Coronavirus Updates

Booking advice

(Cautionary note)

Holidays and tourism are covered in Step 3 of the Government’s recovery strategy, with the implementation that the opening up of hospitality and tourism will not take place before the 4th July at the earliest. However, it should be noted that, if for public health reasons the time scale for steps 1 and steps 2 are extended, this would have an obvious knock on effect to the re-opening of tourism and hospitality. Therefore, customers who have booked holidays in July and August, should be aware that there is a possibility that those holidays may also have to be postponed on public health advice.

 

Extract from the UK Governments published Covid-19 recovery strategy

 

Step 3

This step will take place when the assessment of risk warrants further adjustments to the remaining measures. The Government's current planning assumption is that this step will be no earlier than 4 July, subject to the five tests justifying some or all of the measures below, and further detailed scientific advice, provided closer to the time, on how far we can go. 

 

The ambition at this step is to open at least some of the remaining businesses and premises that have been required to close, including personal care (such as hairdressers and beauty salons) hospitality (such as food service providers, pubs and accommodation), public places (such as places of worship) and leisure facilities (like cinemas). They should also meet the COVID-19 Secure guidelines. Some venues which are, by design, crowded and where it may prove difficult to enact distancing may still not be able to re-open safely at this point, or may be able to open safely only in part. Nevertheless the Government will wish to open as many businesses and public places as the data and information at the time allows. 

 

In order to facilitate the fastest possible re-opening of these types of higher-risk businesses and public places, the Government will carefully phase and pilot re-openings to test their ability to adopt the new COVID-19 Secure guidelines. The Government will also monitor carefully the effects of re- opening other similar establishments elsewhere in the world, as this happens.

 

 

Visit Cornwall Update message  

Following the publication of the Government COVID-19 recovery strategy on May 11th 2020, Visit Cornwall reiterates our position that we are committed to play our part in protecting local residents and the communities of Cornwall, alongside representing and acting to protect the survival and the future viability of tourism businesses and the wider economy of Cornwall.

 

Summary of UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy

The Government has published the recovery strategy document : Our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy.

Please note this document refers to ENGLAND ONLY.

 

 

An outline of the key points in the timeline include: 

As part of this plan the UK Government has a carefully planned timetable for lifting restrictions, with indicative dates that should help people to plan. This timetable depends on successfully controlling the spread of the virus; if the evidence shows sufficient progress is not being made in controlling the virus, then the lifting of restrictions may have to be delayed. They cannot predict with absolute certainty what the impact of lifting restrictions will be. If, after lifting restrictions, the Government sees a sudden and concerning rise in the infection rate then it may have to re-impose some restrictions. It will seek to do so in as limited and targeted a way as possible, including reacting by re-imposing restrictions in specific geographic areas or in limited sectors where it is proportionate to do so. Please note:

 

Step One – 13 May

  • Work - For the foreseeable future, workers should continue to work from home rather than their normal physical workplace, wherever possible. All workers who cannot work from home should travel to work if their workplace is open. Anyone who has symptoms, however mild, or is in a household where someone has symptoms, should not leave their house to go to work.
  • Schools - The rate of infection remains too high to allow the reopening of schools for all pupils yet.
  • Travel - Everybody (including critical workers) should continue to avoid public transport wherever possible. People should travel by bike, car or on foot where possible. Social distancing guidance on public transport must be followed rigorously.
  • Face Coverings -As more people return to work, there will be more movement outside people's immediate household. This increased mobility means the Government is now advising that people should aim to wear a face-covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible and they come into contact with others that they do not normally meet, for example on public transport or in some shops. Homemade cloth face-coverings can help reduce the risk of transmission in some circumstances. Face-coverings are not intended to help the wearer, but to protect against inadvertent transmission of the disease to others if you have it asymptomatically.
  • Outdoor Exercise - SAGE advise that the risk of infection outside is significantly lower than inside, so the Government is updating the rules so that, as well as exercise, people can now also spend time outdoors subject to:
    • not meeting up with any more than one person from outside your household;
    • continued compliance with social distancing guidelines to remain two metres (6ft) away from people outside your household
    • good hand hygiene, particularly with respect to shared surfaces; and those responsible for public places being able to put appropriate measures in place to follow the new COVID-19 Secure guidance.
  • Vulnerable People - It remains the case that some people are more clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 than others. These include those aged over 70, those with specific chronic pre-existing conditions and pregnant women. These clinically vulnerable people should continue to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their households, but do not need to be shielded. Those in the clinically extremely vulnerable group are strongly advised to stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact; this is called ‘shielding’.

 

Step Two –  No Earlier than 1 June

  • Schools - Schools should prepare to begin to open for more children from 1 June. The Government expects children to be able to return to early years settings, and for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 to be back in school in smaller sizes, from this point. This aims to ensure that the youngest children, and those preparing for the transition to secondary school, have maximum time with their teachers.
  • Secondary schools and further education colleges should also prepare to begin some face to face contact with Year 10 and 12 pupils who have key exams next year, in support of their continued remote, home learning. The Government’s ambition is for all primary school children to return to school before the summer for a month if feasible, though this will be kept under review.
  • The Department of Education will engage closely with schools and early years providers to develop further detail and guidance on how schools should facilitate this.
  • Retail - when and where it is safe to do so, and subject to those retailers being able to follow the new COVID-19 Secure guidelines. The intention is for this to happen in phases from 1 June; the Government will issue further guidance shortly on the approach that will be taken to phasing, including which businesses will be covered in each phase and the timeframes involved.
  • All other sectors that are currently closed, including hospitality and personal care, are not able to re-open at this point because the risk of transmission in these environments is higher. The opening of such sectors is likely to take place in phases during step three.
  • Sport & Cultural Events - cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed-doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact.
  • Public Transport - re-opening more local public transport in urban areas, subject to strict measures to limit as far as possible the risk of infection in these normally crowded spaces.
  • Family Contact - As restrictions continue, the Government is considering a range of options to reduce the most harmful social effects to make the measures more sustainable. For example, the Government has asked SAGE to examine whether, when and how it can safely change the regulations to allow people to expand their household group to include one other household in the same exclusive group.
  • The intention of this change would be to allow those who are isolated some more social contact, and to reduce the most harmful effects of the current social restrictions, while continuing to limit the risk of chains of transmission. It would also support some families to return to work by, for example, allowing two households to share childcare.

 

Step Three –  No Earlier than 4 July

  • Remaining Businesses and Premises - The ambition at this step is to open at least some of the remaining businesses and premises that have been required to close, including personal care (such as hairdressers and beauty salons) hospitality (such as food service providers, pubs and accommodation), public places (such as places of worship) and leisure facilities (like cinemas).
  • They should also meet the COVID-19 Secure guidelines. Some venues which are, by design, crowded and where it may prove difficult to enact distancing may still not be able to re-open safely at this point, or may be able to open safely only in part.

 

International travel - The significant points are highlighted below:

    • As the level of infection in the UK reduces, and the Government prepares for social contact to increase, it will be important to manage the risk of transmissions being reintroduced from abroad.
    • Therefore, in order to keep overall levels of infection down and in line with many other countries, the Government will introduce a series of measures and restrictions at the UK border. This will contribute to keeping the overall number of transmissions in the UK as low as possible.
    • First, alongside increased information about the UK’s social distancing regime at the border, the Government will require all international arrivals to supply their contact and accommodation information. They will also be strongly advised to download and use the NHS contact tracing app.
    • Second, the Government will require all international arrivals not on a short list of exemptions to self-isolate in their accommodation for fourteen days on arrival into the UK. Where international travellers are unable to demonstrate where they would self-isolate, they will be required to do so in accommodation arranged by the Government.
    • All journeys within the Common Travel Area will also be exempt from these measures. These international travel measures will not come into force on 13 May but will be introduced as soon as possible. Further details, and guidance, will be set out shortly, and the measures and list of exemptions will be kept under regular review.
    • The UK and French Governments have published a joint statement that no quarantine measures would apply to travellers coming from France and that any measures to restrict travel between the two countries will be taken in a concerted and reciprocal manner. While this is being undertaken to support cross-channel trade, it does have tourism implications.

 

 

Other useful links

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do

Staying alert  and safe (social distancing)

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing

Work place Guidance 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

 

Response from Visit Cornwall

There are a number of outstanding issues that we will continue lobby to resolve, and these are:-

  • Flexible Furloughing of Staff - We will continue to seek flexibilities in the Job Retention Scheme for the sector, with regard to the need for a part time furlough arrangement for staff with specific skills and expertise etc
  • Furnished Holiday Lettings – We believe it is totally unfair that operators who receive income through FHL did not receive the same support as other self-employed people and this should be rectified
  • B&B and Guest House that have paid Council tax – These must be a priority sector for the support from the recently announced local grant scheme.
  • Business Interruption Insurance  - The Government should urgently complete its review of the insurance sector and either instruct them to honour the policies that include pandemic, force majeure, human diseases etc, or support the insurance industry to make payments under these policies.
  • Changes/support for time to pay refunds – It is quite understandably that many customers will be contacting their holiday/accommodation providers seeking a refund or to rebook for a later date, in line their booking terms and conditions. This has contributed to a “perfect storm” of financial pressures on tourism businesses, who have had to cover the ongoing costs of reduced business operations, lost income over the last  two months and  the cost of refunds for holiday that were due to take place in April, over the busy Easter holiday fortnight. This means that many businesses are in a position where they  simply “can’t pay” rather than they “won’t pay. We need the government to allow businesses time (90 days or more depending when they are allowed to trade) to refund customers, who cannot or will not accept a credit note or revised/new booking.

 

There are a number of new issues arising from the recovery plan and we will lobby to resolve, these are.....

  • Clarity on the timescales for tourism and hospitality

It is vital that we have clarity over the following issues:-

  • What are the phased reopening plans for different types of businesses from 4th July 2020.  e.g. when will attractions, self-catering, holiday parks and hotels be allowed to open.  Please give more information on proposed timetable for reopening sub sectors of tourism and hospitality as soon as possible .
  • Will the Government ensure that online platforms, such as AirBnB:
    • Do not allow booking of accommodation before the end of June
    • That all hosts/providers comply with the same guidelines and regulations as all “traditional” operators
  • Clarification or confirmation on self-catering

Although it is implicit in the government guidance that self-catering are included alongside other forms of accommodation, official confirmation is needed that self-catering cannot open before the 4th July 2020

  • Will businesses be restricted on the percentage occupancy?

Clarity is urgently required on if there will be limits on the occupancy  - i.e.  business can an accommodation provider operate at 100% from reopening ? or will occupancy rates be imposed, and if so on what basis and for what period of time 

  • Financial Aid

Due to the extension to the shutdown of hospitality and tourism business further financial support will be required  and given the amount of debt management that the vast majority of businesses are carrying, it is vital to ensure ongoing viability of the sector that future financial assistance should be in the form of grants  and not further loans  

  • Ongoing furlough support including flexibilities

As a result of the extension to the closure of tourism businesses it is important furloughing arrangements are extended and made flexible for the tourism and hospitality sectors

  • Timing of the steps - If all goes well will step three be brought forward and when would such a decision be made?

 

Advice to the public on visiting Cornwall before July 2020

Visit Cornwall has reviewed the Government’s guidance and in particular the following extracts

You should stay at home as much as possible.

The only reasons you may leave home include:

  • For work where you cannot work from home
  • Going to the shops that are permitted to be open
  • To exercise and spend time outdoors
  • Any medical needs

It is therefore clear to us that the amount anyone should travel in car to exercise or send time outdoors should be kept to a minimum/optimum, such as 30 to 45 minutes to the location for exercise or to spend time outdoors etc.  We therefore feel it is unacceptable to travel for more than this or as would be an excessive period of travel and outside the Government guidelines

 

Our advice to the public is, that unless you can visit a location and return within 90 mins or so, you should visit a location nearer your home for exercise or to spend time outdoors, in that way you will be adhering to the principles within the Government rules

 

Business Help and Advice for the Hospitality Industry