Coronavirus: Tourism Industry Update

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1 October 2020


Coronavirus: Tourism Industry Update

Please follow the news reports and for latest advice regularly visit the Public Health Wales website and the Business Wales website

BULLETIN CONTENTS - Local coronavirus restrictions introduced to control outbreaks in North Wales; Local coronavirus restrictions already in place in South Wales; Local lockdowns FAQs; Visitors from areas with higher incidence of coronavirus; New measures introduced for hospitality businesses FAQs; £140 million to support Welsh businesses; Self-Employment Income Support Scheme extension; Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes and Future Fund extended; COVID-19 UK Tourism Consumer Tracker Survey; Smoke-free Premises and Vehicles (Wales) Regulations 2020; Festival UK* 2022; Letters to businesses about new trade arrangements with the EU from 1 January 2021

Local coronavirus restrictions introduced to control outbreaks in North Wales

New coronavirus restrictions were introduced in four local authority areas in North Wales – Denbighshire, Flintshire, Conwy and Wrexham – following a rise in cases. The new measures came into force at 6pm on Thursday 1 October, to protect people’s health and control the spread of the virus in the four areas.

The new local restrictions will be kept under regular review. They will be enforced by local authorities and by the police.  Read the announcement in full on Gov.Wales.

The above adds to the local coronavirus restrictions already in place in South Wales

Coronavirus laws were tightened in the following Welsh authorities:

Local lockdowns – frequently asked questions

Please see the FAQs on local lockdowns – they include queries that will be particularly applicable to visitors and accommodation operators e.g. 

I am not a resident of the [local health protection] area but I am currently in the area – do I now need to leave urgently?

  • If you do not have a good reason (a “reasonable excuse”) to stay in the area, you should leave as soon as practicable.
  • If you do have a reasonable excuse to stay, then while you are in the [local health protection] area, you should follow the local restrictions in place and limit your interactions with others as much as possible.

Once you have left the area, please be cautious about interacting with other people and be aware of any potential symptoms of coronavirus.

Visitors from areas with higher incidence of coronavirus

There is Welsh Government guidance available on taking all reasonable measures to minimise risk to exposure of Coronavirus and this includes detail relating to visitors to accommodation and other businesses.

New measures introduced for hospitality businesses - questions and answers

All licensed premises in Wales are no longer allowed to serve alcohol after 10pm, and must close by 10.20pm.  Licensed premises now have to provide table service only. Off-licences, including supermarkets and convenience stores, also have to stop selling alcohol at 10pm. Online deliveries made by supermarkets and take-away delivery services will be permitted after 10pm but must not include alcohol.

The new measures are part of a package of co-ordinated actions to control the spread of coronavirus, which are being introduced across the UK and came into force in Wales at 6pm on 23 September and a detailed list of frequently asked questions is available.

You can read the measures announced by the First Minister in our News Bulletin.  Further details on the restrictions were outlined at the First Minister’s press conference on 23 September – view online here.

£140 million to support Welsh businesses

The Welsh Government is making an additional £140 million available to businesses to help them deal with the economic challenges of Covid-19 and the UK’s impending exit from the EU. The funding from the third phase of the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) will see wider support being provided to secure jobs and help businesses develop, as well as additional help for firms affected by local lockdowns.

This new phase of the ERF will see £80 million being made available to support businesses with projects that can help them transition to the economy of tomorrow. It will require co-investment from companies and a clear plan about how they will adjust to the post-covid economy.

Of this, £20 million will be ring fenced to support tourism and hospitality businesses who are facing particular challenges as they enter the winter months.

You can find more details on the Business Wales website.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Grant Extension

The SEISS Grant Extension provides critical support to the self-employed. The grant will be limited to self-employed individuals who are currently eligible for the SEISS and are actively continuing to trade but are facing reduced demand due to COVID-19. Visit the Business Wales website for more details.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes and Future Fund extended

The UK Government is extending four temporary loan schemes that were designed to support UK businesses that are losing revenue and seeing their cashflow disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

More businesses will now be able to benefit from the:

  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
  • Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)
  • Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) 
  • Future Fund

The schemes will be extended to 30 November 2020 for new applications.

Visit the Business Wales website for more details.

COVID-19 UK Tourism Consumer Tracker Survey

Visit Wales continues to collaborate with VisitBritain and VisitScotland in running a UK consumer tracker, and the latest results, covering 14 - 18 September, can be found on the VisitBritain website

The findings indicate a deterioration in public mood and weakening of domestic travel intentions.  There was a fall in those intending to take a trip in September/October from 19% to 15%.    As the majority of trip intenders have not yet booked their autumn and winter trips, these will be vulnerable to changing consumer confidence.  During the survey period, local restrictions were in place in Caerphilly, Rhondda Cynon Taff and many of Wales’ core markets in North West England.  The survey was conducted prior to the announcement of further national restrictions by UK and Welsh government, and subsequent local restrictions in areas of South Wales. 

The next results will cover 28 September to 2 October and are due to be published the following week.

Smoke-free Premises and Vehicles (Wales) Regulations 2020

Welsh Government has been working with key stakeholders to introduce a new smoke-free regime in Wales that is aimed at protecting public health from the harms of second-hand smoke and at further denormalising smoking behaviour. Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Health and Social Service announced on 29 September that he intends to bring the new regime into force on 1 March 2021.

The new measures will restrict smoking in more public places including school grounds, hospital grounds, public playgrounds and outdoor care settings for children. The legislation will also make changes in the tourism sector. Bedrooms in hotels, guesthouses etc. where guests are allowed to smoke will need to be phased out, and self-contained holiday and temporary accommodation (such as caravans, cottages, apartments etc.) will be required to be smoke-free. Although the new smoke-free requirements are planned to come into effect on 1 March 2021, the tourism sector will have an additional 12 months to prepare for these changes. Therefore from 1 March 2022 all accommodation must be smoke-free.

Welsh Government continues to work closely with key stakeholders to develop the details of the implementation package, including guidance documents to support stakeholders. If you would like further information on this process or around implementation, please contact:

Festival UK* 2022

Festival UK* 2022 will be ten open, original, optimistic, large-scale acts of public engagement that will showcase the UK's creativity and innovation to the world.

The search is on for the greatest minds and brightest talents drawn from the worlds of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, in Wales, to form Creative Teams capable of developing major public engagement projects that will showcase the UK’s creativity and innovation on a global scale.

The closing date for applications is 16 October 2020.

Further details are available on the Business Wales website.

Letters to businesses about new trade arrangements with the EU from 1 January 2021

HMRC have written to VAT-registered businesses in Great Britain trading with the EU, or the EU and the rest of the world.  They explain what businesses need to do to prepare for new processes for moving goods between Great Britain and the EU from 1 January 2021.

Visit the Business Wales website for more details.

Other useful COVID-19 Guidance links, downloadable assets and toolkits for your business

We realise that it’s sometimes hard to keep up with what is available – the links below will help you find what practical resources and toolkits are there to help you.

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.