At 15.30 the Prime Minister made a statement to the House of Commons. Yesterday’s announcement sets out how the Government plans to standardise and simplify local lockdown measures, by introducing a three tiered system of local COVID Alert Levels in England – set at medium, high, and very high.

Source: BVEP. Read a letter from Simon Hughes, Chair of the BVEP, to find out more about what action the BVEP are taking to support the events industry here.

Local COVID Alert Level – Medium

Covering most of the country – this will consist of the current national measures, which came into force on 25 September. For areas where national restrictions continue to be in place. This means:

  • All businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law, such as nightclubs.
  • Certain businesses selling food or drink on their premises are required to close between 10pm and 5am.
  • Businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-thru.
  • Schools, universities and places of worship remain open
  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees
  • Organised indoor sport and exercise classes can continue to take place, provided the Rule of Six is followed
  • People must not meet in groups larger than 6, indoors or outdoors

Local COVID Alert Level – High

This is for areas with a higher level of infections. The “high” alert level will reflect many current local interventions, but there will now be consistency across the country.  This means the following additional measures are in place:

  • People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
  • People must not meet in a group of more than 6 outside, including in a garden or other space.
  • People should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible. If they need to travel, they should walk or cycle where possible, or to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport.

Most areas which are already subject to local restrictions will automatically move into the “high” alert level. As a result of rising infection rates Nottinghamshire, East and West Cheshire and a small area of High Peak will also move into the “high” alert level.

Local COVID Alert Level – Very High

This is for areas with a very high level of infections. The Government will set a baseline of measures for any area in this local alert level. Consultation with local authorities will determine additional measures.

The baseline means the below additional measures are in place:

  • Pubs and bars must close, and can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant – which means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal.
  • Wedding receptions are not allowed
  • People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor or outdoor setting, whether at home or in a public space. The Rule of Six applies in open public spaces like parks and beaches.
  • People should try to avoid travelling outside the ‘Very High’ area they are in, or entering a ‘Very High’ area, other than for things like work, education, accessing youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if they are in transit.
  • People should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if they are resident in a ‘Very High’ area, or avoid staying overnight in a ‘Very High’ area if they are resident elsewhere.

Local Authorities in the Liverpool City Region will move into the “very high” alert level from Wednesday. In addition, to pubs and bars, in Merseyside gyms and leisure centres, betting shops, adult gaming centres and casinos will also close.

Regulations will come into force from Wednesday. There will be a 4-week sunset clause on interventions in very high areas. A postcode search on GOV.UK and the NHS App will let people know what level their area is in. Guidance for the vulnerable will become available too.

Business Events guidance from Cabinet Office

DCMS received the following guidance from Cabinet Office confirming the current national position on business events will apply in Local Alert Level: Very High areas. Therefore, currently, venues can host business meetings for up to 30 people in Liverpool.     

In very high alert level areas, additional restrictions may apply depending on discussions between central and local government. Businesses should find out what additional measures apply in the Liverpool area and restrictions that are in an area with the Local Alert Level: Very High.

Business meetings and events of up to 30 people indoors are allowed in permitted venues if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance. The rule of six does not apply to work, education and training activities.

Exhibition and conference centres are permitted venues, if they have small, separate and directly accessible meeting facilities as part of the site, and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 secure guidance. If permitted venues have multiple, separate meeting facilities, these can be hired out simultaneously for separate meetings/events if social distancing can be maintained, groups can be kept separate, and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance. Business meetings and events of over 30 people should not currently take place in any venue. Banqueting and private dining events should not currently take place in any venue.


New COVID-19 planning guidance published for UK festivals

The Events Industry Forum has published festival guidance. The guidance includes contributions from across the festival industry and was worked on in collaboration with DCMS and Public Health England. It covers eight key themes and COVID-19 safety measures, including medical and welfare arrangements; crowd considerations; response plans; security; site adjustments; and specific mitigation measures. The press release and link to the guidance is available on the BVEP website.


DCMS Select Committee

The Secretary of State Oliver Dowden this morning appeared before the DCMS Committee, discussion during the committee covered the £1.57bn Cultural Recovery Fund, the Job Support Scheme, the pilot events and mass events. You can watch the committee here.   


Further Updates:

  • The Guidance for the Job Support Scheme has been updated to include businesses required to close as a result of the new Alert Scheme. New information has been added to clarify the support for businesses with different rateable values:Job Support Scheme guidance updated (England)

– Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under will receive grants of £667 per two weeks of closure (£1,334 per month).

– Properties with a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive grants of £1,000 per two weeks of closure (£2,000 per month).

– Properties with an rateable value of £51,000 or over will receive grants of £1500 per two weeks of closure (£3,000 per month).

  • The guidance on deferring your Self-Assessment payment on account has been updated.
  • Guidance on who can claim support and how to apply for the test and trace support payment scheme has been published.
  • The advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents has been updated to state that customers can now apply at any VAC centre if their closest one is closed.
  • The G20 Tourism Ministers, met under Saudi Arabia’s G20 Presidency to address the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic; promote recovery of the travel and tourism sector and realise its potential to drive faster economic recovery post health crisis. For the full G20 Tourism Ministers Meeting Diriyah Communique October 07, 2020, see here. The WTTC and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia also hosted a public-private sector event focussed on how to accelerate the recovery, which Nigel Huddleston attended.
  • Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme

The Government has published guidance on the Test and Trace Payment Support Scheme. People contacted through the Test and Trace system in England and told that they need to self-isolate  are eligible for a £500 payment if they meet the following criteria:

    • they’re employed or self-employed
    • they’re unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating
    • they’re currently receiving at least one of the following:
      • Universal Credit
      • Working Tax Credit
      • income-based Employment and Support Allowance
      • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
      • Income Support
      • Housing Benefit
      • Pension Credit

People in England who do not fulfil the above criteria for the Test and Trace Support Payment, could be eligible for a £500 discretionary payment if they meet the following criteria:

  • they have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • they are employed or self-employed
  • they are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating
  • they are not currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit
  • they are on a low income and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while you are self-isolating

Other points of note:

  • National Mood: fractionally up to 6.6 (from 6.5 last wave)
  • The % feeling the ‘worst is still to come’: up 1 point 59%
  • The % expecting life returning ‘close to normal’ by December: down 1 point to 5%
  • Appetite for Risk: unchanged at 2.5/4
  • Confidence in taking an overnight trip next March: significantly down 8 percentage points to 40%
  • ‘Restrictions on travel from Government’ now takes the outright lead among the lack of near-term confidence (trips to end of October).
  • 38% of U.K. adults expect to be taking the same number or more domestic short-breaks over the rest of the year compared to normal and 37% express this for holidays respectively.
  • 10% anticipate taking an overnight trip during Oct, with a further 21% intending to take at least one trip between November-March.
  • Uncertainty is still evident, with 41% of October intenders yet to plan this trip and 54% yet to book.  The levels of planning and booking winter trips (November to March) stands at 27% and 16% respectively.
  • In terms of region likely to be visited between now and the end of October, the South West continues to dominate with 22% of intenders citing this as their destination, followed by Yorkshire & the Humber (on 13%).  For the winter period, the South West narrowly leads with 16% share, followed by North West (15%) and London (13%).
  • For trips up to end of October, countryside/village is the leading destination type with 37% share.  Cities receive a significantly greater proportion of trips scheduled during the winter period, ranking first with a 35% share.
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