Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources and information
Marketing Lancashire supports a wide range of businesses across the county and is in close communication, on their behalf, with government agencies and VisitEngland/VisitBritain to monitor the situation surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19).
We aim to update this page with the latest news and opportunities for Lancashire businesses.
- Measures announced to help passengers plan safe journeys over the Christmas period – government comprehensive plan for the Christmas travel window, between 23 and 27 December, to increase safety and avoid disruption.
- Updated guidance for people who work in or run shops, branches and stores (03.12.20) – in relation to handling goods, merchandise and other materials to reduce transmission through contact with objects arriving in store.
- Marketing Lancashire Partner’s update (03.12.20) – including latest government guidance and deadlines for job retention scheme claims.
- Christmas grant available for ‘wet-led pubs’ – one-off £1,000 grant for ‘wet-led pubs’ (predominantly serve alcohol) across tiers 2 and 3 in lieu of Christmas trade.
- Prime Minister’s statement (02.12.20) – more details on the first phase of the Covid-19 mass vaccination in the UK. Starting in December 2020.
- Small Business Saturday Saturday 5 December #SmallBizSatUK – national, annual, grassroots, non-commercial campaign that encourages people to support small businesses in their communities. See toolkit
- Extended opening times for Christmas period – From 02.12.20 planning rules will be eased to allow shops to be open for longer (Monday to Saturday).
- Marketing Lancashire Partner’s update (01.12.20) – guidance for Christmas operating and Tier 3 restrictions.
November 2020 updates:
- Message from Rachel McQueen, CEO, Marketing Lancashire – ‘Resilient and proud – Lancashire Day 2020’.
- Visit Lancashire issue update (26.11.20) – Lancashire will be placed in Tier 3/Very High alert level from 03.12.20. Please check the restrictions in place under this tier.
- Christmas Restrictions – the government is changing some social contact restrictions between 23 – 27 December. Guidance such as forming ‘Christmas Bubbles’ and travelling during this time has been issued.
- Visit Lancashire issue update (24.11.20) – summary of recent announcement for partners.
- North West England Tourism Business Barometer Survey results (23.11.20) – confirms Covid-19 ‘tectonic shift’ across north.
- Government publish winter plan (23.11.20) – involves a return to the three tier system of restrictions across England from 03.12.20. The tier/restrictions that will apply across Lancashire are yet to be announced.
- Importance of fresh air – a new film has been designed to explain the importance of letting fresh air into your home to stop the spread of coronavirus.
- Free training for independent retailers in Lancashire – takes place in November. Increase profitability with effective social media promotion and online discoverability and visibility.
- Freedom to offer takeaway services extended – restaurants, pubs and cafes will get automatic freedoms to provide takeaway services for another year.
- Marketing Lancashire partners update 13.11.20 – announcement regarding grant payments to businesses affected by Covid19 restrictions.
- National Careers Service, North West Virtual Jobs Fair on Friday 13 Nov – see vacancies near you and get tips and tools to help you apply.
- Coronavirus Resource Centre assets have been updated for upcoming celebrations and festivals such as Diwali. These can be downloaded from the Public Health England website.
- Business Support Finder – employers and the self-employed, including sole traders and limited company directors (open or closed) are encouraged to use this tool to see what support is available (loans, tax relief and cash grants).
- Increased support for businesses announced (05.11.20) –available across the UK. The furlough scheme will now be extended until the end of March. The next self-employed income support grant will also increase.
- Furlough scheme extended and further economic support announced – Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. Business premises forced to close are to receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant.
- Message from Rachel McQueen, CEO, Marketing Lancashire – message to partners regarding November restrictions announcement.
October 2020 updates:
- 30.10.20 government announce new national restrictions – beginning on 05.11.20 people are required to stay at home (except for specific purposes), prevent gathering with people they do not live with (except for specific purposes). Certain businesses and venues are required to close. Applies throughout England.
- 22.10.20 government announce increases to financial support for businesses and workers (for businesses that remain open but experiencing considerable difficulty)- announcement includes business grants, enhancement of the Job Support Scheme and support for the self-employed.
- Frequently Asked Questions updated for visitors to Lancashire (16.10.20) – in response to increased alert level.
- Message from Rachel McQueen, CEO, Marketing Lancashire & guidance for partners – issued 16.10.20 as Lancashire prepares to move to Very High Alert Level/Tier 3.
- Business support finder – find out what support could be available for your business including Job Support Scheme and Local Restrictions Support Grant.
- From 17.10.20 Lancashire will move to Very High Alert Level/Tier 3 – restrictions apply including the closure of certain types of businesses.
- Alert Level postcode checker now live – quickly find out the latest restriction in the areas that you live and work.
- Government guidance for the visitor economy has been updated 15.10.20 – latest guidance for those who work in the sector.
- Job Support Scheme extended – to support businesses required to close. The government will pay two thirds of employees’ salaries and cash grants for businesses. Begins on 1 November.
- Lancashire confirmed as Tier 2/High Alert Level – on 12.10.20 Lancashire is placed in Tier 2 in the new government alert system.
- New Government local alert levels announced (12.10.20) – information for local authorities, residents and workers on how to manage an outbreak in their area.
September 2020 updates
- Free courses available via The Skills Toolkit – opportunity to build skills, progress in work and boost job prospects. You can sign up to this government tool now.
- Boost Lancashire launch free online tool to help businesses identify risks related to COVID-19 – the Risk Dashboard software makes it easy for SMEs to identify vulnerabilities, gaps, and opportunities from different viewpoints within their organisation.
- New restrictions for Blackpool area – apply from midnight on 26.09.20. Restrictions on mixing of households will apply.
- Government winter economy plan – including VAT rates and new job support scheme.
- Lancashire hospitality businesses can now download a restrictions flowchart to support their operations – produced by Marketing Lancashire.
- Visit Lancashire release guidance for tourism/hospitality businesses (24.09.20) – including how to support the new NHS Covid-19 app.
- Visit Lancashire release statement for visitors and residents (22.09.20) – following announcement of restrictions.
- NHS Covid-19 app support information & resources. – can be hosted on websites and/or displayed at venue.
- New regulations for hospitality venues in England published 18.09.2020. From today 18.09.2020 hospitality venues in England are legally required to enforce the rule of 6 or face a fine of up to £4,000….(please read more about this and further new regulations in the above link)
- New restrictions from 22.09.20 in Lancashire (excluding Blackpool). Leisure and entertainment venues must close between 10pm – 5am. Food & drink service restricted to table service only. No socialising outside of household or support bubble in homes or gardens.
- Restrictions from 14.09.20 – social gatherings of more than 6 people will be breaking the law – venues including hospitality venues must not host individual groups larger than 6 (but can hold more than 6 people in total). See update above.
- Restrictions lifted in Burnley & Hyndburn – from 02.09.20, two households will be able to mix, as cases of the virus continue to decrease.
- Customer logging toolkit – available for businesses that have been advised to collect customer, staff and visitor details.
- British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans – lending and mentoring support for aspiring business owners.
- Kickstart Lancashire tourism grant – medium sized businesses who have suffered as a direct result of COVID19, may be eligible to receive between £1k and £5k. Formal expression of interest stage is now open
August 2020 updates
- Blackburn & Pendle – targeted action to curb the spread of coronavirus, takes effect 22.08.20 – restaurants encouraged to halt walk-ins and only seat advanced reservations (maximum of 6 people per table).
- Resumption of the easement of restrictions from 15.08.20 – applies to some leisure activities, indoor performances and wedding receptions. This does not apply in areas under local restrictions.
- Guidance on holidays in areas with local coronavirus restrictions – questions answered for residents and visitor economy.
- COVID19 local restrictions extended to Preston – apply from midnight on 07.08.20.
- Further funds for available businesses in Ribble Valley – aimed at businesses not eligible for assistance from the Small Business or Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Funds, who can demonstrate they have suffered a significant fall in income. Businesses are advised to act fast.
- Shop Local Week 10 August – 17 August – encourages people to visit their local shops, by demonstrating businesses are safely welcoming customers back. Toolkit available. #Shoplocal
- Office ‘How To’ guide – a guide on returning to the office safely.
- Leadership Programmes – Government launched two new leadership programmes to help small business leaders grow their companies.
Applications now open for Zoo Animal Support Grants– guidance on how to apply has been published.
- Update for visitor economy on postponement of reopening and changes to guidance – clarification and answers to specific questions.
- Extension of the requirement to wear a face covering – extended to indoor settings such as museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship. Enforceable in law from 8 August.
July 2020 updates:
- Government announcement 31.07.20. Postponement of reopening of high risk settings to 15 August – applies to some leisure facilities/activities, indoor performances and wedding receptions.
- Details of local new restrictions – apply from 31.07.20 in East Lancashire boroughs of Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle and Rossendale.
- Grants available for small to medium sized businesses – grants of between £1,000 – £5,000 to help access new technology and other equipment as well as professional, legal, financial or other advice to help get back on track. Lancashire businesses please contact Boost on 0800 488 0057.
- COVID-19 early outbreak management information – created to make sure businesses know how to recognise and report an incident and aware of measures to contain it. ‘Action cards‘ have been developed to provide specific advice on the issues each type of business may face now lockdown restrictions have been eased.
- Culture Recovery Fund – launch of a Government-backed scheme worth half a billion pounds for domestic film and TV productions struggling to get coronavirus-related insurance.
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme updates – a new calculator to help employers with their next CJRS claims. Work out how much to pay furloughed and flexibly furloughed employees, how much they can claim for employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions and how much they can claim back.
- Launch of Emergency Grassroots Music Venues Fund – The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have announced a new fund to support grassroots live music venues at imminent risk of insolvency. Open for applications until midday on 03.08.20. Funding from £1,000 up to £80,000.
- Customer Track & Trace logging toolkit for businesses – from Public Health England. Businesses should be storing the information securely for 21 days and sharing with NHS Test and Trace if asked to do so.
- Government COVID-19 Recovery Plan next step announced – including lifting of restrictions on remaining leisure settings and allowing wedding receptions of up to 30 guests from 01.08.20. Plans to allow business and conference events from 01.10.20.
- Advice and support for businesses and households in Blackburn with Darwen
- Update on use of face coverings – from 24.07.20 the wearing of face coverings is mandatory in shops. Click here for instructions on how to make your own face covering.
- Recovery advice for business – small firms can access free support from experts and help business recover from the impact of COVID-19. Platform now live.
- Enjoy Summer Safely Campaign resources available – downloadable assets with the aim to inspire the public to begin to get back to the things they have missed.
- Performing arts can take place outdoors from 11.07.20 – with a socially distanced audience present. Government guidance available.
- Outdoor swimming pools and leisure facilities able to re-open on 11.07.20 – with indoor facilities able to re-open on 25.07.20 – specific government guidance available.
- Details of Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme and how businesses register – registrations open on 13.07.20.
- Chancellor’s economic update announcement (08.07.20) – measures aimed to support jobs and give businesses confidence including a VAT cut on tourism and hospitality activities and an Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme.
- £1.57 billion investment to protect Britain’s world-class cultural, arts and heritage institutions – new access to emergency grants and loans. Further details will be set out when the scheme opens for applications in the coming weeks.
- Enjoy Summer Safely campaign – the government has launched a new campaign to help the public begin to get back to the things they have missed whilst following COVID-19 safety guidelines.
- Anti-littering guidance – reduce littering and anti-social behaviour and encourage the public to clean up public spaces and take their rubbish home.
- Passengers arriving in England from certain destinations will no longer need to self-isolate – including Germany, France, Spain and Italy. Applies from 10 July 2020.
- Take part in Visit England’s ‘Know Before You Go’ campaign – access toolkit here – Download the industry toolkit and assets to be part of the national Know Before You Go campaign to empower consumers to inform themselves before booking a trip.
- Visit Blackpool launches its ‘Know Before Go’ reassurance campaign – an online platform to give visitors an insight into the range of measures that are being taken to ensure their safety and enjoyment.
- UK Hospitality reopening guide – helping businesses plan and prepare their own operational procedures measured against the overarching government guidelines. Please note: this is not a legal document.
- Join the #RedefiningLancashire campaign – call from Marketing Lancashire to share how your business is adapting and ‘redefining’ what you do and the way you do it.
- Marketing Lancashire launch major new campaign –#RedefiningLancashire aims to build confidence and trust in the county’s many and varied businesses, and in turn help to boost the local economy.
- Visit England launch the ‘We’re Good to Go’ industry standard – apply for a free UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark to reassure your customers that your business adheres to Government and public health guidance.
- Communication with Visit Lancashire Partners – ‘now we have a plan’. An update on the latest government announcement.
- Guidelines for arts & cultural sector from 4th July – COVID secure guidelines for leisure facilities and tourist attractions – this includes outdoor gyms and playgrounds, cinemas, museums, galleries, theme parks and arcades.
Guidelines for hospitality industry from 4th July – Updated COVID Secure guidelines now include pubs, restaurants & takeaway services. Including a downloadable poster to display.
Guidelines for opening visitor economy from 4th July – hotels and guest accommodation, indoor and outdoor attractions.
- Easing of lockdown restrictions from 4th July
March – June 2020 updates:
- Marketing Lancashire’s submission to the DCMS select committee on the impact of COVID19 on tourism.
- Working Safely Tool – identify the most relevant guidance for your business, carry out a risk assessment and make sensible adjustments to the site and workforce.
- COVID19 Consumer Perception Survey – explore the behaviours, attitudes and perceptions to the pandemic, lockdown restrictions and changes to activities alongside intentions and confidence towards future trips and activities.
- VisitEngland business recovery webinar programme – free webinars will take place throughout June, July and August. Insights and advice from industry experts. Registration open.
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Update – guidance on flexible furloughing and how employers calculate claims. Begins 1st July.
- Updated working safely guidance – reflects industry feedback, guidance on Test & Trace, safer travel and managing security risks.
- #OpenForBusiness campaign –
businesses encouraged by BEIS to take photos in front of ‘open’ signs and post on social media channels.
- Non-essential retail confirmed to reopen from Monday 15 June – Shops must display visible signage to show they have followed all guidance for opening. Download sign here.
- 5 Steps to working safely
- Timeline for retail reopening 1 June
- Entering or returning to the UK – measures from 8 June
- The Future Fund will open to applications on Wednesday 20/05/2020
- Heritage Emergency Fund launches 1/4/2020
- Arts Council England support package through The National Lottery 31/3/2020
- Government support for self-employed
- BOOST launches #BoostYourRecovery to support Lancashire Businesses
- Government support for business; how to access the support, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply
- Government guidance for employees, employers and businesses
- VisitBritain summary of new support for tourism/hospitality businesses 17/3/2020
- Travel information from Avanti West Coast