Political Update

Tourism & Travel Update

  • The Government has moved to protect refund credit notes if holiday packages are cancelled due to COVID-19, if they are ATOL protected. The change will mean passengers who accept refund credit notes for cancelled holidays as a result of COVID-19 will be protected by the ATOL scheme if necessary, even if the company they have booked with later collapses.
  • VisitScotland and Visit Wales have published visitor charters asking visitors to pledge to respect safety guidelines, the environment, and local communities when they return to visit.
  • Exposure to the sea and coastal areas can play a significant role in boosting human health and well-being, according to a recent government study.

Other Government Updates

  • Public Health England has published the Customer Logging Toolkit for track and trace. This contains a variety of template materials for businesses to display, as well as guidance on how it works. If a customer tells you they have tested positive for coronavirus, businesses should register their contacts with NHS Test and Trace and leave any follow-up work with other customers to the local NHS Test and Trace team. If they assess that the customer was on your premises while potentially infectious, they will contact you to provide support and to obtain the details of anyone who may have been exposed to the virus. 
  • The Government has published new guidance on face coverings, their role in reducing the transmission of coronavirus, the settings in which they are recommended, and how they should be safely used and stored. This guidance is available here. There is no universal face coverings guidance for workplaces because of the variety of work environments in different industries. Employers should continue to follow COVID-19 secure guidelines.
  • HMRC have set up a new helpline for queries about the reduced rate of VAT: tel 0300 200 3700 or email: VATtourismandhospitality@hmrc.gov.uk
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance has been updated to clarify that notice periods being served by furloughed employees include contractual notice periods.
  • The Government has tabled an amendment to the Bill on outdoor spaces, requiring pubs, cafés, and restaurants to offer separate outdoor spaces for smokers and non-smokers.
  • The government has moved to make large and accessible Changing Places toilets compulsory in new buildings from next year.

Situation update 20 July 2020