These are challenging times for our industry, but we are here to support our member businesses by answering key questions and signposting you to the latest official guidance.
As well as advising businesses, we are using this evidence to inform and lobby Government. We are having regular discussions with senior government and public health officials, as well as regional partners and national bodies such as the Tourism Alliance. We continue to raise the issues you are highlighting to help inform high-level decision-making.
We will also continue updating this website, along with our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), so please do keep checking back for new updates. The Cumbria Tourism team are here to support you and we are responding to individual emails from member businesses as quickly as possible.
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Latest National Restrictions
The Government has produced a new poster detailing the current rules and restrictions – available to view and download HERE.
Post 2nd December Tier System
From 00.01 on Wednesday 2nd December the current restrictions will end, with businesses permitted to open in line with local tier restrictions.
We are expecting to learn more about which tier Cumbria will be designated as on Thursday the 26th November. In the meantime the Government has updated the rules for each of the three tiers, with posters detailing these restrictions available HERE.
What purposes can hotels and accommodation providers remain open for?
Overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences will not be allowed. This includes staying in a second home or caravan, or staying with anyone you do not live with or are in a support bubble with. Guest accommodation providers such as hotels, B&Bs and caravan parks may remain open for the specific reasons set out in law, where guests:
- Are unable to return to their main residence
- Use that accommodation as their main residence
- Need accommodation while moving house or attending a funeral
- Need to self-isolate as required by law
- Need accommodation for the purposes of their work, or children who need accommodation for the purposes of education
- Are elite athletes, their coach or (in the case of an elite athlete who is a child), the parent of an elite athlete, and need accommodation for the purposes of training or competition
- Are currently in that accommodation at the time when national restrictions come into force.
- Are visiting from abroad on holiday or for work purposes
- Are being provided accommodation to relieve homelessness
Accommodation providers may keep their business open to provide accommodation to vulnerable groups including the homeless, to host blood donation sessions, or for any purpose requested by the Secretary of State, or a local authority.
Accommodation providers are also encouraged to work cooperatively with Local Authorities to provide accommodation to vulnerable groups including the homeless during this period of national restrictions.
What is the definition of “work” as a reason for stays in B&B or hotels?
Anyone who needs accommodation for the purposes of their work may stay in guest accommodation. There is no legal definition of ‘work’ i.e. no restriction to only allow key workers as there was during the initial national lockdown.
What are accommodation providers meant to do to “validate” whether a stay is for leisure or work?
Accommodation providers should take all reasonable steps to encourage guests to adhere to government restrictions, including informing guests of restrictions when taking bookings and communicating to all customers, including those with existing bookings, reminding them not to travel unless it is essential (such as for work purposes or attending a funeral). Enforcement of the law remains a matter for the police and Local Authorities.
Can alcohol be served as part of hotel room service, and if so will it need to be served as part of a meal?
Food and/or drink including alcohol can be provided through room service as long as it is ordered by phone or online.
Can hotel lounges and lobbies stay open?
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.
Are business meetings for up to 30 people still permitted?
Business meetings and events are advised against, but may take place with up to a total of 30 people if reasonably necessary – for example for the purposes of work that cannot be done at home – if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance. Event spaces can be used for reasons permitted by law, including for education and training purposes where reasonably necessary.
Can weddings take place?
Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place except where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover (‘deathbed wedding’). These weddings are limited to 6 people.
I have closed my business in line with the guidance but am still offering takeaway, click and collect or delivery options. Am I eligible for financial support?
We understand that businesses closed but still offering takeaway, click and collect or online delivery options will still be eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant as their substantive business has to close – learn more HERE (point 45).
Can anyone be furloughed or just people who have been furloughed previously. This is particularly an issue where businesses have recruited new staff?
A. All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim the grant. Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the CJRS.
Can elite sports teams staying in hotels eat together in the hotel restaurant?
Restaurants and bars within guest accommodation should remain closed; there are no exemptions to this in the regulations meaning that hotels do not have the cover to provide group dining or open restaurants for elite athletes. The exemption for elite athletes refers only to their need for accommodation for the purposes of training or competition. Food and/or drink including alcohol can be provided through room service as long as it is ordered by phone or online.
Will outdoor events at hotels be allowed to continue after Thursday?
Outdoor events should not be taking place during the period of national restrictions.
Are business meetings allowed in conference centres and exhibition halls?
Business meetings and events are advised against, but may take place with up to a total of 30 people if reasonably necessary – for example for the purposes of work that cannot be done at home – if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance. Event spaces, including in conference centres and exhibition halls, can be used for reasons permitted by law, including for business events of up to 30 where reasonably necessary, for education and training purposes where reasonably necessary, or to provide socially beneficial public services such as Nightingale hospitals or food banks. Conference centres and exhibition halls should remain closed for conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, private dining or banqueting events.
Can food and drink be served at a business meeting?
Basic catering and light refreshments can be provided where reasonably required at business meetings (for up to 30 people) and at education, work and training events. Food and drink should be served in the room where the meeting takes place and consumed by attendees while they are seated. People are expected to act reasonably and responsibly so the purpose of the meeting should not be the meal itself and private dining/banqueting should still not be happening.
Can my staff wear visors instead of face-masks?
The Government website states that “a face visor or shield may be worn in addition to a face covering but not instead of one. This is because face visors or shields do not adequately cover the nose and mouth.” – learn more HERE.
Further information on COVID-19
You can check the NHS website for answers to a list of commonly asked questions about the virus and its symptoms
The Government is also providing regular online updates on the current situation in the UK, as well as guidance on travellers from the most affected areas internationally.
You can also access the Government’s full coronavirus action plan.
Please note that as more information emerges, official recommendations may change and it is advisable to keep monitoring the latest updates. You can sign up to receive government updates HERE.
You can help spread messages from Public Health England by downloading and displaying poster resources.