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COVID-19 Update 19th – 22nd September 2020

COVID 19 – 22ND September 2020

New restrictions in England due to rising coronavirus cases

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement to the House of Commons this afternoon to outline the Government’s response to the rising number of Coronavirus cases, including new restrictions in England.

In summary:

  • From Thursday 24 September all pubs, bars, and restaurants must operate a table service only (except for takeaways)
  • Also, from Thursday, all hospitality venues must close at 10:00pm (please note this means you have to shut at 10pm). Takeaways should also close, but they can continue to provide delivery services after 10:00pm
  • The requirement to wear face coverings has been extended to include staff in retail, all users of taxis/private hire and to staff and customers in indoor hospitality with the exception of when seated at a table to eat or drink
  • In retail, leisure, tourism and hospitality settings, the Government’s COVID-19 secure guidelines will become legal obligations. Businesses will be fined and can be closed if they breach the rules
  • From Monday 28 September a maximum of 15 people will be able to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions. Up to 30 will still be able to attend funerals
  • Business events, and large sports events, will not be able to reopen from 1 October as intended
  • Office workers who can work from home have been asked to do so. In professions where this is not possible, people should continue to go into their workplace
  • The rule of six will be extended to all adult indoor team sports

These rules will be enforced by tighter penalties. The penalty for breaking the rule of 6 or not wearing a mask when required will double to £200 for a first offence. The police will be provided with extra funding, and given the ability to draw on military support when needed. We will update you as and when more guidance becomes available. Read the full statement.

Additional restrictions introduced in Scotland to tackle COVID-19 in Scotland

The First Minster of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, has given a statement outlining additional restrictions to help tackle COVID-19 in Scotland. In summary the restrictions include:

For the hospitality sector from Friday 25 September:

  • A strict curfew across Scotland for pubs and restaurants to close at 10pm
  • There will be increased inspection and enforcement for pubs and restaurants
  • Table service will continue to be required in all hospitality premises

Scotland wide gathering restrictions to be introduced from 23 September:

  • In Scotland people will not be able to meet others from outside their household in private indoor spaces (people’s homes). There will be exceptions for those living alone, extended families and non-cohabiting couples
  • A maximum of six people from two households can meet in public indoor spaces such as cafes, pubs and restaurants. Children under 12 from those two households do not count towards the limit
  • A maximum of six people from two households can meet in outdoor spaces

A package of support will be available for those asked to self-isolate, including £500 for those on low incomes. Details of these measures will be announced in due course.

She also said that people should not book trips abroad during half term, unless it is essential. You can read the full statement here.

Other Government updates

  • Updated statistics available for Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) and Future Fund Scheme.
  • Updated data (up to Sunday 20 September) is available for Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, and the VAT payments deferral scheme.

Additional updates

Legislation on QR Codes and Rule of Six

On Friday, as well as making the collection of customer information a legal requirement, the Government also announced that tourism and hospitality businesses will be required to display QR codes linked to the HMS Track and Trace app from this Thursday (24th September) and will be subject to fines if they accept bookings from groups that do not comply with the Rule of Six. To help with this Kurt at the Tourism Alliance has put together the attached short brief on the new requirements.

Cost of Having No Airbridge with the USA

Airlines UK has produced a new report on the cost to the UK of not having an Air Bridge in place with the USA. Although the USA is the UK largest inbound market, accounting for 11% of all visitors to the UK and £4.5bn in inbound tourism revenue, passenger numbers were down by 98% compared to 2019 through to July and will not improve without changes in Government policy. 

  • This report highlights the devastating economic impact of these restrictions:  
  • An estimated £11 billion hit to UK GDP in 2020 – some £212m a week
  • £45.8 billion of lost trade 
  • £3.5 billion hit to the UK tourism industry
  • Loss to critical regional connectivity outside London

Situation update 22 September 2020

Tourism Businesses QR Codes and Rule of Six
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