Government updates affecting the tourism industry
Travel corridors suspended
From 4.00 am today, Monday 18 January all travel corridors with the UK have been suspended – meaning that all international arrivals who have departed from or transited through any country outside the Common Travel Area in the previous 10 days will be required to both take a pre-departure test, and self-isolate immediately for 10 days on arrival. This includes British and Irish nationals.
This move will be supported by increased enforcement, both at the border and across the UK, with Border Force increasing the number of spot checks on passengers that have entered the country. The new measures will be reviewed on Monday 15 February. The government’s Test to Release scheme for people who arrive in England will remain in place, giving passengers the option to shorten the mandatory self-isolation period.
Pre-departure COVID testing required for entry into the UK
From 04.00 on Monday 18 January 2021 passengers must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test to travel to England, Scotland and Wales (Northern Ireland from 21 Jan). The test must be taken in the 3 days before the journey.
Detailed guidance has now been published by the Department for Transport.
DfT has also shared a stakeholder partner guide with communications materials and advice for partners on travel corridors, test to release and the passenger locator form.
Guidance updated to reflect the suspension of travel corridors:
Guidance updated to reflect updates to testing requirements:
- Safer aviation guidance
- Safer air travel for passengers
- Safer travel guidance for passengers
- Safer transport guidance for operators
Supreme Court judgment in Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) business interruption insurance test case means many policy holders will receive payment
The Supreme Court has substantially allowed the FCA’s appeal on behalf of business interruption insurance policyholders. The legal process for impacted policies is now complete and means that covered policyholders will now have their claims for coronavirus-related business interruption losses paid. The judgment is legally binding on the eight insurers that agreed to be parties to the test case.
The judgment also provides authoritative guidance for the interpretation of similar policy wordings and claims. The FCA has said it will be working with insurers to ensure that they move quickly to pay claims that the judgment says should be paid, making interim payments wherever possible. The judgment does not determine how much is payable under individual policies, but provides much of the basis for doing so. Each policy needs to be considered against the detailed judgment to work out what it means for that policy. Policyholders with affected claims can expect to hear from their insurer soon. Policyholders with questions should approach their broker, other advisers or insurer. 370,000 policyholders were identified as holding 700 types of policies issued by 60 insurers that may be affected by the outcome of the test case.
The FCA has published draft guidance for policyholders on how to prove the presence of coronavirus, which is a condition in certain types of policy. The FCA will issue finalised guidance as soon as possible after the consultation which closes on 22 January. They will also publish a set of Q&As for policyholders to assist them and their advisers in understanding the test case. The FCA will also publish a list of BI policy types that potentially respond to the pandemic based on data that they will be gathering from insurers. Read more on the FCA website.
National lockdown in England
England will be entering 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 will become law from 00.01 on Wednesday 6 January. Parliament will sit, largely remotely, on Wednesday to debate and vote on the measures. 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
- 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.
New lockdown grants to support businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors
The Chancellor has announced grants for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.
The one-off top-up grants will be provided on a per property basis to businesses closed as a result of the latest restrictions as follows:
- £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
- £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
- £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000
A further £594 million is also being made available for Local Authorities and the Devolved Administrations to support other businesses not eligible for the grants, that might be affected by the restrictions. Businesses should apply to their Local Authorities.
The new one-off grants are in addition to the existing business support, including grants worth up to £3,000 for closed businesses, and up to £2,100 per month for impacted businesses once they reopen.
The following areas will move into Tier 3 (Very High alert):
- Shropshire, and Telford and Wrekin
- Worcestershire (Bromsgrove, Malvern Hills, Redditch, Worcester, Wychavon, Wyre Forest)
- Liverpool City Region (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral, St Helens)
- York and North Yorkshire (Scarborough, Hambleton, Richmondshire, Selby, Craven, Ryedale, Harrogate, City of York)
- Bath and North East Somerset
- Devon, Plymouth, Torbay (East Devon, Exeter, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge, Torridge, West Devon, Plymouth, Torbay)
The following areas will move into Tier 4 (Stay at Home):
- Leicester City
- Leicestershire (Oadby and Wigston, Harborough, Hinckley and Bosworth, Blaby, Charnwood, North West Leicestershire, Melton)
- Lincolnshire (City of Lincoln, Boston, South Kesteven, West Lindsey, North Kesteven, South Holland, East Lindsey)
- Northamptonshire (Corby, Daventry, East Northamptonshire, Kettering, Northampton, South Northamptonshire, Wellingborough)
- Derby and Derbyshire (Derby, Amber Valley, South Derbyshire, Bolsover, North East Derbyshire, Chesterfield, Erewash, Derbyshire Dales, High Peak)
- Nottingham and Nottinghamshire (Gedling, Ashfield, Mansfield, Rushcliffe, Bassetlaw, Newark and Sherwood, Nottinghamshire, Broxtowe)
- Birmingham and Black Country (Dudley, Birmingham, Sandwell, Walsall, Wolverhampton)
- Warwickshire (Rugby, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Warwick, North Warwickshire, Stratford-upon-Avon)
- Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent (East Staffordshire, Stafford, South Staffordshire, Cannock Chase, Lichfield, Staffordshire Moorlands, Newcastle under Lyme, Tamworth, Stoke-on-Trent)
- Lancashire (Burnley, Pendle, Blackburn with Darwen, Ribble Valley, Blackpool, Preston, Hyndburn, Chorley, Fylde, Lancaster, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire, Wyre)
- Cheshire and Warrington (Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Warrington)
- Cumbria (Eden, Carlisle, South Lakeland, Barrow-in-Furness, Copeland, Allerdale)
- Greater Manchester (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan)
- Tees Valley (Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees)
- North East (County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside, Sunderland)
- Gloucestershire (Gloucester, Forest of Dean, Cotswolds, Tewkesbury, Stroud, Cheltenham)
- Somerset Council (Mendip, Sedgemoor, Somerset West and Taunton, South Somerset)
- Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
- Isle of Wight
- New Forest
The changes were also mentioned at a press briefing this afternoon by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson and you can read his statement here.
The full list of local restriction tiers by area is available here.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock today provided an update on the tier restrictions in England. He was joined by Dr Jenny Harries and Susan Hopkins. He began by reflecting on a difficult year, before moving onto the new variant which is spreading at a fast rate.
- Against this backdrop, the following areas are moving tiers as of 00:01 on 26 December:
- Areas going into tier 4: Sussex, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, and Cambridgeshire. Those parts of Essex not yet in tier 4 (Colchester, Tendring and Uttlesford), Waverely in Surrey, and Hampshire (inc Portsmouth and Southampton, but excluding new Forest).
- Areas moving to tier 3: Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Swindon, Isle of Wight, New Forest, Northamptonshire, Cheshire, and Warrington.
See tier 3 guidance, including information for businesses
- Areas moving to tier 2: Cornwall and Herefordshire.
See tier 2 guidance, including information for businesses
The Health Secretary also spoke of two cases of another new variant. They have been identified amongst those who have travelled from South Africa recently. This new variant is yet more transmissible and has mutated further. The government has:
- Quarantined cases and close contacts found in the UK.
- Placed immediate restrictions on travel to/from South Africa.
Anyone who has travelled or is in contact with someone who has returned from South Africa must quarantine immediately.
Coronavirus Local Restrictions Support Grant (for closed businesses)
The Local Restrictions Support Grant has updated its guidance to reflect that all Tier 4 businesses in England who are required to close will be eligible for grants of up to £1,500 for each 14-day period of closure; the grants will be administered by local authorities.
Business can check if they are eligible here.
Updated visitor economy guidance
In light of the tier 4 restrictions in England 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. There are also some updates to tiers 1 and 2 guidance.
The guidance confirms that holidays in tiers one and two can continue as before.
In Tier 1, there are no restrictions on travel, though people should stay local and avoid travelling outside of their local area where possible, residents are able to travel within their local area or to other tier 1 areas and stay overnight in hotels and other holiday accommodation in groups of up to six people (or larger if from a single household/support bubble). Residents are allowed to travel to tier 2 areas, but should only do so within their own household/support bubbles.
In Tier 2, residents are able to travel within their local area and stay overnight in hotels and other holiday accommodation, but should only do so with members of their own household/support bubble and should stay local and avoid travelling outside of your local area where possible. Residents can leave tier 2 areas to go on holiday in tier 1 or other tier 2 areas within their own household/support bubbles, though are encouraged to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible.
Residents of both tier 1 and 2 to avoid travelling to any part of the country subject to tier 3, unless necessary for a permitted reason such as for work. And people should not travel into a tier 4 area from another part of the UK, other than for permitted reasons such as work, education and for caring responsibilities.
Multi-purpose venues table service exemption
In tier 1 and 2 areas:
- Theatres, concert halls and cinemas are exempt from having to provide table service to audience members who have a ticket and are planning to consume the food or drink in the auditorium, or area of the venue where the performance / screening is taking place. Food and drink (including alcohol) must be consumed whilst seated in the auditorium, or area of the venue where the performance / screening is taking place. Venues should take steps to reduce queues for ordering, ensuring social distancing is maintained at all times.
- This exemption extends to performance/screening areas within the premises of another venue such as a pub, hotel or holiday park. The exemption only applies to the specific performance/screening area, which must therefore be separate and distinct from the wider premises. The activity must be ticketed, and venues must have all relevant approvals and authorisations (e.g. licensing or planning) from the Local Authority. This means for example that a separate, standalone function room in a hotel could serve as a concert hall if
o i. it is set aside and designated for that purpose,
o ii. attendees are ticketed and
o iii. the venue has the necessary authorisations for hosting live music or performances.
However, a concert performance in a hotel lobby or working restaurant would not be exempt by law as it is not a separate and distinct space, meaning that any alcohol would need to be provided via table service and in tier 2 accompany a substantial meal.
- Theatres, concert halls and cinemas may stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm. Where venues are multi-purpose, these extended hours do not apply to any area outside the auditorium or performance area.
- Hospitality services must take last orders at 10pm, and close at 11pm.
In tier 2 areas:
- Theatres, concert halls and cinemas are exempt from only being able to serve alcohol with a substantial meal, provided it is limited only to customers with tickets who intend to consume alcohol drinks in auditoriums or area of the venue where the performance / screening is taking place. This applies to performance/screening areas within other venues as above. Venues should also only serve alcohol without a substantial meal to ticketed customers during the performance and for a maximum of 60 minutes, which can be split either side of the performance or screening if required.
Restrictions for areas who are in tier 4 have also been added. View the guidance as well as to find out the restrictions in place for your business, including, for example, social contact rules, advice for guided tours and coach tours, as well as guidance for wedding, civil partnership, wakes and commemorative events. The guidance also includes the exemptions of when a hotel and other guest accommodation in tier 4 in England can remain open, plus examples of when a business event and meeting venues can be used.
Advice on organised outdoor events in tier 4 has also been published. Entertainment venues must close including: fairgrounds, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks and theme parks as well as outdoor Santa’s grottos. Outdoor business events (such as trade shows and exhibitions) and elite sporting events are not permitted. Performing art venues will be closed to audiences, including outdoor performing art activities. All other outdoor events organised by businesses, charitable organisations and public bodies, such as car boot sales, and literary fairs are not permitted.
View the updated visitor economy guidance.
Guidance on waterways
The Environment Agency waterways have issued guidance following the introduction of tier 4 in England. For waterways in tier 4: Essential travel only. Travel on waterways and overnight stays are only permitted where the boat is the permanent residence or it is necessary for work, education or similar reasons. People should stay local where possible and not travel outside of a tier 4 area.
Travelling to maintain your boat is permitted in and between tiers 1 and 2; and within tier 3 only. Travel to maintain your boat is not permitted in tier 4.
You should not visit a tier 3 or 4 area from another tier or travel from a tier 3 or 4 area to another tier to visit your boat.
The Northern Ireland Executive has issued advice on travel within the Common Travel Area. People should only travel within Northern Ireland when it is essential to do so. Guidance for visitors from Great Britain, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands includes:
- People should not travel in or out of Northern Ireland except where it is essential to do so. Guidance on what is essential is listed here.
- If a person arrives into Northern Ireland from within the Common Travel Area and plans to remain there for at least 24 hours, they must self-isolate upon arrival for 10 days in the same way as international arrivals.
- Household members do not need to self-isolate, but they must take extra care to follow the guidance on social distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene. People are permitted to leave self-isolation in order to leave Northern Ireland, should their intended stay be shorter than 10 days.
As COVID rates are rising rates in London, the South East and East of England, believed to be due to a new variant of the virus which may be up to 70% more transmissible than the old variant, the Government has announced that areas of London, the South East and the East of England in tier 3 will move to a new tier 4 where the restrictions will be broadly equivalent to national restrictions which were in place in England in November.
The full list of areas moving to tier 4 has been published. The following areas will be moving tier from the beginning of Sunday 20 December: London (All 32 London boroughs plus City of London), Kent and Medway, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire (Bracknell Forest, Reading, Slough, Wokingham, Windsor and Maidenhead and West Berkshire), Surrey (excluding Waverley), Hastings and Rother, Havant, Gosport and Portsmouth, Hertfordshire, Essex (excluding Tendring, Uttlesford and Colchester), Central Bedfordshire, Bedford, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough.
These tier 4 restrictions will come into effect from Sunday morning:
- People in tier 4 areas must stay at home (with limited exemptions) and work from home where they can.
- Non-essential retail, indoor gyms and leisure facilities and personal care services must close.
- People should not enter or leave tier 4 areas and residents of tier 4 areas should not stay overnight outside their local area.
- Individuals can only meet one person from outside their households in outdoor public spaces.
- Communal worship can continue to take place.
Businesses and venues which must close
- 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, 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 drink for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect, drive-through or 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 homeless people, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
- Leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and indoor gyms, indoor swimming pools, indoor tennis and basketball courts, indoor fitness and dance studios, indoor climbing walls
- 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, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks and theme parks
- Indoor attractions at botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open
- Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. It is also prohibited to provide these services 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
These businesses and places will also be permitted to be open for a small number of exempt activities, including:
- Education and training - for schools to use sports, leisure and community facilities where that is part of their normal provision
- Childcare purposes and supervised activities for children
- Hosting blood donation sessions and food banks
- To provide medical treatment
- For elite sports persons to train and compete (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities), and professional dancers and choreographers to work (in fitness and dance studios)
- For training and rehearsal without an audience (in theatres and concert halls)
- For the purposes of professional film and TV filming
Businesses and venues which can remain open
Other businesses and venues are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 Secure guidelines. This includes those providing essential goods and services, including:
- Essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres and Christmas tree retailers, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences
- Market stalls selling essential retail may also stay open
- Laundrettes and dry cleaners
- Car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas
- Outdoor playgrounds
- Outdoor gyms, pools, sports courts and facilities
- Golf courses
- Archery/driving/shooting ranges (outdoors)
- Outdoor riding centres
Staying away from home overnight
People who live in tier 4 cannot leave home for holidays or stays overnight away from their main home unless permitted by law. This means that holidays in the UK and abroad are not allowed. This includes staying in a second home or caravan, or staying with anyone they do not live with or are in a support bubble with.
People are allowed to stay overnight away from your home if they:
- Are unable to return to their main residence
- Need accommodation while moving house
- Need accommodation to attend a funeral or related commemorative event
- Require accommodation for work purposes or to provide voluntary services
- Are a child requiring accommodation for school or care
- Are homeless, seeking asylum or a vulnerable person seeking refuge
- Are an elite athlete or their support staff or parent, if the athlete is under 18 and it is necessary to be outside of the home for training or competition
People on holiday in a Tier 4 area, you should return to their home as soon as practical.
Guest accommodation providers such as hotels, B&Bs and caravan parks may remain open for the specific reasons set out in law, including where guests are unable to return to their main residence, use that guest accommodation as their main residence, need accommodation while moving house, are self-isolating as required by law, or would otherwise be made homeless as a result of the accommodation closing. Accommodation providers are also encouraged to work cooperatively with Local Authorities to provide accommodation to vulnerable groups including the homeless in tier 4 areas.
Find out the guidance for those in tier 4 areas in England and which areas will be placed in tier 4 from the beginning of Sunday 20 December. You can also see the full list of local restriction tiers by area. All tiers will be formally reviewed on 30 December.
New advice on travel is that everyone in all tiers should stay local and carefully consider whether to travel abroad. Those in tier 4 will not be permitted to travel abroad (except in exceptional circumstances).
Travelling within a tier 4 area
- If people live in a tier 4 area, they must stay at home and only travel for work, education or other legally permitted reasons. If they need to travel they should stay local - meaning avoiding travelling outside of their village, town or the part of a city where they live - and look to reduce the number of journeys made overall.
- If they need to use public transport, you should follow the safer travel guidance.
Travelling out of a tier 4 area
- People most on leave Tier 4 area for legally permitted reasons such as travel to work where they cannot work from home, to education and for caring responsibilities. The full list of exceptions will be published in the Regulations.
Travelling to a tier 4 area from a tier 1, 2 or 3 area
- People must not travel into a Tier 4 area from another part of the UK, other than for reasons such as travel to work where it is not possible to work from home, etc
International travel to or from a tier 4 area
- If people are in Tier 4, they should not be travelling abroad unless it is permitted and the public health advice in the country being visited needs considering.
- For people who live outside a tier 4 area, they may still transit into or through a tier 4 area to travel abroad if they need to, but they should carefully consider whether they need to do so. In addition, the public health advice in the country being visited should be followed.
See the rules in place at destination being visited and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice.
Also worth noting:
- People must not leave or be outside of their home except for where they have a specific purpose, or a ‘reasonable excuse’, such as work and volunteering, essential activities such as shopping for essential items, including collecting food or drink -ordered through click-and-collect or as a takeaway, education and childcare, fulfilling legal obligations, exercise and recreation, medical reasons, communal workshop and life events.
- In general, people must not meet with another person socially or undertake any activities with another person. However, they can exercise or meet in a public outdoor place with people they live with, their support bubble (or as part of a childcare bubble), or with one other person.
- People can exercise or visit a public outdoor place, alone, with the people they live with, their support bubble or, when on their own, with one person from another household. Children under five, and up to two carers for a person with a disability who needs continuous care are not counted towards the outdoors gatherings limit.
- Public outdoor places include: parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests, public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them), allotments, the grounds of a heritage site, outdoor sports courts and facilities and playgrounds.
- Larger groups are permitted for a wedding or equivalent ceremony in exceptional circumstances, for example where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover ('deathbed wedding') or due to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery. These weddings are limited to six people.
- Funerals - up to a maximum of 30 people can take place. Wakes and other linked ceremonial events can continue in a group of up to six.
Update to Christmas arrangements
Level four restrictions in Wales brought forward
The First Minister of Wales has announced that the new restrictions will come into effect from midnight tonight instead of during the Christmas period. This will mean non-essential retail, close contact services, gyms and leisure centres and hospitality will close at the end of trading today. Stay-at-home restrictions will also come into effect from midnight.
The current rules, which allow two households to come together to form a Christmas bubble over a five-day period will now apply on Christmas Day only.
New restrictions announced for Scotland
A strict travel ban has been announced between Scotland and rest of the UK in both directions. This will remain in place over Christmas. International travel is being reviewed and there will be an update next week.
Indoor mixing should be avoided where-ever possible, but will be permitted legally in a bubble (max 8 people, excluding children under 12) on Christmas Day only. Caring responsibilities can still be undertaken if essential.
Level 4 measures will be applied to all of mainland Scotland at one minute past midnight on Boxing Day for three weeks. Exceptions are Orkney, Shetland and Western Isles and the other island communities which will go to level three with strict restrictions on who can travel to them. These restrictions will be reviewed after two weeks. Non-essential shops, pubs restaurants and cafes will close. Takeaways will still be allowed. View the full list of businesses that must close in level 4.
Updates to loan scheme deadlines
Further to yesterday’s announcement by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak, the following loan scheme application deadlines have been updated to 31 March 2021:
- Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme
- Bounce Back Loan Scheme
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Extension of furlough and loan schemes
The Chancellor announced today that the furlough scheme has been extended until the end of April 2021 with the government continuing to contribute 80% towards wages. In addition, businesses will have now until the end of March to access government loan schemes.
A successor loan scheme has already been announced to provide support beyond March. We will share more details on the scheme when available. The government has said it will provide a further update on wider COVID-19 economic support at the Budget on 3 March.
Review of tiers in England
London and parts of Essex and Hertfordshire to move to tier 3 restrictions from 16 December. Read the full statement.
On the first review of the tier system the following changes will come into place at one minute past midnight, Saturday 19 December:
- Moving from Tier 2 to Tier 3: Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Peterborough, Hertfordshire, Surrey (with the exception of Waverley), Hastings and Rother, Portsmouth, Havant and Gosport.
- Moving from Tier 3 to Tier 2: Bristol and North Somerset
- Moving from Tier 2 to Tier 1: Herefordshire
For the full guidance for each tier see the guidance for each tier below:
See the full list of local restriction tiers by area and visitor economy guidance for people who work in hotels and guest accommodation, indoor and outdoor attractions, and business events and consumer shows.
Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs (England)
The Christmas Support Payment is for wet-led pubs that have been severely impacted over the festive season due to temporary local restrictions. Eligible businesses may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of £1,000 from their local council in areas under Tier 2 or Tier 3 local restrictions. See more details and eligibility criteria.
Self-isolation period reduced from 14 to 10 days from 14 December
This change will apply in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland from 00:01am on Monday 14 December this also applies in Wales. Read more.
For the latest updates on travel corridors see the list on GOV.UK.
Business evictions ban extended until March (England)
Business owners affected by the pandemic will be protected from eviction until the end of March 2021.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Read the latest updates on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Guidance on how to recognise, contain and report incidents of coronavirus (England)
COVID-19 early outbreak management information has been created for people who run businesses or organisations. Sector-specific ‘action cards’ have been designed for specific situations where an outbreak could occur. including - residential workplaces, food and drink, small and large gatherings workplace, travel, commercial workplaces.