Government Plans

Government Plans

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Action Plan


Click here to download the Government Plan for reopening the economy

The document looks at tourism as being in the Third Stage of reopening process:

The ambition at this step is to open at least some of the remaining businesses and premises that have been required to close, including personal care (such as hairdressers and beauty salons) hospitality (such as food service providers, pubs and accommodation), public places (such as places of worship) and leisure facilities (like cinemas). They should also meet the COVID-19 Secure guidelines. Some venues which are, by design, crowded and where it may prove difficult to enact distancing may still not be able to re-open safely at this point, or may be able to open safely only in part. Nevertheless the Government will wish to open as many businesses and public places as the data and information at the time allows.  In order to facilitate the fastest possible re-opening of these types of higher-risk businesses and public places, the Government will carefully phase and pilot re-openings to test their ability to adopt the new COVID-19 Secure guidelines. The Government will also monitor carefully the effects of reopening other similar establishments elsewhere in the world, as this happens. The Government will establish a series of taskforces to work closely with stakeholders in these sectors to develop ways in which they can make these businesses and public places COVID-19 Secure.

There is also an important piece on travel restrictions for people coming to the UK

In order to keep overall levels of infection down and in line with many other countries, the Government will introduce a series of measures and restrictions at the UK border. This will contribute to keeping the overall number of transmissions in the UK as low as possible. First, alongside increased information about the UK’s social distancing regime at the border, the Government will require all international arrivals to supply their contact and accommodation information. They will also be strongly advised to download and use the NHS contact tracing app.

Second, the Government will require all international arrivals not on a short list of exemptions to self-isolate in their accommodation for fourteen days on arrival into the UK. Where international travellers are unable to demonstrate where they would self-isolate, they will be required to do so in accommodation arranged by the Government. The Government is working closely with the devolved administrations to coordinate implementation across the UK. 


An outline of the key points in the timeline include:

As part of this plan the UK Government has a carefully planned timetable for lifting restrictions, with indicative dates that should help people to plan. This timetable depends on successfully controlling the spread of the virus; if the evidence shows sufficient progress is not being made in controlling the virus then the lifting of restrictions may have to be delayed. They cannot predict with absolute certainty what the impact of lifting restrictions will be.If, after lifting restrictions, the Government sees a sudden and concerning rise in the infection rate then it may have to re-impose some restrictions. It will seek to do so in as limited and targeted a way as possible, including reacting by re-imposing restrictions in specific geographic areas or in limited sectors where it is proportionate to do so. Please note:

Step One – 13 May

  • Work - For the foreseeable future, workers should continue to work from home rather than their normal physical workplace, wherever possible. All workers who cannot work from home should travel to work if their workplace is open. Anyone who has symptoms, however mild, or is in a household where someone has symptoms, should not leave their house to go to work.
  • Schools - The rate of infection remains too high to allow the reopening of schools for all pupils yet.
  • Travel - Everybody (including critical workers) should continue to avoid public transport wherever possible. People should travel by bike, car or on foot where possible. Social distancing guidance on public transport must be followed rigorously.
  • Face Coverings -As more people return to work, there will be more movement outside people's immediate household. This increased mobility means the Government is now advising that people should aim to wear a face-covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible and they come into contact with others that they do not normally meet, for example on public transport or in some shops. Homemade cloth face-coverings can help reduce the risk of transmission in some circumstances. Face-coverings are not intended to help the wearer, but to protect against inadvertent transmission of the disease to others if you have it asymptomatically.
  • Outdoor Exercise - SAGE advise that the risk of infection outside is significantly lower than inside, so the Government is updating the rules so that, as well as exercise, people can now also spend time outdoors subject to:
    • not meeting up with any more than one person from outside your household;
    • continued compliance with social distancing guidelines to remain two metres (6ft) away from people outside your household
    • good hand hygiene, particularly with respect to shared surfaces; and those responsible for public places being able to put appropriate measures in place to follow the new COVID-19 Secure guidance.
  • Vulnerable People - It remains the case that some people are more clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 than others. These include those aged over 70, those with specific chronic pre-existing conditions and pregnant women. These clinically vulnerable people should continue to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their households, but do not need to be shielded. Those in the clinically extremely vulnerable group are strongly advised to stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact; this is called ‘shielding’.


    Step Two –  No Earlier than 1 June
  • Schools - Schools should prepare to begin to open for more children from 1 June. The Government expects children to be able to return to early years settings, and for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 to be back in school in smaller sizes, from this point. This aims to ensure that the youngest children, and those preparing for the transition to secondary school, have maximum time with their teachers.
  • Secondary schools and further education colleges should also prepare to begin some face to face contact with Year 10 and 12 pupils who have key exams next year, in support of their continued remote, home learning. The Government’s ambition is for all primary school children to return to school before the summer for a month if feasible, though this will be kept under review.
  • The Department of Education will engage closely with schools and early years providers to develop further detail and guidance on how schools should facilitate this.
  • Retail - when and where it is safe to do so, and subject to those retailers being able to follow the new COVID-19 Secure guidelines. The intention is for this to happen in phases from 1 June; the Government will issue further guidance shortly on the approach that will be taken to phasing, including which businesses will be covered in each phase and the timeframes involved.
  • All other sectors that are currently closed, including hospitality and personal care, are not able to re-open at this point because the risk of transmission in these environments is higher. The opening of such sectors is likely to take place in phases during step three.
  • Sport & Cultural Events - cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed-doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact.
  • Public Transport - re-opening more local public transport in urban areas, subject to strict measures to limit as far as possible the risk of infection in these normally crowded spaces.
  • Family Contact - As restrictions continue, the Government is considering a range of options to reduce the most harmful social effects to make the measures more sustainable. For example, the Government has asked SAGE to examine whether, when and how it can safely change the regulations to allow people to expand their household group to include one other household in the same exclusive group.
  • The intention of this change would be to allow those who are isolated some more social contact, and to reduce the most harmful effects of the current social restrictions, while continuing to limit the risk of chains of transmission. It would also support some families to return to work by, for example, allowing two households to share childcare.


    Step Three –  No Earlier than 4 July
  • Remaining Businesses and Premises - The ambition at this step is to open at least some of the remaining businesses and premises that have been required to close, including personal care (such as hairdressers and beauty salons) hospitality (such as food service providers, pubs and accommodation), public places (such as places of worship) and leisure facilities (like cinemas).
  • They should also meet the COVID-19 Secure guidelines. Some venues which are, by design, crowded and where it may prove difficult to enact distancing may still not be able to re-open safely at this point, or may be able to open safely only in part.


For all Brexit Information please see here

The transition period

There is now a transition period until the end of 2020 while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements.

The current rules on trade, travel, and business for the UK and EU will continue to apply during the transition period.

New rules will take effect on 1 January 2021.

You should prepare now and subscribe to email updates about any additional arrangements.

Check how to get ready for new rules in 2021

To view the Government guidance click here.

Tourism Alliance - 2018 - Key Tourism Points 

The theme of this year’s budget is that it is a budget for the hard-working families that are far from the politics of Government - a way of appealing to people on both sides of the Brexit debate and trying to live-up to the Prime Minister’s announcement that austerity is over.

Click here for the full report. 

EU Settlement Scheme: employer toolkit - August 2018

The Government has released the Employer Toolkit with the information that businesses and EU employees need on the EU Settlement Scheme to make sure that they are able to live and work in the UK post 31st December 2020.

Eu Settlement Scheme Introduction here 

Eu Settlement Scheme Briefing Pack here 

Important Information here 

For further information see the government website here

The Tourism Landscape - May 2016

The DCMS have produced a document which explains the recent changes to the Government's delivery of its tourism remit. This includes the merger of VisitBritain and VisitEngland. Click here to view the Tourism Landscape document, Click here to view the new organogram for the DCMS Tourism Unit.



Smarter Regulation - Cutting Red Tape

The DCMS have been given a target for deregulation by the Cabinet Office, this will feed into the Governments overall £10bn red tape reduction target. 

For further information about the Red Tape programme please click here.

Kurt Janson, Director, Tourism Alliance said; After the last round of  requests I sent out for legislation that should be repealed or amended to support the tourism industry, DCMS has settled on four areas to take forward:

  1.  Licensing Act – including Ancillary Sales Notices and amendments to the licensing process including the need to advertise in newspapers
  2. Money Laundering – this is in relation to the rules on providing foreign exchange for tourists.
  3. Travel Insurance – this relates to the ability of Travel Agents to sell Travel Insurance
  4. Private Water Supplies – this relates to the frequency and cost of testing private water supplies. 


However, there is a recognition within DCMS that they need to be doing more.

Further ideas are needed, if you have any examples of regulations that need to be repealed, amended or administered differently please send them to Kurt directly.

Prime Minister launches Tourism 5 Point Plan - Backing the Tourism Sector


The Prime Minister launched a new 5 Point Plan in Cornwall on the 17th July 2015 which you can see if you click on this link here.

There is an overall commitment by the Government to encourage more visitors to travel beyond the capital and boost regional benefits from tourism. In addition, the Government has recently released additional funding for the north and south west regions for overseas marketing and we are now lobbying hard to ensure that the south east too, is worthy of support.

However, it is good to see that so soon in its tenure, that the Government is recognising the importance of the tourism industry. The 5 Points are:-

• Tourism Landscape – ways of improving the fragmented nature and co-ordination of such a diverse industry.
• Skills and Jobs – ways that SMEs can be better supported,how the industry can get more benefits from apprenticeships and how the awareness and perception of the industry as a fulfilling and long term career can be improved.
• Common Sense Regulation – keeping the regulatory framework under review so as to lessen the burden of red-tape and protect and grow the tourism sector
• Transport – linking together the transport and tourism sectors to particularly boost regional connectivity
• A GREAT Welcome – to streamline the UK visa regime and application processes to make it the most competitive in the world.

If you wish to make any comments on this document please do not hesitate to come back to me on [email protected] or use social media via #UKtourism.


Government Response to the Tourism Select Committee Recommendations

Soon after becoming the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, John Whittingdale has been required to defend the Government’s record on tourism in the light of the Tourism Select Committee’s recommendations – a Committee he chaired. Click here for full copy

Kurt Janson, Director of the Tourism Alliance, has stated - ‘Overall, it’s fair to say that it’s a bit underwhelming with a large number of standard Government responses to issues – the classic one being under the section on Taxes where they say “The Treasury keeps all taxes under review and considers them in the round”.

However, the main concern with the response is that there is a real lack of understanding about the domestic market. There is an almost deliberate mis-representation of the recommendations of the Triennial Review in that VisitEngland’s role is only discussed in terms of product development, fund administration and industry guidance rather than anything to do with marketing. There is also a lack of recognition that there is anything wrong in tourism development and promotion at the sub-national level. Rather, the impression is given that LEPs are the solution to any problem that may exist.

So there is significant work to be done.

The rather dismissive response to the DCMS Committee’s recommendations is particularly disappointing given the considerable effort that many industry representatives made to submit evidence and the impression of solid support that John Whittingdale gave during his time as chairman.

The report also rebuffs the extensive long term lobbying and evidence provided about cutting VAT for the hospitality industry – this has been seen as the one real alternative to re-establishing public sector funding to support the sector. Unfortunately, neither of these will now take place.

Brigid Simmonds OBE, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Association, was more positive about the response . “I welcome this response, which very much builds on the Government’s five-point Tourism Plan announced last week. It is good to see the continued support for the GREAT campaign, given we have worked so hard to make British beer and pubs an integral part of attracting people to the UK. Support for more Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) is also a positive step, to draw on best practice demonstrated in areas such as Cumbria to support the tourism industry. Sharing application centres for visas should help to encourage more Chinese visitors to the UK, and the Government also reiterates a manifesto commitment to simplify and speed up visas for tourists.” However, she also noted “There is certainly scope for further action, such as more deregulation and a closer look at how the VAT system and business rates hold back expansion of the industry, but overall it is a very positive response."


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