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Latest Updates from VisitBritain/VisitEngland for Tourism Businesses

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During this difficult time, VisitBritain/VisitEngland will continue to keep you updated regularly on the latest relevant official advice and support to help you mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

The Chancellor has announced support for people who are self-employed who were not covered in previous packages. Below are some of the key takeaways: 

Government will pay self-employed people 80% of their average monthly income over the last three years, up to £2,500 per month.

This is open for the next three months but may be extended.

The scheme is available for those earning up to £53k and 95% of people who are majority self-employed will benefit from this scheme.

Access is expected to be no later than the beginning of June. HMRC will contact eligible people with an online form and will pay the grant straight to their bank account.

Self-employed people can now access Universal Credit in full. A self-employed person with a non-working partner and two children, living in the social rented sector, can receive welfare support of around £1,800 per month.


More details on the employment retention scheme are available on GOV.UK


Latest updates: 

New guidance for food businesses which details need to know information about coronavirus and food, food hygiene guidance, managing employee sickness, social distancing and maintaining social distancing in specific food business settings. 

A new HMRC helpline to help businesses concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19). Up to 2,000 experienced call handlers are available to support businesses and individuals when needed. The new number is 0800 024 1222.

Businesses have been given an additional three months to file accounts with Companies House to help avoid penalties as they deal with the impact of COVID-19. Companies will still have to apply for the three-month extension to be granted, those citing issues around COVID-19 will be automatically and immediately granted an extension. Applications can be made through a fast-tracked online system which will take just 15 minutes to complete.

The Business rates: expanded retail discount guidance has been updated to cover certain properties previously excluded from the relief, but that have been forced to close as a result of coronavirus restrictions.

Further guidelines regarding the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) are available. The Government has sought to make accessing CBILS as easy as possible and are therefore making further clarification on the subject of personal guarantees. Whether a lender requires a personal guarantee for a loan supported by CBILS is at the discretion of the lender, who is accredited by the British Business Bank. However, a lender is not allowed to take a personal guarantee against a borrower's principle residence under the scheme. So even if a personal guarantee is required under the lender's credit policy, it cannot be taken against the borrower's home. Some major lenders have announced that they are not going to require personal guarantees on loans under the CBILS scheme (of any size). If businesses are worried about the specific terms of finance facilities available under this scheme, they should speak to their usual lender. 

The Home Office has published new guidance on immigration provisions for individuals affected by travel restrictions associated with coronavirus (COVID-19). The Home Office is providing visa extensions for those affected by coronavirus. Visitors are asked to check GOV.UK.

Further updates and guidance have been added to the businesses and premises to close page on GOV.UK

Updates to guidance for hotel accommodation to support key workers and vulnerable people.

 

VisitBritain/VisitEngland's Business Advice Hub has a dedicated section containing links to support businesses affected by COVID-19. New on the site today is the addition of the ‘Communicating with customers’ guide. You will find this guidance on the COVID-19 hub page, under ‘latest information’. 


Join the travel trade media’s #OneTravelIndustry campaign 
The travel trade media is uniting in a new campaign, #OneTravelIndustry, to showcase best practice, tips and experiences from across the sector and share how companies large and small are dealing with the impact of COVID-19. 

Featuring Travel Mole, TTG and ABTA magazine amongst others, the media will share each other’s content under the hashtag #OneTravelIndustry. Use the hashtag to share your tips for a chance to be featured. Read more about the campaign

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Local Funding e-Bulletin

The Regeneration Programmes and External Funding team at Northumberland County Council produce a regular Funding eBulletin, which currently includes useful support information around COVID-19.

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COVID-19 Industry Updates

COVID-19 Consumer Tracker

A weekly COVID-19 consumer sentiment tracker is now available, providing insights into domestic intent to take holidays within the UK.

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