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COVID-19 Update 20th January 2021

  • Hostelling Together

Attached is a copy of a document that the hostelling sector has put together to highlight the plight of this sector. It is one area of the accommodation sector that has been particularly impacted by social distancing rules and needs the support of a specific roadmap as to how it can reopen. it’s prolonged closure will have particular impacts to rural outdoor communities and activity businesses as well as outdoor programmes of schools and activity groups.


  • VAT Deferral Scheme

HMRC has updated the guidance on the VAT Deferral Scheme to include a new section on how to correct errors on VAT returns related to the deferral periods. If a business finds an error it should:


If the error results in the need to pay further VAT, businesses can  contact our COVID-19 helpline to ask HMRC via their Covid 19 helpline and ask to include extra error correction payments in their deferred VAT balance after (both of the following):

  • HMRC have processed their error correction
  • They have received a Statement of Account confirming the balance


Any addition VAT payment needs to be pay in full by 31 March 2021


  • Zoo Animals Fund

DEFRA has updated the Guidance associated with the fund so that animal related attractions now have until 26 February 2021 to apply for funding of up to £730,000. Unfortunately, DEFRA is still persisting in making it a condition that businesses will only receive funding when they have 12 weeks or less in financial reserves remaining, meaning that businesses have to basically be unviable before they can receive funding. This is problematic for charities those governing documents prevent them from operating under these conditions and makes it difficult for commercial businesses to apply for apply for or roll over existing loans when their reserves are so low.


  • Private Providers of Coronavirus Testing

The lists of private coronavirus testing providers is being continually updated with an increasing number of providers for those businesses that want to introduce a testing regime for their staff. There is also a separate list of providers that are authorised to undertake tests as part of the Test to Release scheme for people arriving into the country. This list is of particular interest to accommodation businesses who receive overseas visitors who are undertaking quarantining.

Hostelling Together JAN FINAL
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