Coronavirus: Tourism Industry Update

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23 April 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 - First Minister’s Written Statement: Review of the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restriction) (No.5) (Wales) Regulations 2020; Letter to the visitor economy sector from Dr Frank Atherton, Chief Medical Officer; Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for Tourism and Hospitality Businesses; COVID-19 checklists for tourism and hospitality businesses; “Addo. My promise to Wales”; Skills and Training: Reminder; HMRC to contact SEISS claimants; Useful COVID-19 information.

First Minister's Written Statement: Review of the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restriction) (No.5) (Wales) Regulations 2020

The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) Regulations 2020 require a review of the coronavirus restrictions is undertaken every three weeks.  The most recent review was due by 22 April;  further changes to the coronavirus restrictions have been announced by the First Minister Mark Drakeford today. Read the announcement in full on Gov.Wales.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wales have fallen to under 15 cases per 100,000 people and are the lowest in the UK.  Alongside this our vaccine rollout continues to be very successful with Wales having the third highest vaccination rate globally.  Over two thirds of adults in Wales have had their first dose with 1 in 5 having had both doses. We have already vaccinated 2/3 of 40-49 yr olds and 32% of our 30-39 yr olds.  

My Written Statement on 20 April indicated changes to the regulations were being brought forward to allow any six people (not including children under 11 years of age or carers) to meet outdoors from Saturday 24 April. 

The statement also confirmed outdoor hospitality, including at cafes, pubs and restaurants, will be allowed to reopen from Monday 26th April.

I can also confirm other amendments to the regulations from 26 April will mean:

  • Outdoor swimming pools and outdoor visitor attractions, including funfairs, amusement parks and theme parks can reopen.
  • Organised outdoor activities for adults for up to 30 people can again take place.
  • Weddings receptions for up to 30 people can take place outdoors at regulated premises.

Guidance on care home visits has been amended to provide for the number of designated indoor visitors to be increased from one to two and to give more flexibility around visits from young children from 26 April.

Changes have already been signalled for 3 May, subject to conditions remaining favourable. Continued improvements in the public health context and the success of the vaccination programme has meant we can bring forward all remaining elements to complete our move to alert level three during this review cycle.

This would mean, from 3 May:

  • Gyms, fitness facilities, leisure centres and swimming pools can reopen 
  • Extended households will be possible, allowing two households to come together to form an exclusive bubble who can meet and have contact indoors
  • Children’s indoor activities can recommence
  • Organised indoor activities for adults can recommence for up to 15 people, including group exercise classes
  • Community Centres can reopen

If the improvements we have seen in the public health situation are sustained beyond this date it will be possible for an incoming Government to consider moving between the alert levels provided for in the updated Coronavirus Control Plan in single steps.

On this basis, preparations will be made enabling an incoming Government after the Senedd elections to move to alert level two on Monday 17 May. This will be subject to the public health conditions closer to the time.  

Alert level two includes the following changes:

  • Indoor hospitality can reopen 
  • Remainder of holiday accommodation can open (e.g. campsites with shared facilities) to members of single households or extended households
  • Entertainment venues can open, including cinemas, bingo halls, bowling alleys, indoor play centres and areas, casinos, and amusement arcades
  • Indoor visitor attractions can open, including museums, galleries, educational and heritage attractions, and heritage sites such as stately homes
  • The rule of four applies for gatherings in regulated premises like a café (up to 4 people from 4 households) or a single household if more than 4 people.
  • The rule of six continues outdoors. Meeting indoors in private homes will still be limited to the extended household only (exclusive bubble).
  • The limits on organised activities increases to 30 indoors and 50 outdoors.
  • Wedding receptions can take place indoors in regulated premises for up to 30 people.

Changes to the regulations today will also provide from 26 April for a reasonable excuse to protest at alert levels one two and three, but require protests to be organised by a responsible body with appropriate mitigations, including undertaking a risk assessment.

The regulations are also being amended from this date to permit all working in other peoples’ homes at alert levels one, two and three.

Coronavirus has not disappeared from Wales, and new variants continue to emerge across the globe. The cautious, step-by-step approach we have taken remains the best way to keep Wales safe.

The Coronavirus Control Plan: Revised alert levels in Wales (March 2021) and COVID-19 alert levels are available at Gov.Wales.

Letter to the visitor economy sector from Dr Frank Atherton, Chief Medical Officer

See the letter from Dr Frank Atherton, Chief Medical Officer/Medical Director NHS Wales for the attention of the visitor economy sector - "Maintaining a Covid secure environment in the visitor economy to protect staff and customers."

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for Tourism and Hospitality Businesses

As we look at a phased re-opening, you need to be aware of the Guidance for Tourism and Hospitality Businesses.

As each premises is different, businesses should read all guidance to understand the measures to be considered to re-open the business safely. 

The Guidance for Tourism and Hospitality Businesses will be kept updated – please check back regularly. New sections are being added on Group Visits and Organised Activities, relevant for group tours and trips, guided tours and excursions (e.g. guided town walks, guided attraction tours, coach tours, skippered boat trips etc).

The mitigating guidance for re-opening outdoor hospitality has been updated to reflect changes announced on Monday (19 April) and is available at UKHospitality Wales Guidance.

A list of Frequently Asked Questions in relation to Coronavirus is also updated regularly on Gov.Wales.  

COVID-19 checklists for tourism and hospitality businesses

Updated checklists are available to support the Guidance for Tourism and Hospitality businesses. These checklists outline the key measures for Social Distancing, Hygiene and Keeping Records you should implement to keep your staff, customers and visitors safe. 

A Business Action Card is also available and this provides you with information on how to keep COVID-19 out of your premises, what action to take when an employee or customer tests positive and how can you minimise the spread of COVID-19 in your business. This has also been shared as guidance to enforcement officers with Environmental Health teams and Incident Management Teams at Local Authorities for use as they visit hospitality businesses.

Additional Keep Wales Safe assets for use on social media are also available.

“Addo. My promise to Wales”

As Wales’ tourism industry starts to re-open, we’re encouraging everyone travelling around Wales and exploring again to do so safely and responsibly by getting behind the pledge of doing the little things that make a big difference: To make a promise together - to ‘Addo’ - that we will care for each other, our land and for our communities.

The pledge can be signed virtually on and is being shared on social channels on twitter and facebook.

Please be involved by sharing across your own social channels and using our handy industry toolkit containing assets for you to use in your own customer communications to support Addo. The toolkit also includes a new poster for hospitality businesses to print and display on premises, encouraging customers to follow your guidance to support your staff.  

Skills and Training: Reminder

The following resources/training may be helpful to businesses looking to prepare themselves and their staff for re-opening:

All Hands to the Pump:

  • Free support for the licensed trade eg free to access videos, templates and other resources for licensees, regulators and place managers from hospitality partners. Resources include Conflict Management, Customer Safety and Reporting COVID.

Skills Platform: 

CPL Learning:

  • Ready to Serve programme – Team Member : Developed to support operators and their teams in the implementation of a safe and effective return to work, adhering to the COVID secure principles. Cost: £7.50 per person
  • Reopening following lockdown – Manager - Ready to Serve : Developed to allow those in a management or supervisory role to understand the actions and responsibilities they have in ensuring their site and teams are ready to serve customers once again. Cost: FREE

For up-to-date information on other skills, recruitment and training support for your business, as well as other support such as Wellbeing for employers and employees, visit our Skills pages.

HMRC to contact SEISS claimants

If you’re eligible based on your tax returns, to claim SEISS (Self-Employment Income Support Scheme), HMRC will contact you in mid-April to give you a date that you can make your claim from. It will be given to you either by email, letter or within the online service.

The online service to claim the fourth grant will be available from late April 2021, the fourth grant covers 1 February 2021 to 30 April 2021.  You can find more details on the Business Wales website.

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.