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Coronavirus Update

Latest Update on COVID 19n- 15/7/2020

 

Success on Caravan Park Extension

I mentioned on Monday that we’d been working with Baroness Doocey and BHHPA on pushing three amendments to the Business and Planning Bill to support tourism businesses and destinations – allowing self-catering businesses to have winter lets, to enable caravan and holiday parks to remain open over winter and to amend the package travel regulations to better enable accommodation and attraction/activities businesses to work together to provide value added products to customers. While the self-catering amendment was rejected, we had a win on the caravan parks in that MHCLG has laid a Written Ministerial Statement that encourages Local Authorities to allow holiday and caravan parks to extend their season and not to undertake enforcement action which would unnecessarily restrict the ability of caravan and holiday parks to extend their open season.

Here’s a copy of the Written Statement

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2020-07-14/HCWS367/

And here is a copy of the associated Guidance

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-planning-update-on-cultural-venues-and-holiday-parks–2

The proposed amendment to the PTR is still alive with further evidence being asked for and I’m working on that at the moment.

 

Access to Work: Travel Cost Evidence Now Needed

Access to Work is a publicly funded employment support programme that aims to help more disabled people start or stay in work. The programme will provide money towards any extra travel costs associated with disabled people getting to and from work if they can’t use available public transport during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This guidance has been updated to say that people now need to provide evidence to support a claim for travel costs.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/access-to-work-factsheet/access-to-work-factsheet-for-customers

 

Find a Restaurant Service Opens 20th July

To support the Eat Out to Help Out initiative, the Government is going to launch a restaurant finding service next week whereby the public will be able to enter a postcode that the site will provide a list of participating businesses within a 1 mile radius. While this will be good for locals, visitors may struggle to know the postcode of the location that they are in.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/get-a-discount-with-the-eat-out-to-help-out-scheme

Linked to this, the guidance for businesses has been updated to inform operators registering their business that the name, address and website URL of the business will be added to a list of participating establishments that will be available to the public.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/register-your-establishment-for-the-eat-out-to-help-out-scheme

 

New CJRS and SEISS Stats

The government has published new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme statistics. While the statistic show that the Hospitality and Tourism Sectors are the most impacted, it should be noted that the statistics are for the period to 30th June and therefore don’t take account of the reopening of significant parts of the industry reopening on 4th July. Nevertheless the main points are:

    • 9.4 million employments had been placed on furlough, an increase of 678,000 compared with claims made until the end of May (although this may have something to do with the need to place people on furlough before the end of June so that they were eligible for flexible furloughing in future.
    • Businesses in the accommodation and food services sector had the highest proportion of employers furloughing at least some staff (87%) and the highest proportion of total employments furloughed at 73%
    • Employees of small and micro-sized employers were more likely to have been furloughed than those working for medium-sized and large employers: 57% of employments at employers with 5 to 9 employees had been furloughed against just 19% at employers with 250 or more employees
    • Young people are most likely to be furloughed

As a high percentage of tourism businesses are SME and tourism businesses employee a higher percentage of young people than other sectors, these statistics are particularly concerning.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-july-2020/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-july-2020

On the Self-employment Income Support Scheme, the figures are also interesting but this time the interesting factor is that tourism and hospitality businesses seem to be under-represented as beneficiaries of this scheme. While 3.4 million self-employed individuals were identified as potentially eligible for the SEISS scheme the figures suggest that only around 2/3 of eligible businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector are making a claim, which is far lower than for the CJRS.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/self-employment-income-support-scheme-statistics-july-2020/self-employment-income-support-scheme-statistics-july-2020

 

Extending the season for holiday and caravan parks

Last night MHCLG laid a Written Ministerial Statement (WMS) that encourages Local Authorities to allow holiday and caravan parks to extend their season. The statement also encourages local planning authorities not to undertake enforcement action which would unnecessarily restrict the ability of caravan and holiday parks to extend their open season.  This WMS has been published to support the sector through COVID-19 disruption. The statement came into effect on 14 July 2020 and will remain in place until 31 December 2022 unless superseded by a further statement.

Guidance for Local Authorities and park owners has also been published and the Tourism Minister has shared on Twitter. Any support in sharing the news through your networks and with interested stakeholders would be greatly appreciated.

 

Sector specific Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) statistics

HMRC has today published a second release of statistics on CJRS

On the sectoral section worth noting:

  • the accommodation and food services sector has had the highest proportion of employers furloughing at least some staff (87%) and the highest proportion of total employments furloughed at 73%. 109,800 employers have furloughed staff in the accommodation and food services sector
  • the accommodation and food services sector has seen a 73% take-up rate in terms of employments, with over £4.1 billion claimed through CJRS.
  • arts, entertainment, recreation and other services, have seen 75% of employers in this sector furlough at least one employment – with a total of 443,000 employments furloughed in this sector with a take-up rate of 66%. Claiming in total £1.1 billion
  • in London 63% of employments in the arts, entertainment, recreation and other services sector have been furloughed – Wales and the South West had higher take-up rates in this sector at 73% and 68% respectively.

 

Access to Work: Travel cost evidence now needed

Access to Work is a publicly funded employment support programme that aims to help more disabled people start or stay in work. The programme will provide money towards any extra travel costs associated with disabled people getting to and from work if they can’t use available public transport during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This guidance has been updated to say that people now need to provide evidence to support a claim for travel costs.

 

Other Government updates

On guidance for the safe use of multipurpose community facilities, links have been added to guidance on rehearsal and training; to guidance on maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace; and to guidance on the phased return of outdoor sport and recreation in England.

  • ‘The ‘Register’ section of the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme now gives more information about which Government Gateway ID you can use and the registration information that is available to the public. A restaurant finding service is due to be launched next week where you will be able to search for participating restaurants within a one mile radius of the postcode entered.
  • The number of individuals claiming the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant up to 30 June 2020 by age, gender, industry sector and geography is now available.
  • Companies House is offering a temporary service to users to allow them to can request to have the authentication code sent to a home address instead of the company’s registered office. Time updated
  • The Migration Advisory Committee has published a technical note that sets out the methodology they recommend for how salary thresholds are calculated, the note also provides illustrative examples.

 

Member updates

Visit Kent has shared an article that sets out the Caring Customer and Support Your Local initiatives which they are running with their partner organisation, Produced in Kent. It builds on the #RespectProtectEnjoy campaign and encourages people to support their local hospitality business but to do so in a way which protects communities and public health.

 

Travel industry updates

Hilton has announced a global cleanliness and customer service programme specifically for meetings and events. Hilton EventReady with CleanStay is the next phase of the company’s Hilton CleanStay initiative.

 

Situation update 15 July 2020

To see the number of cases of COVID-19 in England and the UK visit the UK COVID-19 dashboard.

To see the number of cases globally see the World Health Organisation dashboard.

 

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