The Welsh Government has released a statement saying that while they regret the UK Government’s decision to relax quarantine requirements for vaccinated European and US visitors on 2nd August, it would be ineffective to introduce separate arrangements for Wales. Wales will therefore be aligning with the other UK administrations. The Welsh Government continues to caution Wales residents against international travel for non-essential reasons this summer. Full statement: https://gov.wales/written-statement-international-travel-changes-2-august-2021
The First Minister has issues a statement to clarify the Welsh Government’s position regarding NHS Covid-19 App users who are notified that they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for Covid-19. The statement is to the effect that the NHS Covid-19 App continues to be an important tool and users should continue to follow the self-isolation advice if they receive a notification. People are also reminded that it is a legal requirement to self-isolate if instructed by the TTP service and although the NHS Covid-19 App is not covered by this legal duty, users “pinged” should follow the instruction to self-isolate to help minimise the spread of the virus.
In August, the Welsh Government aims to remove the requirement for people who have been fully vaccinated to self-isolate if they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive. They will also consider other potential exemptions, such as for those under the age of 18. The NHS Covid-19 App will align with these change when they are made. It is emphasised that until any changes are introduced it is essential that people should self-isolate regardless of whether they are contacted by Test and Trace or “pinged”.
Number 10 has issued the following statement that it was crucial that anyone pinged by the app to self-isolate:-
“Isolation remains the most important action people can take to stop the spread of the virus. Given the risk of having and spreading the virus when people have been in contact with someone with Covid it is crucial people isolate when they are told to do so, either by NHS Test and Trace or by the NHS covid app. Businesses should be supporting employees to isolate, they should not be encouraging them to break isolation.”
As the situation stands, it is a legal requirement to self-isolate if the are contacted through Test and Trace (ie., someone calls you to tell you that you need to self-isolate) but it is only guidance to self-isolate if you are “pinged” through the app. However, although self-isolating after being pinged by the app is not a legal requirement, it is expected of people.
In addition, the Government has updated guidance on businesses that it should still be encouraging customers and to check in using QR codes and maintaining records of staff and visitors who choose to provide their contact details. These businesses are:
The ONS has published research on the impact of coronavirus on the hospitality sector from January 2020 to the end of May 2021.
Some of the key findings from the study are:
Changes to Pandemic Regulation:-
- Members of your extended household (up to 3 households plus 1 single household, max 30 people not including children under 11) or up to 6 people from different households can meet in private homes and holiday accommodation New rules for children’s residential activity centres so children in groups of up to 30 can visit.
- Organised indoor events can take place for up to 1,000 seated and up to 200 standing.
- A specific requirement for employers to provide comprehensive information on the risks and mitigations identified in the COVID risk assessment with their employees
Potential Changes From Saturday 7th August 2021
(To be confirmed by 5th August)
-Restrictions will be removed and replaced with the ongoing requirement for all organisations and businesses to carry out Covid risk assessments - These will determine what reasonable measures are needed to be put in place to keep workers and customers and visitors safe.
-There will also be no legal limits on the number of people who can meet others indoors, including in private homes.
-Face coverings will continue to be required by law in Wales in most indoor public places and on public transport at alert level zero from 7 August, with the exception of hospitality settings
The inaugural meeting of the new Tourism CPG took place on Thursday 8th July (via Zoom at 13:00 – 14:00). The main purpose of this inaugural meeting, with elected members and the Secretariate (WTA) was to elect office holders and confirm the Group’s Statement of Intent and allow the Secretariat to outline their aims. Sam Rowlands, MS North Wales was appointed as the Group's new Chair.
WTA Chair, Andrew Campbell and Policy Advocate, Adrian Greason-Walker gave a briefing to the assembled Member's, discussing current issues in relation to the Statement of Intent. Issues Discussed in relation to Regulation & Tourism Taxation:
- The Welsh Government's recent announcement of a proposed review of the regulatory framework and system - covering planning law and the introduction of a statutory registration scheme for holiday accommodation
- The use of national and local taxation systems governing second home owners and over-tourism
- The Skills Shortage in the industry at large
- The development of an economically sustainable DMO network
- The potential impact on the Wales Tourism Industry of UK Government proposals to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles and matching power delivery or the wider infrastructure to support electric vehicles.
The session ended with a brief Q&A.
BEIS are starting on their review of the Package Travel Regulations and are planning to hold several workshops to gather views on particular areas that could be revised.
The main areas they are are looking to cover are:
• The scope of what constitutes a package
• LTAs and basket-type holidays
• Cancellations and refunds
• Insolvency protections
• Communications and information requirements
Minister for Climate Change Julie James will set out an “ambitious three-pronged approach” to address the impact of second home ownership on Wales’ communities. Her three-pronged approach will focus on:
- support - addressing affordability and availability of housing,
- regulatory framework and system - covering planning law and the introduction of a statutory registration scheme for holiday accommodation; and
- a fairer contribution - using national and local taxation systems to ensure second home owners make a fair and effective contribution to the communities in which they buy.
There will also be a pilot area in Wales, to be decided over the summer, where these new measures will be trialled and evaluated before being considered for wider rollout.
The Wales Tourism Alliance will be engaging and responding accordingly.
The Welsh Government has announced (30/06/2021)further support for businesses impacted by coronavirus restrictions. Eligible businesses in the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors and their supply chains who continue to be severely impacted by restrictions, such as travel agents, attractions limited by social distancing and venues for school visits will receive up to £25,000 of additional support. To qualify for support, businesses must show their turnover has reduced by more than 60% compared to the corresponding timeline in 2019 or equivalent. An eligibility checker will open on the Business Wales website on 5 July 2021, which will allow businesses to check their eligibility for the support and the amount of support they are eligible to apply for, which will help them to start preparing their applications. The fund will open to applications from Tuesday 13 July 2021, and will remain open for a 2 week period, closing on Friday 23 July 2021.
DCMS is seeking views and experiences of the tourism sector’s broadband connectivity in rural and remote areas of the UK. In addition, DCMS would also like to receive information on both the known benefits of broadband services and the current barriers to deployment and take-up. Additional evidence, either from the UK or abroad, on technology availability, maturity, capabilities and costs, from suppliers and vendors is also welcomed. The evidence gathered will enable DCMS to assess the options available for delivering improved connectivity to areas where the costs of delivering better digital infrastructure have so far proven to be a barrier to deployment.
This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 25 June 2021.