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 in the most challenging of times, all Visit County Durham Partner fees will be waived for 2020/21, to ease some of the financial pressure our businesses are currently facing. Please email us if you would like further information >

 

Business Support Campaign
Visit County Durham, Durham County Council and Business Durham are backing the ‘Love Local Business’ campaign in the Northern Echo, Darlington and Stockton Times and the Advertiser series. Featuring print, online and social media, the campaign focuses on helping small, local businesses by offering a free advert. Further details can be found here >

 

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

 

Help us Save our Industry

By the time the tourism industry opens it will already have lost four months of trading. Social distancing restrictions will limit opportunities to recoup losses, with additional costs of PPE and other measures, and before we know it winter will be upon us again. Our survey work shows that business confidence beyond the summer period plummets and the picture worsens further when looking a year or more ahead. Guaranteed Government support for the industry through the winter, confirmed now, is urgently required. That’s why we are working with Cumbria Tourism and backing a petition calling for this.

 

With your help let’s make this campaign gather national focus and get national support from politicians, industry and visitors.

 

Please can we ask for your help. Will you sign our petition HERE and share the link and our social media posts with your staff, customers. Together let’s make our voices heard and help save businesses, jobs and services. #savetourismjobs

 

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

 

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Planning and General Guidance

 

Read the latest plans and guidance issued to employers, employees and the self-employed.

 

New Local Restrictions for North East England

New local restrictions are in force across North East England from Friday 18th September to help address the significant rise in coronavirus in the region over recent weeks.

 

Restrictions cover the whole of County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Shields and Sunderland and will be monitored closely and reviewed on a weekly basis.

 

COVID Recovery Plan

The government published The UK Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Strategy in May 2020.

 

Cultural Renewal Taskforce and Supporting Working Groups

The Taskforce and Working Groups have been set up to develop guidelines for safe reopening of DCMS sectors following the latest coronavirus guidelines.

 

Advice on Staying Secure during COVID-19

Guidance from the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure for businesses and insolvency office holders on managing security risks during the pandemic.

 

Advice for Employers and Employees

ACAS has published advice for employers and employees covering coronavirus.

 

Getting Back to Work

The North East Growth Hub has published a graphic providing information on six workplace readiness essentials.

 

Travelling to Work

Transport North East has produced a handy flow chart giving advice on travelling to and from work.

 

Supply Chain Re-Engagement

Prestige Purchasing has created a guide to re-engaging with your supply chain and identifying the changes that will impact on supply.

 
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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 at least one member of every party of customers or visitors (up to 6 people) 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 must also refuse entry to those who refuse to participate.

 

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.

 

Re-opening Guidelines

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.

 

Reopening Experiences

 

Places of Worship
Guidance has been issued for the safe use of places of worship during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Urban Centres and Green Spaces
This guidance provides the owners and operators of public spaces with information and examples of measures that may be undertaken to adapt and manage public spaces in order to help social distancing.

 

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

 

Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations
Coronavirus related support:

 
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Activities Guidance

 

Information and advice for Activity providers to help businesses and organisations prepare to welcome visitors again.

 

Tour Guides

The latest government information (11th September 2020) advises that guided tours of up to 30 people may take place indoors or outdoors provided businesses undertake risk assessments in line with published guidance.

 

The Institute of Tourist Guides has issued guidance to ensure that tour guides can work safely and give confidence to visitors wishing to use guiding services.

 

Outdoor Facilities

The government has issued guidance for the phased return of sport and recreation in England.

 

 
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Retail Guidance

 

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

 

Reopening and Recovery

 

Dalton Park Outlet Shopping
A new video has been produced by Dalton Park Outlet Shopping showing the changes they have made to keep customers and staff safe.

 

Shops and Branches
Guidance has been amended for people who work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar environments.

 

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.

 

New Restrictions Announced

To help stop the rise of coronavirus cases, the government has announced new restrictions affecting Food & Drink businesses coming into force from 24th September:

  • Businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants) must be closed between 10pm and 5am. This will include Takeaways, but delivery services can continue after 10pm
  • In licensed premises, food and drink must be ordered, and served at, a table
  • Customers must eat and drink at a table in any premises selling food and drink to consume indoors, on site
  • Face Coverings:
    • Customers in hospitality venues must wear face coverings, except when seated at a table to eat or drink
    • Staff in hospitality and retail will now also be required to wear face coverings
    • People who are already exempt from the existing face covering obligations, such as because of an underlying health condition, will continue to be exempt from these new obligations
  • Businesses will need to display the official NHS QR code posters so that customers can ‘check-in’ via the NHS COVID-19 app at different premises as an alternative to providing their contact details
  • From 28th September, businesses and organisations will face stricter rules to make their premises COVID secure:
    • Employers must not knowingly require or encourage someone who is being required to self-isolate to come to work
    • Businesses must remind people to wear face coverings where mandated

 

Re-opening Guidelines

 

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 or Delivery

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

 

Ready to Serve

UKHospitality has developed the Ready to Serve course to prepare managers for reopening.

 

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.

 

GENERAL GUIDANCE AND RESOURCES

 

New Local Restrictions for North East England

The government has set out new COVID alert levels, which came into force on October 14, they are:

  • Medium - this is for areas where national restrictions continue to be in place.
  • High - this is for areas with a higher level of infections where some additional restrictions are in place.
  • Very High - this is for areas with a very high level of infections and where tighter restrictions are in place.

 

The seven councils in North East England (County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Northumberland and Sunderland) currently fall under the ‘High’ level.

 

Government has produced a list of what you can and can’t do if you live, work or travel to the affected areas. In addition, Durham County Council has produced an FAQ document providing further information on restrictions affecting the county.

 

Clarification has been provided by DCMS on travel and overnight Stays in England

  • In Local COVID Alert Level Very High areas: Residents of very high alert areas should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK, except if they need to do so for work, education or caring responsibilities and they must not stay with anyone they do not live with elsewhere in the UK. People are being asked to avoid staying overnight in a very high alert area where possible, except for those who need to for work, education or caring responsibilities. Residents from a very high alert area may travel to hotels and other guest accommodation within that area but should only do so with people in their household or support bubble.
  • In Local COVID Alert Level High areas: People can still travel within high alert areas to hotels and other guest accommodation but should only do this with other people in their household or support bubble. People can still go on holiday outside of high alert level areas but must only do so with other people in their household or support bubble.
  • In Local COVID Alert Level Medium areas: Motorway services, airports and seaports will be exempted from the 10pm hospitality curfew (though no alcohol is to be served between 10pm and 5am); in addition to delivery and drive-thru, hospitality venues will now be able to offer click-and-collect service for the sale of food and non-alcoholic drink between 10pm and 5am, provided customers have pre-ordered by phone, online, or by post; theatres, concert halls and cinemas will be exempt from requiring people to be seated whilst ordering food and drink; the restrictions on singing, dancing and loud music in hospitality premises will be removed.

 

Business Interruption Insurance

The High Court handed down its judgment in the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA)’s business interruption insurance test case. The Court found in favour of the arguments advanced for policyholders by the FCA on the majority of the key issues. An appeal has been lodged.

 

Re-opening Guidelines

 

Risk Assessment Tool

 

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.

 

Managing Linen

UK Hospitality has issued a briefing note on managing linen in hotels and the hospitality sector.

 

HOTELS

A new video has been produced by Rockliffe Hall showing how they are going make visitor stays safe and memorable. The hotel is looking to open from 4th July subject to government guidelines.

 

BED & BREAKFAST - Example COVID-19 Secure Policy

The 25 Boutique B&B in Torquay is planning to open to guests from 4th July subject to government guidelines. In preparation, they have developed a COVID-19 Secure Policy that clearly sets out how they are keeping guests (and themselves) safe. Many thanks to Andy and Julian for giving us permission to share.

 

SELF-CATERING

Read detailed COVID-19 updates and guidance for self-catering operators from the Professional Association of Self-Caterers. Resources include self-catering specific risk assessment and cleaning protocols.

 

CAMPING AND CARAVANNING

The Camping and Caravanning Club has produced information to keep visitors and staff safe.

 

BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVE ORGANISATIONS AND TRADE ASSOCIATIONS

Additional Coronavirus related support is available from:

 
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Legal Guidance

 

Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations
Coronavirus related support for specific Sectors:

 

 
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Transport

 

Information from transport operators.

 

Safer Travel Guidance for Passengers

Rules and advice on safe travelling during the coronavirus pandemic. Guidance includes social distancing, the use of face coverings, sharing private vehicles, and public transport.

 

 

Coronavirus Travel Corridors

The government maintains a list of countries, territories and regions from where people can travel to England and may not have to self-isolate.

 

It is important to stay up to date with this information so you are aware of any requirements of guests arriving from abroad that may need to self-isolate.

 

Durham City Park and Ride

Park and Ride services at Belmont, Howlands and Sniperley are running regularly with a range of measures in place for passenger and driver safety.

 

LNER

Get the latest safe travelling information from LNER.

 

Go North East

Get the latest GO North East travel information and advice.

 

Wednesday Grapevine Sign Up

COVID-19 Support Finder

COVID-19 Business Support

COVID-19 Business Support

COVID-19 Business Finance

COVID-19 Useful Links

Research Library – COVID 19 Impact

Can you help with the response to COVID-19?

Mental Health and Wellbeing