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TIER Updates

Latest TIER / Tourism Alliance Updates   

Message on behalf of TIER: COVID-19 update 19 January

England to move back to Plan A

This afternoon Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the measures put in place under Plan B in England will be lifted.

This means:

  • The UK Government is no longer asking people to work from home if they can. People should now talk to their employers to agree arrangements to return to the office.
  • From 27 January: There is no longer a legal requirement to wear a face covering. The government suggests that people continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where they may come into contact with other people they do not normally meet.
  • From 27 January: Venues and events will no longer be required by law to check visitors’ NHS COVID Pass. The NHS COVID Pass can still be used on a voluntary basis.
  • From 20 January: Face coverings will no longer be advised for staff and pupils in secondary school and college classrooms. Also from 27 January: Face coverings will no longer be advised for staff and pupils in communal areas of secondary schools, nor for staff in communal areas of primaries.

Some measures still remain, including those on self-isolation. It is still a legal requirement for those who have tested positive for Covid to self-isolate. The self-isolation regulations expire on 24 March; it is not expected that they will be renewed.

Ahead of 24 March the UK Government will set out its long-term strategy for living with COVID-19.

Further information on the changes will be available soon on this page - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do

Omicron measures to be lifted in Scotland

From 05:00 Monday 24 January some restrictions in Scotland will be lifted including:

  • One metre physical distancing in hospitality and leisure settings and table service in hospitality venues will not be required.
  • Attendance limits at indoor events will be removed. Non-professional indoor contact sports will also resume.
  • Nightclubs can reopen. Whilst the Covid certification scheme will not be extended at this stage, regulations will be updated to ensure venues cannot avoid the scheme by putting tables on dancefloors whilst still allowing dancing.
  • People will continue to be asked to work from home whenever possible. The Scottish Government will engage with businesses now about a return to a more hybrid approach from the start of February if case numbers continue to decline.
  • The guidance to keep social interaction at home and in indoor public places to a maximum of three households is also being lifted. The public are being asked to be cautious and to limit contacts where possible, in addition to taking lateral flow tests before meeting people from other households.

Further baseline measures including a requirement to collect customer details in hospitality settings, the use of face coverings in public places and on public transport in addition to the current Covid certification scheme will remain in place.

Phased plan to move Wales back to alert level 0

The phased plan will see Wales gradually move out of alert level 2 and fully back to alert level 0 from 28 January.

From 15 January

  • Up to 500 people can be present at outdoor events. This does not include those participating in a team sport event, meaning 500 spectators can be present.

 From 21 January

  • There will no longer be any legal limits on the number of people that can meet outdoors
  • COVID Pass needed for large outdoor events

 From 28 January

  • Nightclubs will be able to re-open
  • COVID Pass needed for large indoor events, nightclubs, cinemas, theatres and concert halls
  • Working from home remains important but moves from law to guidance
  • In hospitality, no restrictions on meeting people and no requirement for table service or 2 metre physical distancing

The self-isolation rules for all those who test positive for Covid and the face covering rules for most public indoor places will remain in force after 28 January.

Tourism Alliance Update – 19 January

Now that you’ve hopefully got your breathe back from today’s PMQs, here’s the update.

  • Lifting Of Plan B Restrictions

As you will no doubt be aware, the Prime Minister announced that the Plan B restrictions are being removed. Here’s a link to the announcement:

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-statement-to-the-house-of-commons-on-covid-19-19-january-2022

The key components of the announcement are that:

From Today

      • Workers are no longer asked to work from home if they can. People should talk to their employers to agree arrangements to return to the workplace. 

From 27th January

      • There is no longer a legal requirement to wear a face covering. People are still advised to wear one in crowded and indoor spaces where they may come into contact with people they do not normally meet.
      • Venues and events are no longer required by law to check the COVID Pass status of customers or staff.

From 24th March

      • It is not expected that the self-isolation requirements will be renewed.
      • A new strategy for living with Coronavirus will be launched

Here is a link to the primary public guidance but there are also numerous updates to business guidance that reflect these changes

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do

It is important to note that while some media are stating that “all restrictions are being removed”, this is just a return to Plan A and some restrictions remain including the need to self-isolate and testing related to overseas travel. Also individual businesses can still require customers to wear masks or have their covid pass status verifies if they deem that to be in the best interests of staff and customers.

It is also worth noting that this announcement does not mean that the primary sector specific guidance for businesses is going to be removed. Rather, it is going to be updated as guidance on how businesses best mitigate the ongoing risks associated with coronavirus.

  • Reclaiming Statutory Sick Pay

The Statutory Sick Pay scheme has been reintroduced but businesses can only claim for employees who were off work on or after 21 December 2021. The new date for PAYE scheme eligibility is 30 November 2021. The maximum number of employees you can claim for is the number you had across your PAYE schemes on 30 November 2021.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

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