Covid-19 Business Advice
Covid-19 Business Advice

Covid-19 Business Advice

Visit County Durham Support

Visit County Durham is committed to supporting the county’s business community, and when appropriate, to work closely with Partners to plan for recovery.

 

Partnership Fees Waived
As a show of solidarity and support during the most challenging of times, Visit County Durham waived last year’s annual partnership fees. For this year, 2021/22, we have decided to reduce annual fees by 50% and not invoice re-joining partners until September 2021.  Please email us if you would like further information >

 

Consumer Marketing Campaigns

 

Explore from Your Door is Visit County Durham’s hyperlocal campaign, encouraging residents of the county and neighbouring areas to discover what is on their doorstep, from walks and rides to attractions and activities.

 

Worth the Wait is the regional campaign, aiming to inspire consumers from within the North East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria to choose the county for a day visit or staycation, in line with current guidance and local measures.

 

Campaign activity supports businesses, puts the county top of consumers’ minds, and inspires visits. For further details and to discuss how to get involved, email: marketing@visitcountydurham.org

 

Below you will find further business advice information to help you during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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Planning and General Guidance

 

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.

 

Durham County Council has updated information on accessing and using key council services following the move to Step 4 – the Council is encouraging and recommending members of the public to continue to wear face coverings, unless exempt, in all council buildings and venues to protect each other and staff, helping to reduce the spread of coronavirus and enable the continuing provision of services for those that need them most.

 

The seven local authorities across North East England have produced a business pack to help businesses stay COVID safe.

 

The government has further published detailed guidance for businesses operating in the Visitor Economy.

 

 
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Lateral Flow Testing

 

From Friday 9 April everyone in England will be able to access free, regular, rapid COVID-19 testing.

Alongside the roll-out of the vaccine, regular testing is an essential part of the easing of restrictions, helping identify variants and stopping individual cases from becoming outbreaks. Anyone can now access free, rapid lateral flow tests for themselves and their families to use twice a week, in line with clinical guidance.

 
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Test and Trace

 

The NHS Test and Trace service forms a central part of the government’s coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery strategy, which seeks to help the nation return to normal as soon as possible for as many people as possible, in a way that is safe and protects the NHS and social care sector.

 

Legal Obligation to Collect Information

Designated venues in certain sectors must have a system in place to request and record contact details of their customers, visitors and staff to help break the chains of transmission of coronavirus and support NHS Test and Trace.

 

Venues in hospitality, the tourism and leisure industry, close contact services and local authority facilities must:

  • ask every customer or visitor (over the age of 16) to provide their name and contact details
  • keep a record of all staff working on their premises and shift times on a given day and their contact details
  • keep these records of customers, visitors and staff for 21 days and provide data to NHS Test and Trace if requested
  • display an official NHS QR code poster from 24 September 2020, so that customers and visitors can ‘check in’ using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details
  • adhere to General Data Protection Regulations

Hospitality venues have additional requirements and must also take reasonable steps to refuse entry to anyone who refuses to participate. What is reasonable will depend on the type of venue and context in question. The venue should satisfy themselves that they have done all that could reasonably be expected to refuse entry.

 

Failure to do any of these requirements will result in fixed penalty fines.

 

NHS COVID-19 App

The app is currently being trialled and will launch on Thursday 24 September in England, including QR check-in at venues.

 

You can get further information and resources to understand what the app does and how to help your visitors use the app.

 

NHS QR Code

You can create a coronavirus NHS QR Code for your venue and get visitors to scan the QR code when they arrive if they are using the NHS COVID-19 app. You should create and display a QR Code if you are:

  • A business, place of worship or community organisation with a physical location that is open to the public
  • An event which is taking place in a physical location

If you have more than one venue, you need to create a separate QR code for each location.

 

NHS QR Code FAQs

 

Guidance for the Workplace

The Department of Health and Social Care has issued guidance on the NHS Test and Trace service for employers, businesses and workers.

 
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Health & Safety Guidance

 

Read guidance issued to employers, employees and the self-employed on how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Risk Assessment Tool
The government has produced a new tool to help you carry out a risk assessment to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in your workplace.

 

Safe Reopening Accreditation Schemes
Several organisations such as VisitBritain, UK Hospitality, The AA, Quality in Tourism and World Travel and Tourism Council are developing schemes based on government guidance to help businesses give consumers confidence that tourism businesses are safe to visit again.

We’re Good to Go
The official UK mark from VisitBritain and the UK’s national tourism organisations to signal that a tourism and hospitality business has worked hard to follow government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and has a process to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing. The scheme is free.

AA COVID Confident
Supported by key industry bodies and open to all hospitality establishments that pass the AA’s stringent criteria. The accreditation will indicate to customers that an establishment has in place the necessary risk assessment, safety measures and staff training to reopen safely, in line with the UK’s respective government guidelines as they are published. The scheme is free.

Quality in Tourism Post COVID-19 Recovery Accreditation
The accreditation is suitable for hospitality operators and accommodation providers who want to provide guests with reassurance of standards. The scheme inspects everything that a business needs to do to be complaint with regulation, committed to quality standards and be safe and clean. Cost from £125 plus VAT.

WTTC Safe Travels Stamp
Introduced by the World Travel & Tourism Council, the Safe Travels stamp can be used by destinations, hotels, restaurants, airlines, tour operators and attractions that have implemented health and hygiene protocols to globalised standards. The scheme is free.

 

Working Safely
The latest information and guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Disposing of Waste
Find out how to dispose of your personal or business waste, including face coverings and personal protective equipment (PPE), during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Cleaning of non-Healthcare Settings
The government has issued guidance describing the cleaning required, the appropriate disposal of materials, the cleaning of equipment and hard surfaces, and the personal protective equipment (PPE) that should be worn.

 

 
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Marketing Tips

 

Read advice on how to adapt your marketing during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Free Advert Opportunity
Newsquest North-East and Yorkshire, the publisher of the Northern Echo, Darlington and Stockton Times and the Advertiser series has launched a new campaign ‘Love Local Business’. As part of the campaign local businesses are being offered the opportunity to have a free advert.

 

Online Training and Webinars
A wide range of training resources and webinars is available in our Training and Webinars section.

 

Google
Resources and insights to help your business through coronavirus.

 

 
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Places to Visit Guidance

 

Information and advice for Places to Visit.

 

General Guidance

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.

Further guidance can be found here:

Safe Reopening Accreditation Schemes
Several organisations such as VisitBritain, UK Hospitality, The AA, and Quality in Tourism have developed schemes based on government guidance to help businesses give themselves and customers confidence that they are safe to visit again.

We’re Good to Go
The official UK mark from VisitBritain and the UK’s national tourism organisations to signal that a tourism and hospitality business has worked hard to follow government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and has a process to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing. The scheme is free.

AA COVID Confident
Supported by key industry bodies and open to all hospitality establishments that pass the AA’s stringent criteria. The accreditation will indicate to customers that an establishment has in place the necessary risk assessment, safety measures and staff training to reopen safely, in line with the UK’s respective government guidelines as they are published. The scheme is free.

Quality in Tourism Post COVID-19 Recovery Accreditation
The accreditation is suitable for hospitality operators and accommodation providers who want to provide guests with reassurance of standards. The scheme inspects everything that a business needs to do to be complaint with regulation, committed to quality standards and be safe and clean. Cost from £125 plus VAT.

 

Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations
Coronavirus related support:

 
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Activities Guidance

 

Information and advice for Activity providers.

 

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.

 

 
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Retail Guidance

 

Information and advice for retail businesses.

 

General Guidance

England is currently at Step 3 of the Roadmap.

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.

 

Further information can be found in the guidance for shops and branches.

 

Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations
Coronavirus related support:

 
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Food & Drink Guidance

 

Information and advice for Food & Drink businesses.

 

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.

Further information can be found in the guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services.

 

Safe Reopening Accreditation Schemes

Several organisations such as VisitBritain, UK Hospitality, The AA, and Quality in Tourism have developed schemes based on government guidance to help businesses give themselves and customers confidence that they are safe to visit again.

The official UK mark from VisitBritain and the UK’s national tourism organisations to signal that a tourism and hospitality business has worked hard to follow government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and has a process to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing. The scheme is free.

Supported by key industry bodies and open to all hospitality establishments that pass the AA’s stringent criteria. The accreditation will indicate to customers that an establishment has in place the necessary risk assessment, safety measures and staff training to reopen safely, in line with the UK’s respective government guidelines as they are published. The scheme is free.

The accreditation is suitable for hospitality operators and accommodation providers who want to provide guests with reassurance of standards. The scheme inspects everything that a business needs to do to be complaint with regulation, committed to quality standards and be safe and clean. Cost from £125 plus VAT.

 

Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations

Coronavirus related support:

 
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Accommodation Guidance

 

Information and advice for Accommodation businesses.

 

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.

 

Further information can be found in the guidance for Hotels and Other Guest Accommodation.

 

Safe Reopening Accreditation Schemes

Several organisations such as VisitBritain, UK Hospitality, The AA, and Quality in Tourism have developed schemes based on government guidance to help businesses give themselves and customers confidence that they are safe to visit again.

The official UK mark from VisitBritain and the UK’s national tourism organisations to signal that a tourism and hospitality business has worked hard to follow government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and has a process to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing. The scheme is free.

Supported by key industry bodies and open to all hospitality establishments that pass the AA’s stringent criteria. The accreditation will indicate to customers that an establishment has in place the necessary risk assessment, safety measures and staff training to reopen safely, in line with the UK’s respective government guidelines as they are published. The scheme is free.

The accreditation is suitable for hospitality operators and accommodation providers who want to provide guests with reassurance of standards. The scheme inspects everything that a business needs to do to be complaint with regulation, committed to quality standards and be safe and clean. Cost from £125 plus VAT.

 

Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations

Additional Coronavirus related support is available from: