Latest Coronavirus Update Tourism Alliance – Updated 27th July

Updated 27th July

    • New Government Campaign

    The Government has launched a new campaign called “Let’s Keep Life Moving” aimed at reminding helping make sure that the public still take a cautious approach the removal of restrictions in England by continuing to let fresh air into enclosed spaces, take up the offer of twice-weekly free testing, wash their hands and book both doses of their vaccine.

    The campaign features a short film, narrated by TV doctor and practising GP, Dr Amir Khan, encouraging the public to meet outside if they can, let fresh air in when inside, wear a face covering in crowded places, check-in into venues and test regularly, even if they have been vaccinated.

    • New Guidance For Grassroot Sports

    DCMS has published new guidance for the providers of facilities for grassroots sports and participants. The guidance sets out information for providers and participants on how to organise and participate in grassroots sport and physical activity as safely as possible.

    This guidance will be of particular interest to hotels and attractions that either have outdoor sports facilities on their premises or are staging a sporting event over the summer, as well as destinations that are looking to stage a sporting event in the public realm.

    • West End Footfall

    As an indicator of the impact that the move to Step 4 has had on people getting out of their homes and returning to normal life, the New West End Company’s latest figures show that West End footfall yesterday was up 4% week-on-week and up 14% compared to the same time last year. However, it remains down 61% on compared with 2019. While much of this downturn from 2019 will be attributable to the domestic market, a significant proportion will be a result of the decline in inbound tourism to the UK.

    • International Coach Tour Guidance Updated

    The DfT guidance for coach operators organising trips into Europe has been updated to say that insurance green cards will not be needed from 2 August 2021 to drive in the EU (including Ireland), Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia or Switzerland.

    • Consultation On The Calculation Of Income Tax For The Self-Employed

    Not Covid related but important to know nevertheless, the government has announced it intends to proceed with basis period reform to simplify the system for taxing self-employed people and business partnerships.  The proposal is to change the way profits are calculated for a tax year, so they are based on the profits arising in the tax year itself rather than on the profits of a 12-month set of accounts ending in the tax year. The change will apply from 2023/24.

    A short public consultation has been launched on how best to implement the reform with a deadline for comments of 31 August 2021 – link below.

    The consultation aims to gather views on how best to implement the proposed reform, looking at some of the key areas identified during the pre-consultation. In particular, they are seeking views on how to make the process of estimation easier for the small number of businesses that may need to estimate part of their tax year’s profits as they have accounting dates falling in the second half of the tax year (HMRC data suggests this is around 3% of sole traders and 15% of partners). They are also asking for views on how to make the transition as smooth as possible, and how to help businesses understand and claim outstanding overlap relief.

Updated 13th July

  • Wedding Risk Assessment Support

People who are holding a wedding that is being attended by more than 30 guests in a venue that is not being operated in accordance with Covid Secure guidance are required to complete a risk assessment form that can be downloaded from a on the link below For the most part this will only apply to private venues such as people planning to have their wedding at home but there could be circumstances where this applies to a business where the person is hiring a site rather than the services of the business. Therefore it is worth noting that guidance on how the customer should complete the risk assessment form has been updated to say that if they need guidance on how to complete the risk assessment, they should call the Health and Safety Executive

  • Demonstrating Vaccination Status

The guidance on showing that you are vaccinated through the NHS Covid Pass has been updated to say that those people that have received the single-dose Janssen vaccine will show up on the pass as having received a full course of an approved vaccination.

  • Guidance On Providing Apprenticeships Updated

The guidance to businesses that have taken on apprentices has been updated:

    • To reflect the change in the return to the workplace which will apply to apprentices as part of Step 4 of the roadmap
    • With new references and links to the redundancy support service for apprentices
    • To reflect ending of flexibility permitting end-point assessment prior to functional skills qualification achievement
    • To reflect an extension of the temporary policy on suspending the requirement for Level 2 apprentices to attempt Level 2 functional skills assessment.

  • Transport Use

As ever, DfT has published their Thursday update on transport figures over the last week. Somewhat worryingly, the figures show that passenger number of Network Rail have decreased by about 6 percentage points over the last week and are back down below 50% of usual at around 45%. However, other forms of public transport use are stable with the Tube at around 45% or usual and bus services at around 65% of usual.

  • Out of School Guidance

The Department of Education has published a new guidance document for providers of activities, holiday or after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school settings offering provision to children. The document, COVID-19: Action for Out-of-school Settings, will apply from Step 4 and removes restrictions such;

    • keeping children in consistent groups (bubbles)
    • wearing face coverings
    • limits on parental attendance
    • restrictions on group sizes for residential visits.

It also includes information about updating your outbreak management plan and what to do when an individual in your setting tests positive for COVID-19.

  • Graduate Route Opened

Not Covid related but well worth highlighting considering the problems with recruitment at the moment is that the Home Office has opened applications for the new Graduate Immigration Route. This route provides an opportunity for international students who have been awarded their degree to stay in the UK and work, or look for work, at any skill level for 2 years, or 3 years for doctoral students. The Home Office has published a guidance document on how this route operates.

What will be of particular interest is that after working for 2 years, the applicant can switch to the Skilled Worker route and stay permanently if:

    • They have a job offer from a Home Office-licensed sponsor at the required skill level
    • They will be paid the relevant minimum salary threshold by your sponsor (normally £25,600 or the going rate for that particular job, whichever is higher)
    • They can speak English at the intermediate level at B1 (on the Common European Framework of Reference for languages).

  • Package Travel Regulations Review

BEIS are starting on their review of the Package Travel Regulations and are planning to hold several workshops to gather views on particular areas that could be revised. The main areas they are are looking to cover are:

  • The scope of what constitutes a package
  • LTAs and basket-type holidays
  • Cancellations and refunds
  • Insolvency protections
  • Communications and information requirements

Many of you will probably have already been contacted in relation to this but if you haven’t, and would like to be involved in the workshops, please let me know and I will liaise with BEIS on getting you invited to one of the workshops.