Site Logo

Coronavirus Information

As news is changing, the best way for us to do this is to provide you with the links, which you can then click through to as and when you wish to access the most up-to-date information. 

To receive our industry enewsletter 'Tourism Matters' with the latest news and opportunities for businesses, please sign up hereTo read previous issues please click here  

                                       Previous Coronavirus Updates       COVID-19 Tier Winter Plan 

On Monday 4th January the Prime Minister announced a National lockdown in England. In summary:

  • England will be entering a national lockdown, the Government is instructing people to stay at home and this will be backed up with legislation 
  • People will be permitted to leave home for limited reasons, including shopping for essentials, work if you cannot work from home, exercise, or to seek medical assistance.
  • Shielding will begin again, those at risk will receive a letter.
  • Primary schools, secondary schools, and colleges must move to online learning – except for vulnerable children and children of key workers. Nurseries will continue to be open.
  • All non-essential retail, hospitality and personal care services must close, or remain closed. Restaurants can continue delivery, takeaway or click-and-collect of food and non-alcoholic drinks, but venues will no longer be able to serve takeaway or click-and-collect alcohol. 
  • Essential shops and garden centres can remain open. Entertainment venues and animal attractions such as zoos must close, but the outdoor areas of venues such as heritage homes and botanical gardens can remain open, to be used for exercise. Playgrounds may also remain open.

Everyone should follow the new rules becoming law from 00.01 on Wednesday 6th January. The restrictions are expected to last until the middle of February if the situation in hospitals improves. FULL RESTRICTION GUIDELINES CAN BE FOUND HERE

People can exercise in a public outdoor place alone, with the people they live with, with their support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one), in a childcare bubble where providing childcare or, when alone, with one person from another household

Public outdoor places include:
  • Parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests
  • Public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them)
  • The grounds of a heritage site
  • Playgrounds
Outdoor sports venues, including tennis courts, golf courses and swimming pools, must close.

Travel
  • People must not leave their home unless they have a reasonable excuse (for example, for work or education purposes). If people need to travel, they should stay local – meaning avoiding travelling outside of their village, town or the part of a city where you live – and look to reduce the number of journeys made overall.
  • People can only travel internationally – or within the UK – where they first have a legally permitted reason to leave home. In addition, they should consider the public health advice in the country being visited.
  • People cannot leave their home or the place where they are living for holidays or overnight stays unless you have a reasonable excuse for doing so. This means that holidays in the UK and abroad are not allowed. This includes staying in a second home or caravan, if that is not a primary residence.
Businesses and venues which must CLOSE
To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. The full list of businesses required to close will be available in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England, but includes:
  • Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment) and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services.
  • Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery.
  • Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for providing accommodation or support to the homeless, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes.
  • Leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, sports courts, fitness and dance studios, riding arenas at riding centres, climbing walls, and golf courses.
  • Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres), circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, water parks and theme parks.
  • Animal attractions (such as zoos, safari parks, aquariums, and wildlife reserves)
  • Indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open for outdoor exercise.
  • Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. These services should not be provided in other people’s homes.
  • Community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities, as set out below. Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services– for example for people who do not have it at home – and for click-and-collect services.
Businesses and venues which can remain OPEN
Other businesses and venues are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 secure guidelines. Businesses providing essential goods and services can stay open. The full list of these businesses will be available on GOV.UK but some businesses in the tourism, hospitality and leisure sector that can remain open include:
  • Outdoor parts of botanical gardens and heritage sites for exercise
  • Car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas
  • Outdoor playgrounds
  • Places of worship
  • Essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres and off-licences, market stalls selling essential retail
  • Petrol stations, taxi and vehicle hire businesses 
Weddings, civil partnerships, religious services and funerals
  • Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and funerals are allowed with strict limits on attendance, and must only take place in COVID-19 secure venues or in public outdoor spaces unless in exceptional circumstances.
  • Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Linked religious, belief-based or commemorative events, such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 6 people in attendance.
  • Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies must only take place with up to 6 people and in exceptional circumstances.

To view the latest COVID-19 figures for Thanet, see the graphic on the homepage of Thanet District Council

New lockdown grants to support businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors

The Chancellor has announced grants for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

The one-off top-up grants will be provided on a per property basis to businesses closed as a result of the latest restrictions as follows:
  • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
  • £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000
A further £594 million is also being made available for Local Authorities and the Devolved Administrations to support other businesses not eligible for the grants, that might be affected by the restrictions. Businesses should apply to their Local Authorities.

The new one-off grants are in addition to the existing business support, including grants worth up to £3,000 for closed businesses, and up to £2,100 per month for impacted businesses once they reopen. Thanet District Council are waiting to receive further guidance on this funding. There have been lots of questions about the various business support grants and the recently updated Frequently Asked Questions section of the council's website should help answer these.

Applications are open until Sunday 31st January for the 'wet-led' pubs grant

The form for December Tier 3 and Tier 4 grants is now available for applications. You DO NOT need to complete if you applied for either of the November national lockdown grants.

Extensive work has taken place to streamline the application process and improve the software the team is using. There is now a single application portal which means that businesses do not need to reapply every fortnight or any time there is a change of tiers in the future. This will speed up the payment process to local businesses significantly.

Please continue to check the dedicated Thanet Business Support Facebook group which is providing regular updates to businesses.

 

Job Retention Scheme

  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended until the end of April 2021 with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. Employers will need to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions for hours not worked, this accounts for just 5% of total employment costs or £70 per employee per month. 
  • The extended CJRS will operate as the previous scheme did, with businesses being able to claim either shortly before, during or after running payroll. Claims can be made from 8am Wednesday 11th November. The CJRS extension will be reviewed in January to examine whether the economic circumstances are improving enough for employers to be asked to increase contributions. 

There are now monthly deadlines for CJRS claims, some of the dates mean employers may have to submit earlier than they were required to in earlier months.

  • Monday 15th February 2021 - final date to submit claims for January 2021 by 11:59pm
  • Monday 15th March 2021 - final date to submit claims for February 2021 by 11:59pm
  • Wednesday 14th April 2021 - final date to submit claims for March 2021 by 11:59pm

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme step by step guide for employers has also been updated to reflect recent changes to the scheme.

Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

  • Grant payment to cover 1st November to 31st January (3 months)
  • 80% of average income for a three-month period, capped at £7,500 in total
  • HMRC will communicate with you
  • Open until March 2021 but may be modified

Further Government announcements:

  • Businesses in England that are forced to close due to national or local restrictions will receive up to £3,000 per month.
  • Businesses in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors in England that suffered from reduced demand due to local restrictions introduced between 1st August and 5th November will receive backdated grants at 70% of the value of closed grants, up to a maximum of £2,100 per month for this period.
  • Following the recent national lockdown restrictions that came in to place on 5th November 2020, the Government has updated its Visitor Economy Guidance 

Testing Available 

If you are symptom free

There are two asymptomatic testing sites available in Thanet - one at the Port of Ramsgate and one at The Centre in Birchington. These sites are specifically for people who are not displaying any of the symptoms for COVID-19. To attend, you must book in advance

If you have symptoms

If you have any symptoms or suspect you have the virus you should use testing sites at Dreamland Margate or Manston Airport. Details on how to book a test can be found here

Further information on testing around COVID-19 can be found here 

From Monday 14th December in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland the self-isolation period has been reduced from 14 to 10 days. People who test positive should continue to self-isolate for 10 days from onset of symptoms or 10 days from point of taking a positive test if asymptomatic.

Thanet District Council

The Thanet District Council website has dedicated pages of Coronavirus information. It is regularly updated and is a useful resource with links to key public information including FAQs, a message from the Leader of the Council, updates to council service availability and reporting systems

There is a dedicated business support and advice section with links to a number of relevant organisations, providing the most up to date information for businesses around business rate grants and relief. 

Thanet District Council are waiting to receive further guidance on this funding. There have been lots of questions about the various business support grants and the recently updated Frequently Asked Questions section of the council's website should help answer these.

 

Visit Kent and Kent Information 

Visit Kent are part of the Tourism Industry Emergency Response group (TIER) receiving advice, useful links and information for tourism businesses that is available to view on their business website

Visit Kent has launched a new Linkedin Forum ‘Visit Kent Tourism & Hospitality Group’ for all Kent tourism and hospitality businesses to share updates, ask questions and support each other. Anyone can request to join here

The Visit Kent business website includes a FAQs section  

 

Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce

The Kent and Medway Growth Hub have launched a COVID-19 Business Support Hotline that will be open Monday - Friday from 8.30am - 6.30pm and can provide information, support and advice for your business.

Business Support Hotline 03333 602300.

For any other queries on how the Chamber can support businesses, contact them through their website www.kentinvictachamber.co.uk or email info@kentinvictachamber.co.uk

 

VisitEngland/VisitBritain

Regularly updated information for tourism and event businesses as well as government updates  Learn more 

VisitEngland Business Advice Hub

  

Government Information

Updates and information on the latest advice for employers and businesses can be found on the gov.uk website. It offers guidance on COVID-19 and how to give advice to staff. It also has details of the support available to business including

Other Useful Information