Christmas Retail Guidance and Tourism and Visitor Economy policy updates from the Tourism Alliance.

Visit Lincoln is a member of the Tourism Alliance. Every day a briefing is shared outlining the latest policy that relates to the visitor economy. The latest policy update gives guidance and information on the new rules for Tier 3, which all of Greater Lincolnshire will be under as from 2nd December, as well as guidance for retailers over the Christmas period.

For those interested, here is the link to the new legislation that underpins the latest tier and Christmas rules.

Christmas Guidance

The Government has published the guidance to the rules and restrictions that will apply over the Christmas period. Some of the main points to note are as follows:

  • Santa’s grottos are able to open in all tiers where they are located in venues otherwise permitted to open.
  • Rules for Christmas markets will depend on which Tier the market is in
  • Rules on attending events, including performances and Christmas or other festive lighting ceremonies will also depend on the Tier.
  • Carol singing or carol services can take place if all attendees follow the advice in the suggested principles of safer singing and guidance for the Performing Arts developed by an expert group coordinated by Public Health England. This applies to both professional and amateur choirs.
  • Professional and amateur choirs may perform outdoors in any venue permitted to open
  • Door-to-door carol singing can take place in a group(s) of no more than six participants.

Detailed Guidance for Different Tier Levels

The Government has just published more detailed guidance on the Rules and Restrictions that apply to the revised Tier levels that come into force tomorrow.

Christmas Shopping Hours Extended

The Government has announced that retailers will be able to extend their daily opening hours from Monday to Saturday in the run-up to Christmas and through January. For more information visit the UK GOV website here.

Discretionary Grants for Dissolved Businesses

As a result of increased business failures as a result of Coronavirus, the Government has updated the guidance on discretionary grants for dissolved businesses. Normally, when a business is dissolved, the cash and other assets of the business automatically pass to the Crown and can only be recovered if an application is made to restore the company. The Discretionary Grant application enables assets to be recovered from the business without going through this process. For more information visit the UK GOV website here.

Third SEISS Grant Now Open

The third Self Employment Income Support Scheme is now open for applications. Click here for the online application form.

Postcode Checker

The Government has launched the online Tier level Postcode Checker so that customers can check the restrictions that apply in any destination that they are travelling to and businesses can check where customers are coming from. Access the Postcode Checker and find Coronavirus Local Restrictions here.

Transmission Risk in the Hospitality Sector

The Government has published a short policy paper that seeks to explain why the Government considers hospitality businesses to be higher risk locations for the spread of coronavirus. The Government’s view is that:

For more information visit the UK GOV website here.

  • Higher risk contacts are those that are close, prolonged, indoors, face-to-face, in poorly ventilated and/or crowded spaces, or involve “loud” activities. These are all prevalent in the hospitality sector
  • The general picture in the UK (and overseas) is that it has only been possible to get R consistently below 1 in places where there have been substantial restrictions on hospitality.
  • An analysis of 3,184 cases in Japan identified 61 case-clusters that were observed in healthcare and other care facilities, restaurants and bars, workplaces, and music events. The largest clusters in Hong Kong were associated with transmission in bars and at a wedding dinner, both locations in which face masks were not worn. At least 246 cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been linked to nightclubs in Seoul.
  • A report from the US CDC found that those infected with SARS-CoV-2 without known close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19, case-patients were 2.8x more likely to report dining at a restaurant (aOR = 2.8, 95% CI = 1.9–4.3) or 3.9x more likely to report going to a bar/coffee shop (aOR = 3.9, 95% CI = 1.5–10.1) than were control participants.

Test to Release Guidance

The Government has published the guidance to go with the announcement of the new ‘Test to Release scheme that was announced with the publication of the Global Travel Taskforce Report and comes into effect on 15th December for people entering the UK from a non-Air Corridor country. The scheme is voluntary but allows people using it to reduce their quarantine period from 14 days to 5 days. The key features of this are:

  • The person should book a test with a private test provider before entering the UK – a list of private test providers will be published on GOV.UK soon
  • They should then enter the details on the test on their passenger locator form so that they are processed on entry into the UK
  • They can decide to take part in the scheme after arriving in England, will need to complete another passenger locator form to do so
  • The test is to be taken at least 5 full days after the person was in country/territory that is not on the travel corridor list.
  • If the test is negative, the person can stop quarantine
  • If the test is positive, the person has to stay in quarantine for another 10 days

For more information visit the UK GOV website here.

Heritage Location Guidance Updated

The primary guidance for heritage locations on working safely during Coronavirus has been updated in line with the new restrictions that come into force on 2nd December and apply to the different Tier levels.

  • In Tiers 1 & 2 indoor and outdoor heritage sites can open to the public, subject to the relevant social contact rules. As heritage buildings and landscapes can be used for a multitude of different activities, organisations must check if individual activities  are permitted under the rules in their respective tier. This includes caps on attendance at large indoor and outdoor events, where applicable.
  • In Tier 3, indoor heritage attractions will be required to close. Outdoor heritage locations including historic parks, gardens, landscapes, and ruins and monuments open to the elements can remain open as long as the social distancing rules are observed. In tier 3, such outdoor sites are subject to the rule of 6, whether you pay to access them or not (as public outdoor spaces similar to public parks).

For more information visit the UK GOV website here.

SEISS Extension Seminar

HMRC is holding a seminar of the extension to the Self Employment Income Support Scheme on 3 and 8 December. If you are interested, you can register on the following link here.

R Number

The latest R number and growth rate figures for the UK are 0.9-1.0 and -2% to 0% respectively, meaning that it’s the first time since the beginning of August that the growth rate has been negative.