Coronavirus Updates

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it numerous challenges for the hospitality and night-time industry. We understand these are unprecedented times, which is why we’ve created this article. We will regularly update this page with key resources and daily news to help our customers stay informed.

Key resources:

1st April

The Restart Grant scheme supports businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation sectors with a one-off grant, to reopen safely as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. See here to check if you and your business are eligible:

22nd February

Following today’s announcement by the Prime Minister, a cautious roadmap has been outlined looking at how the country will be gradually eased out of lockdown.

These milestones are subject to scientific data allowing them to take place but are currently set out as below:

Step one is in two parts:

On 8 March

  • all students return to schools and colleges, and school clubs can resume
  • Secondary school students will be required to wear masks in class as well as communal areas
  • People can meet one other person outside for recreation, not just exercise
  • Care home residents allowed one regular named visitor
  • Stay at home order remains in place.

29 March

  • Outdoor gatherings of up to six people or two households allowed, including meeting in private gardens
  • Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts and outdoor swimming pools allowed to reopen; organised outdoor sports can resume
  • Stay at home order ends but people encouraged to stay local wherever they can
  • Work from home wherever possible
  • No overseas travel.

Step 2:

Will happen no earlier than 12 April

  • Non-essential retail, hairdressers, nail salons, libraries and museums open
  • Outdoor hospitality in pubs and restaurants allowed with households or rule-of-six
  • Most outdoor settings reopen such as zoos and theme parks
  • Gyms and indoor swimming pools open
  • Self catering holiday accommodation and camp sites reopen
  • Funerals continue with up to 30 people
  • Weddings with up to 15 people.

Step 3:

Will happen no earlier than 17 May

  • Outdoors most social contact rules lifted, up to limit of 30 people
  • Mixing indoors allowed for two households, but rule-of-six for indoor hospitality and elsewhere
  • Cinemas, soft play centres, rest of accommodation sector, hotels, indoor exercise classes return
  • Performances and sporting events resume – larger performances with venues 1,000+ or half full will be allowed indoors and outdoors 4,000 capacity or half full (whichever lowest)
  • In very largest outdoor seated venues such as football stadiums up to 10,000 people allowed to attend (or 1/4 full whichever is lowest)
  • Up to 30 people can attend weddings, receptions, funerals, wakes.

Step 4:

The fourth step from 21 June will potentially see all legal limits on social contact removed, with the final closed sectors of the economy reopened – such as nightclubs.

The government hopes that – from this date – restrictions on weddings and funerals will also be abolished.

You can read more from the BBC here.

1st December

From Friday 4th December, restrictions on the leisure and hospitality industry in Wales will be increased with an alcohol ban in pubs, restaurants & bars. In addition, these businesses must close at 6pm (other than for takeaway).

In addition, most indoor leisure venues must also close including businesses such as Bingo Halls/Clubs.

More information is due to follow on the Welsh government website, but in the meantime the guidance has been summarised by the BBC here.

These restrictions will be reviewed on 17th December.

26 November

The government has today announced details on the Tier system coming into force from 3rd December. This information covers what the Tier restrictions mean, and which areas are subject to which Tier levels.

Details on which areas are in which Tier.
Details on what each Tier allows.

Financial support remains available for businesses in all tiers, and you can find more information on all this information here.

The government has said they will review the current restrictions after 2 weeks on the 16th December.

For Welsh Restrictions click here | For Scottish Restrictions click here

13 November

The deadline to register if employees are planning to make retrospective furlough claims. Find out more information here.

5 November

The government plunges the UK into another lockdown, ending on 2nd December. Hospitality and leisure businesses are asked to close once more, and employees are advised to work from home if they can. Stay at home is yet again the key message.

29 October

On 31st October, the current Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will come to an end, and be replaced by the Job Support Scheme. This will support employers who are both open and closed, dependent on local restrictions. We are still awaiting final guidance on these schemes which we will publish here when available, but all current information can be found on GOV.UK here.

12 October

The government announces a new three tiered system, in which local areas are placed into different stages of a lockdown. Liverpool is the first city asked to close bars and other venues as part of Tier Three restrictions. To find out more information, including restrictions in your area, visit the government website.

9 October

Hospitality and leisure businesses are just some of those expected to be impacted by expected government restrictions and local lockdowns. In response, the government have announced an additional support package. This includes offering to pay two-thirds of workers wages and business grants should a business be asked to close.

7 October

The Scottish government announce a new wave of restrictions happening from 9th October until 25th October.

Pubs and restaurants across central Scotland are being forced to close, while others may be able to just serve alcohol outdoors.

Snooker and bingo halls, indoor bowling alleys and casinos in certain areas of Scotland are also required to close.

A new £40m support package has also been announced.

22 September

The government announces a new set of restrictions and legislation to help keep the spread of COVID-19 at bay. Unfortunately many of these restrictions directly impact the leisure and hospitality industry. These new restrictions include:

  • All hospitality venues must close at 10pm
  • Pubs, bars and restaurants must operate on a table service only basis
  • Hospitality and retail staff must wear a mask while at work
  • Customers must also wear a mask while visiting venues, only taking them off to eat or drink
  • Penalties for not wearing a mask, or for meeting in groups of over six people, have increased

Further advice and information can be found on the government website.

25 July

Gyms and indoor pools are able to reopen. Dance studios and sports like badminton and volleyball have also been given the green light.

24 July

Face masks in supermarkets and shops become compulsory.

11 July

Outdoor live performances are able to go ahead with adequate social distancing measures in place. Extensive guidance has been provided to keep performers and audience members safe.

5 July

The government announces a £1.57 billion investment package to help the arts, culture and heritage sector. This will be a mixture of grants and loans for businesses across the country.

4 July

Pubs, restaurants, hotels and other hospitality & leisure businesses reopen. Establishments must ensure enhanced safety measures have been put in place to ensure one metre distancing between staff and customers.

15 June

All non-essential shops reopen, with varying enhanced safety and security measures in place.

10 June

Employers have until 10th June to sign employees up to the flexible furlough scheme, enabling them to work part time from 1st July.

28 May

The NHS test and trace system has launched, designed to inform people when they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. The system aims to control the rate of reproduction and reduce spread of COVID-19.

25 May

All shops, including non-essential shops, will be allowed to re-open on 15th June. Shops must be able to demonstrate that they are meeting government guidelines, and protecting all customers and employees.

It is not yet clear when bars, pubs and restaurants will be allowed to re-open.

21 May

Food Standards Agency release guidelines on reopening food businesses. This includes information on how to effectively implement social distancing measures in order to keep staff and members of the public safe. It also details how to ensure your Food Safety Management System is updated.

13 May

New government guidance under the ‘stay alert’ campaign comes into play. For more advice and information, visit the government website. Businesses such as pubs, bars and restaurants are informed they may be able to reopen in a phased manner at a later point in time.

12 May

The UK furlough scheme has been extended to October 2020. For breaking news on the matter, visit the BBC website.

10 May

The government announces a change in lockdown restrictions. This includes allowing unlimited outdoor exercise, though still limiting people to spending time with those in their own household only. Businesses within certain sectors are being encouraged to reopen, whilst following strict government guidance. This does not include hospitality and leisure industries.

30 April

NDML, alongside the NTIA, write an open letter to the Chancellor urging the government to work with the insurance industry to release Pool Re funds.

27 April

HM Treasury today announced that small businesses will be boosted by government ‘bounce back’ loans. Small businesses will benefit from a new fast-track finance scheme providing loans with a 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders. Key takeaways:

  • businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days
  • loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, and businesses can apply online through a short and simple form
  • the loans will be easy to apply for through a short, standardised online application. The loan should reach businesses within days- providing immediate support to those that need it as easily as possible.

Read more on GOV.UK here.

23 April

The government announce new measures to safeguard tenants against aggressive rent collection. This includes a temporary ban on the use of statutory demands and winding up petitions, and preventing landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (unless they are owed 90 days of unpaid rent).

Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UK Hospitality, said the new measures “will give hospitality businesses some very valuable breathing room.”

For more information visit the government website.

21 April

Raise The Bar Campaign is launched, urging the government to increase the grant threshold criteria from £51,000 to £150,000.

16 April

In the daily government press conference, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has announced that the UK lockdown will be extended by a further 3 weeks to avoid a second peak and an increase in the number of deaths taking the UK lockdown through to at least the 7th May.

15 April

The Scottish government have announced updates to its small business grant scheme to extend the support for businesses with multiple premises.

Previously in Scotland, small business owners would receive a flat £25,000 grant regardless of how many premises they operate in, whereas in England, the grant will be given to each eligible property.

On 15th April the Scottish government announced they would extend this grant to offer 100% of the £25,000 grant to a business owners first premises, and 75% of the grant for each subsequent premises.

Using the example of a restaurant owner which is one business entity, but with 4 venues:

In England (no change): Business owner gets £25,000 per premises totalling £100k
In Scotland BEFORE: Business owner could get £25,000 as it was limited to ‘per business’
In Scotland NOW: Business owner will get £25,000 for their first venue, and 75% of that for the subsequent 3 (£18,750 x 3) total £81,250.

7 April

HSE releases revised Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) to include RIDDOR reporting of COVID-19. 

It details when businesses must make a RIDDOR report, such as if an unintended incident or exposure at work has led to someone being diagnosed as having COVID-19.

26 March

Self-employed Support

The Chancellor announces unprecedented support for the self-employed, bringing financial benefits to the self-employed in line with those who are employed in response to the crisis.

Self-employed staff with an average annual trading profit of £50k or less, will be able to claim 80% of their profits up to the value of £2.5k per month for three months.

Timing of the payments is still to be finalised, but it is likely that three months will be paid in one lump sum in June for all three months backdated to March.

HMRC will right to all those eligible, outlining how individuals can access the fund.

Find out more.

Tax Helpline

HMRC has launched a Tax Helpline, supporting self-employed and businesses with tax payment issues caused by COVID-19.

The helpline allows any business or self-employed individual who is concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus to get practical help and advice such as:

  • agreeing an instalment arrangement
  • suspending debt collection proceedings
  • cancelling penalties and interest where you have administrative difficulties contacting or paying HMRC immediately

You can access the helpline by calling 0800 024 1222.

Find out more.

23 March

The Prime Minister announces new measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus, initially implemented for a minimum of three weeks.

All social gatherings and events have been banned, and businesses not providing an essential service have been ordered to close. A full list of businesses and premises that are required to close can be found here.

People have been advised to only leave home for the following four reasons:

  • Shopping for essentials
  • Exercise once a day, either alone or with one other person you live with
  • For medical reasons, or to care for a vulnerable person
  • Travelling to and from work where absolutely necessary (a list of key workers can be found here)

To read the Prime Minister’s full statement click here. For full guidance, please visit the website.

22 March

NTIA shows support for the Save Our Scene campaign.

The association also announces its Big Freeze campaign, calling on the government to freeze the economy.

20 March

The Prime Minister orders all pubs, cafes, bars and restaurants to close.

The Chancellor announces a greater extension of support available to businesses and individuals through measures such as:

  • Job Retention Scheme, in which the government will pay 80% of a retained worker’s salary up to £2,500 per month
  • Deferring of VAT & Income Tax payments
  • Statutory Sick Pay Relief Package
  • 12 months business rates holiday for SMEs
  • Small business grants of £10,000
  • Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality & leisure with a rateable value between £15,001 & £51,000.
  • Business Interruption Loan Scheme with loans of up to £5m for SMEs

The full list of measures and how to access them can be found here.

19 March

HM Treasury releases information on the government’s financial support, available to businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19.

Discover how your business can access funding here.

19 March

HM Government updates the Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for employees, employers and businesses.

Guidance for employers and businesses includes:

  • Workplaces should encourage their employees to work at home, wherever possible
  • If someone becomes unwell in the workplace with a persistent cough or a high temperature, they should be asked to self-isolate
  • Employees should be reminded to wash their hands for 20 seconds in warm water with soap, and follow coughs and sneeze etiquette
  • Premises should frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched regularly
  • Those who follow advice to self-isolate where necessary will be eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP) from the first day of their absence from work
  • Employers should use their discretion concerning the need for medical evidence for certification for employees who are unwell. If necessary, those with symptoms of coronavirus can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online

17 March

The Chancellor sets out targetted, temporary measures to support the countries public services, people and businesses through the disruption caused by COVID-19. This includes:

  • A statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
  • A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • A new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • The HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

17 March

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) announce Hospitality and Events industries may lose up to 3.2 million jobs whilst demanding PM Boris Johnson take the opportunity to show leadership by giving medium-term funding for the night-time economy and events industry.

16 March

PM Boris Johnson announces guidance on social distancing measures for everyone in the UK, protecting older people and vulnerable adults. These measures include to:

  • Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), such as a cough or fever
  • Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible
  • Employers should support employees to work from home if possible
  • Large gatherings such as social gatherings in pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs should be avoided
  • Avoid social gatherings, keeping in touch using remote technology instead
  • Use telephone or online services to contact essential services such as the doctor

If you would like specific advice or information, please get in touch with the NDML team. This article will be updated regularly to reflect the latest news and information.