COVID-19 Business Hub
COVID-19 Business Hub

COVID-19 Business Hub

Latest information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

From today (19 July 2021), England moves to Step 4 of the Roadmap. The key changes for Step 4 are:

  • Legal restrictions can be lifted, all businesses can open, and the government is no longer instructing people to work from home.
  • To support businesses through this next phase, the ‘Working Safely’ guidance will continue to provide advice on sensible precautions employers can take to manage risk and support their staff and customers.
  • You should use the guidance to consider the risk within your premises and decide which mitigations are appropriate to adopt.
  • Social distancing guidance will no longer apply. This means that you do not need to implement social distancing in your business, workplace or venue, and customers and workers do not need to keep apart from people they don’t live with.

However, the Government advises that the pandemic is not over. Cases are increasing rapidly, and a third wave is underway. Step 4 does not mark the end of the need for caution and restraint. At Step 4, while many of the legal restrictions that the Government has imposed through the pandemic will be lifted, cautious guidance will remain, making it clear this is not yet a return to normal. While cases are high and rising, everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious.


Latest Statement from LA7 Leaders

Covid-19 restrictions may have been lifted, but from Monday 26 July the whole North East will receive additional government support as an Enhanced Response Area following a steep rise in Covid-19 cases in the area, serving as a sobering reminder that we all still have a responsibility to make sure we continue to do our bit. Read the latest joint statement from the seven local authorities in North East England.


Update from Michelle Gorman, Managing Director, Visit County Durham

This week sees the reopening of many more tourism businesses across the county, as England successfully reaches the third stage in the roadmap out of lockdown. We would like to send a message of good luck to those businesses, who have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure they can welcome customers back safely. Visit County Durham is committed to supporting businesses as we progress along the road to recovery. By working in partnership, we are confident that the county’s visitor economy can emerge even stronger. 

Access the Visit County Durham Covid-19 Business Hub for information and support, or email


Find out more about the work undertaken by Visit County Durham during the last year throughout the pandemic.


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.


The latest VCD Grapevine COVID-19 Business Support e-news


Latest announcements:

20 September



  • Wave 39 of the VisitEngland Consumer Sentiment Tracker is now available. The fieldwork was conducted last week between 6-10 September. Measures have continued to remain very stable this wave, with minor fluctuations in mood and sentiment towards Covid. Intent and Confidence to travel in Autumn remain at similar levels to the last wave.

16 September


  • Leaders of the seven local authorities in North East England have issued a statement regarding the Covid winter plan and vaccinations for 12-15 year old.
  • A number of sector guidelines for Working Safely During Coronavirus have been updated in line with the government’s autumn and winter plan.
  • People previously considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable will not be advised to shield again, as the government agrees to end the requirement for centralised guidance for these groups following expert clinical advice. The closure of the shielding programme follows a pause to shielding guidance in place since 1 April 2021.

15 September


  • In the House of Commons yesterday, Health Secretary Sajid Javid set out the Autumn and Winter Plan for England. This was followed by a press briefing by Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressing the public. The plan sets out a Plan A scenario and outlines a Plan B contingency plan for England that would only be enacted if the data suggests that further actions are necessary to protect the NHS.
  • Millions of vulnerable people are to be offered a COVID-19 booster vaccine from next week as the government confirms it has accepted the final advice from the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). The programme will be rolled out to the same priority groups as previously. This means care home residents, health and social care workers, people aged over 50, those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19, adult carers, and adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals will be prioritised.

14 September



  • Children aged 12 to 15 in England will be offered one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, following advice from the four UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs), the Health and Social Care Secretary has announced.

13 September


  • This week, the Prime Minister will set out the government’s autumn and winter plan for managing Covid.
  • The Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, told the BBC that plans to introduce vaccine passports for access into nightclubs and large events in England will not go ahead.


  • Wave 38 of the VisitEngland Consumer Sentiment Tracker report is now available. The fieldwork for this was conducted between 23-27August. The measures have remained very stable this wave, with minor fluctuations in mood and sentiment towards COVID. However, intent to take a trip, confidence in a trip going ahead and destination, accommodation and trip type all remain very similar. The next report will be the final wave (39) of this phase of the research, which currently takes place once a fortnight. VisitEngland hopes to continue the research on a monthly basis.

Catch up on previous annnouncements

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