Coronavirus: Tourism Industry Update

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23 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 - National coronavirus fire-break to be introduced in Wales on Friday; Urgent - Request for Holiday Accommodation Businesses to provide accommodation for vulnerable groups; Wales Coronavirus Fire-break – businesses and services whose premises are subject to restrictions or closure; £300m for Welsh businesses; Job Support Scheme expanded to firms required to close due to COVID Restrictions; UK Government Updated Guidance: SEISS and CJRS.

National coronavirus fire-break to be introduced in Wales on Friday

A short, sharp “fire-break” will be introduced across Wales at 6pm on Friday 23 October and end on Monday 9 November. It will apply to everyone living in Wales and will replace the local restrictions which are in force in some parts of the country.

The Welsh Government will provide a package of almost £300 million to support businesses, which will complement wage-support schemes available from the UK government.

Following the end of the fire-break, a new set of national rules will be introduced, covering how people can meet and how the public sector and businesses operate.

Businesses will also be able to access the support available through the existing Job Retention Scheme or the new expanded Job Support Scheme

A list of Frequently Asked Questions is available.

Read the announcement in full at Gov.Wales.

Urgent - Request for Holiday Accommodation Businesses to provide accommodation for vulnerable groups

We are making an urgent appeal for holiday accommodation providers to help by making accommodation available for vulnerable people.

During the national lockdown, and since, we have seen some incredible work across Wales to ensure that no one was without a safe place and support during these difficult times. Thank you very much to those of you who have and are supporting us in this work.

Welsh Government guidance remains unchanged; everyone should have accommodation, which enables them to follow public health guidance on social distancing, hygiene and to self-isolate if necessary. However, we know that housing services are under severe pressure. In some areas, emergency accommodation is already at capacity and winter pressures are starting to mount. The Coronavirus fire break lockdown will exacerbate the challenges of securing additional accommodation and potentially increase presentations.

We are therefore asking accommodation businesses across Wales whether they can assist Local Authorities in providing high quality emergency provision both during this Coronavirus fire- break lockdown and beyond.

For full details on how you can help, please read our bulletin dated 23 October.

Thank you again to those businesses that provided us with support earlier this year - we hope to secure the help of this industry once again for this important initiative.   

Wales Coronavirus Fire-break – businesses and services whose premises are subject to restrictions or closure

The Welsh Government have issued new regulations which impose restrictions on individuals, businesses and others to protect public health. They replace the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 2) (Wales) Regulations 2020.

The regulations includes a list of businesses and services whose premises are subject to restrictions or closure. The list can be found on page 36 of the regulations. 

Visit the Business Wales website for more details.

£300m for Welsh businesses

The Welsh Government is doubling the third phase of its Economic Resilience Fund, making nearly £300m available to support businesses that continue to be affected by COVID-19. In September, the Economy Minister Ken Skates announced £140m would be made available under the third phase of the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund.

However as a result of the “fire-break”, which will begin today at 6pm (Friday 23 October) and continue until Monday 9 November and will require a range of businesses to temporarily close their doors or reduce their operations, the latest round of the fund will be more than doubled to ensure further help for businesses across Wales.

The Economic Resilience Fund, which complements support schemes available from the UK Government, is part of the Welsh Government’s £1.7bn support package for businesses to help deal with the economic impacts of Coronavirus.

The new and bolstered economic package will see:

  • Payments of £1,000 for businesses that are eligible for Small Business Rates relief and occupy a property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less.
  • Payments of up to £5,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that are required to close and which occupy a property with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £50,000.
  • A discretionary £2,000 top-up grant for businesses closed or materially affected by the firebreak lockdown.
  • A further discretionary £1,000 grant for businesses that were materially affected by local lockdown measures for 21 days or more prior to the start of the firebreak lockdown period.

The Welsh Government is also providing a further £20m towards Business Grants meaning £100m will be available for this purpose. Previously, companies were required to provide a percentage of the funding to access these grants, but the Welsh Government has now confirmed it will provide 100% funding for businesses forced to close during the firebreak.

More information, which will be regularly updated during this week, can be found on the Business Wales website.

You can read the full press release at Gov.Wales.

Job Support Scheme expanded to firms required to close due to COVID Restrictions

The Job Support Scheme (JSS) will be expanded to support businesses across the UK required to close their premises due to coronavirus restrictions.  Under the expansion, firms whose premises are legally required to shut for some period over winter as part of local or national restrictions will receive grants to pay the wages of staff who cannot work – protecting jobs and enabling businesses to reopen quickly once restrictions are lifted.

The scheme will begin on 1 November 2020 and will be available for six months, with a review point in January.  Find out more on the Business Wales website.

UK Government Updated Guidance: SEISS and CJRS

For the latest guidance on the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant extension and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) 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.