COVID-19 – Resources for Businesses
Update: 5th January 2021
Please see below the latest updates, including a national lockdown in England and new grants to support businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.
National lockdown in England
The Prime Minister addressed the nation last night outlining a national lockdown in England.
- England will be entering a national lockdown, the Government is instructing people to stay at home and this will be backed up with legislation. People will be permitted to leave home for limited reasons, including shopping for essentials, work if you cannot work from home, exercise, or to seek medical assistance. Shielding will begin again, and those at risk will receive a letter
- Primary schools, secondary schools, and colleges must move to online learning – except for vulnerable children and children of key workers. Nurseries will continue to stay open
- All non-essential retail, hospitality and personal care services must close, or remain closed. Restaurants can continue delivery, takeaway or click-and-collect of food and non-alcoholic drinks, but venues will no longer be able to serve takeaway or click-and-collect alcohol
- Essential shops and garden centres can remain open. Entertainment venues and animal attractions such as zoos must close, but the outdoor areas of venues such as heritage homes and botanical gardens can remain open, to be used for exercise. Playgrounds may also remain open
- Everyone should follow the new rules, and they will become law from 12:01am on Wednesday 6th January. Parliament will sit, largely remotely, on Wednesday to debate and vote on the measures. The restrictions are expected to last until the middle of February if the situation in hospitals improves
- People can exercise in a public outdoor place alone, with the people they live with, with their support bubble (if they are legally permitted to form one), in a childcare bubble where providing childcare or, when alone, with one person from another household
Public outdoor places include:
- Parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests
- Public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them)
- The grounds of a heritage site
- Outdoor sports venues, including tennis courts, golf courses and swimming pools, must close.
- People must not leave their home unless they have a reasonable excuse (for example, for work or education purposes). If people need to travel, they should stay local – meaning avoiding travelling outside of their village, town or the part of a city where they live – and look to reduce the number of journeys made overall
- People can only travel internationally – or within the UK – where they first have a legally permitted reason to leave home. In addition, they should consider the public health advice in the country being visited
- People cannot leave their home or the place where they are living for holidays or overnight stays unless they have a reasonable excuse for doing so. This means that holidays in the UK and abroad are not allowed. This includes staying in a second home or caravan, if that is not a primary residence
Businesses and Venues Which Must Close
To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some provide goods and services. The full list of businesses required to close will be available shortly in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England, but includes:
- Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment) and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services
- Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery
- Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for providing accommodation or support to the homeless, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
- Leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, sports courts, fitness and dance studios, riding arenas at riding centres, climbing walls, and golf courses
- Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres), circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, water parks and theme parks
- Animal attractions (such as zoos, safari parks, aquariums, and wildlife reserves)
- Indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open for outdoor exercise
- Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. These services should not be provided in other people’s homes
- Community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities, as set out below. Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services – for example for people who do not have it at home – and for click-and-collect services
Businesses and Venues Which Can Remain Open
Other businesses and venues are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 secure guidelines. Businesses providing essential goods and services can stay open. The full list of these businesses will be available on GOV.uk shortly but some businesses in the tourism, hospitality and leisure sector that can remain open include:
- Outdoor parts of botanical gardens and heritage sites for exercise
- Car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas
- Outdoor playgrounds
- Places of worship
- Essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres and off-licences, market stalls selling essential retail
- Petrol stations, taxi and vehicle hire businesses
Weddings, Civil Partnerships, Religious Services and Funerals
Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and funerals are allowed with strict limits on attendance, and must only take place in COVID-19 Secure venues or in public outdoor spaces unless in exceptional circumstances.
Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Linked religious, belief-based or commemorative events, such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to six people in attendance.
Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies must only take place with up to six people and in exceptional circumstances.
New Lockdown Grants to Support Businesses in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Sectors
The Chancellor has announced grants for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.
The one-off top-up grants will be provided on a per-property basis to businesses closed as a result of the latest restrictions as follows:
- £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
- £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
- £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000
A further £594 million is also being made available for Local Authorities and the Devolved Administrations to support other businesses not eligible for the grants, that might be affected by the restrictions. Businesses should apply to their Local Authorities.
The new one-off grants are in addition to the existing business support, including grants worth up to £3,000 for closed businesses, and up to £2,100 per month for impacted businesses once they reopen.
Mental Health Resources
- Bath Mind have a useful page on their website detailing resources and support during isolation, social distancing and illness
- Rehab 4 Addiction have put together a discussion regarding mental health during the pandemic
- Click here for mental health resources from the NHS Every Mind Matters campaign
Update: 26th November 2020
Following today's Government announcement, from 2nd December, Bath and North East Somerset will be in Tier 2: High Alert. Click here for more information regarding the Government's announcement about the tier system.
In Tier 2, hospitality settings that serve alcohol must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals.
We will be updating our website to ensure that we are carrying the latest advice from Public Health, business reopening/closure information, plus inspiring content to attract visits to Bath and North East Somerset.
We are aware that there will be several Members and businesses in Bath who will not be able to open, either through restrictions or for other reasons. If there is anything we can do to help, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We appreciate that information relating to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic is changing regularly and wanted to be able to share and signpost information for businesses working in the tourism and hospitality industry. We anticipate that this information will be updated frequently. Please visit the following pages for up-to-date information:
- VisitEngland – business advice hub
- VisitBritain – latest information and advice for businesses
- VisitBritain – 'We're Good to Go' scheme
- NHS website
- GOV.UK – UK government response
- GOV.UK – support for businesses
- GOV.UK – business support toolkit
- Bath and North East Somerset website
- Travelwest – coronavirus travel advice
- Invest In Bath – information for businesses
- Acas – advice for employers and employees
- PASC – information and advice for self-catering businesses
- Tier 2: High Alert Assets
Not in Bath and North East Somerset?
Links to other local authority information:
Government Advice on Reporting Outbreaks
COVID-19 early outbreak management information has been created to make sure that people who run businesses or organisations:
- Know how to recognise and report an incident of COVID-19.
- Are aware of measures local health protection teams may advise in order to contain it.
- Full details can be found here.
In addition, 'action cards' have been developed to cover a range of businesses and organisations to provide specific advice on the issues each type of organisation may face now lockdown restrictions have been eased.
Update: 1st November 2020
The Prime Minister has announced a second national lockdown for England. You can view the full speech here.
In summary, this lockdown comes into effect on 12:01am Thursday 5th November for four weeks (following a Commons vote on Wednesday and regulations published on Tuesday), until 2nd December 2020. After the four weeks, the Government will seek to ease restrictions, going back into the tiered system on a local and regional basis according to the latest data and trends.
Key Points From Boris Johnson's Speech Are:
- The public must stay at home from Thursday, only leaving home for specific reasons, including:
- Work, if you cannot work from home, for example
- Exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household or on your own with one person from another household
- Medical reasons, appointments and to escape injury or harm
- To shop for food and essentials
- To provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer
- Workplaces should stay open where people can’t work from home – for example, in the construction or manufacturing sectors
- Single adult households can still form exclusive support bubbles with one other household, and children will still be able to move between homes if their parents are separated
A press release on the PM’s statement on upcoming national restrictions in England has since been published which outlines some further details on restrictions applicable to tourism.
The key points to note are:
- There is no exemption for staying away from home on holiday. This means people cannot travel internationally or within the UK, unless for work, education or other legally permitted exemptions. Overnight stays away from primary residences will not be allowed, except for specific exceptions including for work
- Inbound international travel will continue to be governed by the travel corridor approach, and those currently on a domestic holiday will be allowed to finish their holidays, but are still subject to the requirements in England to not go out without a reasonable excuse
There is also a new guidance page on gov.uk about the changes in England. Please be aware that this is initial top-line guidance and more detail will be available in the coming days.
Of particular note:
- The Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close, including:
- All non-essential retail, including, but not limited to, clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops
- Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks
- Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens
- Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons
- Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open. Essential retailers should follow COVID-Secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers
- Non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect can operate
- Playgrounds can remain open
- Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. However, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed
- Hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions which will be set out in law
- A full list of the business closures will be published and set out in law
- Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place except in exceptional circumstances
All non-essential travel by private or public transport should be avoided. Essential travel includes, but is not limited to:
- Essential shopping
- Travelling to work where your workplace is open or you cannot work from home
- Travelling to education and for caring responsibilities
- Hospital, GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health
The Government's Furlough Scheme has been extended, with further economic support announced.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will be extended through November. Workers in any part of the UK can retain their job, even if their employer cannot afford to pay them, and be paid at least 80% of their salary up to £2,500 a month.
The flexibility of the current CJRS will be retained to allow employees to continue to work where they can. Employers small or large, charitable or non-profit organisations are eligible, and because more businesses will need to close, they will now be asked to pay just National Insurance and Pensions contributions for their staff during the month of November, making this more generous than support currently on offer.
The Job Support Scheme will not be introduced until after the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends.
Click here for details of the new style Employment and Support Allowance.
Click here for full details, courtesy of VisitBritain, of the latest information and advice for businesses.
Supporting your business during this time
We will continue to share the latest guidance and updates and will aim to support those businesses who will again have to adapt to suit current guidelines.
This will include sharing information of hospitality businesses offering takeaway and delivery services, and any support for local businesses promoting online sales or future travel, should you wish to do so. This will also include virtual tours and experiences if you have them.
Please do keep us updated if you can, and send details of any takeaway services, virtual activities and online sales to Lisa Franklin, on email@example.com.