Coronavirus Update 9th July 2020

Coronavirus Update 9th July 2020

Are you starting to find the relentless number of updates and changes from government a bit mind-numbing?  We are!

We hope that you find our ‘round-up’ of developments a better way to keep up-to-date with what’s going on.  If not, please let us know what you would rather we did instead, by emailing

1. Tourist Centre opens

Bristol’s Tourist Information Centre has reopened in its new home – the Galleries in Broadmead, opposite Peacocks & Edinburgh Woollen Mills.  The centre is for visitors and locals alike, and offers everything from help with bus timetables to souvenirs and gifts. 

2. Chancellor’s new economic measures to support the UK’s economic recovery and reduce levels of unemployment in the coming months

This includes: 

  1. Cutting VAT from the current rate of 20% to 5% for the next six months, on food, accommodation and attractions.  The cut lasts from Wednesday 8 July until 12 January 2021.
  1.  A new jobs retention bonus: businesses will be paid £1,000 to retain furloughed staff.  Sunak stated that this would cost the Treasury more than £9bn if every job furloughed is protected.

3. Majority of children no longer need to shield: 

The government has announced that the majority of children currently considered extremely clinical vulnerable to coronavirus will be able to be removed from the shielded patient list [link].  

However, the child’s GP or consultant will discuss the matter with the child and their family or carer before any decision is made about whether the child needs to continue shielding, or not. 

The latest shielding guidance was updated on 7 July [link]

4. More professional sports and culture start up again

The Culture Secretary has announced agreements to allow selected sporting events and production on film and television to get underway safely [link]. 

These agreements mean that international cricket, Champions League and Europa League football, the PGA British Masters Championship and the World Snooker Championships can all take place.  Other major darts, horse racing and other sporting events are also expected to follow. 

Don’t expect to buy any tickets to watch them though – only those people essential to staging these events, including the sports stars, event officials, coaches, medics, mechanics and incoming members of the media will be able to take part – so, still no live audiences allowed!

Also, indoor gyms, nail bars and swimming pools are still closed, mass gatherings are still prohibited, and social distancing is still essential.

5. VAT on PPE supplies

PPE will stay free of VAT until the end of October [link].  The decision comes after a temporary zero-rate of VAT was applied to PPE sales for an initial three months from 1st May 2020 to 31st July 2020.

6. Other VAT changes

VAT on food, accommodation and attractions will be cut from the current rate of 20% to 5% for the next six months.  The cut lasts from Wednesday 8th July until 12th January 2021.

The government has done this help prevent some hospitality businesses (those providing cafes, restaurants, hotels and other tourism services, etc) from having to close down.

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