We are working closely with the Cabinet Office and Department of Health and Social Care to raise awareness of the Government's guidance for tourists who fall ill whilst on holiday in England.
Businesses are asked to raise awareness of the guidance by directing your customers to the advice displayed on the VisitEngland website. You can also use the copy below to communicate this message to your customers:
- If you develop Covid-19 symptoms whilst on holiday, please arrange a test using your holiday address. You can order a test from www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119. You MUST notify your accommodation provider immediately.
- If you are contacted by Test & Trace whilst on holiday you MUST notify your accommodation provider immediately that you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and asked to self-isolate.
- If you are well enough to return home by private transportation then please do so and self-isolate at home. Do not use public transport.
You may wish to include a link to this information as part of the customer booking confirmation and to adopt the messaging on your marketing channels – to help protect your staff and customers.
Other Government updates
Guidance for businesses and organisations on how to recognise, contain and report incidents of coronavirus (COVID-19). Action cards have also been developed to cover a range of businesses and organisations to provide specific advice on the issues each type of organisation may face.
An overview of the government’s approach to managing local coronavirus outbreaks is available.
Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia and St Vincent and the Grenadines have been added to the exempt list of countries and territories for travel into England.
Guidance on how to inform HMRC if you have been overpaid or were not eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
If your business is taking part in the Government’s new Eat Out to Help Out scheme this August, which is offering diners discounts of up to 50% on their meal, a new claims website will be launched on 7 August for you to claim your reimbursement.The claims service will be available from 7 August to 30 September. It’s not too late to register your business for the scheme: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/register-your-establishment-for-the-eat-out-to-help-out-scheme
Further to the Prime Minister’s update on Friday, some further details around the next phase of reopening and pilots in England are now available.
Meetings of up to 30 people indoors are now allowed in permitted venues if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate that it has followed the COVID-19 guidance.
From the 1 August, if prevalence remains around or below current levels, the Government will take the following steps:
- Enable the restart of indoor performances to a live audience, in line with COVID- 19 secure guidelines, subject to the success of pilots that are taking place as soon as possible.
- Carry out pilots in venues with a range of sizes of crowds, particularly where congregating from different places, including business events. The pilots (some of which will begin late July) will be carefully monitored and evaluated to inform future decisions on any further relaxation of the rules.
- Enable wedding receptions - sit-down meals for no more than 30 people, subject to COVID-19 secure guidance.
- Exhibition and conference centres are allowed to show small groups (of up to 30 people with social distancing requirements) around to view the facilities and plan future events and to enable Government-backed pilots to take place. They should not be open fully to host events more widely.
From 1 October:
- It is expected that events of all types, including sporting events as well as business events and conferences, will be permitted to resume from 1 October, provided rates of infection remain at current levels. The Government will hold a number of pilots at event venues around the country to plan for the return of large-scale events and test how to implement social distancing practises. Details of these pilots will be finalised in the coming weeks.
Guidance on working safely in the visitor economy has been updated to include business events and consumer shows.
Customer logging toolkit for businesses
Public Health England has published the Customer Logging Toolkit. This contains a variety of template materials for businesses to display, as well as guidance on how the policy works. Businesses should be storing the information securely for 21 days and sharing it with NHS Test and Trace if asked to do so. Businesses do not need to do anything else with the information. If a customer tells you they have tested positive for coronavirus, you should tell them to self-isolate as soon as possible and to register their contacts with NHS Test and Trace. You should not use the log of customer details you have collected to contact other customers yourself. Instead, if NHS Test and Trace assess that the customer was on your premises while potentially infectious, they will contact you to provide support and to obtain the details of anyone who may have been exposed to the virus.
HMRC support for VAT reduction for tourism and hospitality
If you have any detailed questions about the reduced rate of VAT you can contact:
- Telephone: 0300 200 3700. Outside UK: +44 2920 501 261
Face coverings at work
Guidance on face coverings, their role in reducing the transmission of coronavirus, the settings in which they are recommended, and how they should be safely used and stored is available here. There is no universal face coverings guidance for workplaces because of the variety of work environments in different industries. Employers should continue to follow COVID-19 secure guidelines
Visa Application Centre (VACs) update
More than 130 VACs have now reopened in total. It has been confirmed that a number of additional VACs will now also reopen later this month. To see the most up-to-date information on which VACs are open you can visit the relevant websites:
Other Government updates:
- Guidance for owners and operators of playgrounds and outdoor gyms has been updated to reflect additional requirements on face coverings.
- Closing certain businesses and venues in England guidance has been updated to show further easing of restrictions for more businesses and venues to reopen from 25 July and 1 August.
- Sporting events will allow fans to return from 1 October with social distancing in place, if it is safe to do so. The Government has announced that a small number of sporting events will be used to pilot the safe return of spectators through late July and early August.
- The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance has been updated to clarify that notice periods being served by furloughed employees include contractual notice periods.
- Leicester lockdown: what you can and cannot do guidance has been published.
Today, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson announced the latest measures for reopening as well as a framework to contain future outbreaks in England. The conditional timeline covered indoor performances, wedding receptions of up to 30 people and some sports resuming from 1 August. Conferences and Business Events that operate in a COVID-secure way will be able to take place from October subject to successful pilot events.
From 17 July
- Anyone may use public transport but they will be encouraged to use alternative transport where possible.
- As previously stated, from the 25th July – indoor gyms and pools can reopen.
From 1 August
- There will be an update to the guidance on returning to work. Businesses will have discretion for what works for them and their employees.
- Most remaining leisure settings, bowling, skating rinks, and close contact beauty services will be allowed to reopen. Nightclubs and soft play will remain closed for now.
- Live performances will also restart, following some successful pilots this month. They will begin to pilot larger gatherings, for example in sport stadia for reopening later in the autumn.
- Wedding receptions for up to 30 people will also be able to take place.
- Schools, nurseries, and colleges to open on a full time basis.
- Conferences and Business Events to resume in a COVID secure way, subject to successful pilots.
- Audiences to return to stadia.
- More close contact between friends and family in time for Christmas.
The Prime Minister also said that from tomorrow 18 July local authorities will have new powers to be able to close specific venues, shut public places and cancel events. A paper will be published next week.
Extending the season for holiday and caravan parks
Last night MHCLG laid a Written Ministerial Statement (WMS) that encourages Local Authorities to allow holiday and caravan parks to extend their season. The statement also encourages local planning authorities not to undertake enforcement action which would unnecessarily restrict the ability of caravan and holiday parks to extend their open season. This WMS has been published to support the sector through COVID-19 disruption. The statement came into effect on 14 July 2020 and will remain in place until 31 December 2022 unless superseded by a further statement. Guidance for Local Authorities and park owners has also been published.
Access to Work: Travel cost evidence now needed
Access to Work is a publicly funded employment support programme that aims to help more disabled people start or stay in work. The programme will provide money towards any extra travel costs associated with disabled people getting to and from work if they can’t use available public transport during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This guidance has been updated to say that people now need to provide evidence to support a claim for travel costs.
Mandatory face coverings in shops from 24 July
The Government has announced that face coverings will be mandatory from 24 July when shopping. To protect those who work in shops and to give people more confidence to shop safely. Those who do not wear a face covering in shops will face a fine of up to £100. Shops can refuse entry to someone not wearing a face covering and can call the police if someone fails to comply. We will share further guidance for businesses when it becomes available.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme updates
The scheme is now closed for the first grant. A number of updates have been made to the scheme guidance:
- Guidance on how HMRC works out trading profits and non-trading income has been updated to include that losses are not included in your non-trading calculation.
- Guidance on how different circumstances affect the scheme has been updated to include what supporting evidence you may be asked for if having a new child affected the trading profits you reported for the tax year 2018 to 2019.
- New guidance has been published on how to pay back some of the SEISS grant if you’ve been overpaid, made a claim in error and were not eligible for the grant or would like to make a voluntary repayment
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) updates
A number of updates have been made to guidance on the CJRS:
- New guidance has been published on claiming for individuals who are paid through PAYE but not necessarily employees in employment law.
- Guidance on calculating how much you can claim has been updated with information on claim periods ending on or before 31 August 2020.
Providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus outbreak
- Guidance has been updated to confirm that the flexibility to suspend level 2 functional skills for level 2 apprentices has been extended, and to provide more information on support for redundant apprentices.
‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme open for registrations today
The ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ voucher incentive scheme is now open for registration. Restaurants and other eating establishments that sell food and non-alcoholic drinks for immediate on-site consumption may register. Through the scheme, eating establishments can offer a discount to diners of up to 50%, up to £10 per diner, and then claim the difference back from the government. The discount is eligible for purchases made on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3-31 August. Learn more about the scheme and how to register.
Promotional materials and guidance have been shared to support businesses in promoting the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme.
Planning rules revised to protect performing arts spaces
Changes to the planning system will protect theatres, concert halls and live music performance venues from being demolished or redeveloped as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Councils will need to take the temporary impact of coronavirus into account when considering permission for change of use, redevelopment or demolition of a theatre, concert hall or live music performance venue. The new rules will go into effect next week and remain in effect until 31 December 2022.
Outdoor events resuming in England from 11 July
Outdoor performances in front of a live audience are allowed to restart in England as of Saturday 11 July. According to The Events Industry Forum Guidance that was approved by DCMS, the range of outdoor events now permitted includes:
- Air Shows
- Agricultural Shows (including town and country shows)
- Carnivals, Fun fairs, fetes, steam rallies and Community Fairs
- Car boot sales
- Display and Performing Arts including Street Art Events
- Firework Displays
- Flower Shows and Gardening Events
- Historical re-enactment events
- Literature Fairs / festivals
- Pet and Animal Shows
- Some music concerts
- Outdoor theatres and performing arts
Today, Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden MP, announced the latest measures for the easing of lockdown and the reopening of the economy. He encouraged the public to support local businesses by buying tickets, visiting galleries and taking advantage of the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ offers. He also announced the following:
- Outdoor performances and recreational sport may resume this weekend, and outdoor gyms, swimming pools and water parks may reopen. Venue capacity will be reduced and electronic ticketing will be implemented to control crowds and support Test and Trace.
- Indoor gyms and swimming pools may reopen from 25 July, with appropriate measures such as enhanced cleaning protocols and pre-booking systems in place.
- Guidance for managing playgrounds and outdoor gyms is also now available.
- A number of indoor performances will be piloted by Public Health England, in collaboration with organisations including the London Symphony Orchestra and Butlins. These test events will support related research to work out how indoor performances may resume safely.
- The planning system is also being altered to protect theatres from demolition and change of use. This comes in addition to the £1.5 billion package announced last week.
Other Government updates
VAT - reduced rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions: Guidance is now available following the Government’s announcement that VAT registered businesses may apply a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT to certain supplies relating to hospitality, hotel and holiday accommodation and admission to certain attractions. The temporary reduced rate may be applied between 15 July 2020 and 12 January 2021. Eligible attractions for the temporary reduced rate of VAT include shows, theatres, circuses, fairs, amusement parks, concerts, museums, zoos, cinemas, exhibitions and other cultural events and facilities, but do not include admission to sporting events. Live performances that charge a fee to view online may be eligible, depending on circumstances and assuming they are not already covered by a Cultural VAT exemption. Find more information about which attractions are eligible for the reduced rate of VAT.
More information has been released on the new Eat Out to Help Out Scheme including information for businesses on how to register your business for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme.
Advice for British people about cruise ship holidays has been updated in line with the countries exempted on the FCO’s revised travel advisory.
Business advisors to provide free services to support small businesses in post-COVID recovery.
8 July: Today the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, gave his summer economic statement in which he set out a ‘Plan for Jobs’ to continue the UK’s recovery from the Coronavirus outbreak. The Chancellor noted that tourism has been one of the worst affected sectors and below is a summary of the key points from the Chancellors statement for tourism businesses.
- The rate of VAT applied on most tourism and hospitality-related activities will also be cut from 20% to 5%.
- To encourage people to safely return to eating out at restaurants the Government has set up a new Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme. It will provide a 50% reduction for sit-down meals in cafes, restaurants and pubs across the UK from Monday to Wednesday every week throughout August 2020.
- A bonus scheme worth up to £9 billion for firms has been announced to re-employ furloughed workers. An employer who brings someone back off furlough, and keeps them in a job until January, will get a £1,000 bonus. To get the bonus, firms must pay at least £520 each month.
- A new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme will also be launched to create fully subsidised jobs. Businesses will be given £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25. This is in addition to the existing £1,000 payment already provided for new 16-18-year-old apprentices and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan.
The BTA (VisitBritain/VisitEngland) Chairman, Sir Patrick McLoughlin CH, welcomed the announcement. Read his statement.
Today’s statement follows an announcement earlier this week of a £1.57 billion support package for the arts, culture and heritage industries, through which organisations from a range of sectors including the performing arts and theatres, heritage sites, historic palaces, museums, galleries, live music and independent cinema will be able to access emergency grants and loans. We will share more information as it becomes available.
Other Government updates
Please see below other recent guidance and announcements you may find useful.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for accommodation providers
Guidance for those providing hotel and other accommodation in England has been updated to reflect changes in effect from 4 July 2020. As they prepare to reopen, accommodation providers may refer to specific guidance for:
Certain individuals arriving from overseas will be required by law to self-isolate for 14 days, and businesses providing holiday accommodation may provide rooms to those required to self-isolate. Accommodation for these purposes should adhere to the same guidelines as for other permitted stays, including on social distancing and cleaning.
If a guest is displaying symptoms of COVID-19, they should inform their accommodation provider, immediately self-isolate and request a test. Guests who test positive for COVID-19 should return home if they can do so safely, and if they cannot reasonably return home they should work with the accommodation provider and local health care professionals to determine next steps. Unless otherwise provided for in the contractual terms of the booking, the guest will be expected to pay the costs of an extended stay in all but exceptional circumstances.
Guidance for reopening in England
The following guidance has been published or updated in line with the reopening of the visitor economy in England from 4 July:
Travel corridors: Countries exempt from self-isolation requirement on arrival in England
A written ministerial statement on travel corridors has been published outlining the process by which the government determined which countries and territories to exempt from mandatory self-isolation when arriving in England. The government will keep the requirements and exemptions set out in the regulations under review. The next review of the regulations will take place by 27 July 2020. For further information, please visit gov.uk/uk-border-control.
Updated self-isolation guidance and further traveller exemptions
Guidance on how to self-isolate when travelling to the UK has been updated to reflect exemptions for certain travel corridor countries and territories.
Updated travel details and new coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance has also been published for individual travellers exempt from border rules in the UK, beyond those people travelling from travel corridor destinations.
Defer your Self-Assessment payment on account due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Further information about the July 2020 payment on account deferment has been made available.
Closing certain businesses and venues in England, social distancing in a local lockdown
Guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England (or keeping them closed) has been updated following the further easing of coronavirus restrictions from 4 July, as well as location-specific guidance for closing businesses in Leicester. Leicester-specific guidance for social distancing during a local lockdown has also been updated.
Guidance on maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace
The following businesses providing an on-site service are required to collect and maintain data of staff, customers and visitors upon re-opening:
- Hospitality, including pubs, bars and restaurants (it does not apply to businesses operating a takeaway/delivery only basis).
- Tourism and leisure, including hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos and theme parks
- Facilities provided by local authorities including town halls and civic centres for events, community centres, libraries and children’s centres.
- Places of worship including use for events and other community activities.
The information businesses should collect:
- The names of staff who work at the premises
- A contact phone number for each member of staff
- The dates and times that staff are at work
Customers and visitors:
- The name of the customer or visitor. If there is more than one person, then you can record the name of the ‘lead member’ of the group and the number of people in the group.
- A contact phone number for each customer or visitor, or for the lead member of a group of people.
- Date of visit and arrival and, where possible, departure time.
- If a customer will interact with only one member of staff (e.g. a hairdresser), the name of the assigned staff member should be recorded alongside the name of the customer.
This data needs to be kept for 21 days. You should collect this information in a way that is manageable for your establishment.
Guidance on collection and maintenance of data from Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
The ICO has also published a statement and a short data protection checklist for protecting customer data:
- Ask for only what’s needed
- Be transparent with customers and what the information is being used for
- Store the data carefully
- Don’t use it for other purposes
- Erase the data in line with the government guidelines
Coronavirus Travel Corridors
The Government has today announced that passengers returning or visiting from around 60 destinations including France, Spain, Germany, Italy and Australia, will no longer need to self-isolate when arriving in England from 10 July 2020. All passengers, except those on a small list of exemptions, will still be required to provide contact information on arrival in the UK, including details of countries or territories they have been in or through during the previous 14 days. Existing public health advice on hand hygiene, face coverings and social distancing must also be followed.
The Devolved Administrations will set out their own approach to exemptions, and so passengers returning to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should ensure they follow the laws and guidance which applies there.
£10 million Kick-starting Tourism Package announced
The Government has today announced a new package to support small businesses in tourist destinations. Grants of up to £5,000 will be available to help adapt businesses following the coronavirus pandemic.
The funding will be able to be used to pay for specialist professional advice, to adopt new technology and online systems, or to purchase new equipment.
Funding will be allocated to each Local Growth Hub based on how much of their employment base is linked to tourism and hospitality businesses. We will share more information when available.
Other Government updates
- Businesses will have the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part-time basis time from 1 July. The flexibility includes hours and shift patterns of employees.
- The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme page has also been updated with new information including employees being able to be recorded as on furlough during time spent on holiday, how to calculate furloughed hours for different sets of circumstances and how to treat statutory payments received in the claim period.
New examples for how a business could be adversely affected by coronavirus have been added to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) claim page.
Businesses who have furloughed their staff under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can, from today, bring them back to work part-time. The scheme will remain open until the end of October and will continue to support jobs and businesses as they return to work. Firms will be given the flexibility to decide the hours and shift patterns of their employees – with the Government continuing to pay 80% of salaries for the hours they do not work.