We will be regularly updating information on this page and providing links to information and advice from a range of sources including Public Health England and HMRC.
PLEASE SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE to find all of the links and regularly check back for updates.
Latest Statement from Visit Cornwall (March 25th 3pm)
Cancellation and Refunds
Patience and Understanding at this time please
Given the fast-moving situation of the Covid-19 pandemic and especially the Prime Minister’s orders to close all holiday accommodation, tourism businesses are coping with events completely outside their control whilst facing an avalanche of cancellations and refund requests.
We have tremendous sympathy for our visitors who have had their holidays and breaks in Cornwall cancelled as a result of the current crisis. We feel for them, as we know they have been looking forward to enjoying the wonderful food and drink, the beaches, coast path and beautiful gardens and so much more. We will miss them and are looking forward to seeing them later in the year and we fully understand their worries and concerns regarding their deposits and booking payments and everyone is trying their best to resolve matters as quickly as possible.
However, at the current time Visit Cornwall, as well as hundreds of tourism businesses in Cornwall are being bombarded with emails and calls from concerned customers. All businesses now have very few staff (some have none at all), and this is added to frustrations of customers who are emailing and calling for information and requests.
We fully recognise the concerns of our customers, but can we request that they allow businesses reasonable time to cope with this situation. Many businesses, when pushed are having to say, “I cannot or will not refund at this time”. This is due to businesses having to cope with:-
- dealing with the impact on their business;
- consulting with and laying off or furloughing the vast majority of their staff;
- cashflow management issues;
- attempting to fully understand and access the very recently announced Government financial support.
One of the financial pressures being placed on businesses is caused by laying-off (furloughing) staff. This will result in businesses having to bank-roll six weeks of staff wages before they hopefully receive reimbursement from the Government at the end of April. This is combined with having no income themselves and no guarantee that their insurers will pay-out due to the forced closure. This means they are simply not able to agree or process refunds at the current time and in some instances, due to the sheer nature and speed of this crisis, may never be able to.
Put simply, businesses are struggling and almost all are in a position of ‘can’t pay’ and not necessarily ‘won’t pay’.
Customers are also asked to check with their personal travel insurance provider. They may be able to claim against their policy as a quicker resolution.
STAY CALM - AID DELAY - STAY ALERT- STAY WELL/GET BETTER AND CARRY ON
Visit Cornwall has been monitoring the situation over the last month and has been looking at the variety of scenarios for the future, which have changed frequently, if not daily.
We have created a coronavirus task group, (first meeting on 13th March) comprising of members from across different sectors to help us in responding to the crisis and planning for the recovery as well as advising Cornwall Council (CC), Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP (CIoSLEP), Visit England/Britain (VB) and the Government on the situation for businesses in Cornwall and feeding back our responses to the measures they may or are planning to make.
Visit Cornwall fully supports the Government’s science-based approach to responding to this virus and the recent move to the “delay phase”, but delay will have severe implications for tourism business, as it will also extend the period impact on businesses in the sector and the associated supply chain
This page, the associated pages and fact sheets have been created and will be constantly updated so that we can ensure that we communicate information, advice and signposting to the support available, as quickly as possible and we will also be issuing Coronavirus Updates via our industry newsletters and alerts using our industry Twitter account @VC_B2B.(please follow up if you are not already)
At this time, Visit Cornwall’s strategy to the coronavirus crisis will be to parallel the Governments phases with appropriate actions and advice to our members and the industry.
Our focus will be to assist our members to:-
- Respond and to maximise the financial protection of their business with information and signposting to support measures
- Cope with a fast-moving situation with up to date information and advice
- Recover business as and when the opportunities rise
Visit Cornwall is adopting a two-phase approach
Phase 1 – React, Respond and Communication Phase (the current phase)
As this is very fast-moving situation and Visit Cornwall is committed to responding and reacting to threats and opportunities and giving the best possible information and support to its members and these will include -
- Communicate with our members to
- To gain feedback and data on the impact of coronavirus on the sector and our members
- To gain feedback on how the recently announced business support arrangements are, or are not working and suggest further actions/measures
Communicate with Local, Regional and VB the Government
- To inform them of the current and forward economic and related impacts on the sector
- To liaise and input into future support measures, public messaging actions and initiatives etc
The support needed includes:
medical testing equipment, medical equipment design, protective equipment for healthcare workers, such as masks, gowns and sanitiser
hotel rooms, transport and logistics, for moving goods or people
warehouse or office space, for medical use or storage
expertise or support on IT, manufacturing, construction, project management, procurement, engineering or communications
social care or childcare
Businesses can share the areas they can offer support through the online portal.
Information and Advice
The Visit Cornwall website is being enhanced and will be continually updated with additional sections and pages to assist our members.
Inform and Advise our members with advice/content from experts, ideas, suggestions and best practice from our members.
Please see the links below for resources.
Planning for the Future
- Work with local, regional and national partners to scenario plan and draft recovery plan(s) so that we are in the strongest position and able to move first once the opportunity to recover arises.
Phase 2 Recovery Phase
At this time this may seem premature but is never too early to start planning for the recovery and partial recovery as we will not have to wait until 80% of the population have had this virus before we can start the recovery of tourism.
Recovery planning will start straight away but the plans will be modified as we learn and have a better idea of the timescale and the nature of the markets that will commence the recovery recover soonest etc