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Latest information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
On Monday 22 February, the Prime Minister announced the government’s roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions in England. The ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’ document outlines four steps for easing restrictions. Before proceeding to the next step, the government will examine the data to assess the impact of the previous step. This assessment will be based on four tests:
This means that any dates given as part of the roadmap are indicative and could be pushed back depending on progress against the four tests.
All being well, Step 1 will start on 8 March; Step 2 no earlier than 12 April; Step 3 no earlier than 17 May; and Step 4 no earlier than 21 June. You can see a simplified table of the steps on pages 47-48 of the ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’ document.
Please remember, England is still in a national lockdown. You must stay at home, leaving only where permitted by law, and follow the rules in the National Lockdown guidance. You should refer to the closures guidance for the latest rules for closing certain businesses and venues in England.
Latest Statement from Regional Leaders
Leaders from the seven local authorities in North East England call for more support while welcoming a cautious approach to the easing of lockdown.
Durham Business Recovery Grant
To support local businesses in looking forward and meeting the challenge of recovery, Durham County Council has introduced a £5 million Durham Business Recovery Grant. Open to businesses in all sectors located in the County, the grant is aimed at those with a credible plan to adapt and recover from the effects of COVID-19 but requiring financial support to implement their plan.
The grants range from a minimum of £1,000 up to a maximum of £40,000 and are able to contribute 75% towards eligible recovery plan costs, with the business expected to meet a quarter of the project cost.
The grants are not intended to provide crisis funding, general working capital or subsidise losses but can be used towards costs such as adapting operational models and working practices, adapting premises or business models to attract new customers or visitors, developing and marketing new product offerings or other relevant costs to meet a defined need that will help to increase sales.
There is no time limit or closing date for applications, so we strongly advise you take your time in understanding the eligibility criteria and thinking about what you need prior to beginning the application process.
Update from Michelle Gorman, Managing Director, Visit County Durham
Despite starting 2021 with another devastating national lockdown, I am still confident that as the year progresses, the county’s visitor economy will recover and prosper. When lockdown is lifted, families and loved ones will want to reconnect, and as a county with wide open spaces, crowd free beauty spots and businesses that hold covid-safe accreditations, Durham is best placed to capitalise on the demand for the ‘safecation’.
Until then, Visit County Durham is committed to continuing to support businesses during this incredibly challenging time. Access the Visit County Durham Covid-19 Business Hub for information and support, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit County Durham’s virtual ‘Tourism of the Future’ Autumn Conference was held on Wednesday 4th November 2020. The conference heard from Foresight Factory on future tourism trends, UKHospitality on current impacts of the pandemic and the latest industry lobbying of government, and an update from Visit County Durham. Download the presentations from the conference.
Latest information and announcements
We would advise all partners to regularly check this website and the VisitBritain and Government business support web pages, all of which are being continually updated with the latest advice and information for all tourism businesses.
Catch up on previous annnouncements