Support for tourism and event businesses during COVID-19

9 October 2020

We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and are working hard to provide you with the very latest information to support your business at this very challenging time. We are feeding in industry concerns to Government via the Tourism Industry Emergency Response Group and will be sharing practical advice as soon as it becomes available, publishing the latest announcements and industry information on our dedicated COVID-19 page. Below you will find the latest information and advice to support your businesses. All of our information is kept under continuous review and is updated often.

Please see our operating during COVID-19 page for the latest guidance on business closures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Government support

A full range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses and employees, including:

New 9 October:

New 2 October: businesses in Bolton to receive grants of up to £1,500

New 24 September - Winter Economy Plan:

The following measures were announced by the Chancellor on 24 September:

  • Job Support Scheme, from 1 November – 31 April, in which the Government will contribute towards the wages of employees who are working fewer than normal hours due to decreased demand
  • Extension of the the Self Employment Income Support Scheme Grant (SEISS)
  • Extension of the temporary 15% VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sectors to 31 March
  • New Payment Scheme for VAT bills, with businesses to be given the option to pay back in small instalments during the 2021-22 financial year rather than paying the full lump sum at the end of March
  • 12 month extension of HMRC’s “Time to Pay” self-service facility
  • New Pay as You Grow flexible repayment system for Bounce Back Loans, which have been extended from six years to ten. Interest-only periods of up to six months and payment holidays will also be available to businesses. 
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme lenders will be given the ability to extend the length of loans from a maximum of six years to ten years if it will help businesses to repay the loan
  • Extension of the application period for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and the Future Fund

Read more details in the Chancellor's 24 September statement.

Other support measures previously announced:

Other rules have also been relaxed, including regarding destroying spoilt beer and pub/restaurant takeaway operations.

Please note all grants made under the above schemes are subject to tax should the business make a profit during the current financial year.

Full details on all of these business support measures:

Guidance for employers

  • Government guidance for employers

    Guidance on workplace arrangements and managing staff, including what to do if your employees need to self-isolate and limiting the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.

  • Job Retention Bonus

    Businesses will receive a one-off payment of £1,000 for every previously furloughed employee, if they are still employed at the end of January 2021.

  • Can you claim for the Job Retention Bonus?

    Guidance to help employers determine eligibility for the Job Retention Bonus and how to calculate claims.

  • Changes to right to work checks

    Right to work checks have been temporarily adjusted to make it easier for employers to carry them out.

  • Government support for paying wages

    Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme the Government will contribute towards wages for employees on PAYE, backdated to 1 March.

  • PAYE notification for furloughed workers

    How and when to report payments made to employees under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

  • Advice from ACAS

    Guidance on handling employees, including sick pay, managing staff shortfalls, if somebody becomes unwell at work and what to do if you need to close.

  • Relaxation of annual leave carry over rules

    Workers who have not taken all of their statutory annual leave entitlement due to COVID-19 can carry it over into the next 2 leave years.

  • Taxable equipment for employees

    HMRC guidance on what equipment, services and suppliers are taxable for employees working from home.

  • Support for apprenticeships

    The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is taking steps to ensure apprenticeships can continue and support providers.

  • Support webinars

    Watch recorded videos and register for free webinars from Government and HMRC designed for employers.

  • Guidance on workplace pensions

    The Pensions Regulator has issued advice on workplace pensions for employers and trustees during COVID-19.

  • Guidance on mental health and wellbeing

    Advice on how you and your staff can look after mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19.

  • Worker eligibility for Child Support

    Government has extended eligibility for free or tax-free childcare for parents if they fall below the minimum income requirement due to COVID-19.

  • Expenses and benefits during COVID-19

    HMRC guidance on the treatment of taxable expenses and benefits when they are paid to employees because of COVID-19.

  • Guidance on holiday pay and entitlement

    Government advice on how holiday entitlement and pay operate during COVID-19, where it differs from the standard holiday entitlement and pay guidance.

  • How to monitor staff wellbeing

    Guidance from Be the Business on ensuring the well-being of staff who are working remotely.

  • Employer help from Jobcentre Plus

    A range of advice to overcome staff challenges during COVID-19, from redundancies to supporting your staff and recruitment.

  • Support from your bank

    Your bank may be able to offer support measures if your finances have been impacted.

    Have a discussion with your bank as early as possible to produce a mutually beneficial action plan.

    The following banks also have dedicated helplines for business customers affected by COVID-19:

    • Barclays: 0800 1971 086
    • Santander: 0800 0156 382


    Summary of actions to take


    • Contact your insurance company to check if you can make a claim for lost business and/or closure
    • Contact your bank to see what support measures they can offer
    • Contact your suppliers and work together to mitigate fall in demand
    • Contact customers who have already booked with you directly
    • Keep staff informed of the latest and plan contingency measures where possible
    • Update your website and share messages through social media
    • Liaise with your Destination Management Organisation (DMO) / tourism association (please be aware the ability to respond at this time may vary between DMOs, depending on resource)

    Next steps

    • Check official Government advice on a regular basis
    • Continue communicating with customers
    • Consider having a more flexible booking policy for future customers looking to book trips later in the year.