Latest information on COVID-19

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

 

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:

  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  • Assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern

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.

Currently, England is at Step 2 of the Roadmap.

All being well, Step 3 will start 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.

 

Step 2 key points:

  • The reopening of non-essential retail; personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons; public buildings, including libraries and community centres
  • Indoor leisure facilities such as gyms will also reopen (but only for use by people on their own or in household groups)
  • Most outdoor attractions and settings including outdoor hospitality venues, zoos, theme parks, and drive-in cinemas can reopen
  • Self-contained accommodation such as campsites and holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households, can also reopen
  • Hospitality venues will be allowed to serve people outdoors at Step 2 and there will be no need for customers to order a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks and no curfew, although customers must order, eat and drink while seated (‘table service’). Wider social contact rules will apply in all these settings to prevent indoor mixing between different households

 

Durham County Council has updated the information on their ‘Making your business COVID secure’ page including a handy checklist for businesses.

 

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 and helps to identify the workplace adjustments that should be made. This guidance is only for businesses that can reopen under the current government rules.

 

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.

 

Face Coverings on Public Transport
Face coverings are mandatory for most passengers on public transport. LNER have a dedicated face coverings webpage with more information and suppliers they work with producing face coverings. If you know of a business that should be on this list, please get in touch with LNER

 

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.

 

Keeping Customers Safe
Hospitality Industry Training Ltd has produced a guide to keeping your customers and staff safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

 
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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 to help businesses and organisations prepare to welcome visitors again.

 

4 Step Roadmap to Easing Restrictions from 8 March

The government has published ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’ outlining the four steps for easing restrictions across England.

Before taking each step, the government will review the latest data on the impact of the previous step against four tests:

  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  • Assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern

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.

 

Key Steps for Places to Visit

8 March (Step 1)

  • The Stay at Home restriction will continue but it will be amended so that people can leave home for recreation as well as exercise outdoors – with their own household, support or childcare bubble, or with one person from another household. Social distancing and other safe behaviours should be followed.

29 March (Step 1)

  • People will be able to meet outside in groups up to a maximum of 6 people (the Rule of 6) or with one other household – people from different households will still need to socially distance from each other. This will apply to all outdoor settings, including private gardens.

No earlier than 12 April (Step 2)

  • The majority of outdoor attractions can reopen, including adventure parks and activities, animal attractions, drive in events, film studios, funfairs and fairgrounds, model villages, museums and galleries, skating rinks, theme parks, trampolining parks and water, and aqua parks. The rules on social contact outdoors will apply in these settings.
  • All newly open settings must abide by the social contact rules. The Government will continue to enforce restrictions and require businesses to demonstrate robust strategies for managing the risk of transmission and to ensure social distancing rules are followed. Local authorities and the police will continue to provide support and advice to newly reopened settings, enabling them to operate safely. Where businesses do not follow the rules, the appropriate enforcement action will be taken.

No earlier than 17 May (Step 3)

  • All but the most high-risk sectors will be able to reopen. In all sectors, COVID-Secure guidance will remain in place and premises must not cater for groups larger than the legal limits.
  • Remaining outdoor entertainment such as outdoor theatres and cinemas will be allowed to reopen.
  • Indoor entertainment and visitor attractions will reopen such as cinemas, theatres, concert halls, museums and galleries, adventure playgrounds and activities, amusement arcades and adult gaming centres, bingo halls, casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks, games, recreation and entertainment venues, play areas, model villages, snooker and pool halls, trampolining parks, water and aqua parks, and indoor attractions at outdoor venues.
  • Some large events, including conferences, theatre and concert performances and sports events can open. Controlled indoor events of up to 1,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower, will be permitted, as will outdoor events with a capacity of either 50% or 4,000 people, whichever is lower. The Government will also make a special provision for large, outdoor, seated venues where crowds can be safely distributed, allowing up to 10,000 people or 25% of total seated capacity, whichever is lower.

No earlier than 21 June (Step 4)

  • The government aims to remove all legal limits on social contact, publishing accompanying guidance on how best to reduce the risk of transmission and protect ourselves and loved ones.

The government aims to reopen the remaining closed settings, including large events, theatre performances, above the Step 3 capacity restrictions, subject to the outcome of the scientific Events Research Programme and potentially using testing to reduce the risk of infection, subject to further evaluation.

 

General Guidance

England is still in a national lockdown. You must stay at home, leaving only where permitted by law.

Under these restrictions, some heritage locations can be visited for the purposes of daily exercise in a public outdoor place, but this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area. These include historic parks, gardens and landscapes and ruins, and monuments open to the elements, even where entry is paid for.

You can exercise in a public outdoor place:

  • by yourself
  • with the people, you live with
  • with your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one)
  • in a childcare bubble where providing childcare
  • or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household - Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household

Roofed and enclosed historic buildings must be closed, although any grounds including car parks, toilets, and outdoor playgrounds can remain open. Visitors should not travel outside of their local area and must comply with social contact restrictions.

 

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.

 

Research
The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) commissioned Decision House to undertake a public attitude survey designed to monitor how potential visitors are feeling about returning to visitor attractions when the re-open. ALVA has made the results of this work available to all:
Visitor Sentiment First Wave 30th April 2020
Visitor Sentiment Second Wave 22nd May 2020
Visitor Sentiment Third Wave 19th June 2020
Visitor Sentiment Fourth Wave 17th July 2020

 

Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations
Coronavirus related support:

 
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Activities Guidance

 

Information and advice for Activity providers operating in a Tier 4 Stay at Home area.

 

4 Step Roadmap to Easing Restrictions from 8 March

The government has published ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’ outlining the four steps for easing restrictions across England.

Before taking each step, the government will review the latest data on the impact of the previous step against four tests:

  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  • Assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern

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.

 

Key Steps for Activities

8 March (Step 1)

  • The Stay at Home restriction will continue but it will be amended so that people can leave home for recreation as well as exercise outdoors – with their own household, support or childcare bubble, or with one person from another household. Social distancing and other safe behaviours should be followed.

29 March (Step 1)

  • People will be able to meet outside in groups up to a maximum of 6 people (the Rule of 6) or with one other household – people from different households will still need to socially distance from each other. This will apply to all outdoor settings, including private gardens.
  • Outdoor sports facilities will be allowed to reopen, such as gyms, swimming pools, sports courts, golf courses (including mini golf), water sports venues, climbing walls, driving and shooting ranges, riding arenas at riding centres, and archery venues -  People can use these venues in a group of six people with social distancing, or with members of up to two households.
  • Formally organised outdoor sports (for adults and under 18s) can also restart - this can include a larger number of participants, provided that appropriate steps are taken to make it COVID-Secure in line with the law. Indoor facilities, such as changing rooms, should not be used at this time, although toilet facilities can be accessed.
  • All children will be able to access any outdoor childcare and supervised activities. Parent and child groups can also take place outdoors with a limit of 15 attendees (children under five years of age do not count towards the attendee limit.
  • Children will still only be able to attend indoor childcare or supervised activities where doing so will allow parents or carers to work, seek work, attend education, seek medical attention or attend a support group.
  • As a result of these changes, people will no longer be legally required to Stay at Home. However, many of the lockdown restrictions will remain in place. Unless an exemption already applies, it will not be possible to meet people from other households indoors and many business premises will remain shut. People should continue to minimise travel wherever possible and should not be staying away from home overnight at this stage.

No earlier than 12 April (Step 2)

  • Social contact rules in England will not change further at this point. Unless a specific exemption exists, these must only be attended/used in line with the wider social contact limits at this stage - as a single household or bubble indoors; or in a group of 6 people or 2 households outdoors.
  • Additional premises will be able to reopen but should only be visited alone or with household groups: indoor leisure facilities such as gyms and leisure centres, sports courts, swimming pools, dance studios and fitness centres, driving and shooting ranges, riding arenas, archery venues and climbing wall centres.
  • All children will be able to attend any indoor children's activity, including sport, regardless of circumstance. Parent and child groups of up to 15 people (not counting children aged under five years old) can restart indoors.
  • All newly open settings must abide by the social contact rules. The Government will continue to enforce restrictions and require businesses to demonstrate robust strategies for managing the risk of transmission and to ensure social distancing rules are followed. Local authorities and the police will continue to provide support and advice to newly reopened settings, enabling them to operate safely. Where businesses do not follow the rules, the appropriate enforcement action will be taken.

No earlier than 17 May (Step 3)

  • All but the most high-risk sectors will be able to reopen. In all sectors, COVID-Secure guidance will remain in place and premises must not cater for groups larger than the legal limits.
  • Adult indoor group sports and exercise classes can reopen.

No earlier than 21 June (Step 4)

  • The government aims to remove all legal limits on social contact, publishing accompanying guidance on how best to reduce the risk of transmission and protect ourselves and loved ones.

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.

 

 
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Retail Guidance

 

Information and advice for retail businesses to help prepare to welcome customers again.

 

4 Step Roadmap to Easing Restrictions from 8 March

The government has published ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’ outlining the four steps for easing restrictions across England.

Before taking each step, the government will review the latest data on the impact of the previous step against four tests:

  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  • Assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern

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.

 

Key Steps for Retail

12 April (Step 2)

  • As a result of changes introduced within Step 1, people will no longer be legally required to Stay at Home. However, many of the lockdown restrictions will remain in place. People should continue to minimise travel wherever possible and should not be staying away from home overnight.
  • More premises will be able to reopen but should only be visited alone or with household groups: non-essential retail; personal care premises such as hairdressers, salons, and close contact services.
  • All newly open settings must abide by the social contact rules. The Government will continue to enforce restrictions and require businesses to demonstrate robust strategies for managing the risk of transmission and to ensure social distancing rules are followed. Local authorities and the police will continue to provide support and advice to newly reopened settings, enabling them to operate safely. Where businesses do not follow the rules, the appropriate enforcement action will be taken.

No earlier than 17 May (Step 3)

  • All but the most high-risk sectors will be able to reopen. In all sectors, COVID-Secure guidance will remain in place and premises must not cater for groups larger than the legal limits.

No earlier than 21 June (Step 4)

  • The government aims to remove all legal limits on social contact, publishing accompanying guidance on how best to reduce the risk of transmission and protect ourselves and loved ones.

General Guidance

England is still in a national lockdown. You must stay at home, leaving only where permitted by law.

Non-essential retail is required to close, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment) and market stalls selling non-essential goods.

Businesses providing essential goods and services can stay open. Essential retail includes food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences, as well as market stalls selling essential retail.

Banks, building societies, post offices, short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses are also permitted to stay open.

 

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 to help prepare to welcome customers again.

 

4 Step Roadmap to Easing Restrictions from 8 March

The government has published ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’ outlining the four steps for easing restrictions across England.

Before taking each step, the government will review the latest data on the impact of the previous step against four tests:

  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  • Assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern

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.

 

Key Steps for Food & Drink

No earlier than 12 April (Step 2)

  • Hospitality venues will be able to open for outdoor service (cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs, social clubs, including member’s clubs) including for takeaway alcohol. These venues may allow customers to use toilets located inside. At any premises serving alcohol, customers will be required to order, be served and eat/drink while seated (“table service”). Venues will be prohibited from providing shared smoking equipment such as shisha pipes.
  • All newly open settings must abide by the social contact rules. The Government will continue to enforce restrictions and require businesses to demonstrate robust strategies for managing the risk of transmission and to ensure social distancing rules are followed. Local authorities and the police will continue to provide support and advice to newly reopened settings, enabling them to operate safely. Where businesses do not follow the rules, the appropriate enforcement action will be taken.

No earlier than 17 May (Step 3)

  • All but the most high-risk sectors will be able to reopen. In all sectors, COVID-Secure guidance will remain in place and premises must not cater for groups larger than the legal limits.
  • Indoor hospitality will be allowed to reopen, with no requirement for a substantial meal to be served alongside alcoholic drinks, and no curfew. As for outdoor hospitality, table service will be required.

No earlier than 21 June (Step 4)

  • The government aims to remove all legal limits on social contact, publishing accompanying guidance on how best to reduce the risk of transmission and protect ourselves and loved ones.
  • Reopen the remaining closed settings, including nightclubs.

 

General Guidance

England is still in a national lockdown. You must stay at home, leaving only where permitted by law.

Hospitality venues are required to close, including cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs.

This is with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery.

 

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.

 

Re-opening and Adapting your Food Business

The Food Standards Agency has published guidance on reopening and adapting food businesses during COVID-19.

 

Restaurants Offering Takeaway and/or Delivery

Guidance for people who work in or run restaurants offering takeaway or delivery services.

 

Advice for Food & Drink Businesses

Visit County Durham has put together some guidance for Food & Drink businesses.

 

Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations

Coronavirus related support:

 
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Accommodation Guidance

 

Information and advice for Accommodation businesses to help prepare to welcome visitors again.

 

4 Step Roadmap to Easing Restrictions from 8 March

The government has published ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’ outlining the four steps for easing restrictions across England.

Before taking each step, the government will review the latest data on the impact of the previous step against four tests:

  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  • Assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern

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.

 

Key Steps for Accommodation

29 March (Step 1)

  • As a result of changes introduced within Step 1, people will no longer be legally required to Stay at Home. However, many of the lockdown restrictions will remain in place. People should continue to minimise travel wherever possible and should not be staying away from home overnight.

No earlier than 12 April (Step 2)

  • Overnight stays away from home in England will be permitted. 
  • Separate and self-contained accommodation will be open for leisure stays. This is defined as accommodation in which facilities (kitchens, sleeping areas, bathrooms and indoor communal areas such as: lifts, staircases, lounges, sitting areas and internal corridors for entry and exit) are restricted to exclusive use of a single household/support bubble. A reception area is not to be treated as a shared facility or indoor communal area if they are required in order to be open for check-in purposes.

  • Accommodation in which all facilities listed above are for the exclusive use of a single household/support bubble may open. This will mean that holiday parks, ‘standalone’ holiday lets such as houses and cottages, chalets, yurts, holiday boats, and motels which do not rely on sharing those facilities listed may open.

  • Campsites and caravan parks will be permitted from Step 2 provided that the only shared facilities used by guests at the campsite or caravan park are washing facilities, toilets, water points and waste disposal points. These facilities should be operated to ensure no household mixing takes place. This would involve either assigning shower facilities to one household group/support bubble, (i.e. making them private), or running a reservation and clean process (whereby one household can exclusively book the shared facilities for a fixed time, and the facilities are cleaned between reservations and kept well-ventilated).

  • All accommodation may continue to open for the current permitted reasons, such as to provide accommodation for those who are unable to return to their main residence; for the homeless; for those who need accommodation for work, education or training purposes; for those who need to attend medical appointments; or for those self-isolating as required by law including for the Managed Quarantine Service for high risk international arrivals.

  • All newly open settings must abide by the social contact rules. The Government will continue to enforce restrictions and require businesses to demonstrate robust strategies for managing the risk of transmission and to ensure social distancing rules are followed. Local authorities and the police will continue to provide support and advice to newly reopened settings, enabling them to operate safely. Where businesses do not follow the rules, the appropriate enforcement action will be taken.

    No earlier than 17 May (Step 3)

  • All but the most high-risk sectors will be able to reopen. In all sectors, COVID-Secure guidance will remain in place and premises must not cater for groups larger than the legal limits.
  • Remaining accommodation such as hotels, hostels and B&Bs can reopen.

No earlier than 21 June (Step 4)

  • The government aims to remove all legal limits on social contact, publishing accompanying guidance on how best to reduce the risk of transmission and protect ourselves and loved ones.

General Guidance

England is still in a national lockdown. You must stay at home, leaving only where permitted by law.

Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for providing accommodation or support to the homeless, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes.

Restaurants and bars within guest accommodation should remain closed although food and/or drink including alcohol can be provided through room service as long as it is ordered by phone or online. Communal spaces such as lounges or lobbies may remain open to guests, but no food or drink should be served in these spaces, people should be encouraged not to gather, and social distancing should be observed.

Overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences will not be allowed - including holidays in the UK and abroad. This includes staying in a second home or caravan, or people staying with anyone they do not live with or are not in a support bubble with. There are specific exceptions, for example if people need to stay away from home (including in a second home) for work or education purposes.

When travel is necessary and staying in hotels and other guest accommodation required, we expect people to act responsibly, in line with government regulations and guidance. Guest accommodation providers such as hotels, B&Bs and caravan parks may remain open for the specific reasons set out in law, including where guests are unable to return to their main residence, use that guest accommodation as their main residence, need accommodation while moving house, are self-isolating as required by law, or would otherwise be made homeless as a result of the accommodation closing.

 

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

 

Business Interruption Insurance

The Supreme Court has substantially allowed the FCA’s appeal on behalf of business interruption insurance policyholders. The legal process for impacted policies is now complete and means that covered policyholders will now have their claims for coronavirus-related business interruption losses paid.

The FCA has published draft guidance for policyholders on how to prove the presence of coronavirus, which is a condition in certain types of policy as well as general FAQs for policyholders with Business Interruption Insurance.

To help businesses, the FCA has produced a business interruption policy checker.

 

Risk Assessment Tool

  • The government has produced a new tool to help you carry out a risk assessment and helps to identify the workplace adjustments that should be made. This guidance is only for businesses that can reopen under the current government rules.

 

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: