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23 December from VisitBritain
Updates to the visitor economy guidance and new areas moving into Tier 4 in England
Health Secretary Matt Hancock provided an update on the tier restrictions in England today. He was joined by Dr Jenny Harries and Susan Hopkins.
He began by reflecting on a difficult year, before moving onto the new variant which is spreading at a fast rate. Against this backdrop, the following areas are moving tiers as of 00:01 on 26 December:
Areas going into tier 4:
• Sussex, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, and Cambridgeshire. Those parts of Essex not yet in tier 4 (Colchester, Tendring and Uttlesford), Waverely in Surrey, and Hampshire (inc Portsmouth and Southampton, but excluding new Forest).
• See TIER 4 stay at home guidance. The updated visitor economy guidance has just been published. See more details below.
The Health Secretary also spoke of two cases of another new variant. They have been identified amongst those who have travelled from South Africa recently. This new variant is yet more transmissible and has mutated further. The government has:
• Quarantined cases and close contacts found in the UK.
• Placed immediate restrictions on travel to/from South Africa.
Anyone who has travelled or is in contact with someone who has returned from South Africa must quarantine immediately.
Updated visitor economy guidance
In light of the tier 4 restrictions in England the working safely during COVID-19 guidance has been updated with more detailed guidance for those working in the visitor economy, e.g. attractions, accommodation providers, coach and tour operators, event and exhibition venues and other hospitality businesses.
Coronavirus Local Restrictions Support Grant (for closed businesses)
The Local Restrictions Support Grant has updated its guidance to reflect that all Tier 4 businesses in England who are required to close will be eligible for grants of up to £1,500 for each 14-day period of closure; the grants will be administered by local authorities.
Guidance on waterways
The Environment Agency waterways have issued guidance following the introduction of tier 4 in England. For waterways in tier 4: Essential travel only. Travel on waterways and overnight stays are only permitted where the boat is the permanent residence or it is necessary for work, education or similar reasons. People should stay local where possible and not travel outside of a tier 4 area.
Travelling to maintain your boat is permitted in and between tiers 1 and 2; and within tier 3 only. Travel to maintain your boat is not permitted in tier 4.
You should not visit a tier 3 or 4 area from another tier or travel from a tier 3 or 4 area to another tier to visit your boat.
The guidance says that:
• In tiers 3 and 4: indoor and outdoor performing arts venues, such as theatres, concert halls and music venues will be closed to audiences.
• However training, rehearsals, and performances without an audience for broadcast or recording purposes may continue in theatres and concert halls.
• In addition, Outdoor theatres and concert venues will remain open for drive-in only in tier 3 areas but must close in tier 4 areas. Outdoor performing arts activity can still take place in line with this guidance.
VisitBritain has established a group to support the industry once Britain and markets move into the recovery phase from COVID-19. They will continue to update DMOs regularly. They are working on making more guidance available to support SMEs during this period. Please follow their corporate website and subscribe to their industry newsletter for more information as it becomes available.
VisitEngland partners with national tourist organisations to launch industry standard for UK tourism
VisitEngland in partnership with the national tourist organisations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales has today launched a UK-wide 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 public health guidance, 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. Read all about it here including how to get your mark.
Alongside the industry standard VisitEngland is also launching a Know Before You Go public information campaign to support tourism in England as businesses start to re-open, reassuring visitors as restrictions are lifted by checking about what it is safe to do and when and sign-posting to information about destinations and available services before travelling.
Getting Ready To Open
Read here for all VisitBritain/VisitEngland’s resources with practical information to help tourism businesses reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Information on emergency funding, including Government support, can be found on their Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19 page.
Consumer Messaging during COVID-19
Showing Love for Great Britain – VisitBritain
In light of the continuing situation around the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19, VisitBritain has been reconsidering their overseas marketing activity. As most markets are in “crisis” mode and advising against travel, they are refocusing their consumer messaging of keeping Britain top of visitors’ minds by sharing inspirational content linked to popular British culture on social media. This includes recipes, playlists, literature, film and TV trivia and holding pub quizzes. Their Italian team has already tested this approach and has seen good performance. They are also developing a global recovery campaign for both domestic and international markets. Join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook via @lovegreatbritain and #lovegreatbritain.