Coronavirus: Tourism Industry Update

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6 May 2020


Coronavirus: Tourism Industry Update

The situation is developing quickly. Please follow the news reports and for latest advice regularly visit the Public Health Wales website and the Business Wales website

People urged to avoid all non-essential travel

People in Wales are being asked to act responsibly and to avoid unnecessary travel until Coronavirus restrictions have been lifted by the Welsh Government.

In an open letter ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend, the First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, Cllr Andrew Morgan, Leader of the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), the Chair of Policing Wales & Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn, and the Chair of the Welsh Chief Officer Group Chief Constable Carl Foulkes, call on people to stay home.

The letter also makes clear that travelling to a second home does not ordinarily constitute essential travel, and that anyone leaving or remaining away from the place where they are living without a reasonable excuse is committing an offence.

The signatories to the letter end by saying: “We look forward to welcoming you back once it is safe again to do so. Until then please stay home, protect the NHS, save lives.”

Read more on Visit Wales. Later: People urged to avoid all non-essential travel

Business Support:

Bounce Back Loan Scheme is now open for applications

The new Bounce Back Loans scheme will help bolster the existing package of support available to the smallest businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic and enables businesses to obtain a six-year term loan at a government set interest rate of 2.5% a year.

Read more information on the Business Wales website

You cannot apply if you’re already claiming under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

The full rules of the scheme and guidance is available on the British Business Bank website

To apply for a Bounce Back Loan please visit the GOV.UK website.

£26 million to help small charities in Wales

The Welsh Government has announced that thousands of small charities within the retail, leisure and hospitality sector will receive a £10,000 business support grant to help them respond to the financial challenges of Covid-19.

The new £26 million package will support an additional 2,600 properties with a rateable value of £12,000 or below. Find out more.

Updates to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) guidance  

The following changes have been made to the CJRS guidance:

Employee guidance 

  • Furloughed employees who are union or non-union representatives may undertake duties and activities for the purpose of individual or collective representation of employees or other workers.
  • Confirmation that company directors paid annually are eligible to claim.
  • Employees receiving maternity allowance during a period of maternity leave should not receive furlough pay at the same time.

Employer guidance: eligibility 

  • Updated in line with changes to employee guidance.
  • CJRS grants are not classed as state aid.
  • Changed the date from 28 February to 19 March 2020 in the section on TUPE transfers and payroll consolidation.

Employer guidance: how to calculate the grant 

  • The June daily maximum wage rates have been added to the table now that the scheme has been extended.
  • Improved clarity in the employer National Insurance contributions section, confirmed the direct percentage method or tables method can be used and added new information for company directors.

The scheme opened for applications on 20 April with the first grants being paid week ending 1 May.

Wellbeing, mental health and employee support

These are unprecedented times for us as a society and whether you are self-employed or a business owner, COVID-19 will be causing a level of uncertainty. However, now more than ever, we should take steps to take care of our mental health and those of our employees. 

There is a wealth of wellbeing support available to you online. Find out more about Wellbeing and Mental Health Support

There is also various information and advice for employees, which can be found on COVID-19 Support for Employees.

Social distancing and protecting lone workers

Due to social distancing, lone working has become far more common. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have guidance for employers to keep lone workers healthy and safe. Read more on how to protect lone workers. 

You can also find guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Gov.UK website.

COVID-19: Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme webinars

HMRC are hosting free webinars to support businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. The webinars provide an overview statutory sick pay rebate scheme including:

  • who can claim
  • when to start paying SSP
  • employees you can claim for
  • making a claim
  • keeping records, and more

 Choose a date and time here.

Additional UK Government resources to support your business during coronavirus disruptions

UK Government departments are hosting a series of webinars to help businesses understand the support available to them during the coronavirus pandemic. Find out more about the webinars available.

Marketing Update:

With Bank Holiday weekend approaching, we’ve continued to maintain a low level presence on social media, concentrating on public health information and the simple message of “Visit Wales. Later”.  

Please don’t forget, in case you may find it of use, that we’ve put together industry advice and guidance to help you with communications with your own customers at this time. The guidance is based on Visit Wales’ approach and includes suggestions on the types of content you may wish to share with your own customers particularly on social media:  Visit Wales - Tourism Industry Advice on Communications with your Customers.

We aim to introduce additional, suitable content on our social channels imminently, subject to the situation and in line with public sentiment. That will include content which complements and supports our destinations and industry partners.  The continuing contact that we have day to day with many stakeholders remains invaluable as we plan, ensuring that we are in the best position possible to support the sector in the short and mid-term by reflecting the views of industry alongside those of destinations and communities.

UK Treasury cut taxes to reduce PPE costs

From 1 May 2020, PPE purchased by care homes, businesses, charities and individuals to protect against Covid-19 are free from VAT for a three-month period.  Visit for more details.

Destroying spoilt beer, cider, wine or made-wine during coronavirus (COVID-19)

HMRC has introduced a temporary measure to help in the destruction of spoilt beer, cider, wine or made-wine during coronavirus for:

  • brewers
  • cider producers
  • wine or made-wine makers
  • publicans

Find out more at the website

Stay up to date with tourism industry news

We are committed to providing the support and assurance the business community needs during these unprecedented difficult times and have issued several Coronavirus (COVID-19) related bulletins which can be found which can be found on the Tourism Industry Coronavirus (COVID-19) Bulletins page. These include: 

  • 01 May: Coronavirus: Tourism Industry Update
  • 27 April: First Economic Resilience Fund grants to be paid to businesses and being paused at midday TODAY
  • 24 April: Coronavirus: Tourism Industry Update
  • 20 April: Bulletin: Economic Resilience Fund - additional £100m; Business disruption insurance - call for evidence; Job Retention Scheme is open
  • 17 April: Coronavirus: Tourism Industry Update
  • 17 April: Economic Resilience Fund applications process opens
  • 10 April: Find out if your business is eligible for support from the new Economic Resilience Fund
  • 09 April: Coronavirus: Tourism Industry Update
  • 08 April: Urgent Notice to Holiday Accommodation Businesses (Amendment) / Request for Holiday Accommodation Businesses to provide accommodation for vulnerable groups
  • 02 April: Coronavirus: Tourism Industry Update
  • 30 March: New £500m Economic Resilience Fund launched for Wales
  • 27 March: Urgent Notice to Holiday Accommodation Businesses
  • 27 March: Self-employment Income Support Scheme; Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • 26 March: Coronavirus: Tourism Industry Update
  • 25 March: Urgent Notice: COVID-19 – Guidance for Holiday Park owners and operators
  • 24 March: Coronavirus Guidance on Further Businesses and Premises to Close
  • 23 March: Tough new measures to slow the spread of coronavirus introduced today
  • 19 March: Ministers announce new £1.4bn business support package
  • 12 March: Coronavirus industry information

Make sure you stay up to date with tourism industry news by following us on Twitter @VisitWalesBiz and also encourage others who may benefit, to stay up to date by subscribing to our newsletter.

Business Wales is providing businesses with tailored support and advice about dealing with coronavirus, from financial and supply chain planning to advice on staffing issues. We would advise Tourism businesses and stakeholders in Wales wanting specific guidance to visit the Business Wales website or call Business Wales helpline on 03000 6 03000, and to regularly visit the Public Health Wales website for up-to-date public health information for you, your staff and your visitors