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Coronavirus Support and Advice

Lone walker on the Roaches hilltop. Is your business Good to Go for 4th July?

Last updated 25/06/2020

As the official tourist board for Staffordshire, throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, we have continued to work hard with our national and local partners to help support our county through these challenging times, and to ensure that businesses of all sizes and sectors can survive this difficult period.

On Tuesday 23rd June, the Prime Minister announced further easing of the lockdown measures in England and moving to the next stage of the Government’s roadmap to recovery. This means that many of our tourism, hospitality and leisure businesses will be allowed to re-open.

From Saturday 4th July 2020:

  • People can stay away from home overnight in Hotels, B&Bs, Guest Houses, Caravans, Campsites, Hostels and Self-catering holiday accommodation.
  • As well as outdoor attractions like gardens and zoos, other tourist attractions including theme parks, museums, galleries, cinemas, theatres & outdoor playgrounds can re-open.
  • Pubs, restaurants and cafes may open.
  • 2-metre social distancing rule will be replaced by a “1 metre plus” approach.

Not all tourism and leisure businesses are permitted to re-open from 4th July. Waterparks, swimming pools, spas, indoor gyms, indoor play areas, bowling alleys, indoor skating rinks, nightclubs and casinos must remain closed for the time being.

Preparing your business to reopen

Detailed operating guidance for the visitor economy sector has now been published.

You will need to: 

Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment of your business

Implement measures such as contactless booking and payment, enhanced cleaning regimes, social distancing, limited visitor numbers, employee training, PPE and hand sanitiser stations.

Staffordshire County Council has a limited number of free PPE starter-packs for micro businesses including hotels, B&Bs, pubs, restaurants and cafes, taxi drivers etc. available on a First Come, First Served basis.  They also have a list of trusted PPE suppliers selling regulation and cost-effective products.

Communicate the COVID-19 health & safety measures you have made to your customers and keep them informed of opening dates and booking procedures. Please tell the Enjoy Staffordshire team as well, so that we can help spread the word and promote the county and our businesses!

VisitBritain has published a Getting Ready to Reopen webpage, you can read our reopening post lockdown Blog and below you will find information about applying for a new industry standard consumer mark called ‘We’re Good To Go’ which will help you promote your businesses as COVID-19 safe.

We're Good To Go

Visit England We're Good To Go Industry StandardYou can now apply for a UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark, developed in partnership with the national tourist organisations of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, to provide a ‘ring of confidence’ for tourism as you work towards reopening. The scheme is free to join and open to all businesses across the tourism sector.

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

To obtain the mark you must complete a self-assessment through VisitEngland’s online platform including a check-list confirming you have put the necessary processes in place, before receiving certification, the ‘We’re Good To Go’ mark and guidance on how to display it in your premises and online.

An ‘alert’ system has also been set up to ensure that once you’re signed up to the ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard you are notified if there are changes to the official guidance. A call-handling service will provide you with support if you need it, and assessors will also carry-out random spot-checks to ensure businesses are adhering to the guidance. 

Find out more and apply for 'We’re Good To Go' here: https://www.visitbritain.org/business-advice/were-good-go-industry-standard

Financial support from Government

UK Government guidance and support to Coronavirus COVID-19There are a number of measures taken by the Government to reduce your costs, retain employees if you have them, and above all give your business the best chance of survival.

New financial support schemes for small businesses have been announced.

'Bounce Back Loans' of between £2000 and £50000 are now available. Click here for details: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-coronavirus-bounce-back-loan

A new discretionary grant scheme for small businesses, aimed at businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. Details are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/top-up-to-local-business-grant-funds-scheme

They have been added to a package of measures, which includes:

  • support for paying wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough)
  • reclaiming Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees
  • deferring VAT and Self-Assessment payments
  • Business Rates relief
  • Business support grant funds
  • grants from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
  • Business Interruption Loans

Full details of what is available can be found at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support

How VisitBritain/VisitEngland can help

VisitEngland Business Advice Hub to help tourism businesses during Coronavirus pandemic

VisitEngland’s Business Advice Hub features a dedicated section containing the support available to tourism businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, from funding to guidance on mental health.

Information signposted to includes:

  • Government support finder tool
  • Skills Toolkit
  • Tips on securing finance
  • Decontamination advice for hotel rooms
  • Support webinars

The page is reviewed and updated regularly: https://www.visitbritain.org/business-advice/advice-tourism-and-event-businesses-affected-covid-19

Promoting Staffordshire through the crisis

Throughout the crisis we have been working hard with partners including DCMS, VisitBritain/VisitEngland, Staffordshire County Council, Staffordshire University, Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce and the Stoke & Staffs LEP Growth Hub to inform and help our tourism businesses to respond, recover and hopefully renew.  

We have continued to promote our county and its tourism businesses, via the Enjoy Staffordshire website, social media channels and our consumer database.

If you don’t already, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and please send us any information you would like us to share on your behalf.

Why not join our Staffordshire Tourism Industry Facebook Group?

And sign-up to receive trade e-newsletters and updates

You can reach us at info@enjoystaffordshire.com.

We must work together to ensure Staffordshire is in people’s minds when they look for places to visit after the travel and other restrictions are lifted.