Rapid Covid tests to support events
The government is planning to roll out 200 million rapid Covid tests from January 2021, which will allow anyone testing negative to get a ‘freedom pass’ to attend sport, concerts and other major events the same day.

The tests, which give a yes/no result in 15 minutes, would allow millions of people who test negative attend a variety of large-scale events in the new year, experts say. There are plans to buy more than 60million of the rapid tests each month from January, with 192 million to be purchased by March 2021. 

The tests are one of those at the heart of the Operation Moonshot pilot and could see the kits used in towns and cities across the UK to help the government ease restrictions by the spring. 

DCMS Updates
We continue to liaise with our colleagues at DCMS on a regular basis to obtain clarification on a number of issues, and also to push for the sector to have all restrictions lifted as soon as it is safe to do so.

Business Meetings
Business Meetings can still take place in permitted venues, assuming they are considered essential, and continue to comply with Covid secure guidelines. Education and training events are also permitted to take place.

Here are some responses to questions raised directly with DCMS officials:

Q. Are voluntary workers classified as workers and can they continue to work on a voluntary basis?
A. Under the national restriction regulations, voluntary workers are covered by the same exceptions which paid workers are covered by, including general restrictions on leaving the home and gathering. This means where it is reasonably necessary to leave the home in order to volunteer, and where it is not reasonably possible for a volunteer to provide their voluntary services from home, a volunteer is able to continue to volunteer outside of their home. 

Q. Some wineries and breweries sell directly to the public – can they still do this as a food and drink business?
A. Yes, these businesses may operate in line with the restrictions around the sale of food and drink. If food or drink is provided for consumption on a premise, then that premise must close. Food or drink, including alcohol, may be provided for consumption off the premises through click and collect or deliveries.

Q. Can those staying in a hotel for work purposes and who are in work bubbles eat together in the hotel restaurant?
A. Restaurants and bars within guest accommodation should remain closed; there are no exemptions to this in the regulations. Food and/or drink including alcohol can be provided through room service as long as it is ordered by phone or online. 

davies tanner launches IT’S TIME campaign
The team at davies tanner have launched an engagement campaign entitled IT’S TIME. The campaign, which is designed to provide further support, insights and resources to the global travel and business events sectors, will run for six months, and includes specific support for destinations, venues and hotels looking towards a period of recovery and renewal.

Watch the IT’S TIME launch video here.

Global Destination Marketing Survey
IBTM and davies tanner, have launched the Destination Marketing Post-COVID-19 Survey. The survey has been created to assist destinations, and the business and travel sectors within those destinations, in planning recovery activity post the COVID-19 pandemic. Sue O’Gorman, Marketing Director at davies tanner said; “With the end of lockdown in sight and the news of a possible vaccine significantly improving market sentiment, many destinations are now looking towards a period of recovery and renewal. The results of this survey will analyse current sentiment, insights and resources which in turn will help shape future strategy within the travel and business events sectors on what is needed for a successful recovery.”

The survey, which is now live, takes approximately three minutes to complete and is part of a wider global engagement campaign created by davies tanner entitled IT’S TIME, designed to provide further support, insights and resources to destinations and the wider business events sector as it begins its period of recovery.

You can take the survey here:
https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/destination-survey

Economic Forecast for the Leisure and Business Markets
The UK economy expanded at its fastest pace on record in the third quarter of the year, although output was still well below pre-pandemic levels. Britain’s gross domestic product increased 15.5 per cent in the three months to September compared with the previous three months, the quickest pace since records began in 1955, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The rebound reflected the reopening of businesses, shops, restaurants and bars after the national lockdown. Even so, the economy was 9.7 per cent smaller than in the final three months of 2019, the last full quarter before the pandemic hit.

The Bank of England predicted last week that there will be a 2 per cent fall in the last quarter of the year, as the second lockdown takes effect. However, there have been hopes of a quicker recovery and more sustained recovery, after good news about the prospects for a vaccine before the end of the year.

With the pent-up demand for both leisure and business travel still in place, its projected that there will be a surge of new booking in the early part of the year as markets begin to look towards a degree of normality by the spring. But its likely that both leisure and business travel will be more restricted to short haul, and consumers slowly find their confidence returning. For the business events sector, there is likely to be significant demand, especially in those growth markets of India, China and Asia Pacific, with Europe being a little slower to recover and staying closer to home. This in turn will provide opportunities for both the UK and European markets to focus on activity short haul and drive to events.

UK Tourism Confidence Tracker
As the news of a possible effective vaccine made headlines last week, there was a significant uplift in market sentiment, with only 40% of those surveyed still lacking confidence in a return to normality, down from 66% in previous weeks.

Overall confidence in travel still remains very low however, and there are still signs that the amount of UK adults actively planning and booking a domestic holiday is at less than 10%. However, there is a definite increase in positive sentiment as we look towards 2021, with the intent to book a domestic break or holiday now at 13% of respondents planning a trip between January – March and 35% between April – September, a marked increase on the previous survey.

Overall, the national positive sentiment has moved from 6.4 to 6.6 out of 10, which show provide a degree of hope and encouragement for the UK travel sector.

All Party Parliamentary Group for Events to be re-established
The All Party Parliamentary Group for Events (APPG) has now been re-established as an official APPG in Parliament following the appointment of a new Chair and Vice Chair.

The Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, Member of Parliament for Chipping Barnet, will be the new Chair of the APPG. Theresa takes over from James Heappey MP, who was Chair of the APPG for four years, until his appointment as Minister for the Armed Forces prevented him from serving in that role. Robert Largan, Member of Parliament for High Peak, will serve as Vice Chair. The APPG will now continue to act as the industry’s voice in parliament and has been credited with establishing stronger links between the events industry, Parliament and Government in recent years.

Commenting on the APPG, Theresa said; “I am delighted that the APPG for Events is being re-established. At a time when the conference and events sector has been devastated by the Covid outbreak, it is more important than ever that we have this group working in Parliament to speak up for this crucial part of our economy.”

davies tanner, will continue to manage the APPG, as it has done since 2011, and act as its official secretariat. It will also act as special advisors to Theresa Villiers and members of the APPG.

Further information or questions can be obtained via appg@daviestanner.com and the industry can follow further developments and updates from the official APPG for Events twitter feed @appgevents.

BREXIT Update
With just over a month to go until the end of the BREXIT transition period, a letter has been published from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, to the tourism and hospitality sector urging businesses to take action now to prepare for our new relationship with the EU. The letter outlines what you need to do by 1st January 2021, along with a list of top actions. 

You can read the full letter from the Secretary of State, and also find more detailed information at  gov.uk/tourism-2021 .

IBTM World Virtual
Sadly, while we won’t be seeing our clients and friends in Barcelona this year for our client IBTM World, our team will very much be there online supporting IBTM World Virtual, which takes place 8 – 10 December 2020.

This new digital event has a stellar line up of exhibitors and speakers and will focus on helping connect you with the people you need to help adapt your business and thrive in the new world. We will be there supporting exhibitors, partners and media, as we always do, so if you need anything, please do get in touch.

You can register for IBTM World Virtual here.