Attached a copy of the lobby pack that supports the Queen’s speech. Here are some…
- Hospitality Minister Debate
Here’s a link to the transcript of the debate on creating a Hospitality Minister position in BEIS that was triggered by petitions on this issue exceeding the 100,000 mark. The debate was well attended with very strong and knowledgeable contributions by a range of MPs. The call for a Hospitality Minister was responded to by the Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets, Paul Scully, who acknowledged and emphasised the importance of hospitality to the UK economy and local communities. He undertook to continue to work with the sector to get it through the immediate crisis and then build back stronger, but stopped short of agreeing with the need for a Hospitality Minister.
The debate ended with Catherine McKinnell MP, who introduced the petition, thanking the Minister for his response but urging him to take the idea of creating the position of Hospitality Minister to the Prime Minister as something that it is in the Government’s interest to create.
- RDF Q&A Update
If you are involved in the Regional Development Fund Project, a updated Q&A has been published which addresses issues such as an underspend for the 2020/21 year or the inability to deliver project outputs related to Coronavirus.
While on the subject of European Funding, you may be interested in this paper (July 2020) on the allocation of the £10m RDF Tourism Kick-Starting package that was announced around May last year. The paper contains the amount allocated to each LEP as part of the process. The money was to be allocated to:
- one-to-many events providing guidance to respond to coronavirus
- small grants (£1,000 – £5,000) to: o help visitor economy businesses access specialist professional advice e.g. human resources, accountants, legal, financial, IT / digital o purchase minor equipment to adapt or adopt new technology in order to continue to deliver business activity or diversify
The LEPs have until 28 February 2021 for these funds to be allocated, so it might be worth a call to your LEP to make sure there are no remaining unallocated funds.
- Updated Guidance on Quarantining
The guidance on quarantining on entry into the UK has been updated to include the ban on international arrivals who have been in or travelled through the following countries in the previous 10 days: Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique, Angola, Mauritius and Seychelles (note that this ban does not include UK nationals or EEA nationals with a right to live in the UK)
The guidance has also been updated to include further clarity on as to when quarantining rules apply to England rather than the UK as a whole.
- Further Grants for Heritage
The National Lottery Heritage Fund has opened the second round of heritage funding for organisations in England. The second round consists of £36m and the National Heritage Lottery Fund will be offering grants of between £10,000 and £3m to support organisations to make the transition towards full reopening.
Applications are open until 2pm on 26 January 2021 and are seminars tomorrow and Thurday
- Online Marketplace for UK Suppliers
ETOA, in conjunction with UKInbound, are organising an online marketplace whereby UK suppliers can meet with inbound and domestic travel buyers to plot the recovery in 2021 and 2022. It takes place on January 26th, and has over 180 of the leading inbound companies taking part.
There are still a few slots open for suppliers, so if any Tourism Alliance member (or member of a member) wishes to take part, they are welcome to do so. Normally this costs £965, but thanks to support from Visit England, we are able to offer a rate of £299 (plus VAT). For this an attendee can anticipate at least 25 ten-minute appointments.
To register, click here, quoting BIM21ENG to access to discounted rate. Please note that registrations will close on Friday 15th January.
If you have any questions you can contact Tom Jenkins directly on firstname.lastname@example.org
- Home Office Visa Update (Again)
The Home Office has yet again updated it’s visa guidance to include information for those outside the UK whose leave has expired before they are able to return to the UK and update information referring to the free replacement of expired vignettes. People whose 90 day vignette has expired need to apply for a replacement by completing the online form. The cost of replacing an expired 90 day vignette is £154 and applicants will need to make an appointment to resubmit their biometric information.
There is also an online form for people who left the UK with valid leave before 17 March 2020 and intended to return to the UK and make an application for Indefinite or Further Permission to Stay, but you were unable to do so before your leave expired because of travel restrictions related to coronavirus.
- Pubs Code Declaration
To help support tenant pub operators, the Independent Pub Code Adjudicator has approved a Declaration which pauses and preserves key code rights during this latest period of restrictions. The Declaration effectively stops the clock on some significant Pubs Code deadlines that apply to tenants making arbitration referrals during this emergency period, and provides safeguards relating to specific Market Rent Only (MRO) rights. The declaration is on identical terms to and has the same effect as the previous two Declarations that were agreed by regulated pub companies and is in effect until 31 March 2021, subject to review.
- Pre Departure Testing
From 15th January the Government will be implementing the requirement for pre-departure testing for all inbound passengers to England. Passengers arriving by ship, plane or train will have to take a test up to 3 days before departure and provide evidence of a negative result before they travel. The link below is to the statement to parliament contains further detail on this. There are certain limited reasonable excuses for not undergoing testing which includes lack of testing infrastructure in the departure country. This will apply to 3 overseas territories – St Helena, Ascension Island and the Falklands.
Arrivals from 3 additional countries will be considered to have a reasonable excuse not to comply due to lack of testing infrastructure. However, for these countries this will only apply for a specific, time limited window. This includes:
- Antigua and Barbuda – until 4am Thursday 21 January 2021
- St Lucia – until 4am Thursday 21 January 2021
- Barbados – until 4am Thursday 21 January 2021