Coronavirus: Tourism Industry Update

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26 November 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 - Four UK nations agree new rules for the festive period; Hosting meetings for up to 15 people indoors; Christmas events - Frequently Asked Questions; Stay informed, stay prepared - The end of the EU transition period; COVID-19 UK Tourism Consumer Tracker Survey; Smoke-free legislation in Wales – draft Guidance; Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Updated Guidance; New Destination Management Organisation (DMO) ‘Visit Pembrokeshire’; Self Assessment customers warned about scammers posing as HMRC; HMRC guidance for employers on reporting obligations for payments made early at Christmas; Your views wanted – Small Business Commissioner consultation; Useful COVID-19 information.

Four UK nations agree new rules for the festive period 

A broad set of UK-wide measures to help people come together with their loved ones during the festive period, in a way that is as safe as possible, have been agreed by the governments of the UK’s four nations.  You can read the full press release at Gov.Wales.

The joint statement highlights that it is important that everyone respects and abides by the rules of each nation wherever they choose to spend the festive period and that where there are any variations in approach, these will be communicated by each administration accordingly. Further guidance will be provided in due course.

Hosting meetings for up to 15 people indoors 

Regulated venues are allowed to host meetings for up to 15 people indoors as long as the venue is compliant with the Regulations.  Meetings can take place indoors for up to 15 if they can demonstrate that all present are working and that it is “reasonably necessary” to do so and there is “ no reasonably practicable alternative” (eg the need to prove a business reason to meet in person for hands on training that cannot be done virtually).  The Regulations allows more than one meeting of up to 15 at the same time in the same venue, but of different organisations.  Social distancing measures, reasonable mitigations and comprehensive risk assessments are required to be compliant. 

Further detail on the Coronavirus Regulations is available.

Christmas events - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQs relating to Christmas events, including if and how they can be organised, are now online. Please note these FAQs have been added as an annex to the Keep Wales Safe: guidance for tourism and hospitality.

Stay informed, stay prepared - The end of the EU transition period

The UK left the EU on 31 January and has been in a transition period which will end on 31 December 2020.   The end of the transition period is fast approaching and this will mean changes to the current rules on trading, as will the right to travel without visas to other EU countries.

Useful resources and key areas where business should consider whether they are prepared for change, can be found on the Business Wales EU Transition Portal.

COVID-19 UK Tourism Consumer Tracker Survey

Visit Wales continues to collaborate with VisitBritain and VisitScotland in running a UK consumer tracker.  The fortnightly UK findings, covering 9-13 November (Wave 19) can be found on the VisitBritain website.

Smoke-free legislation in Wales – draft Guidance

On 29 September, Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Health and Social Services announced that new smoke-free requirements will come into force on 1 March 2021. A copy of the Minister’s statement is available.

Many of the requirements established by the current Regulations will stay the same, but we are making changes to extend the smoke-free requirements to more public places in Wales. The new measures will restrict smoking in school grounds, hospital grounds, public playgrounds and outdoor care settings for children. There will also be 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 most of 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.

New guidance is being developed to support the introduction of the new legislation. If you would like to see a draft version of the guidance please contact  Any comments on the draft guidance will be needed by 5pm on Monday 7 December. We are intending to publish the final guidance by the end of December on the Smoking section of the Welsh Government website.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Updated Guidance

Guidance on claiming for employees wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been updated. Further details are available on the Business Wales website.

New Destination Management Organisation (DMO)  ‘Visit Pembrokeshire’

On Friday 6 November, members of Pembrokeshire Tourism voted to approve two special resolutions which completed one of the final steps in the process to establish a new Destination Management Organisation, the first of its type in Wales – and one of the few in the UK. Full details on how the organisation will work, and it’s new Chief Executive are online.

Self Assessment customers warned about scammers posing as HMRC

Self Assessment customers should be alert to criminals claiming to be from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).  As the department issues thousands of SMS messages and emails as part of its annual Self Assessment tax return push, HMRC is warning customers completing their returns to take care to avoid being caught out by scammers. The annual tax return deadline is on 31 January 2021. Visit the Business Wales website for more details.

HMRC guidance for employers on reporting obligations for payments made early at Christmas

HMRC know that some employers pay their employees earlier than usual over the Christmas period, for example the business may close for Christmas and New Year.  If you do pay early, please report your normal payment date on your Full Payment Submission (FPS).  Find out more on the Business Wales website.

Your views wanted – Small Business Commissioner consultation

Consultation launched aimed at giving Small Business Commissioner more power to support businesses and resolve late payment issues. Visit the Business Wales website for more details.    

Useful COVID-19 information

As each premises is different, businesses should read all guidance to understand the measures to be considered to re-open the business safely.   These continue to be updated so please check back regularly for the latest information.

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.