As you know, England is due to go into a second lockdown from Thursday, and while the Government has issued some guidance around tourism, hospitality and events, there are still a large number of questions that we awaiting further clarification on from DCMS, and which we will provide further updates to as soon as possible.

General government updates

The prime minister, Boris Johnson, announced on 31 October that only “essential” businesses would be permitted to stay open during the lockdown period. All “non-essential” retail, indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, entertainment venues and personal care facilities will need to close.

Hospitality venues, such as pubs and restaurants, will also close, except for those offering a takeaway service, however, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed, and hotels may only remain open for those travelling for essential business purposes.

The latest guidance from the Government does not specifically mention the tourism or events sector, but it is highly likely business meetings will also not be permitted.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed that the furlough scheme has been extended to 2 December.

Yesterday, a press release on the PM’ statement on upcoming national restrictions in England has since been published which outlines some further details on restrictions applicable to tourism. The key points to note are:

  • There is no exemption for staying away from home on holiday. This means people cannot travel internationally or within the UK, unless for work, education or other legally permitted exemptions. Overnight stays away from primary residences will not be allowed, except for specific exceptions including for work.
  • Inbound international travel will continue to be governed by the travel corridor approach, and those currently on a domestic holiday will be allowed to finish their holidays but are still subject to the requirements in England not to go out without a reasonable excuse.

There is also a new guidance page on gov.uk on the changes in England.

The Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close, including:

  • All non-essential retail, including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops.
  • Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks.
  • Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens.
  • Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons.
  • Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open. Essential retail should follow COVID secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.
  • Non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect
  • Playgrounds can remain open.
  • Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. However, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed.
  • Hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions which will be set out in law.
  • Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place except in exceptional circumstances.

Financial support

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be extended through November. Workers in any part of the UK can retain their job, even if their employer cannot afford to pay them, and be paid at least 80% of their salary up to £2500 a month. The flexibility of the current CJRS will be retained to allow employees to continue to work where they can. Employers small or
large, charitable or non-profit are eligible and because more businesses will need to close, they will now be asked to pay just National Insurance and Pensions contributions for their staff during the month of November – making this more generous than support currently on offer.

The Job Support Scheme will not be introduced until after Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends.

We continue to work with our partners and DCMS to push for specific government support for the events sector.

As always, do get in touch with any of our team if there is anything we can do to help.