Coronavirus: Tourism Industry Update

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Industry News

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19 June 2020

C19 update


CONTENTS: First Minister announces further steps to unlock Wales; update on Tourism Industry Guidance; Tourism Industry Standards

First Minister announces further steps to unlock Wales

All non-essential shops in Wales will be able to re-open from Monday (22 June) as part the biggest unlocking of the coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations to date, First Minister Mark Drakeford announced today.

Retailers will be able to resume trading if they can take all reasonable measures to comply with the physical distancing duty in Welsh law to reduce the spread of coronavirus and protect shop workers and shoppers.

The changes are part of a comprehensive package of measures being introduced step by step every Monday over the next three weeks. Pupils will return to schools on 29 June and the requirement to stay local will be lifted, if conditions allow on 6 July.

The First Minister will today also alert the visitor and tourism industry to start preparations to reopen if the spread of the virus continues to decline.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said:

“The threat of coronavirus hasn’t gone away but thanks to the efforts we have all made over the last few months, the number of people contracting coronavirus each day in Wales is falling, so too is the risk of meeting somebody with virus.

“Given the progress we have made, we are able to take some additional cautious steps to further unlock our society and economy. This includes more retailers being able re-open their businesses, as long as they take measures to minimise the risk to their staff and to the customers who visit their stores.

“Our focus continues to be on the health risks of the outbreak, but we can now begin to cautiously focus much more squarely on the wider economic and societal impact the virus is having.

“We have provided a huge amount of support to businesses and jobs as they hibernated during the pandemic – now we start to take these careful steps to restart our economy.”

On Monday, a series of changes will be made to the coronavirus regulations – the main change will be to enable non-essential retail businesses to open.

They follow the fourth statutory review of the coronavirus regulations by Welsh Ministers, using the latest scientific and medical evidence from the UK Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), the Welsh Government’s Technical Advisory Cell (TAC) and the advice from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales.

Monday’s changes include:

  • Enabling private prayer in places of worship where social distancing is maintained and gatherings do not take place;
  • Restarting the housing market by enabling house viewings to take place in vacant properties and house moves where a sale has been agreed but not yet completed;
  • Lifting the restrictions on outdoor sports courts but social distancing must be maintained. No contact or team sports will be allowed;
  • Enabling non-professional elite athletes, including Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, to resume training.

On June 29, pupils will be returning to schools to check in, catch up and prepare for summer and September under plans announced by Education Minister Kirsty Williams.

The requirement to stay local and not generally travelling more than five miles from home remains in place. However, new guidance will make it clear people are able to travel outside their local area on compassionate grounds. This includes seeing people at a care home or a youth offender institution – when these visits are allowed. People who are eligible to vote in overseas elections, where voting must be done in person, will also be able to travel.

Ministers have decided to lift the requirement to stay local on 6 July, provided the conditions allow. With the requirement lifted, people will be able to travel to tourist attractions across Wales.

The First Minister will today signal to some businesses and the visitor and tourism industry to use this period to begin to make preparations for reopening.

At the next review on 9 July, the Welsh Government will consider a range of specific options for opening:

  • Self-contained holiday accommodation;
  • Personal care services, such as hairdressing and beauty, by appointment.

Discussions will also be held with the hospitality sector about the potential phased reopening of pubs, cafes and restaurants while maintaining strict social distancing.

The First Minister added:  

“I know the wider tourism industry is keen to reopen and to salvage some of this summer’s season. I am therefore signalling owners of self-contained accommodation should use the next three weeks to prepare to re-open, working with their local communities.

“But I want people to know coronavirus has not gone away. We have some headroom to make this package of changes to the regulations, which will be introduced in a phased and cautious way in Wales.

“Many aspects of daily life in Wales will be moving into the amber zone in our traffic light system. But we all need to continue to take steps to protect ourselves from the virus – that means working from home wherever possible; avoiding unnecessary travel; only meeting with one other household outdoors; maintaining social distancing and washing your hands often. It may also mean wearing a face covering in some situations.

“It is thanks to the efforts of everyone in Wales that we have slowed the spread of coronavirus but we can’t stop now. We need to do all we can to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the virus and to keep Wales safe.”

We have prepared responses to some of the most likely questions that the industry and your customers may have over the next couple of weeks as we work towards a safe return of tourism for staff, community and visitors alike. These can be found on our Tourism Industry website. This is a constantly developing situation that Welsh Government will continue to review with tourism industry and local partners, and in light of the public health situation and will keep you updated with the latest information and guidance.

If you have specific questions that are not addressed here, please send them on to

Visitor Economy / Tourism Guidance for a phased return in Wales

The Guidance on working safely in the Visitor Economy will soon be available to help the sector prepare for a safe return to operations. We would once again like to thank all those who have provided valued and constructive feedback on the draft versions.

The intention is that the publication of the Guidance will be shared next week through our bulletins and on our twitter account ( Please look out for the Guidance and we will use the next 3 weeks to continue to work with partners in industry, local authorities and other stakeholders on all issues related to ensuring a safe re-opening and return of tourism.

A wide range of related guidance has now been produced to help Keep Wales Safe as we gradually unlock our society and economy. That Guidance is available on the Welsh Government website, with key information for businesses also available at

We’re Good to Go – tourism industry standard

We have been working with Visit England, Visit Scotland and Tourism Northern Ireland on the development of a common industry standard quality mark.

The purpose is to provide confidence for tourism businesses, attractions and destinations, as well as reassurance to visitors that businesses have clear processes in place as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

The process will involve businesses completing a free online assessment to check they are taking the necessary steps to adhere to the official Government guidelines and have completed a risk assessment.  Businesses that successfully complete the process will be provided with a quality mark and a certificate that recognises they have gone through the process. This will be supported by co-ordinated corporate and consumer communications. Further details will follow next week.

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.