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Travel Restrictions: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 87738, tabled on 6 December 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what additional support she will give to the tourist sector in response to covid-19 restrictions on travel to the UK.

Answered on

9 December 2021

The Government has put in place a measured and proportionate set of restrictions to continue to support the tourism sector. To support businesses through this next phase, the ‘Working Safely’ guidance will continue to provide advice on sensible precautions employers can take to manage risk and support their staff and customers.

Hospitality businesses are exempt from enforcing customers to wear masks and this assessment has been made from a practical point of view as the nature of hospitality visits is to eat and drink.

The Government has worked to strike a balance with introducing new measures.

The Government has introduced a new temporary business rates relief in England for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties for 2022-23, worth almost £1.7 billion. The VAT rate for goods and services supplied by the tourism and hospitality sector has also been cut, and will remain at the reduced rate of 12.5% until 31 March 2022, to help businesses manage the transition back to the standard rate.

The recent changes demonstrate the government’s focus on protecting the UK from the most dangerous variants while supporting the travel sector’s safe reopening.

We are continuing to listen to stakeholders during this time.

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