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 details of any announcements and Government updates here.

 

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

    Situation update 13th August 2020

     

    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 highlight 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.

    Click Here for More Information 

     

    Permitted Activities

    Last night the Prime Minister announced the removal of restrictions 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 receptions in 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

    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 of 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 to 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

     

  • Small Business Grant Fund Toggle accordion content

    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.

    Read more here

  • Face Masks Toggle accordion content

    On Friday 31st July, the Government issued the following new guidance on wearing face marks. This guidance will become mandatory on Saturday 8th August. The inclusion of the public areas of hotels (expect this will apply to all holiday accommodation) as well as indoor attractions, entertainment and cultural venues.

     

    Where will people need to wear face coverings?

    We are now recommending that face coverings are worn in additional indoor settings and this will be enforceable in law.

    Currently you are required to wear face coverings in shops, supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, indoor transport hubs and public transport.

    For members of the public, from 8 August this will be expanded to include:

    • 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

    We recommend face coverings are worn in these settings now, but this will not be mandatory until 8 August.

  • Next chapter in our plan to rebuild Toggle accordion content

    On Friday 31st July, the Prime Minister delayed the lifting of several restrictions planned for 1st August until at least the 15th August and announced that facemasks would be required for more indoor venues. 

    That means that, until 15th August at the earliest:

    • Casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and remaining close contact services must remain closed. Indoor performances will not resume.
    • Pilots of larger crowds in sports venues and conference centre’s will not take place.
    • Wedding receptions of up to 30 people will not be permitted, but ceremonies can continue to take place, in line with COVID-Secure guidelines.

    With the latest announcements on delayed re-opening, from 15th August, if prevalence remains around or below current levels, the Government will take the following steps:

    • Reopen most remaining leisure settings, namely bowling, skating rinks and casinos, accompanied by COVID-19 Secure guidelines. This will not include particularly high-risk activities and settings such as nightclubs, which will be kept under review.
    • 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.
    • Enable all close contact services to resume, including any treatments on the face such as eyebrow threading or make-up application, working closely with the sector and public health experts to ensure this can be done as safely as possible and in line with COVID-19 Secure guidelines.
    • Carry out pilots in venues with a range of sizes of crowds, particularly where congregating from different places, including sports stadia and business events. The pilots, some of which will begin in late July, will be carefully monitored and evaluated to inform future decisions on any further relaxation of the rules. If plans progress in line with expectations, pilots will expand to build up to and prepare for a full, socially distanced return in the autumn.
    • Enable wedding receptions; sit-down meals for no more than 30 people, subject to COVID-19 Secure guidelines. Over time, we will assess whether gatherings of this type for other purposes can be made possible and when larger wedding receptions can take place.

    In September, schools, nurseries and colleges will open for all children and young people on a full-time basis. Schools, nurseries and colleges will put in place protective measures to minimise the risks to children and teachers and reduce the risk of transmission.

    If prevalence remains around or below current levels into the autumn, we will bring back audiences in stadia, and allow conferences and other business events to recommence in a COVID-19 Secure way, from 1 October. This step will only take place once we have a reliable scientific understanding of the impact of reopening schools on the epidemic.

    If prevalence falls very significantly, we will review the necessity for the outstanding measures and allow a more significant return to normality. This would start with removing the need to distance people, while retaining limited mitigations like face coverings and plastic screens in shops. Our ambition is that this may be possible by November at the earliest, however this would be contingent on a number of factors, including consideration of the specific challenges as we move into winter, as described above.

    Read more information and guidance on opening visitor economy businesses safely

  • Guidance on collecting data from staff and customers Toggle accordion content

    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. 

    The guidance on collecting details and maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to businesses that are opening from 4th July has now been released. The requirement to collect this data applies to:

    • hospitality, including pubs, bars and restaurants (it does not apply to businesses operating a takeaway/delivery only basis)
    • tourism and leisure, including hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos and theme parks 
    • close contact services, including hairdressers, and others 
    • facilities provided by local authorities, including town halls and civic centres for events, community centres, libraries and children’s centres
    • places of worship, including use for events and other community activities

    This guidance applies to any establishment that provides an on-site service and to any events that take place on its premises. It does not apply where services are taken off-site immediately, for example, a food or drink outlet which only provides takeaways. If a business offers a mixture of a sit-in and takeaway service, contact information only needs to be collected for customers who are dining in. It does not apply to drop-off deliveries made by suppliers.

    The data that needs to be collected is:

    Staff

    • The names of staff who work at the premises.
    • A contact phone number for each member of staff.
    • The dates and times that staff are at work.

    Customers and visitors

    • The name of the customer or visitor. If there is more than one person, then you can record the name of the ‘lead member’ of the group and the number of people in the group.
    • A contact phone number for each customer or visitor, or for the lead member of a group of people.
    • Date of visit and arrival and, where possible, departure time.

    If a customer interacts with only one member of staff, the name of the assigned staff member should be recorded alongside the name of the customer If you have a large booking, for example, at a restaurant, you only need to collect the name and contact phone number of the lead member of the party. This data needs to be kept for 21 days.

    READ MORE HERE

  • The Business and Planning Bill published Toggle accordion content

    The Business and Planning Bill has been published which sets out changes to legislation aimed at supporting business recovery. The key features of the Bill are:

      • reducing the consultation period for applications for pavement licences to from 28 calendar days to 5 working days, and grant consent after 10 working days if the council does not issue a decision
      • setting a lower application fee for a pavement and street cafe licence of up to £100
      • removing the need for a planning application for outdoor markets and marquees, meaning they can be set up for longer
      • providing more freedoms for areas to hold car-boot sales and summer fairs
      • doubling the length of time that temporary structures can be placed on land without needing an application for planning permission
      • doubling the time limits in the existing right for the temporary use of land from 14 days to 28 days for holding a market or motor car and motorcycle racing, and from 28 days to 56 days for any other purpose
      • removing the requirement for councils to get planning permission to set up new markets

    READ MORE HERE

  • Travel Corridors Toggle accordion content

    The government has eased travel restrictions by opening up travel corridor exemptions. 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 inforced.  

    The Government has announced passengers returning or visiting from certain destinations. 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

  • 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.

  • Holidays in areas with local COVID-19 restrictions in England Toggle accordion content

    The Government has 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.