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COVID-19 Update 17th March 2021

  • Digital Green Passport

Further to the emails I’ve been sending round regarding certification, the European Commission has launched a proposal for a Regulation on the Digital Green Certificate to facilitate safe free movement inside the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Digital Green Certificate will be a proof that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result or recovered from COVID-19. It will be available, free of charge, in digital or paper format and will include a QR code to ensure security and authenticity of the certificate. The Commission will build a gateway to ensure all certificates can be verified across the EU, and support Member States in the technical implementation of certificates.

European tourism associations have welcomed the initiative and asked for more action to coordinate travel restrictions; create an EU framework for travel-related testing activities and launch a coordinated approach for reopening the tourism businesses.

It is therefore important that any UK certification programme either links with the EU’s Digital Green Passport, or that there is mutual recognition of EU and UK schemes, in order for tourism flows to be as smooth a possible.


  • Unanswered Questions

I’m very conscious that there are a large number of unanswered questions on issues such as:

    • Shared facilities
    • Day Visitors
    • Guiding
    • Weddings

There is a Tourism Industry Council meeting tomorrow so I will raise the issue of how guidance on these issues is urgently needed if businesses are to be able to plan to open from 12th April. If there are other key issues that guidance is needed on for the 12th April, please let me know and I will include this as well.


  • SME Brexit Support Fund
    The SME Brexit Support Fund is now open for applications. This fund provides up to £2,000 to help with training or professional advice for businesses with up to 500 employees and a turnover of less than £100m. There are two types of grants:

    • Grant for Training

These grants can be used to provide training on the following: How to complete customs declarations; How to manage customs processes and use customs software and systems; Specific import and export related aspects including VAT, excise and rules of origin.


    • Grant for Professional Advice

This grant can be used to get professional advice, so your business can meet its customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements.

Applications will close on 30 June 2021 or earlier, if all funding is allocated before this date
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