Government & Industry Updates

The UK Government is no longer holding daily press briefings and going forward future briefings will only take place when there are significant announcements. 

We will continue to provide details of any announcements and Government updates here.


  • Daily Tourism Industry Emergency Response (TIER) updates Toggle accordion content

    Situation update 6th August 2020

    Filming and broadcasting at permitted visitor economy venues update

    The Business Visits & Events Partnership has sought guidance on filming and broadcasting at permitted visitor economy venues and can share that both can take place subject to those using the premises following the guidance issued for filming from the British Film Commission or in the case of TV production the BBC. The number of persons allowed on site will be in accordance with the filming or TV production guidance. However, arrangements for meetings, accommodation or food and refreshments will need to follow the relevant visitor economy guidance. Exhibition and conference centres are not permitted venues presently and therefore not able to use their facilities for these purposes.

    Covid-19 Consumer Tracker Report

    The latest Covid-19 Consumer Tracker Report for week 11, based on fieldwork from 27-31 July.

    These latest results may be being influenced by some of the negative publicity, both domestically and overseas, around the pandemic.  Here we’ve seen lockdown measures being re-introduced in Leicester and the Manchester/Bradford regions, while the spikes in cases in some parts of Spain resulted in holidaymakers returning from the country having to self-quarantine for 14 days.  This has manifested itself in just 16% of UK adults now thinking the worst has past (compared with 31% back in Week 4 of the survey).

    Only 22% are now expecting ‘normality’ by the end of this year and confidence in the ability to take a domestic trip continues to slowly decline.  For those lacking confidence around winter trips, concerns around catching coronavirus is a major factor (with 52% citing this) but in second and third positions we see people saying ‘it’s not responsible to travel’ and ‘general unease about travelling’, which suggests reassurance is going to be a major factor in encouraging trips during this period.

    More positively, over half of Summer Intenders have already planned their trip while 44% have committed to booking it.  Of course, the broader challenge is encouraging more bookings from Winter Intenders (for trips between October ‘20 – March ‘21) which currently stands at 17%, although this is +5 points up on Week 10.

    Please see the full report for further details.

    CBI CJRS Factsheet

    CBI have produced an extremely comprehensive factsheet for businesses on the changes to the CJRS and how it applies. This covering everything from the simple questions regarding rates through to how it interacts with the Apprenticeship Levy. It is an excellent reference guide for businesses.

    Planning for the Future

    The new consultation on changes to the planning regime that has just been published. The main proposals are:

    • Streamline the planning process
    • Modernise the planning process by moving from a process based on documents to an online process
    • Focus on design and sustainability
    • Improve infrastructure delivery in all parts of the country
    • Ensure more land is available for the homes and development people and communities need, and to support renewal of our town and city centres

    The trick with this consultation will be to balance the need for appropriate tourism development with the need to protect the natural and historic resources on which the UK tourism industry depends. So if you have any idea on how best to do this, please let me know.

    This consultation runs for 12 weeks from today.

    International Retail Campaign

    The Association of International Retailers has launched a campaign to get government support for retailer impacted by the fall in inbound tourism which has impacted many retail businesses. The asks of the campaign include

    • A VAT Reclaim scheme for EU visitors when the UK leaves the EU
    • Targeting the big spending markets of Gulf region which currently account for 30% of all UK tax free shopping
    • Protecting tourist and student travel from China

    Read the press release and background document

    Other Government updates

  • Next chapter in our plan to rebuild Toggle accordion content

    On Friday 31st July, the Prime Minister delayed the lifting of several restrictions planned for 1st August until at least the 15th August and announced that facemasks would be required for more indoor venues. 

    That means that, until 15th August at the earliest:

    • Casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and remaining close contact services must remain closed. Indoor performances will not resume.
    • Pilots of larger crowds in sports venues and conference centre’s will not take place.
    • Wedding receptions of up to 30 people will not be permitted, but ceremonies can continue to take place, in line with COVID-Secure guidelines.

    With the latest announcements on delayed re-opening, from 15th August, if prevalence remains around or below current levels, the Government will take the following steps:

    • Reopen most remaining leisure settings, namely bowling, skating rinks and casinos, accompanied by COVID-19 Secure guidelines. This will not include particularly high-risk activities and settings such as nightclubs, which will be kept under review.
    • 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.
    • Enable all close contact services to resume, including any treatments on the face such as eyebrow threading or make-up application, working closely with the sector and public health experts to ensure this can be done as safely as possible and in line with COVID-19 Secure guidelines.
    • Carry out pilots in venues with a range of sizes of crowds, particularly where congregating from different places, including sports stadia and business events. The pilots, some of which will begin in late July, will be carefully monitored and evaluated to inform future decisions on any further relaxation of the rules. If plans progress in line with expectations, pilots will expand to build up to and prepare for a full, socially distanced return in the autumn.
    • Enable wedding receptions; sit-down meals for no more than 30 people, subject to COVID-19 Secure guidelines. Over time, we will assess whether gatherings of this type for other purposes can be made possible and when larger wedding receptions can take place.

    In September, schools, nurseries and colleges will open for all children and young people on a full-time basis. Schools, nurseries and colleges will put in place protective measures to minimise the risks to children and teachers and reduce the risk of transmission.

    If prevalence remains around or below current levels into the autumn, we will bring back audiences in stadia, and allow conferences and other business events to recommence in a COVID-19 Secure way, from 1 October. This step will only take place once we have a reliable scientific understanding of the impact of reopening schools on the epidemic.

    If prevalence falls very significantly, we will review the necessity for the outstanding measures and allow a more significant return to normality. This would start with removing the need to distance people, while retaining limited mitigations like face coverings and plastic screens in shops. Our ambition is that this may be possible by November at the earliest, however this would be contingent on a number of factors, including consideration of the specific challenges as we move into winter, as described above.

    Read more information and guidance on opening visitor economy businesses safely

  • Guidance on collecting data from staff and customers Toggle accordion content

    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. 

    The guidance on collecting details and maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to businesses that are opening from 4th July has now been released. The requirement to collect this data applies to:

    • 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 
    • close contact services, including hairdressers, and others 
    • 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

    This guidance applies to any establishment that provides an on-site service and to any events that take place on its premises. It does not apply where services are taken off-site immediately, for example, a food or drink outlet which only provides takeaways. If a business offers a mixture of a sit-in and takeaway service, contact information only needs to be collected for customers who are dining in. It does not apply to drop-off deliveries made by suppliers.

    The data that needs to be collected is:


    • 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 interacts with only one member of staff, the name of the assigned staff member should be recorded alongside the name of the customer If you have a large booking, for example, at a restaurant, you only need to collect the name and contact phone number of the lead member of the party. This data needs to be kept for 21 days.


  • The Business and Planning Bill published Toggle accordion content

    The Business and Planning Bill has been published which sets out changes to legislation aimed at supporting business recovery. The key features of the Bill are:

      • reducing the consultation period for applications for pavement licences to from 28 calendar days to 5 working days, and grant consent after 10 working days if the council does not issue a decision
      • setting a lower application fee for a pavement and street cafe licence of up to £100
      • removing the need for a planning application for outdoor markets and marquees, meaning they can be set up for longer
      • providing more freedoms for areas to hold car-boot sales and summer fairs
      • doubling the length of time that temporary structures can be placed on land without needing an application for planning permission
      • doubling the time limits in the existing right for the temporary use of land from 14 days to 28 days for holding a market or motor car and motorcycle racing, and from 28 days to 56 days for any other purpose
      • removing the requirement for councils to get planning permission to set up new markets


  • Travel Corridors Toggle accordion content

    The government has eased travel restrictions by opening up travel corridor exemptions. 

    The Government has announced 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.

    The list of those countries and territories that the Government has lifted its advisory notice to avoid all non-essential travel can be found here. It should however be noted that flights are not yet available to all these places and not all countries have indicated that they will accept British visitors.

    Click here to find out more

  • Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure VAT reduction Toggle accordion content

    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.

    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
    • Email:

    Read more on who is eligible and further guidance here

  • Outdoor performances, gyms and swimming pools to open Toggle accordion content

    From 11th July the following will be allowed to reopen with reduced venue capacity and electronic ticketing:

    • Outdoor performances including outdoor theatres and performing arts, agricultural shows, firework displays, air shows, historical re-enactment events and some music concerts 
    • Recreational sport
    • Outdoor swimming pools and water parks including outdoor hot tubs, hydrotherapy pools, whirlpools and jacuzzis

    From 13th July the following will be allowed to reopen:

    • Beauticians and tattooists with some restrictions on high-risk services

    From 25th July the following will be allowed to reopen with appropriate measures such as enhanced cleaning protocols and pre-booking systems in place:

    • indoor gyms
    • indoor swimming pools 
    • fitness and dance studios
    • indoor sports venues and facilities
    • indoor hot tubs, hydrotherapy pools, whirlpools and jacuzzis

    Find full details on what businesses will be allowed to open on 11th, 13th and 15th July here

    Find updated guidance for performing arts and sport, gym and leisure facilities here

  • Job retention scheme bonus and updates Toggle accordion content

    This is a one-off payment of £1,000 to employers that have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for each furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until 31 January 2021. The bonus will provide additional support to retain employees.

    Read more here

    Further updates to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidances includes: 

  • BEIS Recovery Advice Scheme Toggle accordion content

    BEIS has launched the Recovery Advice for Business scheme, supported by the government and hosted on the Enterprise Nation website, gives small firms access to free, one-to-one advice with an expert adviser to help them through the coronavirus pandemic and to prepare for long-term recovery. Thousands of expert professional and business services advisers are on hand to offer free advice, until 31st December. Small and medium sized businesses can sign up, take the diagnostic tool and access support. Advice will focus on key areas:

      • accounting and finance
      • people and building a team
      • planning, strategy and pivoting
      • marketing, PR and social media
      • technology and digital tools


  • New planning rules to protect cultural heritage Toggle accordion content

    The Government has announced that it will bring forward changes to the planning system to save theatres, concert halls and live music performance venues from being redeveloped in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak. Under the move, Councils will now 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.


  • Reporting an Outbreak - Public Health England Action Cards Toggle accordion content

    Public Health England have released a series of action cards that provide advice on how businesses should respond to a Covid-19 outbreak including:

    • Identifying an outbreak of COVID-19 (one or more confirmed case depending on the business or organisation)
    • Reporting the outbreak to your local health protection team
    • Working with your local health protection team to respond

    There are different cards for specific types of businesses, and they have been designed to be printed or downloaded to keep on-hand in your business or organisation. The action cards relevant to a range of tourism businesses are listed below:

    Arts, Heritage & Cultural Attractions
    Campsites & Caravan Parks
    Entertainment & Holiday Resorts
    Hotels & Guest Accommodation
    Places of Worship
    Restaurants, Pubs Bars & Cafes
    Theaters, Cinemas & Venues
    Tourist Attractions

    For the full list of cards and more information, please click here.

  • Face Masks Toggle accordion content

    On Friday 31st July, the Government issued the following new guidance on wearing face marks. This guidance will become mandatory on Saturday 8th August. The inclusion of the public areas of hotels (expect this will apply to all holiday accommodation) as well as indoor attractions, entertainment and cultural venues.


    Where will people need to wear face coverings?

    We are now recommending that face coverings are worn in additional indoor settings and this will be enforceable in law.

    Currently you are required to wear face coverings in shops, supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, indoor transport hubs and public transport.

    For members of the public, from 8 August this will be expanded to include:

    • funeral directors
    • premises providing professional, legal or financial services
    • cinemas
    • theatres
    • bingo halls
    • concert halls
    • museums, galleries, aquariums, indoor zoos or visitor farms, or other indoor tourist, heritage or cultural sites
    • nail, beauty, hair salons and barbers - other than where necessary to remove for treatments
    • massage parlours.
    • public areas in hotels and hostels
    • places of worship
    • libraries and public reading rooms
    • community centres
    • social clubs
    • tattoo and piercing parlours
    • indoor entertainment venues (amusement arcades, funfairs, adventure activities such as laser quest, go-karting, escape rooms, heritage sites)
    • storage and distribution facilities
    • veterinary services
    • auction houses

    We recommend face coverings are worn in these settings now, but this will not be mandatory until 8 August.