Tourism & Leisure

Reduced VAT rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions

If you’re a VAT registered business, check if you can temporarily reduce the rate of VAT on supplies relating to hospitality, accommodation, or admission to certain attractions.

The government made an announcement on 8 July 2020 allowing VAT registered businesses to apply a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT to certain supplies relating to:
• hospitality
• hotel and holiday accommodation
• admissions to certain attractions

The temporary reduced rate will apply to supplies that are made between 15 July 2020 and 31 March 2021. The Budget 2021 included plans to extend this arrangement to 30 September 2021, following which a new reduced rate of of 12.5% will come into effect until 31 March 2022.

For further information, visit the Government's Reduced VAT website

Article updated 27th May 2021

Venues required by law to record contact details

Premises and venues across England where people meet socially including hospitality, close contact and leisure venues must record contact details of customers, visitors and staff on their premises to tackle the spread of Coronavirus.

This includes businesses like pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas which must must have a system in place by law to record contact details of their customers, visitors and staff in the latest move to break the chains of transmission of Coronavirus.

These details must be stored for 21 days and shared with NHS Test and Trace, if requested, and there are fixed penalties for organisations that do not comply.

For further details of the information that must be collected, and how it should be stored, visit the Government's Contact Details website

In the meantime, the NHS COVID-19 app is currently being trialled and will launch on Thursday 24 September in England and Wales, including QR check-in at venues

QR codes will be an important way for NHS Test and Trace to contact multiple people if Coronavirus outbreaks are identified in venues. For further information, including details about how to create your own unique QR Code, visit the Government's QR Code website

Article added 11th September 2020


Working safely during Coronavirus

The government has produced guidance for people who work in or run hotels and other guest accommodation and visitor attractions including information about how to keep staff and customers safe, how to clean before re-opening and provide sanitation facilities for customers’ use, manage incoming stock etc. For further information, visit the following sites:

Hotels and other Accommodation

Visitor Economy

Article added 25th June 2020


Getting ready to re-open tourism & hospitality businesses

It is hoped that restaurants, hotels and other tourism & hospitality-related businesses may be able to re-open from early July and Visit Britain has published a new page on their Business Advice Hub for businesses getting ready to open.

Their Get Ready to Reopen page includes information, advice and links to guidance on reopening from organisations including the British and Irish Association for Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and IAPPA, the Global Association for the Attractions Industry, along with practical information on operating under social distancing guidelines.

Article added 22nd June 2020


Visit Britain launches ‘We’re Good to Go’ scheme

Visit Britain has announced the launch of a UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark, in partnership with the national tourist organisations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to provide a ‘ring of confidence’ for tourism as the sector works towards reopening.

The ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard and supporting mark means businesses across the sector can demonstrate that they are adhering to the respective Government and public health guidance, have carried out a Covid-19 risk assessment and check they have the required processes in place.

The scheme is free to join and open to all businesses across the sector.

For further information about the scheme and details about how to join visit ‘We’re Good to Go’

Article added 25th June 2020


Draft Guidance for Pavement licences

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has produced draft guidance to accompany pavement licensing proposals introduced in the Business and Planning Bill.

The temporary pavement licences process introduces a streamlined consent route to allow businesses to obtain a licence to place temporary furniture, such as tables and chairs outside of cafes, bars and restaurants quickly, and for no more than £100. For further information go to MHCLG's Pavement Licence Guidance

Article added 26th June 2020

Visit Britain/Visit England free business recovery webinars

Visit Britain/Visit England are hosting a series of free business recovery webinars to help tourism and travel businesses get back on track following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The current programme starts on Tuesday 30 June with a spotlight on inbound and domestic research and insights, taking a look at our latest trackers and consumer sentiment surveys. Future titles include Business adaptation and reopening and Speaking to customers in a post-Covid world as well as a couple of Google Digital Garage sessions.

For more information, including the full list of webinars details and booking information for each webinar go to the Visit Britain website.

Article updated 19th June 2020

Royal Society for Public Health

Warning about risks of Legionnaire’s disease in the wake of Covid-19 closures

Buildings, including hotels and other accommodation sites, offices, health clubs, commercial buildings etc. that have been closed or partially closed during the COVID-19 pandemic pose a significant risk of causing severe illness and even death from Legionnaire’s disease when reopened unless suitable precautions are taken both at the de-commissioning and re-commissioning stages.

RSPH is running a series of useful webinar sessions or visit their dedicated Coronavirus Advice page

Article added 22nd April 2020

Website links verified 8th September 2020