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News and updates

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.

Guidelines will be published for these reopening sectors. They will be available later today here.

You can view the full statement here:


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, 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.  


Government Updates

  • 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.

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