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Maintaining records of staff customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace UPDATE

Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace

Guidance has been updated to add further clarification on the venues in scope of the policy.

Guidance has also been added for hospitality venues on how to verify whether an individual has checked in on the NHS COVID-19 app.

Further detail on the local COVID alert levels released UPDATE

More information on local COVID alert levels in England is available, alongside guidance on the restrictions in place which includes information for businesses and venues, and going to work:

System of local COVID alert levels in England UPDATE

The Prime Minister has set out how the government will further simplify and standardise local rules by introducing a three tiered system of local COVID Alert Levels in England.

The Prime Minister has announced the new three tier Alert System in outline, but undoubtedly there more detail that will follow over the next few days.

Three Tier Alert Level System

The Government announced the new three Tier System for Coronavirus Control, which will come into effect in Wednesday.  Every part of England will be designated as of the following three Alert zones:

Local COVID alert levels: what you need to know

Information on local COVID alert levels, including what they mean and what the different levels are

The most important restrictions relate to Very High Alert Level area and advise against non-essential travel in or out of the area and staying overnight in or outside the area

Local COVID Alert Level - Medium

This is 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. 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.

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.

Regulations for all three Covid local alert levels are being laid today. They will be debated and voted on tomorrow, before coming into force on Wednesday. People will be able to check what alert level any particular areas is in through an online postcode checker

The BBC has released further guidance on what this means for holidays, this can be found here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/explainers-52646738

Visa Guidance UPDATE

The guidance on applying for visas has been updated to say that customers can now apply for a visit visa from any VAC

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents

How will COVID-19 affect my business?

The Office for Budget Responsibility believes that Coronavirus will have a significant impact on the UK economy and expects COVID-19 will bring temporary disruption to supply chains, exports and global markets.

British Marine recognises how concerned its members are at this time and is working closely with industry and Government to ensure these concerns are fully communicated and understood.

We want to hear from all affected businesses to enable us to build a clear picture of the challenges facing the industry and discuss the support available with Government, councils and other public bodies. Please contact us directly by calling 01784 223663 to discuss the support available.

What guidance is available on the EU Directive on Package Travel?

Many governments have introduced travel restrictions as part of their efforts to prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19. This had led to the mass cancellation of many holidays, which in turn, had led to questions about eligibility for refunds and opportunities to rebook travel arrangements

The Directive on Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements 3 says that the organiser of a package can cancel the trip without penalty if they are prevented from performing the contract because of “unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances”. The organiser must inform the traveller without undue delay about the cancellation (Article 12(3) of the Package Travel Directive).  

The traveller can similarly cancel the trip without penalty if there are “unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances occurring at the place of destination or its immediate vicinity and significantly affecting the performance of the package, or which significantly affect the carriage of passengers to the destination” (Article 12(2) of the Package Travel Directive).

The assessment as to whether the criteria apply is made on a case-by-case basis. For more information on your rights and obligations under this EU Directive, please click hereBritish Marine is aware that the European Commission has specified that it is working with Member States to encourage consumers to accept vouchers rather the seek reimbursement. 

Our members should also visit the FCO website for more information on travel advice. 

Is travel to the EU and other parts of the world still restricted?

This situation is changing quickly as more countries respond to the changing number of Coronavirus cases. The UK Government has announced a series of travel corridors. Passengers travelling to countries named on this list do not have to quarantine on their return to the UK.

You can find the latest advice and country specific information here.

Our members can also view the latest information from ICOMIA on the Coronavirus Hub. This provides an overview of the situation internationally and the restrictions in place in particular countries.  

Can staff carry over holiday?

We know it may not be possible for all staff to take their holiday entitlement during the current holiday year. Employers should work with all staff and encourage them to take their paid holiday during the current holiday year - if they are able to. Employees should also make requests for paid holiday throughout the year, if possible, to enable the employer to balance this effectively.

The Government has introduced a temporary law which enables employees to carry up to 4 weeks of paid holiday over a 2-year period across key sectors. The law itself refers to any holiday which employees do not take for one or more of the following reasons: 

  • They are self-isolating or too sick to take holiday before the end of the current holiday year
  • They had to continue working and could not take paid holiday during the current holiday year
  • The employee has been furloughed and they cannot take paid holiday because of coronavirus

It is possible that some employers will already have an agreement in place which sets out their position on carrying over paid holiday. This law does not affect any agreements already established and in place.

Employers in key industries must decide whether they will allow any extra holiday (in addition to the 4-week period) to be carried over. More information can be found here.

Is travel to the UK still restricted?

The Home Secretary has announced that arrivals will be required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days on their arrival to the UK.

Now all arrivals into the UK will be asked to fill out a contact locator form and provide details of where they will stay during the quarantine period. This could include staying at hotels with family and friends or failing this – accommodation arranged by the UK Government. 

The quarantine applies to all arrivals subject to a list of exemptions. People returning from a country which is listed as a travel corridor do not have to quarantine. 

The full list of exemptions can be found here. 

Can I require my staff to take or cancel holiday?

Employers have the ability to tell employees when they should to take holiday. For example, an employer could shut their office and require staff to take time off to coincide with this closure. The advice from ACAS says that if an employer takes this decision, they must tell staff at least twice as many days before as the amount of days they need people to take as holiday.

The advice from ACAS also says that employers can cancel pre-booked paid holiday if they wish. In the event they decide to do this, they must give staff at least the same number of days’ notice as the original holiday request.

British Marine would encourage employers to work closely with employees to manage holiday entitlements effectively and ensure the wellbeing of staff. More information can be found here.

What is the advice on social distancing in the workplace?

The Government has published detailed guidance on the use and application of social distancing in the workplace. Sector specific guidance has also been published which includes information for manufacturers, office environments and those that work outdoors. 

Where applicable, staff should work side by side or face away from each other rather than face-to-face. Staff should be assigned to the same shifts to limit social interaction with others and cleaning within the workplace should be done more frequently. 

Employers should prevent staff congregating by staggering break times where necessary so that staff can continue to practice social distancing. 

Staff should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at the beginning and end of every break, when they arrive at work and before they leave. To help with this, employers are encouraged to add additional pop-up handwashing stations or facilities, providing soap, water and/or hand sanitiser.

British Marine has also prepared documents designed to help our members to return to work when it is safe to do so. More information can be found under the Back to Business section of the website. 

 

Should I continue to export outside the UK?

The Government has published advice for businesses that export outside the UK and are worried about the impact of COVID-19 on their day-to-day operations.

Businesses concerned about late payments, export insurance and direct lending are advised to contact UK Export Finance in the first instance for more information on the support available to them. UKEF can be contacted by emailing customer.service@ukexportfinance.gov.uk

What action is British Marine taking to help my business at such a difficult time?

British Marine recognises that this is a very difficult time for many of its members and is taking a number of steps to support them throughout the COVID-19 outbreak and beyond.

Since the coronavirus outbreak began in the UK, we have been proactively calling our membership to provide details of the support available to them, including guidance from our in-house technical and training teams, and contact details for our legal helpline EPOQ.

We have also created our own dedicated Coronavirus Hub on the British Marine website, which is accessible to all and includes answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. We continue to post updates to the website, issue weekly updates through Latest News and hold webinars giving you, our members, the opportunity to ask further questions and provide feedback on our activities.

We will continue to support our members by lobbying the UK Government and Members of Parliament to ensure the leisure marine industry receives the support it needs. More information on our lobbying activities can be found on the Coronavirus Hub.