This is the latest update from UKHospitality:

Political Update

  • Local Lockdowns: Restrictions continue unchanged in West Yorkshire, East Lancs, Leics, and Greater Manchester, and will be reviewed again next week. Wigan and Rossendale and parts of Blackburn and Darwen move out of special measures from Wednesday 26th August.
  • The spike in infections in Oldham, parts of Blackburn and Pendle is continuing and so further additional controls are being introduced here from midnight on Saturday. Local residents in these 3 areas should not socialise with anyone from outside their household and should avoid using public transport except for essential travel. Pubs and restaurants will be encouraged to halt walk-ins, and only seat people who make reservations in advance, up to 6 people per table. The numbers of people attending weddings to be limited to household members and close family (max 20)
  • Slough has become an ‘area of concern’; Birmingham has moved to ‘area of enhanced support’;
  • Northampton has joined the intervention list but this spike is almost solely down to an outbreak linked to the workforce at the Greencore Factory where nearly 300 workers have tested positive. Laws are being introduced to ensure all workers and families self-isolate for two weeks but there is no plan to introduce restriction in the wider community at this stage.

 Scottish Update

  • First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced the next phase in the easing of lockdown in Scotland with outdoors sports, live events, indoor leisure (casino, bingo, bowling, snooker and pool, amusement arcades) reopening from 24 August, and gyms, swimming pools, and indoor sports from 31 August.
  • Subject to further review on 10 September, it is hoped that indoor live events and live entertainment – theatre and music but not nightclubs – indoor soft play (no ball pits), skating and dance studios, stadia, and outdoor live events will resume from 14 Sept.
  • Scottish Government is also reviewing guidance to provide greater clarity to businesses around implementation of restrictions on queuing and background music – UKHospitality is actively engaged in working groups on these matters to ensure that workable solutions are found and that the new restrictions do not cut across social responsible, risk assessment solutions put in place by pubs and coffee shops to manage counter/bar service but encourage seated consumption. Revised guidance is expected next week.

 Welsh Update

  • First Minister Mark Drakeford announced today that a limited number of small scale outdoor performances and sporting events are set to be trialled in Wales in an effort to begin a phased approach to the safe reopening of the events industry. Initially, three small events, with limits of up to 100 people, and subject to strict risk assessments, will be held across Wales later this month. Outdoor events are being prioritised in this review period, while the weather is mild, due to evidence of lower transmission of coronavirus outdoors. The Minister said if these small events can be carried out safely, and transmission of the virus remains low, it is hoped the next stage will be increased numbers of participants, allowing a limited number of spectators to attend sporting events and potentially considering trialling small scale business events.
  • He also announced that from 22 August weddings and funerals can now include a meal for up to 30 people in suitably socially distant settings and extended households can expand to include up to 4 households in an exclusive extended arrangement. Subject to the successful resumption of weddings and funerals, it is hoped to further increase the range of indoor ceremonies allowed in the next review period. From 29 August, casinos will also be allowed to reopen.
  • A booklet has been written for caravan site owners and operators as a guide to making planning applications to allow existing caravan sites to open all year where seasonal occupancy conditions prevent this. The guide has been prepared in light of the implications for caravan site businesses from the COVID-19 restrictions.

 Northern Irish Update

  • Northern Ireland’s Health Minister Robin Swann, and CMO updated on the changes of restrictions on gatherings that will come into force next week due to the increase in positive COVID-19 cases. The new restrictions mean Indoor gatherings will be reduced from 10 people from four different households to six people from two different households and outdoor gatherings will be reduced from 30 to 15 people.

 Research Update

  • The ONS has published new research (as of 20 August) on the economic and social trends from COVID which, shows the very positive impact that the Eat Out to help Out initiative is having. In particular, 93% of people know of the scheme and 11% of the population have taken advantage of it. The proportion of people leaving home to eat out has risen from 21% to 34% over the first two weeks’ of the scheme’s operation and confidence in indoor eating has also increased – albeit at a lower rate, from 37% to 43%
  • Early experimental data has been updated on the impact of coronavirus on the UK economy and society, including data on the business impacts of the coronavirus, social impacts on Great Britain, footfall, online job adverts, online price changes for high-demand products and trends in shipping. Latest report includes data collected up to 16 August.

 Other Government Update

  • The facemask guidance has been updated again to reflect that with spectators to be allowed back into watch professional sports events soon, face coverings will be required in sports stadiums. The exemptions section on when face coverings are not required has also been updated to give added guidance related to a range of scenarios such as being asked for age verification before selling alcohol and consumption in premises as well as meetings.

 Travel Update

  • From Saturday 22 August, Portugal has been added to the safe travel corridor list, meaning that visitors returning from Portugal will no longer be required to self isolate and the FCO travel advice will be updated so it no longer advises against non-essential travel.
  • Croatia, Austria and Trinidad and Tobago will also be removed from the safe travel list at the same time requiring visitors to self isolate for 14 days from Saturday 22 August. Greece and Turkey remain on the JBC watch-list
  • The Tourism Alliance and New West End Company have launched a campaign to extend tax-free shopping to visitors from EU member states at the end of the Transition Period on December 31st 2020 as one of a package of measures needed to support the recovery of international tourism. Two thirds of visitors to the UK are from the EU and VB research shows that around a quarter of all overseas visitor expenditure in the UK is on shopping – which means that offering tax free shopping would be a big incentive for Europeans to visit the UK and could add over £2.3 billion to retail and tourism sales annually. You can add your company’s details to be a cosignatory by clicking here
  • Airbnb has announced an indefinite global ban on all parties and events, including a cap on occupancy at 16 guests.
  • The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched three interactive COVID-19 Travel Demand Recovery Dashboards, offering insight into the evolving global travel demand and breaking data down into Regional Overviews, Segment Overviews, and Movements and Bookings

 Situation update 21 August 2020