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COVID-19 Update 18th August 2020

VisitBritain Domestic Marketing Campaign

VisitBritain is planning an Autumn Staycation campaign.  You can find out more and learn how to get involved here.

Reopen Your Business Update

The Government’s online tool to help businesses to undertake risk assessments and make adjustments to the premises and work practices has been updated to reflect the reopening of some businesses and the relaxation of some rules over the weekend. This is a very useful for businesses in providing guidance that is tailored to their particular circumstances.  Similarly, the online tool for finding out what support is available for your businesses has also been updated to reflect recent changes

Calculating Flexible Furlough Claims

HMRC have updated its guidance on how businesses can claim for employees on flexible furlough by providing examples of how to calculate claims in Sept and Oct when businesses are required to make a contribution to the wage costs.

Self-isolating after returning to the UK: Employment rights and guidance for employers

Guidance is available for employees and employers on self-isolating after returning to the UK. A person’s employment rights will depend on their employment status and specific circumstances. Some key guidance:

  • Where possible people should work from home during their self-isolation period. Employees should talk to their employer about working from home before they travel.
  • Employees can agree with their employer to take leave to cover the period of their self-isolation, providing they have enough leave remaining.
  • Employers can also tell employees to take leave as long as they give them enough notice. Find out about notice periods.
  • Employees may be able to take unpaid leave if they’re forced to travel to deal with an emergency involving a family member or dependent. Find out about time off for family and dependents.
  • If you’re out of the country when a quarantine is announced, employees should talk to their employer as soon as possible to discuss options.

Easing of local restrictions in Leicester from 19 August

Outdoor pools, nail bars, spas and beauty salons (including hairdressers, tattoo parlours, etc.) will be permitted to reopen in Leicester from tomorrow, 19 August. Outdoor music venues and theatres are already legally allowed to open, but guidance will be updated so they are no longer advised to stay closed. These changes will bring Leicester in line with the national easements introduced in July.

Consumer tracker report from VisitBritain (Week 13)

VisitBritain have released the latest draft of their UK COVID-19 Consumer Tracker Report for week 13, based on fieldwork from 10-14 August. Some key findings from this week:

The theme this week is continued pessimism around life returning to some ‘normality’, met with a latent desire to actually lead a normal life. Almost half of UK adults still feel the situation around Covid-19 is going to get worse in the coming month, while 60% aren’t expecting things to return ‘close to normal’ before April next year. However, there’s evidence people are becoming accustomed to doing things differently and the levels of ‘comfort’ participating in activities such as shopping or eating at a restaurant continues to rise. The gap between likelihood to participate in outdoor versus indoor activities is also showing signs of narrowing, perhaps reflecting the fact processes are now being widely adopted to allow the safe enjoyment of visiting museums, eating out, etc.

Furthermore, Hotel/motel/inn has become the leading choice of accommodation. Although the rise is not statistically significant, it perhaps supports the notion people are becoming more comfortable doing everyday activities and have growing trust in organisations making places Covid-19 safe.

Other points of note:

  • The national mood remains unchanged at 6.7/10.
  • Our ‘Appetite for Risk’ score is unchanged at 2.6/4.
  • Just 1% of UK adults are now predicting ‘normality’ to return by September. If we extend the time horizon to the end of the year, we see only 18% expecting ‘normality’ by December, although this is a marginal gain on the 15% reported last week.
  • Confidence in the ability to take a (hypothetically booked) UK holiday during August is stable at 31%. For the October-December period it rises slightly to 41% (from 38% last week).
  • The main reason cited among those lacking confidence is having ‘concerns about catching COVID-19’, especially for trips during the winter period. One development we’re seeing is the rising concern around ‘restrictions on travel from the government,’ making this now the second most cited concern – perhaps driven by the imposition of local lockdowns or potentially the requirement for inbound travellers to self-isolate following arrival from certain restricted countries.
  • The proportion expecting to go on a domestic short break or holiday by September has fallen for the fifth consecutive week to 17%, although this figure is likely to diminish through the summer as intent fails to convert into action. However, 16% of adults now claim to have already taken a domestic short break or holiday since restrictions eased in July.
  • Almost 60% of Summer Intenders have already planned their trip, with 47% claiming to have it booked. The level of commitment from Winter Intenders is substantially lower, with 20% at the planning stage and 11% claiming to have booked their trip.
  • In terms of region/nation likely to be visited between now and September, the South West (22%) continues to dominate, followed by Scotland (13%) and the North West (12%). For trips planned to be taken between October 2020 – March 2021, the South West (16%) has a narrow lead over Scotland (15%) and London (13%).
  • Countryside/village is the leading destination type (35%) for summer travel, while cities (33%) remain the most popular destination type for winter.
  • Measures to reduce contamination (e.g. hand sanitisers and enhanced cleaning regimes) remain the most important reassurance people seek in order to feel comfortable staying in a hotel, narrowly followed by measures designed to encourage social distancing. Offering free cancellations continues to remain important, once again being the second most cited individual reason overall (60%).
  • As restrictions lift, outdoor areas and activities look set to attract higher than usual visitor levels than normal, while predominantly indoor activities/venues (e.g. restaurants, spas, museums, galleries) are likely to face a lengthier period of subdued demand. However, the gap between outdoor vs indoor is showing signs of narrowing.

A message for our supplier members

UKinbound member Twin Group are keen to offer their clients paid for online services, such as virtual workshops, talks, guided tours, etc in order to keep up the awareness and interest in travelling to the UK.  If you have an online service you can offer them, please get in touch with Hester Van Hien (

Situation update 18 August 2020
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