Political Update

  • The Government has just announced that the following countries will be removed from the air corridors list, meaning that people arriving from these countries will need to quarantine for two weeks – Czech Republic, Switzerland and Jamaica. At the same time Cuba has been added to the safe air corridor list. The changes will take effect 4am on Saturday 29 Aug.
  • The Government has also announced that payment will be made to people required to self-isolate following a positive test and who cannot work from home. This will only apply in the current High Risk Areas where additional lockdown or restrictions remain in place. The payment will be first trialled in Blackburn, Pendle and Oldham and will see eligible individuals paid £130 for a 10 day self isolation period. The payment will be in addition to any other benefits the person already receives. Other members of the household, who will be required to self-isolate for 14 days, and who cannot work from home will be entitled to a payment of £182. To be eligible for the funding, individuals must have tested positive or received a notification from NHS Test and Trace asking them to self-isolate and provide evidence they are employed and unable to work from home and will therefore lose income. They must also be receiving Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit.

 Reopening Pilots

  • The Government has confirmed that pilots will be undertaken in the first week of September to test and refine protocols for safe reopening of business events, conference and banqueting and functions from 1 October. Following representations from UKHospitality, the pilots will include private dining functions and gala dinners to look at weddings and other life events and should feed into final decisions in mid September. 
  • DCMS has announced a series of pilots to trial the reopening of sports stadia and events with  spectators.  The initial sports being trialled are football, rugby, cricket, racing, basketball and speedway with further sports to be announced in September. These pilots will also feed into wider reopening or relaxation of restrictions re events and constraints on mixed households

 Other Government Updates

  • The Government has released the latest weekly stats on NHS Test and Trace showing a 57% increase in the numbers of people presenting for testing and 88.3% of contacts being successfully traced through the service, where contacts were shared. This highlights the importance of the hospitality sector collecting contact information. In the last week, over 440,000 people have been newly tested and, since the service was launched 12 weeks ago, over 4.3m people have been tested.  
  • HMRC has published a policy paper setting out how it will continue to support individuals and businesses through the Coronavirus outbreak. While there are no initiatives in the policy paper it presents a series of principles on how it will operate: consideration in the way and timing of tax collection, recognising the challenges business faces; transparent communication to give people certainty; professional, fair and even handed; improved administration; prioritising serious fraud and criminal attacks.
  • The ONS has produced the latest results of their ongoing survey of economic and social indicators.  The main tourism-related findings are: 13% of the workforce remain on furlough; accommodation and food service was the only sector reporting less than 90% of businesses had been trading more than 2 weeks (82%); 23% of businesses said the risk of insolvency was moderate or severe; job adverts are 38% of what they were last year.
  • The Home Office has released data today showing that there were 1.3m arrivals into the UK by air during July. This is 89% lower that the number of arrivals in July 2019. The data also indicates that arrivals into the UK by rail were down 65% and arrivals by sea were down by 69%. These figures will include British nationals returning and when these are excluded the number of arrivals falls to 640,000
  • CBI Service Sector Report is published today and includes sentiment within the leisure industry. Costs per employee have increased 20-30% while the volume of sales is down 30-60% and employment down 30-90% depending on sub sector.