News and updates
29th September 2020 - Government Updates
- Face coverings
- Working from home
- Meeting people safely
Rishi Sunak unveils government’s plan to protect jobs and support businesses over the coming months.
- Support for workers
- Tax cuts and deferrals
- Giving businesses flexibility to pay back loans
- Investment in public services
- Responses from business groups
17th September 2020 - VisitBritain Updates
Launching on 24 September, the new NHS COVID-19 app will help businesses meet the new legal requirement to record the contact details of customers, visitors and staff on their premises.
Following the launch of the new COVID-19 app, customers and visitors in England will be able to check-in on entry with their phone instead of filling out a check-in book or tool specific to a business. This will allow NHS Test and Trace to contact customers with public health advice should there be a COVID-19 outbreak. 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.
You should create and display a QR code if you are:
- A business, place of worship or community organisation with a physical location that is open to the public
- An event which is taking place in a physical location
Review what people can and can’t do, and note that locations impacted by local lockdown measures may be subject to different rules.
The guidance on working safely during COVID-19 has been updated with priority actions for businesses to take, including steps for collecting information for the Test and Trace system and rules on gatherings of more than 6 people. Sector-specific guidance is available for the following:
- Performing arts
- Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services
- Heritage locations
- Hotels and other guest accommodation
- The visitor economy
Following requests for more detail, please see the following clarifications from DCMS:
- COVID-19 secure venues will be able to host business events of up to 30 people taking into account Visitor Economy guidance, including social distancing requirements.
- The intention remains to reopen exhibition and conference centres from the 1 October but this will need to be continually assessed in light of the recent spike in cases.
- If it is possible to ensure that groups of more than six do not mingle on a guided tour, it can go ahead. This would potentially be the case for a day trip or shorter tours of a visitor attraction.
Calculate how much to claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Updated guidance is available to help employers calculate employees’ working and furloughed hours for workers who came off furlough partway through a claim period. Employers using this calculation do not need to amend previous claims.
Guidance and tools are available for employers to check their eligibility to claim through the Job Retention Scheme, calculate how much they can claim for and submit claims online.
4th September 2020
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.
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.
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.
‘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.
The government has introduced a new Kickstart Scheme in Great Britain, a £2 billion fund to create 6-month work placements aimed at those 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.
· If you are an employer looking to create job placements for young people, see if you can apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme.
· If you are considering becoming a representative for a group of employers, check what information you need to provide to apply for a grant through the Kickstart Scheme.
23rd June 2020
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday regarding the re-opening plans for a number of tourism businesses in England from 4 July, the visitor economy guidance has been published.
The guidance is aimed at business owners, operators and workers in the following areas:
- Hotels and other guest accommodation (including self-catering accommodation, B&Bs, hostels, camping, holiday homes, caravan parks, boats and other types of accommodation including short-term letting). This guidance should be read in conjunction with the working safely in hotels and other accommodation guidance.
- Indoor and outdoor attractions (e.g. arcades, walking tours, theme parks, family entertainment centres, static funfairs, zoos and aquariums). The events and entertainment guidance may also be useful for attractions that move around (e.g. roving funfairs) to be published shortly.
- Business events and consumer shows (e.g. events taking place in meetings, conference, convention and exhibition centres). Business conferences, events, exhibitions and trade fairs are not currently allowed to take place in England.
The guidance should also be read in conjunction with the working safely guidance, the safer travel guidance and other available sector guidance.
New social distancing guidance, a list of businesses that can open from 4 July and updated guidance for restaurants, pubs and bars has also been made available.
VisitEngland is working on a new industry standard and supporting consumer mark for tourism to provide a 'ring of confidence' for businesses, attractions and destinations, as well as provide reassurance to local residents and visitors that clear processes are in place and that as an industry we are good to go. More details, including how to apply, will be sent later this week.
We are looking forward to working with you to ensure that tourism rebounds to once again become one of the most successful sectors of the UK economy.
As we are sure you have seen in the news the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made a statement in the House of Commons on the next stage of the lockdown restrictions easing in England.
Updated guidance for accommodation providers if a guest displays symptoms of COVID-19
If a guest is displaying signs of the COVID-19 virus while staying in overnight accommodation for a permitted reason, they should inform the accommodation provider, immediately self-isolate where they are to minimise any risk of transmission, and request a test. If they are confirmed to have COVID-19, they should return home if they reasonably can. If a guest cannot reasonably return home (for example, because they are not well enough to travel or do not have the means to arrange transport), their circumstances should be discussed with an appropriate health care professional and, if necessary, the local authority. Guests should follow Government guidance on dealing with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
In the announcement it was outlined that from 4 July;
- The two metre social distancing rule will be relaxed to one metre plus. Where it is possible to remain two metres you should continue should do so, but where this is not possible it should be a ‘one metre plus’ policy. New guidance will be published to support businesses – including changing office layouts, protective screens, closing non-essential communal areas etc.
- Restaurants and pubs can open. Indoor hospitality is limited to table services and contact details will need to be collected from customers.
- People will be free to stay in self-contained accommodation including hotels, B&Bs, and campsites – so long as shared facilities can be kept clean.
- Tourist attractions will be able to reopen if they can do so safely, outside gyms and playgrounds can also open.
- Places of worship will be able to reopen, weddings can take place with up to 30 guests
- Close proximity venues such as nightclubs, soft play, indoor gyms, swimming pools and spas will remain closed. Taskforces will be established to help them become COVID secure.
- Indoor facilities for sports will remain closed, and close contact sports should only happen with people from the same household.
- Two households of any size will be able to meet in any setting (inside or outside), they do not have to be the same household each time. They are not recommending multiple households meet indoors.
- Outside, the guidance remains that people from several households of up to six, or two households can meet regardless of size.
- Hairdressers will be able to open with visors, nail bars will be able to follow when they are confident they can open in a COVID secure way.
Business Bulletin - 12th June 2020
Each day presents further changes in Government guidelines, as a result of the current coronavirus situation and Welcome to Yorkshire continue to progress with the county’s tourism recovery plan, aiming to ensure updates and further information is regularly shared online at Yorkshire.com, as well as in media interviews, on webinars and in our regular newsletters.
Please find below some of the key information on subjects affecting the tourism industry.
- Visit the Government website for announcements, guidance and support. This week:
- Non-essential retail outlets get go-ahead to reopen from 15th June. Businesses are however asked to complete a risk assessment and display signage to show compliance.
- Government continues to work towards 4th July for hospitality businesses to open. Further guidance will be published in advance to give businesses time to prepare.
- As of 10th June, employees who have not been furloughed can no longer be entered into the Government scheme.
- Self-isolation rules specific to England
Guidance on the new border rules has been updated, with the majority of travellers to England having to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.
VisitBritain and Industry Updates
- COVID-19 Consumer Sentiment Tracker from VisitBritain
VisitBritain have released updated results from their weekly tracking survey to understand domestic intent to take short breaks and holidays within the UK, addressing likelihood of travel, when and where people plan to visit and the type of reassurances they are seeking.
- VisitBritain/VisitEngland business recovery webinar programme
A programme of webinars to support tourism businesses during COVID-19 recovery have been announced. Find out more information on the webinars, to be launched on 30th June, here
- Updated COVID-19 inbound impact forecast
VisitBritain have revised the 2020 inbound impact forecast following the COVID-19 outbreak. Due to a near total shutdown of the international tourism sector due to the pandemic, the revised scenario as of 3 June is a 59% decline in visits to 16.8 million, and a 63% decline in spend, to £10.6 billion.
However, this is a fast-moving situation and the forecast is subject to revision.
- The Great Inns of Britain publishes results of customer intention survey
Research from the marketing consortium of quality inns, including Yorkshire’s Shibden Mill Inn at Halifax and The Blue Lion at East Witton, suggests nearly 70% of people plan to book a UK break when lockdown ends.
- Guidance on guests self-isolating as required by law
From 8 June, certain individuals travelling from overseas have been required by law to self-isolate for a period of 14 days. Businesses providing holiday accommodation can provide rooms to those required to self-isolate because they have arrived in England from outside the UK, or arrived in England from elsewhere in the UK, but have within the preceding 14 days been outside the UK.
- Guidance for hotels on opening their grounds
Large grounds of hotels can be made available to the public as long as guidance on accessing green spaces safely is followed. Where a hotel is also providing a takeaway food and drink service, guests cannot use outdoor seating to eat and drink.
- Free 1-2-1 digital support for small businesses
Supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), a new platform called Digital Boost launched this week. The platform will host a community of digital experts who will offer one-to-one digital support to small businesses, free of charge.