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COVID-19 Update 21st January 2021

  • Eligibility for Lockdown Grants

The government has published further guidance on eligibility for the Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG (Closed) Addendum) and the Closed Business Lockdown Payment which are available to businesses during the current lockdown. The eligibility rules follow the those of previous versions of the LRSG, ie, the business must be:

    • is based in England
    • occupy property on which it pays business rates (and is the ratepayer)
    • required to close because of the national restrictions from 5 January 2021 onwards, or between 5 November and 2 December 2020
    • unable to provide its usual in-person customer service from its premises

However, what is new is that the guidance in relation to State Aid states

    • Following the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, there have been no changes to the conditions of this grant scheme.

This suggests that the State Aid limits that applied when the UK was in the EU have simply been rolled-over. The guidance does note that the  Government will publish further guidance on subsidy rules in due course.

The same guidance on State Aid limits has been applied to all the other grants schemes, including the LRSG (Sector), the LRSG (Open), the ARG and the Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs.


  • ONS Economic Impact Data

ONS has produced it’s latest research on the impact of Coronavirus on the UK economy. While there is nothing specific to tourism in this latest report it is worth noting that as at 10 January when the survey ended, 70% of businesses were currently trading while 27% were temporarily closed, a large percentage of which will be in the tourism and hospitality sector. This is important because these closed businesses account for 41% of all people on furlough and a very worrying 31% of these businesses have little or no confidence that they will be able to survive the next three months.


  • Socio-economic Background of Employees

DCMS has produced an analysis of the socioeconomic status of people working in sectors that are under it’s responsibilities. The analysis includes data on sector as such as museums and galleries, and heritage sites and attractions but, disappointingly, misses out tourism, which represents 44% of all employment under DCMS’s responsibility. It seems that there is no real reason why this should be the case as it would be relatively easy to apply the Tourism Satellite Accounts ratios for tourism employment to the SIC codes that constitute tourism-related sectors.


  • REACT-1: Real Time transmission Assessment

You will have seen on the news that the Initial findings from the 8th wave of the Imperial College London/ Ipsos MORI research on community transmission of Covid have shown that:

    • infections increased by 50% from early December
    • During the period 6 January to 15 January, SARS-CoV-2 virus was circulating with a higher prevalence than between 25 November to 3 December with 158 in 10,000 infected.
    • There was no strong evidence for either growth or decay in prevalence averaged across the period 6 January to 15 January (ie., at the moment, the lockdown does not seem to reducing the prevalence of Covid).

There findings, if they continue through the remainder of the lockdown period, will have implications for when we can expect to move out of lockdown and the Tier levels that will apply when we do.
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