News & Updates

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News and updates

11 January

The Prime Minister addressed the nation on 4th January 2021 outlining a national lockdown in England. In summary:

  • England entered a national lockdown, the Government is instructing people to stay at home and this will be backed up with legislation
  • People will be permitted to leave home for limited reasons, including shopping for essentials, work if you cannot work from home, exercise, or to seek medical assistance.
  • Shielding will begin again, those at risk will receive a letter.
  • Primary schools, secondary schools, and colleges must move to online learning – except for vulnerable children and children of key workers. Nurseries will continue to be open.
  • All non-essential retail, hospitality and personal care services must close, or remain closed. Restaurants can continue delivery, takeaway or click-and-collect of food and non-alcoholic drinks, but venues will no longer be able to serve takeaway or click-and-collect alcohol.
  • Essential shops and garden centres can remain open. Entertainment venues and animal attractions such as zoos must close, but the outdoor areas of venues such as heritage homes and botanical gardens can remain open, to be used for exercise. Playgrounds may also remain open.

Everyone should follow the new rules from now, and they became law from 00.01 on Wednesday 6 January. The restrictions are expected to last until the middle of February if the situation in hospitals improves.

The following guidance has been published on GOV.UK for people who are fit and well.

People can exercise in a public outdoor place alone, with the people they live with, with their support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one), in a childcare bubble where providing childcare or, when alone, with one person from another household

Public outdoor places include:

  • Parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests
  • Public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them)
  • The grounds of a heritage site
  • Playgrounds

Outdoor sports venues, including tennis courts, golf courses and swimming pools, must close.


People must not leave their home unless they have a reasonable excuse (for example, for work or education purposes). If people need to travel, they should stay local – meaning avoiding travelling outside of their village, town or the part of a city where you live – and look to reduce the number of journeys made overall.

People can only travel internationally – or within the UK – where they first have a legally permitted reason to leave home. In addition, they should consider the public health advice in the country being visited.

People cannot leave their home or the place where they are living for holidays or overnight stays unless you have a reasonable excuse for doing so. This means that holidays in the UK and abroad are not allowed. This includes staying in a second home or caravan, if that is not a primary residence.

Businesses and venues which must close

To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. The full list of businesses required to close will be available shortly in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England, but includes:

  • Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment) and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services.
  • Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery.
  • Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for providing accommodation or support to the homeless, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes.
  • Leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, sports courts, fitness and dance studios, riding arenas at riding centres, climbing walls, and golf courses.
  • Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres), circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, water parks and theme parks.
  • Animal attractions (such as zoos, safari parks, aquariums, and wildlife reserves)
  • Indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open for outdoor exercise.
  • Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. These services should not be provided in other people’s homes.
  • Community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities, as set out below. Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services– for example for people who do not have it at home – and for click-and-collect services.

Businesses and venues which can remain open

Other businesses and venues are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 secure guidelines. Businesses providing essential goods and services can stay open. The full list of these businesses will be available on GOV.UK shortly but some businesses in the tourism, hospitality and leisure sector that can remain open include:

  • Outdoor parts of botanical gardens and heritage sites for exercise
  • Car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas
  • Outdoor playgrounds
  • Places of worship
  • Essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres and off-licences, market stalls selling essential retail
  • Petrol stations, taxi and vehicle hire businesses
  • Weddings, civil partnerships, religious services and funerals
  • Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and funerals are allowed with strict limits on attendance, and must only take place in COVID-19 secure venues or in public outdoor spaces unless in exceptional circumstances.
  • Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Linked religious, belief-based or commemorative events, such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 6 people in attendance.
  • Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies must only take place with up to 6 people and in exceptional circumstances.

View the stay at home guidance for England.


2 December

In light of the new local restriction tiers coming into effect in England today, 2 December, the working safely during COVID-19 guidance has been updated with more detailed guidance for those working in the visitor economy, e.g. attractions, accommodation providers, coach and tour operators, event and exhibition venues and other hospitality businesses.
Restrictions vary according to tier. View the updated guidance to find out the restrictions in place for your business, including, for example, social contact rules for guided tours and coach tours, business event and meeting caps in each tier as well as guidance for weddings, civil partnerships, wakes and commemorative events, which attractions can open in which tier, travel advice and use of hotel lobbies in tier 3.
It also highlights additional considerations for your business as follows:
• It is law for staff and customers to wear face coverings in retail and hospitality venues and in private hire vehicles and taxis, except when eating or drinking (or because they are exempt). Businesses must remind people to wear face coverings where mandated.
• Staff who can work effectively from home should do so. Employers must not knowingly require or encourage someone who is being required to self-isolate to come to work.
• It is an offence for a relevant business to fail to take all reasonable measures to:

  • require adherence to social contact restrictions (respecting all exceptions to this) when taking a booking; or allowing entry and once groups are within the premises failing to take steps to advise groups not to merge in ways that breach the rules.
  • ensure adequate distance between tables (2m or 1m+ with appropriate mitigation).

23 November 

This afternoon Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a statement to the House of Commons on the Government’s COVID-19 Winter Plan. The Prime Minister confirmed that the national restrictions in England will end on 2 December and that the country will move back into a regional tiered approach. These tiers will be tougher than previously. On Thursday 26 November the government is due to announce which areas are in which tier. A postcode checker will also be available to show which restrictions apply in which area.

In the meantime guidance on the restrictions that will be applicable in each tier has been published. Please see the key guidance from each area below. The new rules will come into effect from the beginning of Wednesday 2 December, from which time people will be able to leave home for any purpose and meet people outside their household subject to the rule of 6, collective worship and weddings can resume, shops and gyms can reopen (see caveats below). 

Tier 1: Medium alert 
In tier 1:

  • People must not socialise in groups larger than 6 people, indoors or outdoors, other than where a legal exemption applies.
  • Businesses and venues can remain open, in a COVID-secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs.
  • Hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to:
    • Provide table service only, for premises that serve alcohol
    • Close between 11pm and 5am (hospitality venues in airports, ports, on transport services and in motorway service areas are exempt)
    • Stop taking orders after 10pm
  • Hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink 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-through.
  • Early closure (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities and bingo halls. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm.
  • Public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 4,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors.
  • Public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 4,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors.
  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events.

People who live in a tier 1 area and travel to an area in a higher tier should follow the rules for that area while they are there. Travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas should be avoided other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. Travel through a tier 3 area as part of a longer journey is permitted. 

Tier 2: High alert 
In tier 2: 

  • People must not socialise with anyone they do not live with or who is not in their support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.
  • People must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside, including in a garden or a public space.
  • Businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs.
  • Pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals.
  • Hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to:
    • Provide table service only, in premises which sell alcohol
    • Close between 11pm and 5am (hospitality venues in airports, ports, transport services and motorway service areas are exempt)
    • Stop taking orders after 10pm
  • Hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink 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-through.
  • Early closure (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm.
  • Public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors.
  • Public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors.
  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events such as wakes or stonesettings.
  • People can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible.
  • People who live in a tier 2 area, must continue to follow tier 2 rules when travel to a tier 1 area. Travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas should be avoided other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. Travel through a tier 3 area as a part of a longer journey is permitted.


Tier 3: Very High alert 
In tier 3:

  • People must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody they do not live with, or who is not in their support bubble, this includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues.
  • People must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in some other outdoor public spaces, including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports facility.
  • Hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha venues), pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed – they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.
  • Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses must close. There are several exemptions, such as for those who use these venues as their main residence, and those requiring the venues where it is reasonably necessary for work or education and training.
  • Indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close. This includes:
    • play centres and areas, cinemas, theatres and concert halls, trampolining parks,soft play, casinos, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, amusement arcades, adult gaming centres, laser quests and escape rooms, snooker halls
  • Indoor attractions at mostly outdoor entertainment venues must also close (although indoor shops, through-ways and public toilets at such attractions can remain open). This includes indoor attractions within:
    • zoos, safari parks, and wildlife reserves, aquariums, visitor attractions at farms, and other animal attractions, model villages, museums, galleries and sculpture parks, botanical gardens, biomes or greenhouses, theme parks, circuses, fairgrounds and funfairs, visitor attractions at film studios, heritage sites such as castles and stately homes, landmarks including observation decks and viewing platforms.
  • Leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open, but group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead. Saunas and steam rooms should close.
  • There should be no public attendance at spectator sport or indoor performances and large business events should not be taking place. Elite sport events may continue to take place without spectators.
  • Large outdoor events (performances and shows) should not take place, with the exception of drive-in events.
  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions are not allowed, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, 15 people can attend linked commemorative events.
  • Organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue, however higher-risk contact activity should not take place.
  • Organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes cannot take place indoors. See full guidance for exceptions. 
  • People can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible.

Travel to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays should be avoided, other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. Travel through other areas as part of a longer journey is permitted.

See the full guidance for the exemptions from gathering limits in all tiers

Other Government updates

New venues required to maintain records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace (England)
Cinemas, concert venues and theatres have been added to the list of venues that must have a system in place to request and record contact details of their customers, visitors and staff to help break the chains of transmission of coronavirus and support NHS Test and Trace. The list of indoor sports and leisure centres has been updated to include gyms.

Updates the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance

  • Information on what HMRC may deem to be a reasonable excuse for missing a claim deadline has been added to the claim wages through CJRS page. The guidance has also been updated to make it clear that if a claim deadline falls on the weekend or a bank holiday then claims should be submitted on the next working day.
  • The CJRS calculation guidance has been updated to clarify how to work out 80% of employees average earnings between the date their employment started and the day before they are furloughed.


10 November 2020

On November 5th, the government issued updated information on several financial support packages. 

  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended
  • Changes to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
  • The Jobs Retention Bonus (JRB) will not be paid in February
  • Businesses in England that are forced to close due to national or local restrictions will receive up to £3,000 per month.
  • Local authorities in England will receive one-off funding of £1.1 billion to support businesses more broadly over the coming months as a key part of local economies. They can use this at their discretion. This will be distributed to local authorities on the basis of c.£20/head of population.
  • Businesses in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors in England that suffered from reduced demand due to local restrictions introduced between 1 August and 5 November will receive backdated grants at 70% of the value of closed grants, up to a maximum of £2,100 per month for this period.
  • Plans to extend the existing Bounce Back Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, Future Fund, and Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme to the end of January 2021. This will give businesses two extra months to make loan applications (relative to the current deadline of 30 November).
  • Adjustment of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme rules to allow those businesses who have borrowed less than their maximum (i.e. the lower of £50,000 or less than 25% of their turnover) to top-up their existing loan.
  • An extension to the mortgage payment holiday for homeowners.
  • Up to £500 million of funding for councils to support the local public health response

Industry-specific guidance: 

View full updates from VisitBritain from 4th & 5th of November. 


23 October 2020 

DCMS Updates

The Chancellor announced increases in financial support for businesses and workers on 22 October.

  • open businesses which are experiencing considerable difficulty will be given extra help to keep staff on as government significantly increases contribution to wage costs under the Job Support Scheme, and business contributions drop to 5%
  • business grants are expanded to cover businesses in particularly affected sectors in high-alert level areas, helping them stay afloat and protecting jobs
  • grants for the self-employed doubled to 40% of previous earnings


Job Support Scheme - open

The announcement reduces the employer contribution to those unworked hours to just 5%, and reduces the minimum hours requirements to 20%, so those working just one day a week will be eligible. Employers using the scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus (JRB) for each employee that meets the eligibility criteria of the JRB. This is worth £1,000 per employee. Taking JSS-Open and JRB together, an employer could receive over 95% of the total wage costs of their employees if they are retained until February.


Business Grants

  • The Chancellor has also announced approved additional funding to support cash grants of up to £2,100 per month primarily for businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sector who may be adversely impacted by the restrictions in high-alert level areas. These grants will be available retrospectively for areas who have already been subject to restrictions, and come on top of higher levels of additional business support for Local Authorities moving into Tier 3.
  • It will be up to Local Authorities to determine which businesses are eligible for grant funding in their local areas, and what precise funding to allocate to each business.
  • Businesses in Very High alert level areas will qualify for greater support whether closed (up to £3,000/month) or open. In the latter case support is being provided through business support packages provided to Local Authorities as they move into the alert level. 



From Saturday 24 October, South Yorkshire will move from local COVID alert level high to very high 

Following close discussions with local leaders, South Yorkshire will move from local COVID alert level high to very high. In addition to the baseline guidance for very-high areas, the following businesses will not be allowed to open in South Yorkshire:

  • casinos
  • betting shops
  • adult gaming centres
  • soft play centres
  • gym classes will not be allowed and social distancing guidelines should be followed between people from different households (but gyms will remain open)


Guidance Updates 


A few answers to some frequently asked questions:


Hotels in Local COVID alert level: very high.

Hotels in ‘very high’ alert level areas can remain open and accept overnight bookings, but people must not stay overnight with other people who are not members of the same household or support bubble. Food and drink must not be served from 10pm - 5am and hotel restaurants must remain closed during these hours. Hotel bars not serving substantial meals are not permitted to open. Where food is served, it must be seated table service only and alcohol can only be consumed with a meal.

Hotels responsibility to ensure guests adhere to Local COVID alert level: very high rules.

We strongly advise against people in ‘very high’ alert level areas travelling or staying overnight outside their local area. However, there are certain circumstances in which travel is necessary, for example for work or education purposes or to fulfil caring responsibilities. As such - whilst we expect all businesses to act responsibly to stop the spread of the virus - businesses are not legally responsible for ensuring that customers are adhering to government guidance nor for enforcing that guidance. Enforcement remains for the police and Local Authorities.

Closure of cafes and coffee shops in Local COVID alert level: very high areas.
Cafes and coffee shops are treated as restricted businesses for the purposes of the new local alert level regulations (the same as restaurants, bars & pubs etc). The expanded Job Support Scheme provides temporary support to businesses whose premises have been legally required to close as a direct result of Coronavirus restrictions set by one or more of the four governments of the UK. 


Are marquees considered indoor or outdoor spaces.

As set out in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2)(England) Regulations 2020 a place is indoors if it would be considered to be enclosed or substantially enclosed. This includes enclosed or partially enclosed structures, such as marquees or tented structures. Therefore businesses with marquees need to follow indoor COVID secure guidelines such as limiting capacity so that social distancing can be maintained along with any additional mitigations and restrictions associated with the tiers.


Hotel Room Service

Whilst hotel bars must close at 10pm, room service can continue past 10pm provided orders are placed online or over the phone, and alcohol is permitted in room service. Room service should be directed to the guest’s hotel room and not a public lounge area to avoid gathering and consumption of food and drink in these areas.

Government Updates

Travel and overnight stays in local COVID alert level: high areas
People can still travel within high alert level areas to hotels and other guest accommodation, but should only do this with other people in their household or support bubble. People can still go on holiday outside of high alert level areas, but must only do so with other people in their household or support bubble.

Travel and overnight stays in local COVID alert level: very high areas
Residents of very high alert areas should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK, except if they need to do so for work, education or caring responsibilities and they must not stay with anyone they do not live with elsewhere in the UK. People are being asked to avoid staying overnight in a very high alert level area where possible, except for those who need to for work, education or caring responsibilities. Residents from a very high alert level area may travel to hotels and other guest accommodation within that area but should only do so with people in their household or support bubble.

How local COVID alert level: medium differs from previous national regulations
Local COVID Alert levels introduced earlier this week have seen the nationwide regulations that were in place, replaced by ‘Local COVID Alert Level: medium’. There are some differences which are worth noting for tourism and hospitality as follows:

  • Motorway services, airports and seaports will be exempted from the 10pm hospitality curfew (though no alcohol is to be served between 10pm and 5am).
  • In addition to delivery and drive-thru, hospitality venues will now be able to offer a click-and-collect service for the sale of food and non-alcoholic drink between 10pm and 5am, provided customers have pre-ordered by phone, online, or by post.
  • Theatres, concert halls and cinemas will be exempt from requiring people to be seated whilst ordering food and drink.
  • The restrictions on singing, dancing and loud music in hospitality premises will be removed.

Guidance for outdoor events catering

  • Where there is seating in an adjacent area to a stall or outlet that is serving food and drink, and customers will be using it, their orders must be taken and served at the table if the stall or outlet sells alcohol. Where the sale of alcohol is not offered, customers will need to be seated when eating but can order food from the counter.
  • Customers eating and drinking at tables will need to sit in groups of up to 6 people (unless they are visiting as a household or support bubble which is larger than 6). Signs should be put up to remind customers to only interact with their group.
  • Where there is no seating available, the stall or outlet will be providing a takeaway service. The customer can order their food and drink including alcohol to eat and drink anywhere in the outdoor setting.
  • Customers should be reminded to adhere to safe social distancing when queuing for food and drink by putting up signs or introducing a one-way system that customers can follow or employing extra marshals to enforce this.
  • Customers eating and drinking in the outdoor setting should not gather in groups of more than 6 people.

Guidance on NHS QR codes in hotels

Displaying an official NHS QR code poster and collecting contact details for NHS Test and Trace is a legal requirement for hotels. However, if a guest chooses to check in by scanning the NHS QR code, they do not also need to complete the customer log. In this case the guest should scan the hotel’s QR code for each day of their stay.

If a hotel has different venues within it, such as a restaurant or bar, separate QR code posters should be displayed in each of these. Guests can check into these spaces allowing them to be sent notifications with public health advice if needed. Further guidance can be found here

12 October 2020 - Government Updates 


Meeting with others safely
The Coronavirus Meeting with others safely guidance has been updated. Meetings with friends and family outside of your social bubble should not exceed six people. In England this limit now includes children of any age.

Small marriages and civil partnerships
The COVID-19 guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships has been updated. Changes cover the rules on face coverings, distance between tables, singing in groups of more than six, dancing, music volume and enforcement.


29 September 2020 - Government Updates 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): What has changed – 22 September

  • Face coverings
  • Working from home
  • Businesses
  • Meeting people safely

Chancellor Outlines Winter Economy Plan

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


17 September 2020 - VisitBritain Updates

New NHS COVID-19 app to support test and trace

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
Once you have registered for your QR code you are being encouraged to display the NHS QR code posters in a place that is visible on entry to the business. Find out more 
New measures and restrictions in place 
From 14 September new measures are in effect, including a restriction on social gatherings of more than 6 people and a requirement for businesses to collect visitor data to support the NHS Test and Trace system.

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:
Guidance for small weddings, civil partnerships and receptions has also been updated. 

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.

4 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.

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.


‘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.


Kickstart Scheme

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.

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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