Government & Industry Updates

The UK Government is no longer holding daily press briefings and going forward future briefings will only take place when there are significant announcements. 

We will continue to provide daily tourism updates, details of any announcements and Government updates here.

 

  • Daily Tourism Industry Emergency Response (TIER) updates Toggle accordion content

    Situation update 27th October 2020

    New Towns Deals announced (England)
    The Ministry of Housing, Community and Local Government today announced that Barrow-in-Furness, Blackpool, Darlington, Peterborough, Norwich, Torquay and Warrington are the first of 101 places to be offered a Town Deal.

    Examples of tourism-related investment in these areas include:.

    • £39.5 million to be used to update the Blackpool Illuminations, for a return to tourism after the COVID-19 pandemic, which used to attract 4 million visitors and bring in £284 million a year, and to support the development of the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone
    • £21.9 million to modernise Torquay town centre, transforming it into a retail and leisure destination for people visiting, working and living in the town as well as improving transport links with a new focus on walking and cycling route

    Further Town Deals are due to be announced in November.

    Update on hospitality provisions in Scotland
    The provision of hospitality will be expanded within the new levels system, with effect from Monday 2 November and will be kept under review.

    Under the new system set out by the Scottish Government, hospitality premises may sell alcohol indoors with a main meal up to 8pm at level two, enabling the service of an early evening meal. At present, hospitality premises outside the central belt cannot serve alcohol indoors and must close indoors at 6pm. At level three – equivalent to the current restrictions in the central belt – the definition of cafes will be removed, enabling all hospitality premises to operate in the daytime, up to 6pm, without the sale of alcohol. Hotels and other accommodation will continue to be able to serve evening meals to residents. The Scottish Government has also announced that it is working with the industry to take forward a range of additional mitigations suggested by the industry.


    UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) status update:
    UKVCAS has been designated an essential service, with staff considered key workers. This means that service points throughout the UK will not be impacted by changes to lockdown restrictions, or by regional variations implemented under the UK Government’s COVID-19 tier system. Customers seeking to book appointments at a UKVCAS centre are advised to continue to check here for the up to date list and operating status of our Service Point locations.

    Update on overseas Visa Application Centres:
    As of 23 October, 210 Visa Application Centres (VACs) have reopened with 21 VAC locations currently closed due to local restrictions and second wave closures. For the most up to date information on locations customers are advised to check the relevant commercial partner page:
    TLS contact if you’re in Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East
    VFS global for all other countries

    Other Government updates

    The Kickstart Scheme guidance has been updated with a new link to that helps users find a Kickstart Gateway. If you’re creating fewer than 30 job placements, a Kickstart gateway can act on your behalf and apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant for you. If you’re creating more than 30 job placements. You can apply directly by submitting an online application yourself.


    COVID-19 Situation update 27 October 2020

  • Three-tiered system of local COVID alert levels Toggle accordion content

    The Government have announced plans to standardise and simplify local lockdown measures, by introducing a three tiered system of local COVID Alert Levels in England - set at medium, high, and very high.

    Local COVID Alert Level - Medium
    Covering most of the country - this will consist of the current national measures, which came into force on 25th September. For areas where national restrictions continue to be in place. This means:

    • All businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law, such as nightclubs
    • Certain businesses selling food or drink on their premises are required to close between 10pm and 5am
    • Businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-thru
    • Schools, universities and places of worship remain open
    • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees
    • Organised indoor sport and exercise classes can continue to take place, provided the Rule of Six is followed
    • People must not meet in groups larger than 6, indoors or outdoors

    Local COVID Alert Level - High
    This is for areas with a higher level of infections. The “high” alert level will reflect many current local interventions, but there will now be consistency across the country. This means the following additional measures are in place:

    • People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
    • People must not meet in a group of more than 6 outside, including in a garden or other space
    • People should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible. If they need to travel, they should walk or cycle where possible, or to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport

    Most areas which are already subject to local restrictions will automatically move into the “high” alert level. As a result of rising infection rates Nottinghamshire, East and West Cheshire and a small area of High Peak will also move into the “high” alert level.

    Local COVID Alert Level - Very High
    This is for areas with a very high level of infections. The Government will set a baseline of measures for any area in this local alert level. Consultation with local authorities will determine additional measures.
    The baseline means the below additional measures are in place:

    • Pubs and bars must close, and can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant - which means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal
    • Wedding receptions are not allowed
    • People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor or outdoor setting, whether at home or in a public space. The Rule of Six applies in open public spaces like parks and beaches
    • People should try to avoid travelling outside the ‘Very High’ area they are in, or entering a ‘Very High’ area, other than for things like work, education, accessing youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if they are in transit
    • People should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if they are resident in a ‘Very High’ area, or avoid staying overnight in a ‘Very High’ area if they are resident elsewhere

     There will be a 4-week sunset clause on interventions in very high areas.

    Alert level posters are available for businesses to download and display HERE.

    The government postcode tracker to find out the coronavirus restrictions in a local area is now live HERE.

    Guidance for the vulnerable will become available too.

    READ MORE HERE

  • New Business Rules and Restrictions Toggle accordion content
    • Businesses selling food or drink (including cafés, 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 24th 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 24th September).
    • Businesses and organisations will face stricter rules to make their premises COVID-19 Secure (from 28th 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 28th September).
  • Face Masks Toggle accordion content

    Where will people need to wear face coverings?

    HM Government are recommending that face coverings are worn in all indoor settings and this will be enforceable in law.

    Currently, you are required to wear face coverings in the following settings: 

    • shops
    • supermarkets
    • indoor shopping centres,
    • indoor transport hubs
    • on public transport
    • funeral directors
    • premises providing professional, legal or financial services
    • cinemas
    • theatres
    • bingo halls
    • concert halls
    • museums, galleries, aquariums, indoor zoos or visitor farms, or other indoor tourist, heritage or cultural sites
    • nail, beauty, hair salons and barbers - other than where necessary to remove for treatments
    • massage parlours.
    • public areas in hotels and hostels
    • places of worship
    • libraries and public reading rooms
    • community centres
    • social clubs
    • tattoo and piercing parlours
    • indoor entertainment venues (amusement arcades, funfairs, adventure activities such as laser quest, go-karting, escape rooms, heritage sites)
    • storage and distribution facilities
    • veterinary services
    • auction houses
    • casinos
    • skating rinks
    • bowling alleys
    • indoor play areas
    • exhibition halls
    • conference centres
    • Customers in private hire vehicles and taxis 
    • 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 
    • Staff working on public transport and taxi drivers will continue to be advised to wear face coverings

    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.

  • NHS COVID-19 App Toggle accordion content

    NHS COVID-19 App

    The government is urging businesses to ensure they have displayed official NHS QR code posters on entry so that customers who have downloaded the new NHS COVID-19 app can use their smartphones to easily check-in, now that the NHS COVID-19 app has launched across England and Wales.

    For further information please click here

    Operators can create a QR Code and associated poster for their business that links with the app on this webpage.

    For further information about the QR Code poster, please click here

  • Business Meetings and Events Guidance Toggle accordion content

    We have gathered all of the relevant government guidance and specific information and resources for meetings and events here.

  • Reporting an Outbreak - Public Health England Action Cards Toggle accordion content

    Public Health England have released a series of action cards that provide advice on how businesses should respond to a Covid-19 outbreak including:

    • Identifying an outbreak of COVID-19 (one or more confirmed case depending on the business or organisation)
    • Reporting the outbreak to your local health protection team
    • Working with your local health protection team to respond

    There are different cards for specific types of businesses, and they have been designed to be printed or downloaded to keep on-hand in your business or organisation. The action cards relevant to a range of tourism businesses are listed below:

    Arts, Heritage & Cultural Attractions
    Campsites & Caravan Parks
    Entertainment & Holiday Resorts
    Hotels & Guest Accommodation
    Places of Worship
    Restaurants, Pubs Bars & Cafes
    Theaters, Cinemas & Venues
    Tourist Attractions

    For the full list of cards and more information, please click here.

  • Travel Corridors Toggle accordion content

    Public Health England and Ministers hold a weekly meeting where they review the exemption list for Air Corridors. During this meeting, COVID-19 cases will be reviewed per destinations and quarantine restrictions for the destination may be enforced.  

    The Government has announced passengers returning or visiting from certain destinations will no longer need to quarantine for 14 days. All passengers, except those on a small list of exemptions, will still be required to provide contact information on arrival in the UK, including details of countries or territories they have been in or through during the previous 14 days. Existing public health advice on hand hygiene, face coverings, and social distancing must also be followed.

    The Devolved Administrations will set out their own approach to exemptions, and so passengers returning to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should ensure they follow the laws and guidelines which applies there.

    The list of those countries and territories that the Government has lifted its advisory notice to avoid all non-essential travel can be found here. It should however be noted that flights are not yet available to all these places and not all countries have indicated that they will accept British visitors.

    Click here to find out more