Latest Government Updates
Monday 19th October
Wales Lockdown from Friday 23rd October
The Welsh Government has announced a temporary two-week lockdown across Wales, to begin at 6pm on Friday 23rd October and lasting until Monday 9th November. People in Wales will be required to stay at home and work from home where possible, and non-essential shops, hospitality and tourism businesses will be required to close. Meeting people from other households will be banned, both indoors and outdoors.
People living in Wales will not be allowed to travel for holidays during the lockdown, and travel to and around Wales by visitors from other parts of the UK and abroad is not permitted.
The Government has also announced a financial support package of almost £300 million for businesses impacted by the measures, including a one-off payment of up to £5,000 for small and medium-sized hospitality businesses which are forced to close. Read the official announcement here and a useful list of FAQs here.
Updates on Irish Budget
Ministers Martin and Chambers announce support measures in Irish Budget of 13th October 2020:
- Reduction of VAT rate for tourism and hospitality services to 9% from 1/11/2020 to 31/12/2021.
- Financial scheme for accommodation businesses to get rebates of up to €5,000 per week to support businesses most affected by Covid restrictions.
- €55million business continuity fund to be administered by Fáilte Ireland.
- Rates Waiver Extension and introduction of the Covid support scheme.
Lancashire Moving to Tier 3
Lancashire is moving to Covid restrictions Tier 3 from 00.01 on Saturday 17 October. Learn more.
Wales Travel Ban
From Friday 16th October 6pm, it is prohibited to travel to Wales from Northern Ireland, Tier 2 and 3 areas in England, and the Scottish central belt. Click here for the BBC article.
New Support Scheme for NI Businesses
Finance Minister Conor Murphy announced a new support scheme for businesses in Northern Ireland forced to close due to Covid-19 restrictions, which will open for applications on Monday.
Small businesses are set to receive £1,600 every fortnight that they are in lockdown, medium businesses £2,400 and large firms £3,200.
- Small businesses with a Net Annual Value (NAV) of £15,000
- Medium businesses with a NAV of £15,00 to £51,000
- Large businesses with NAV of £51,000 or more
Click here for the full BBC article.
More areas move to Tier 2, including London
From Saturday October 17, London is moving to Covid measures Tier 2, with all restrictions that that implies coming into force. The same applies for:
- Elmbridge in Surrey
- Barrow in Furness, Cumbria
- North East Derbyshire
- Erewash, Derbyshire
Click here for the full BBC article on the topic.
Covid Restrictions in Your Area
Click here and enter your postcode to find out what rules and restrictions apply in your area.
How the New Tier System Will Affect Holidays (and your business)
Click here for the BBC article explaining how the three tier system will affect travel, and consequently, the way you run accommodation.
A quick summary: if you run accommodation in Tier 1 and host travellers from Tier 1, all current restrictions already in place apply. Travellers from Tier 2 are not permitted to share accommodation with people outside their household. Travellers from Tier 3 are only permitted to stay in guest accommodation within their local area, and only with members from their own household.
Click here for advice on travelling to an area with local restrictions.
New Covid Alert System
On 12 October 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new measures to tackle the spread of Covid-19 locally. Moving forward, there will be three levels of Covid Alert, segmenting the country into three tiers.
- Medium (Tier 1), where existing measures apply, such as the Rule of Six and the closure of hospitality venues at 10pm
- High (Tier 2), where a ban of indoor social interactions between different households will be introduced
- Very High (Tier 3), for areas greatly affected by Covid-19, where the NHS is significantly burdened
So far, the majority of the country is under ‘Medium’ alert, while Nottinghamshire, including Nottingham, East and West Cheshire and a small area of High Peak are under ‘High Alert’. The only area currently under ‘Very High Alert’ is the Liverpool City Region. Click here to find out more about the local restrictions within this area.
The PM stated that ‘Areas within the Very High Alert category will be reviewed every four weeks and nowhere will be shut down indefinitely’.
He also explained that the exact restrictions within an area with ‘Very High’ Covid Alert and any relevant support packages will be discussed with local leaders on a case by case basis.
Restrictions could include a ban of social mixing between households in both indoor and outdoor settings, as well as the closing of bars and pubs. Restaurants could still remain open, and the same applies for pubs and bars that serve food.
Lastly, we are asked ‘not to travel into and out of Very High alert level areas’. Click here to read the full statement.
Support Measures for Businesses in Badly Affected Areas
The PM stated that the Job Support Scheme will be extended ‘to cover two-thirds of the wages of those in any business that is required to close’, and announced that affected businesses will be offered cash grants of up to £3,000 a month.
Click here for the full statement.
New 5% VAT Rate
Cafes, restaurants, pubs and any other businesses offering food or drink must now remain closed from 10pm to 5am. Click here for more information.
Social Distancing & Group Sizes
It is currently illegal to meet friends and family in groups larger than 6 people, in both indoor and outdoor venues. Click here to read more information on this rule and find out about the exceptions.