Spain removed from travel corridor and safe travel lists
Due to rising COVID-19 infections in Spain, the country has been removed from the UK Government’s list of travel corridors. Travellers arriving in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland from Spain on or after 26 July will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. This applies to British and non-British travellers.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has also updated its list of safe destinations for British travellers and currently advises against all but essential travel to mainland Spain.
Wales further eases lockdown restrictions, fully opens visitor attractions
The visitor economy in Wales continued reopening over the weekend. From 25 July, tourist accommodation with shared facilities such as camping sites and all hotels may start reopening, in addition to museums, galleries, amusement arcades and underground attractions may start re-opening, marking the full re-opening of Wales’ visitor attractions. Beauty salons, nail parlours, tattoo shops and cinemas may also reopen.
From today (27 July), face coverings are compulsory on public transport in Wales, including taxis.
Pausing of lockdown easements, businesses to remain closed in Luton and Blackburn with Darwen
Certain businesses in Luton and Blackburn with Darwen must remain closed from 25 July in line with the pausing of lockdown easements due to increased numbers of COVID-19 infection. This impacts indoor activity venues including gyms, fitness studios and swimming pools. Businesses that had been scheduled to reopen from 1 August, including casinos, bowling alleys and skating rinks, are also expected to remain closed until further notice.
Businesses that were permitted to reopen prior to 25 July may remain open. Restrictions will be reviewed again on 8 August, and every two weeks after that.
Other government updates
Situation update 27 July 2020
Tourism Alliance Updates.
- Better Protection in Case of Supplier Insolvency
BEIS has asked the Law Commission to undertake a consultation on how better to protect customers when a firm that they have ordered goods from becomes insolvent before the goods are received. Under the current legislation, such goods remain assets of the businesses and can be disposed of to repay creditors. The proposals will concentrate on changing the point at which ownership of the goods is transferred from the supplier to the customer so that goods paid for by the customer
Given concerns regarding the solvency of many businesses due to the Coronavirus outbreak, this proposed change will be beneficial to many tourism businesses by providing additional protection when ordering goods from suppliers.
Airlines UK has undertaken a study on how a 12 month waiver on Air Passenger Duty would help rebuild the UK tourism industry by increasing passenger demand and improving connectivity across the UK. Their analysis suggests it would result in around 21 million additional passengers over the period and 56 additional routes being served by July next year. It terms of economic impact, their research indicates that the move would save around 8,000 jobs and £7 billion in GVA.
Staying with the theme of rebuilding international tourism, I have also attached a copy of a briefing paper that I’ve put together on the benefits of the UK introducing a low-cost 5 year visa as a means of helping boost visitor numbers and revenue from visa-national countries. Such a visa would also support educational travel to the UK by allowing the family and friends to visits overseas students studying in the UK whenever they wanted during the period of their degree, and would provide cost savings for the Home Office at the same time.
On Saturday the Government announced that £2.25m from £1.57 billion Cultural Recovery Package would be allocated to music venues as emergency funding to help prevent them becoming insolvent. This funding will be administered by the Arts Council and will be used to provide grants of up to £80,000 to help an estimated 150 venues.
It is expected that details regarding the allocation of the bulk for the Cultural Recovery Package will be announced later this week.
- Councils Receive £800,000 for Innovative Digital Projects
MHCLG has announced that 11 councils have received a total of £800,000 for a range of Coronavirus related digital projects. Of these projects, there are two that are worth noting due to their tourism-related applications.
- Newcastle City Council will receive £67,500 to develop a tool for people to use to know which parts of a city may be overcrowded and therefore where it would be difficult to adhere to social distancing measures. Their work to understand data could be used to help councils predict overcrowding.
- Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council will receive £34,000 to help them add extra functionality to a smartphone application they have developed that will help to prevent overcrowding on its beaches by telling people how busy sections are so they can do their bit to help ensure social distancing.