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COVID-19 Update 5th – 6th October 2020

  • Guidance for Sponsors

The Government has produced updated guidance for student sponsors, migrants and for short-term students on temporary concessions in response to Covid19. These concessions are being kept under regular review and will be withdrawn once the situation returns to normal.

  • £40m Package for Hospitality and Leisure Businesses

With the announcement of the Merseyside Lockdown area, the Metro Mayor and the Mayor and Leaders of the region’s six local authorities (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral) have announced that they will divert money from other projects to establish a £40m emergency fund to help hospitality and leisure businesses in the region. The details for eligibility are being developed at the moment but is expected that these will be announced when the fund is launched later this week. Allocations will be distributed through the local authorities.

  • VEWG Meeting Tomorrow Morning

There is a meeting of the Visitor Economy Working Group with the Minister tomorrow morning. On the agenda is a discussion of feedback on the Chancellors Statement and associated support package as well the state of business in the sector so if you have any further feedback that you would like included, please sent it through.

Tuesday 6th October

  • Updated Guidance for Restaurants, Pubs, Bars and Take Away Services

The Working Safely during Coronavirus Guidance Restaurants, Pubs, Bars and Takeaway Services has been updated in relation to taking payments and guidance on


on taking payments from customers has been updated to allow for customers to pay at the counter rather than at their tables where adequate safety measures are in place. This will help businesses with few or no handheld card machines.

  • Payment should also be taken at the table wherever possible, but may be taken at a bar or counter if safety measures are in place” (Section 2.2)

                Indoor Play Areas

The guidance on indoor areas and soft play has been updated to link to BALPPA’s revised guidance on how to manage these areas.

  • SEISS Guidance Update

Under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, if you’ve had a new child, you may still be able to make a claim even if you would otherwise be ineligible. The guidance on how to ask HMRC to verify that you had a new child which affected your eligibility for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme before you make a claim has been added.

If HMRC has confirmed your eligibility you can make a claim on or before 19 October 2020.

  • Travel Guidance in Educational Settings

The guidance for educational travel by children under the age of 18 has been updated with links through to guidance for both schools and further education providers. In both situations, the guidance is against overnight travel but day-trips are allowed provided that there is a thorough risk assessment.

  • Back Bench Debate on DCMS Covid Expenditure

Time to dust off those briefings again. On Thursday morning there is a back bench debate in the Commons on spending of the Department for Digital, Culture and Media and Sport on support measures for the DCMS sectors during and after the covid-19 pandemic. This is being lead by Julian Knight MP (Chair of the DCMS Select Committee) and Kevin Brannan MP (former Shadow Tourism Minister and also member of the DCMS Select Committee)

  • Connectivity Review

The Government has published the terms of reference for a review of connectivity within the UK. This is an independent review being undertaken by Sir Peter Hendy and tasked with understanding whether and how connectivity across the UK can support economic growth and quality of life, particularly as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of the review is to consider:

  • the quality and reliability of major connections across the UK
  • likely current and future demand for transport links
  • the environmental impact of policy options (including with regard to climate change)
  • existing work completed by the government on cross-UK connectivity

This will be a good opportunity to highlight how improving connectivity will support the recovery of the UK tourism industry. The proposed timetable is to publish his interim report in January 2021 and final recommendations in summer 2021.

  • Special Religious Services and Gatherings COVID-19 Checklist

With Christmas approaching, the Government has updated the Covid Secure guidance for holding special religious services and gatherings, whether they be at a place of worship, at home or in outside areas in order to take into account the new rules. So, as it stands, Xmas dinner and carolling has to comply with the Rule of Six and don’t even think about Passing the Peace at Midnight Mass.
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