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COVID-19 Update 3rd February 2021

  • When to Call Your Local Health Team

The DoH has updated it’s guidance to employers as to when they When to contact your local health protection team so that they can undertake a risk assessment, provide public health advice and, where necessary, establish a multi-agency incident management team to manage the outbreak. The crux of this update is that the guidance tells businesses to refer to the individual business action cards for further information on when to should contact your local health protection team.

Here’s a link to the Action Cards which cover a wide range of tourism-related businesses including specific packs for businesses in hospitality and travel

The updated information in the Action cards generally says that businesses should contact their local health protection team if:

    • They think they might need to close because of the number of people affected
    • An employee has been admitted to hospital
    • They are getting significant interest from local media about the number of Covid cases they are experiencing


  • Support Finder Tool

The Government has launched a support finder tool that can be used by people to find out what help and advice is available from the government and other organisations on a wide range of coronavirus-related issues and impacts. These include:

    • what to do if you’re feeling unsafe where you live, or if you’re worried about someone else
    • paying your bills, rent, or mortgage
    • getting food or medicine
    • being made redundant or unemployed, or not having any work if you’re self-employed
    • what to do if you’re worried about going in to work
    • self-isolating
    • having somewhere to live
    • mental health and wellbeing, including information for children

This is a good resource for businesses to make employees aware of as part of their responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act which includes a general duty on employers to ensure the health, safety and welfare (which includes mental health) of all employees.


  • Broadband Competition For Event Venues

DCMS has launched the second round of its scheme to improve broadband connectivity in event venues, enabling them to receive full fibre access. This scheme offers the chance for venues to boost their digital infrastructure and, in turn, produce stronger bids to host international events, as well as the development of events already taking place in the UK.This funding is in addition to support available through the Business Events Growth Programme.

There is £200,000 available in this round and DCMS expects to approve around 7 bids of £30,000. There is an online application process on the following link that is open until 2nd March 2021. Also on the link is a FAQ that provides further information on making an application.–legal-notices


  • Guidance on Providing Apprenticeships

DfE has published a new version of their guidance document “Providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak” with updated information on face-to-face training and when to consider a break in an apprenticeship.


  • Guidance to Employees

The government’s guidance to employees has been updated to clarify that their employer can furlough them if they are shielding or have caring responsibilities because of coronavirus (COVID-19) -ie., that shielding or having caring responsibilities does not convey any protection from being furloughed.


  • ESF Q&A

I’m not sure if there are any Tourism Alliance members involved in European Social Fund projects but, in case there are, here is a link to an updated Q&A which addresses issues such as whether RSF money can be used as the employee contribution for staff on Furlough and the State Aid limits that now apply


  • VAT and Germany

Finally, here is an item from ETOA which will be of interest to any businesses selling product in the German Market. The German Federal Tax Office has stated that the Tour Operators Margin Scheme (Sonderregelungen für Reiseleistungen) is only available to companies within the European Union. This means that non-EU companies that deliver travel services within Germany must now register for, and pay, VAT with the German Tax Authorities. It also has wider implications as this could be adopted by other member states, and constitute a serious threat to UK tourism businesses operating in Europe.
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