COVID -19 - Advice and Signposting for Tourism Businesses

VisitEngland are closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and are working hard to provide you with the very latest information to support your business at this very challenging time. They are feeding in industry concerns to Government via the Tourism Industry Emergency Response Group and will be sharing practical advice as soon as it becomes available, publishing the latest announcements and industry information on their dedicated COVID-19 page. All of their information is kept under continuous review and is updated often.

You will also find a number of useful VisitEngland webinars and workshops on their site to help your business recovery. 

Bookmark VisitEngland's Business Advice Hub page here

To see the number of cases of COVID-19 in England and the UK visit the UK COVID-19 dashboard - https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

To see the number of cases globally see the World Health Organisation dashboard - https://covid19.who.int/

In these difficult times, we want to ensure that we continue to highlight our beautiful coast, towns, countryside and the tourism businesses within them but we know you need help right now. Below you will find information on the following:

Thursday 24 September 2020

Click here for more information on the following:

  • Key components of the chancellors statement – further details will follow soon.
  • New Job Support Scheme
  • Self-Employment Scheme
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans 
  • VAT 

Wednesday 23 September 2020

Click here for more information on the following:

  • More guidance to accompany Prime Minister's announcement on further restrictions yesterday.
  • New Rules on Wearing Face Masks
  • New Rules and Restrictions on Businesses
  • Restrictions on Groups
  • Exemptions to the Rules of Six
  • Guidance for Transport Operators

Tuesday 22 September 2020

Click here for more information on the following:

  • Prime Minister's Statement

Wednesday 16 September 2020

Click here for more information on the following:

  • Financial Conduct Authority Coronavirus Disruption Insurance Judgement - Invitation to speak FCA legal team deadline 17 September - 5pm.

Monday 14 September 2020

Click here for more information on the following:

  • The R number and growth rate in the UK
  • Guidance to Businesses of Rule of Six
  • Rule of Six and Tour Groups
  • Businesses Urged to Prepare for NHS COVID-19 App
  • Priority Actions for businesses on working safely with Coronavirus
  • CJRS Guidance Update
  • Further Information on Kickstart Scheme
  • National Museums
  • Local Lockdowns
  • Question in the Lords
  • Tourism Debate

Thursday 10 September 2020 - afternoon!

Click here for more information on the following:

  • Primary Guidance Updated for Rule of Six
  • Venues Required to Take Contact Details
  • Grants for Businesses Impacted by Local Lockdowns
  • ONS Social and Economic Impact Report
  • Sports Pilots Reduced to 1000 People
  • Bolton Restrictions
  • Employer Testing Regimes

Thursday 10 September 2020 - morning

Click here for more information on the following:

The Government has published further guidance on the new “Rule of Six” including a FAQ (note that this applies just to England). It includes information on;

Meeting Others Safely - This new guidance provides more detail on the exemptions which include:

  • Weddings
  • Education and training
  • Work or voluntary/charitable services
  • Some organised indoor and outdoor sports, physical activity and exercise classes (further linked details are provided on this)
  • Youth groups or activities

The guidance also clarifies that COVID-19 secure venues can continue to host people up to their social distancing capacity but that no one can visit in a group of ,ore than 6 (except for the exemptions and where the household (including bubble) is greater than 6)

There is also a FAQ document to go with the guidance which states, among other things:

  • People should not go on holiday in England with people outside their household (including bubble) in a group larger than 6 people
  • Where people can travel to or what they can do on a holiday is not affected provided that the group size is not exceeded
  • This does not change the guidance on what to do if someone catches Coronavirus while on holiday

Wednesday 9 September 2020

Click here for more information on the following:

  • Social gatherings above six banned in England from 14 September - impact on tourism businesses

Friday 28 August 2020

Click here for more information on the following:

UK Government backs joint Norfolk and Suffolk ‘Unexplored England’ campaign to extend holiday season safely

Monday 24 August 2020

Click here for more information on the following:

  • New Anglia Visitor and Wider Economy Grant Schemes open - apply now

Thursday 13/08/2020

Click here for more information on the following:

  • Do you have your VisitEngland 'We're Good to Go' accreditation?
  • AONBs Sustainable Development Fund Recovery Grants NOW OPEN 
  • Impact on the UK Economy
  • Eat out to Help Out claims portal
  • Trade credit insurance
  • VisitBritain report: consumer sentiment in France and Germany 
  • Coronavirus and the impact on output in the UK economy: June 2020 report 
  • HMRC Webinars
  • Updated Guidance to Businesses
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Friday 07/08/2020

Click here for more information on the following:

  • What to do if someone falls ill whilst away on holiday
  • VisitEngland's latest Consumer Sentiment Tracker

Thursday 06/08/2020

Click here for more information on the following:

  • Last call for business grants scheme as deadline approaches
  • Peoples' willingness to visit a restaurant
  • Estimate of Potential Redundancies

Wednesday 05/08/2020

Click here for more information on the following:

  • £20 million in new grants to boost recovery of small businesses
  • £88m grants package - Culture recovery fund for heritage 
  • Zoo Animals Fund
  • Changes to claims on the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme from 1 August
  • Consulting With Employees About Returning to Work
  • Verifying that having a child impacted Self-Employment Income
  • 90 minute Coronavirus Tests
  • VisitBritain's 2020 Tourism Forecast
  • Leadership programmes for SMEs
  • Test and Trace
  • Guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships
  • Eat Out to Help Out
  • Playgrounds and outdoor gyms
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Monday 27/07/2020

Click here for more information on the following:

  • Membership Renewal to The Suffolk Coast DMO
  • Facemasks update
  • Local Lockdowns
  • VisitBritain UK Covid-19 Consumer Tracker Report - week 9
  • Other businesses and services able to open
  • Eat out to Help out VAT information
  • Report on Impact of Covid 19 on DCMS sectors
  • Travel Behaviour of People in the UK
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Thursday 16/07/2020

Click here for more information on the following:

  • Success on Caravan Park Extension
  • Membership Renewals to The Suffolk Coast DMO
  • Updated guidance on the wearing of facemasks
  • Additional measures of support for tourism, hospitality and leisure businesses still closed
  • Find a Restaurant Service Opens 20th July
  • New CJRS and SEISS Stats
  • Passing on cost savings to consumers of new lower rate of VAT
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Tuesday 14/07/2020

Click here for more information on the following:

  • 'Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme open for registrations yesterday
  • Planning rules revised to protect performing arts spaces
  • Outdoor events resuming from 11th July
  • New government campaign to help prepare for the end of the Brexit transition period - OH JOY!
  • New points based immigration system to take effect 1 January 2021
  • Updated guidance for managing beaches, the countryside and coastal areas
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Thursday 09/07/2020

Click here for more information on the following:

  • Pools, gyms, team sport and outdoor gigs to return
  • Eat out to help out scheme
  • Travel Corridors Guidance Updated
  • Public Health Officer Guidance
  • Impact on Household Incomes
  • Privacy Information Regarding Testing Positive
  • Deferring Self-Assessment Payments
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Wednesday 08/07/2020

Click here for more information on the following:

  • Chancellor announces reduction in VAT to further support tourism and hospitality industry
  • Eat Out to Help Out Scheme
  • A Plan for Jobs 2020 
  • East Suffolk Council cutting red tape to boost market towns
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Monday 06/07/2020

Click here for more information on the following:

  • £1.57 billion investment to protect Britain’s world-class cultural, arts and heritage institutions 
  • £10 million Kick-starting Tourism Package announced
  • FAQ - what to do if someone becomes ill whilst on holiday
  • Guidance on maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace
  • Guidance on collection and maintenance of data from Information Commissioners Office (ICO)
  • VAT payment update
  • Coronavirus Travel Corridors
  • Updated FCO Travel advice 
  • Latest Consumer Sentiment Tracker report from VisitBritain – Week 6, 22-26 June 2020
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Wednesday 01/07/2020

Click here for more information on the following:

  • Good luck to everyone re-opening from 4th July onwards
  • Please tell us when you are opening
  • 'Know before you go' consumer campaign
  • Now is the perfect time to update your listing page on our website
  • Have you got your 'We're good to go' accreditation from VisitEngland?
  • Local lockdown measures in Leicester
  • Government update as of Tuesday 30 June
  • Speech by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the economy
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Thursday 25/06/2020

Click here for more information on the following:

  • 'We're Good to Go' official UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark launched
  • The Suffolk Coast DMO will display your 'We're good to go' certification on your listing page
  • 'Know before you go' consumer campaign
  • Covid-19 update section removed from members' website listing pages
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Wednesday 24/06/2020

Click here for more information on the following:

  • Topline government guidance for tourism and hospitality businesses from 4th July
  • Visitor Economy Guidance
  • Revised Restaurant and Pub Guidance
  • Suffolk Camping/Glamping Facebook Group
  • What You Can and Can’t Do After 4th July
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Tuesday 23/06/2020

Click here for more information on the following:

  • Green light for re-opening on 4th July but still no guidelines
  • Operators react as government gives green light to 4 July opening date and replaces two-metre rule
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Friday 19/06/2020

Click here for more information on the following:

  • VisitEngland's “Get Ready to Open” Business Resource Centre
  • UKHospitality's Scottish Covid-19 protocols for tourism and hospitality businesses
  • New Health and Safety Executive Guidance
  • Gaps in Coronavirus Support
  • VAT Deferral Update
  • Fáilte Ireland releases guidance for opening pubs in Republic of Ireland
  • Data on the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on UK economy, personal and economic well-being
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Thursday 18/06/2020

Click her for more information on the following:

  • Need a new website? Check out Olivecore website builder!

Tuesday 16/06/2020:

Click here for more information on the following:

  • Government guidelines on re-opening of tourism & hospitality businesses
  • Propel interview with Andy Wood CEO of Adnams
  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance updated
  • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme guidance updated
  • The latest VisitEngland Consumer tracker 1 to 5 June 2020
  • Northern Ireland accelerates reopening of tourism and hospitality sector
  • Opinions and Lifestyle Survey covering the period 4 June to 7 June 2020.
  • Re-open EU website launched
  • The Institute of Fiscal Studies report on the impact of Covid-19 on coastal communities
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Government updates from Monday 15 June including;

  • Guidance for meeting people outside your household has been updated 
  • Enforcement guidance for local authorities added on face masks and coverings.
  • The FAQ for the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund has been updated
  • New rules on face coverings coming into effect on Monday 15 June will help keep passengers safe.
  • Guidance for passengers and operators on face coverings on aircraft in England. 
  • Guidance on safety in the workplace for shops and branches has been updated
  • Green spaces guidance updated with guidance on reopening of animal attractions.
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Thursday 11/06/2020:

Click here for more information on the following:

  • 4th July earliest date for tourism and hospitality businesses to reopen
  • Amendment to Discretionary Fund Eligibility
  • Content call out for Suffolk Day!
  • CMA Action on Self-Catering Firm
  • Political update 10 June
  • Visit East of England Tourism Business Survey - Second Wave Report
  • Save the dates for these upcoming VisitEngland business recovery webinars
  • Digital Boost
  • Destruction of Beer in Cellars to Reduce Risk of Environmental Damage
  • DCMS Coronavirus Impact Business Survey
  • Local Lockdowns - handling booking terms and conditions
  • Free legal support from Prettys solicitors for businesses affected by Covid-19
  • Government Business Recovery Roundtables
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Monday 08/06/2020:

Click here for more information on the following:

  • Purchasing PPE
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Friday 05/06/2020:

Click here for more information on the following:

  • Opening safely on 4th July - Work of the Visitor Economy Working Group
  • House Q&A with DCMS - questions on the tourism sector
  • Coronavirus insight: News UK May 2020 Report - What are readers’ plans and attitudes towards holidays?
  • Trade Credit Insurance backed by £10 billion guarantee
  • Coronavirus outbreak FAQs
  • More HMRC Coronavirus Webinars
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Wednesday 03/06/2020:

Click here for more information on the following:

  • VisitBritain’s consumer sentiment tracker results
  • Flexible furlough
  • Draft Guidance for Insurance Companies
  • Outdoor Sport and Recreation Guidance
  • Covid-19: from survival to recovery - Supporting the hotel & visitor accommodation industry through the crisis
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Tuesday 02/06/2020:

Click here for more information on the following:

  • East Suffolk Council's Discretionary Grant:Show how vital your business is to the visitor economy
  • Trade associations - guidelines on re-opening and operating
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Friday 29/05/2020:

Click here for more information on the following:

  • Deadline for VEE Business Survey Sunday 31 May 2020 at 10pm
  • Political update from Thursday 29 May 2020
  • Test, Trace and Track System
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Thursday 28/05/2020:

Wednesday 27/05/2020:

Click here for more information on the following:

  • New website and listing page features
  • NCTA evidence to the Government's DCMS Select Committee Inquiry
  • Social Distancing and WHO – 1m vs 2m
  • Guidance on reopening tourism businesses
  • Guidance on Claiming Back Statutory Sick Pay
  • French Border Restrictions
  • Business Loan Scheme Statistics
  • The Science Behind the Decisions
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Tuesday 26/05/2020:

Click here for more information on the following;

  • Revised Discretionary Fund Guidance
  • Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • Timetable for Retail to Reopen in June
  • BEIS Webinars on Making Your Workplace Safe
  • Reopening High Streets Safely Fund Guidance
  • ALVA Recovery Tracker
  • Consumer Sentiment Research
  • Quarantining Exemptions
  • Letter on Quarantining from Airlines UK
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Friday 22/05/2020:

Click here for more information on the following:

  • Update on Top up to Local Business Grant Fund Schemes
  • Competition Markets Authority Taskforce Update
  • Update on Eligibility for Furlough
  • Corporate Governance and Insolvency Bill
  • Government must set out full recovery plan for UK’s devastated tourism industry, say MPs
  • Cultural Renewal Taskforce
  • Environment Agency Waterways Update
  • EasyJet announces they will resume flying a small number of domestic flights on 15 June
  • Heathrow launches temperature screening trial
  • Visit East of England Business Survey II
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Wednesday 20/05/2020:

Click here for more information on the following:

  • Complete the next Visit East of England's Business Survey - Round 2 - deadline 10pm on Sunday 31 May
  • Five Steps to Working Safely
  • Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme – Online on 26th May
  • Advice for People Giving up their Income to Support their Business or Donate to Charity
  • Latest Data on Support Schemes
  • Taxable Expenses for Employees Working From Home
  • Change to Business Support Helpline
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Thursday 14/05/2020:

Click here for more information on the following:

  • 100% no brainer - join The Suffolk Coast DMO free of charge!
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Click here for more information on the following:

  • New Ministerial Taskforces Announced
  • Guidance on Spending Time Outdoors
  • East Suffolk Council's Leader asks residents to put safety first
  • English Tourism Week 25-31 May 2020
  • Self-Employment Claim Open
  • Tourism Society Call for Leadership and Co-ordination
  • Guidance on Planning
  • Guidance on Holiday Pay and Entitlement
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Tuesday 12/05/2020:

Click here for more information on the following:

  • Extended Furlough Announcement
  • Guidance for Employers to Help Workplaces Operate Safely
  • Useful summary of the Government's Recovery Strategy
  • East Suffolk & Suffolk wide Business Survey results
  • DCMS Survey on Impact
  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: step by step guide for employers
  • New stay alert and safe (social distancing guidance)
  • Webinar on How to make a Self-Employment Support Scheme Claim
  • NewsCorp Webinar on the Future of Tourism
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Monday 11/05/2020:

Click here for more information on the following:

  • Visit East of England's Business Survey Results
  • OUR PLAN TO REBUILD: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Thursday 07/05/2020:

Click here for more information on the following:

  • Helping the tourism industry recover from COVID-19 - VBVE proposals for government
  • New industry standard in development in response to COVID-19
  • Social Media Surgery with Beccie Amer on 20th May at 11am
  • How to Treat Certain Expenses and Benefits Provided to Employees During Coronavirus
  • Guidance for Businesses Seeking to Help Voluntary, Community, and Social Enterprise Organisations
  • CBI Webinar for SMEs on 11 May
  • Less than 25% of people comfortable eating/drinking out as soon as restrictions are lifted
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Tuesday 05/05/2020:

Click here for more information on the following:

  • Top-up to Local Business Grant Funds Scheme
  • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Check
  • 85 MPs write to Chancellor Demanding Further Tourism Support
  • The Competition and Marketing Authority (CMA) to investigate cancellation rights
  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme Opens
  • National Associations for Areas of Outstanding National Beauty response to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Hospitality and Tourism inquiry - Pathways to Recovery
  • Updates to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) guidance
  • People 1st COVID-19: skills impact & recovery survey
  • WTTC Vision & Recommendations for Travel & Tourism Recovery
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Thurs 30/04/2020:

Click here for more information on the following:

  • Norfolk & Suffolk Tourist Attractions - PPE & Investigating group purchasing opportunities
  • Can you provide accommodation for key workers?
  • Special Report: Visitor Attractions - BVA BDRC Tracking Consumer Sentiment on the Impact of COVID-19
  • VBVE Domestic Covid-19 Tracker Report
  • Update on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme wage payments for furloughed employees
  • Update on Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Leisure & Hospitality Grants Fund
  • Deadline extended for evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Hospitality and Tourism's 'Pathway to Recovery' consultation
  • Urgent response needed from Norfolk and Suffolk Attractions on plans to reopen, complete this survey by the end of today please! 
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Tues 28/04/2020:

Click here for more information on the following:

  • New Bounce Back Loans facility for small businesses
  • Furloughed Workers to Receive Full Parental Leave Entitlement
  • VAT Deferrals Update
  • The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) COVID-19 survey
  • Covid-19 testing for essential workers
  • Cleaning guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19
  • G20 Tourism Ministers Meeting
  • VisitBritain's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Mon 27/04/2020:

Click here for more information on the following:

Support the Tourism Alliance's campaign #ProtectTourismJobs. Tweet your MP now!

At 3pm today there are DCMS Oral Questions in the House of Commons.  This an excellent opportunity for you to tweet to MPs and Ministers about the need to:

  • Introduce flexibility to the Furloughing Scheme
  • Keep support measures in place over the winter to help businesses restart

 Remember to use #ProtectTourismJobs when tweeting.

Mon 20/04/2020:

Click here for information on the following:

  • Urgent help - please complete our business survey by Thursday 23 April, 10pm
  • Free legal support from Prettys solicitors
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Sat 18/04/2020:

Click here for information on the following:

  • We need your help! Please complete this business survey for the East of England now!
  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extended and open for claims from Monday 20 April
  • The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme has been expanded to cover all viable firms.
  • VisitBritain's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Friday 17/04/2020:

Click here for information on the following:

  • Respond now to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Hospitality and Tourism Consultation: Pathways to Recovery
  • Visit East of England Business Survey 
  • Has your insurer not paid out in relation to business disruption insurance?

Thurs 16/04/2020:

Click her to find information on the following:

  • Urgent inquiry helping hospitality and tourism businesses back into work to launch
  • VisitEngland's Business Hub - Advice for tourism and event businesses affected by COVID-19

Click here to find guidance and information on the following:

  • Furlough eligibility cut-off date extended to 19 March
  • Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) guidance updates
  • Please promote our 4 month FREE membership offer to your business contacts
  • Over £16.6m paid to East Suffolk businesses to date

Tues 14/04/2020:

Click here to find guidance and information on the following:

  • FAQ on grant funding
  • Updated Job Retention Scheme guidance for employers
  • List of rules that have been relaxed in order to support businesses impacted by Covid-19
  • Macron's speech and Ursula's comments

Thurs 09/04/2020:

Click here to find guidance and information on the following:

  • Change to the Furloughed Workers Rules
  • Over 800 grant payments have been made by East Suffolk Council so far
  • Self-catering Support Website
  • Our message is save lives and stay home
  • AirBnB no longer taking bookings in the UK
  • Home Office Requests Flexibility from Licensing Authorities
  • We think you are amazing!

Tues 07/04/2020: 

Click here to find guidance and information on the following: 

  • Guidance on claiming employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme 
  • Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme
  • Obtaining Business Rates Relief And Grant Funding
  • Guidance on Deferral of VAT Payments
  • Travel, leisure & hospitality - tracking consumer sentiment on the impact of Covid-19 Weekly Report 03/04/2020
  • Let us know what you are doing during Lockdown - The Suffolk Coast DMO wants to help get your content out to potential visitors

Thurs 02/04/2020:

Click here for guidance and information on the following:   

  • URGENT ACTION: East Suffolk Council is now processing the payment of grants for local businesses

Weds 01/04/2020: 

Click here for guidance and information on the following: 

  • Lobby Request from the Tourism Alliance, UKHopsitality and BHHPA
  • Grant Funding Scheme comes into operation

Tues 31/03/2020:

Click her for guidance and information on the following:  

  • Have you been excluded from the Government's support for the employed and self employed?
  • Are you struggling with what to post on social media at the moment?

See below for various other content prior to 27 March 2020:

  1. How Visit East of England are representing the region's tourism industry
  2. Do you have accommodation available to help vulnerable people including NHS and Care Staff
  3. Travel, leisure and hospitality weekly report - tracking consumer sentiment on the impact of Covid-19
  4. Further guidelines regarding the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
  5. Make sure your premises are secure!
  6. Arts Council makes £20 million available 
  7. Request from Local Government Association - accommodation for homeless people
  8. How some of our accommodation businesses are handling holiday cancellations
  9. Financial opportunities and support available
  10. What the Suffolk Coast DMO can offer you right now
  11. Free Support from New Anglia Growth Hub
  12. Historic updates from UK Government, Tourism Emergency Response Group (TIER), VisitBritain/VisitEngland from 18/03/2020 to 26/03/2020

1  How Visit East of England are representing you

VisitBritain/VisitEngland (VB/VE) welcome the collaborative, co-ordinated approach from Visit East of England (VEE) representing the tourism businesses in the region. To date VEE have written two letters to the region's MPs, which have also been sent to DCMS and VB/VE the content of which are very much a result of listening to business concerns. You can read the most recent letter here, we will get the initial letter up asap for you to view.

VEE, Visit Suffolk and Visit Norfolk are in dialogue with all of the regions DMOs and local authorities, as well as representatives on the New Anglia LEP visitor economy sector group. VEE are communicating the daily information from the Tourism Industry Emergency Response group, which includes details of the UK Government's daily briefing summaries, advice and links, VE/VB updates on their blog which you can read here.  Please book mark this page and refer back to it, this is the information that The Suffolk Coast DMO have been providing up to now, however to reduce duplication, we would ask you to use this resource from now on for this information.

Pete Waters, Executive Director of VEE is speaking to DCMS and VisitBritain regularly. They are working hard to ensure Government appreciates the devastating impact this is having on tourism.

VEE welcome any suggestions on what else they should be doing, you can email them here with any concerns that you have info@visiteastofengland.com, you can also sign up for their industry enews here.

2  Do you have accommodation available?

Suffolk Local Authorities urgently need to ensure they have sufficient accommodation available during the current Coronavirus pandemic. Babergh and Mid Suffolk are leading on behalf of all the wider Suffolk Public Sector system to identify the demand, for temporary accommodation solutions. For a wide selection of individuals or groups that may find themselves in need of a place to stay in order to prevent them being homeless, to self-isolate, stay safe (this could include NHS or Care Staff) or recover following recent illness. 

Initially the LAs would like to identify the levels of demand from a number of specific vulnerable groups. Then match this demand with suitable accommodation to meet their needs. If you can help, please complete this form: https://lnkd.in/g8ANadK 

This is a very fast-moving situation and the need to complete this form is urgent and imperative for LAs to understand what you could offer, and how they utilise your willingness and ability to support and assist those in the greatest need. If you have any questions, please email: accommodation@baberghmidsuffolk.gov.uk

3  Travel, leisure and hospitality weekly report - tracking consumer sentiment on the impact of Covid-19

Friday 27 March 2020: BVA BDRC and Alligator Digital, are using the tools of their trade to help their clients and industry stakeholders make sense of the current uncertainty. This is the first in a weekly series of reports which will monitor the mood of UK consumers, the extent to which the worst is still to come or behind us, what is being spoken about online, as well as changes to anticipated buying / booking lead-times as time passes.

4  Further Guidelines Regarding the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

The Government has sought to make accessing CBILS as easy as possible and are therefore making further clarification on the subject of personal guarantees. Whether a lender requires a personal guarantee for a loan supported by the CBILS is at the discretion of the lender, who is accredited by the British Business Bank. However, a lender is not allowed to take a personal guarantee against a borrower's principle residence under the scheme. So even if a personal guarantee is required under the lender's credit policy, it cannot be taken against the borrower's home. Some major lenders have announced that they are not going to require personal guarantees on loans under CBILS the scheme (of any size). If businesses are worried about the specific terms of finance facilities available under this scheme, they should speak to their usual lender. More information can be found here.

5  Make sure your premises are secure

Sadly, we have had it reported that some business premises which have had to close recently have been broken into.  Please make sure that if you have to leave your premises unattended, that you have adequate security measures in place. Ideally, make sure they are visited frequently to ensure the premises are OK.

6  Arts Council makes £20 million available

The Arts Council is making £20 million available to individuals working in the cultural sector, including artists, creative practitioners and freelancers. Click here to see more https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid-19/financial-support-artists-creative-practitioners-and-freelancers  

7  Request from Local Government Association

We have been asked by TIER to pass on a message from the Local Government Association. 

With the closure of accommodation businesses, Councils are having problems placing homeless households into accommodation and finding businesses that will accept bookings from local authority staff. 

They would like to point out that there is an exemption to the closure order for both groups and ask that accommodation businesses contact their local council if they are able to stay open and take bookings. 

They have also asked the Government to consider co-ordinating the procurement of accommodation at a regional or national level.

8  How accommodation businesses are handling holiday cancellations - Weds 25 March 2020

Ways in which some of our accommodation businesses are handling cancellations for holidays due to start during the UK Government's enforced restriction on non-essential travel:

  • Suggesting the customer checks with their travel insurance to see if they are covered for cancellations and offer to supply any information to help in this regard alongside offering the following:
  • Proactively offering the customer the chance to rebook for another time, later in the year.
  • Issuing vouchers to customers for the full price of the holiday with a 2 year expiry date.
  • Many of our DMO members are fully booked for April and have now been paid in full for holidays due to start in the next 6 weeks.  Refunding customers would make them bankrupt, so offering vouchers/rebooking is the only option they have.

9  Financial Opportunities and Support Available

Government Support

To assist business owners the government has announced that it will provide support to ensure the impact of COVID-19 is minimised.

Tax helpline to support businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)

Visit    www.gov.uk/government/news/tax-helpline-to-support-businesses-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19

If you run a business or are self-employed and are concerned about paying your tax due to coronavirus, you can call HMRC’s helpline for help and advice: 0800 0159 559.

HMRC will extend “time to pay” arrangements for companies affected by acts of God such as flooding to Coronavirus. These arrangements are negotiated on an individual basis between SMEs and Treasury, which means debt collection is suspended if they cannot afford to pay their tax bill. And HMRC said that during the Coronavirus pandemic, the usual 3.5 per cent annual interest on deferred tax payments will be scrapped.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Visit www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/

Businesses with a turnover of less than £41 million can apply for a loan of up to £1.2 million, with the government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees. The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) temporarily replaces the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme and will be provided by the British Business Bank through accredited lenders.

The government will extend the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme from up to £1.2m per business to £5m with no interest payable for six months. This new loan scheme will be up-and-running by the end of next week. “Any business that needs access to cash will be able to get a government-backed credit on attractive terms,” said Sunak. 

Business Interruption Insurance Policies

The Treasury will stand behind those businesses that do have business interruption insurance policies that do include pandemics but will have excluded COVID-19 because it is such a new virus.  However, most small businesses will still not be insured through business interruption policies because most just apply to fire and flood.

Covering Sick Pay

Visit    www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-support-for-employees-benefit-claimants-and-businesses

For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full. This will provide 2 million businesses with up to £2 billion to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave. Coronavirus statutory sick pay is expected to be in the form of a refund. The Treasury says that it is “working with employers over the coming months to set up a repayment mechanism as soon as possible for employers reclaiming statutory sick pay”.

Coronavirus help for self-employed, employers & employees

Visit    www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-work-pensions

For the self-employed not eligible for SSP, contributory Employment and Support Allowance will be payable, at a rate of £73.10 a week if you are over 25, for eligible people affected by coronavirus or self-isolating in line with advice from day one of sickness, rather than day eight.

For more information about coronavirus government statutory sick pay, go to the Department for Work & Pensions website here.

For further advice regarding sick pay and how best to support your employee’s should they self-isolate, the ACAS website has issued the following information – www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus

The Treasury will work with business groups to develop an Employment Support Package that will help to mitigate employment costs for small firms, thereby preventing lay-offs.

Do you get Small Business Rates Relief?

Visit    eastsuffolkmeansbusiness.co.uk/business-support/resources/covid-19/

There is a £10,000 cash grant being made available to 700,000 of the smallest businesses, which will be delivered by Local Authorities, and worth a total of £20 billion. Your local council will have further information on this as the scheme is rolled out, use the link above, bookmark the page and refer back to it for further updates.

East Suffolk Council will contact businesses with more information by mid April regarding the above grant

Businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure with a rateable value of between £15,000 to £51,000 will be able to access a bigger grant of £25,000.

East Suffolk Council will contact your business by the end of March 2020 regarding the above grant

The government is also temporarily increasing the business rates retail discount in England to 100% for 2020-21 for properties below £51,000 rateable value. *Nearly half of all business properties will not pay a penny of business rates. This will be implemented through your local council. If you already receive the current business rates retail discount, you will receive notification of the changes in due course. If you currently don’t receive any relief, you can check with your Local Authority for your eligibility.

*All retail, leisure and hospitality companies will be exempt from business rates for a whole year.

East Suffolk Council will automatically apply this exemption from business rates - no further action is needed by the business.

Support for larger firms through the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

To support larger firms, the Bank of England has announced a new lending facility to provide a quick and cost effective way to raise working capital via the purchase of short-term debt. This will support companies which are fundamentally strong, but have been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, enabling them to continue financing their short-term liabilities. It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms. Further details, including on how to access this funding will follow in the coming days, and the scheme will be available from the week commencing 23 March.

Banks and Loans

Banks are also increasing credit lines and overdrafts and, in some cases, they may even offer repayment holidays. Contact your credit suppliers to ask about relaxing payments.

10  What The Suffolk Coast DMO can offer you;

We will use our website and social media channels to promote your businesses to the best of our ability, it is vital that we continue to profile the destination and everything you offer visitors throughout this unprecedented time. 

We want to ensure that all tourism and hospitality businesses on the Suffolk Coast can promote their businesses right now free of charge through our website, content and social media channels.

4 months free membership for existing and new members

For our existing members with a subscription due to automatically renew we will not collect payment. Four months free membership will be automatically added to your subscription.  There is nothing further you need to do. This will be reviewed as the situation develops and we will extend free membership if necessary.

For businesses who have just joined us recently we will give you an additional four months free membership which will be automatically applied to your existing membership period.

For businesses who have yet to join us - we will automatically give you the first four months of membership free of charge. Again, this will be reviewed as the situation develops and we will extend free membership if necessary.

If you are not a member join now - visit www.thesuffolkcoast.co.uk/join-us  

Use our members Facebook Group to stay in touch

We have opened up our Members Facebook Group to ALL TOURISM & HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES on The Suffolk Coast. We will use the group to keep you up to date with news and developments that affect the tourism industry, but it's also a great place for businesses to share experiences, advice and support.

Please join us at https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheSuffolkCoastMembers/ - you will be asked to state your business, this is to ensure that only tourism / retail / hospitality businesses join.

Please tell us what this is doing to you and your business

Through our close relationship with the National Coastal Tourism Academy we want to make sure your voices are heard - please tell us what your current situation is.  We need to feedback real examples of what you are facing to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and VisitBritain so that there is commitment to a significant recovery plan.

Do you face your business going under in the near future? If so, how long before this happens?  Are you able to close your business for a period of time and then reopen? What measures are you having to take with your staff? What messages do you want us to pass on? Email annie@thesuffolkcoast.co.uk and we will make sure you are heard.

Marketing The Suffolk Coast

Over the next few weeks, we will be working to showcase the region and all that we have to offer, so that when people are able to start looking to travel and book holidays, we are at the forefront of their minds. One thing’s for sure, if people are isolated, they head online.

Recently, there has been an emerging holiday market; ‘slow holidays’ – where travellers stay in one place for a longer period of time. Yesterday the Tourism Management Institute issued a blog (full article is available to read here) highlighting the opportunities that we hope will come out of this very difficult time, saying:

“Some more positive impacts might come from a change in travelling behaviour amongst a certain percentage of travellers, including: a growth in domestic travel – ‘staycations’; more time spent in one place – ‘slower’ travel; greater respect for places as a result of ‘slower’ travel, whereby people behave more as ‘travellers’ than ‘tourists’; more family travel; reduced environmental impact, as people reduce their travel frequency and stay longer in one place, with a potential reduction in travel to overcrowded tourism hotspots.”

As your DMO, we will ensure that we are ready to respond to any such opportunities, and will be putting together a campaign that will maximise exposure for all.

11  Free support from New Anglia Growth Hub

New Anglia Growth Hub is Government funded and ready to offer free advice to all businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk.

If you feel your business has been affected by Coronavirus, whether you are experiencing supply chain issues, order or booking cancellations, a reduction in sales, or any other challenge, contact the Growth Hub to speak to one of our qualified business advisers. They offer free support and advice and can help you to access the support measures put in place by Government.

Email growthhub@newanglia.co.uk or telephone 0300 333 6536 (Mon- Fri 9am-5pm).

12  Historic updates from UK Government, Tourism Emergency Response Group (TIER), VisitBritain/VisitEngland from 18/03/2020 to 26/03/2020

You can view this information here: