Coronavirus: Tourism Industry Update

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11 March 2021


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: ERF Sector Specific Grant – open; Welsh Government extends measures to protect businesses from eviction until end of June 2021; Guidance for Tourism and Hospitality Businesses; Employer Incentive Scheme; Apply for a Kickstart Scheme Grant; We’re in Your Corner – Skills Gateway for Business; Extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme; Wales is your home, FM tells EU nationals; Updated advice on ventilation and air conditioning during the pandemic; Useful COVID-19 information.

ERF Sector Specific Grant - open

The application window for the Sector Specific Grant for Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism phase 2 is currently open and will close at 8pm on Friday 12 March 2021, or until funds are fully committed.

Find out more on the Business Wales website and please use the criteria tool to check your eligibility before applying.

Welsh Government extends measures to protect businesses from eviction until end of June 2021

Retail, hospitality, tourism and other businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic will now be protected from eviction until the end of June 2021, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales Ken Skates has announced.

As part of the action Welsh Government is taking to support the business community the moratorium against forfeiture for the non-payment of rent, which was due to end on 31 March, will now be extended until 30 June, 2021.

While businesses should continue to pay rent wherever possible, the latest measure will ensure no business is forced out of its premises if it misses a payment between now and the end of June this year. The move will help ease the burden on a range of sectors, including retail and hospitality, at what continues to be an incredibly challenging period of time.

Read the announcement in full on Gov.Wales.

Guidance for Tourism and Hospitality Businesses

As we look towards a phased re-opening, you need to be aware of the guidance for Tourism and Hospitality businesses

To help you decide which actions to take, Coronavirus Regulations require you to carry out a specific COVID-19 risk assessment, just as you would for other health and safety-related hazards. This risk assessment must be done in consultation with staff and representatives (recognised trade union or a representative chosen by workers) and be made available to staff. 

HSE (Health & Safety Executive) provides useful templates to help you undertake a specific COVID-19 risk assessment that will take you through the hierarchy of controls from the most to the least effective.  An overview of the hierarchy of controls can be found in Appendix 1 of the Tourism and Hospitality Guidance. You will also find links within the Welsh Government guidance to sector-specific and industry guidance containing further detail including the UKH Cymru Guidance

Employer Incentive Scheme

Welsh Government has invested a further £18.7 million to extend incentives to support businesses in recruiting apprentices in Wales.  The Employer Incentive Scheme, which will now run until 30 September, is a key part of Welsh Government’s covid commitment to support businesses and workers in recovering from the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Businesses will be able to claim up to £4,000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25. This is an uplift from the previous £3,000 grant that was on offer.

Dedicated funding is also available to recruit disabled people and for workers who lost a previous apprenticeship position because of COVID-19.

Read the announcement in full on Gov.Wales.

Apply for a Kickstart Scheme Grant

If you're an employer thinking about creating 6 month job placements for young people under the Kickstart scheme you can apply for the grant by either

  • Applying online yourself (visit Gov.UK for more details) or
  • Applying through a Kickstart gateway

The Kickstart Gateways can support you to complete your application successfully, provide training support and advise on next steps or further training once the placements are complete – e.g. apprenticeships.

Search for a Gateway provider in Wales.

We’re in Your Corner – Skills Gateway for Business

As part of the Welsh Government's We're in Your Corner campaign, a new brochure has been developed for employers.  Within the Skills and Recruitment Support for Employers brochure you’ll find information on the wide range of support available, as well as eligibility criteria, to help you on your skills development journey.  

To find out more about the programmes on offer, call Skills Gateway for Business on 0300 060 3000 or visit the Business Wales Skills Gateway

Extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended until the end of September 2021.  The UK Government will continue to pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month, up to the end of June 2021.  For further information please visit the Business Wales website.        

You can now make February CJRS claims - These must be made by Monday 15 March 2021.  Details on how to submit your claim are available on the Business Wales website.

Wales is your home, FM tells EU nationals

First Minister Mark Drakeford has written an open letter to all EU nationals living in Wales urging those who have yet to apply for settled status to do so before the deadline in June.

Since 2019, EU citizens living in the UK have been able to apply for settled or pre-settled status via the Home Office’s EU Settlement Scheme, to enable them maintain the same rights as British citizens, after June this year.

Read the announcement in full on Gov.Wales

Updated advice on ventilation and air conditioning during the pandemic

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has updated and expanded its advice to help employers provide adequate ventilation in their workplaces during the pandemic.  Visit the Business Wales website for more details.       

Useful COVID-19 information

As each premises is different, businesses should read all guidance. This continues 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.