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Coronavirus: Useful Sources of latest information

Guidance for reopening of hospitality businesses

The Government guidelines for the reopening of hospitality businesses have now been published.

Only those businesses permitted may re-open. Prior to re-opening you MUST check updates on the Government’s list.

Below are links to the most up to date information to assist you in the risk assessment process, as follows:

Advice for Accommodation Providers

On 7 August, the Government published new guidance for people travelling into lockdown areas. The Guidance is that:

  • People can only stay in a private home - which includes self-catered accommodation such as holiday cottages, apartments or boats - with members of your own household or support bubble
  • You can stay in a hotel or similar accommodation (for example, a hostel or bed and breakfast) with another household but should avoid sharing rooms with people you do not live with or otherwise socialising indoors, for example in each other's rooms, in reception areas, or in restaurants and bars
  • People are advised against sharing a caravan with another household.  You should not share private vehicles to travel to your holiday destination
  • People currently on holiday with another household in a lockdown area that are staying in a private home, where it unreasonable to curtail their stay, should finish their holiday as planned

For more information, please visit the website.

DCMS’s Advice to accommodation owners

This has been updated to incorporate the changes that have occurred since 4th July. Among other things, the updated advice provides more guidance for accommodation businesses on what to do if a customer shows symptoms of Coronavirus while staying in the accommodation. 


Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace

The Government has issued guidance of data collection requirements for staff and customers and maintenance of records of staff, customers and visitors to businesses that are reopening.  The requirement to collect this data applies to several types of businesses including tourism - hotels and museums and hospitality businesses including pubs, bars and restaurants (it does not apply to businesses operating a takeaway/delivery only basis).

This guidance applies to any establishment that provides an on-site service and to any events that take place on its premises. It does not apply where services are taken off-site immediately, for example, a food or drink outlet which only provides takeaways. If a business offers a mixture of a sit-in and takeaway service, contact information only needs to be collected for customers who are dining in. It does not apply to drop-off deliveries made by suppliers.

The data that needs to be collected is:


  • The names of staff who work at the premises
  • A contact phone number for each member of staff
  • The dates and times that staff are at work

Customers and visitors

  • The name of the customer or visitor. If there is more than one person, then you can record the name of the ‘lead member’ of the group and the number of people in the group
  • A contact phone number for each customer or visitor, or for the lead member of a group of people
  • Date of visit and arrival and, where possible, departure time
  • If a customer interacts with only one member of staff, the name of the assigned staff member should be recorded alongside the name of the customer

This data needs to be kept for 21 days.  More information is available on the website.

Guidance to Businesses of Rule of Six

A raft of existing guidance has been amended in preparation for the Rule of Six which came into operation on Monday 14 September. It is important to note that all the guidance emphasises that:

Venues following COVID-19 secure guidelines can host more than 6 people in total, in line with guidance for their sector, but no one should visit or socialise in a group of greater than 6 (unless they are all part of the same household or support bubble). It is also important that people from different households (who are not meeting as a support bubble) remain socially distanced.

So all tourism businesses operating in accordance with the government’s Covid-Safe guidelines can continue to operate at their current Covid Safe capacity provided that individual parties of customer obey the Rule of Six. So accommodation businesses, attractions, performance venues, coach operators, tour guides, pubs and restaurants can all continue as they are provided that they made sure any individual party of visitors complies with the Rule of Six.

More guidance can be found on the website.

Kickstart Scheme

If you are an employer looking to create job placements for young people, check if you can apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme.  More information on the Kickstart Scheme is available on the website.


Claiming money back through the Eat Out to Help Out scheme

You can find find out how to claim the reimbursement for discounts given to diners with the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme on the website.


Bounce Back Better - Eden Business Assist Programme - 6 Free Online Masterclass Workshops

Regain control of your business, build resilience and prepare yourself to embrace the new business landscape with our Eden Business Assist programme.

Reshaped and delivered virtually, Eden Business Assist Programme is offering 6 FREE online Masterclasses where you can discuss and explore key topics. You will also benefit from one to one coaching / mentoring support to help you stabilise your business, implement the changes you need and identify immediate priorities and identify a pathway to bounce back.  This is a series of workshops that will help businesses bounce back better from Covid-19 and adapt to the changing market.


Grant schemes (delivered through Cumbria Growth Hub) closed to expressions of interest

Update 7/9/20: Due to the huge volume of enquiries, these schemes have closed to expressions of interest. If you have applied, please be patient while your application is processed.

For more information, visit the Cumbria Growth Hub website.

On 8 July 2020 the Chancellor announced a cut on VAT for the hospitality industry

Changes include:

  • From 15 July 2020 to 12 January 2021, to support businesses and jobs, the reduced (5%) rate of VAT will apply to supplies of accommodation and admission to attractions across the UK. Further guidance on the scope of this relief will be published by HMRC in the coming days
  • From 15 July 2020 to 12 January 2021, to support businesses and jobs in the hospitality sector, the reduced (5%) rate of VAT will apply to supplies of food and non-alcoholic drinks from restaurants, pubs, bars, cafés and similar premises across the UK. Further guidance on the scope of this relief will be published by HMRC in the coming days

For more information on this visit the website.

‘We’re Good to Go’ - new industry standardGood to Go logo 

The UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark 'We're Good to Go' has been launched, in partnership with the national tourist organisations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to provide a ‘ring of confidence’ for tourism as the sector works towards reopening.

The ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard and supporting mark means businesses across the sector can demonstrate that they are adhering to the respective Government and public health guidance, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and check they have the required processes in place.

The scheme is free to join and open to all businesses across the sector.  For more information please visit ​the VisitBritain website.


'Know Before You Go'

VisitBritain have launched a ‘Know Before You Go’ public information campaign to support tourism in England as businesses start to re-open, reassuring visitors as restrictions are lifted by checking about what it is safe to do and when, and sign-posting to information about destinations and available services before travelling.

VisitBritain are inviting businesses to take part in this national campaign and have created a free toolkit for you to download containing access to assets and the 'Know Before You Go' campaign messaging for you to use in your own marketing activity.  For details on how to get involved visit the VisitBritain website.

AA COVID Confident assessment schemeAA COVID Confident logo

The AA has launched the AA COVID Confident assessment scheme that will help support the hospitality industry in re-establishing and rebuilding consumer confidence as parts of the UK come out of lockdown.  It’s a free scheme and open to all hospitality establishments that pass their stringent criteria. All applicants are encouraged to make a donation to Hospitality Action.

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 and trade association guidelines, as they are published.  For more information visit the AA website.

Self-Catering Cleaning Protocols

Cleaning protocols for Self-Catering properties are now available on the Professional Association of Self-Caterers website. These will be included within the wider UKHospitality guidelines as well as certification schemes.

Discretionary Business Grant Fund: Applications now closed

Applications have now closed (at midnight on Monday 15 June 2020) for the discretionary grant fund introduced by the UK Government to help more small businesses impacted by COVID-19. 

Small Business or Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant

Applications have now closed (on 28 August 2020).

Government’s Bounce Back Loans

The Government's Bounce Back Scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to apply for loans of up to £50,000.

The Drinks Trust is COVID 19 Relief Fund

The Drinks Trust Covid is receiving unprecedented demand for its services. They continue to welcome applications, but due to extremely high demand for their services, as it currently stands are unable to provide financial support to any new applications as of Monday 16 March 2020.

Cumbria Tourism

Cumbria Tourism have a Coronavirus Business Support Hub with useful information for tourism businesses.  Cumbria Tourism are also gathering information with a survey on the impacts of Coronavirus on Cumbrian Tourism businesses.

Websites that provide the latest updates, information and advice on Coronavirus

Some are specifically aimed at tourism businesses and the tourism/travel industry:

VisitBritain - the latest information and advice for businesses.

Cumbria LEP - Information including a link to Cumbria Chamber of Commerce Coronavirus Business Toolkit. You can read the Government advice for employees, employers and businesses, its action plan and sign up for Government email alerts on Coronavirus.

The Budget 2020 announced a plan to provide support for public services, individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19. This guidance gives further detail on the measures announced by the Chancellor including additional funding, Statutory Sick Pay changes, and an increase in the Business Rates retail discount for one year.

On 17 March the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced significant further support for business and workers.

The UK Government has also set up a dedicated page outlining the full range of business support measures that are available

Businesses of all sizes can contact the Government's Business Support Helpline for free advice. In England the number to call is 0300 456 3565.

The British Business Bank will be delivering a new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), to support businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts, available week commencing 23 March to businesses with a turnover of less than £41m. The maximum value of a loan provided under the scheme will be £5m.  

A number of private lenders are also making funds available to small businesses impacted by COVID-19, including £2 billion from Lloyds Banking Group and £5 billion from NatWest.

HM Revenue and Customs has launched a Tax Helpline to help businesses concerned about paying their tax due to Coronavirus. The number is 0800 0159 559.

Companies House has produced guidance if Coronavirus has affected your company and you need more time to file your accounts.  Find all the information on the Companies House website.

ACAS has published information for employees and employers, including simple steps to help protect the health and safety of staff.

The British Chambers of Commerce’s website offers advice and support to businesses.

The Business Growth Hub has a suite of resources including 10 steps to take now, a series of webinars, and guidance on keeping your business operating and managing cashflow.

The Local Resilience Forum has established a number of sub-groups to support people and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes the Business and Economic Response and Recovery Group (BERRG), which is being chaired by the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership.  BERRG is keen to hear from businesses that want to provide intelligence or need support, with businesses invited to email

KPMG provides a quality-assured checklist that enables you to understand the impact of COVID-19 on your organisation, crisis manage and plan business continuity.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has the latest advice and guidance for small businesses and the self-employed

The Universal Credit webpage provides information about claiming for benefits as a result of COVID-19.

The Office of the Small Business Commissioner (SBC) can provide advice and help on late payment issues for small businesses with under 50 staff.

The Cumbria Chamber of Commerce has a Coronavirus Business Toolkit and other resources including Chamber Connect which matches people available for work with businesses looking to recruit staff to plug gaps in their workforce. 

Cumbria Business Growth Hub can offer remote advice and support to help you to plan through and beyond the crisis.


Additional information and guidance on the COVID-19 outbreak can be found below: