and Irish citizens, or those with residence rights (including long-term visa holders), will be allowed to enter and must stay in a government-approved facility for 10 days. During their stay, they will be required to take a coronavirus test on day 2 and day 8 in England and Scotland.  Everyone who arrives directly in Scotland from any country outside the CTA, must quarantine for 10 days and have a valid Managed Quarantine Facility booked prior to departure (unless exempt).

                   

                  A ban on commercial and private planes travelling from Oman, Ethiopia and Qatar will also come into force on Friday to reduce the risk of importing variants of concern. This excludes cargo and freight without passengers.

                   

                  Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores) and Mauritius will be removed from the list  on Friday 19 March.

                   

                  TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 16 MARCH

                   

                  • Weddings

                  Yesterday the Working Safely with Coronavirus guidance for hotels and historic location was updated to take into account Stage 1 relaxations. Both sets of guidance stated:

                   

                  Weddings/civil partnerships and funerals: Weddings and civil partnerships are only permitted in exceptional circumstances. You should check the guidance on wedding and civil partnerships receptions and celebrations and funerals and ensure you follow any relevant measures. You can find more information in the section on meetings and events.

                   

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

                   

                  However, this morning the UK Weddings Taskforce came out with a statement saying that they have been told that from 12th April to 17th May, weddings can only be held in “places of worship, public buildings, locations and outdoor settings that are already permitted to open”

                   

                  https://ukweddings.org/updates/statement-16-03-21

                   

                  • Northern Ireland Business Support Grants

                  New business support grants of £178m have been announced in Northern Ireland. The two grants that have the most significance for tourism businesses are: 

                    • 50k for businesses with an NAV over 51k that are eligible for the 12 months rates holiday (retail, hospitality, leisure, tourism, manufacturing, childcare, newspaper producers). Examples of the kinds of business that this will benefit are shops, car showrooms, garden centres, gyms and fitness suites, equestrian centres, and caravan parks
                    • 10k for businesses that received the £25k Retail, Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure Grant and have not been paid LRSS or CRBSS Part B.

                   

                  https://www.finance-ni.gov.uk/news/murphy-delivers-ps178-million-support-businesses

                   

                  • Artist Mobility Webinar

                  Arts Infopoint UK (a partnership between Wales Arts International/Arts Council of Wales, Creative Scotland, Arts Council England and Arts Council Northern Ireland) is holding a free webinar at 2pm – 3:30pm on Monday 22 March 2021 to provide businesses with a general overview of what has changed since the UK’s exit of the EU and how professionals can prepare for cross border work in the near future. The session will be chaired by Marie Fol, President of the board of On the Move, in conversation with Anita Debaere, Director of PEARLE* - Live Performance Europe and Anaïs Lukacs from MobiCulture.

                   

                                  This webinar will be of interest to destinations and venues that stage events with performers or cultural exhibits from Europe.

                   

                  Register via Eventbrite here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/webinar-an-introduction-to-artist-mobility-to-the-eu-tickets-146353801159

                   

                  • Travel Demand Management Toolkit

                  DfT has produced a toolkit for local transport authorities to help them develop travel demand management programmes that will:

                    • support LTAs in managing the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the transport system
                    • manage a range of other scenarios where there are increased pressures on the transport network or a mismatch between supply and demand

                   

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/transport-demand-management-toolkit-for-local-authorities

                  TIER: COVID-19 and Brexit update 15 March

                  SME Brexit Support Fund is open for applications

                  The SME Brexit Support Fund could give businesses up to £2,000 to help with training or professional advice, if your business has up to 500 employees and no more than £100 million annual turnover. 

                  Traders can apply for up to £2,000 in total through two types of grants: 

                  Grant for Training: The grants can be used to provide training on the following: 

                  • How to complete customs declarations  
                  • How to manage customs processes and use customs software and systems  
                  • Specific import and export related aspects including VAT, excise and rules of origin 

                    Grant for Professional Advice: The grant can be used to get professional advice, so your business can meet its customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements. 

                     

                    Find out more information on eligibility for the fund and apply online. Applications will close on 30 June 2021 or earlier, if all funding is allocated before this date

                     

                  TIER: COVID-19 update 15 March

                  New business support grants announced for businesses in Northern Ireland

                   The schemes will include: 

                  • A £50,000 grant for large businesses unable to access grant funding during the first lockdown;
                  • Top-up payments of £5,000 and £10,000 for businesses which received grants during the first lockdown but are not eligible for one of the current Executive support schemes.

                    The Department of Finance will bring forward the Regulations needed to make these payments and will release further information once the Regulations are made at www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/covid-business-support-grants.

                    Working safely during coronavirus guidance updates (England)

                    The visitor economy, heritage locations, hotels and other guest accommodation and performing arts sections of the working safely during coronavirus guidance have been updated with a shorter format focussing on actions to make workplaces COVID-Secure and updated guidance covering Step 1 of the roadmap out of lockdown. Please see new information below:

                    The visitor economy:

                  • Some outdoor spaces at visitor attractions can be visited for the purposes of exercise and recreation (for example, for a picnic), where they are public outdoor places. Visitors must adhere to the rules on social contact but can travel a short distance within the local area if necessary (for example, to access an open space). This applies to outdoor locations at visitor attractions such as sculpture parks, botanical gardens, biomes or greenhouses, landmarks, and heritage locations including historic parks, gardens, landscapes, ruins and monuments open to the elements, even where entry is paid for. Those outdoor venues and attractions that are permitted to remain open can offer food and (non-alcoholic) drinks as a takeaway service. You can find more information in the changes to facilities and services section of the guidance.

                    Heritage locations:

                    • Some outdoor heritage locations can be visited for the purposes of exercise and recreation (for example, for a picnic), where they are public outdoor places. Visitors must adhere to the rules on social contact (see below) and should stay local (within the village, town, or part of the city where they live) but can travel a short distance within the local area if necessary (for example, to access an open space). Where possible, people should minimise travel. This applies to outdoor heritage locations including cultural World Heritage Sites and historic parks, gardens, landscapes, ruins and monuments open to the elements, even where entry is paid for.

                      Passenger ships update

                      In response to a question to the Department for Transport on passenger ships resuming,  the following answer has been provided by Robert Courts:

                      The Global Travel Taskforce report will consider a safe and sustainable reopening of international travel. International cruises will be included within the scope of this report. Domestic cruises within England will restart under step three of the Government’s Roadmap out of lockdown. This will align with the opening up of domestic indoor tourism and hospitality and will occur no earlier than 17 May.

                      Other updates:

                      • The CMA has published an update on its actions in relation to cancellations and refunds in a number of sectors throughout the pandemic, including package holidays and holiday lets.
                        • The national bus strategy for England published it outlines the reforms of how bus services are planned and delivered

                           

                          TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 15 MARCH

                           

                        • Revised Primary Guidance for Tourism and Hospitality Businesses
                        • The Primary Guidance on Working Safely During Coronavirus for different components of the Tourism Industry has been updated to take account of changes in Rules associated with Step one of the Government’s Roadmap. I’ve been though the guidance and highlighted the key changes to be aware of.

                           

                          Visitor Economy Guidance

                        • In-person meetings for work, training or education purposes should only take place where they cannot be delayed or reasonably be conducted remotely. If you intend to host these types of meetings in your facility, you must be able to demonstrate that you have followed this COVID-19 guidance and that social distancing can be maintained throughout the event. You can find more information in the section on business meetings and events.
                        • Permitted venues, including exhibition and conference centres, can hire out function and event spaces for essential work, education and training, where these events cannot reasonably be conducted remotely. However, you must not host conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, private dining events or banquets. You can find more information in the section on business meetings and events.
                        • Some outdoor spaces at visitor attractions can be visited for the purposes of exercise and recreation (for example, for a picnic), where they are public outdoor places. Visitors must adhere to the rules on social contact (see below) but can travel a short distance within the local area if necessary (for example, to access an open space). This applies to outdoor locations at visitor attractions such as sculpture parks, botanical gardens, biomes or greenhouses, landmarks, and heritage locations including historic parks, gardens, landscapes, ruins and monuments open to the elements, even where entry is paid for. Those outdoor venues and attractions that are permitted to remain open can offer food and (non-alcoholic) drinks as a takeaway service. You can find more information in the section on changes to facilities and services.
                        •  

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

                           

                          Heritage Locations

                        • Some outdoor heritage locations can be visited for the purposes of exercise and recreation (for example, for a picnic), where they are public outdoor places. Visitors must adhere to the rules on social contact (see below) and should stay local (within the village, town, or part of the city where they live) but can travel a short distance within the local area if necessary (for example, to access an open space). Where possible, you should minimise travel. This applies to outdoor heritage locations including cultural World Heritage Sites and historic parks, gardens, landscapes, ruins and monuments open to the elements, even where entry is paid for.
                        • Those outdoor venues that are permitted to remain open can offer food and (non-alcoholic) drinks as a takeaway service.
                        • Indoor locations, such as roofed and enclosed historic buildings remain closed, although any grounds including car parks and toilets can remain open, where they can be accessed separately to the indoor attractions.
                        • Visitor centres remain closed, at both indoor and outdoor heritage locations. Toilets may remain open.
                        • Events and meetings: Permitted venues, including exhibition and conference centres, can hire out function and event spaces for essential work, education and training purposes, where these events cannot reasonably be conducted remotely. However, they must not host conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, private dining events or banquets. You should check the guidance for the Visitor Economy and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures. You can find more information in the section on meetings and events.
                        • Weddings/civil partnerships and funerals: Weddings and civil partnerships are only permitted in exceptional circumstances. You should check the guidance on wedding and civil partnerships receptions and celebrations and funerals and ensure you follow any relevant measures. You can find more information in the section on meetings and events.
                        •  

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

                           

                          Hotels and Guest Accommodation

                            • Events and meetings: permitted venues, including exhibition and conference centres, can hire out function and event spaces for essential work, education and training purposes, where these events cannot reasonably be conducted remotely. However, they must not host conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, private dining events or banquets. You should check the guidance for the Visitor Economy and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures. You can find more information in the section on business meetings and events.
                            • Weddings/civil partnerships and funerals: Weddings and civil partnerships are only permitted in exceptional circumstances. You should check the guidance on wedding and civil partnerships receptions and celebrations and funerals and ensure you follow any relevant measures. You can find more information in the section on meetings and events.
                            • Hospitality: there are restrictions on how you provide food and drink, and hospitality facilities (such as restaurants, bars and pubs) in your venue must remain closed, with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery. You can find more information in the section on hospitality (food and drinks), and the guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services.
                            •  

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

                               

                              • Certification Consultation
                              • One of the four reviews that the Government announced on 22nd Feb to sit alongside the Roadmap as on the use of Certification. The government is reviewing whether COVID-status certification could play a role in reopening our economy, reducing restrictions on social contact and improving safety. Such certification would be available both to vaccinated people and to unvaccinated people who have been tested. As part of this the Government is undertaking a short, 2 week consultation the ethical, equalities, privacy, legal and operational aspects of a potential certification scheme, and what limits, if any, should be placed on organisations using certification.

                                 

                                https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/covid-status-certification-review-call-for-evidence/covid-status-certification-review-call-for-evidence

                                 

                                • Further Details on Wedding Reopening
                                  • Step 1 - 8 March
                                  • Weddings of 6 can happen but these should only be in exceptional circumstances. Receptions are not permitted.

                                  • Step 1a - 29 March
                                  • Weddings of 6 can happen (with no requirement for this to be in exceptional circumstances). Receptions can only take place in line with social contact limits (i.e. outdoors in a group of six, or two households).

                                  • Step 2 – 12 April
                                  • Weddings and receptions are permitted for up to 15 people.

                                  • Step 3 – 17 May
                                  • Weddings and receptions can proceed with up to 30 people. A broader range of stand-alone life events will also be permitted at this step, including bar mitzvahs and christenings.

                                  • Step 4 – 21 June
                                  • Ahead of this date, the Government will launch the Events Research Programme, to consider how and when restrictions can be lifted from large events including wedding receptions.

                                     

                                    • Budget Debate
                                    • There was a budget debate in the Lords on Friday at which Baroness Doocey again raised the issue of support for tourism businesses that have so far fallen through the cracks in terms of support (I’ve attached a copy of her speech). She is following up on this with Lord Agnew so I will let you know of the outcome of this.

                                       

                                      • Bus Back Better
                                      • The Government has published it’s long-term national bus strategy for England (excluding London). The strategy aims to reform of how bus services are planned and delivered. The core of the strategy for every local transport authority and bus operator in England to be in a statutory enhanced partnership or a franchising arrangement. The Government will make £25 million available for these to be developed and to produce Bus Service Improvement Plans by the end of October 2021. These plans are to set out a roadmap to better services for passengers and communities, urban and rural, and be driven by local needs. The strategy also includes a commitment to consult on ending the sale of new diesel buses by 2030 and the announcement that 17 rural and suburban communities will receive £20 million from the government’s Rural Mobility Fund to trial on-demand services that are able to get closer to where people live and at a time convenient for them.

                                         

                                        https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/969205/DfT-Bus-Back-Better-national-bus-strategy-for-England.pdf

                                         

                                         

                                        • CMA Analysis of Complaints and Activities
                                        • The CMA has produced an analysis of the complaints that it has received during the outbreak. The two most significant sources of complaint being price increases and cancellations and refunds – which have  accounted for the majority of complaints since March 2020. These complaints peaked at 22,500 complaints in May before rapidly dropping off and have remained level at around 2,000 complaints a month since October 2020. In terms of value,  weddings accounted for only 2,400 complaints but the average value of the complaint was very high at £6,500.  Due to the level of these complaints, the CMA’s activities have on various components of the tourism industry and the report highlights the actions that have been taken in respect to Holiday companies, airlines, wedding organisers and holiday letting firms.

                                           

                                          https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/update-on-work-of-the-cma-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic-15-march-2021/protecting-consumers-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-update-on-the-work-of-the-cma#tackling-harmful-practices

                                           

                                           

                                           

                                  TIER: COVID-19 update 12 March

                                   

                                  First steps out of lockdown for Wales

                                  This afternoon First Minister Mark Drakeford outlined Wales’ first steps out of lockdown. The stay-at-home restrictions will be replaced by a new interim stay local rule in Wales from Saturday 13 March. The new stay local rule will mean people can leave their homes and travel within their local area – usually within 5 miles. Local outdoor sports facilities will also be opened. The 5-mile rule of thumb will be set out in guidance – people living in some parts of Wales, especially rural areas, may need to travel further than 5 miles to access shops and other public services.

                                   

                                  From Saturday 13 March:

                                  • No more than 4 people from 2 households will be able to meet in their local area outdoors, including in gardens. Children under 11 and carers do not count towards this limit. There must be no indoors mixing and social distancing should be followed.
                                  • Outdoor sports facilities can reopen, including tennis courts, golf courses and bowling greens. A maximum of 4 people from 2 households can take part in activities using local sports facilities.
                                  • Indoor care home visits can resume for one designated visitor, with the permission of the care home.

                                   

                                  From Monday 15 March:

                                  • All primary pupils and those in qualifications years will return.
                                  • Hairdressers and barbers can reopen by appointment only to cut hair.

                                   

                                  From Monday 22 March:

                                  • The first steps to re-open non-essential retail will begin. Restrictions on the sale of non-essential items will be lifted for those shops, which are currently open.
                                  • Garden centres will also reopen.

                                   

                                  During the third week of the review period, the Welsh government will look at the latest evidence before confirming changes for the Easter holidays. If the public health conditions continue to be favourable, from 27 March:

                                  • The stay local restrictions will be lifted to allow people to travel within Wales.
                                  • Self-contained holiday accommodation will re-open for one household.
                                  • Organised children’s activities outdoors will restart.
                                  • Libraries will reopen.

                                   

                                  The review on 1 April will consider whether all remaining shops and close contact services can reopen on the 12 April. This is in line with planned re-opening in England.

                                   

                                  Extra £150 million to support businesses in Wales

                                  An additional £150 million has been announced to support businesses in Wales not yet able to open. Businesses in the hospitality, tourism, leisure and non-essential retail sectors that pay non-domestic rates qualify for this additional payment. This fund will operate as a top up to the Restrictions Business Fund. An eligible business with a rateable value of £12,000 or less receive an extra £4,000 grant payment. Firms with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £500,000 will receive £5,000. The funding, aimed at helping businesses with their costs up to 31 March, will be available to firms regardless of the number of employees. Businesses that pay non-domestic rates and have already received a payment since the firebreak in October do not need to take action. However, businesses that have not registered with their local authority, should take action now to ensure they receive the financial support they are entitled to.

                                   

                                   

                                  Other Government updates

                                   

                                  TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 12 MARCH

                                   

                                  • CJRS Guidance Updated

                                  The guidance documents for businesses in the details of the scheme and how to apply have been updated to incorporate the extension of the furlough until the end of September – so these are the ones to send out to your members.

                                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-step-by-step-guide-for-employers

                                  • Changes to Scottish Guidance

                                  The Scottish Government has updated it’s Stay at Home guidance to allow:

                                   

                                    • Up to 4 adults from up to 2 households can meet outdoors – you should still stay as close to home as possible adults can take part in outdoor non-contact sport and organised group exercise in groups of up to 15 people
                                    • Young people aged 12 to 17 can meet outdoors in groups of up to 4 people from 4 different households take part in outdoor non-contact sports and other organised activities in groups of up to 15 people - and travel across local council boundaries to take part in these activities

                                   

                                  The Scottish Government also announced plans to allow communal worship to restart with up to 50 people from 26 March

                                   

                                  At present, and subject to review, the Scottish Government plans to move the country to Level Three status on 26th April, which will allow hospitality businesses to open.

                                   

                                  https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/

                                   

                                  • Impact of Coronavirus on the Economy

                                  With the publication of the GDP and trade figures today, the ONS has also produced an analysis of the impact on different sectors of the UK economy. As ever, this highlights that the tourism businesses are still being disproportionate impacted. Some of the key findings are, unsurprisingly, that:

                                    • Aviation is operating at just 6.4% of what it was in February 2020
                                    • Tour Operators and Travel Agents are down 88.7% on Feb 2020
                                    • The Accommodation sector is down 79.3%
                                    • Arts and entertainment is down 68.7%
                                    • Pubs and restaurants are down by 63.3%

                                   

                                  https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/articles/coronavirusandtheimpactonoutputintheukeconomy/january2021

                                  Interestingly, however, the ONS’s weekly social impact survey shows that perceptions of life returning to normal stagnated this week with 30% of adults feeling that life will return to normal in six months or less (down from 32% last week) while 20% felt that it will take more than a year for life to return to normal (the same as last week).

                                  https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandthesocialimpactsongreatbritain/12march2021

                                  • Environment Agency Boating Guidance

                                  The Environment Agency has updated it’s guidance on boating along the lines of the Q&A answer on boating that I sent through a couple of day’s ago. The guidance is:

                                    • For all steps of the Government roadmap, those who live aboard their boats can continue to travel to access essential services and facilities.
                                    • From 29 March, people should still avoid travelling further than is reasonably necessary on board their boat or to take part in their waterway activity, continue to stay local where possible and minimise travel throughout the first 3 steps of the roadmap. “Staying in your local area means stay in the village, town, or part of the city where you live.”
                                    • Boats and businesses must not cater for groups larger than the legal limits at each step unless meeting the conditions for a permitted organised gathering. These will be reintroduced at Step 2 for outdoor gatherings and Step 3 for indoor gatherings.
                                    • Where activities are permitted, you must still adhere to the latest social distancing rules. COVID-Secure guidance will also remain in place up to and including Step 3 (subject to a proposed review of social distancing rules ahead of Step 4).
                                    • Anyone making plans for later in the summer should follow government advice carefully and check GOV.UK to ensure you are keeping yourselves and others safe.

                                   

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

                                  • R Number and Growth Rate

                                  This week’s R Number and Growth Rate are 0.6 to 0.8 and -7% to -4% respectively. This is lower than last week’s  R number of 0.7 to 0.9 and growth rate of -5% to -3%  which suggests that, so far, the reopening of education has not impacted on infection rates which is good news.

                                   

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

                                   

                                  TIER: COVID-19 update 8 March

                                   

                                  Today’s press briefing was led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and he was joined by England's deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries and the briefing focused on schools reopening as part of the first step of the roadmap.

                                  A question was asked on vaccine passports and how they would work for those aged under 16. Boris Johnson confirmed that the government are looking at ways a vaccine certificate may work and that consideration will be given to those who are under 16 or cannot have a vaccine, for instance due to medical circumstances.

                                  Letter to local authorities on supporting the reopening of outdoor hospitality

                                  The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick has written a letter to local authorities outlining that in step 2 of the Government’s roadmap (no earlier than 12 April) hospitality venues will be allowed to serve people outdoor and the measures to support the safe re-opening of hospitality businesses. The letter states:

                                  Al fresco dining

                                  • Continuation of the simplified route for pubs, restaurants and cafes to obtain a temporary pavement licence to place furniture including outdoor tables and seating on the highway, including a capped application fee of £100 and a 10-working day consultation and determination period.
                                  • Licences to be granted for 12 months or more unless there are good reasons not to, and an expectation that licences granted under these provisions to continue to apply into this summer so that businesses do not have to reapply or be charged a further application fee when they are able to re-open to serve customers outdoors.
                                  • Currently due to expire on 30 September 2021, but subject to Parliamentary approval, this will be extended for a further 12 months,

                                  Freedom to use land for community events and outdoor hospitality

                                  • Continuation of greater flexibility for businesses to hold outdoor events such as summer fairs or motorsports on land without the need for a planning application
                                  • Car-boot sales, or people or businesses such as pubs wishing to set up marquees will also be exempt.
                                  • Such temporary events to be allowed for 56 days until 31 December 2021.

                                  Outdoor markets

                                  • A new temporary right, extended to March 2022, that allows local authorities, either by themselves or by others on their behalf, to use land to hold a market without having to apply for planning permission.

                                  Takeaways

                                  • Measures to support restaurants, drinking establishments such as pubs and cafes to serve takeaway food when they were otherwise closed due to coronavirus restrictions extended until March 2022.

                                  Businesses can register to order free lateral flow tests for employees

                                  Businesses of all sizes, including those with fewer than 50 employees, can register from today to order free lateral flow tests for their employees. The lateral flow tests will remain free until the end of June and registration closes on 31 March.

                                  More information on rapid workplace testing is available on an online portal for businesses as well as information to plan and deliver a testing programme.

                                  If small businesses cannot offer rapid workplace testing, all local authorities in England are now offering rapid lateral flow testing and businesses can find their local test site online.

                                   

                                  Updates to guidance in England based on new guidance coming into effect from 8 March

                                  There have been updates to the following pages:

                                   

                                  Updates to guidance following new declaration form for travel outside of the UK from England

                                  Following the announcement that from today people travelling outside the UK from England must complete a declaration form stating the reason that they need to travel abroad, there have been updates to Gov.uk to reflect the new guidance:

                                  Advice for consumers:

                                   

                                  Advice for industry:

                                   

                                  TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 8 MARCH

                                  • Letter to Local Authorities on Helping Hospitality Businesses

                                  Secretary of State for House and Local Communities, Robert Jenrick, has written to local authorities reminding them of the relaxation of planning rules that have been made and asking them to support hospitality businesses to reopen safely These measures include

                                    • Introducing a simplified route for pavement licensing, allowing pubs, restaurants and cafes to obtain a temporary pavement licence to place furniture including outdoor tables and seating on footpaths.
                                    • Increasing the number of days allowed for such temporary events from 28 to 56 and extended this provision until 31 December 2021.
                                    • introducing a temporary right that allows local authorities, either by themselves or by others on their behalf, to use land to hold a market without having to apply for planning permission.
                                    • A automatic right for restaurants, drinking establishments such as pubs and cafes to serve takeaway food

                                   

                                  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/967264/Letter_-_Supporting_the_reopening_of_outdoor_hospitality.pdf

                                  • Free Workplace Testing For All Businesses

                                  Workplace testing has now been extended to include businesses with less than 50 employees (it was restricted to businesses with over 50 employees previously). Businesses have until 31 March to register for the government’s workplace testing scheme, which will remain free until the end of June.

                                  Here's a link to the portal where businesses can register for the workplace testing programme.

                                  https://www.gov.uk/get-workplace-coronavirus-tests

                                  • Lockdown Rules Updated

                                  The lockdown rules have been updated to take account of the start of the first step in the Government’s Roadmap today. The main change, apart from education reopening,  is that people can now meet-up with one other person from another household for social reasons rather than just exercise as was the case previously. So this means the ability to sit down for a drink that has been serve as a takeaway or have a picnic in gardens which will provide opportunities for some tourism businesses.

                                   

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

                                   

                                  It is also important to note that the requirement for people to complete an outbound declaration of travel form ahead of international travel to prove that you have a legal reason to undertake that travel has also come into force. Travel for holiday or leisure is not a legally permitted reason for travel. Legal reasons are:

                                    • Essential travel for business or official work purposes where it is not reasonably possible to complete that work from home.
                                    • For academic studies or professional qualifications where physical presence is required or where activities must be completed overseas.
                                    • Medical or compassionate grounds
                                    • Weddings, funerals and related events
                                    • to fulfil legal obligations
                                    • to carry out activities related to buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property
                                    • to exercise custody rights recognised by a court decision
                                    • to present oneself to a judicial or administrative authority

                                   

                                  You don’t need to complete the form for travel within the UK, to Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

                                  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-declaration-form-for-international-travel

                                   

                                   

                                   

                                  TIER: COVID-19 update 3 March

                                   

                                  Budget update for businesses in England 

                                  This afternoon the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, outlined his tax and spend policies in the budget. Below is a summary of the budget for the tourism and hospitality industry. You can read the what you need to know page summary here or view the budget document here.

                                   

                                  Highlights include:

                                   

                                  Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) extension

                                  The CJRS will be extended across the UK for five months until 30 September 2021.  Employees will continue to receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked. There will be no employer contributions beyond National Insurance contributions (NICs) and pensions required in April, May and June. From July, the government will introduce an employer contribution towards the cost of unworked hours of 10% in July, 20% in August and 20% in September, as the economy reopens.

                                   

                                  UK Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) fourth and fifth grants confirmed

                                  SEISS fourth grant – the fourth SEISS grant will be worth 80% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500 in total. The grant will cover the period February to April, and can be claimed from late April. Self-employed individuals must have filed a 2019- 20 Self Assessment tax return to be eligible for the fourth grant.

                                  SEISS fifth grant – there will be a fifth and final SEISS grant covering May to September. The value of the grant will be determined by a turnover test. People whose turnover has fallen by 30% or more will continue to receive the full grant worth 80% of three months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500. People whose turnover has fallen by less than 30% will receive a 30% grant, capped at £2,850. The final grant can be claimed from late July. 

                                   

                                  Restart Grants

                                  The government will provide ‘Restart Grants’ in England of up to £6,000 per premises for non-essential retail businesses and up to £18,000 per premises for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses. The government is also providing all local authorities in England with an additional £425 million of discretionary business grant funding, on top of the £1.6 billion already allocated.

                                   

                                  VAT reduction for the UK’s tourism and hospitality sector

                                  The temporary reduced rate of 5% VAT for goods and services supplied by the UK tourism and hospitality sector will be extended until 30 September 2021. A 12.5% rate will apply for the subsequent six months until 31 March 2022.

                                   

                                  Business rates reliefs

                                  Eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties in England will be receive 100% business rates relief from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021. This will be followed by 66% business rates relief for the period from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022, capped at £2 million per business for properties that were required to be closed on 5 January 2021, or £105,000 per business for other eligible properties.

                                   

                                  New Recovery Loan Scheme for UK businesses

                                  From 6 April 2021 a new Recovery Loan Scheme has been announced to enable businesses of any size to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £10 million per business once the existing COVID-19 loan schemes close. Launching on 6 April and open until 31 December, subject to review, the Government will guarantee 80% of the finance to the lender. Loans will be available through a network of accredited lenders, whose names will be made public in due course. Term loans and overdrafts will be available between £25,001 and £10 million per business. Invoice finance and asset finance will be available between £1,000 and £10 million per business. Finance terms are up to six years for term loans and asset finance facilities. For overdrafts and invoice finance facilities, terms will be up to three years. Find out more, including eligibility criteria. .

                                   

                                  Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rebate Scheme

                                  Small and medium-sized employers across the UK will continue to be able to reclaim up to two weeks of eligible SSP costs per employee. This scheme is a temporary COVID-19 measure intended to support employers while levels of sickness absence are high.

                                   

                                  VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme

                                  Any business that took advantage of the original VAT deferral on VAT returns from 20 March through to the end of June 2020 can now opt to use the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme to pay that deferred VAT in up to eleven equal payments from March 2021, rather than one larger payment due by 31 March 2021, as originally announced.

                                   

                                  Extended loss carry back for businesses

                                  To help otherwise-viable UK businesses which have been pushed into a loss-making position, the trading loss carry-back rule will be temporarily extended from the existing one year to three years. This will be available for both incorporated and unincorporated businesses.

                                   

                                  • Unincorporated businesses and companies that are not members of a corporate group will be able to obtain relief for up to £2 million of losses in each of 2020-21 and 2021-22
                                  • Companies that are members of a corporate group will be able to obtain relief for up to £200,000 of losses in each of 2020-21 and 2021-22 without any group limitations
                                  • Companies that are members of a corporate group will be able to obtain relief for up to £2 million of losses in each of 2020-21 and 2021-22, but subject to a £2 million cap across the group as a whole

                                   

                                  This will be legislated in the forthcoming Finance Bill. Further detail on the group cap will be announced in due course.

                                   

                                  Other measures include:

                                  • £300 million to extend the Culture Recovery Fund to continue to support theatres, museums and other cultural organisations in England.
                                  • £90 million for continued support for government-sponsored National Museums and cultural bodies in England.
                                  • £300 million for continued support to major spectator sports in England, supporting clubs and governing bodies.
                                  • Duty rates on beer, cider, wine and spirits will be frozen for another year
                                  • Employers in England who provide trainees with work experience will continue to be funded at a rate of £1,000 per trainee.
                                  • Employers in England who hire a new apprentice between 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2021 will receive £3,000 per new hire, compared with £1,500 per new apprentice hire (or £2,000 for those aged 24 and under) under the previous scheme. This is in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the government provides for all new 16-18 year-old apprentices and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan, where that applies.
                                  • £7 million fund will be available from July 2021 to help employers in England set up and expand portable apprenticeships to enable people who need to work across multiple projects with different employers.
                                  • A new Help to Grow training scheme over three years for SMEs on digital skills and management skills.
                                  • Airports and Ground Operations Support Scheme renewed for a further six months from the start of 2021-22, providing support for eligible businesses in England up to the equivalent of half of their business rates liabilities during 2021-22, subject to certain conditions and a cap per claimant of £4 million.
                                  • Zoo Animals Fund extended for a further three months until 30 June 2021, providing licensed zoos and aquariums in England with continued support for animal care and essential maintenance costs.
                                  • Funding (over £1 billion) for a further 45 towns in England through the Towns Fund
                                  • Eight new English Freeports will be based in East Midlands Airport, Felixstowe & Harwich, Humber, Liverpool City Region, Plymouth, Solent, Thames and Teesside.
                                  • £18.8 million to transform local cultural projects in Hartlepool, Carlisle, Wakefield and Yeovil.
                                  • £28 million to fund the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in 2022, delivering a major celebration for the UK.
                                  • £2.8 million to support a UK and Ireland bid to host the 2030 World Cup and £25 million investment in UK grassroots sports, enough for around 700 new pitches.
                                  • From the summer, community groups will be able to bid for up to £250,000 matched funding (with some exceptions) through the £150 million Community Ownership Fund to help them to buy local assets to run as community-owned businesses e.g. pubs, theatres, shops, or local sports clubs.
                                  • Publication of the prospectus for the £4.8 billion UK-wide Levelling Up Fund, providing guidance for local areas on how to submit bids for the first round of funding starting in 21-22

                                   

                                  Increase in corporation tax 

                                  The rate of corporation tax will increase from April 2023 to 25% on profits over £250,000. The rate for small profits under £50,000 will remain at 19% and there will be relief for businesses with profits under £250,000 so that they pay less than the main rate

                                   

                                  Air Passenger Duty (APD) rates to increase in line with RPI from April 2022

                                  This means that the reduced and standard short-haul rates will remain frozen, Long-haul rates will increase in line with RPI. The rates for long-haul economy flights from Great Britain will increase by £2, and the rates for those travelling in premium economy, business and first class will increase by £5. Those travelling long-haul by private jets will see the rate increase by £13.

                                   

                                  Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

                                  An additional £2.4 billion has been allocated to the devolved administrations in 2021-22 through the Barnett formula, as follows

                                  • the Scottish Government: £1.2 billion
                                  • the Welsh Government: £740 million
                                  • the Northern Ireland Executive: £410 million

                                   

                                  The devolved administrations will also receive £1.4 billion of funding in 2021-22 outside the Barnett formula.

                                   

                                  Other take-outs include:

                                  • Individuals and businesses in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will continue to be supported by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, self-employment grants, loan schemes and VAT cuts..
                                  • Three Growth Deals in Scotland – Ayrshire, Argyll & Bute, and Falkirk – will receive funding more quickly.
                                  • Up to £30 million for the Global Centre for Rail Excellence in Wales.
                                  • Three City and Growth Deals – in North-Wales, Mid-Wales and Swansea Bay – will receive funding more quickly.
                                  • Northern Ireland will benefit from the Corporation Tax exemption for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Northern Ireland’s biggest landlord.

                                  See more information here.

                                   

                                  Wales announces additional funding for hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses

                                  £30m of targeted support is being made available to support small, medium and large businesses in the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors as well as related supply chain businesses. The funding is targeted to businesses employing ten or more. Should restrictions be extended at the 12 March review, £150m will be made available for businesses in the hospitality, tourism, leisure and non-essential retail sectors that pay non-domestic rates to receive an additional payment of up to £5k regardless of the number of employees they have. The Sector Specific Grant application phase 2 window opens on Tuesday 9 March 2021 until 8pm on Friday 12 March 2021. In the meantime, Businesses can access the Eligibility Checker and calculator on the Business Wales website

                                   

                                  Other updates:

                                  • New data available on transport use during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
                                  • New policy paper detailing updates to tax charges when a person is no longer eligible to Self-Employment Income Support Scheme payments
                                  • Updated risk assessment guidance for drivers of taxis and PHVs considering installing a safety screen in their vehicle.
                                  • Guidance for those affected by changes to UK immigration and borders due to coronavirus has been updated to split the coronavirus guidance for student and worker sponsors into 2 documents.
                                  • Update to Kickstart scheme guidance - added information about what employers should spend the £1,500 funding for setup costs on in ‘What you’ll get’. Also added information about what to do if a young person leaves their job placement early in ‘Getting the young people into the job placements’.

                                   

                                  TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 3 MARCH

                                   

                                  • Reduced VAT Rate Extension

                                  The guidance on the reduced VAE Rate extension has been revised following today’s budget announcement. It is essentially the same as previously, except for the introduction of the 12.5% rate from 1 October 2021 to 31st March 2022

                                  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-reduced-rate-for-hospitality-holiday-accommodation-and-attractions

                                  The guidance on attractions that are eligible for the reduced VAT rate extension have been revised. The list looks the same as last time and includes:

                                    • Shows/Theatres/Cinemas
                                    • Circuses/Fairs
                                    • Amusement parks
                                    • Concerts
                                    • Museums
                                    • Zoos
                                    • Exhibitions
                                    • Similar cultural events and facilities

                                   

                                  Examples included in the guidance are a planetarium, botanical gardens, studio tours and factory tours

                                  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-on-admission-charges-to-attractions

                                  It is also worth noting that small businesses that are on the flat Rate VAT Scheme will have their VAT rate changed for the 1 Oct 2021 – 31 March 2022 period. The rates are:

                                                                                  Up to 1 Oct         After 1 Oct

                                  Restaurants/cafes           4.5%                      8.5%

                                  Accommodation              0%                          5.5%     

                                  Pubs                                      1%                          4%

                                                  https://www.gov.uk/vat-flat-rate-scheme/how-much-you-pay

                                  • Changes to CJRS

                                  The details of the extension to the CJRS have been published. The following table provides a good summary of the changes through the tapered support period of 1 July to 30 September

                                  CJS

                                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme/changes-to-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

                                  One important change is that, for periods starting on or after 1 May 2021, you can claim for employees who were employed on 2 March 2021, as long as you have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 2 March 2021, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee. You do not need to have previously claimed for an employee before the 2 March 2021 to claim for periods from starting on or after 1 May 2021.

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

                                  • SEISS Extension

                                  Also as announced in the budget today, the SEISS scheme is being extended until September. The guidance on the fourth grant has been published with the details. The grantwill be set at 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500. It will take into account 2019 to 2020 tax returns and will be open to those who became self-employed in the 2019/20 tax year. The rest of the eligibility criteria remain unchanged.

                                  The online claims service for the fourth grant will be available from late April 2021 until 31 May 2021 and will be followed by a fifth and final grant which will cover the

                                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension

                                  While we are on SEISS, the government has announced changes to the time and circumstances when a 100% tax charge may arise in relation to Self-Employment Income Support Scheme payments. It enables HMRC to recover grants where an individual was entitled to the grant at the time of claim but subsequently ceases to be entitled to all or part of the grant. It also extends the Treasury’s regulation making powers in relation to charges if a person is not entitled to a coronavirus support payment, to bring the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme within scope of the legislation.

                                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/updates-to-tax-charges-when-a-person-is-no-longer-eligible-to-self-employment-income-support-scheme-payments/updates-to-tax-charges-when-a-person-is-no-longer-eligible-to-self-employment-income-support-scheme-payments

                                  • Northern Ireland  Exit Plan

                                  The Northern Ireland Executive has published their exit plan. The framework outlines nine pathways, each of which has five phases detailing the level of restrictions required. They have nine pathways are; Home and Community, Sports and Leisure Activities, Work, Education and Young People, Worship and Ceremonies, Retail and Services, Culture, Heritage and Entertainment, Travel and Tourism, and Hospitality. Here’s the Travel and Tourism component

                                  travel & tourism

                                  There are no set dates for when each of the five phases will take place. Instead there will be a Formal Review on 16 March and then every 4 weeks thereafter - 15 April, 13 May and 10 June – at which decisions will be made on whether to move to the next phase.

                                  https://www.executiveoffice-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/execoffice/executives-pathway-out-of-restrictions.pdf

                                  • Build Back Better

                                  The Government has published its Build Back Better strategy for rebuilding the UK economy. It contains six key themes:

                                    • Infrastructure
                                    • Skills
                                    • Innovation
                                    • Levelling Up
                                    • Net Zero
                                    • Global Britain

                                  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/966176/Plan_for_Growth_Web_accessible.pdf

                                  • Recovery Loans
                                    • The outline guidance on the new Recovery Loans that were announced today have been published. Term loans and overdrafts will be available between £25,001 and £10 million per business.
                                    • Invoice finance and asset finance will be available between £1,000 and £10 million per business.

                                   

                                  Finance terms are up to six years for term loans and asset finance facilities. For overdrafts and invoice finance facilities, terms will be up to three years. No personal guarantees will be taken on facilities up to £250,000, and a borrower’s principal private residence cannot be taken as security.

                                  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/recovery-loan-scheme

                                   

                                  • Super-Deduction Guidance

                                  From 1 April 2021 until 31 March 2023, companies investing in qualifying new plant and machinery assets will be able to claim:

                                    • a 130% super-deduction capital allowance on qualifying plant and machinery investments
                                    • a 50% first-year allowance for qualifying special rate assets

                                  The super-deduction will allow companies to cut their tax bill by up to 25p for every £1 they invest, ensuring the UK capital allowances regime is amongst the world’s most competitive.

                                  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/super-deduction

                                  • Three New Funds

                                  The UK government has launched three new investment programmes to support communities right across the country. All share common challenges and opportunities, which the UK government is determined to address in collaboration with local partners. These new investment programmes are:

                                   

                                    • The UK Community Renewal Fund
                                    • The Levelling Up Fund
                                    • The Community Ownership Fund

                                  https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/new-levelling-up-and-community-investments

                                  • Community Renewal Fund

                                  To help the UK prepare for the introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which replaces EU funding programmes, the government is providing £220m in the 2021-22 years through the UK Community Renewal Fund in order to pilot programmes and new approaches ahead of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.  The prospectus for this funding has been published and will prioritise projects that target investment at communities in need in 100 priority places based on an index of economic resilience.

                                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-community-renewal-fund-prospectus/uk-community-renewal-fund-prospectus-2021-22

                                  • Levelling Up Fund

                                  Second up is the prospectus for the £4.8 billion levelling up fund to support town centre and high street regeneration, local transport projects, and cultural and heritage assets and the priority areas for it’s use.

                                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/levelling-up-fund-prospectus

                                  • Community Ownership Fund

                                  And finally we have the Community Ownership Fund which will enable community groups to bid for up to £250,000 matched-funding to help them buy or take over local community assets at risk of being lost, to run as community-owned businesses.

                                  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/community-ownership-fund/community-ownership-fund

                                  TIER: COVID-19 update 2 March

                                   

                                  Northern Ireland announce lockdown exit plan

                                  The Northern Ireland Executive has today published their plan to ease Northern Ireland out of current restrictions. The framework outlines nine pathways, each of which has five phases detailing the level of restrictions required.

                                  The nine pathways are; Home and Community, Sports and Leisure Activities, Work, Education and Young People, Worship and Ceremonies, Retail and Services, Culture, Heritage and Entertainment, Travel and Tourism, and Hospitality.

                                  The five phases are:

                                  1. Lockdown Restrictions
                                  2. Cautious First Steps
                                  3. Gradual Easing
                                  4. Further Easing
                                  5. Future

                                  There are no set dates for when each of the five phases will take place, but the Executive has committed to a four-week review cycle, where they will monitor the data on a range of health and societal impacts, before considering what relaxations can be made safely. The first Comprehensive Formal Review will be held on 16 March and subsequent dates are 15 April, 13 May and 10 June. The NI Executive does not expect the current picture to change significantly before Easter.  Their next consideration of potential relaxations will therefore take place in mid-April.

                                  See below for what each of the phases will mean:  

                                  Phase 1 - (Lockdown Restrictions)

                                  • Contact limited to own household and support bubble
                                  • Up to six people from two households can meet outdoors but not at a private dwelling
                                  • Indoor and some outdoor visitor attractions closed, all indoor seated venues closed
                                  • Theatres and concert halls can open for rehearsal and recording
                                  • Outdoor exercise with one household or one in other person is permitted (in their local area) along with training and competition for elite athletes
                                  • 25 guest limit at civil partnerships, marriages and funerals – pre and post gatherings are not permitted
                                  • Essential travel only
                                  • All tourist accommodation closed, with exceptions
                                  • Those who cannot work from home can attend work, but remote working is the default position
                                  • Only essential retail is open.
                                  • Non-essential retail, including Click and Collect is closed, as well as close contact services
                                  • Curfew on alcohol off-sales
                                  • All hospitality is closed, except for takeaway sales. There is an 11pm curfew on takeaways.

                                  Phase 2 - (by the end of this Cautious First Steps phase)

                                  • Stay at Home message relaxed, up to six people from two households can meet outdoors at a private dwelling. Up to ten from two households can meet outdoors (not at a private dwelling)
                                  • All outdoor visitor attractions re-open
                                  • Outdoor sports facilities re-open for training and organised group activities
                                  • Outdoor competitive sport can resume with no spectators. Outdoor sport can also resume for children with accompanying adults allowed to attend
                                  • Return to services in places of worship with a risk assessment.
                                  • Increased numbers at indoor and outdoor civil partnerships, marriages and funerals with a risk assessment
                                  • Public transport capacity increases within limits of social distancing requirements
                                  • Relaxation of restrictions on workplace attendance. Working from home where possible remains the recommended approach.
                                  • Click and Collect for non-essential retail is allowed
                                  • Curfews will be lifted on takeaway
                                  • Premises where alcohol cannot be consumed open with table service, six people from two households

                                  Phase 3 – (by the end of this Gradual Easing phase)

                                  • Wider range of outdoor learning will resume, as well as Extended School activity
                                  • Indoor visitor attractions, including heritage sites reopen. Low risk activities including rehearsal and practice can take place.
                                  • Leisure centres and all indoor sports facilities reopen, including swimming pools and gyms. Indoor group activities and classes can also resume.
                                  • Leisure activity venues reopen, including soft play
                                  • Indoor activities for children can resume with accompanying responsible adults allowed to attend
                                  • Receptions can take place with mitigations and limited numbers. Pre- and post-funeral gatherings can take place, with mitigations and limited numbers.
                                  • Caravan sites open, but shared facilities remain closed
                                  • Hotels, guest houses and B&Bs reopen, with mitigations
                                  • Public transport returns to full service, with mitigations
                                  • Phased return to on-site work and office spaces. Seminars and meetings can take place.
                                  • All non-essential retail now open. Off-sales curfews lifted.
                                  • Close contact services can resume, with mitigations
                                  • Premises where alcohol can be consumed, excluding wet pubs, open with table service, for six people from two households

                                  Phase 4 – (by the end of this Further Easing phase)

                                  • School clubs, FE colleges & university student extracurricular and support activities and youth services resumed
                                  • Seated venues, including theatres, concert venues and cinemas reopen
                                  • Amateur and youth performance activity can take place, with mitigations
                                  • Outdoor organised events can take place, with limited numbers
                                  • Limited number of both indoor and outdoor spectators allowed
                                  • No upper limit on numbers for pre and post-gatherings for civil partnerships, marriages and funerals - determined by venue risk assessment
                                  • Limited live music at receptions
                                  • Hostels, bunkhouses, campsites and other accommodation with shared facilities open
                                  • Campus accommodation for tourism purposes open
                                  • Hotels can offer wider range of services beyond accommodation & meals, e.g. beauty treatment in a hotel spa
                                  • Revised risk assessments allow more workplaces to reopen. Work conferences can resume.
                                  • All close contact services open without appointments, with remaining mitigations
                                  • Increased in-store capacity in all retail
                                  • Wet pubs open with table service, 6 people from 2 households
                                  • Limited entertainment relaxations

                                  Phase 5 – (preparing for the future)

                                  • Household limits lifted in private dwellings. Organised outdoor gatherings are limited only by risk assessment and mitigations.
                                  • Larger outdoor organised events, concerts and festivals can take place
                                  • Further indoor and outdoor spectators allowed
                                  • Further mitigations relaxed for pre- and post-gatherings for civil partnerships, marriages and funerals. Live music, entertainment and dancing at reception allowed.
                                  • Preparing for the full return of leisure travel
                                  • Workplaces fully reopen
                                  • All retail and close contact services open with reduced mitigations
                                  • Bar service permitted in wet pubs. ‘Six from any’ relaxed.
                                  • Live entertainment in hospitality venues
                                  • Nightclubs open

                                  The full document is available here. An executive summary is available too.

                                  First meeting of the new Global Travel Taskforce today

                                  The Secretary of State Grant Shapps has today chaired the first meeting of the new Global Travel Taskforce to set out a plan for restarting international travel in a safe and sustainable way.

                                  Several government departments, industry bodies, transport operators and travel agencies met to discuss the work of the taskforce and how international travel can be re-opened safely. This includes developing a new risk-based framework to facilitate international travel, using the measures the government already has in place, such as testing and isolation, and the recommendations from the first Global Travel Taskforce last year.

                                  They will also look at how existing measures, such as the government’s testing and isolation schemes, could be used to facilitate travel while managing the risk of imported cases and ‘variants of concern’.

                                  It will also take place in parallel and be closely integrated with the review into COVID-status certification led by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

                                  The taskforce will provide a report to the Prime Minister on 12 April, which will be used to help government determine when and how to resume safe international travel no earlier than 17 May 2021.

                                  The decision on when international travel can resume will be dependent on:

                                  • the global and domestic epidemiological picture
                                  • the prevalence and location of any ‘variants of concern’
                                  • the progress of vaccine rollouts here and abroad
                                  • what more the government has learned about the efficacy of vaccines on variants, and the impact on transmission, hospitalisation and deaths

                                  The taskforce will provide a report to the Prime Minister on 12 April, which will be used to help government determine when and how to resume safe international travel no earlier than 17 May 2021.

                                  Update from First Minister of Scotland

                                  The Scottish Government has today announced that phase 2 of school return will commence on 15 March (all remaining primary school children with all secondary pupils returning on a part-time basis from that date).

                                  In a press conference, the First Minster also stated that next week she hopes to confirm to Parliament the other changes to the level 4 restrictions that will take effect from 15 March. The following week the First Minister is scheduled to set out a firmer timetable for the period after 26 April. She said that if the data allows any relaxation of the rules to be brought forward, this will be considered

                                  VisitBritain announces ‘We’re Good To Go’ and WTTC ‘Safer Travels’ stamp partnership

                                  VisitBritain has announced that tourism businesses in the UK registered to the ‘We’re Good To Go’ (WGTG) industry standard scheme can now be automatically issued with the international ‘Safe Travels’ stamp from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

                                  The “We’re Good To Go” scheme has been recognised by WTTC as meeting its international global standardised health and hygiene protocols and for its role in supporting the recovery of the UK tourism sector.

                                  The WTTC stamp enables travellers to recognise destinations around the world which have adopted global standardised protocols - so they can experience ‘Safe Travels.’

                                  Businesses that have already signed up to We’re Good to Go just need to:

                                  • Log into their WGTG account via the website
                                  • Go to the new section that has been added under the address details area of the form
                                  • They will be given further instructions of how to download the logo
                                  • By downloading the stamp, they will be agreeing that your business name and website can be shared with WTTC

                                  Businesses not already signed up can apply to the “We’re Good to Go” scheme and if they are successful they will be given the option to download the stamp alongside.


                                  Other updates

                                  The following pages have been updated to include information on the roadmap out of lockdown:

                                   

                                  TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 2 MARCH

                                   

                                  • Kick Start Scheme Update

                                  The guidance on the kick Start Scheme has been updated again with more information on what businesses can spend the £1500 setup costs and employability support grant on. The funding is given for each person employed through the scheme and can be spent on:

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

                                   

                                  There is also further detail on what happens if the placement leaves the job placement early. In this situation, the employer must tell DWP as soon as possible if the placement:

                                    • leaves their job placement before the end of the 6-month period
                                    • needs to temporarily leave their job placement (for example for special leave or coronavirus-related restrictions)

                                   

                                  DWP may be able to extend the funding period if the young person has to temporarily stop working while if they leave permanently, DWP will pay the grant until the end of the month that they stopped working.

                                   

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

                                  • Setting Up “Time to Pay” Self-Assessment Payments

                                  HMRC’s guidance on self-assessment payments has been updated to say that “Time to Pay” arrangements can be set-up online for amounts up to £30,000 up to 60 days after 31 January 2021 without having to contact them. When you have filed your return you’ll need to wait at least 72 hours before you can set up your Time to Pay arrangement online.

                                   

                                  Late payment penalties are charged when tax remains unpaid for 30 days, 6 months and 12 months after the payment due dates. You can avoid the penalties if you enter into a Time to Pay arrangement before they become due and you pay all the tax owing under that arrangement on time. For Self Assessment payments that were due on 31 January 2021, you will avoid the first late payment penalty if you set up a Time to Pay arrangement by 2 March 2021. The 6 month and 12 month penalties can be avoided if you pay all the tax owing under that arrangement on time.

                                   

                                  https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/self-assessment  

                                  • Letter to Food, Drink and Environment Services

                                  The Environment Secretary, George Eustice, has written to Food, Drink and Environmental Services businesses encouraging them to have their staff tested for coronavirus by registering for free testing kits provided by the government.

                                   https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/965828/eustice-letter-workplace-testing-210302.pdf

                                   

                                  TIER: COVID-19 update 1 March

                                   

                                  This evening’s UK Government press briefing was led by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock. He was joined by Dr Susan Hopkins, of Public Health England, and deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam. The briefing covered vaccinations and the Brazil variant cases identified in England and Scotland.

                                  Within questions, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam was asked if there is any prospect of a foreign holiday this summer. He answered that there is uncertainty about what the virus will do next. Many countries in Europe are behind the UK in the delivery of vaccinations and travel will depend on advice from the governments of other countries 

                                  A question was asked about the travel ban list and how effective it is at stopping variants from entering the UK. Matt Hancock answered that countries that are not on the travel ban list have low proportions of variant cases. He then went on to say that home quarantine is required for all inbound arrivals to the UK along with pre-departure tests plus tests on day 2 and day 8.

                                  To close the briefing, there was a question on digital green pass (vaccine passports) and restarting international travel. Matt Hancock said work is taking place with international partners who require certification if countries require it for entry. The EU proposal is a certification of whether you have had a vaccination and if not, you would need to take a coronavirus test before travel.

                                  UK Government announces independent review of Destination Management Organisations (DMOs)

                                  The UK Government has announced an independent review of Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) across England. This review aims to examine and assess how Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) across England are funded and structured, and how they perform their roles, in order to establish whether there may be a more efficient and effective model for supporting English tourism at the regional level, and if so what that model may be. The structure of the national tourism boards, VisitEngland and VisitBritain, will only be in scope of the review where it is relevant to the structures and funding of DMOs.

                                  The review will be led by the current Chair of the VisitEngland Advisory Board, Nick de Bois, acting in an independent capacity and reporting directly to the Secretary of State. An experienced advisory panel will be convened to assist him with his review.

                                  A diverse and representative spread of as many DMOs as possible will be consulted as well as a wide range of local, tourism and other related stakeholders The review will take place over spring 2021, with a written report, including recommendations, delivered to the Secretary of State by Summer 2021.

                                  Read the terms of reference and find out how to get involved.

                                  Other government news:

                                  • Advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents has been updated. If a person intends to leave the UK but havs not been able to do so and they have a visa or leave that expires between 1 March 2021 and 31 March 2021 they may request additional time to stay, known as ‘exceptional assurance’.
                                  • Welsh Government has launched a new campaign, ‘We’re in Your Corner’, to encourage Welsh businesses to use skills and employment advice and guidance that is on offer through the Skills Gateway for Business online portal.

                                   

                                  Questions on the roadmap announcement and the update of Cabinet Office Reopening Businesses and Venues guidance

                                  Following the Roadmap announcement and the update of the Cabinet Office Reopening Businesses and Venues guidance last week, questions from members have been collated and logged with Cabinet Office. DCMS has advised that Cabinet Office will be prioritising answering questions according to the dates in the Roadmap, beginning with 8th and 29th March related questions. They are pressing that answers are required with as much forward notice as possible in order to prepare for reopening, plan events, and take bookings

                                   

                                  The updated ‘Visitor Economy’ and ‘Hotels and Other Guest Accommodation’ guidance will be made available online prior to the dates of each step of the Roadmap. In the meantime, DCMS will endeavour to answer questions as soon as possible, including any about the definition of ‘self-contained accommodation’, the restart of coach tours and guided tours, the extent of outdoor recreation and leisure permitted in March, and the position on smaller business events. 

                                   

                                  Please find some initial answers below.

                                   

                                  Q. Can work meetings currently take place?

                                  In-person meetings for work, training or education purposes can still take place but only where it is not possible to carry out the activity from home, and if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate it has followed COVID-19 guidance. People should only attend a business meeting in person if it is necessary for them to be there - social meetings with work colleagues should not happen. Permitted venues, including exhibition and conference centres, can hire out function and event spaces for essential work, education and training purposes, where these events cannot reasonably be conducted remotely in Step 1 and 2.

                                    

                                  Q. Is the roadmap/steps set in stone and is the roadmap guidance or law?

                                  The timings outlined in the roadmap are indicative, and the Government will be led by data, rather than fixed dates. Before taking each step, the Government will review the latest data and will only ease restrictions further if it is safe to do so. The indicative, ‘no earlier than’ dates in the roadmap are all contingent on the data and subject to change. The roadmap will be underpinned by regulations, though these are yet to be made. As set out in the roadmap, we hope to ease restrictions, incrementally, over a period of time. Until those points people must continue to follow the rules set out in law.

                                   

                                  Q: Why is the rule now either 6 people or 2 households?

                                  A:  We will re-introduce the ‘Rule of Six’ outdoors from 29 March, as well as enabling larger groups to meet if they are from two households. A ‘household’ can include a support bubble where eligible. This rule allows either 6 people from different households or 2 households to gather. Applying either limit provides greater flexibility, recognising the different situations faced by families and individuals; two households will be more helpful for families, while the Rule of 6 is likely to help people in different households to reunite outdoors, including those living alone or in shared accommodation. Those eligible to form a support bubble will still be able to do so, enabling close contact for many of those in most need of support, and will continue to be counted as part of the same household.

                                   

                                  1. Before Step 3, indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes, zoos and other animal attractions and landmarks must close, though the outdoor attractions of these premises can open from Step 1 or 2 (depending on the attraction). Indoor toilet facilities can open at outdoor attractions at Step 2.  

                                     

                                    Q. When can funfairs and circuses be permitted to open?

                                    Outdoor funfairs and fairgrounds can reopen in Step 2 - no earlier than 12 April. These events will be subject to local authority approval. Groups must be limited to up to 6 people or 2 households.
                                    Outdoor circuses can reopen in Step 3 - no earlier than 17 May - with other outdoor performance events. Outdoor circus events will be subject to local authority approval.

                                    Funfairs, fairgrounds and circuses will also need to be organised by a business, charity or similar organisation; comply with COVID-Secure guidance with reasonable steps to limit the risk of transmission and the completion of a risk assessment; and ensure that those attending do not mix beyond what is permitted by the social contact limits (unless another exemption exists, such as for work purposes, or supervised activities for children). 

                                     

                                    Q. When can active outdoor leisure activity such as ziplining restart?

                                    Ziplining and other active outdoor leisure activities can restart in Step 2 - no earlier than 12 April, with outdoor attractions such as adventure parks in line with social contact rules - in a group of 6 people or 2 households outdoors.

                                     

                                    Q. When can tenpin bowling centres, trampolining and climbing reopen? 

                                    Outdoor climbing walls can open from 29 March. People can use these in a group of six people, or with members of up to two households. Indoor facilities, such as changing rooms, should not be used at this time, although toilet facilities can be accessed. 

                                    Indoor climbing walls can open from Step 2 - no earlier than 12 April. Unless a specific exemption exists, these must only be attended/used in line with the wider social contact limits at this stage - as a single household or bubble indoors.

                                     

                                    Outdoor trampolining parks can open in Step 2 - no earlier than 12 April. Unless a specific exemption exists, these must only be attended/used in line with the wider social contact limits at this stage - in a group of 6 people or 2 households outdoors.

                                    Indoor trampolining parks can open in Step 3 - no earlier than 17 May these must only be attended/used in line with the wider social contact limits at this stage - in a group of 6 people or 2 households indoors.

                                     

                                    Indoor bowling can open in Step 3 - no earlier than 17 May. Unless a specific exemption exists, it must only be attended/used in line with the wider social contact limits at this stage - in a group of 6 people or 2 households indoors.

                                     

                                    Q. When can outdoor and indoor swimming pools reopen?

                                    From 29 March outdoor sports facilities such as swimming pools and gyms will be open. People can use outdoor pools and gyms in a group of six people, or with members of up to two households. Indoor facilities, such as changing rooms, should not be used at this time, although toilet facilities can be accessed. At this stage, these gatherings must only include participants - not spectators. 

                                    Indoor swimming pools can open in Step 2 - no earlier than 12 April. This is in line with indoor gyms, leisure centres and sports courts. Unless a specific exemption exists, these must only be attended/used in line with the wider social contact limits at this stage - as a single household or bubble indoors

                                     

                                    Q. When can recreational boating take place?

                                    From the 8th March self drive day hire of boats is permitted for the purpose of open air recreation in a public outdoor place (the vessel must be open air) for single household/bubble only.
                                    From the 29th March self drive day hire of boats is permitted for 6 people / 2 households per boat if the vessel is open air and for a single household if the vessel is enclosed.

                                    From 12 April self drive holiday hire boats are permitted for single household/bubble only. 

                                    From 17 May self drive holiday hire boats are permitted for 6 people / 2 households per boat.

                                    Clarification on skippered boats will be sought and provided as soon as possible.

                                    Private boating is permitted for recreation on waterways accessible to the public from 8 March for single household/bubble only. People should stay local, no overnight stays. From 29 March private boating is allowed for a single household/bubble in an indoor boat and 6 people / 2 households in an outdoor boat. People should minimise travel, no overnight stays.  From 12 April overnight stays are permitted for a single household/bubble. From 17 May overnight stays are permitted for 6 people / 2 households.

                                     

                                    TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 1 March

                                     

                                    • Reopening High Streets Safely Fund
                                    • MHCLG has produced a new version the Guidance and FAQ associated with this £50m fund to councils. This latest version is aimed at the reopening under the Government’s Roadmap and as such, the end date for the RHSSF project is now 30 June 2021 so all expenditure needs to be defrayed and delivery completed by this date.

                                      Another change is that, after a review, the cost of High Street Ambassadors and Wardens can now be paid for through this funding which will help with the management of town centres as businesses reopen and help encourage people to visit knowing that it is a safe environment.

                                      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reopening-high-streets-safely-fund-guidance

                                      • Visa Application Update
                                      • The Home Office has updated the guidance for people in the UK by updating the guidance on the exceptional assurance visa. This is help people who intend to leave the UK but have not been able to do so and have a visa or leave that expires between 1 March 2021 and 31 March 2021 by allowing them to request additional time to stay, known as ‘exceptional assurance’.

                                         

                                        Requests for an exceptional assurance can be applied for by emailing cihassuranceteam@homeoffice.gov.uk  with evidence as to why the person cannot leave the UK.

                                        Exceptional assurance will act as a short-term protection against any adverse action or consequences after leave has expired. If conditions of the person’s original visa allowed them to work, study or rent accommodation, they may continue to do so during the period of their exceptional assurance.

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

                                         

                                         

                                         

                                      TIER: COVID-19 update 26 February

                                       

                                      At today’s press briefing, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock was joined by England's deputy chief medical officer Prof Jonathan Van-Tam and Dr Susan Hopkins, senior medical adviser at Public Health England. It focused on the vaccination programme. During the briefing, Prof Jonathan Van-Tam spoke about case rates stating that they are high overall and increasing in some areas. Matt Hancock spoke about the roll out of the vaccination programme and the interim advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) stating how those aged under 50 will be prioritised.

                                      A question was asked about the regional differences and whether local lockdowns would return. Matt Hancock answered that the Government is proposing to come out of the national lockdown together but wouldn’t rule out action if there are local flare ups.

                                      When asked whether people will need to show proof of vaccination to go to a pub or football match, Matt Hancock stated these considerations will go into a review of vaccination passports being led by Michael Gove and would not comment. He also said the government should help people who need to show proof of a vaccine to allow them to travel to countries that require a vaccination passport.

                                      Prof Jonathan Van-Tam also answered a question about the association of the eat out to help out scheme with an increase in transmission and whether the scheme should return. He said it was a matter for the Chancellor rather than clinicians.

                                      Government announcements:

                                      • Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has written a letter to encouraging businesses in England who’s staff cannot currently work from home, to test their staff for COVID-19 by registering for free testing kits.
                                        • The government is providing employers with 50 or more employees with lateral flow testing kits to test their staff that cannot currently work from home, or who will return to the workplace as the economy opens up as set out in the Roadmap announced on 22 February.
                                        • The test kits are free of charge until 30 June 2021 for firms that have registered by 31 March 2021.
                                        • Companies with fewer than 50 employees can take advantage of community testing for their staff.
                                      • The government has announced that an extension to the airports slot allocation waiver  will come into force from 26 March 2021. Airlines will not have to operate flights at least 80% of the time to retain their slots.

                                      Industry news:

                                      • Gatwick Airport has published their 2020 annual results which show passenger numbers at Gatwick fell 78% and a £465.5m loss for the twelve month period.
                                      • International Airlines Group, which includes Iberia, British Airways, Aer Lingus, Vueling and others, has released their 2020 annual results which report an operating loss for the year to December 31 2020 of €7.4 billion.

                                       

                                      Other news:

                                      • The government have set out plans on a new Protect Duty; a legal requirement for public places to ensure preparedness for and protection from terrorist attacks. A consultation is open with responses welcome from anyone with an interest in, or experience of, the areas being consulted on. Publicly accessible locations include a wide variety of everyday locations such as:
                                        • sports stadiums
                                        • festivals
                                        • music venues
                                        • hotels
                                        • pubs
                                        • clubs
                                        • bars
                                        • casinos
                                        • high streets
                                        • retail stores
                                        • shopping centres and markets
                                        • schools and universities
                                        • medical centres and hospitals
                                        • places of worship
                                        • government offices
                                        • job centres
                                        • transport hubs
                                        • parks
                                        • beaches
                                        • public squares and other open spaces

                                       

                                      Tourism Alliance Update – 26 February

                                      • Northern Ireland Economic Recovery Action Plan

                                      Northern Ireland has launched a £290m economic recovery plan which focuses on four key themes:

                                        • R&D and Innovation (£20m)
                                        • Highly Skilled and Agile Workforce (£50m)
                                        • Green Economy (£20m)
                                        • Investment, Trade and Exports (£200m)

                                       

                                      There are a wide range of tourism-related action in the recovery plan, many of which would be worthy of consideration for inclusion in DCMS’s Recovery Plan, including:

                                        • Delivering the COVID Digital Innovation and Productivity Programme to support businesses across the tourism sector to enhance their digital capability.
                                        • Delivering Crisis Management and Turnaround Fund support for tourism businesses
                                        • Deliver a ‘Holiday at Home’ voucher campaign to stimulate demand from NI residents to staycation in NI in support of the tourism industry
                                        • Deliver an “Experience Development Programme” to provide grant funding for tourism experience providers to help develop their businesses
                                        • Accelerate the development of the Tourism Data Hub to support the industry with real time data to inform decision making.
                                        • Delivery of a Website Development Programme for tourism businesses to receive capital grants for the upgrading of their websites to make them bookable online.
                                        • Develop a sustainable regenerative Tourism Strategy for NI.

                                       

                                      https://www.economy-ni.gov.uk/publications/economic-recovery-action-plan

                                      • “We’re Good to Go” Links With “Safe Travels”

                                      Ahead of reopening, VisitBritain has linked it’s We’re Good to Go” consumer confidence scheme with the WTTC’s international “Safe Travels” scheme. This means that any business not already part of We’re Good To Go can apply to the scheme and indicate that you wish to use the additional global WTTC stamp.

                                      Here's the link to apply for the use of one or both marks

                                      https://goodtogo.visitbritain.com/

                                      • Business Innovation Support Package

                                      The Guidance on the Business Innovation Support package has been updated. Although applications for Continuity Grants and Loans have ended, there are still Business advisory support packages available for around 6,000 innovative high-growth-potential, high-growth and scaling SMEs over the next 2 years managed through Innovate UK EDGE. There are available to help businesses:

                                        • exploit innovation, intellectual property, and connections in the UK and abroad
                                        • enter new markets at home and abroad
                                        • access funding and finance and getting investment ready.

                                       

                                      Further information on the support and how to apply is available on the following link

                                      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/access-coronovirus-business-innovation-support-package

                                      • Slots Waiver Extension

                                      DfT has announced that it is introducing legislation to extend the waiver on the rules that airlines have to operate flights at least 80% of the time in order to retain their slots airports. This requirement lead to a rise in the number of ghost flights during the first lockdown as airlines continued to fly without passengers in order not to lose very valuable slots. The extension will come into force from 26 March 2021.

                                      https://www.gov.uk/government/news/slots-waiver-extended-in-boost-to-uk-airlines

                                      • A Bit of Humour For a Friday

                                      I sent you the transcript of the oral question Baroness Doocey asked in the House of Lords the other day regarding reopening. Here’s a link to the video of the exchange - you have to admire the Leader of the House for her complete honesty.

                                      https://twitter.com/DooceyDee/status/1364560604195926020?s=20

                                      • R Number and Growth Rate

                                      Finally, this week’s R number and Growth Rate, which are respectively 0.6 to 0.9 and -6% to -2%. This is the same as last week so cases of the infection as declining at the same rate as previously

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

                                      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: