COVID-19 Support & Advice
What is UKinbound doing to support the tourism industry during the COVID-19 pandemic?
UKinbound is a member of the Tourism Industry Council and the Tourism Industry Emergency Response group (TIER) which is holding weekly meetings to discuss the impact of COVID-19. We are relaying our members concerns to the group and to Government officials and ministers.
TIER are also providing the industry with daily updates which we are sending to our members. If you are a member and are not currently receiving these updates, please email [email protected]
Where can I find out information about COVID-19?
The Government has published frequently asked questions on what you can and can’t do during the coronavirus outbreak. Guidance is also available on staying safe outside your home.
The public is advised to consider wearing face coverings in enclosed public spaces such as shops, trains and buses to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.
How can I get tested for COVID-19?
You can find out about testing for COVID-19 here.
What is the Government’s exit strategy and recovery plan?
The Government has published its recovery strategy document for England: Our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy.
You can also find out here about the NHS test and trace service.
VisitBritain has sent a paper to the Cabinet Office on behalf of the tourism industry, detailing how Government can help the tourism industry recover from COVID-19.
A new industry standard quality mark is in development to help tourism businesses, attractions and destinations provide reassurance to visitors and customers that they are taking the necessary steps to adhere to official Government guidelines. Discussions are ongoing with industry and VisitEngland is in consultation with the national tourist boards for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales on a common approach.
Is there any information specifically for tourism businesses?
The latest information for the UK travel and tourism industry can be found on the VisitBritain website.
Where can I find out more about the new quarantine measures?
From 8 June everyone arriving in the UK (except a short list of exemptions) via all modes of transport will be required to inform border force authorities where they will be staying and immediately self-isolate for 14 days. Read more here.
How does my business get financial support?
A new discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds. The Tourism Alliance have worked with the Local Government Association, and they have produced additional guidance that states councils should also consider coach operators, tour operators and English Language Schools in the allocation of these grants.
The Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is encouraging businesses across England to contact their local Growth Hub, they can provide a free to use, impartial and local single point of contact to all businesses, so that they can access the right advice and support. Find your local Growth Hub here.
BEIS has also created a Business Support Blog and the Government has made available a list of additional resources that public bodies, organisations and charities are providing and a list of trade and business organisations that are providing sector-specific advice on Covid-19.
If your business is in distress, the Government have published guidance on available support, restructuring and insolvency advice here.
If your business is based in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, the advice and support you can access may be different. Follow the links for the latest Government guidance for businesses in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
For businesses based in Scotland, there is a helpline providing advice and guidance on COVID-19. This will be open Monday to Friday, between 8.30am to 5.30pm.The business helpline number is 0300 303 0660. Callers should select option one to speak to the COVID-19 team. Further information can be found here.
A fund has been set up for small Scottish creative, tourism and hospitality businesses who have experienced at least 50% loss of current or projected revenue as a result of COVID-19. More information is here.
Specific information on eligibility and and delivery of the Small Business Grants Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund can be found here. The Local Government Association has also published advice for Local Authorities on what additional tourism businesses should be included in the Business Rates Relief Scheme. The advice and list of business types is here.
All businesses with a UK VAT registration have the option to defer VAT payments due between 20 March and 30 June. Businesses have until 31 March 2021 to pay any deferred VAT. Click here for more information.
If your business trades internationally, you can access guidance here.
Extra protection has been announced for commercial tenants to protect them from eviction if they are unable to pay rent because of coronavirus.
A list of the rules that have been temporarily relaxed to make it easier for businesses to continue working through the disruption caused by COVID19 are here.
UK businesses can apply for a share of £20 million in a fast-track competition run by Innovate UK to develop new ways of working for those sectors most impacted by COVID-19.
The government’s £500 million Future Fund has opened for applications. UK-based companies can now apply for a convertible loan of between £125,000 and £5 million, to support continued growth and innovation.
An additional £20million has been committed to the Fast Start Competition for innovative businesses and start-ups driving forward new technological advances.
The intergovernmental organisation EUROCONTROL has announced a £1.1 billion support package for air navigation service providers across the UK and Europe.
UKinbound is continuing to lobby hard for financial support specifically for tourism businesses. Please get in touch with the team if you have any questions or need help ([email protected])
Trade Credit Insurance guarantee
Businesses with supply chains which rely on Trade Credit Insurance and who are experiencing difficulties maintaining cover due to Coronavirus will get support from the government in the form of a guarantee. The plan is for agreements to be in place with insurers by the end of May and that it will provisionally last until the end of the year.
What changes have been made to insolvency law?
The Government has amended insolvency law to help companies keep trading while they explore options for rescue. The Insolvency Act will be temporarily suspended specifically to give confidence to directors to continue trading without the threat of personal liability, should the company ultimately fall into insolvency.
Is there any financial help specifically for Destination Management/Marketing Organisations?
A £1.3 million scheme has been announced by the Tourism Minister, Nigel Huddleston, which will provide financial support to DMOs. The funding is available to at-risk DMOs in England which usually receive at least 50% of their income from commercial sources. Find out how to apply on VisitEngland’s website
Is there any help for charities?
The Government has collated all the advice and support available to the Charity Sector together on one page. This includes guidance for workers, volunteers, fundraising and funding opportunities.
Guidance for businesses seeking to help voluntary, community, and social enterprise organisations during the coronavirus outbreak has also been published.
Is there any help for zoos and aquariums?
Zoos and Aquariums are able to apply for a grant of up to £100,000 to maintain the welfare of animals. The amount an operator can receive will be based on the animals’ needs and can cover animal-care costs that cannot be lowered.
I own and run self catering holiday cottages. What help is available for my business?
The Professional Association of Self Caterers (PASC) has set up a website to provide support and information for self-catering businesses regardless of whether they are members.
Is there any financial help specifically for the heritage sector?
Yes. The National Lottery Heritage Fund has put together a £50million fund to support the heritage sector as an immediate response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
I’m having problems with my insurance company. Where can I get help?
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has set up the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) – an independent body to provide arbitration for insurance claims of smaller businesses (with turnover of less than £6.5m and fewer than 50 employees). The decision of the FOS is binding on insurers up to £350,000. To take your complaint directly to the FOS, please contact:
Where can I get guidance if I work in the transport sector?
A transport and travel guidance hub on gov.uk brings together information for people using transport or working in the transport sector during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Where can I get guidance for my workplace and staff?
New guidance for employers has been published to help them get their businesses back up and running and workplaces operating safely. There are 8 workplace guidance documents available for construction and other outdoor work, factories plants and warehouses, homes, labs and research facilities, office and contact centres, restaurants offering takeaway or delivery, shops and branches and vehicles.
Workplace Guidance has also been issued by The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS). ACAS also have a helpline which is available for specific queries (0300 123 1100) and are providing regular updates on social media (Twitter: @acasorguk; LinkedIn: Acas; Facebook: Acasorguk).
Is there any specific guidance for food businesses?
New guidance for food businesses has been published with details about food hygiene guidance, managing employee sickness and social distancing.
Where can I get immigration advice?
The Home Office has published new guidance on immigration provisions for individuals affected by travel restrictions associated with coronavirus (COVID-19). Access this guidance here.
Do I have to close my business?
The Government has issued guidance on what businesses and venues are subject to further social distancing measures. You can read this here.
Guidance and advice has also been issued for those providing hotel and other accommodation in the UK.
The Government is also allowing the temporary change of use of pubs and restaurants to provide hot-food take away for a period of up to 12 months.
What can my business do to support the effort to fight COVID-19?
The Government is asking businesses if they can offer support e.g. hotel rooms, transport and logistics (for moving goods or people), warehouse or office space (for medical use or storage), expertise or support on IT, project management, procurement etc. Businesses can share the areas they can offer support through the online portal.
New Jobs Portal
A new free-to-use jobs portal to help workers from the tourism and hospitality sectors who have found themselves displaced as a result of the COVID-19 situation has been launched.
If you would like to send the link to the portal to employees whom you have had to let go/or having to let go at the moment, please email [email protected] to request the guide to explaining to employees the advantages of applying on HospitalityUnite. If you are an organisation with urgent vacancies you would like to advertise, please also email the above address and your enquiry will be fielded to the appropriate member of the team.
Join VisitBritain/VisitEngland’s marketing response
VisitBritain/VisitEngland has launched a social marketing campaign to keep the UK top of visitors’ minds during international and UK travel bans. The campaign aims to share inspirational content based on popular British culture such as recipes, TV and film shows, literature and more, for people to enjoy in their own homes. Find out how to get involved
What campaigns are the travel industry currently running?
The travel trade media is uniting in a new campaign, #OneTravelIndustry, to showcase best practice, tips and experiences from across the sector and share how companies large and small are dealing with the impact of COVID-19. Read more about the campaign.
ABTA is calling for industry-wide action to ‘Save Future Travel’ – specifically by temporarily amending the Package Travel Regulation. Individuals and businesses can get involved by visiting savefuturetravel.co.uk and emailing their local MP to highlight industry asks.
The Tourism Alliance, The British Holiday & Home Parks Association and UKHospitality have been leading a new social media campaign to #ProtectTourismJobs. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness and give a voice to tourism businesses and professionals who are suffering due to COVID-19. Key areas that are being focussed on include helping ensure seasonal workers are included in the furlough scheme, broadening the furlough scheme to include essential maintenance and security staff and making sure businesses survive the winter period. You can join the conversation on twitter using #ProtectTourismJobs