Latest information on COVID-19

Latest information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

COVID-19 Impact Survey

Update from Visit County Durham 

You will be aware that all VCD campaign and marketing activity stopped in March; the team focus switched to business support, advice and guidance, and the development of a virtual visit content hub and micro site -, encouraging consumers to ‘#LoveDurham from your sofa.’


Following the announcement from the Prime Minister on Sunday 10 May, regarding it now being possible to drive to other locations for exercise, irrespective of distance, we do not intend to change our consumer messaging at this stage.


We do not feel this is a message suitable for the destination at this time. There is still widespread concern within the industry that the loosening of restrictions may see a return to crowded car parks and people flocking to rural and coastal locations, at a time when the resident community is still concerned about an influx of visitors. Therefore, we will continue to focus on promoting a ‘virtual visit’ to the county, which in essence is an inspiration and planning tool for a future visit, whenever that may be. 


We are working closely with local, regional and national partners on recovery planning for Durham’s visitor economy, and acknowledge that building confidence amongst businesses, as well as consumers, with regards to adhering to Government guidelines will be key to recovery, and we will continue to support businesses and consult them in our recovery planning.


By working in partnership with the industry, we will be ready to promote our amazing county, to existing and new audiences, when it is appropriate to do so.


Michelle Gorman, managing director and Ivor Stolliday, chair of Visit County Durham.


VisitEngland COVID-19 Business SupportLatest information and Announcements

We would advise all partners to regularly check the VisitBritain and Government business support web pages, which are being continually updated with the latest advice and information for UK tourism businesses.


As the situation evolves, we recommend all County Durham tourism businesses and stakeholders stay informed by reading the latest health information from the above resources. Please also provide feedback and comments direct to


Click for Latest VCD Grapevine COVID-19 Business Support e-news >


Latest announcements:

21st May

Financial Support

  • The government’s £500 million Future Fund opens for applications today. UK-based companies can now apply for a convertible loan of between £125,000 and £5 million, to support continued growth and innovation in sectors such including technology and the creative industries.
  • An additional £20million has been committed to the Fast Start Competition for innovative businesses and start-ups driving forward new technological advances.

19th May

Business Support

Financial Support

  • Updated information for employers about the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme and how to claim via the online portal from 26 May


  • Updated guidance documents  to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Updated guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers, end-point assessment organisations and external quality assurance providers.

15th May

Financial Support


  • Updated information on videos and free webinars to learn more about the support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus.

13th May

Financial Support

  • The Government will temporarily guarantee business-to-business transactions currently supported by Trade Credit Insurance, ensuring the majority of insurance coverage will be maintained across the market.
  • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is now open for applications. Check if you are eligible and find out how to make a claim.




Previous Announcements


Business Support

Financial Support


  • The Government has published staying safe outside your home guidance on what the new rules will mean – read the FAQs which include going to work (11th May)
  • New guidance for employers 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 and warehouses, homes, labs and research facilities, office and contact centres, restaurants offering takeaway or delivery, shops and branches and vehicles (11th May)
  • Guidance for businesses seeking to help voluntary, community, and social enterprise organisations during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has been published (6th May)
  • Guidance on how to protect yourself and your business from fraud and cybercrime during COVID-19 has been published (27th April)





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Registered office: Visit County Durham, 2nd Floor, County Hall, Dryburn Road, Durham, DH1 5UL