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.
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.
- All hospitality closed, except for takeaway sales
- 23:00 GMT takeaway curfew
- Curfews lifted on takeaway
- Premises where alcohol cannot be consumed open with table service, six people from two households
- Premises where alcohol can be consumed, excluding wet pubs, open with table service and only people from two households
- Wet pubs open with table service, six people from two households
- Limited entertainment relaxations
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.
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.
Government Update (2nd March 2021)
A new package of grant support confirmed for Wednesday’s Budget was announced at the weekend. The measure will see grants of up to £18,000 per hospitality premises facilitate the sector’s restart this summer.
The grant will start from 1 April and will replace the closed business grants of £3k a month which run out on 31 March. The grants will be allocated based on the value of a property:
- £8,000 for properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
- £12,000 for properties with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
- £18,000 for properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over
An additional £425 million has also been added to the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) fund to help those not receiving the grants.
We have put together the Hub for cafe and hospitality with a list of business support services. Some of them you will be aware of and even are subscribed to. You may be unaware of what they offer. Therefore, the link for each support service will go through to a specific Coronavirus page.
COVID19 – What you need to know about new measures
UKHospitality has updated its FAQs which can be found here and the Beverage Standards Association and UKHospitality continue to seek clarity.
Important Government updates
Early Outbreak Management Cards
The Government has produced a series of action cards that provide instructions for business on what to do in the event of one or more confirmed cases of coronavirus in the organisation. Each of the cards is sector-specific and centres around four key steps.
Social Distancing Guidance Updated
The Government has updated the guidance on social distancing for the tier levels outlining the rules that:
- Tier 1 – people must not socialise in groups larger than 6 people, indoors or outdoors, other than where a legal exemption applies. This is called the ‘rule of 6’.
- Tier 2 – people must not socialise with anyone they do not live with or who is not in their support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place. People must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside, including in a garden or a public space – this is called the ‘rule of 6’.
- Tier 3 – people must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody they do not live with, or who is not in their support bubble including in any private garden or at most outdoor venues.
In all tiers, people can continue to meet in a group larger than 6 if they are all from the same household or support bubble, or another legal exemption applies.
Christmas travel clarification
The Scottish Government has published guidance clarifying the cross border travel relaxations applied from 22-28 December. As previously agreed between the 4 devolved administrations, people will be able to travel cross-border and travel from Levels 3 and 4 in Scotland over the festive period for the purpose of forming a Christmas bubble and that those from these areas in Scotland and travelling from England to Scotland are only permitted to stay in hotels, self-catering properties, guest houses, B&B’s as long as someone in the bubble normally resides in the same local authority area as the accommodation that they are staying in.
Nicola Sturgeon’s daily COVID-19 briefing
In the statement given by First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, at a media briefing today, she confirmed that the outcome of the latest weekly review of the levels of protection that apply in each area will be announced tomorrow and that those authorities currently in level 4 would move out of this level on Friday. More details to follow tomorrow.
Test and Trace update (England)
- From the 24 September, there is a new legal requirement in England for venues to display an official NHS QR code poster and to ask customers to check in using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details. The guidance on the implementation of this recommends that venues ask to see confirmation that a customer has checked in using the Code – the customer will receive a verification message on their phone which may be shown to staff. This should be incorporated into staff training.
- Maintaining Test and Trace Records – The guidance on which businesses need to record customer and staff details for Test and Trace has been revised to include cinemas, concert venues and theatres. This means that they must have a QR code for customer use and a separate system for recording the details of people who do not use the QR to register their details. In addition, the guidance has been amended to clarify that the indoor sports and leisure centres includes gyms.
- For those not using the QR code, the legal obligation is to ask at least one member of every part of customers or visitors to provide name and contact details.
Businesses are also reminded that the test and trace obligation applies to all staff and that a record of those on premises at specific shift times on a given day, together with contact details should also be maintained. This can be fulfilled through a check in via the QR and app as well.
If you have any questions please contact Martyn Herriott – email@example.com.
Previous Government Information
Face Coverings become mandatory in more places as of the 8th August.
As of Saturday, 8 August, wearing a face covering is mandatory in more places than before, including: cinemas, beauty salons, museums and more. In order to wear your face covering correctly, make sure it covers your mouth and nose with no big gaps on the side of your face. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after using your face covering and ensure you dispose of it in a bin or clean it regularly if it’s a reusable one. You can make your own face covering using a t-shirt or sock
The Government published new Regulations and official guidance (here) to require face coverings to be worn in a shop, supermarket, shopping centre and transport hubs in England from Friday 24 July. 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 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 mandatory 8th August.
Face coverings mandatory 8th August
From 4 July the 2m (6ft) social distancing guidance will change in England
Coronavirus lockdown – What you need to know about new measures
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 updated on the 23rd June 2020 in readiness for opening on the 4th July. You can download the document here.
Where it is not possible to stay 2m apart, people should keep a distance of “one metre plus” – this means staying one metre apart, while observing precautions to reduce the risk of transmission.
Businesses are being asked to help by:
- avoiding face-to-face seating by changing office layouts
- reducing the number of people in enclosed spaces
- improving ventilation
- using protective screens and face coverings
- closing non-essential social spaces
- providing hand sanitiser
- changing shift patterns so that staff work in set teams
In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the 2m distancing rule remains in place for the time being.
From 4 July the 2m (6ft) social distancing guidance will change in England
Coronavirus lockdown – What you need to know about new measures
Restaurants, pubs and cafes in England will also be allowed to reopen, providing they follow safety guidelines.
All hospitality indoors will be limited to table service and contact between staff and customers will be limited.
Customers will also have to give contact details when they enter a pub or restaurant.
Holiday accommodation – including hotels, B&Bs, cottages, campsites and caravan parks – can also reopen, and people in England will be free to stay away from home overnight for the first time since lockdown began in March.
Northern Ireland has also said that holiday accommodation can reopen for business from 26 June, and pubs and restaurants can open on 3 July. Decisions on hospitality and holidays are expected from Wales and Scotland in early July.
If you need advice and support to manage your employees and protect your business during this difficult time. Many business owners are feeling confused and anxious, so to support businesses during the coronavirus pandemic the Government announced the Job Retention Scheme (JRS) which may help support your business if you have been forced to close or revise your working practices. To help you navigate the coronavirus outbreak, Mentor has created a 90 day service that provides a range of services and full details are available here.
To prepare for the ‘new normal’ we have written a COVID-19 Recovery Guide for you, click the button to get it.
Last week we recorded a video on how to navigate your way through the current crisis to open again stronger and this can be viewed here.
A previous article contained the 10-point action plan which covers.
- Refresh and
These are easy to follow guidelines. They will challenge your business situation. Look at positive ways to reinvigorate your business. And prepare you to be ready when the opportunity arrives to open your days for trading again.
Andrew & Claire are the team behind the success of many well run and profitable independent cafes in the UK & Ireland. As a BSA Member they have put together a check list for cafes and hospitality businesses. This is to help them during these challenging and unprecedented times and can be read here. Therefore, read the article – Positives from Negatives – which will help coffee shop owners focus on the future of their business and offer help to guide them when businesses can reopen.
Possibly you will not be using your espresso machine and coffee grinder for a period of time during the closure period. As a result here is a wide range of useful information on what you should do prior to putting your espresso equipment into a non-operating period.
Water filtration systemsare designed to be used on a continuous basis. If they are taken out of service (shutdown) for an extended period of time for instance, there may be impacts to product performance. BSA Members‘ European Watercare, 3M Water Filtration and BRITA have put together some fact sheets and these can be found here.
The British Sandwich & Food to Go Association (BSA); The Pizza, Pasta & Italian food Association (PAPA) alongside the Cafe Life Association have combined the Government guidelines. This is advice for operators providing takeaway or delivery food services based on the experiences of the pizza industry. The British Sandwich & Food to Go Association invite all retailers to read the advice on the sites below:
- The British Sandwich & Food to Go Association
- The Pizza, Pasta & Italian Food Association
- The Cafe Life
Therefore, The British Sandwich & Food to Go Association has set up an Information Access Plan. This allows individuals to obtain access to all the advice on the BSA website for a single period of 6 months for just £12.
This a guide of suggestions and recommendations to help owners and operators in these challenging times.
About The Help Hub
Hospitality businesses need now, more than ever, a whole range of delivery and takeaway products/services available to them to try and diminish the impact of COVID-19. That’s why we’ve decided to develop a series of
- ideas and helpful links
- blogs and any information that can help these businesses in this difficult time.
Keep your coffee shop “open”, offer your guest digital gift сards. Therefore, Coffee Shop Innovation Expo have together with Diggecard decided to do what they can to help you.
You can sign up for the Diggecard here.
Have a look here and please get in contact if you think you might be able to help them too!
Email Laura.firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions or enquiries you might have.
Update. Work from home, EVEN just part of the week?
If your employer requires you to work at home for any period, you can – and have always been able to – claim for increased costs eg, heating and electricity.
Clearly, right now many firms have closed workplaces. This means across the UK millions of staff are temporarily required to work from home, and therefore are eligible to claim for increased costs. HMRC says it will consider claims from employees working at home due to coronavirus measures if their usual workplace is closed. This article was updated on the 15th September and read the full article here.
If you have any ideas, suggestions or recommendations for the Hub for cafe and hospitality please contact Martyn Herriott on email at email@example.com.
Keep safe and well.