GNF Members Update 16 June - Issue 45

 Dear Member,

Still nothing from either Visit England or the Government in terms of re-opening guidance protocols for 4 July; it seems we’ll get something further on Thursday. In the meantime today’s update has an interesting item on Northern Ireland’s approach to re-opening tourism and some further business support scheme adjustments and additional guidance.

Northern Ireland Reopening Brought Forward
Re-opening tourism-related businesses in Northern Ireland is to be conditionally brought forward to the following dates:
26 June - reopening of caravan parks, camping sites & self-catering accommodation
3 July – reopening of other businesses including:
  • Restaurants, Cafés, Coffee Shops etc
  • The indoor spaces of Pubs and Bars for substantial meals with the serving of alcohol being ancillary to this. Pubs and Bars open on this basis to avoid providing activities such as bands, live sport screening etc;
  • Pubs and Bars with outdoor spaces (e.g, beer gardens) permitted to sell alcohol in these spaces on a table service basis;
  • Hotel Amenities - hotel restaurants permitted to re-open. Hotel bars restricted to the provision of substantial meals with the serving of alcohol being ancillary to this. Hotels with outdoor spaces permitted to sell alcohol in these spaces. NB - spas and leisure facilities would not be permitted to open but would be open in line with relaxation of restrictions on the wider spa and leisure sector
  • Visitor Attractions – Museums, historic houses, culture and heritage venues, and outdoor attractions (the outdoor areas of some attractions are already open). Phased re-opening of visitor attractions in line with site or building specific risk assessments. 

Guidance on Boat Use
The Government has produced more detailed guidance for a wide range of boat use in coastal and inland. This covers everything from marinas, boat hire, tour boats and canoe hire. The main points are:
  • Canoes and paddle craft hire firms can operate but must clean equipment and practice social distancing
  • Self-drive boats or bareboat charter businesses can open but only for people using the boats for day-trips – so overnight use of canal boats and cruising yachts is still prohibited
  • Tourist and trip boat operators must remain closed
  • Marinas may open to allow people to visit and move their boats
  • Private boat owners cannot stay overnight on their boat unless the boat is their primary residence

Green Spaces Guidance Update
Guidance has been updated to take account of the changes to the rules covering animal attractions – ranging from zoos and safari parks through to wildlife centres and farms where visitors can interact with animals. Indoor attractions and activities where people come into contact with other people, surfaces or animals (for example, children’s play areas and petting farms) must stay closed.
Changes to Furlough Scheme
The Government has published a policy paper on the changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which provides a bit more detail to the flexibility that is being introduced to the furlough scheme from 1 July. The key point in this is that from this date, employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for the hours not worked. This will be of considerable help to businesses both in preparing to open on 4 th  July and in being able to match staff numbers to demand as they rebuild the business.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme guidance updated
Updated guidance now available on  the extension   of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). Eligible individuals are able to claim a second and final grant in August. 
  • Those eligible for the first grant must claim on or before 13 July 2020. 
  • Applications for the second grant will open in August.
  • The eligibility criteria remain the same as for the first SEISS grant.  
  • Those claiming for the second grant will have to confirm that their business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020.  
  • Individuals can claim for the second grant even if they did not make a claim for the first grant.
English National Parks - Webinar 23 June
As tourism reopens, will it be for car drivers only? Join @GoodJourneyUK for a webinar on visitor travel in the light of COVID-19. Exploring challenges and opportunities with panel: Prof. Jillian Anable – University of Leeds, Jonathan Bray – Urban Transport Group, Sam Robinson – Love to Ride, Heather Carter – Blenheim Palace.

Upcoming GNF Virtual Sector Group Meetings
The following Sector Group Zoom meetings have been scheduled - invitations will be sent to each group with agenda and joining instructions:
Hotels Pubs Inns & Restaurants - Wednesday 17 June at 11am
Attractions - Tuesday 23 June at 11am
Bed & Breakfast - Wednesday 24 June at 11am
Self-Catering - Wednesday 24 June at 2.30pm
Holiday Parks & Camp Sites - Thursday 25 June at 11am

As agreed in the last Update, please send us any recommended suppliers or services that will assist our members in preparing and operating during the re-opening phase. Please send to . In the meantime, we have made a start on recommendations and these can be viewed below.

With best wishes,