International Travel Restart Stakeholder Communications Toolkit
Following the Transport Secretary’s announcement that international travel can gradually resume from 17 May, DFT has produced the attached Stakeholder Toolkit for businesses to communicate the new traffic light regime and the associated requirements for travellers. Contents include: digital assets, key messages, and example vaccine and testing documentation.
DHSC Guidance on Test and Trace
I’ve also attached a copy of a presentation that DHSC officials gave to the Tourism Industry Council yesterday. This is a good resource that explains the requirements on businesses.
Primary Guidance for Heritage Locations Updated for Step 3
A little bit last minute but the primary guidance for heritage locations has now been updated to include more detail on the rules and requirements that will apply to these businesses and sites from Monday. The main points are:
- Guests can visit these locations in line with the legal gathering limits. Outdoors, people can only gather in groups of up to 30 people (unless an exemption applies). Indoors, people can only meet in groups of up to 6 people, or as a group of 2 households/bubbles (unless an exemption applies). Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a bubble.
- Activities and tours can also be provided for multiple groups, provided that the organiser takes the required precautions and groups are kept separate throughout the activity or tour.
- Indoor and outdoor events can take place, with COVID-secure measures and capacity limits in place. This includes business events such as conferences, trade shows, exhibitions, charity auctions, private dining events such as charity or gala dinners and awards ceremonies, and corporate hospitality.
- Weddings/civil partnerships, funerals and other life events can take place, however restrictions (such as the number of guests who can attend) will apply to some types of event. Wedding show-rounds, viewings and site visits can take place at heritage locations.
Guidance for Places of Worship
The primary guidance for places of worship has also been updated ahead of Step 3. The main changes are:
- Most significant life events can resume, limited to no more than 30 people. This will include events such as bar/bat mitzvahs and private baptisms, and naming ceremonies. Limits at weddings, wedding receptions, wakes and other commemorative events will be increased to 30 people.
- Funerals will have no legal cap on the number of people who can attend. The number of attendees will be determined by how many people the venue can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place.
- Support groups and parent and child group gathering limits will increase to 30 people (not including under 5s).
New CMA Guidance on Package Holidays
Following up on yesterday’s letter to businesses selling package travel, the CMA has published new guidance for consumers on buying package holidays, what their rights are if the business selling the package cancels the holiday and what their rights are if they decide to cancel the holiday.
R Number and Growth Rate
- This week’s R Number and Growth Rate are, respectively, 0.8 to 1.1 and -3% to +1%. This is the first time that the upper bound of the growth rate has exceeded 0 since mid-January which is a slight worry.
- Primary Guidance For Restaurants, Pubs, Bars And Takeaways Updated
The working safely during Coronavirus guidance for restaurants and pubs has been updated ahead of Step 3 on 17th May. The main updates are to confirm what was already expected, namely that in being able to serve customers inside:
- Customers will have to be seated hand have table service in premises licensed to sell alcohol
- Customers will be allowed to be served in groups of 6 people or 2 households of any size indoors, or in groups of up to 30 people outdoors.
- Live performance events and business events, should have a cap on attendance of:
- 1,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower – indoors
- 4,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower – outdoors
No doubt you saw in the news over the weekend that the Coronavirus APPG released a short report that stated that:
The UK government should discourage all international leisure travel to prevent the importation of new variants into the UK, in order to reduce the risk of a third wave and further lockdowns. This recommendation should be implemented immediately and reviewed on a quarterly basis.
While this is deeply unhelpful to reopening the international tourism industry and has no real chance of being adopted by the Government which plans to announce the details of the traffic light system to reopen international travel later this week, it is also worth noting that the report (attached did have some worthwhile recommendations regarding:
- The need for the government to provide adequate financial support to businesses operating in the travel industry.
- The need for an international standard for proof of negative Covid-19 test and/or proof of vaccination
- The need for adequate resources to be allocated to covid security at ports of entry
- Extension to Payment Deadlines
Payment deadlines have been extended for the following schemes:
- LRSG (Open)
- LRSG (Sector)
- LRSG (Closed)
- LRSG (Closed) Addendum
- LRSG (Closed) Addendum: Tier 4
- LRSG (Closed) Addendum: 5 January onwards (first 6-week payment only)
- Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment.
Local Authorities now have until 14th May 2021 to make payments to businesses that have applied for any of these schemes.
- Compliance With Self-Isolation Requirements
ONS has published the results of a survey on compliance with self-isolation. The headline figure is that 84% od people who are told to self-isolate are complying with the requirements over the full 10 day period which is good news. However, that still means that almost 1 in six people are not complying and, more worryingly, almost a quarter of the people not complying are still going to work. It is therefore important that businesses make sure that staff that have been told to self-isolate, do not return to work.
- Relaxation On Attendance At Funerals
Over the weekend the Government announced that the number of people allowed to attend funerals would be relaxed as part of Step 3. This means that, from 17th May, there will be no set limit on the number of people able to attend a funeral in England. Rather, the number of people who can attend a funeral will be determined by how many people the venue can safely accommodate with social distancing between each household.
However, this relaxation does not apply to weddings and other life events where limits on the number of people that can attend will remain the same as set out in the Government’s roadmap.