Covid-19 Updates for the UK & Ireland
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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

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 6 NOVEMBER

 

  • New National Restrictions from 5 November

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

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

 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november

 

  • Closing Certain Businesses and Venues in England

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

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

 

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

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

  

  • Support Funding Clarification

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

 

  1. Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed)

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

 

Here's the guidance

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/932622/V.1._Local_Restrictions_Support_Grant__CLOSED__-_FINAL_LA_guidance_03112020.pdf

 

And here’s the Addendum

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/932617/V.1_Addendum_Local_Restrictions_Support_Grant__CLOSED__FINAL_LA_Guidance_03112020.pdf

  

  1. Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open)

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

 

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

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/932625/V.1._Local_Restrictions_Support_Grant__OPEN__-_FINAL_LA_guidance_03112020.pdf

 

  1. Additional Restrictions Grant

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

 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/932623/V.1._Additional_Restrictions_Grant_-_FINAL_LA_guidance_03112020.pdf

 

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

   

  • Air Corridor Update

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

 

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

  

  • Amended Definition of a Support Bubble

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

  

  • Childcare Bubble

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

 

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

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

  

  • R Number and Growth Rate

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

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

TIER: COVID-19 update, 6 November

 


Wales post-firebreak guidance

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

 

Update to travel corridors

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

 

Other government updates:

 

Other updates:

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

 

Points to note include:

 

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

 

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

 

COVID-19 Situation update 6 November 2020

TOURISM ALLIANCE - BREXIT UPDATE 

6 NOV 2020

 

  • VAT Retail Export Scheme Campaign

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

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

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

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

 20-11-06 Key figures

 

Changes in Food Labelling and Logos

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

  • Country of Origin labels

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

  • Geographical Indication Logos

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

 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/food-and-drink-labelling-changes-from-1-january-2021?utm_source=5f68731e-0435-4b0d-8570-65c60aff3c36&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=daily#history

  •  Data Protection Campaign

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

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

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

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

 

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 2 NOVEMBER

 

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

 

  • Extension of Loans Application Deadline

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

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-commons-statement-on-coronavirus-2-november 

 

  • Repaying Eat Out to Help Out

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

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

                https://www.gov.uk/guidance/repay-eat-out-to-help-out-scheme-payments 

 

  • UKinbound Campaign for Inbound Tourism Resilience Fund

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

UKinbound Tourism Resilience Fund Proposal FINAL

The three key asks of the campaign are:

 

    • Inbound Tourism Resilience Fund

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

Inbound tourism infographic (to&dmc) FINAL

 

    • Business Rates Relief and Grants

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

 

    • Introduction of Testing

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

 

 

 

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

 

Some semi-answers so far:

 

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

                    The Prime Minister said in his announcement that:

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

     

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

     

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

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

     

  1. How will the Furlough Scheme work this time?

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

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

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

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

 

 

TIER: COVID-19 and Brexit update 2 November 

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Read the announcement in full on Gov.Wales.

 

New level system in Scotland in force from 2 November

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

 

 

Other Government updates

 

TIER: COVID-19 update 7 October 

A Taskforce for safe return to global travel has been launched

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

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

 

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

 

Additions from Tourism Alliance:

Here’s the Statement to Parliament

https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2020-10-07/hcws496

  

And here’s the Press Release

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/taskforce-for-safe-return-to-global-travel-launched

 

New lockdown restrictions announced today for Scotland

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Situation update 7 October 2020

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

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 7 OCTOBER

 

  • Guidance on Weddings Updated

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

 

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

 

  • Delays in DFT Statistical Publications

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

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-dft-statistics-publications-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19/changes-to-dft-statistics-publications-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

 

  • Save Future Travel Petition

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

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

 

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/552725

  

  • Baroness Doocey Questions

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

 

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

Answer: Lord Agnew of Oulton:

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

  

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

 

Answer: Baroness Barran:

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

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

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

 

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

 

Answer: Baroness Barran:

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

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

 

  • Today’s PMQs

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

TIER: COVID-19 update 25 September

 

Local Restrictions Support Grant for businesses

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

 

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

 

Updated information added to the Deferral of VAT payments guidance

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

 

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

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

 

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


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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Other Government updates

 

COVID-19 Consumer Sentiment Tracker latest results

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Situation update 25 September 2020

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 25 SEPTEMBER

 

  • QR Codes and Self-Catering

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

 

  • QR Codes and Unstaffed Outdoor Sites

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

 

  • Coronavirus Local Restrictions Support Grant

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

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

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

  •  Joined-up Governments

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

 

 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/joint-statement-on-covid-19/joint-statement-on-coronavirus-covid-19

 

 

  • Scottish Winter Economy Plan

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

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/winter-economy-plan-to-support-scottish-firms-and-workers

 

  • ONS Furlough Data

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

https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/business/businessservices/articles/comparisonoffurloughedjobsdata/maytojuly2020

 

 

  • National Museum Visitors

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

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/daily-visitors-to-dcms-sponsored-museums-and-galleries

 

 

  • R Number and Growth Rate

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

 

TIER: COVID-19 update 22 September

 

New restrictions in England due to rising coronavirus cases

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

 

In summary:

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

For the hospitality sector from Friday 25 September:

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

 

Scotland wide gathering restrictions to be introduced from 23 September:

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

 

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

 

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

 

Other Government updates

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

 

Situation update 22 September 2020

 

 

 Tourism Alliance logo

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

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

 New Rules and Restrictions on Businesses

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

 Restrictions on Groups

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

 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-what-has-changed-22-september

  • Exemptions to the Rules of Six

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

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

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


  • Updated FAQ

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

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do

 Guidance foe Transport Operators

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

 

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

 

 

 

Consumer tracker report from VisitBritain (Week 14)

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

Some highlights from the report:

 

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

 

 

Situation update 15 September 2020

The Rule of Six in the Different Home Nations

 

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

 

Wales

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

 

Scotland

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

 

Northern Ireland

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

 

BVEP logo

BVEP Partners Update

Friday 11th September 2020

From: Simon Hughes – Chair

 

Knocked for 6

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


 

BVEP logo

TIER Update - 11 September 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

Further assets and materials are available at https://covid19.nhs.uk/ 

Written Statement from the First Minister of Wales

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

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

 

New restrictions in Birmingham announced

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

 

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

 

Heritage locations guidance updated

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

 

Hotels and other guest accommodation guidance updated

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

 

Duty Free extended to the EU from January 2021

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

 

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

 

 

Other Government updates

 

 

Business Events industry updates

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

 

Situation update 11 September 2020

 

 

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 11 SEPTEMBER

 

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

 

  • Guidance to Businesses of Rule of Six

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

 

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

 

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

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

  

  • Rule of Six and Tour Groups

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

 

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

 

So, in relation to tour groups, this means:

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

  

  • Priority Actions

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

  

  • Local Lockdowns

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

https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/news/article/709/new_restrictions_announced_to_drive_down_infection_rate

 

  • CJRS Guidance Update

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

               https://www.gov.uk/guidance/steps-to-take-before-calculating-your-claim-using-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

  

  • Question in the Lords

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

 

Baroness Doocey (LD)

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

 

Baroness Vere of Norbiton (Con)

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

 

  • Tourism Debate

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

               https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2020-09-10/debates/542B674D-C386-417D-A734-BC5A7A8A9A3D/TourismCovid-19

  

  • National Museums

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

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/daily-visitors-to-dcms-sponsored-museums-and-galleries

 

  • R Number

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

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

 

  • Duty Free Shopping

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

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

 

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

 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/917005/Passengers_Consultation_Response.pdf


 

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TIER Update - 10 September 2020

 

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

  • Meeting Others Safely

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

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

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

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


  • Rule of Six FAQ

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

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

 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do


 

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TIER Update - 9 September 2020

New measures announced by the Prime Minister this afternoon

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

General measures and rule of six

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

 

Work settings and weddings and funerals

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

 

COVID Secure venues – tourism and hospitality

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

 

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

 

Events, conferences and sport

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

 

International travel

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

 

New grants for businesses affected by local lockdowns

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

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

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

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

 

Situation update 9 September 2020

 

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 9 SEPTEMBER

 

  • Prime Minister’s Announcement

As above +:

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

for outdoor and indoor venues.

  

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

 

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

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-press-conference-statement-9-september-2020

 

               And here’s the slides from the presentation:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/slides-on-coronavirus-9-september-2020

 

  • Bounce-Back Plans for Consumer and Retail Industry

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

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/bounce-back-plans-launched-for-consumer-and-retail-industry

 

  • CMA Position on Wedding Cancellations and Refunds

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

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

 

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

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wedding-services-coronavirus-covid-19-cancellations-and-refunds/wedding-services-affected-by-covid-19-statement-of-the-cmas-position-on-cancellation-and-refunds#weddings-affected-by-legal-restrictions-and-government-guidance-which-may-be-able-to-go-ahead-in-some-cases

 

  • Local Lockdown Changes

 

Leicester

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

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

 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/closing-certain-businesses-and-venues-in-leicester

 

Bolton

Further restrictions have been introduced in Bolton

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

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/stronger-measures-brought-in-to-tackle-virus-in-bolton

 

  • Air Corridors

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

Crete

Lesvos

Mykonos

Santorini

Serifos

Tinos

Zakynthos

 

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



 

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TIER Update - 8 September 2020

New restrictions introduced in Bolton, England

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

 

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

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

 

New restrictions in Caerphilly County, Wales

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

 

New restrictions in Scotland for East Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire

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

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

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

Updated ONS Business Impact of Coronavirus data

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

 

Some key findings include

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

 

Other Government updates

 

Situation update 8 September 2020

 

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 8 SEPTEMBER

 

Business Rate Consultation Feedback Reminder

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

 

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

 

Here’s a link to the Consultation document -

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/hm-treasury-fundamental-review-of-business-rates-call-for-evidence

 

VEWG Updates – 08/09/2020

 

Autumn Staycation Campaign

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

 

Autumn Staycation campaign - Update wc 17 August V3

 

CMA open letter

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

 

Voluntary calorie guidelines

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


 

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TIER Update - 7 September 2020

 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) template update

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

 

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

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

 

Update to travel corridors policy in England


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

 

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

 

Other Government updates

 

Situation update 7 September 2020


 

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TIER Update - 4 September 2020

DCMS Coronavirus Impact Business Survey - reminder

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

 

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

 

Travel corridor updates for Scotland and Northern Ireland 

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

 

Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain ONS data update

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

Some key findings include:

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

 

Other Government updates

 

Travel industry updates

 

 

Situation update 4 September 2020

 

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 4 SEPTEMBER

(with duplicate remove)

  • Tourism Debate

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

https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2020-09-03/debates/C73003C6-A7EC-42B1-8BDA-2248987B5371/BusinessOfTheHouse

 

  • Guidance for Visa Nationals

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

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

 

  • R Rate

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

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


 

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TIER Update - 3 September 2020

Travel Corridors in England

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

 

Travel Corridors in Wales

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

Other government updates

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

Situation update 3 September 2020

 

MATERIAL FROM TOURISM ALLIANCE

 

Wedding Consultation

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

 

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

 

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

https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/project/weddings/

 

Tourism Alliance presentation on tourism recovery at the Trial Conference  

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


 

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TIER Update - 2 September 2020

 

Updates to local restrictions in England

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

 

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

 

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

 

Kickstart Scheme

See Tourism Alliance Update below.

 

Changes to travel corridors in Scotland and Wales

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

 

Other Government updates

 

Situation update 2 September 2020

 

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 2 SEPTEMBER

 

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

 

  • Kickstart Scheme

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/kickstart-scheme?utm_source=9110972d-4588-4bc2-a272-6bb7da082115&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

 

               Important Bit

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

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-can-apply-for-a-grant-as-a-representative-of-a-group-of-employers-through-the-kickstart-scheme

 

  • Glasgow Restrictions

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

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

 

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

 

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

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-local-measures/pages/glasgow/

 

  • DCMS Digital Identity Work – Input Required

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

 

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

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/digital-identity/outcome/digital-identity-call-for-evidence-response

 

  • DCMS Participation and Confidence Survey

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

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/taking-part-web-panel-data-engagment-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-data-tables


 

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TIER Update - 1 September 2020

 

Scottish Government outlines new plan for 2020-2021

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

 

Highlights from the plan include:

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

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

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

 

Industry updates

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

Situation update 1 September 2020

 

 

TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 1 SEPTEMBER

 

  • 2025 Border Strategy

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

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

 

  • CJRS Guidance Update

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

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-step-by-step-guide-for-employers

 

  • Local Lockdown Restrictions Being Lifted Tomorrow

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

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

 

Local Lockdown restrictions will continue in the following areas.

Greater Manchester:

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

Lancashire:

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

 

Leicester:

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

 

West Yorkshire:

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

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/restrictions-lifted-in-parts-of-greater-manchester-lancashire-and-west-yorkshire

 

Blackburn with Darwen, Oldham and Pendle

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

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/blackburn-with-darwen-oldham-pendle-local-restrictions

 

  • Guidance on Apprenticeships

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

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

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-apprenticeship-programme-response/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-apprentices-employers-training-providers-end-point-assessment-organisations-and-external-quality-assurance-pro

 

  • DCMS Coronavirus Impact Business Survey For You to Complete

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

https://dcms.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_42Y4OEsGEUcx48Z

 

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

 

  • Surveillance Report

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

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/912973/Weekly_COVID19_Surveillance_Report_week_35_FINAL.PDF

 

  • Virtual Conservative Party Conference

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

https://conference.conservatives.com/registration

 


 

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TIER Update - 28 August 2020

 

 

Changes to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to take effect 1 September

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

 

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

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

    Situation update 28 August 2020

  • you submitted your claim before 31 July

     

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

    Further guidance on cancellations and refunds during COVID-19

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

    Lockdown laws:

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

    Government guidance:

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

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

    ONS COVID-19 roundup

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

    Some key findings on the travel and leisure sectors:

 

 

Tourism Alliance Update


  • Reminder on Increased Fines

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

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

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tougher-fines-ahead-of-bank-holiday-to-crack-down-on-illegal-gatherings

 

  • CMA Statement on Consumer Contracts, Cancellation and Refunds

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Examples of legal restrictions in lockdown laws include:

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

 

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

Here’s the Press Release from the CMA

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-cancellation-and-refund-updates

And here’s the full statement, with further detail

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cma-to-investigate-concerns-about-cancellation-policies-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic/the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-consumer-contracts-cancellation-and-refunds

 

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

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

 

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


  • Changes to CJRS

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

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

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

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

 

  • National Museum Figures

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

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/daily-visitors-to-dcms-sponsored-museums-and-galleries

 

  • The R Number

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

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

 

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TIER Update - 27 August 2020

 

Update on travel corridors


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

 

Czech Republic

Jamaica

Switzerland

 

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

 

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

 

Cuba

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Update on spectators to elite sports events

 

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

Situation update 27 August 2020

 

Tourism Alliance Update - 27 August 2020

 

20.08.27 Services Sector Survey August 2020

  • Changes to Air Corridors

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

Czech Republic

Jamaica

Switzerland

 

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

 

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

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/switzerland-the-czech-republic-and-jamaica-to-be-removed-from-travel-corridors-list

 

  • Payment for People Self-Isolating in Highest Risk Areas

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

 

To be eligible for the funding, individuals must:

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

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-payment-for-people-self-isolating-in-highest-risk-areas

 

  • Passenger Arrivals in July

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

 

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

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/statistics-relating-to-passenger-arrivals-since-the-covid-19-outbreak-august-2020/statistics-relating-to-passenger-arrivals-since-the-covid-19-outbreak-august-2020

 

  • Trial of Sport Events with Spectators

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

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

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

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-pilots-announced-for-return-of-spectators-to-elite-sport

 

  • CBI Service Sector Report

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

 

  • How HMRC Will Continue to Support Customers and the Economy

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

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

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hmrc-issue-briefing-how-hmrc-will-continue-to-support-customers-and-the-economy/covid-19-how-hmrc-will-continue-to-support-customers-and-the-economy

 

  • ONS Survey

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

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

 

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/coronavirustheukeconomyandsocietyfasterindicators/27august2020

  

  • PASC Survey

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

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

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

https://survey.sogosurvey.com/Survey1.aspx?k=RQsQQYTYVsQWQsPsPsP&lang=0 

 

BVEP logo

TIER Update - 26 August 2020

Hospitality businesses in Aberdeen to reopen from 26 August

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

 

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

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

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

     

    VisitBritain report: Revised inbound forecast for the UK in 2020

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

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

       

      Notes about the forecast:

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

       

      Bank Holiday Domestic Trip Tracker from VisitEngland (August 2020)

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

       

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

       

      Industry updates

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

           

          Situation update 26 August 2020

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

VisitEngland_trip_tracker_August_2020

Tourism Alliance Update - 26 August 2020

 

  • VB’s Updated Forecast for Inbound Tourism

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

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

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

https://www.visitbritain.org/2020-tourism-forecast

 

  • Urgent Call for Volunteers for Conference Trial

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

 

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

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

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

  • Being Able to Leave Self-Isolation

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

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


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

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

       

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

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

       

       

      BVEP logo

      Tourism Alliance Update - 25 August 2020

       

      Guidance for guests who become unwell while on holiday in England

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

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

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

          General updates

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

            Trade feedback

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

             Airline updates

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

             Situation update 25 August 2020

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

       

      BVEP logo

      TIER Update - 21 August 2020

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

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

       

      The measures include:

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

       

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

       

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

       

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

       

      Key take-outs from the data include:

       

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

       

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

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

       

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

       

      He also announced some further restrictions will be lifted including:

      From 22 August:

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

       

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

       

      From 29 August :

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

       

      Travel Corridor update for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

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


      Points Based Immigration system resources for employers

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

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

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

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

      Other Government updates

      Industry updates

       

      Situation update 21 August 2020

       

      TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 21 AUGUST

       

      • Impact of Eat Out to Help Out

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

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

       

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

       

      https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandthesocialimpactsongreatbritain/21august2020

       

      Holidays

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

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

        

      • Latest National Museums Figures

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

      https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/daily-visitors-to-dcms-sponsored-museums-and-galleries 

       

      • R Rate and Growth Rates

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

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

       

      • SEISS  Statistics

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

      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/self-employment-income-support-scheme-statistics-august-2020/self-employment-income-support-scheme-statistics-august-2020

      • Face Mask Update

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

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

       


       

      BVEP logo

      TIER Update - 20 August 2020

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

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

       

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

       

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

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

       

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

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

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

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

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

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

       

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

       

      Essential travel restriction on public transport has been lifted in Wales

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

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

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

       

      Restrictions on gatherings reintroduced in Northern Ireland

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

       

      The new restrictions include:

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

      Watch the full briefing.

       

      Other government updates

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

       

      Situation update 20 August 2020

       

      TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 20 AUGUST

       

      • Keeping Track of Local Spikes in Coronavirus

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

       

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

       

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

      1. Areas of concern

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

      1. Areas for enhanced support

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

      1. Areas of intervention

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

       

      So by keeping an eye on the weekly National Surveillance Reports, you can see the trends in watchlist areas and let members know where they might expect restrictions to occur or be  removed. Here’s a link to last the latest Report: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-covid-19-surveillance-reports

       

      • Further ONS Data

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

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

       

      https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/coronavirustheukeconomyandsocietyfasterindicators/20august2020#social-impacts-of-the-coronavirus-on-great-britain

        

      • HMRC CJRS Repayment Phoneline and Videos

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

       

      HMRC have also updated their Self-Employment Income Support Scheme videos for claiming the second grant and for Universal Credit and Child Benefit. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-and-support-if-your-business-is-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19

        

      • Duty Free Shopping Campaign

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

       

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

       

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

       

      You can read the letter here:

      https://internationalretail.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/20-08-19-TFS-letter-2.pdf

       

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

      https://internationalretail.co.uk/sign-up-form

        

      • English Language School Position Paper

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

       

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

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

      https://www.englishuk.com/uploads/assets/public_affairs/2020/English-UK-policy-position-paper_Help-kickstart-UK-ELT_July2020.pdf

       

       

      • Points-Based Immigration System: Employer Information

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

      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-points-based-immigration-system-employer-information

       

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

      https://www.gov.uk/uk-visa-sponsorship-employers

       

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

      https://gov.smartwebportal.co.uk/homeoffice/public/webform.asp?id=191&id2=9633A4


       

      BVEP logo

      TIER Update - 19 August 2020

      Further advice on wearing a face covering

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

      Updated Visa Application Centre closure advice

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

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

       

      Other Government updates

       

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

       

      Industry updates

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

      Situation update 19 August 2020

       

       

      TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 19 AUGUST

      • Check if Simplified Expenses Could Save Your Business Money

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

      https://www.gov.uk/simplified-expenses-checker

       

       

       

      BVEP logo

      TIER Update - 17 August 2020

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

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

       

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

       

                                                                               

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

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

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

       

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

      Transit stops

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

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

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

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

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

       

      Private vehicles

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

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

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

       

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

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

      Situation update 17 August 2020

       

       

      BVEP logo

      TIER Update - 14 August 2020

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

       Approved Travel List

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

       

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

       

       Permitted Activities

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

       

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


       Fines

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

       

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

       

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

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

       

      The intention is that from Saturday 22nd August:

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

       

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

       

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

       

      New regulations for collecting customer contact details in Scotland

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

       

      These businesses must now record:

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

       

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

       

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

       

      DfT advice on transit stops

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

       

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

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

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

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

       

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

       

      ONS COVID-19 round-up

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

      Some key findings on going on holiday include:

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

       

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

       

      Other Government updates

       

       

      Situation update 14 August 2020

       

      TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 14 AUGUST

       

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

       

      • Face Covering Requirements

      With the announcement that further businesses and activities are being allowed to reopen, the guidance on wearing face coverings has been updated to say that face coverings are required in casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor play areas, exhibition halls and conference centres. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

       

      • Clarification on Spas Reopening

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

      https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5ef2889986650c12970e9b57/working-safely-during-covid-19-close-contact-130820.pdf

       

      • DHSC Local Lockdown Email

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

       

      • Changes in Wales

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

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

       

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

                    https://gov.wales/changes-allow-more-families-meet

        

      • FCO Travel Advice

      In line with the announcement that the France, Netherlands, Malta, Monaco and  the FCO has updated its travel advice to advise against non-essential international travel to these countries. The list of countries and territories exempt from the FCO’s general advice against ‘all but essential’ international travel can be found on the following link:              https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-countries-and-territories-exempt-from-advice-against-all-but-essential-international-travel

        

      • Working Safely Updates

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

       

      Performing Arts

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

       

      Close Contact Services

      https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/close-contact-services

       

      • National Museum Figures

      The visitor figures for the week until 9th August have been published. Since the previous week the Natural History Museum, while the Imperial War Museum and the V&A have partially opened which is good news. Footfall however, at an average of 10%, remains very depressed but at least is up from the previous week’s 8.8%https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/daily-visitors-to-dcms-sponsored-museums-and-galleries

       

      • Coronavirus Tourism and Hospitality Impacts

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

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

                     https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandthesocialimpactsongreatbritain/14august2020#holidays

        

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

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

      https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents#if-youre-applying-to-enter-the-uk-or-remain-on-the-basis-of-family-or-private-life

        

      • Transport Demand Management Toolkit for Local Authorities

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

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

       

      https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/909231/Department-for-Transport-Transport-Demand-Management-Toolkit-2020.pdf

       

      BVEP logo

      TIER Update - 13 August 2020

       

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

       
      VisitBritain report: consumer sentiment in France and Germany

       

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

      Consumer Sentiment Tracker report from VisitBritain (Week 12)

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

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

       

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

       

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

       

      Other points of note:

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

      Reducing transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19)

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

       

      Other government updates

      Situation update 13 August 2020

       

      TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 13 AUGUST

       

      • Love Culture Week

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

         

        More information and a toolkit is available on the following link

        https://dcmsblog.uk/enjoy-summer-safely-toolkit/

         

      • Face Coverings Exemptions Toolkit

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

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

           

      • Economic Impacts of Coronavirus

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

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

       

      https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/business/businessservices/bulletins/coronavirusandtheeconomicimpactsontheuk/13august2020

       

      • Excess Mortality

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

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

       https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/excess-mortality-in-english-regions

       

      VEWG UPDATES – 13 AUGUST

      New dates available for HMRC’s business support webinars

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

      NHS Test and Trace App

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

       

      Plastic Packaging Tax consultation

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

       

      Transport data

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

       

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

       

      COVID-19 Consumer Tracker GB Report Week 12


       

      BVEP logo

       

      TIER Update - 11 August 2020

      Brunei and Malaysia added to travel corridor list

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

       

      New dates available for HMRC’s business support webinars

       

      Other Government updates

       

      Industry updates

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

       

      Situation update 11 August 2020

       

      TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 11 AUGUST

       

      • UK Internal Market Consultation – comments required :

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

      https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/901225/uk-internal-market-white-paper.pdf

       

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

       

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

       

      • Eat Out To Help Out Take-Up

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

       

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

      https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmrc-coronavirus-covid-19-statistics

       

      • Shop Local Week

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

      https://www.gov.uk/government/news/eight-reasons-to-shop-local-this-week-to-help-the-high-street-bounce-back

       

      • Updated Visa Guidance

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

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

       

      • Updated Q&A on RDPE Growth Programme Funding

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

      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/european-structural-and-investment-funds-coronavirus-covid-19-response/european-agricultural-fund-for-rural-development-2014-to-2020-programme-rural-development-programme-for-england-growth-programme-questions-and-answer

       


       

      BVEP logo

      TIER Update - 10 August 2020

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

      Shoppers across the UK are encouraged to support their local businesses during Shop Local Week (10-16 August), part of the government’s Enjoy Summer Safely campaign. As part of Shop Local Week, the government has shared eight reasons why customers should shop local this week and is providing digital assets to small businesses to help them engage customers in person and online, including template digital content to share with online followers.

       

       

      Other government updates

      • As part of the lockdown restrictions in Leicester, people from different households may not meet in private homes or gardens or travel beyond the protected area in Leicester to meet people in these private spaces. Exceptions include people entering a private home for work, such as cleaners or childcare providers.
      • From 10 October 2020, Companies House will resume the compulsory strike off process, taking steps to remove a company from the register if there is reasonable cause to believe it is no longer in operation. 

      Industry updates

      • The 2021 edition of the Business Travel Show has been postponed to 22-23 June 2021. The exhibition will be held at ExCeL London and will take a hybrid format, offering virtual content as well as the in-person event.
      • British Airways has extended their flexible booking policy for customers booking flights and holidays through September 2020, covering journeys for a whole year up to 31 August 2021. Customers may change the dates and destination of their booking without incurring a change fee, or cancel their booking and receive a voucher for use at a later date. 

      Situation update 10 August 2020

       

      TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 10 AUGUST

       

      • DCMS Request on Employer Liability and Public Liability Insurance - I’ve received a request from DCMS for any comments or insights on how the Employer Liability and Public Liability markets are operating at the moment to determine whether any Government intervention is needed.  HM Treasury is of the view that the coronavirus outbreak doesn’t seem to be causing businesses any problems in gaining these insurances or significantly increased premiums for businesses. However, they want to check with different sectors to make sure that this is the case.  Therefore, can you let me know (by email at Kurt.janson@tourismalliance.com) by the close of play on Wednesday whether you are receiving any reports from your members of problems in this regard.

       

      • LGA Guidance to Local Authorities on Outdoor Events

      The LGA has just published new guidance for local authorities on staging outdoor events. The guidance has been produced in response to concerns that different councils were taking different approaches when assessing applications and emphasise that current government guidelines allow for outdoor events that are organised by businesses, charitable organisations, and public bodies to take place provided they have carried out a thorough risk assessment and taken all reasonable steps to mitigate the risk of viral transmission, taking into account that risk assessment, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance.

      https://www.local.gov.uk/covid-19-outdoor-events-guidance

       

      • Preston Included in Lockdown Area

      Preston was added to the North West Lockdown area on Friday night and this area is subject to the same rules and restrictions as the other areas in the North West lockdown area.

      https://www.gov.uk/guidance/north-west-of-england-local-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do

       

      • Small Business Grant Fund

      The guidance for the Small Business Grant Fund has been amended to state that Town and Parish councils are eligible if they meet all the scheme criteria. However, they are not eligible for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant.

      https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/907955/business-support-grants-funding-schemes-local-authorities-guidance-v6.pdf

       

      • Home Testing Service

      The Government has introduced home testing whereby home test kits can be delivered to someone’s door so they can test themselves and their family without leaving the house. Home test kit availability will be initially limited, but more will become available. The results of the test should be available within 3 days. To support the introduction of home testing there is also a video and a step-by-step guide. This will be very useful for businesses where staff think that they may have Coronavirus rather than self-isolating.

      https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested

      https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/907961/Coronavirus_home_test_step-by-step_guide.pdf

       

      • Accommodation Guidance for Lockdown Areas

      Late Friday the Government published new guidance for people travelling into lockdown areas.  The new Guidance is that:

      • People can only stay in a private home - which includes self-catered accommodation such as holiday cottages, apartments or boats - with members of their own household and support bubble
      • People can stay in a hotel or similar accommodation (for example, a hostel or bed and breakfast) with another household, but should avoid sharing rooms with people they do not live with or socialise indoors, for example in each other's rooms, in reception areas, or in restaurants and bars
      • People are advised against sharing a caravan with another household.
      • People currently on holiday with another household in a lockdown area that are staying in a private home, where it unreasonable to curtail their stay, should finish their holiday as planned.

      https://www.gov.uk/guidance/guidance-on-holidays-in-areas-with-local-coronavirus-covid-19-restrictions


       

      BVEP logo

      TIER Update - 7 August 2020

      Guidance on holidays in areas with local coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions in England

       

      The Government has today published guidance for England on what people should do if they are on holiday in an area with local coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions or live in a restricted area and are planning on taking a holiday outside the area. The guidance covers

       

      Staying inside the area

      Steps you should take

      • If you live inside the area, you should only socialise indoors with members of your own household or support bubble.
      • You can only stay in a private home - which includes self-catered accommodation such as holiday cottages, apartments or boats - with members of your own household or support bubble.
      • You can stay in a hotel or similar accommodation (for example, a hostel or bed and breakfast) with another household, but should avoid sharing rooms with people you do not live with or otherwise socialising indoors, for example in each other's rooms, in reception areas, or in restaurants and bars.
      • Sharing a caravan with another household is being advised against. You should not share private vehicles to travel to your holiday destination.
      • You can travel into an area with local restrictions on holiday. Whilst inside the area, you should follow the guidance set out above

         

        Travelling outside the area

        Steps you should take

      • If you live inside an area with local restrictions, you can go on holiday outside that area but you should only socialise indoors with members of your own household or support bubble.
      • You can only stay in a private home - which includes self-catered accommodation such as holiday cottages, apartments or boats - with members of your own household or support bubble.
      • You can stay in a hotel or similar accommodation (for example, a hostel or bed and breakfast) with another household but should avoid sharing rooms with people you do not live with or otherwise socialising indoors, for example in each other's rooms, in reception areas, or in restaurants and bars.
      • Sharing a caravan or boat with another household is being advised against. You should not share private vehicles to travel to your holiday destination.

       

      Advice for accommodation providers can be found in the Working Safely guidance.

       

      Read the full guidance to find out more.

       

      Reopening update for Wales

      Swimming pools, indoor fitness studios, gyms and leisure centres will be able to re-open from Monday 10 August, First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed today (Friday 7 August). Children’s indoor play areas will also be able to open their doors again as part of the latest changes to the coronavirus regulations in Wales. However, areas such as ball pits, which cannot be easily cleaned, should remain closed.

      The claims service for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme is now live.

       

      If you have registered your establishment for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme you can now submit claims.

       

      What you’ll need to claim

      You’ll need the records you’ve kept for each day you’ve used the scheme, including the:

      • total number of diners (covers) who have used the scheme, including children
      • total amount of discount you’ve given
      • period you’re claiming for

       

      If you’re making a claim for more than one establishment, you will need to have the:

      • records for each establishment
      • overall total value of the claim for all establishments ready before you claim

       

      Travel corridors update for arrivals in England

      Andorra, The Bahamas and Belgium will be removed from the exempt list for arrivals at 4am, 8 August 2020.

        
      Other Government updates
      ·         New data published on the areas of the UK the through government-backed coronavirus loan schemes have reached.
      ·         Data on COVID-19 Business Rates Relief has been made available
      ·         Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) and Future Fund Scheme data is now available by Constituency.
      ·         New information on how to calculate on how to calculate your claim for fixed pay employees who have worked enough overtime (in the tax year 2019 to 2020) to have a significant impact on the amount you need to claim for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
        
      Situation update 7 August 2020

       

      TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 7 AUGUST

       

      Here’s today’s update – hope everyone enjoys the sunshine this weekend

       

      • Mandatory Face Marks Tomorrow

      Remember that the mandatory requirement to wear a face mask in certain locations comes into force tomorrow. They are required in:

        • Indoor places of worship.
        • Community centres including youth centres
        • Public areas in hotels and hostels.
        • Concert halls, exhibition halls and other public halls.
        • Cinemas.
        • Museums, galleries, aquariums, indoor zoos and visitor farms, and other indoor, or indoor parts of, tourist, heritage or cultural sites.
        • Bingo halls.
        • Public libraries and reading rooms.

       

      https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/839/regulation/2/made 

       

      • North West Lockdown Legislation

      Here’s a link to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions on Gatherings) (North of England) Regulations 2020 which set out the restrictions that apply to the North West Lockdown area. The legislation makes a distinction between private dwellings and tourism accommodation, with tourism accommodation being outside the restrictions on people meeting up in private dwellings.

      https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/828/contents/made

       

      The first review of this legislation will be 19th August 2020.

       

      • Visitor Numbers to National Museums

      DCMS has published new figures in visitor numbers to the National Museums for the period 27July – 2 August. On the plus side, the Tate Galleries, Horniman and Science Museum Group have now reopened (although the visitor numbers for these are not yet available). However, for the four previously opened Museums, visitor number remain extremely low at an average of just 8.8% of what they would normally expect.

      https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/daily-visitors-to-dcms-sponsored-museums-and-galleries

       

      • Social Impacts of Coronavirus

      The latest update to the Government’s Social Impacts Survey has been produced. The key findings are that:

        • 37% of people said they would feel comfortable or very comfortable eating indoors at a restaurant. This is an increase from 34% last week but will shows that public confidence is a real issue.
        • Of those adults who had left their homes this week, 21% said they had visited a café, pub or restaurant. While this a significant improvement from 10% who said this three weeks ago, it is again still very low.
        • 14% of people reported that they were worried about a possible job loss, which will have implications for people’s willingness to spend.

       

      Next week’s figures for this survey will  provide us with a valuable insight as to the effectiveness of the “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme in getting people to visit pubs and restaurants and shifting their perceptions regarding how safe it is to go there.

                    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandthesocialimpactsongreatbritain/7august2020

        

      • Public Sector Relief Scheme

      This might be of interest to DMOs. The Government has announced a new relief scheme designed to enable the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to make payments on behalf of public sector employers where they have determined that their apprenticeship training provider(s) are critical suppliers. Where requested to do so, the ESFA will act as a facilitator for the payment of relief and operate the relief scheme by providing a set of eligibility criteria, as set out in this policy document, which both the public sector employer and apprenticeship training provider must meet if payments for relief are to be made.

                    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/906985/ESFA_Public_sector_scheme_Policy_Final_2.pdf

       

      • Business Support by Region

      The Treasury has published tables of business support by region. As would be expected, London and the South East are at the top of the tables from business support but it is interesting to note that less urban areas like the South West and the East of England are high up on the list for loans.

      https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-support-measures-help-every-region-and-nation-in-the-uk

       

      If you want a breakdown by local authority or constituency, you can find it here

      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-business-grant-funding-by-parliamentary-constituency-and-local-authority

        

      • Infection Levels in England and Wales

      The Government has published research indicating that around 28,300 people in England have Coronavirus (1 in 1,900 individuals) and that there are around 3,700 new cases per day. It also notes that while rates of people testing positive have risen, there is evidence that this trend may be levelling off – which is good news in terms of businesses being able to continue to reopen.

      https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/coronaviruscovid19infectionsurveypilot/england7august2020#incidence-rate-in-england

       

      On the issue of infection rates, the latest estimates of the R Number have also been produced which indicate a national number of 0.8 to 1.0 and a growth rate of 0% to -5%. However, within this South West looks like an area of slight concern with an R Number of 0.8-1.1 and a growth rate of -3 to +3

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

      VEWG Updates 07/08/2020

       

      A few updates as we head into the weekend:
       

      Updated guidance

      Today the accommodation guidance has been updated to advise on local restrictions for accommodation providers - please see chapter 2.5. In addition, we have just published guidance on holidays in areas with local coronavirus restrictions.

       

      Travel corridors update

      Brunei and Malaysia have been added to the list of travel corridors for England having been assessed as posing a lower infection risk. For more information please see here.

       

      Love Culture week

      As part of the Enjoy Summer Safely campaign, there will be a Love Culture week beginning on 17th August. The Government will be highlighting museums, galleries, heritage sites, libraries, cinemas and cultural organisations, big and small, across the UK. We will be circulating a toolkit next week that will include example social media posts and draft newsletter text. 

       

      Key moment: Throwback Thursday

      On Thursday 20 August, we want you to join us and some famous faces in sharing #ThrowbackThursday snaps from your UK holidays and day trips of the past and say why you can’t wait to visit again.

       

      We’re looking for sandy toes on Blackpool beach, childhood museum trips or a picture of you watching your first film and would love it if you could take a look through the archives for a throwback image of your institution for corporate channels, and encourage the public to do the same.


      BVEP logo

       

      BVEP Chairman Update - 7 August 2020

       

      One Industry, One Voice Campaign Update

       

      Over the last couple of weeks the news from government continues to hold large scale activation

      across our industry back, although small steps have been taken in some areas. Both the deep

      frustration being felt has increased, as has the focus on the need to reassure our teams, suppliers,

      stakeholders and, above all, our clients that we can deliver Covid-19 secure meetings and events of

      all types and that we are ready to do so. Yet so much lies outside our direct control that it was

      inevitable that any number of campaigns to support the event industry would spring up.

      I took an executive decision when attending an Emergency Event Leaders Summit hosted by Mash

      Media that the BVEP was perfectly placed to help support the campaign that has morphed into One

      industry, One voice. This was very much born out of the combined efforts of Martin Fullard leading

      the charge via Conference News and Rick Stainton from Smyle, rallying the production, brand

      activation, experiential and comms agencies together.

       

      The key to the campaign that is now being developed is to ensure an equal weighting across the

      different parts of the events industry and targeting the public, national press and via the campaign

      outputs the government, leaving a legacy that we can all use to advocate for our industry moving

      forward. We need our message to be clear and concise: how the events industry touches everyone’s

      lives, safely and by using the power of shared experiences.

       

      The campaign brief includes the following elements:

      The Power of Events to Inspire (covering product launches, brand experiences)

      The Power of Events to Educate (covering conferences, conventions, exhibitions)

      The Power of Events to Celebrate (festivals, music, weddings, sport, culture)

      The Power of Events to Support Society (third sector, charity, government)

      The Power of Events to Grow (to show our value to GDP, regional/national economy, jobs, exports,

      global leadership)

       

      Moving at pace we have assembled an Action Group which met on Wednesday and are fine tuning a

      brief that will be used to select a PR agency to devise and deliver the campaign. Several other work

      streams have also been established to help share the load.

       

      The initial target for the campaign was £30k and we have already secured pledges for that amount,

      which can now been made via our recently launched just giving account at:

      https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/oneindustryonevoice

       

      Many thanks to the team at the HBAA for organising this for the campaign - get your donations in

      and please share as widely as possible. I’m pleased to report that several of our partners are already

      actively involved in the campaign and I look forward to keeping everyone else up to speed with

      developments.

       

      Question from DCMS re: Insurance

      This just in – verbatim from the email:

      The Treasury is interested in gathering evidence on the impact of Covid-19 on events insurance.

      We would be grateful if you could please share examples and intelligence on the impact of the lack

      of Covid-19 insurance cover in the events industry, in particular for planning for 2021.

      Please could you provide information by COP Thursday, 13th August so that I can share it with

      colleagues in the Treasury.

       

      If there are any questions, please let me know.

       

      My immediate question was to ask why they were interested and what context is this information

      going to be used in. So as usual a rather short lead time – but as I know that the team are working

      flat out on spending review stuff, they can be forgiven. Just.

       

      Insurance issues have of course been a massive challenge, so I’m confident that we can supply some

      useful intel on this.

       

      Survey Results

      Thanks to everyone that completed the survey – such a good response we are still working our way

      through the data and will share as soon as we have completed that.

      Hope you all have a very good weekend. Stay safe in the sunshine too!

       

      Simon Hughes

      Chair


      BVEP logo

      TIER Update - 6 August 2020

      20-07-30 Press
      News UK travel update 060820

      Filming and broadcasting at permitted visitor economy venues update

      The Business Visits & Events Partnership has sought guidance on filming and broadcasting at permitted visitor economy venues and can share that both can take place subject to those using the premises following the guidance issued for filming from the British Film Commission or in the case of TV production the BBC. The number of persons allowed on site will be in accordance with the filming or TV production guidance. However, arrangements for meetings, accommodation or food and refreshments will need to follow the relevant visitor economy guidance. Exhibition and conference centres are not permitted venues presently and therefore not able to use their facilities for these purposes.

       

      VisitBritain’s Overseas monitoring report

      • Since the announcement of the quarantine for travellers from Spain, the Spanish Corporate Association of Specialised Travel Agencies (ACAVE) has seen a constant drip of cancellations, which up until 30 July amount to 20% of the total reservations made, this could reach 100% of the trips to the UK from Spain in August if the quarantine continues.
      • Several German group travel operators have had to cancel planned tours with existing bookings to the South of England due to the lack of hotel availability. This was due to the current high demand and Southwest hotels no longer accepting groups with lower yields than individual bookings.

      Covid-19 Consumer Tracker Report

      The latest Covid-19 Consumer Tracker Report for week 11, based on fieldwork from 27-31 July.

       

      These latest results may be being influenced by some of the negative publicity, both domestically and overseas, around the pandemic.  We’ve seen lockdown measures being re-introduced in Leicester and the Manchester/Bradford regions, while the spikes in cases in some parts of Spain resulted in holidaymakers returning from the country having to self-quarantine for 14 days.  This has manifested itself in just 16% of UK adults now thinking the worst has past (compared with 31% back in Week 4 of the survey).

       

      Only 22% are now expecting ‘normality’ by the end of this year and confidence in the ability to take a domestic trip continues to slowly decline.  For those lacking confidence around winter trips, concerns around catching coronavirus is a major factor (with 52% citing this) but in second and third positions we see people saying ‘it’s not responsible to travel’ and ‘general unease about travelling’, which suggests reassurance is going to be a major factor in encouraging trips during this period.

       

      More positively, over half of Summer Intenders have already planned their trip while 44% have committed to booking it.  Of course, the broader challenge is encouraging more bookings from Winter Intenders (for trips between October ‘20 – March ‘21) which currently stands at 17%, although this is +5 points up on Week 10.

       

      Please see the full report for further details.

       

      Other Government updates

      Situation update 6 August 2020

      TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 6 AUGUST

      CBI CJRS Factsheet

      CBI have produced an extremely comprehensive factsheet for businesses on the changes to the CJRS and how it applies. This covering everything from the simple questions regarding rates through to how it interacts with the Apprenticeship Levy. It is an excellent reference guide for businesses.

      Here’s a link to the new consultation on changes to the planning regime that has just been published. The main proposals are:

      International Retail Campaign

        The Association of International Retailers has launched a campaign to get government support for retailer impacted by the fall in inbound tourism which has impacted many retail businesses. The asks of the campaign include

      • A VAT Reclaim scheme for EU visitors when the UK leaves the EU
      • Targeting the big spending markets of Gulf region which currently account for 30% of all UK tax free shopping
      • Protecting tourist and student travel from China
      • Air Campaign


      BVEP logo

      TIER Update - 4 August 2020

      Updated Visitor Economy guidance for England

       

      20200803 2025 UK Border Strategy - Visitor Economy Working Group

       

      The Visitor Economy guidance for England has been updated to reflect the current permissions. Of note:

       

      • Guided tours of up to 30 people may take place indoors or outdoors provided businesses undertake risk assessments in line with this guidance document and put any necessary mitigations in place.

       

      For the events, in summary the guidance shows:

      1. Meetings of up to 30 people indoors are allowed in permitted venues if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance.
      2. If permitted venues have multiple, separate meeting facilities, these can be hired out simultaneously for separate meetings/events if social distancing can be maintained, groups can be kept separate, and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance.
      3. Business meetings and events of over 30 people should not currently take place in any venue.
      4. Banqueting and private dining events should not currently take place in any venue. [NB. If a banqueting venue is able to operate as a restaurant (following the relevant BEIS guidance, adhering to rules on social distancing, keeping household groups/bubbles separate, etc) this would be allowed.]
      5. Conference centres and exhibition halls remain closed. They will reopen when the balance of risk allows. Where such venues have small, separate and directly accessible meeting facilities as part of the site, these may be used to host business meetings and events of up to 30 people if social distancing can be maintained, groups can be kept separate, and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance. Business meetings and events of over 30 people should not currently take place in conference centres and exhibition halls.
      6. Academic venues (Universities and Colleges) can use their lecture theatres and classrooms for external meetings of up to 30 people and as above, separate and directly accessible meeting facilities can be used as long as groups are kept separate and all other guidance is followed.
      7. Basic catering can be provided at meetings and events, following the COVID-19 guidance forbars, pubs and takeaway services. However, it is advised not to hold extended sit down meals for large groups. The UKHospitality guidance may also be useful; it recommends grab and go and pre-packed food rather than buffet.
      8. The guidance states that events should operate at a capacity allowing for compliance with social distancing of 2m, or 1m with mitigations. This should be the fundamental principle. It notes that for conferences and events, venues should consider social distancing approximately equivalent to a density of 10 per person, given the additional risks of large groups interacting in this specific environment. The pilots (when they take place) will assess the guidance and whether the mitigations suggested are appropriate/sufficient.

       

      Also to note, the dining provision for groups of up to 30 would have applied to weddings only, more widely we advise against extended sit down meals for large groups. Allowing wedding receptions of up to 30 will be kept under review with the earliest start date of 15 August. Guidance will be shared as soon as it is available and cover dining provision for these specific events.

       

      Receptions, award ceremonies, examinations, filming, fashion shows, product launches, team building exercises are not expected to take place until restrictions on business events are lifted. The current provisional date for this is 1 October, if public health assessments allow. It is expected that risk assessments in line with Visitor Economy and AEO guidance will need to be undertaken. The pilots will assess whether that guidance is sufficient or needs updating in anyway. We will keep you updated. Venues may also need to consider mitigations depending on specific aspects of their events (e.g. performing arts guidance on singing/dancing if relevant). 

       

      Other Government updates

      • The next review of the lockdown in Leicester will be 14 August
      • Updated weekly data (up to end of Sunday 2 August) for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme.
      • Estimates of cultural, digital and sporting engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic data tables have been updated with data collected in wave 2 (3-18 June)
      • Updated weekly statistics for HMT management information about the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) and Future Fund Scheme (up to 2 August)

      Travel industry updates

      • Following their Q3 results easyJet has decided to expand their schedule over the fourth quarter to fly c.40% of capacity.

       

      Situation update 1 August 2020

       

      TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 4 AUGUST 2020

       

      • More Tourism Guidance on North West Lockdown Coming

      At the meeting with the Tourism Minister today we were informed that more guidance was being developed on how the restrictions apply in a tourism context. We’ve already sorted out a few issues such as whether two families from within the area can holiday together outside the area (they can’t) and whether there are any additional restrictions on people travelling in and out of the area using public transport such as coaches (there aren’t) and are sorting out whether two households from outside the area can still holiday together within the lockdown area. So if you have a query, please let me know and I can feed that through into the development of this further guidance.

       

      On the issue of local lockdowns, the Government has also announced that the next date for considering the easing of restrictions in Leicester will be 14th August. 

       

      • Give Me Space

      The Government has produced badges (available in print or mobile phone versions) that can be used by people who have concerns regarding social distancing so that they can signal to others around them that they need to pay attention and be given space.

       

      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/please-give-me-space-social-distancing-cards-or-badges

       

      • 2025 Border Strategy Consultation

      Not specifically Coronavirus related but certainly something that should be viewed within the context of what need to be done to help support the UK’s international tourism industry recover from the Coronavirus outbreak, the Government is consulting on a new border strategy for the UK. Attached is a copy of a presentation we were given on this today.

       

      The consultation is open until 25th August and one of the main issues I’ll be pushing is the introduction of a low-cost 5 year visa as per the paper I sent round last week. If you have other issues that you would like included in the Tourism Alliance submission, please let me know.

       

      Here’s a link to the consultation paper itself

       

      https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/2025-uk-border-strategy-public-consultation

       

      • Government’s Advice to Itself

      The Government has produce guidance for Government Departments on how to operate in a Covid Safe manner. This mirrors the process that businesses have been asked to undertake as part of working with employees on how to ensure that staff returning to the premises are able to do so safely. It’s also worth being aware of how Government departments will be operating as we slowly get closer to returning to in-person meetings.

       

      https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/906529/20200803CS_Employer_Risk_Assessment_result_summary_for_publication.pdf

       

      • DCMS Taking Part Survey

      DCMS has just published new data on consumer participation in Arts, Sports, Heritage and Digital. The survey was conducted in June – which is slightly ancient history now – but it is interesting to see the relatively high levels of public engagement on heritage and arts. In particular, 27% of people said that they had engaged with heritage and 17% of people had said that they had visited a place of interest. Although what really strikes me as impressive is that:

        • 25% of people said that they had written a poetry, play or story
        • 27% of people said that they had undertaken a painting, drawing, print or sculpture
        • 28% of people said that they had taken part in a dance or music performance

       

      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/taking-part-web-panel-data-engagment-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-data-tables

       

      2025 UK Border Strategy List of Workshops

      Workshop Focus Date Time Booking link
      Logistics Improving the user-experience for the trade of goods for the logistics industry Monday 10 August 2020 15:00 – 16:30 https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/115501771909
      Password: BPDG2025
      Ports and Rail Freight Improving the user-experience for the trade of goods for ports and the rail freight industry Tuesday 11 August 2020 15:00 – 16:30 https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/115506612387
      Password: BPDG2025
      Aviation / Air Freight Improving the user-experience for the trade of goods via air Wednesday 12 August 2020 15:00 – 16:30 https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/115510447859
      Password: BPDG2025
      Businesses and trade associations Improving the user-experience for the trade of goods for businesses of all sizes Thursday 13 August 2020 15:00 – 16:30 https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/115511330499
      Password: BPDG2025
      Customs Improving customs processes through the 2025 UK Border Strategy Tuesday 18 August 2020 15:00 – 16:30 https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/115511701609
      Password: BPDG2025
      Passengers Improving the user-experience for passengers and travellers Wednesday 19 August 2020 15:00 – 16:30 https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/115512534099
      Password: BPDG2025
      Data and technology Improving the use of technology and data to deliver the 2025 UK Border Strategy Thursday 20 August 2020 15:00 – 16:30 https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/115513382637
      Password: BPDG2025

       

      AEO webinars

      The Association of Event Organisers (AEO) presented at VEWG a couple of weeks ago and mentioned their COVID webinars on the All Secure Standard guidance. The webinars can be found here. Simply select “planning events in a COVID world” and check out using the code “aeoopsnest” for free access.

      BVEP logo

      TIER Update - 4 August 2020 (update)

       

      Updates to the Visitor Economy guidance have now been published to reflect the current permissions related to meetings being held of up to 30 persons. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/the-visitor-economy

       

      Details on whether face masks need to be worn in meeting venue settings are still being sought.

       

      In summary:

      1. Exhibition and Conference centres that have small, separate and directly accessible meeting facilities as part of the site, may be used to host business meetings and events of up to 30 people, if social distancing can be maintained, groups can be kept separate, and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance.
      2. If a venue has several separate and directly accessible meeting facilities as part of the site these may be used to host business meetings and events of up to 30 people if social distancing can be maintained, groups can be kept separate, and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance.
      3. Exhibition Hall or Conference Venue must remain closed by law until at least the 15th August for the purpose of marketing or pre-planning. 
      4. Any permitted venue can host a business meeting of up to 30 people, following COVID-Secure guidelines. 
      5. Basic catering can be provided at meetings and events, following the COVID-19 guidance forbars, pubs and takeaway services. However it is advised not to hold extended sit down meals for large groups. The UKHospitality guidance may also be useful; it recommends grab and go and pre-packed food rather than buffet.
      6. Banqueting and private dining events should not currently take place in any venue. If a banqueting venue is able to operate as a restaurant (following the relevant BEIS guidance, adhering to rules on social distancing, keeping household groups/bubbles separate, etc) this would be allowed. The dining provision for groups of up to 30 would have applied to weddings only, more widely we advise against extended sit down meals for large groups. Allowing wedding receptions of up to 30 will be kept under review (although will not be before 15 August). BEIS has developed guidance which is currently going through the government approvals process and will be published as soon as possible.
      7. Receptions, award ceremonies, examinations, filming, fashion shows, product launches, team building exercises will all need to wait until restrictions on business events are lifted (1 October, if public health assessments allow). They will need to carry out risk assessments in line with Visitor Economy and AEO guidance, and the pilots (when they take place) will assess whether that guidance is sufficient or needs updating in any way. Venues may also need to consider mitigations depending on specific aspects of their events (e.g. performing arts guidance on singing/dancing if relevant).  
      8. The guidance states that events should operate at a capacity allowing for compliance with social distancing of 2m, or 1m with mitigations. This should be the fundamental principle. It notes that for conferences and events venues should consider social distancing approximately equivalent to a density of 10 per person, given the additional risks of large groups interacting in this specific environment. The pilots (when they take place) will assess the guidance and whether the mitigations suggested are appropriate/sufficient.
      9. Academic venues (Universities and Colleges) can use their lecture theatres and classrooms for external meetings of up to 30 people and as above, separate and directly accessible meeting facilities can be used as long as groups are kept separate and all other guidance is followed.

      Details on whether face masks need to be worn in meeting venue settings are still being sought.

      BVEP logo

      TIER Update - 3 August 2020

      Letter to Chancellor 31072020

      Two new leadership programmes to help small business leaders announced

      The government has announced two new training programmes for small businesses on management, productivity and problem-solving skills.

       

       

      There are 2,000 places available on the Small Business Leadership Programme and 6,000 on the Peer Networks programme.

       

      Changes to claims on the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme from 1 August
      The rules for the scheme have changed. Unless you’re making a new claim for an employee who is a military reservist or is returning from statutory parental leave, you can only continue to claim through the scheme if:
      • You have previously furloughed the employee for 3 consecutive weeks between March 1 and 30 June
      • You submitted your claim before 31 July
       
      Self-Employment Income Support Scheme update for those with a new child
      A new form and accompanying guidance is available for those who have a new child which affected their trading profits or total income reported for the tax year 2018 to 2019. You can use the new form to ask HMRC to verify that you had a new child. HMRC will review your application and contact you within 2 weeks, if HMRC tells you that your information has been verified you should make a claim from 17 August 2020 to find out if you’re eligible for the grant.
       
      Updated domestic outlook for Britain in 2020
      VisitBritain has also run a domestic impact model for 2020. As with their inbound forecast, this represents a snapshot in time and will be reviewed throughout the year. The forecast makes a number of assumptions to provide an estimate of impact. Subsequent developments could change the outlook.
       
      They have forecast a central scenario for Britain of £46.8bn in domestic tourism spending in 2020, down 49% compared to 2019 when spending by domestic tourists in Britain was £91.6bn.  This comprises £12.6bn from overnight tourism, down from £24.7bn in 2019, and £34.2bn from day trips, down from £67.0bn in 2019.
       
      This is a decline of 49% for both overnights and leisure day trips, although the pattern of the recovery will be different. While some categories of day trips started to recover first, others will be very limited for some months to come.
       
      This represents a loss of £44.9bn (£12.1bn from overnights and £32.8bn from day trips) – greater than the loss from inbound tourism in absolute value terms, although lower in percentage terms.
       
      More information is available on VisitBritain.org
       
      Easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Wales
      The latest changes follow the 6th review of the coronavirus regulations and focus on enabling friends and family to meet each other outdoors and for more businesses to open indoors. The following changes will be made to the coronavirus regulations over the next 3 weeks:
       
      From 3 August:
      • The restrictions preventing more than two households or extended households meeting outdoors will be changed to allow up to 30 people to meet outdoors. Physical distancing must be maintained at all times.
      • Pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes will be able to re-open indoors. As will indoor bowling alleys, auction houses and bingo halls. 
      • Licenced wedding venues will be able to re-open to provide wedding ceremonies. However, indoor receptions will not be able to take place for the time being – they will be considered as part of the changes for August 15. 
      • The guidance will be updated to relax the position on children under 11 having to maintain a 2 metres distance from each other or from adults.
       
      If conditions remain favourable, from 10 August:
      • Swimming pools, indoor fitness studios, gyms, spas and indoor leisure centres will be able to re-open. 
      • Children’s indoor play areas will be able to open.
       
      The Welsh Government is also exploring whether changes can be made to the rules to enable people to meet indoors with other people who aren’t part of their household or extended household from August 15.
       
       
      Other Government updates
       
      Member updates
      • The Betting and Gaming Council has shared the letter they sent to the Chancellor following Friday’s government announcement that delayed the opening of casinos. See attached.
       

      Situation update 1 August 2020

       

      TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE – 3 AUGUST

       

      • More Detailed Guidance on Friday’s Announcements

      The Government has published guidance related to the raft of announcements that the Prime Minister made on Friday. Of particular note are:

        • Consulting With Employees About Returning to Work

      From today, businesses are expected to consult with employees with regard to how employees can work safely – the expectation being that employees should return to their work premises if they can do so in a Covid Safe manner.

      https://www.gov.uk/guidance/31-july-announcement

       

        • Holding a Wedding

      While it was announced on Friday that wedding receptions indoors for more than 2 households will not be allowed for at least two weeks, this guidance also provides more details on holding weddings, including stating that the wearing of facemasks at weddings does not apply to the Bride and groom.

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

       

      • 90 min Coronavirus Tests

      The Government has announced that, from next week, it will be introducing that two new tests that are able to detect the coronavirus in 90 minutes. Of particular note is that these tests do not require a trained health professional to operate them and can be used in non-clinical settings. This seems to increase the possibility of introducing a more sophisticated approach to people entering the UK than 14 day quarantining.

       

      https://www.gov.uk/government/news/roll-out-of-2-new-rapid-coronavirus-tests-ahead-of-winter

        

      • Verifying That Having a Child Impacted Self-Employment Income

      The Government recently announced that people who did not qualify for SEISS  because having a child impacting on their earnings can now claim this support. To do this, HMRC have launched a website where people can ask HMRC to check whether having a new child either:

        • affected their trading profits or total income for the tax year 2018 to 2019
        • meant their did not submit a Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019

       

      Having a new child is deemed to be any of the following:

        • being pregnant
        • giving birth (including a stillbirth after more than 24 weeks of pregnancy) and the 26 weeks after giving birth
        • caring for a child within 12 months of birth if you have parental responsibility
        • caring for a child within 12 months of adoption placement

       

      https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ask-hmrc-to-verify-you-had-a-new-child-which-affected-your-eligibility-for-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme

        

      • Updated Guidance On Furloughed Employees

      The guidance on employees that can be furloughed and the claiming process has been updated to remove out-of-date information and to reflect that, from 1 August, businesses now have to the employer National Insurance contribution and pension contribution of any furloughed employee.

       

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

      BVEP logo

      TIER Update - 23 July 2020

      Covid-19_Consumer_Tracker_report_week_9

      HC 291 - Impact of COVID-19 on DCMS sectors

      Reminder: Face coverings mandatory in shops, supermarkets, shopping centres and enclosed transport hubs from Friday

      Face coverings will be mandatory in additional enclosed public spaces from Friday 24 July – including shops, supermarkets, shopping centres and transport hubs. Venues such as restaurants, pubs and gyms will be exempt, and masks will not be required for children under the age of 11 or those with certain disabilities or health conditions that make it difficult to wear a mask.

       

      DCMS Select Committee report on impact of COVID-19

      The DCMS Select Committee today published its report into the impact of COVID-19 on DCMS sectors. A number of TIER members provided evidence to the committee earlier this year alongside other tourism industry representatives, following which a letter was sent to the Tourism Minister.

      • The report focuses heavily on the sports and arts sectors, calling for an extension to the furlough scheme, sector specific VAT cuts, and clear timelines on reopening for mass gatherings. The Government has already announced measures covering some of these recommendations.
      • There is also a suggestion by the committee that DCMS sector structures and operations are not well understood by Government, hampering effective support.
      • The report recognises the seasonal nature of tourism, noting that 2021 business will be largely deferred trips rather than new ones.
      • While the committee noted that the quarantine requirements are causing uncertainty for the industry and called for DCMS to work with the FCO and DfT to review and communicate travel arrangements appropriately.
      • There was a focus on the impact on visitor attractions, many of whom rely on inbound visitors and have used lockdown as an opportunity to adapt their digital offering. The report recommends temporary legislation to ensure that museums that become insolvent as a result of the crisis cannot be liquidated for 12 months.
      • Regarding domestic tourism, the committee recommends a flexible furlough scheme to support the sector through the low seasons and calls on DCMS to set out plans to extend the holiday season.
      • The report further suggests the Data Hub, outlined in the Sector Deal, should be taken forward urgently.
      • Finally on tourism, the committee recommends a national campaign to restore consumer confidence in domestic holidays.

       

      Research into travel behaviour during the COVID-19 lockdown

      A Government study into the travel behaviour of people in the UK during the lockdown period aims to identify the social, attitudinal and behavioural effects of COVID-19. The first wave of research took place from 15-22 May in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland and from 28 May – 4 June in Wales. This is the first wave in a series of four reports.

      Some key findings:

      • During lockdown travel reduced significantly, with 61% of people using cars (either as driver or passenger), 58% taking buses and 56% of people using trains less often or not at all compared to previously. Working patterns changed; four in ten adults, 40%, say they worked at home more during lockdown.
      • Private modes of transport and active travel were the most common ways of getting around during lockdown; 63% drove a car during lockdown, 65% walked or wheeled all the way to a destination and 21% cycled. By contrast, high proportions of people did not get on a bus (82%) or a train (88%). Bus use was higher than train use; but only 6% made journeys by bus once a week or more frequently with even fewer, 2%, doing so by train.
      • Lockdown caused significant disruption to people’s existing travel plans. More than a third of adults said they had plans to fly abroad (35%) or to make a long-distance car journey in the UK (34%) which they had either cancelled or postponed, or had had their plans cancelled by a travel company. One in five (20%) had plans to travel by train for leisure cancelled or postponed in this way too. Smaller proportions had plans cancelled or postponed this way for travel within the UK (12%), coach (9%), ferry (8%) or going on a cruise (6%).

       

      Consumer Sentiment Tracker report from VisitBritain (Week 9)

      Please find attached the latest draft of our UK COVID-19 Consumer Tracker Report for week 9, based on fieldwork from 13-17 July.

      The main characteristic of this week’s findings is the ability to report on whether the respondent has actually taken a domestic overnight short break or holiday (as opposed to just intend to). We find that 26% of respondents are confident in their ability to take a short break or holiday during July, and 13% of the UK adults polled said they had taken such a trip so far in July. Although the sample size of ~200 is low for drawing detailed insights at this stage, in terms of main trip purpose, 46% said it was to have a holiday, 40% were VFR, 9% business and 5% other. 33% of adults intend to, or have already taken a domestic short break or holiday between July-Sept.

      The numbers expecting life to return ‘close to normal’ anytime soon continue to fall, as they have done each week, with just 9% currently expecting ‘normality’ by September and 24% by December.

      Other points of note:

      • The time horizon for when people expect things to feel ‘close to normal’ continues to be pushed further into the future. Presently, 24% expect ‘normality’ by December. This compares to 54% in week 1 (fielded between 18-22 May). Just 9% are expecting ‘normality’ by the end of September, versus 32% in week 1. 43% of UK adults now believe the ‘worst is still to come’ with regards to Covid-19, the highest proportion recorded so far (up +1% on last week).
      • The main reason cited among those lacking confidence is having ‘concerns about catching COVID-19’, especially for trips during the winter period. Other key reasons continue to be structural, such as fewer opportunities to eat/drink out, fewer things to do or places to visit.
      • When asked to compare to last year, 36% of U.K. adults expect to be taking fewer domestic short-breaks and 39% expect to take fewer holidays.
      • In terms of region/nation likely to be visited between now and September, the South West continues to dominate with 21% of those intending to go on a domestic trip citing this as their destination, followed by Scotland and the North West at 11%.  The South West also leads for visits planned to be taken between October 2020 – March 2021 with a 19% share, although London moves into second place for this period on 16%.
      • Of the reassurances people are seeking in order to feel comfortable staying in a hotel, measures to encourage social distancing narrowly leads over measures designed to reduce contamination (e.g. hand sanitisers and enhanced cleaning regimes). Offering free cancellations also remains important, being the joint second most cited individual reason overall, with 63% of mentions. A government or industry certification mark is cited by 44%, up +2% on last week.

       

      Other government updates

       

      Situation update 23 July 2020

      BVEP logo

      TIER Update - 22 July 2020

      2025 UK Border Strategy Public Consultation

       

      The Government is running a consultation seeking the views and expertise of stakeholders to help develop the 2025 UK Border Strategy. The consultation closes on 28 August 2020 and invites responses from stakeholders in all regions of the UK.

       

      New COVID-secure webinars for hospitality and other close contact workplaces

      The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, is hosting webinars, recapping the COVID-secure guidance on how to operate safely and to hear your feedback on implementing the guidance in practice, and where you would seek further clarification.

      • Working safely during Coronavirus: Restaurants, Pubs and Bars: 3pm, Tuesday 28 July – Recap how to make your workplace COVID-secure by joining this webinar providing guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes & takeaways. Register here.

       

      Other Government updates

       

      Situation update 22 July 2020

      BVEP logo

      TIER Update - 21 July 2020

      Business rates system review: Call for evidence

      As part of a fundamental review of the business rates system, the Government has put out a call for evidence from the industry. This call for evidence seeks views on how the business rates system currently works, issues to be addressed, ideas for change and a number of alternative taxes.

      Responses should be submitted online and will be collected in two stages. Views on the multiplier and reliefs sections are requested by 18 September in order to inform an interim report in the autumn. Responses on all other sections are due by 31 October.

       

      Latest data on Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

      The government has published the latest data on the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). The figures include the total number of applications, the total number of approved applications and the value of loans approved as of 19 July 2020.

       

      Reminder for all arrivals to complete passenger locator form before entering UK

      The government issued a reminder today that all passengers are required to complete the passenger locator form before entering the UK, including those who are arriving from the select list of countries and territories that are exempt from the 14-day quarantine requirement. Travellers cannot submit the form until 48 hours before they are due to arrive in the UK. Consequences for failing to provide contact information may include a fine of £100 or more for repeat violations, and those who are not UK citizens or residents may be denied entry.

      The only people who do not need to provide passenger locator information are those arriving from within the Common Travel Area and a small group of others.

      Other government updates

      Guidance on the reduced VAT rate for tourism and hospitality has been updated to cover catering companies using retail schemes.

      Industry updates

      BVEP logo

      TIER Update - 20 July 2020

      Business events and conferences to resume in England from 1 October

      Further to our update on Friday, here is the official announcement that Business events and conferences will be permitted to resume from 1 October, provided rates of infection remain at current levels. The government will hold a number of pilots at event venues around the country to plan for the return of large-scale events and test how to implement social distancing practises. Details of these pilots will be finalised in the coming weeks.

      Guidance on working safely in the visitor economy has been updated to include business events and consumer shows.

       

      New framework to contain coronavirus (COVID-19) locally

      The government has laid out a new framework giving national and local authorities additional powers to slow the spread of COVID-19. National and local government will have the power to restrict local public gatherings and events, and close local businesses premises and outdoor spaces. The new powers went into effect on 18 July.

       

      Government provides additional support for ATOL scheme

      The government has moved to protect refund credit notes if holiday packages are cancelled due to COVID-19 if they are ATOL protected. The change will apply to holiday packages including a flight, and will mean passengers who accept refund credit notes for cancelled holidays as a result of COVID-19 will be protected by the ATOL scheme if necessary, even if the company they have booked with later collapses.

       

      VisitScotland and Visit Wales ask visitors to pledge to visit safely

      VisitScotland and Visit Wales have published visitor charters asking visitors to pledge to respect safety guidelines, the environment and local communities when they return to visit.

       

      Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance in England updated to reflect upcoming changes

      The following guidance has been updated to reflect the upcoming changes and timeline the Prime Minister announced last week. Note that the following guidance applies only to England.

       

      Other COVID-19 government updates

       

      Other government updates

      • A new bill will require pubs, cafés and restaurants to offer separate outdoor spaces for smokers and non-smokers.
      • The government has moved to make Changing Places toilets compulsory in new buildings. This change in building rules will require large and accessible toilet facilities to be built into public buildings from next year.
      • Exposure to the sea and coastal areas can play a significant role in boosting human health and well-being, according to a recent government study.

       

      Government statement on China

      Today Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab made a statement to the House of Commons on Britain’s relationship with China. He began by outlining the ways in which Britain works positively with China, including welcoming students and visitors to UK, but noted that the new National Security Law that has been imposed on Hong Kong has caused issues with this relationship. He announced that the Home Secretary will be outlining new immigration routes for Hong Kong nationals, and that the UK government will extend the arms embargo from China and will indefinitely suspend the extradition treaty between China and the UK.

      The full statement will soon be available here.

       

      Situation update 20 July 2020

      BVEP logo

      TIER Update - 17 July 2020

      ALVA Attractions Recovery Tracker - Wave 4 (8-12 July) - 170720 - ALVA v._

      Further to the Prime Minister’s update this morning some further details around the reopening and pilots is now available. Please note, this and the updated Visitor Economy guidance on Gov.UK is for England only.

      Meetings of up to 30 people indoors are now allowed in permitted venues if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate that it has followed the Covid-19 guidance.

      From the 1st August, if prevalence remains around or below current levels, the Government will take the following steps:

       

      • Enable the restart of indoor performances to a live audience, in line with COVID- 19 Secure guidelines, subject to the success of pilots that are taking place as soon as possible.
      • Carry out pilots in venues with a range of sizes of crowds, particularly where congregating from different places, including business events. The pilots (some of which will begin late July) will be carefully monitored and evaluated to inform future decisions on any further relaxation of the rules.
      • Enable wedding receptions - sit-down meals for no more than 30 people, subject to COVID-19 Secure guidance.
      • Exhibition and conference centres are allowed to show small groups (of up to 30 people with social distancing requirements) around to view the facilities and plan future events and to enable government backed pilots to take place. They should not be open fully to host events more widely.

       

      From 1 October,

      • It is expected that events of all types (e.g. trade shows, consumer shows, exhibitions and conferences) will be allowed at a capacity allowing for compliance with social distancing of 2m, or 1m with mitigation). Where such events involve people speaking loudly for prolonged periods of time, any mitigation must include particular attention to the ventilation of the spaces. This will be subject to the latest public health advice.

       

      Customer logging toolkit for businesses

      Public Health England has published the Customer Logging Toolkit. This contains a variety of template materials for businesses to display, as well as guidance on how the policy works.

      Businesses should be storing the information securely for 21 days and sharing it with NHS Test and Trace if asked to do so. Businesses do not need to do anything else with the information.

       

      If a customer tells you they have tested positive for coronavirus, you should tell them to self-isolate as soon as possible and to register their contacts with NHS Test and Trace. You should not use the log of customer details you have collected to contact other customers yourself. Instead, if NHS Test and Trace assess that the customer was on your premises while potentially infectious, they will contact you to provide support and to obtain the details of anyone who may have been exposed to the virus.

       

      HMRC support

      If you have any detailed questions about the reduced rate of VAT you can contact:

       

      Face coverings at work

      Guidance on face covering, their role in reducing the transmission of coronavirus, the settings in which they are recommended, and how they should be safely used and stored is available here. There is no universal face coverings guidance for workplaces because of the variety of work environments in different industries. Employers should continue to follow COVID-19 secure guidelines to reduce the proximity and duration of contact between employees.

       

      Visa Application Centre (VACs) update

      More than 130 VACs have now reopened in total. It has been confirmed that a number of additional VACs will now also reopen later this month. To see the most up to date information on which VACs are open you can visit the relevant websites:

       

      Other Government updates

      • Guidance for owners and operators of playgrounds and outdoor gyms has been updated to reflect additional requirements on face coverings.
      • Closing certain businesses and venues in England guidance has been updated to show further easing of restrictions for more businesses and venues to reopen from 25 July and 1 August.
      • Sporting events will allow fans to return from 1 October with social distancing in place, if it is safe to do so. The Government has announced that a small number of sporting events will be used to pilot the safe return of spectators through late July and early August
      • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance has been updated to clarify that notice periods being served by furloughed employees include contractual notice periods.
      • Leicester lockdown: what you can and cannot do guidance has been published.

       

      Member updates – ALVA visitor sentiment research

      Please find attached the latest research from the 4th wave of ALVA-commissioned visitor sentiment research. Some key findings include:

      • Those previously claiming that they would revisit ‘as soon as the opportunity arises’ appear to be true to their word, with 21% of the market (around 8.5m adults) claiming to have already visited since re-opening
      • Among those visiting attractions since re-opening, reaction to safety measures has been fairly good, although nervousness among visitors to attractions which were only allowed to open recently is apparent
      • However, around half the attractions-visiting market remains stubbornly cautious about visiting. Main visit barrier is lack of confidence in attractions’ ability to control distancing, led by concerns over fellow visitor’s compliance. Can we demonstrate and communicate that these are working well in our attractions – especially those indoors, where concerns are highest?
      • There is strong evidence that the ‘We’re Good to Go’ mark will have a much-needed, major positive impact upon visit confidence and almost a quarter of the market already claim to have seen this mark
      • There is clear and increasing demand for a full visit experience to be available on re-opening, with significant proportions not visiting if services and facilities were to be closed. Opening with mitigation measures is better than keeping closed
      • However, as indoor attractions re-open, high anxiety in the market remains around these indoor facilities – especially toilets, catering outlets, interactive visit elements and events. Demonstrating and communicating safety measures pre-visit will be even more critical than for outdoor attractions
      • Two-thirds of the market would feel more comfortable about visiting an attraction if masks / face coverings were compulsory, a significant growth since June and reflecting wider public opinion and growth in use in recent weeks. Is now the time to take the socially responsible line and embrace their use in attractions?
      • Attractions located in tourism hotspots, perhaps more than ever, need to keep local residents onside as they seek to attract summer visitors – 71% of residents in these areas would rather visitors stay away

       

      Situation update 17 July 2020

      CommuniTea

       

      Join our CommuniTEA, first Thursday of each month, 3.30pm-4.15pm

       

      Who else feels like they are drowning in news…and fake news?  Fed up of hearing the words ‘new normal’, ‘unprecedented’, ‘new reality’?  And finding it really tough to predict the future post-pandemic events’ world when there are so many conflicting reports out there?

       

      Are you with me?  Well, get the kettle on, pour yourself a mug of tea, sit back and join your MPI friends to chat, vent, share and listen to what’s happening with our great network of members on the first Thursday of each month from 3.30-4.15pm. 

       

      As you know we’re an association who brings people together.  At the heart of MPI is our strong belief that ‘when we meet we can change the world’.  For those of you who have come to a live meeting, you know how beneficial it is to network and talk.  We can’t meet physically at the moment, so the next best thing is a zoom meeting.  And for those of you who here ‘doom’ instead of ‘zoom’ – don’t worry, this is MPI UK & Ireland, we know how to plan a great meeting and we hope to give you the best organised video call you’ve been on! 

       

      We understand your diaries change, meetings overrun or (if you are really lucky) finish early…so this is a relaxed pop-in to our ‘CommuniTEA ROOM’ when you can, be late, leave early – everyone is welcome anytime.

       

      Our CommuniTEA will always feature an insightful guest speaker for a few minutes before we all split into small groups.  You’ll get the chance to meet other members, chat about hot/current topics and get a real sense of what’s happening in our industry.

       

      Our new monthly CommuniTEAs have been designed to bring our MPI family closer together, so they are a member only event.

      If you have not received your invitation please contact Emma – emma@warwickevents.co.uk. Emma is our new VP of Community.  If you’re not a member but would like to join please contact us via administrator@mpiuki.org

       

      We’re so looking forward to seeing you for some fabulous CommuniTEA!

       

       

       

      5 Steps to Working Safely

       

      The main item from the Tourism Alliance Update on 19 May 2020  was the BEIS publishing generic basic guidance on working safely in any environment after concerns that many people were returning to work in environments there were not adequately covered by the existing sector based specific advice.

       

      • 5 Steps to Working Safely

      In addition to the eight guidance documents that it has published so far regarding safe working in different environments, BEIS has published the following 5 Steps to Working Safety that are applicable to all working environments.

       

      1. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment

      Before restarting work you should ensure the safety of the workplace by:

      • carrying out a risk assessment in line with the HSE guidance
      • consulting with your workers or trade unions
      • sharing the results of the risk assessment with your workforce and on your website

       

      2. Develop cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures

      You should increase the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning by:

      • encouraging people to follow the guidance on hand washing and hygiene
      • providing hand sanitiser around the workplace, in addition to washrooms
      • frequently cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces that are touched regularly
      • enhancing cleaning for busy areas
      • setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets
      • providing hand drying facilities – either paper towels or electrical dryers

       

      3. Help people to work from home

      You should take all reasonable steps to help people work from home by:

      • discussing home working arrangements
      • ensuring they have the right equipment, for example remote access to work systems
      • including them in all necessary communications
      • looking after their physical and mental wellbeing

       

      4. Maintain 2m social distancing, where possible

      Where possible, you should maintain 2m between people by:

      • putting up signs to remind workers and visitors of social distancing guidance
      • avoiding sharing workstations
      • using floor tape or paint to mark areas to help people keep to a 2m distance
      • arranging one-way traffic through the workplace if possible
      • switching to seeing visitors by appointment only if possible

       

      5. Where people cannot be 2m apart, manage transmission risk

      Where it’s not possible for people to be 2m apart, you should do everything practical to manage the transmission risk by:

      • considering whether an activity needs to continue for the business to operate
      • keeping the activity time involved as short as possible
      • using screens or barriers to separate people from each other
      • using back-to-back or side-to-side working whenever possible
      • staggering arrival and departure times
      • reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’

       

       

       

       

      Tourism Alliance

      TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE 

       

      • £35m to Protect Freight Routes - The government has signed agreements with six operators to protect 16 routes covering the Channel, the Short Strait, the North Sea and routes between Great Britain and Northern Ireland which were previously at risk of closure due to a drop in demand as a result of coronavirus. They will now be designated as Public Service Obligation routes for a period of up to 9 weeks to prevent disruption to the flow of goods. 

       

      • Tourism Scenario and Intervention Modelling - DCMS is currently tendering a £100,000 research project looking at the impact of Coronavirus on the UK tourism industry under different scenarios and the impact of various possible Government intervention mechanisms. The contract period is through to June 2021, although it would be hoped that the results of the research would be available before then in order to best help support tourism businesses.

       

      https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/dec63c7b-67bb-4ebb-877c-048171f8f593?origin=SearchResults&p=1

       

       

      • Change to Business Support Helpline - The number of the Government’s Coronavirus Business Support Helpline that provide advice to businesses on what support mechanisms are available has changed to 0800 998 1098. In addition to the helpline there is also a webchat service that is available on the following link https://secure.livechatinc.com/licence/10701242/v2/open_chat.cgi?groups=0

       

      Both the helpline and webchat are open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday.

       

      • New Taskforce Developing Plan to Reopen Places of Worship - The first meeting of this Taskforce has been held, at which it was agreed to develop a plan to enable the phased and safe reopening of places of worship subject to scientific advice. At the moment Places of worship are scheduled to reopen from 4 July (similar to tourism and hospitality businesses) but it is unclear at this stage as to whether the work that is being undertaken by this group in concentrating on worshippers or includes the ability for people to visit church and cathedrals.

       

      https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-taskforce-developing-plan-to-reopen-places-of-worship

       

      • Booking A Charter Flight - The Government has updated it’s advice and the booking process to people trying to book a charter flight in order to return to the UK as a result of Coronavirus.

       

      https://www.gov.uk/guidance/booking-special-charter-flights-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic

       

      • COVID-19 Detection Dogs Trial Launches - An interesting development over the weekend was the launch of a trial to see if sniffer dogs could be used to detect people suffering from the virus. While this does seem a bit left-field Medical Detection Dogs have already successfully trained dogs to detect the odour of many different diseases in humans, such as cancer, malaria and Parkinson’s disease. This research opens the possibility of maybe being able to use specially trained dogs in locations such as airports in future.

       

      https://www.gov.uk/government/news/covid-19-detection-dogs-trial-launches

       

       

       

       

       

      EU guidance on tourism recovery

      The EU has released guidelines and recommendations to help EU Member States gradually lift travel restrictions and allow tourism businesses to reopen while respecting necessary health precautions.

       

      The Tourism and Transport package includes:

      • An overall strategy towards recovery in 2020 and beyond (also attached);
      • A common approach to restoring free movement and lifting restrictions at EU internal borders in a gradual and coordinated way;
      • A framework to support the gradual re-establishment of transport whilst ensuring the safety of passengers and personnel;
      • A recommendation which aims to make travel vouchers an attractive alternative to cash reimbursement for consumers;
      • Criteria for restoring tourism activities safely and gradually and for developing health protocols for hospitality establishments such as hotels.

       

       

      Tourism_and_transport__Commission_s_guidance_on_how_to_safely_resume_tra

      communication-commission-tourism-transport-2020-and-beyond_en_0

       

       

      Helping the Tourism Industry Recover from Covid-19

      Read the paper that VisitBritain sent to Cabinet Office on behalf of the tourism industry, detailing how government can help the tourism industry recover from COVID-19. Thank you to all members who contributed to the response.

       

      Helping the tourism industry recover from Covid 5 May PDF


       

      BVEP launches report focused on £70bn events industry


      The Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) has today launched its latest report titled ‘The UK Events Report’, which provides an in-depth examination into the £70bn industry, providing jobs for 700,000 people and how it will deliver the Government’s Industrial Strategy, which was launched last year. 

      The UK Events Report, which was compiled prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, illustrates the impact the UK events industry has on the economy. In 2019 business events generated more than £31bn of direct spend, with leisure events contributing a further £39bn, evidence in the report suggests that there is an opportunity to use both markets to showcase the UK’s abilities and resources and bring communities together.  

      It also highlights a need for the UK to realign and revitalise its commercial footprint, after leaving the European Union and the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, to drive businesses back to their peak and forge a new position on the global stage. Events held in the UK will play a critical role in achieving this.

       As a country, the UK has vast selection of high quality and richly varied purpose-built event venues and historic buildings suitable for hosting world-class events. It also has a network of talented and creative suppliers and organisers offering state-of-the-art technology and equipment for events.

      The UK events industry is committed to assisting new events to align with key sector priorities, to use events in order to promote UK businesses and their products and services, to attracting more international events and grow already successful events.

      Michael Hirst OBE, Chair, BVEP commented: “The report was compiled in what seems another age, but it will serve to provide testament to the power of events to create change and transform experiences, key requirements in facing and achieving the UK’s future challenges. It’s a critical role which the industry is ready and eager to take on and show how it can deliver for the UK.”


      Click here to download the Full report and the Executive Summary.

       

      The Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) has shared the report from MIA regarding social distancing impacts on the business events industry (also attached). Key findings include -  

        • 82% of venues can operate with social distancing measures in place but 3/4 believe their capacity would reduce by 40% to accommodate this.
        • 59% would not break- even and there would be around 8,500 job losses.

       

      You can download the full report here Apr20_mia_Social_Distancing_Survey_-_Report

       

       

       

      BVEP

      The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) invites you to take part in a survey being conducted to understand the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on organisations in the digital, creative, culture, media, sport, gambling, telecoms, and tourism sectors and their engagement with the available government interventions.

      This survey has been commissioned by DCMS to better understand the needs of its stakeholders. Your answer will remain anonymous and will be used to inform DCMS’ preparedness efforts.

      We encourage organisations in the digital, creative, culture, media, sport, gambling, telecoms, and tourism sectors to respond. The survey should take around 10-20 minutes. The deadline for responses to the survey will be at 23:59 GMT on 15/05/2020.

      Please follow the link below to begin submitting your response:
      DCMS Business Impacts of Coronavirus Survey  

      VBVE

      New Bounce Back Loans Scheme

      The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has today, 27 April, announced a new Bounce Back Loans scheme that will be made available to small businesses from 9:00 Monday 4 May. These loans will be 100% government-backed. Businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days. Loans will be interest free for the first 12 months and businesses can apply online through a short and simple form.

      Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) guidance on insurance

      The FCA has set up the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) - an independent body to provide arbitration for insurance claims of smaller businesses (with turnover of less than £6.5 million and fewer than 50 employees). The decision of the FOS is binding on insurers up to £350,000. 

      To take your complaint directly to the FOS, please contact: 

      The Financial Ombudsman Service
      Exchange Tower
      London
      E14 9SR
      Telephone: 0300 123 9123
      complaint.info@financial-ombudsman.org.uk
      financial-ombudsman.org.uk

       

      G20 Tourism Ministers’ meeting

      The G20 Tourism Ministers held a meeting on COVID-19 on Friday 24 April, Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston was in attendance and addressed the group. He spoke of the importance of tourism to the UK economy, the Government’s support measures and the regular discussions he is in with the tourism industry about what their priorities are for the recovery period. He highlighted the key areas of concern including how businesses can operate while there are still social distancing measures in place; what further guidance is needed; and whether there is a need for tapered support as businesses adjust.

      The G20 Tourism Ministers also issued a statement on COVID-19 outlining their commitments.


      Events are GREAT open letter of support 

      Trusted Resource

      Stay Informed     Access Information

      For education and updates visit

      https://www.mpi.org/tools/coronavirus

      COVID-19 LEAVES UK EVENT INDUSTRY SUPPLIERS ON KNIFE EDGE

      Some 60% of the UK’s event industry’s supplier base is facing collapse within three months, unless event businesses receive further support from the Government, according to an on-line survey carried out by the Events Industry Forum (EIF) and Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) and co-ordinated by the Production Services Association (PSA) between 3-7th April, 2020. 6% of those businesses say they are unlikely to survive until the end of April!

      In all 1,490 businesses took part in the survey from across all sectors of the UK events industry.

      The collapse of so many businesses would both impact the economy and result in unemployment for hundreds of thousands of people who work in the industry.  According to a study by Bournemouth University last year the outdoor event industry alone employs just under 600,000 people. Over 115,000 are estimated to work in the conference, exhibitions and indoor events sectors.

      Many of those working in the outdoor industry are freelances or self-employed who rely on the summer season for the bulk of their income.   With most events this summer already cancelled, from Glastonbury and Edinburgh Festival to agricultural shows, many are facing a bleak 12 months before they will see further income, which could put more in jeopardy over the winter.

      Similar circumstances exist within the business events sector where 74% of all conferences and exhibitions have been postponed to the last quarter of 2020 and the remainder cancelled altogether.

      Despite the Chancellor of the Exchequer indicating in the House of Commons recently that event organisers and the supply network behind them should be eligible for leisure and hospitality business support grants, according to the survey most who have applied have been turned down by local authorities who are running the scheme.   Similarly, only 1% of respondents have been successful in applying for the Government backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

      The supply line is vital to the continuity of the Industry, including contractors responsible for staging, temporary seating and structures, production lighting, exhibition stands, marquees, sanitation facilities and security barriers.

      “With so many events already cancelled and no certainty about when they will be able to start again, our industry is on its knees,” says Jim Winship, Secretary of the Events Industry Forum which represents 26 organisations representing the outdoor events industry.   “We urgently need the Government to confirm to local authorities that all event organisers and suppliers to our industry are eligible for the hospitality and leisure grants – that will give an immediate lifeline for many.

      “While it is starting to be recognised by some in Government circles that the event industry will be a key player in helping to kick-start the economy again, many will need on-going support until they can get back on their feet.  For this they will need further grants and better access to loans without having to give onerous personal guarantees.

      “Our industry is one of the sectors that has been completely annihilated by this pandemic and needs urgent support if it is to survive.”

       

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