A message from Rachel McQueen, Chief Executive, Marketing Lancashire
Little did I think, when I sat at my keyboard to write something to our partners in March, that we’d still be facing new challenges, almost every day, linked to the pandemic.
But as we try and deal with a ‘second wave’, having done everything in our power to support our tourism and hospitality businesses and seen those businesses do everything necessary (and more) to make themselves safe for guests, we now have to cope with the complexities of a new ‘tier’ system of restrictions.
Today, the county has joined Liverpool in the highest tier - level 3, and I, like many others, am finding this new strategy difficult to fathom. Instead of dividing us all into 'tiers', surely we should be working together? The whole idea of putting different places into different tiers is not just confusing, but actively divisive, in so many ways.
It is effectively villainising people, places and entire sectors of the economy. It is simply not fair. And it is the absolute opposite of ‘levelling up’. We of course recognise that there need to be restrictions in place, but I believe they should apply to the whole country. Not a national lock-down. A national effort to abide by an agreed set of rules.
We are in very challenging times, and we do not underestimate the need to bring the virus under control, and that we all need to play our part in achieving that. However, if the behaviour that makes the most difference is 'hands/face/space' then let us focus on doing that.
We are confident that Lancashire's tourism and hospitality venues are able to welcome people in a Covid-safe, responsible way. We are also confident that our visitors are both loyal and responsible. They will not come if they have symptoms or have been told to isolate. They will only visit in their own household or 'bubble' groups. They will wash their hands, wear their face coverings and keep their distance from others.
Yet, here we are, at ‘very high’ alert level and with Government advising people not to travel. The impact of this could be devastating. We are currently exploring what extra financial support will be available for businesses affected by these new restrictions, and we know that there will be very many of you. Even if not ‘forced to close’, many businesses may not find it financially viable to stay open and we are working closely with colleagues in our local authorities to understand what additional support can be made available. As soon as we have further information we will of course let you know straight away.
It is easy to feel like we’re drowning under multiple interpretations of information and mis-guided 'blame', at a time when we should be pulling together as a nation and supporting each other. In Lancashire itself we must continue to look to our own neighbourhoods for goods, services and hospitality, wherever available. Our loyalty and support is the only way to ensure that these businesses survive into the future, when we will be able to once again enjoy them without restriction.
I am in no doubt that Lancashire will continue to show great resilience, innovation and consideration for our neighbours and visitors, as we have throughout 2020. Please do let us know if there is anything that we can do to help whilst we wait for detail on the new support available. You can contact us at email@example.com
Local COVID alert level: very high is for areas with a very high level of infections and where tighter restrictions are in place. Local COVID alert levels are referred to as ‘tiers’.
The restrictions placed on areas with a very high level of infections can vary and are based on discussions between central and local government on the package of measures required to drive down transmission.
People must not socialise with anybody they do not live with, or have not formed a support bubble with, in any indoor setting or in any private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events;
People must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in an outdoor public space such as a park or beach, the countryside, a public garden or a sports venue;
All pubs and bars must close, unless they are serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal;
People should avoid travelling outside the very-high alert level or entering a very-high alert level area, other than for work, education or for caring responsibilities or to travel through as part of a longer journey;
Those in very high alert level areas are advised against overnight stays in other parts of the UK. Likewise people outside of the area are advised against overnight stays in the area;
Retail can remain open;
Leisure centres and gyms may remain open unless additional local restrictions are agreed. As it stands currently Leisure centres and gyms will be allowed to remain open in Lancashire;
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;
Nightclubs and adult entertainment centres must remain closed.
In addition to the baseline guidance, from 19 October the following businesses will not be allowed to open in Lancashire:
betting shops and adult gaming centres
soft play areas
car boot sales
Restrictions on businesses and venues in very high alert level areas include:
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 a delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through.
Hospitality venues in ports, on transport services and in motorway service areas do not need to close at 10pm, but must not serve alcohol after that time.
Pubs and bars must close; they 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 no longer permitted. Ceremonies can be held for up to 15 people.
Funerals can be held for up to 30 people and funeral wakes for up to 15 people.
Businesses must ensure that they operate in a COVID-secure manner, including restrictions on table service and group bookings following COVID-secure guidelines.
Certain businesses and venues are required to collect customer, visitor and staff data to support NHS Test and Trace.
Businesses must ensure that if their workers are required to self-isolate and they can work from home, they do not work outside their designated place of self-isolation
Businesses and venues must ensure people do not meet in their premises with people from outside of their household or support bubble.
Businesses and venues that fail to comply with these restrictions may face fines of up to £10,000, prosecution, or in some cases closure.
Welcoming guests from outside the area
Currently the government guidance is advisory, that travel in and out of the affected area should be avoided with exceptions including school and work. People from outside the area are also advised against overnight stays in the area.
Wherever you live, you may be able to get financial help through the:
You can read the full tier advice and information here
We are sign posting visitors to Lancashire to these FAQs.
Local COVID Alert Level Posters
The government have produced a series of graphical posters displaying information about the Local COVID Alert Level. Lancashire is currently in 'Very High', Tier 3 - which you can view on their website here.
Partner Information Hub
For general information and business advice regarding COVID-19 please click here
Get involved with our FREE #RedefiningLancashire campaign here
VisitBritain/VisitEngland have launched their 'We're Good to Go' scheme, a COVID-19 industry standard and consumer mark.
Boost have launched an #AskForHelp campaign will include a dedicated helpline to advise companies in Lancashire about key business-related issues and connect them with experts from the public and private sector.