GNF Members Update 5 June - Issue 41

Dear Member

Today's update concentrates on the Government's long-awaited Covid-Secure Guidance for tourism and hospitality and the flexibility adjustments to the Furlough Scheme.

Government Covid-Secure Guidance
As reported previously, we had hoped that these would be ready for publication along with a UK Covid-Secure Charter Mark for tourism by the first week in June. Unfortunately we've now been told these will not be ready until 15 June.

The guidance will allow tourism businesses to operate safely when they open from 4 July. The current situation is as follows:

  • DCMS is producing the top line guidance on risk assessments and implementing cleaning and social distancing regimes
  • Industry bodies are producing a series of detailed protocols for each different sector across tourism which will embed the top line guidance. So for instance, the top line guidance will say that rooms have to be thoroughly cleaned between changeovers, and the protocols will explain exactly how to do this.
  • VisitEngland is developing a system for businesses who, on lodging their risk assessment, will get a Mark that can be used to demonstrate to customers that they are operating in accordance with Government guidance.

Whilst the launch on 15 June is not ideal, it will give businesses almost three weeks to use this information to prepare for reopening. During this time businesses will need to undertake the risk assessment and register it with VE, implement the appropriate cleaning and social distancing systems, and use the Mark in promotional activities.

In the meantime, we have obtained a draft copy of the guidance for self-catering businesses, and these can be found via the links below. We are hoping to obtain similar draft guidance for B&Bs early next week and will circulate as soon as received. It must be stressed that these are draft documents, however it is likely only very minor adjustments will be made prior to the formal launch.

Flexible Furlough Scheme
Further details have been released on the Furlough Scheme as it begins to be ‘tapered out’, lockdown restrictions start to lift and trading can resume. These further details will include how employers will start to contribute.

Government's Outdoor FAQs - link now working
Please see new link to the Q&As referred to in our update number 40 on 3 June.

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:
Attractions  - Tuesday 9 June at 11am
Bed & Breakfast  - Wednesday 10 June at 11am
Self-Catering  - Thursday 11 June at 11am
Holiday Parks & Camp Sites   - Tuesday 16 June at 11am
Hotels Pubs Inns & Restaurants -  Wednesday 17 June at 11am

Whilst there's been a distinct shift in the weather - which has been particularly good for my garden - let's hope it's short-lived and the sun returns before the big re-open and remains all summer long!

With best wishes,