Coronavirus: Tourism Industry Update

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3 June 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 :  New variants of coronavirus and travel – Frequently Asked Questions; Group/Coach visits & guided tours; Live performances; Reminder for businesses; Economic Resilience Fund Business Support; You can now make May CJRS claims; VAT deferral – apply online by 21 June 2021; Contact tracing in Wales extended until March 2022; EU Settlement Scheme – Less than 30 days to go; Help spread safety messages by becoming a local water safety ambassador for RNLI / HM Coastguard; Rates and thresholds for employers 2021 to 2022; Useful COVID-19 information.

New variants of coronavirus and travel – Frequently Asked Questions

On 26 May the First Minister issued a statement on the new variants of coronavirus. In preparing for the spring half-term break and the summer tourism season, the Welsh Government is urging anyone planning a break in Wales from an area with higher rates of coronavirus in the UK to test themselves twice weekly, using the free COVID-19 lateral flow tests, before they travel. Only those who have a negative test result and no symptoms of coronavirus should travel. It is also advising travellers to bring lateral flow testing kits with them to continue regular testing while on holiday – this is an additional measure to help keep Wales safe.

Read the new variants of coronavirus and travel Frequently Asked Questions in our newsletter issued 28 May 2021.

Rapid lateral flow tests are for people who do not have coronavirus symptoms and are available from local collection points or ordered online. More information is available on Gov.Wales

More information about cases of variants of concern are published on the UK surveillance page (updated weekly) and via the Public Health Wales website (updated twice a week – under the variant surveillance tab).

Read more on getting tested and the role of Lateral flow and PCR tests

Group/Coach visits & guided tours

Within the respective Wales regulations and guidance, day visits and multi-day coach/group trips are able to go ahead now serviced accommodation, indoor hospitality and indoor attractions have re-opened (as from 17 May).  The Guidance for Tourism and Hospitality businesses includes information for:

Operators of road, rail, tramway and water passenger services (e.g. coach, bus and tour operators, heritage railway and boat trips)  - These are defined as Public Transport Services under the Coronavirus Regulations - the Welsh Government has issued Guidance on public transport (updated as of 12 April), and operators must have regard to it.

All tourism and hospitality businesses should refer to section 7 of the Guidance for Tourism and Hospitality businesses (specifically group visits and organised activities) in respect of limits on the numbers of people that can gather in respective environments (including considerations around household mixing and organised activities).

Live performances

The guidance on live performances has been updated and is now available in the UKHospitality Wales Guidance

Reminder for businesses: 

As you re-open, please ensure that you are aware of and following the updated UKHospitality Wales Guidance in addition to the Guidance for Tourism and Hospitality businesses. (Please watch this short film to help you find your way around the guidance).

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

Key areas businesses need to remain focussed on are:

  • Ventilation 

All hospitality businesses should take action to increase ventilation at their premises. This is such an important step that you, as a hospitality business, can take to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus in your pub, bar, café or restaurant.

Good ventilation reduces how much virus is in the air. It helps reduce the risk from aerosol transmission when someone breathes in small particles in the air after a person with the virus has been in the same enclosed area.

Think about what extra measures you can introduce to improve airflow by opening windows and propping open internal doors (but not fire doors) wherever possible. 

  • Keeping records 

In Wales, it is compulsory for hospitality businesses - including pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants - to collect details of staff, customers and visitors to support the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect service.  This means that if you run a hospitality business, you must introduce an electronic or paper-based system that will record the name, contact details and arrival time of every customer (excluding children).

This is a legal requirement and is vital to supporting contact tracing in the event of an outbreak. Asking customers to use the NHS App is not enough and does not exempt a business from collecting this information.

  • Face masks

Staff working in all indoor and outdoor areas accessible to the public must wear masks (unless they have a reasonable excuse). This means that masks must be worn by staff serving customers food and drink and when staff move around the premises.

This is a legal requirement in indoor spaces and masks must also be worn by staff serving customers outside. Your customers must also wear face masks when not seated to eat or drink at their allocated table.

Checklists are available which outline the key measures for Keeping Records, along with Social Distancing and Hygiene, that you should implement to keep your staff, customers and visitors safe. 

You can also use the Business Action Card which 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.

COVID-19: Economic Resilience Fund Business Support

Applications for the COVID-19 Economic Resilience Fund for business support between May 2021 and June 2021 are now open and will close at 5pm on the 7 June 2021.

Businesses with turnover less than £85,000 will need to apply via their Local Authority. 

You can find more details on the Business Wales website.

You can now make May CJRS claims

Claims under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) are now open for pay periods in May 2021.  You must submit your claim for May 2021 by 14 June 2021.  You can find more details on the Business Wales website.

VAT deferral – apply online by 21 June 2021

The VAT deferral new payment scheme is open for all businesses who deferred paying VAT due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 and were unable to pay in full by 31 March 2021.

If you apply to spread your payments between 20 May and 21 June you can pay in eight instalments.  21 June is the deadline for you to join this scheme.  Visit the Business Wales website for more details.       

Contact tracing in Wales extended until March 2022

Wales’ successful Test, Trace, Protect service, which has helped to reduce the spread of coronavirus, will be extended to next year, with a further injection of Welsh Government funding.  A further £32m will be invested to extend contact tracing to March 2022.

The latest figures show that almost a year after TTP was launched in Wales, contact tracers have reached 99.7% of the positive cases that were eligible for follow up.  Read the announcement in full on Gov.Wales

It is a legal requirement for hospitality premises to support TTP by Keeping Records of Staff, Customers and Visitors.

EU Settlement Scheme – Less than 30 days to go

There’s less than 30 days left for EU citizens to apply for settled status in the UK and those living in Wales are being urged to take-up the free support on offer from Welsh Government to complete their application.

The Home Office’s EU Settlement Scheme offers EU, non-EU EEA and Swiss citizens, and their eligible family members the opportunity to protect their residency now the UK has left the EU.  The deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021.  You can find more details on the Business Wales website.    

Help spread safety messages by becoming a local water safety ambassador for RNLI / HM Coastguard 

As more and more people continue to visit the coast businesses can play an invaluable role to support the RNLI by becoming water safety ambassadors.  RNLI together with HM Coastguard run the #RespectTheWater campaign for the bathing season and businesses can become ambassadors by making themselves familiar with the key messages and do things such as

  • Reminding yourself which of the beaches are lifeguarded this summer by checking the full list.
  • Warning of the dangers of local beaches that are known to be hazardous particularly those with rip tides and where you can get cut off.
  • Informing people of the different coloured flags on beaches and what they mean.
  • Providing information on tide times and when there are high winds which can be particularly dangerous when using inflatables.    
  • Reminding people that if they fall into the water unexpectedly, they should FLOAT TO LIVE.

From accommodation to retailers and hospitality venues it’s really easy to support the work and raise awareness and the RNLI have produced really useful assets for businesses including downloadable posters  to help share messages.

Information about Playing safe on an RNLI lifeguarded beach is also available on

Rates and thresholds for employers 2021 to 2022

Find out the rates and thresholds when you operate your payroll or provide expenses and benefits to your employees.  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.