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COVID-19 Update 9th May 2021

Visitor Economy Guidance Updated

The primary Guidance for visitor economy businesses has been updated to incorporate more details on the requirements associated with Step 3 on 17th May. The key components of the update are:


Visitor attractions and recreational venues can open both indoor and outdoor areas. This includes:

    • Games and recreation facilities, such as bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, laser quest, escape rooms, paintballing, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks) and trampolining centres.
    • Water parks and theme parks.
    • Animal attractions at zoos, safari parks, aquariums, and wildlife centres.
    • Attractions such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks.


Most indoor and outdoor entertainment venues can open to the public.

    • This includes venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, arcades and bingo halls.


Indoor and outdoor events can take place, but measures apply including following COVID-secure and social distancing guidance.

    • Events permitted from Step 3 (which include business events such as conferences and exhibitions, live performances, and sport events) should follow all COVID-secure guidance, adhere to all legal requirements, and take all reasonable action to mitigate risk to public health. An event cannot take place in either Step 2 or Step 3 if it is unlikely that social distancing between groups of attendees can be maintained, or if other COVID-secure requirements cannot be met. This may be the case for events such as music festivals and carnivals.
    • Capacity restrictions apply to both indoor events (1,000 people or 50% of a site or venue’s capacity, whichever is lower) and outdoor events (4,000 people or 50% of a site or venue’s capacity, whichever is lower).
    • Further guidance can be found in the sections for business meetings and events and other events and attractions, and in the organised events guidance for local authorities.


Indoor and outdoor guided tours are permitted, but must operate within the legal gathering limits and follow COVID-secure guidance.

    • Tours can be provided for a single permitted group of visitors (up to 30 people outdoors; up to 6 people or 2 households/bubbles indoors), or multiple permitted groups (of up to 30 people outdoors; groups of up to 6 people or 2 households/bubbles indoors) that are kept separate throughout the activity. You can find more information in the section on changes to operations.


Private hire coaches are permitted for a private group of a single household/bubble, and may also accommodate groups containing multiple households travelling together to the same destination or making the same journey (e.g. for the purposes of a leisure tour).

    • This can only take place under certain conditions and where coaches operate in line with social contact limits, meaning that permitted groups (of 6 people or 2 households/bubbles) must be kept separate at all times whilst indoors on the tour. You can find more information in the section on changes to operations.


All heritage railway services are permitted to operate.

    • This includes heritage railway services operating as public transport (journeys from point A to point B), as well as those provided primarily for dining or other recreational purposes, or for the carriage of passengers from the same start and end point. You can find more information in the section on changes to operations and the guidance on safer travel.


Self-drive day-hire of boats is permitted, within the legal gathering limits.

    • There are different restrictions for different types of vessels. Boats which are open-air can be used within the legal gathering limits (by a group of up to 30 people). Boats which are enclosed can only be used by up to 6 people or 2 households/support bubbles. You can find more information in the section on changes to operations.


Self-drive holiday-hire (where people make overnight stays) of boats is permitted for up to 6 people or 2 households/bubbles.


Skippered boats can operate within the legal gathering limits.

    • There are different restrictions for different types of vessels. Boats which are open-air can be used by groups of up to 30 people, and multiple groups are permitted under certain circumstances. Where boats are partially or fully enclosed, people should only gather indoors within their group (up to 6 people or 2 households/bubbles) and groups should not mix. Multiple groups are permitted inside under some circumstances. You can find more information in the section on changes to operations.


Domestic cruises (departing from, and returning to, UK ports) can operate, with restrictions on capacity.

    • They may operate beyond UK waters, but are restricted to UK port calls. Groups of more than 6 people or 2 households/bubbles will not be allowed to mix indoors, whether or not they originally booked in the same group. You can find more information in the guidance on domestic cruise ship travel and the UK Chamber of Shipping’s COVID-19 framework for operators.
    • People present in a work capacity (including volunteers), such as coach drivers, tour guides and skippers, are not counted as part of a group.


Travel Traffic Light System

The Government has announced the list of countries on the new traffic light system. There are only 12 countries that are on the Green list, which allowed people to enter the UK without the need to self-isolate or go into quarantine. These countries are:

    • Portugal
    • Israel
    • Singapore
    • Australia
    • New Zealand
    • Brunei
    • Iceland
    • Gibraltar
    • Falkland Islands
    • Faroe Islands
    • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
    • St Helena, Tristan de Cunha, Ascension Island

This list will be reviewed every three weeks from 17th May

Also of note is the Border Force stating that it will take 14 or 15 times longer to process passengers at ports of entry into the UK.

The following countries have been added to the Red list

    • Turkey
    • Maldives
    • Nepal

Here’s a link to the full guidance on the Traffic Light system which contains full lists of countries in each category and rules for where people transit through red or amber countries.

And here’s the DfT Press Release


Demonstrating Vaccine Status When Travelling Overseas

The DoH has published new guidance for people intending to travel overseas on how to demonstrate their vaccine status. The key point is that people will be able to access their COVID-19 vaccination status through the  NHS App from 17 May. Those without app can request a letter to verify their vaccination status.


Kickstart Scheme Guidance Update

The guidance for employers recruiting a young person through the Kickstart scheme has been updated. As you will be aware, employers  taking part in the scheme are given £1,500 per job for setup costs and employability support. This funding can be spent on:

    • Training and employability support (provided by the employer, Kickstart gateway or another provider)
    • IT equipment and software
    • Uniform or Personal Protective Equipment

The guidance has been updated to state that DWP may ask employers for their records to prove that they’ve spent this funding on setup costs and supporting the young person’s employability.


Social Impacts of Coronavirus

ONS has released another report in their series on the social impact of coronavirus. Todays report indicates that peoples’ behaviour is starting to return to normal as reopening continues. Some of the key findings are:

    • Just 21% of adults reported staying home or only leaving home for essential reasons this week – down from 65% in mid-January.
    • 56% of adults met up with someone outdoors this week – up from 19% in mid-March
    • 60% adults left home for work this week – which is the same level as  October 2020 before the second lockdown


R Rate and Growth Number

And finally, as it’s the end of the week, here’s the R Number and Growth Rate  – which are, respectively, 0.8 to 1.0 and -3% to 0%. There are the same as they were at this time last month.
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