Novel Coronavirus – COVID 19 – advice hub

This page is a source of information with links to the various official websites that offer help and advice. We have included information that we believe is relevant to you as an Isle of Wight business and resident. This page will be updated as new information is received.

To see what we are saying to our visitors, please go to our consumer website page – https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/travel/coronavirus-information


Helpful guideline and information documents from Isle of Wight Council and the NHS

For advice and information for Isle of Wight businesses, please go to: https://visitwightpro.com/2021/04/16/covid-19-advice-and-information-for-businesses/

Use the hospitality fact sheet below to make sure your business is following guidelines:

What does your business need to do in the case of virus alerts? Download the poster below:

An open letter from Isle of Wight Council for businesses reopening. Please take a look below:

Here’s a checklist inspectors will be marking your business on. Take a below look to see how you think your business is doing (note this is not a self-inspection, the information below is for you to be aware of):

New marketing assets for the Isle of Wight

As we edge close to a time when visitors are allowed to cross the Solent, Visit Isle of Wight has released new marketing asses for businesses to use.

For social media images and a video to embed or share, please go to TOOLKIT: The Island Is Ready | (visitwightpro.com)

Travel The Wight Way – UPDATED visitors charter available to download

Download and display the updated visitor’s charter – Travel The Wight Way


Track and Trace – changes (March 2021)

Update to recording the contact details of customers, visitors and staff

The guidance on how to record the contact details of customers, visitors and staff has been updated.
Designated venues in certain sectors must have a system in place to request and record contact details of their customers, visitors and staff.

  • hospitality, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés
  • tourism and leisure, including hotels, museums, cinemas and amusement arcades
  • close contact services, including hairdressers, barbershops and tailors
  • community centres, libraries and village halls

A full list of organisations within scope in these sectors can be found in annex A.

This requirement applies to any establishment that provides an on-site service and to any events that take place on its premises. It does not apply where services are taken off site immediately, for example, a food or drink outlet which only provides takeaways. If a business offers a mixture of a sit-in and takeaway service, contact information only needs to be sought for customers who are dining in.

This could be asked for at the counter, rather than the point of entry, when servers can more easily ask the customer whether they are dining in or taking away.

If you have multiple points of entry you will need to ensure that you have a system that meets the legal requirements. This may mean adapting the way that customers and visitors circulate in your premises.

Venues must ask every customer and visitor (over the age of 16) for the following details (unless they have ‘checked in’ using the NHS COVID-19 app):

  • the name of the customer or visitor
  • a contact phone number for each customer or visitor. If a phone number is not available, you should ask for their email address instead, or if neither are available, then postal address
  • date of visit, arrival time and, where possible, departure time
  • the name of the assigned staff member, if a customer or visitor will interact with only one member of staff (for example, a hairdresser). This should be recorded alongside the name of the customer or visitor

Recording both arrival and departure times (or estimated departure times) will help reduce the number of customers or staff needing to be contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

All designated venues must also keep a record of all staff working on the premises on a given day, the time of their shift, and their contact details. This covers anyone providing a service or activity including volunteers. Venues must keep these records of staff, but staff can choose to check in using the NHS QR code poster in addition, if they wish.

In England, you do not have to request details from people who check in with the official NHS QR code poster, and venues should not ask people to do both. Venues must not make the specific use of the NHS QR code a precondition of entry (as the individual has the right to choose to provide their contact details if they prefer). Should someone choose to check in with the official NHS QR code poster, a venue should check their phone screen to ensure they have successfully checked in. Official NHS QR code posters can be generated online. Organisations can find out more about NHS QR codes and how to generate them on the NHS COVID-19 app website. The NHS COVID-19 app is only able to scan official NHS QR code posters.

Prime Minister announces road map

The following dates are subject to an announcement 7 days prior to that date. Any delay at each stage will be reflected by an equal (or possibly longer) delay further down the line.

Here are the key highlights for the Isle of Wight tourism and hospitality industry:

From 29 March

  • Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis or basketball courts and open air swimming pools can reopen and formally organised sports can restart.
  • People will no longer be legally required to stay at home but should work from home if they can and try not to travel.
  • People will be able to meet outside including in private gardens, subject to the rule of six, or provided no more than two households are meeting. 

Step Two –  no earlier than 12th April

  • Self-catering will open for individuals or household groups only.
  • Non-essential retail will open.
  • Pubs and restaurants will begin to open for outdoors service, without curfew, and no requirement for people to order a substantial meal.
  • Zoos, theme parks, and drive-in cinemas will open

Step Three – no earlier than 17 May

  • Pubs and restaurants will open for indoor service
  •  Hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs will open
  • Cinemas and theatres will open
  • Most restrictions outdoors will be lifted, subject to a limit of 30 people
  • International travel will not resume before 17 May

Step Four – no earlier than 21 June

  • All limits on social contacts will be lifted
  • Large events and performances and weddings will be able to go ahead
  • Nightclubs will open

In Addition, there will be Four Reviews

  • Looking at whether having a vaccine or a negative test result can reduce restrictions on social contact.
  • Piloting the impact of testing and reduced social distancing on events.
  • Looking at how to facilitate more inbound and outbound travel – to report back by 12 April
  • Review social distancing measures, such as the one-metre-plus rule, rules on face coverings and working from home – to report back by 21 June.

Financial support grants

Grant support under national lockdown

New government grants are now available to eligible Island businesses for the current national lockdown period (from 5 January 2021) via this Isle of Wight Council webpage

There is also grant support relating to the previous Tier 3 and Tier 4 restriction periods around Christmas and the new year, together with support for ‘wet’ led pubs for late December.

In addition, the council is offering discretionary grant help to businesses which may fall outside these schemes, and has created a Winter Business Support Grant scheme.

The grant categories are shown below.

Please use the relevant links to make your application(s).

The information you provide in the application forms will help Isle of Wight Council to calculate your entitlement.

Rolling grant payments (from 5 January 2021) – These are for eligible ratepaying businesses (non-essential retail, hospitality venues, accommodation, leisure and sports facilities, entertainment venues, animal attractions, indoor attractions at venues, personal care facilities, community centres and halls). They are rolling 28 day payments (but you will initially get a payment for six-weeks up to 15 February):

  • £1,334 for each 28 day period your business is closed – for a business with a rateable value of £15,000 or under.
  • £2,000 for each 28 day period your business is closed – for a business with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
  • £3,000 for each 28 day period your business is closed – for a business with a rateable value of over £51,000.

One-off top up grants (from 5 January 2021) – These are for eligible ratepaying businesses (in retail, hospitality and leisure sectors) which are legally required to close under the current lockdown and cannot operate effectively remotely:

  • £4,000 – for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under.
  • £6,000 – for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
  • £9,000 – for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) – This scheme relates to grants that are available to eligible businesses for the period during the earlier local Tier 3 and Tier 4 restrictions on the Island, as follows:During Tier 3 (26 to 30 December):

  • LRSG (for businesses that were required to close under the restrictions) – You may be entitled to a pro-rota payment for the five-day period 26 to 30 December 2020. The amount you may receive is based on the rateable value of your property.
  • LRSG (for businesses that were able to remain open under the restrictions) – This grant supports severely impacted businesses that occupied rated premises but were not legally required to close.

During Tier 4 (31 December to 4 January):

  •  LRSG (for businesses that were required to close under the restrictions) – You may be entitled to a pro-rota payment for the five-day period 31 December to 4 January. The amount you may receive is based on the rateable value of your property
  • LRSG (for businesses that were able to remain open under the restrictions) –You are not entitled to a payment.

Please use this application form for the rolling grant payments, one-off top up grants, and LRSG categories under Tier 3 and Tier 4.

Winter Business Support Grant (WBSG) – The council has created this scheme as an extension of the previous Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme, which operated for the previous November lockdown. This discretionary scheme will support businesses severely impacted by the lockdown, including those in the supply chain and not eligible for national lockdown or LRSG support.

Please use this application form for the discretionary Winter Business Support Grant. Please also view the guidance notes. If you have any queries please email ecdev@iow.gov.uk

Christmas support grant for ‘wet’ led pubs – If your pub was in Tier 3 between 2 December 2020 and 29 December 2020 you may be eligible for a one off grant of £1,000. Island pubs were in Tier 3 from 26 December. You are eligible if your pub has less than 50 per cent in revenue from food sales (you must provide accounting evidence).

Please use this application form for the ‘wet’ led pub grant. Please also view the guidance notes. If you have any queries please email ecdev@iow.gov.uk

Solent LEP SME grant funding

Grant funding has been made available by the Solent Local Economic Partnership (SLEP). This funding is for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) Find more details here: https://solentlep.org.uk/small-business-recovery-grants-erdf/

Image support

Visit Isle of Wight has released mages for businesses to use during this time. Called Escape The Everyday at Home, please download the images, which have an autumn/winter theme, and use to remind potential visitors what is here when non essential travel can begin again: https://visitwightpro.com/2020/11/13/escape-the-everyday-at-home-november-2020/


Further Guidance

Guidance for tourism businesses can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/the-visitor-economy

For the tourism and hospitality sector, this means that pubs and restaurants will be closed, however take away and or collection service businesses (not including the sale of alcohol) may remain open

People are not allowed to stay overnight at somewhere other than their registered home, unless it is for work purposes. This means that for now, accommodation businesses must close, unless they are hosting workers.

For guests already staying in accommodation, the latest advice is that they can continue to see out the rest of their booked holiday, although abide by the new guidelines.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will now remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 – the cost to employers for retaining workers will be reduced compared to the current scheme.

The Self Employment Income Support Scheme will continue with:

  • people receiving 80% of average trading profits for November
  • grants will also be paid faster than previously planned – with the claims window opening at the end of November rather than the middle of December
  • the increase means £4.5 billion of support for the self-employed between November and January
  • more businesses will also be able to benefit from government loan schemes which have been extended to the end of January, while firms can ‘top up’ existing Bounce Back Loans should they need additional finance

Find out more here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/932077/ECONOMIC_SUPPORT_UPDATE__NOVEMBER__FINAL.pdf


Cross Solent travel

For the latest information regarding cross Solent travel please visit the operator websites: Hovertravel, Wightlink and Red Funnel


Useful links

New Test and Trace app (August 2020) – how to use the QR code facility for your business!

Isle of Wight Council Covid-19 prevention and outbreak management videos

The Isle of Wight Council have produced these two videos for use by businesses and event organisers:

Information for your guests in case of suspected coronavirus symptoms (updated 27 August 2020)

Early Outbreak Management – Download and display these helpful action cards for your business and for your guests: https://coronavirusresources.phe.gov.uk/reporting-an-outbreak/resources/small-and-large-gatherings-workplace-action-cards/

Advice for Business and Employers

Advice for businesses and employers from the UK Government

Visit Britain information and the latest advice for business – plus specific advice on how to communicate with your customers

Isle of Wight Council advice and support for small business including Government Grant Funding

Professional Association of Self Caterers UK – Guidelines for Cleaning

Tour Guides

Organisations representing professional tourist guides have issued Covid-19 Guidance for Tour Guiding, to ensure guides can work safely and members of the public can book and go on tours with confidence.

Maximise the power of your social media

Visit Isle of Wight Marketing Manager Emma Harris has provided useful tips for your business to maximise the power of your social media to allow visitors a chance to interact with you even if they can’t be there in person!

Maintain good mental health

We understand that now is a difficult time. Local mental health first aider Fiona Jeffrey from Brightbulb Design has come up with this helpful guide:

Download your Rights of Way poster in your land has access near public footpaths https://visitwightpro.com/2020/04/09/covid-19-landowners-poster/

Here’s a handy guide to washing your hands, should you wish to print and display it for your guests.

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