Hospitality – The Visitor Economy

Roadmap available for UK nations
Guidance (updated 19th March 2021)

Workplace testing – All businesses in England are now able to sign up for the Government’s free COVID-19 workplace testing programme. Businesses are being encouraged to register interest by 31 March.

    • The Government still says that all those who can work from home should continue to do so.
    • Workplace testing is now available to all businesses, including those with fewer than 50 employees.
    • Regular testing will be a vital part of the Government’s roadmap to cautiously ease restrictions.

Pavement licencing extended – A letter published today by Local Government Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick to local authorities confirms government measures to support hospitality businesses to reopen safely.

Some of the intentions include the automatic extension of pavement licences for a further 12 months to September 2022, making it easier and cheaper for pubs, restaurants and cafes to continue to make al fresco dining a reality with outside seating.

In it, he urges councils to grant licences swiftly under the new light touch procedure introduced last year – £100 fee and deemed grant in 10 days – and recommended licences be granted for as long as possible and that previously granted licences should be automatically extended.

The Hospitality road map for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland & Wales have been announced. These changes will see a gradual lifting of restrictions over the coming months.

For Hospitality (England) we need to prepare for Monday, 12th April 2021 when

  • Pubs and restaurants will be allowed to reopen for outdoor sales only. All diners and drinkers will need to be seated, with the need to have a meal with alcohol removed.

The next stage for Hospitality (England) is Monday, 17th May when

  • Indoor venues such as the inside of pubs and restaurants, hotels and B&Bs, play centres, cinemas and group exercise classes will reopen. The new indoor and outdoor mixing limits will remain for pubs and other hospitality venues.

All Covid restrictions (in England) cease on Monday, 21st June.

The full details of the Hospitality roadmap for England can be read in Chapter 3 of the Government document ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021.’

For information on the 2021 Budget and how it affected Hosptality click here.

Northern Ireland have announced their nine pathways for easing lockdown today (2nd March) and these include Hospitality. Step one represents the current lockdown restrictions, with steps two to four representing an easing of the rules and the final step entitled preparing for the future.

The Executive Office said the plan – Moving Forward: The Executive’s Pathway Out Of Restrictions – was a “gradual easing of the current restrictions”. Step one represents the current lockdown restrictions, with steps two to four representing an easing of the rules and the final step entitled preparing for the future.

Step one:

  • All hospitality closed, except for takeaway sales
  • 23:00 GMT takeaway curfew

Step two:

  • Curfews lifted on takeaway
  • Premises where alcohol cannot be consumed open with table service, six people from two households

Step three:

  • Premises where alcohol can be consumed, excluding wet pubs, open with table service and only people from two households

Step four:

  • Wet pubs open with table service, six people from two households
  • Limited entertainment relaxations

Step five:

  • Bar service permitted in wet pubs
  • Six people from two households rule relaxed to any number
  • Live entertainment in hospitality venues
  • Nightclubs open

Scotland have announced their Reopening Plan and has has set out an indicative timetable for when restrictions will be eased over the next two months, with hospitality businesses starting to reopen from 26 April.

The First Minister confirmed the aim will be for the whole of Scotland to move to Level 0 restrictions by the end of June.

The Strategic Business Framework supporting closed businesses will be altered to a model of re-start grants. On 22nd March, recipients of support under the SBF fund will receive a final four-week payment, with no new claims accepted

On 19th April, recipients will then receive a combined final payment comprising a final two weeks closure support and a one-off re-start grant. This will be up to £7.5k for eligible retail businesses and up to £19.5k for eligible hospitality and leisure businesses.

For hospitality the first date to be aware of is the 26th April and the details are below.

  • All restrictions on journeys within mainland Scotland to be lifted – if Scottish islands reopen hospitality and retail, travel to and from these areas may be restricted. It is also hoped that travel restrictions between Scotland, the rest of the UK and the Common Travel Area will be lifted.
  • Hospitality to reopen outdoors for the service of alcohol in groups of six from 2 households until 10pm, and open indoors for meals and non-alcoholic drinks until 8pm to no more than four people from two households.
  • tourist accommodation (including hotels) to reopen (self-catering accommodation to be restricted in line with rules on indoor gathering)
  • weddings and funerals (including wakes and receptions with no alcohol permitted) raised to up to 50 people
  • libraries, museums, galleries re-open
  • social mixing in indoor public places will be subject to current maximum of 4 people from up to 2 households The prohibition of in-home socialising will continue to be kept under review at this date
  • Those shielding can return to work.

The 17th May is the second date for further hospitality changes.

  • Further re-opening of hospitality: bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes can stay open until 22:30 indoors with alcohol permitted and 2 hour time-limited slots and until 22:00 outdoors with alcohol permitted
  • small scale indoor and outdoor events can resume subject to capacity constraints (to be confirmed following stakeholder engagement).

For Wales the plans for Hosptality are still to be finalised and will be available here when confirmed. You can see the guidelines here.

2021 Budget Update

Budget update for businesses in England – The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, outlined his tax and spend policies in the Budget. Below is a summary of the budget for the tourism and hospitality industry. You can read the what you need to know page summary here or view the budget document here.

Highlights include:

VAT reduction for the UK’s tourism and hospitality sector – The temporary reduced rate of 5% VAT for hospitality businesses has been extended until the end of September. From October to 31 March 2022 the rate will revert to an ‘interim’ level of 12.5%. There is no change to the scope of the VAT reduction.

It is also worth noting that small businesses that are on the flat Rate VAT Scheme will have their VAT rate changed for the 1 Oct 2021 – 31 March 2022 period.

  • Business rates reliefs – There will be a three-month 100% business rates holiday until 30 June 2021. For the remaining three quarters there will be a two-thirds relief (66%) BUT the value of the relief on these nine months (1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022) will be capped at £2 million. Any business that has a rates bill over £4m will therefore be subject to a cap on their relief.
  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) extension – The CJRS will be extended across the UK for five months until 30 September 2021. This will be full furlough until the end of June. In July business will have to contribute 10% of the wage cost, rising to 20% in August and September. There will be no employer contributions beyond National Insurance contributions (NICs) and pensions required in April, May and June. From July, the government will introduce an employer contribution towards the cost of unworked hours of 10% in July, 20% in August and 20% in September, as the economy reopens.

An additional £425 million has also been added to the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) fund to help those not receiving the grants.

Track & trace Systems to be maintained

It is important to continue ensuring that track and trace systems are maintained to ensure that information is gathered on customers to facilitate local control of infection. The Government is piloting a new national app which will be rolled out shortly but in the meantime has asked that all indoor leisure and workplaces step up their efforts to capture data and support track and trace. For hospitality, compliance will be particularly important to support further requests for support and avoid any pressure to close premises in the event of future infection spikes.

Film on importance of ventilation

As part of the ‘Hands. Face. Space’ campaign, the Government has produced a film highlighting that good ventilation can reduce the risk of coronavirus infection by over 70%. While the film is based on residential properties, it highlights the importance of businesses checking that their ventilation systems are clean and working properly and, where businesses do not have ventilation systems, the advice is to either open windows for short, sharp bursts of 10 to 15 minutes regularly throughout the day or leave windows open a small amount continuously.

Update to Government regulations for Hospitality

The Government published on Monday, 9th November regulations and official guidance (here) to require face coverings to be worn in a shop, supermarket, shopping centre and transport hubs in England.

  • The guidance confirms that if a shop or supermarket has a café or seating area for you to eat and drink, then you can remove your face covering in this area only. You must put a face covering back on once you leave your seating area. If you are in a cafe or takeaway restaurant that does not provide table service, you must wear a face covering unless you are in a designated seated area. For absolute clarity, this means that when entering a takeaway, customers must be wearing face masks and should only remove them if they sit down to eat
  • Premises offering table service are exempt from the regulations as are restaurants, pubs and gyms. Earlier press briefings suggesting counter service would be banned, have also not been taken forward. It will be compulsory to wear a face covering when buying food and drink to take away from cafes and shops.

Face coverings will not be mandatory for anyone under the age of 11, those with disabilities or certain health conditions, such as respiratory or cognitive impairments that make it difficult for them to wear a face covering.

The following Guidance (Hospitality – The Visitor Economy) is for people who work in hotels and guest accommodation, indoor and outdoor attractions, and business events and consumer shows.

This guidance (Hospitality – The Visitor Economy) is designed to be relevant for people who work within the visitor economy; for example people who operate or run hotels and other types of accommodation (there is also a separate hotels and other guest accommodation guidance, indoor and outdoor visitor attractions guidance, and guidance for people who run or manage spaces for business or leisure events and conferences. There is also a separate guidance document on pubs and restaurants for food settings which has been further updated on the 20th July. You can download the document here.

The guidance is split into specific areas including
  • Introduction
  • How to use the Guidance
  • What does the Government mean by ‘The Visitor Economy’
  • Thinking about Risk and acting upon it
  • Managing customers, visitors and contractors
  • Who should go to work
  • Social distancing for workers
  • Cleaning the workplace
  • Personal protective Equipment (PPE) and face coverings
  • Workforce Management
  • Inbound and Outbound goods.
COVID19 Secure Guidelines for hospitality businesses

UK Hospitality have released ‘COVID19 Secure Guidelines for hospitality businesses‘ and the Association recommends that this is read in conjunction with the above documentation to.

‘We’re Good to Go’ industry standard

The national tourist organisations of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have today (26th June 2020) launched an industry standard and consumer mark to provide a ‘ring of confidence’ for tourism as the sector works towards reopening. The ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard and supporting mark means businesses can demonstrate that they are adhering to the respective Government and UKHospitality Protocols, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and checked that they have the required processes in place. The scheme is free to join and open to all businesses across the industry through an online self-assessment.

England Reopening
Scotland Reopening
  • First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced indicative dates  on the condition that health and safety criteria are met. The Scottish Government published Guidance last week and we have UKHospitality Scottish Protocols on our website
  • The amended timeline is as follows:
  • 3 July – Travel distance restriction relaxed to allow leisure travel of more than 5 miles. , Visits to self-catering (without shared facilities) and second homes are permitted.
  • 6 July – Outdoor hospitality, subject to physical distancing rules and public health advice.
  • 15 July – All holiday accommodation, indoor hospitality, and tourist attractions
Northern Ireland Reopening
  • The First Minister of Northern Ireland has announced in today’s briefing that social distancing will be reduced to 1 metre from 29 June for the tourism and hospitality sector where appropriate mitigations are made. Mitigation could include face coverings, exposure times, Perspex screens. etc. and these will be confirmed following discussion as soon as possible between the Office for the First Minister and Deputy First Minister and the industry.
  • They also published official guidance for reopening the visitor economy: 26 June: self-catering accommodation; 3 July: other accommodation, pubs and restaurants, cafes
Wales Reopening
Where to obtain further guidance (Hospitality – The Visitor Economy)

Hotels and other guest accommodation

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Indoor and Outdoor attractions
Business Events