Coronavirus: Tourism Industry Update

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20 August 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

BULLETIN CONTENTS - Keeping records of staff, customers, and visitors: test, trace, protect; Extensions to Seasonal Occupancy of Caravan Sites – A Planning Guide for site owners and operators; Essential travel restriction on public transport to be lifted; SEISS second stage now open; Future planning for Coronavirus in Wales; COVID-19 UK Tourism Consumer Tracker Survey; Great Britain Tourism Survey and Great Britain Day Visit Survey: 2019 Annual reports; Create an Accessibility Guide; Refill Cymru; HMRC – protect yourself from scams; 5,000 businesses in Wales are now “Good to Go”; Welsh Ministers unveil multi-million pound support package for local authorities; UK Transition – EU funding new guidance; The Welsh Government Coastal Communities Fund.

Keeping records of staff, customers, and visitors: test, trace, protect

From Monday 17 August all hospitality businesses and high-risk settings must collect from customers, as a legal requirement, their name and phone number to assist with the Test Trace Protect (TTP) approach, in case of an outbreak.

There is a higher risk of spreading coronavirus in some sectors where staff, customers and visitors spend a longer time on the premises than in other surroundings and potentially come into close contact with people outside of their household (or extended household if they have formed one).

The following businesses or premises must collect and retain contact information:

  • Hospitality, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes.
  • Cinemas.
  • Close contact services including hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, tattooists, sports and massage therapists.
  • Swimming pools, indoor fitness studios, gyms, spas or other indoor leisure centres or facilities.

Collecting and retaining contact information for 21 days is a legal requirement in the above cases. There are bilingual posters to download to help explain to customers why it is being done.  If it’s the first time that you’ve used the Visit Wales assets site to download materials, it will only take a 1 minute sign up for you to register – as well as the above it gives you access to a huge library of free images to use in your business.

Clear information on how to maintain records including what should be collected and from whom, is included in the Welsh Government’s Keeping records of staff, Customers and visitors guidance. alongside practical considerations of compliance with GDPR and how to manage  customer queries e.g. if, after requesting and explaining the rationale, the individual still does not want to share their details, and you are under a duty to collect those details, they should not be allowed on the premises.  

Accommodation providers collect visitor data through bookings, as a matter of course.  This information should continue to be collated and maintained in line with Welsh Government TTP guidelines.

Extensions to Seasonal Occupancy of Caravan Sites – A Planning Guide for site owners and operators

This booklet has been written for caravan site owners and operators as a guide to making planning applications to allow existing caravan sites to open all year where seasonal occupancy conditions prevent this.  The guide has been prepared in light of the implications for caravan site businesses from the COVID-19 restrictions.

Essential travel restriction on public transport to be lifted

The Welsh Government has confirmed that the essential travel restriction on public transport will be lifted as from Monday 17 August, opening up trains and buses to more potential passengers.  The essential travel message was introduced to prioritise the travel of key workers, as well as those with no alternative mode of transport.

Over recent months the Welsh Government has provided funding to support public transport, helping to make up for the inevitable loss of revenue. Most recently this included last week’s announcement of £10m to support the bus industry in providing more services.

The requirement to wear a face covering on public transport in Wales remains in place, although there are some exceptions such as being unable to wear one because of a physical or mental illness. You can read the full press release at Gov.Wales.

SEISS second stage now open

The second stage of Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is now open for applications.  Those eligible will now be able to receive a second and final grant worth 70% (up to £6,750) of their average monthly trading profits.  For further information please visit the Business Wales website.

Future planning for Coronavirus in Wales

This week (Tuesday 18 August) the Coronavirus Control Plan for Wales was published.  It sets out how sets out how all partners – including local government, health boards, businesses and the people of Wales - must work together to manage the risks of coronavirus. It highlights the importance of Wales’ response being a collective effort with everyone having a role to play to help stop the spread of the virus and has five key areas of intervention, which are:

  • prevention
  • new cases and clusters
  • incidents and outbreaks
  • local and regional measures
  • all-Wales measures

In the press announcement on Tuesday 18 August, Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething said:

“Coronavirus has not gone away, so it’s vital we continue to monitor, adapt and plan for any future outbreaks. We know that this virus prefers cold weather and, with autumn approaching, the plan sets out further steps we will take to keep Wales safe. We are placing a huge importance on prevention. By getting that stage right we can avoid further restrictions on our lives. None of us wants to see another lockdown like we saw in March this year.  We have shown that, working with partners, we can efficiently and effectively manage small incidents and outbreaks – as we saw in Anglesey and Merthyr Tydfil.  Our key messages is that each person, businesses and organisation has their part to play in preventing the spread of coronavirus.”

COVID-19 UK Tourism Consumer Tracker Survey

The latest weekly report from our UK Consumer Tracker survey is now available on the Visit Britain website  showing Week 13 findings covering 10 - 14 August. This provides the latest results of attitudes and intentions to take holidays in the UK and Wales this year.

Great Britain Tourism Survey and Great Britain Day Visit Survey: 2019 Annual reports

These reports provide a comprehensive breakdown on volume and expenditure of overnight tourism visits and tourism day visits undertaken by GB residents in Wales and rest of Great Britain for 2019.

Create an Accessibility Guide

With accessibility a factor for at least 1 in 5 of the UK population, and with Coronavirus presenting a range of new accessibility challenges, now is the time for businesses to reconsider what practical steps they can take to make their accommodation and attractions as user friendly and inclusive as possible. 

You can find advice on creating your Accessibility Guide (formerly known as an Access Statement) as well as view real examples on the Visit Britain website.

Don’t forget to share detailed and up-to-date information on your COVID-19 precautions online and also ensure your Accessibility Guide includes photos and videos that clearly show your offering.

Refill Cymru

The green light has been given for stations to safely offer water refills again!  

Sign up to the Refill campaign and help stop plastic pollution at source. Refill works by connecting people to free drinking water via the FREE Refill app. If you’re a business with a publicly accessible tap, then all you need to do is fill in a few details on the Refill App to create your free profile on the map. Once your station is live, you’ll be ready to welcome thirsty Refillers and benefit from increased exposure and footfall as a result.  For more information visit Refill Cymru and watch this short film.

Already signed up as a Refill station? Get involved on social media by downloading the digital toolkit and sharing with your networks via your social channels.

HMRC – protect yourself from scams 

Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic UK Government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Visit the Business Wales website for more details.

5,000 businesses in Wales are now “Good to Go”

The “We’re Good To Go”  industry standard mark is a free self-assessment scheme that has been designed in partnership with the national organisations (Visit Wales, Tourism Northern Ireland, VisitScotland and VisitEngland) to provide reassurance for all sectors of the tourism industry, as well as reassurance to visitors, that businesses have clear processes in place and are following industry and Government COVID-19 guidance.

To date, there is representation across the board, from accommodation to tour guides, attractions, activity providers and hospitality businesses – if you haven’t signed up yet, please do – it’s a simple process and it will mean that your business can use the mark to give confidence to consumers. The scheme is being used across the UK and prospective visitors will increasingly be on the lookout for venues and services taking part, when planning their trip.  

It will continue to be a core part of Visit Wales messaging to consumers and users on can search all products via the “Good to Go” filter option.

Welsh Ministers unveil multi-million pound support package for local authorities

On 17 August, Welsh Ministers announced a funding boost of more than £260 million for local councils in Wales to provide them with the certainty they need to plan for the remainder of the year.  You can read the full press release at Gov.Wales

UK Transition – EU funding new guidance

Although the UK has left the EU, businesses will continue to get any EU funding they’ve already been awarded. This includes funding they are due to get after 31 December 2020. For further information please visit the Business Wales website.

The Welsh Government Coastal Communities Fund

The National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) delivers the Coastal Communities Fund on behalf of the Welsh Government. The fund encourages the economic development of coastal communities in Wales by giving funding to create sustainable economic growth and jobs. The deadline for applications is midday 2 October 2020.  For further information please visit the Business Wales 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 on the Tourism Industry Coronavirus (COVID-19) Bulletins page.

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.