Latest Update from VisitEngland/VisitBritain

Yesterday, Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden MP, announced the latest measures for the easing of lockdown and the reopening of the economy. He encouraged the public to support local businesses by buying tickets, visiting galleries and taking advantage of the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ offers.

He also announced the following:

  • Outdoor performances and recreational sport may resume this weekend, and outdoor gyms, swimming pools and water parks may reopen. Venue capacity will be reduced and electronic ticketing will be implemented to control crowds and support Test and Trace.

  • Indoor gyms and swimming pools may reopen from 25 July, with appropriate measures such as enhanced cleaning protocols and pre-booking systems in place.

  • Guidance for managing playgrounds and outdoor gyms is also now available.

  • A number of indoor performances will be piloted by Public Health England, in collaboration with organisations including the London Symphony Orchestra and Butlins. These test events will support related research to work out how indoor performances may resume safely.

  • The planning system is also being altered to protect theatres from demolition and change of use. This comes in addition to the £1.5 billion package announced last week.

Other Government updates

VAT: reduced rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions Guidance is now available following the Government’s announcement that VAT registered businesses may apply a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT to certain supplies relating to hospitality, hotel and holiday accommodation and admission to certain attractions. The temporary reduced rate may be applied between 15 July 2020 and 12 January 2021.

Eligible attractions for the temporary reduced rate of VAT include shows, theatres, circuses, fairs, amusement parks, concerts, museums, zoos, cinemas, exhibitions and other cultural events and facilities, but do not include admission to sporting events. Live performances that charge a fee to view online may be eligible, depending on circumstances and assuming they are not already covered by a Cultural VAT exemption. Find more information about which attractions are eligible for the reduced rate of VAT.

Eat Out to Help Out

More information has been released on the new Eat Out to Help Out Scheme including information for businesses on how to register your business for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme.

Advice for British people about cruise ship holidays has been updated in line with the countries exempted on the FCO’s revised travel advisory.

Business advisors to provide free services to support small businesses in post-COVID recovery.

Get practical advice and tips on the Business Advice Hub. As ever, we will continue to keep you updated.

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