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Press release: PM commits £350 million to fuel green recovery

  • Around £350 million made available to cut emissions in heavy industry and drive economic recovery from coronavirus
  • Funding will help drive decarbonisation of heavy industry, construction, space and transport – helping to meet PM’s goal of leading the most ambitious environmental programme worldwide
  • PM launches first meeting of Jet Zero Council, tasked with making net-zero emissions possible for future flights

UK industry will receive around £350 million to cut down carbon emissions under new plans to step up efforts to tackle climate change, PM Boris Johnson announced today (22 July).

The multimillion pound investment package will build on the Prime Minister’s work throughout his first year in office to drive forward progress on the UK’s target to reach net zero by 2050, by helping businesses to decarbonise across the heavy industry, construction, space and transport sectors and to secure the UK’s place at the forefront of green innovation.

The investment comes ahead of the PM launching the first meeting of the Jet Zero Council later today, which will bring together government, representatives from the environmental sector and the aviation and aerospace industry to tackle aviation emissions in line with the government’s ambition to achieve the first ever zero emission long haul passenger plane.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

We’ve made great strides towards our net zero target over the last year, but it’s more important than ever that we keep up the pace of change to fuel a green, sustainable recovery as we rebuild from the pandemic.

The UK now has a huge opportunity to cement its place at the vanguard of green innovation, setting an example worldwide while growing the economy and creating new jobs.

That’s why we’re backing cutting edge research to cut costs and carbon across our great British industries, and even paving the way for the first ever zero emission long haul passenger flight – so that our green ambitions remain sky high as we build back better for both our people and our planet.

Business and Energy Secretary, Alok Sharma, said:

Climate change is among the greatest challenges of our age. To tackle it we need to unleash innovation in businesses across the country.

This funding will reduce emissions, create green collar jobs and fuel a strong, clean economic recovery – all essential to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges we face today, and tackling it will require action from everybody. This is why we’re bringing together Government, businesses and investors in a ground breaking new partnership.

The Jet Zero Council is a huge step forward in making change – as we push forward with innovative technologies such as sustainable fuels and eventually fully electric planes, we will achieve guilt-free flying and boost sustainability for years to come.

The projects set to receive funding will work on developing new technologies that could help companies switch to more energy-efficient means of production, use data more effectively to tackle the impacts of climate change, and help support the creation of new green jobs by driving innovation and growth in UK industries.

The package includes:

  • £139 million to cut emissions in heavy industry by supporting the transition from natural gas to clean hydrogen power, and scaling up carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology which can stop over 90% of emissions being released from industrial plants into the air by storing carbon permanently underground

  • £149 million to drive the use of innovative materials in heavy industry; the 13 initial projects will include proposals to reuse waste ash in the glass and ceramics industry, and the development of recyclable steel

  • £26 million to support advanced new building techniques in order to reduce build costs and carbon emissions in the construction industry

  • A £10 million boost for state of the art construction tech which will go towards 19 projects focused on improving productivity and building quality, for example, re-usable roofs and walls and “digital clones” of buildings that analyse data in real time

  • Launching a New National Space Innovation Programme backed by £15 million initial funding from the UK Space Agency, which will see the first £10million go towards projects that will monitor climate change across the globe, which could protect local areas from the impacts of extreme weather by identifying changes in the environment

  • Opening up bids for a further £10million for R&D in the automotive sector, to help companies take cutting edge ideas from prototype to market, including more efficient electric motors or more powerful batteries

Chaired by the Transport and Business Secretaries, today’s first ever Jet Zero council meeting will discuss how to decarbonise the aviation sector while supporting its growth and strengthening the UK’s position as a world leader in the sector.

The members will look at how to work across their sectors to achieve these goals, including through brand new aircraft and engine technologies. These could include using new synthetic and sustainable aviation fuels as a clean substitute for fossil jet fuel, and eventually the development of electric planes.

One year on from taking office, today’s announcements form part of the PM’s wider efforts to ensure the UK meets its legally binding target to reach net zero emissions by 2050, whilst also driving forward a green recovery from the pandemic.

So far this year, this includes committing to consult on ending the sale of new petrol, diesel or hybrid cars by 2035 or earlier; launching the Transport Decarbonisation Plan to cut emissions across the sector; providing over £1 billion at Budget to support the rollout of ultra-low emission vehicles in the UK via support for a super-fast charging network for electric vehicles; and committing up to £100 million of new funding for research to develop a brand new clean technology, Direct Air Capture.

Over the past decade, the UK has cut carbon emissions by more than any similar developed country. In 2019, UK emissions were 42% lower than in 1990, while our economy over the same period grew by 72%.

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News story: UK aerospace sector to benefit from £400 million funding to go green

  • Government and industry announce cutting-edge aerospace research and development projects, supported by £400 million public and private sector funding
  • projects include developing high-performance engines, new wing designs, and ultra-lightweight materials to reduce fuel consumption
  • new FlyZero initiative will bring together 100 experts to kickstart work into zero-emission aircraft technology, with the aim of securing future manufacturing in the UK

Aerospace jobs and supply chains across the UK will benefit from cutting-edge research and development projects announced today by the government and aerospace industry leaders.

Government grants totalling £200 million, delivered through the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) programme, will be matched by industry to create the total investment of £400 million in new research and technology, enabling ambitious projects to lift off and support the sector’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

New projects set to receive funding will include developing high performance engines, new wing designs, ultra-lightweight materials, energy-efficient electric components, and other brand new concepts to enhance innovation within the sector. A project led by Williams Advanced Engineering in Oxford, for example, will develop ultra-lightweight seat structures that will reduce an aircraft’s fuel consumption.

The funding will also secure highly-skilled jobs in the UK’s aerospace sector and will benefit companies of all sizes from Caldicot in Wales to Bedlington in the North of England. Higher education institutions will also be a part of the projects, including the universities of Nottingham and Birmingham.

The funding was announced today by Business Secretary Alok Sharma at Farnborough Connect, the virtual version of Farnborough International Airshow.

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma said:

We have an incredible aerospace industry right here in the UK that defines the way aircraft are manufactured globally.

This £400 million ATI investment will help secure our world-leading position in developing new flight technology to make air travel safer and greener into the future.

The successful projects that will receive a share of the government’s £200 million grant funding through the ATI programme, and match it with their own investment, include:

  • wings: the UK is the home of Airbus wing design and manufacturing. Airbus-led projects (Broughton, Filton) will drive forward more efficient wing assembly, systems installation, digital design processes and a range of innovative wing concepts including folding wing tips
  • engines: Rolls-Royce-led projects will support the development of the UltraFan engine technology, which will make a step change in the efficiency and environmental performance of aircraft
  • power systems: the AEPEC project led by Safran Electrical & Power UK (Pitstone) will research how new electrical power systems can lead to more efficient energy usage
  • cabin systems: an Oxford-based project led by Williams Advanced Engineering will develop ultra-lightweight seat structures for air travel, reducing the weight of aircraft

Stu Olden, Senior Commercial Manager for Defence, Aerospace & Emerging Markets at Williams Advanced Engineering, said:

A key benefit for us of the ATI support has been to enable accelerated development of the 3 companies involved in the consortium.

Additionally, by developing UK technologies and innovation, the ATI programme is enabling UK-based product development and, hopefully, future jobs. For Williams Advanced Engineering it has allowed us to participate in the aerospace sector as a non-traditional supplier.

During his speech today, the Business Secretary also announced the FlyZero initiative to kickstart exploration into zero-carbon emission commercial aircraft.

The FlyZero study will receive government funding and bring together around 100 experts to tackle issues involved in designing and building a commercially successful zero-emission aircraft. The study will create a strong basis for further research and development into a wide of technologies necessary for future flight, with the aim of securing future manufacturing in the UK.

This follows the launch of the Jet Zero Council, which brings industry and government together to make net zero emissions possible for future flights. The FlyZero study will feed into the work of the Council in defining and delivering this ambition.

Gary Elliott, Chief Executive of the Aerospace Technology Institute, said:

FlyZero represents an acceleration of the UK’s ambition to lead the world in green aviation. These are challenging but also exciting times for the aerospace sector; we need to help UK companies to recover while also creating new approaches to technology development and innovation.

FlyZero will engage a team of highly-skilled engineers and technologists from across the UK to look into how to design and build a zero emission commercial aircraft, with the solid aim of securing future manufacturing in the UK.

The UK was the first major economy to commit to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, and over the past decade, the UK has cut carbon emissions by more than any similar developed country. In 2019, UK emissions were 42% lower than in 1990, while our economy grew by 72%.

Note to editors

Projects approved by the ATI’s rigorous assessment programme create opportunities to secure jobs in research and manufacturing across the UK as well as sharing knowledge across industry and academia.

Further background on the projects:

  • Airbus projects: Wing of Tomorrow will develop new technologies and manufacturing processes to produce the next generation composite wings and help Airbus’s leading position in the single aisle market. A critical part of the programme is to develop capability to manufacture more efficient, light weight carbon-fibre wings, at a rate much higher than previously possible
  • Rolls-Royce projects: UltraFan will be the most efficient engine produced by Rolls-Royce and will use less fuel and produce lower CO2 emissions. Projects funded as part of the £200 million will drive efficiency and contribute towards shared government and industry ambitions on decarbonisation
  • Williams Advanced Engineering: the AIRTEK project is focused on developing lightweight seat structures for the civilian aerospace sector. Williams Advanced Engineering, in a collaboration with JPA Design and SWS Certification, is developing new lightweight aircraft seats in order to reduce the weight of aircraft, which in turn will lead to airlines saving fuel and CO2
  • Safran Electrical & Power UK: AEPEC: The Aerospace Electric Propulsion Equipment, Controls & Machines (AEPEC) project involves lead partner Safran Electrical & Power UK and its supply chain partners. They will develop electrical power systems to improve energy use on future aircraft, covering power generation, control systems, and other functions on more-electric aircraft

About the Aerospace Technology Institute

The Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) is at the heart of UK aerospace R&T. Working collaboratively across the UK aerospace sector and beyond, the Institute sets the national technology strategy to reflect the sector’s vision and ambition. The ATI Programme is a joint government and industry commitment to invest £3.9 billion in research to 2026. In addition to the ATI Programme and FlyZero, the Institute also supports the supply chain through NATEP and aerospace start-ups through the ATI Boeing Accelerator.

Further information:

  • small businesses will benefit from the continuation of the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) whose next call is scheduled for October and the launch of the next R&D call for small business scheduled for November.
  • at the same time as supporting R&D activities for SMEs the Supply Chain 21 Competitiveness and Growth programme remains open for applications to help businesses improve their competitiveness.
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Press release: Millions could be vaccinated against Covid-19 as UK secures strong portfolio of promising vaccines

  • The UK Government has secured early access to 90 million vaccine doses from the BioNTech/Pfizer alliance and Valneva with more in the pipeline as part of its strategy to build a portfolio of promising new vaccines to protect the UK from Covid-19
  • In addition, treatments containing Covid-19-neutralising antibodies have been secured from AstraZeneca to protect those who cannot receive vaccines
  • UK public encouraged to sign up to a new NHS website to make it quicker and easier for potential volunteers to join vital studies that could help save lives – the aim is to get 500,000 people signed up by October

Millions of people could be vaccinated against coronavirus as the UK secures early access to 90 million doses of promising Covid-19 vaccine candidates.

Announced by Business Secretary Alok Sharma today (Monday 20 July), the Government has agreed significant partnerships with leading pharmaceutical and vaccine companies BioNTech/Pfizer and Valneva that are developing innovative new vaccines to protect people against Covid-19. The Government has also secured access to treatments containing Covid-19-neutralising antibodies from AstraZeneca to protect those who cannot receive vaccines such as cancer and immunocompromised patients.

As a result of these partnerships, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland could have access to enough doses to vaccinate and protect priority groups identified, such as frontline health and social care workers and those at increased health risk.

With today’s announcement, the Government has now secured access to three different types of Covid-19 vaccines that are being developed here and around the world, giving the UK the most likely chance of getting access to a safe and effective vaccine at the quickest speed.

The Government has also today launched the NHS Covid-19 vaccine research registry. This new website will enable people in the UK to play their part by volunteering for future vaccine studies.

The new online service will allow members of the public to register their interest and be contacted to participate in clinical studies. To enable large-scale vaccine studies to take place across the UK, the aim is to get 500,000 people signed up by October, which is considered vital in the fight against coronavirus.

Clinical studies with hundreds of thousands of volunteers will help scientists and researchers better understand the effectiveness of each vaccine candidate and will considerably speed up efforts to discover a safe and workable vaccine.

The Government is also working with ZOE, the health science company using data driven research and behind the popular symptom study app and site, to look at collaborating around vaccine studies and to help their volunteers hear about how to sign up to the NHS registry.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said:

The hunt to find a vaccine is a truly global endeavour and we are doing everything we can to ensure the British public get access to a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine as soon as possible.

This new partnership with some of the world’s foremost pharmaceutical and vaccine companies will ensure the UK has the best chance possible of securing a vaccine that protects those most at risk.

The public can also play their part in vaccine research through the new NHS vaccine research register. By signing up and participating in important clinical studies, together we can speed up the search for a vaccine and end the pandemic sooner.

Through its partnership with Valneva, which has a factory in Livingston, Scotland, the UK Government is expected to contribute to UK clinical studies costs and is negotiating funding to expand Valneva’s Scottish facility. This increased manufacturing capacity could potentially supply up to 100 million vaccine doses to the UK and internationally. This will create high-skilled jobs in the local area and contribute significantly to the local economy.

The Livingston facility is in addition to the new Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) which is currently under construction in Oxfordshire thanks to a £93 million investment from the Government. When completed in summer 2021, the facility will have flexible capacity to manufacture vaccine doses at scale.

Chair of the Vaccine Taskforce Kate Bingham said:

The Vaccine Taskforce is investing in a diverse portfolio of vaccine candidates to maximise the chances of finding a vaccine quickly that meets the UK’s rigorous regulatory and safety standards. The fact that we have so many promising candidates already shows the unprecedented pace at which we are moving. But I urge against being complacent or over optimistic. The fact remains we may never get a vaccine and if we do get one, we have to be prepared that it may not be a vaccine which prevents getting the virus, but rather one that reduces symptoms.

Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) head said:

Thanks to COVID-19 patients’ willingness to take part in treatment studies, we’ve been able to identify treatments that work and ones that don’t, which has improved patient care world-wide. Now that there are several promising vaccines on the horizon, we need to call again on the generosity of the public to help find out which potential vaccines are the most effective. Using a new NHS website developed in partnership between the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and NHS Digital, people across the UK can register their interest to be approached to join a vaccine study. Please go to the website and consider volunteering.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:

A safe and effective vaccine is our best hope of defeating coronavirus and returning to life as normal.

We have some of our best scientists and researchers working on this, but members of the public have a vital role to play too. So I urge everyone who can to back the national effort and sign up to the NHS COVID-19 vaccine research registry to help find a vaccine as soon as possible.

Every volunteer will be doing their bit towards finding a vaccine for COVID-19 that will have the potential to save millions of lives around the world and bring this pandemic to an end.

Today’s announcement follows an existing global licensing agreement signed with AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford to research, develop and manufacture a Covid-19 vaccine for the UK public. AstraZeneca will work to produce 100 million doses for the UK in total.

As part of a wider £131 million investment by the Government, support has also been given to Imperial College London to develop their vaccine candidate, which started human studies in June.

In addition, the UK Government has committed £250m to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) – the biggest investment of any country – to support equitable and affordable access to new coronavirus vaccines and treatments around the world.

Notes to editors

The Government has today agreed the following deals:

  1. BioNTech/Pfizer – this is their first binding agreement signed with any government, and the UK has secured 30 million doses.
  2. Valneva – in principle agreement for 60 million doses. If the vaccine is proven to be safe, effective and suitable, the UK has secured an option to acquire a further 40 million doses.
  3. AstraZeneca – in principle agreement for one million doses of a treatment containing Covid-19 neutralising antibodies to protect those who cannot receive vaccines such as cancer and immunocompromised patients.

The three different vaccine classes that the Government has secured to date for the UK are adenoviral vaccines (Oxford/AstraZeneca), mRNA vaccines (BioNTech/Pfizer, Imperial) and inactivated whole virus vaccines (Valneva).The Government has also secured a treatment containing Covid-19 neutralising antibodies (AstraZeneca).

About the Vaccine Taskforce

The Vaccine Taskforce (VTF) was set up under the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in May 2020, to ensure that the UK population has access to clinically effective and safe vaccines as soon as possible, while working with partners to support international access to successful vaccines. This is to place the UK at the forefront of global vaccine research, development, manufacture and distribution.

The Vaccine Taskforce comprises a dedicated team of private sector industry professionals and officials from across government who are working at speed to build a portfolio of promising vaccine candidates that can end the global pandemic. It is chaired by biotech and life sciences expert Kate Bingham, who was appointed by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The Vaccine Taskforce’s approach to securing access to vaccines is through:

  1. procuring the rights to a diverse range of promising vaccine candidates to spread risk and optimise chances for success;
  2. providing funding for clinical studies, diagnostic monitoring and regulatory support to rapidly evaluate vaccines for safety and efficacy; and
  3. providing funding and support for manufacturing scale-up and fill and finish at risk so that the UK has vaccines produced at scale and ready for administration should any of these prove successful.

Vaccine priority groups: interim advice

Interim advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on the groups that should be prioritised for vaccination, if and when a vaccine is available.

The committee advises priority vaccination of the following groups: 1. frontline health and social care workers 2. those at increased risk of serious disease and death from COVID-19 infection stratified according to age and risk factors

There is ongoing work within the UK to refine the identification of persons at risk of serious disease and mortality from COVID-19 infection. As well as age and underlying co-morbid conditions, the committee notes that early signals have been identified of other potential risk factors, including deprivation and ethnicity. As more evidence on at-risk groups emerges, this work will inform the review of the composition, and order of priority, of groups for vaccination.

For more information see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/priority-groups-for-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-advice-from-the-jcvi

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Press release: UK invests extra £16 million to prevent Amazon deforestation

  • UK government invests £16 million into projects to protect the Amazon rainforest
  • investment will also help to restore 900 hectares of rainforest, the equivalent of over 1,680 football pitches
  • £80 million now committed this year to protect the Amazon’s fragile ecosystem

The UK government has today announced a new £16 million funding package to support environmentally friendly farming and replanting projects in the Amazon, taking its total investment to protecting tropical forests in Latin America this year to £80 million.

The announcement comes as part of an extension to the Partnerships for Forests (P4F) programme, which works to halt deforestation by developing eco-friendly land use in Brazil, Colombia, and Peru, protecting biodiversity, and boosting private investment in forest industries.

Part of the funding will help to prevent deforestation by working with rural farming communities in Brazil to create environmentally friendly cattle ranches. Traditional cattle farming techniques exhaust soil and cause deforestation as farmers look for new pastures to graze their cattle.

However, today’s funding will combat this issue by scaling up a project, run by PESCA, promoting rotational grazing and pasture reform to fight deforestation. The UK funding will help to grow the project and attract private investment. PESCA currently manages sustainable farmland covering 27,000 hectares of land and has the potential to become the standard bearer for bovine farming throughout the tropical forests of Latin America.

Government funding will also support the Xingu network, which supports 568 indigenous seed collectors in the Xingu basin in northern Brazil to re-sow precious local tree species. Currently, Brazil lacks seed supply scale and infrastructure for mass reforestation, but today’s funding will help to scale up Xingu’s operation.

Thanks to this extra support, estimates suggest UK backing could grow the this industry further, which would enable it to trade as much as 30 metric tonnes of seeds annually – enough to restore 900 hectares of rainforest, the equivalent of over 1,680 football pitches.

Minister for Climate Change Lord Callanan said:

Climate change and deforestation are challenges which stretch far beyond borders, which is why we all must act to protect our planet’s biodiversity.

Our Partnerships for Forests programme will help stop tropical deforestation, protect fragile ecosystems, build up rural communities and repair damage to the worst-affected areas.

Today’s announcement has been welcomed by environmental groups.

Justin Adams, Executive Director of the Tropical Forests Alliance, said:

The Partnership for Forests program provides catalytic funding for innovative enterprises that balance sustainable production and millions of livelihoods with preventing deforestation.

I applaud the UK government’s support for these programmes in South America and have seen the impact of their work on the ground. I am delighted these projects will now be able to scale up their work in the years ahead.

Notes to editors

  • more on the UK government’s £64 million partnership with the Colombian government
  • that funding is being used to strengthen Colombia’s land rights and criminal justice system, controlling deforestation while building a fairer, greener and more resilient rural economy in the region
  • more on the Xingu network. Seed collectors search for seeds and trade them through a centralised office, receiving payment based on the scarcity and quantity of the seeds they provide. The industry currently provides an annual income of R$4 million for the region
  • further information on Partnerships for Forests
  • more details on the cattle ranching programme
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The visitor economy

Introduction

This document is to help employers, employees and the self-employed in England understand how to work safely and protect their customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping to the recommended social distancing guidance applicable at the time.

Public health is devolved in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales; this guidance should be considered alongside local public health and safety requirements and legislation in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. For advice to businesses in other parts of the UK please see guidance set by the Northern Ireland Executive, the Scottish Government, and the Welsh Government. Tourism is also a devolved competency; as such, this guidance is meant to complement any guidance in the Devolved Administrations, where relevant.

While this guidance applies to England, you should always consider whether there are local restrictions in place in your area. If so, you should first read the guidance relevant to your area as this may supersede guidance in this document. You can find information on the current lockdown in Leicester here.

If you have any feedback for us, please email tourismheritagecovid@culture.gov.uk.

This guidance is designed to be relevant for people who work within the visitor economy; for example people who operate or run hotels and other types of accommodation (there is also a separate hotels and other guest accommodation guidance, indoor and outdoor visitor attractions guidance, and guidance for people who run or manage spaces for business or leisure events and conferences. There is also a separate guidance document on pubs and restaurants for food settings.

How to use this guidance

This document sets out guidance on how to work safely within the visitor economy and for guests and visitors to these locations while minimising the risk of spreading COVID-19. It gives practical considerations of how guidance can be applied in the workplace and at these locations which, in the case of the visitor economy, will be different for each premises or outlet. This guidance only relates to activities permitted by Her Majesty’s Government regulation.

Each business will need to translate this into the specific actions it needs to take, depending on the nature of their business, including the size and type of business, how it is organised, operated, managed and regulated. A site by site approach is essential and COVID-19 risk assessment for premises will be unique. Therefore this guidance should be used to translate to whatever areas are relevant to your business and any measures that are taken should fit safely with any operational needs.

This guidance does not supersede any legal obligations relating to health and safety, employment or equalities and it is important that as a business or an employer you continue to comply with your existing obligations, including those relating to individuals with protected characteristics. It contains non-statutory guidance to take into account when complying with these existing obligations. When considering how to apply this guidance, take into account agency workers, contractors and other people, as well as your employees.

To help you decide which actions to take as a business, you need to carry out an appropriate COVID-19 risk assessment, at a business and site level, just as you would for other health and safety related hazards. This risk assessment must be done in consultation with unions or workers.

We know many people are also keen to return to or contribute to volunteering. Organisations have a duty of care to volunteers to ensure as far as reasonably practicable they are not exposed to risks to their health and safety. This guidance around working safely during COVID-19 should ensure that volunteers are afforded the same level of protection to their health and safety as employees, the self-employed and customers.

Recognising that within the visitor economy it is common practice to operate both in your own and in third parties’ premises or venues, and to hire equipment from third parties, collaboration between groups, organisations and businesses will likely be needed to give proper effect to this guidance.

What do we mean by ‘the visitor economy’?

The visitor economy is much broader than tourism and encompasses all staying and non-staying visitors and the activities and expenditure involved in supplying products and services for visitors by both the private and public sectors.

The visitor economy also encompasses a multitude of different working environments, from outdoor paid for attractions like theme parks to indoor attractions like stately homes or planetariums.

It also includes a variety of activities and events which take place at hotels, convention and exhibition centres and conference halls and meeting rooms.

This guidance is aimed at business owners, operators and workers in the following areas:

  • hotels and other guest accommodation (including self-catering accommodation, B&Bs, hostels, camping, holiday homes, caravan parks, boats and other types of accommodation including short-term letting). This guidance should be read in conjunction with the working safely in hotels and other accommodation guidance.
  • indoor and outdoor attractions (e.g. arcades, walking tours, theme parks, family entertainment centres, static funfairs, zoos, and aquariums). The events and entertainment guidance may also be useful for attractions that move around (e.g. travelling funfairs) to be published shortly.
  • business events and consumer shows (e.g. events taking place in meetings, conference, convention and exhibition centres). It is expected that from 1 October events will be allowed, in line with guidance set out in section 2.2.3, and dependent on whether the virus remains around or below current levels into the autumn.

The guidance should also be read in conjunction with other guidance on working safely during coronavirus, the safer travel guidance and other available sector guidance.

1. Thinking about risk

In this section

Objective: That all employers carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment.

COVID-19 is a public health emergency. Everyone needs to assess and manage the risks of COVID-19, and in particular businesses should consider the risks to their workers and customers. As an employer, you also have a legal responsibility to protect workers and others from risk to their health and safety. This means you need to think about the risks they face and do everything reasonably practicable to minimise them, recognising you cannot completely eliminate the risk of COVID-19.

You must make sure that the risk assessment for your business addresses the risks of COVID-19, using this guidance to inform your decisions and control measures. A risk assessment is not about creating huge amounts of paperwork, but rather about identifying sensible measures to control the risks in your workplace. If you have fewer than 5 workers, or are self-employed, you don’t have to write anything down as part of your risk assessment. Your risk assessment will help you decide whether you have done everything you need to. The Health and Safety Executive has guidance for business on how to manage risk and risk assessment at work along with specific advice to help control the risk of coronavirus in workplaces.

Employers have a duty to consult their people on health and safety. In a small business, you might choose to consult your workers directly. Larger businesses may consult through a health and safety representative, chosen by your employees or selected by a trade union. You can do this by listening and talking to them about the work and how you will manage risks from COVID-19. The people who do the work are often the best people to understand the risks in the workplace and will have a view on how to work safely. Involving them in making decisions shows that you take their health and safety seriously. You must consult with the health and safety representative selected by a recognised trade union or, if there isn’t one, a representative chosen by workers. As an employer, you cannot decide who the representative will be.

At its most effective, full involvement of your workers creates a culture where relationships between employers and workers are based on collaboration, trust and joint problem solving. As is normal practice, workers should be involved in assessing workplace risks and the development and review of workplace health and safety policies in partnership with the employer.

Employers and workers should always come together to resolve issues. If concerns still cannot be resolved, see below for further steps you can take.

How to raise a concern if you are an employee:

First, speak to your employer.

  • contact your employee representative, if your workplace has one
  • contact your trade union if you have one
  • contact HSE at:

1.1 Managing risk

Objective: To reduce risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures, in order of priority

Operators in the visitor economy have a duty to reduce workplace risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures. Employers must work with any other employers or contractors sharing the workplace so that everybody’s health and safety is protected. In the context of COVID-19 this means protecting the health and safety of your workers and customers by working through these steps in order:

  1. In every workplace, increasing the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning.

  2. Businesses and workplaces should make every reasonable effort to enable working from home as a first option. Where working from home is not practical, workplaces should make every reasonable effort to comply with the social distancing guidelines set out by the government.

  3. 2m or 1m with risk mitigation (where 2m is not viable) are acceptable. You should consider and set out the mitigations you will introduce in your risk assessment.

  4. Where the social distancing guidelines cannot be followed in full, in relation to a particular activity, businesses should consider whether that activity needs to continue for the business to operate, and, if so, take all the mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission between their staff.

  5. Further mitigating actions include:

    – increasing the frequency of hand washing and surface cleaning, including disinfection of high footfall areas or common touchpoints with particular attention to toilets/restrooms.
    – keeping the activity time of any activity where social distancing cannot be maintained as short as possible
    – using screens or barriers to separate people from each other
    – using back-to-back or side-to-side working (rather than face-to-face) whenever possible
    – reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’ (so each person works with only a few others)
    – Using screens or barriers to separate people from each other.

  6. Finally, if people must work face-to-face for a sustained period with more than a small group of fixed partners, then you will need to assess whether the activity can safely go ahead. No one should be forced to work in an unsafe work environment.

  7. In your assessment you should have particular regard to whether the people doing the work are especially vulnerable to COVID-19.

The recommendations in the rest of this document are ones you must consider as you go through this process. You could also consider any advice that has been produced specifically for your sector, for example by trade associations or trades unions. UKHospitality has further information on many parts of the visitor economy that may help with this process, including hotels and other guest accommodation, restaurants, pubs and bars, amusement parks and holiday parks.

If you have not already done so, you should carry out an assessment of the risks posed by COVID-19 in your workplace as soon as possible. If you are currently operating, you are likely to have gone through a lot of this thinking already. When a building or space is repurposed – for example when there is any change in use or type or use or other circumstance – there needs to be a fire risk assessment. More information can be found on the Health and Safety Executive website.

You should consider the security implications of any changes you intend to make to your operations and practices in response to COVID-19, as any revisions may present new or altered security risks or issues with accessibility which may need mitigations. Sections 2.3 outlines the key security considerations and advice.

Whilst the risk to health from COVID-19 is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, the threat of terrorism nonetheless remains substantial. It is essential that businesses and other organisations remain cognisant of these threats as they look to adjust their operations, ensuring that security measures are proactively adapted to support and complement other changes.

Where the enforcing authority, such as the HSE or your local authority, identifies employers who are not taking action to comply with the relevant public health legislation and guidance to control public health risks, they are empowered to take a range of actions to improve control of workplace risks. For example, this would cover employers not taking appropriate action to ensure social distancing, where possible.

Failure to complete a risk assessment which takes account of COVID-19, or completing a risk assessment but failing to put in place sufficient measures to manage the risk of COVID-19, could constitute a breach of health and safety law. The actions the enforcing authority can take include the provision of specific advice to employers to support them to achieve the required standard, through to issuing enforcement notices to help secure improvements. Serious breaches and failure to comply with enforcement notices can constitute a criminal offence, with serious fines and even imprisonment for up to two years. There is also a wider system of enforcement, which includes specific obligations and conditions for licensed premises.

Employers are expected to respond to any advice or notices issued by enforcing authorities rapidly and are required to do so within any timescales imposed by the enforcing authorities. The vast majority of employers are responsible and will join with the UK’s fight against COVID-19 by working with the Government and their sector bodies to protect their workers and the public. However, inspectors are carrying out compliance checks nationwide to ensure that employers are taking the necessary steps.

1.2 Sharing the results of your risk assessment

You must share the results of your risk assessment with your workforce. If possible, you should consider publishing the results on your website (and we would expect all businesses with over 50 workers to do so).

We would expect all businesses to demonstrate to their workers and customers that they have properly assessed their risk and taken appropriate measures to mitigate this. You should do this by displaying a notification in a prominent place in your business and on your website, if you have one.

Below you will find a notice you should display in your workplace to show you have followed this guidance.

There may also be other industry standards or marks that you can use to demonstrate to any visitors, guests and customers that you have thought carefully about risk.

2. Managing your customers, visitors and contractors

In this section

2.1 Top level considerations for all parts of the visitor economy

Objective: To provide top level considerations for managing customers, visitors and contractors.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Assessing the number of customers, or crowd density, that can reasonably enable social distancing within any space. This will vary depending on layout or usage. This will require taking into account the total floorspace as well as pinch points and busy areas.

  2. For indoor and outdoor attractions, and business event venues, limit the number of customers or adjust the crowd density at any time. For example, by implementing timed ticketing or asking customers to book ahead where possible.

  3. Consider how customers and employees will move in congestion areas, for example doorways between adjacent indoor spaces and outdoor spaces.

  4. Reviewing how customers move through and around the venue (indoors and outdoors) and considering how you could adjust the flow of customers and employees to reduce congestion and contact; for example, queue management or one-way flow, where possible.

  5. Managing queues to ensure they do not cause a risk to individuals or other businesses, for example by introducing queuing systems, using barriers and having staff direct customers. This may include using outside premises for queuing where available and safe, for example some car parks.

  6. Ensuring any changes to entry, exit and queue management take into account reasonable adjustments for those who need them, including disabled customers. For example, maintaining pedestrian and parking access for disabled customers.

  7. Consider the particular needs of those with protected characteristics, such as those who are hearing or visually impaired.

  8. Encouraging customers to use handwashing facilities or hand sanitiser (where washing facilities are not available) as they enter the premises to reduce the risk of transmission by touching products or surfaces.

  9. Reminding customers who are accompanied by children that they are responsible for supervising them at all times and should follow social distancing guidelines.

  10. Working with your local authority and landlord to take into account the impact of your processes, including queues, on public spaces such as high streets and public car parks and fire escapes outside and within the public realm.

  11. Having clearly designated positions from which employees can provide assistance to customers whilst maintaining social distance.

  12. Working with neighbouring businesses and local authorities to consider how to stagger the number of people arriving throughout the day; for example, by staggering opening hours which could help reduce the demand on public transport at key times and avoid overcrowding.

  13. For any activities which involve passing objects around (e.g. in casinos or indoor attractions, specifically including environments such as laser tag) the following should steps should be considered:

    – Putting in place picking up and dropping off collection points where possible, rather than passing goods hand to hand
    -Regular cleaning of these objects or replacement with new objects as and when needed
    – Encouraging increased handwashing and introducing more handwashing facilities for workers and customers or providing hand sanitiser where this is not practical.

  14. Where changing facilities and toilets are required, setting clear use and more frequent cleaning guidance for toilets, showers, lockers and changing rooms to ensure they are kept clean and clear of personal items, where possible safe ventilation is increased and that social distancing is achieved as much as possible, including for example by staggered shift usage.

  15. Where a premises delivers a mix of services, ensuring only those services that are permitted to be open are available. For example, a hairdresser should ensure that beauty or nail treatments are not offered; and a community or leisure centre should not host indoor sports or fitness activity.

  16. Providing written or spoken communication of the latest guidelines to both workers and customers inside and outside the venue. You should may want to display posters or information setting out how customers should behave at your venue to keep everyone safe.

  17. Any requirement or recommendation for visitors or guests to wear face coverings when queuing or while inside the attraction/event or hotel should be consistent with the latest government guidance. Face coverings can be made at home and visitors should be signposted to the latest government guidance.

People should continue to socially distance from those they do not live with wherever possible. Social interactions should be limited to a group of no more than two households (indoors and out) or up to six people from different households (if outdoors). Where two households are meeting they should still remain socially distanced.

It is against the law for gatherings of more than 30 people to take place in private homes (including gardens and other outdoor spaces).

Businesses and venues following COVID-19 Secure guidelines can host larger groups. This is also the case for events in public outdoor spaces that are organised by businesses, charitable or political organisations, and public bodies, provided they take reasonable steps to mitigate the risk of transmission, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance and including completion of a risk assessment. Any other gathering in an outdoor space must not be any larger than 30 people.

In particular, those operating venues or running events following COVID-19 Secure guidelines should take additional steps to ensure the safety of the public and prevent large gatherings or mass events from taking place. At this time, venues should not permit indoor performances, including drama, comedy and music, to take place in front of a live audience, and should not permit indoor grassroots sport to take place. From 11 July, venues should take account of the working safely in the performing arts guidance when organising outdoor performances.

Individual businesses or venues should consider the cumulative impact of many venues re-opening in a small area. This means working with local authorities, neighbouring businesses and travel operators to assess this risk and applying additional mitigations. These could include:

  • further lowering capacity – even if it is possible to safely seat a number of people inside a venue, it may not be safe for them all to travel or enter that venue
  • staggering entry times with other venues and taking steps to avoid queues building up in surrounding areas.
  • arranging one-way travel routes between transport hubs and venues
  • advising patrons to avoid particular forms of transport or routes and to avoid crowded areas when in transit to the venue

Local authorities should avoid issuing licenses for events that could lead to larger gatherings forming and provide advice to businesses on how to manage events of this type. If appropriate, the government has powers under schedule 22 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 to close venues hosting large gatherings or prohibit certain events (or types of event) from taking place.

Venues should not permit indoor performances, including drama, comedy and music, to take place in front of a live audience. This is important to mitigate the risks of droplets and aerosol transmission – from either the performer(s) or their audience. There will be further guidance setting out how performing arts activity can be managed safely in other settings, for instance rehearsing or broadcast without an audience. There is an additional risk of infection in environments where you or others are singing, chanting, shouting or conversing loudly. This applies even if others are at a distance to you. You should therefore avoid environments that require you to raise your voice to communicate with anyone outside your household. All venues should ensure that steps are taken to avoid people needing to unduly raise their voices to each other. This includes – but is not limited to – refraining from playing music or broadcasts that may encourage shouting, including if played at a volume that makes normal conversation difficult. This is because of the potential for increased risk of transmission – particularly from aerosol and droplet transmission. We will develop further guidance, based on scientific evidence, to enable these activities as soon as possible. You should take similar steps to prevent other close contact activities – such as communal dancing.

Reconfiguring entertainment spaces to enable customers to be seated at a fixed safe distance rather than standing. For example, repurposing dance floors for customer seating.

Making customers aware of, and encouraging compliance with, limits on gatherings. For example, on arrival or at booking. Indoor gatherings are limited to members of any two households (or support bubbles); while outdoor gatherings are limited to members of any two households (or support bubbles), or a group of at most six people from any number of households.

The opening up of the economy following the COVID-19 outbreak is being supported by NHS Test and Trace. You should assist this service by keeping a temporary record of your customers and visitors for 21 days, in a way that is manageable for your business, and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed. This could help contain clusters or outbreaks. Many businesses that take bookings already have systems for recording their customers and visitors – including restaurants, hotels, and hair salons. If you do not already do this, you should do so to help fight the virus. We have worked with industry and relevant bodies to design a system in line with data protection legislation, details of which can be found in the Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace guidance.

2.2 Providing and explaining available guidance

Objective: To provide links to relevant industry sources and specific resources for each part of the visitor economy

Consideration should be given to the sector specific guidance and resources highlighted below, where relevant.

The government has also published guidance on:

  • hotels and other guest accommodation

  • pubs and restaurants

  • wider guidance on events and entertainment

  • Face coverings

UKHospitality has a number of resources available on its website to aid reopening. Whilst it is not comprehensive, it can be used in conjunction with the links below to provide further information and resources for your risk assessment. This UKHospitality guidance is applicable to businesses UK-wide and adaptable to local circumstances.

Guidance referenced below from a trade body or association may include best practice documents, templates and more detailed sector specific advice on certain environments. Industry bodies may also be able to provide examples or templates to enable you to carry out an appropriate risk assessment.

2.2.1 Hotels and Accommodation

  • Please refer to the separate hotels and other guest accommodation guidance document. Whilst hotels and other guest accommodation have been able to reopen on 4 July, shared facilities (e.g. shared sleeping spaces such as dormitories, guest kitchens, and communal spaces such as TV rooms where social distancing cannot be managed within current government guidelines) should remain closed. Shared ablutionary facilities (showers and toilets) can remain open but should adhere to all government guidelines to minimise the risk of transmission.
  • UKHospitality has published guidance which includes advice for hotels and accommodation, pubs and restaurants.
  • Camping/ caravanning/ motorhomes and holiday parks – in addition to the UKHospitality guidance, which includes these sectors in more detail, associations such as the National Caravan Council, British Holiday and Home Parks Association have resources on their websites with advice and further information.
  • British Marine has information on waterways and advice on areas such as hotel boats and holiday boat hire.
  • Self catering accommodation and short term lets – in addition to the hotels and other guest accommodation guidance and UKHospitality guidance, the Professional Association of Self Caterers; the B&B Association; the Short Term Accommodation Association and the Country Land and Business Association all have further information available on their websites
  • Bars, restaurants, cafes and catering: please refer to the pubs and restaurants guidance, which also has advice on catering. The British Beer and Pub Association can also provide further resources and information.

2.2.2 Indoor and outdoor attractions

  • UK Hospitality has published guidance including advice for amusement parks, attractions and family entertainment centres.
  • The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) is developing guidance for individual attractions amongst their members and sharing templates / best practice examples to enable risk assessments for indoor and outdoor attractions.
  • Other relevant guidance for museums has been drafted by the National Museum Directors Council
  • At this time venues should not permit indoor performances, including drama, comedy and music, to take place in front of a live audience. This is important to mitigate the risks of droplets and aerosol transmission – from either the performer(s) or their audience. Venues should take account of the working safely in the performing arts guidance in organising outdoor performances. Singing and wind and brass playing should be limited to professional contexts only.
  • Outdoor swimming pools and outdoor jacuzzis/hot tubs will be allowed to reopen from 11 July. Indoor swimming pools, jacuzzis/hot tubs and indoor gyms will be allowed to open from 25 July. More information is provided in the guidance for people who work in gym/leisure facilities.
  • BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums) has resources and guidance available for zoos and aquariums.
  • Guidance on accessing green spaces
  • The following venues remain closed: nightclubs, casinos, bowling alleys and indoor skating rinks, indoor play areas including soft play.

2.2.3 Business events

Meetings 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.

From 1 August, exhibition and conference centres are also allowed to show small groups (of up to 30 people, with social distancing requirements) around to view the facilities and plan future events., and to enable government backed pilots to take place. They should not be open fully to host events more widely.

From 1 October, it is expected that events of all types (e.g. trade shows, consumer shows, exhibitions, conferences) will be allowed at a capacity allowing for compliance with social distancing of 2m, or 1m with mitigation (approximately equivalent to a density of 10㎡ per person). Where such events involve people speaking loudly for prolonged periods of time any mitigation must include particular attention to the ventilation of the spaces. This will be subject to the latest public health advice.

The following trade associations have published guidance on business events, which events organisers and venues should make reference to when developing risk assessments for events:

  • The Association of Event Organisers will publish guidance specifically for exhibition, trade fairs and consumer shows to reopen

  • The Meetings Industry Association as produced guidance specifically for conferences and meetings venues, which is also wrapped into the wider UKHospitality guidance

  • You should consider the relevant sections of workplace guidance as well as relevant guidance on pubs and restaurants and the UKHospitality guidance for catering requirements

  • Outdoor events (e.g. including agriculture shows and festivals) are covered by events guidance drafted by the Events Industry Forum

  • Events taking place in heritage attractions/buildings should read 2.2.4 and follow through to Historic England guidance.

Business meetings

Objective: To reduce transmission due to face-to-face meetings and maintain social distancing in meetings.

Steps that will be needed will include:

  1. Preventing the attendance of anyone who is symptomatic; has recently been symptomatic; tested positive for COVID-19; or if they are a contact of someone symptomatic or has been identified by the NHS Test & Trace programme as someone who has been a close contact of a case. See current guidance for people who have symptoms and those who live with others who have symptoms.

  2. Avoiding the potential for transmission of COVID-19 during meetings, for example avoiding sharing pens and other objects.

  3. Encouraging customers to use handwashing facilities or hand sanitiser (where washing facilities are not available) as they enter the premises to reduce the risk of transmission by touching products or surfaces.

  4. Ensuring that meeting rooms are cleaned thoroughly between users and the frequent touch points such as door handles and surfaces are continuously kept clean through an event.

  5. Ensuring that social distancing applies to all parts of a premises where the meeting is being conducted, not just the place where people spend most of their time, but also entrances and exits, break rooms, canteens and similar settings. These are often the most challenging areas to maintain social distancing.

  6. Holding meetings outdoors or in well-ventilated rooms whenever possible. See below for more information on air ventilation.

  7. Having socially distanced seating and/or spacing out any tables to meet social distancing requirements.

  8. When indoors avoid those speaking doing so directly face to face with other participants whenever possible.

  9. Taking steps to avoid loud speaking or shouting, such as not using background music and the use of microphones.

  10. For areas where regular meetings take place, using floor signage to help people maintain social distancing.

Conferences and events

In addition to interventions above, the following mitigations should be meticulously applied when planning business and consumer trade events:

  • Crowd Density Standard: at a capacity allowing for compliance with social distancing of 2m, or 1m with mitigation (approximately equivalent to a density of 10㎡ per person)

  • Controlled entry: staggering admission to ensure socially distanced arrival

  • Managing queues outside the venue to ensure they do not cause a risk to individuals or other businesses, for example by introducing queuing systems, using barriers and having staff direct customers

  • Controlled flow during an event: introducing one-way systems and timed tickets to control flow and alleviate congestion

  • Providing floor markings, where appropriate, and signage to remind both workers and customers to follow to social distancing wherever possible

  • Assigning appropriately distanced seating where events have a seated element and encourage seated events

  • Ensuring that on site speakers are subject to restrictions on live performances – see performing arts guidance for more information

  • The opening up of the economy following the COVID-19 outbreak is being supported by NHS Test and Trace. You should assist this service by keeping a temporary record of your customers and visitors for 21 days, in a way that is manageable for your business but effective for managing disease transmission risks, and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed.

Air extraction and ventilation measures

Ventilation is an important part of mitigating against the transmission of COVID-19. Ventilation into the building should be optimised to ensure a fresh air supply is provided to all areas of the facility and increased wherever possible.

You should consider:

  • Increasing the existing ventilation rate by fully opening dampers and running fans on full speed

  • Operating the ventilation system 24 hours a day

  • Increase the frequency of filter changes

  • In the absence of known ventilation rates, a carbon dioxide sensor shall be used as a surrogate indicator to switch on additional mechanical ventilation or open windows.

Further guidance is provided in the CIBSE COVID-19 Ventilation guidance.

Facilities

Toilets: see 5.3.1 for guidance on toilets

Please follow the guidance on bars, pubs and takeaway services for catering areas

Transport

Events should offer staggered and timed entry/exit to limit numbers of people using public transport at any time

For very large events, consideration should be given to managing the zone around the venue. The external zone (also known as ‘the last mile’) lies immediately beyond the outer perimeter of a large venue and consists of a network of routes or areas, often leading to transport hubs. The management of this area is considered key to the safe and secure arrival and departure of visitors.

Consideration will need to be given to:

  • the acceptable number of passengers on public transport to and from the venue

  • the frequency of service and capacity of public transport hubs

  • the size, location and design of the venue

  • parking facilities, bike routes, walking routes, and

  • the environment within the area, particularly for hospitality venues

To address these considerations and put any necessary mitigations in place, the event organisers – with the venue – should develop a transport management plan to ensure integration of visitor considerations. They should also ensure, where relevant, that the SAG / Local Authority / public transport providers are fully engaged in its approval. The transport management plan should consider, but not be limited to:

  • The capacity of local public transport systems (service frequency and transport hub size/configuration), including a requirement to liaise with local and national transport providers to increase service frequency, where needed

  • The requirement for additional car/bike parking at the venue

  • Liaison with relevant Local Authorities and businesses to arrange and manage one-way travel routes, where possible, between transport hubs and the venue to increase visitor safety, and minimise public gatherings outside of the event footprint, such as in visiting local pubs and other businesses in line with wider public health guidance relevant to gatherings and to those sectors.

Follow guidance on urban centres for transport interchanges.

For private transport, review the guidance on safer transport and safer guidance for passengers. This provides guidance for activities such as car sharing.

Providing additional parking or facilities such as bike-racks to help people walk, run or cycle to the event where possible.

2.2.4 Heritage attractions and buildings

DCMS and Historic England have drafted guidance on recommendations specifically for heritage or listed buildings. If part or all of your business includes heritage assets or listed buildings, please also refer to this for guidance to enable you to open and operate.

2.3 Overarching security considerations

Adapting to COVID-19 measures will inevitably result in changes to operating policies, processes and procedures of accommodation providers, indoor and outdoor attractions and business event centres and venues. Any changes should always be considered alongside security implications. If you have a security department or manager, they should be consulted to help ensure good security is maintained as far as possible and that there are no unintended security consequences as a result of changes. This should be achieved by conducting a security risk assessment.

Specific examples of where security implications may arise are: queueing, search and screening (where this has been directed by a wider government policy on security), maintaining vigilance for potential threats, and access controls. There may be others that your organisation will need to consider.

2.3.1 Queues and social distancing

Whilst dense crowding is unlikely if social distancing is operating correctly, the revised layout of spaces may present new security risks, particularly where multiple queues are created.

Considerations include:

  • Operators should try and organise queuing within existing protected areas; Operators should NOT remove any security features or useful street furniture items without considering protective security in the round.
  • If queuing is only possible outside of protected areas then consider and mitigate the vulnerabilities by: routing queues behind permanent physical structures (e.g. street furniture, bollards, trolley parks and bike racks) to provide a visual deterrent and delay; closing off vehicle access to shared spaces; adjusting servicing and delivery times; reducing the opportunities for vehicles (including potentially hostile vehicles) to interact with pedestrians; erecting robust barriers; introducing a reduced speed limit or traffic calming measures.
  • Operators should be careful to avoid giving credible, detailed information that could help a hostile entity identify an attractive target and carry out an attack. In particular, this should not be included in detailed risk assessments published on public websites under Section 1.2. Be mindful of messaging, both at the site and particularly on-line, which covers detailed information about queue locations and times, the number of people expected, and suggesting removal of security features such as street furniture, bollards etc.

2.3.2 Search and screening

  • Conduct of physical search and screening of staff, contractors and visitors may need adapting in order to adhere to social distancing measures.
  • To maintain effective security and deterrence, search and screening should still be conducted as appropriate and in line with the organisation’s policies.
  • Ensure security staff are and feel safe. For example, having access to hand-washing facilities, and that they are able and confident to raise any concerns.
  • The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) has published guidance on adapting existing search and screening processes to take account of physical distancing. Details are also available from your local Police Counter Terrorism Security Advisor (CTSA), which are available online.

2.3.3. Staff, security officers and stewarding

It is vital for staff to remain vigilant and act on potential security threats including terrorism and wider criminality. It is advised to:

  • Continue to ensure that awareness of security threats is raised alongside safety and health risks through staff briefings.
  • Whilst stewards and security officers may be focused on managing people and queues for COVID-19 safety reasons, they should continue to remain vigilant for and report any suspicious activity as soon as possible.
  • Ideally consider providing separate stewarding to manage the social distancing and other safety aspects to enable your security staff to focus on their core responsibilities to keep the site safe from threats.
  • Ensure there is a good communication system in place to inform people of any incident. Carry out a short exercise or test to check procedures and equipment for this are working correctly.

2.3.4 Restricted entry points

  • Restricted access entry points, such as those facilitated by keypad, biometrics and/or pass should remain fully in operation. They should not be deactivated.
  • Pin pads and biometrics should be highlighted as “touch points” and cleaned regularly (note: generally, they are touched less than door handles)
  • Access control (staff) proximity cards will work up to 10cm from the reader. Staff can be informed that there is no need to physically touch the card on the reader.

3. Who should go to work?

In this section

Objective: People who can work from home should continue to do so. Employers should decide, in consultation with their employees, whether it is viable for them to continue working from home. Where it is decided that workers should come into their place of work then this will need to be reflected in the risk assessment and actions taken to manage the risks of transmission in line with this guidance. There is a recognition that for many workers in the visitor economy this will not be possible. Nobody should go to work if your business is closed under current government regulations except for certain specific exemptions.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Considering who is essential to be on the premises; for example, back of house workers should work from home if at all possible.

  2. Planning for the minimum number of people needed on site to operate safely and effectively.

  3. Monitoring the wellbeing of people who are working from home and helping them stay connected to the rest of the workforce, especially if the majority of their colleagues are on-site.

  4. Keeping in touch with off-site workers on their working arrangements including their welfare, mental and physical health and personal security.

  5. Providing equipment for people to work from home safely and effectively, for example, remote access to work systems.

3.1 Protecting people who are at higher risk

Objective: To protect clinically vulnerable and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals.

Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals may be advised not to work outside the home if the prevalence of disease in the community is very high. Current advice can be found in the protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable guidance.

If clinically vulnerable individuals cannot work from home, they should be offered the option of the safest available on-site roles, enabling them to stay at the recommended distance away from others. If they have to spend time within this distance of others, you should carefully assess whether the activity should continue. If so, further mitigating actions should be taken to reduce the risk of transmission between individuals (see Section 3 for examples of actions that can be taken). As for any workplace risk you must take into account specific duties to those with protected characteristics, including, for example, expectant mothers who are, as always, entitled to suspension on full pay if suitable roles cannot be found.

See current guidance for advice on who is in the clinically extremely vulnerable and clinically vulnerable groups.

3.2 People who need to self-isolate

Objective: To make sure individuals who are advised to stay at home to prevent the spread of infection under existing government guidance do not physically come to work. This includes individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19 and/or have tested positive for COVID-19, those who live in a household or are in a support bubble with someone who has symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19, and those who are advised to self-isolate as part of the government’s test and trace service.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Enabling workers to work from home while self-isolating if appropriate.

  2. See current guidance for employees and employers relating to statutory sick pay due to COVID-19.

  3. See current guidance for people who have symptoms and those who live with others who have symptoms.

3.3 Equality in the workplace

Objective: To make sure that nobody is discriminated against.

In applying this guidance, employers should be mindful of the particular needs of different groups of workers or individuals. For instance, employers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to avoid disabled workers being put at a disadvantage compared to non-disabled people in the workplace.

It is breaking the law to discriminate, directly or indirectly, against anyone because of a protected characteristic such as age, ethnicity, sex or disability.

Employers also have particular responsibilities towards disabled workers and those who are new or expectant mothers.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Understanding and taking into account the particular circumstances of those with protected characteristics.

  2. Involving and communicating appropriately with workers whose protected characteristics might either expose them to a different degree of risk, or might make any steps you are thinking about inappropriate or challenging for them.

  3. Considering whether you need to put in place any particular measures or adjustments to take account of your duties under the equalities legislation.

  4. Making reasonable adjustments to avoid disabled workers being put at a disadvantage, and assessing the health and safety risks for new or expectant mothers.

  5. Understanding and responding to the concerns of those who consider themselves at increased risk.

  6. Making sure that the steps you take do not have an unjustifiable negative impact on some groups compared to others, for example, those with caring responsibilities or those with religious commitments.

4. Social distancing for workers

In this section

Objective: To maintain social distancing wherever possible, including while arriving at and departing from work, while in work and when travelling between sites.

You should maintain social distancing in the workplace wherever possible.

Where the social distancing guidelines cannot be followed in full in relation to a particular activity, businesses should consider whether that activity needs to continue for the business to operate, and, if so, take all the mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission between their staff.

Mitigating actions include:

  • further increasing the frequency of hand washing and surface cleaning, including disinfecting of heavy footfall and frequent touch points, with particular attention to shared showers, changing rooms, and toilets/restrooms
  • provision of hand sanitiser in areas where poor access to hand washing
  • keeping the activity time involved as short as possible
  • using screens or barriers to separate people from each other
  • using back-to-back or side-to-side working (rather than face-to-face) whenever possible
  • reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’ (so each person works with only a few others)
  • Using screens or barriers to separate people from each other. These are particularly appropriate where an individual cannot maintain social distancing and is in contact with a high volume of people such as ticket office staff.

Social distancing applies to all parts of a premises business is conducted, not just the place where people spend most of their time, but also entrances and exits, break rooms, canteens and similar settings. These are often the most challenging areas to maintain social distancing.

4.1 Coming to work and leaving work

Objective: To maintain social distancing wherever possible for workers, on arrival and departure and to enable handwashing upon arrival.

More information can be found in the guidance on safer transport and safer guidance for passengers.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Staggering arrival and departure times at work to reduce crowding into and out of the workplace, taking account of the impact on those with protected characteristics.

  2. Providing additional parking or facilities such as bike-racks to help people walk, run or cycle to work where possible.

  3. Limiting passengers in corporate vehicles, for example, work minibuses. This could include leaving seats empty.

  4. Reducing congestion, for example, by having more entry points to the workplace in larger stores.

  5. Using markings and introducing one-way flow at entry and exit points, which are back of house or employee only and where appropriate, taking into account premises structure, style of operation and customer profile.

  6. Providing handwashing facilities (or hand sanitiser where not possible) for workers at entry and exit points.

  7. Providing alternatives to touch-based security devices such as keypads.

  8. Defining process alternatives for entry/exit points where appropriate, for example, deactivating pass readers at turnstiles in favour of showing a pass to security personnel at a distance.

4.2 Moving around buildings and stores

Objective: To maintain social distancing as far as possible while people travel through the workplace.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Reducing movement by discouraging non-essential trips within buildings and sites, for example restricting access to some areas, encouraging use of radios or telephones, where permitted. These items require cleaning between users if multi-use.

  2. Introducing more one-way flow through buildings. Providing floor markings, where appropriate, and signage should remind both workers and customers to follow to social distancing wherever possible.

  3. Reducing maximum occupancy for lifts, providing hand sanitiser for the operation of lifts and encouraging use of stairs wherever possible.

  4. Making sure that people with disabilities are able to access lifts while social distancing.

  5. Regulating use of high traffic areas including corridors, lifts, turnstiles and walkways to maintain social distancing and increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfection of these areas.

4.3 Workplaces and workstations

Objective: To maintain appropriate social distancing between individuals when they are at their workstations.

For people who work in one place, workstations should be reconfigured to allow them to maintain social distancing wherever possible.

Workstations should be assigned to an individual as much as possible. If they need to be shared, they should be shared by the smallest possible number of people whilst maintaining social distancing.

If it is not possible to keep workstations at the recommended distance apart then businesses should consider whether that activity needs to continue for the business to operate, and if so take all mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Reviewing layouts to allow workers to work further apart from each other.

  2. Using floor tape or paint to mark areas, where appropriate, to help people keep their distance or using signage or other communication measures taking into account building characteristics, trading style and customer profile. .

  3. Avoiding people working face-to-face. For example, by working side-by-side or facing away from each other.

  4. Using screens to create a physical barrier between people.

  5. Using a consistent pairing system if people have to work in close proximity. For example, cleaning hotel rooms or servicing equipment at an indoor attraction

  6. Minimising contacts around transactions, for example, considering using contactless payments, and encouraging online booking and pre-payment where appropriate.

  7. If using cash, encouraging increased handwashing and introducing more handwashing facilities for workers and customers or providing hand sanitiser where this is not practical.

  8. Rethinking demonstrations and promotions to minimise direct contact and to maintain social distancing.

4.4 Accidents, security and other incidents

Objective: To prioritise safety during incidents.

In an emergency, for example, an accident, provision of first aid, fire or break-in, people should not have to stay the recommended distance apart if it would be unsafe.

People involved in the provision of assistance to others should pay particular attention to sanitation measures immediately afterwards including washing hands.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Reviewing your incident and emergency procedures to ensure they reflect the social distancing principles as far as possible.

5. Cleaning the workplace

In this section

5.1 Before reopening

Objective: To make sure that any site or location that has been closed or partially operated is clean and ready to restart, including:

  • an assessment for all sites, or parts of sites, that have been closed, before restarting work
  • cleaning procedures and providing hand sanitiser, before restarting work

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Ensuring that ventilation systems are safe, including checking whether you need to service them or adjust them, for example, so that they do not automatically reduce ventilation levels due to lower than normal occupancy levels.

  2. Most air conditioning systems do not need adjustment, however where systems serve multiple buildings, or you are unsure, advice should be sought from your heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) engineers or advisers.

5.2 Keeping the workplace clean

Objective: To keep the workplace clean and prevent transmission by touching contaminated surfaces.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Frequent cleaning of work areas and equipment between uses, using your usual cleaning products.

  2. Frequent cleaning objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, including self-checkouts, trolleys, coffee machines, betting machines or staff handheld devices, and making sure there are adequate disposal arrangements for cleaning products.

  3. Clearing workspaces and removing waste and belongings from the work area at the end of a shift.

  4. Maintaining good ventilation in the work environment (for example, opening windows and doors frequently, where possible).

  5. If you are cleaning after a known or suspected case of COVID-19, refer to the specific guidance.

5.3 Hygiene: handwashing, sanitation facilities and toilets

Objective: To help everyone keep good hygiene through the working day.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Using signs and posters to build awareness of good handwashing technique, the need to increase handwashing frequency, avoid touching your face and to cough or sneeze into a tissue which is binned safely, or into your arm if a tissue is not available.

  2. Providing regular reminders and signage to maintain hygiene standards.

  3. Providing hand sanitiser in multiple locations in addition to hand-washing facilities.

  4. Setting clear use and cleaning guidance for showers and toilets to ensure they are cleaned very frequently and social distancing is achieved as much as possible.

  5. Enhancing cleaning for busy areas and common touch points.

  6. Special care should be taken for cleaning of portable toilets.

  7. Considering use of social distance marking for other common areas such as toilets, showers, lockers and changing rooms and in any other areas where queues typically form.

  8. Providing more waste facilities and more frequent rubbish collection. When disposing of face coverings and PPE, people should do so in a ‘black bag’ waste bin or litter bin. Face coverings or PPE should not be put in a recycling bin or dropped as litter. Businesses should provide extra bins for staff and customers to dispose of single-use face coverings and PPE, and should ensure that staff and customers do not use a recycling bin. Full details on how to dispose of your personal or business waste during the coronavirus pandemic can be found on GOV.UK.

  9. Providing hand drying facilities – either paper towels or electrical dryers.

  10. It is recommended that any ventilation or air conditioning system that normally runs with a recirculation mode should now be set up to run on full outside air where this is possible.

5.3.1 Toilets

Objective: To ensure that toilets are kept open and to ensure/promote good hygiene, social distancing, and cleanliness in toilet facilities

Public toilets, portable toilets and toilets inside premises should be kept open and carefully managed to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Using signs and posters to build awareness of good hand-washing technique, the need to increase hand-washing frequency and to avoid touching your face, and to cough or sneeze into a tissue which is binned safely, or into your arm if a tissue is not available.

  2. Consider the use of social distancing marking in areas where queues normally form, and the adoption of a limited entry approach, with one in, one out (whilst avoiding the creation of additional bottlenecks).

  3. To enable good hand hygiene consider making hand sanitiser available on entry to toilets where safe and practical, and ensure suitable hand-washing facilities including running water and liquid soap and suitable options for drying (either paper towels or hand driers) are available.

  4. Setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets, with increased frequency of cleaning in line with usage. Use normal cleaning products, paying attention to frequently hand touched surfaces, and consider use of disposable cloths or paper roll to clean all hard surfaces.

  5. Keep the facilities well ventilated, for example by fixing doors open where appropriate.

  6. Special care should be taken for cleaning of portable toilets and larger toilet blocks.

  7. Putting up a visible cleaning schedule can keep it up to date and visible.

  8. Providing more waste facilities and more frequent rubbish collection.

5.4 Handling goods, merchandise and other materials

Objective: To reduce transmission through contact with objects that come in the store.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Encouraging increased handwashing and introducing more handwashing facilities for workers and customers or providing hand sanitiser where this is not practical.

  2. Putting in place picking-up and dropping-off collection points where possible, rather than passing goods hand-to-hand.

  3. Cleaning exterior and interior touchpoints in accordance to sector guidance, for example, theme park rides and attractions. Also considering the introduction of hand sanitiser stations immediately before and after customer use.

  4. Keeping returns separate from displayed merchandise / stock to reduce the likelihood of transmission through touch.

6. Personal protective equipment (PPE) and face coverings

PPE protects the user against health or safety risks at work. It can include items such as safety helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and safety harnesses. It also includes respiratory protective equipment, such as face masks.

Where you are already using PPE in your work activity to protect against non-COVID-19 risks, you should continue to do so.

At the start of this document we described the steps you should take to manage COVID-19 risk in the workplace. This includes working from home and staying at the recommended distance away from each other in the workplace if at all possible. When managing the risk of COVID-19, additional PPE beyond what you usually wear is not beneficial. This is because COVID-19 is a different type of risk to the risks you normally face in a workplace, and needs to be managed through social distancing, hygiene and fixed teams or partnering, not through the use of PPE.

The exception is clinical settings, like a hospital, or a small handful of other roles for which Public Health England advises use of PPE, for example, first responders and immigration enforcement officers. If you are in one of these groups you should refer to the advice at:

Workplaces should not encourage the precautionary use of extra PPE to protect against COVID-19 outside clinical settings or when responding to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.

Unless you are in a situation where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is very high, your risk assessment should reflect the fact that the role of PPE in providing additional protection is extremely limited. However, if your risk assessment does show that PPE is required, then you should provide this PPE free of charge to workers who need it. Any PPE provided should fit properly. Please be mindful that the wearing of a face covering may inhibit communication with people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound.

Face coverings are currently mandatory on public transport, and will be mandatory in shops and in supermarkets from the 24th July 2020. People are also encouraged to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces where there are people they do not normally meet.

Any requirement or recommendation for visitors or guests to wear face coverings when queuing or while inside the attraction/event or hotel should be consistent with the latest government guidance. Face coverings can be made at home and visitors should be signposted to the latest government guidance.

7. Workforce management

In this section

7.1 Shift patterns and working groups

Objective: To change the way work is organised to create distinct groups and reduce the number of contacts each worker has.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. As far as possible, where workers are split into teams or shift groups, fixing these teams or shift groups so that where contact is unavoidable, this happens between the same people.

  2. Identifying areas where people have to directly pass things to each other and find ways to remove direct contact such as by using drop-off points or transfer zones.

  3. You should assist the Test and Trace service by keeping a temporary record of your staff shift patterns for 21 days and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed. This could help contain clusters or outbreaks.

7.2 Work-related travel

7.2.1 Cars, accommodation and visits

Objective: To avoid unnecessary work travel and keep people safe when they do need to travel between locations.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Avoid using public transport, and aim to walk, cycle, or drive instead. If using public transport is necessary, wearing a face covering is mandatory, unless you are exempt for health, disability or other reasons.

  2. Minimising the number of people outside of your household or support bubble travelling together in any one vehicle, using fixed travel partners (e.g. always travelling with the same people), increasing ventilation when possible and avoiding sitting face-to-face.

  3. Cleaning shared vehicles between shifts or on handover.

  4. Where workers are required to stay away from their home, centrally logging the stay and confirming that any overnight accommodation meets social distancing guidelines.

7.2.2 Deliveries to other sites

Objective: To help workers delivering to other sites such as factories, logistics sites or customers’ premises to maintain social distancing and hygiene practices.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Putting in place procedures to minimise person-to-person contact during deliveries to other sites.

  2. Maintaining consistent pairing where two-person deliveries are required.

  3. Minimising contact during payments and exchange of documentation, for example by using electronic payment methods and electronically signed and exchanged documents.

7.3 Communications and training

7.3.1 Returning to work

Objective: To make sure all workers understand COVID-19 related safety procedures.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Providing clear, consistent and regular communication to improve understanding and consistency of ways of working.

  2. Engaging with worker and worker representatives through existing communication routes and worker representatives to explain and agree any changes in working arrangements.

  3. Developing communication and training materials for workers prior to returning to site, especially around new procedures for arrival at work.

7.3.2 Ongoing communications and signage

Objective: To make sure all workers are kept up to date with how safety measures are being implemented or updated.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Ongoing engagement with workers (including through trade unions or employee representative groups) to monitor and understand any unforeseen impacts of changes to working environments.

  2. Awareness and focus on the importance of mental health at times of uncertainty. The government has published guidance on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (COVID-19).

  3. Using simple, clear messaging to explain guidelines using images and clear language, with consideration of groups for which English may not be their first language and those with protected characteristics such as visual impairments

  4. Using visual communications, for example whiteboards or signage, to explain changes to production schedules, breakdowns or materials shortages to reduce the need for face-to-face communications.

  5. Communicating approaches and operational procedures to suppliers, customers or trade bodies to help their adoption and to share experience.

8. Inbound and outbound goods

Objective: To maintain social distancing and avoid surface transmission when goods enter and leave the site, especially in high volume situations, for example, distribution centres or despatch areas.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Revising pick-up and drop-off collection points, procedures, signage and markings.

  2. Minimising unnecessary contact at gatehouse security, yard and warehouse. For example, non-contact deliveries where the nature of the product allows for use of electronic pre-booking.

  3. Considering methods to reduce frequency of deliveries, for example, by ordering larger quantities less often.

  4. Where possible and safe, having single workers load or unload vehicles.

  5. Where possible, using the same pairs of people for loads where more than one is needed.

  6. Enabling drivers to access welfare facilities when required, consistent with other guidance.

  7. Encouraging drivers to stay in their vehicles where this does not compromise their safety and existing safe working practice.

This document has been prepared by the Department for Culture Media & Sport (DCMS) with input from members of the Visitor Economy Working Group; UKHospitality; VisitBritain; UKInbound; Association of Leading Visitor Attractions; Association of Event Organisers; the Meetings Industry Association, the Events Industry Board; Country Land and Business Association; trades unions and the devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and in consultation with Public Health England (PHE) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Where to obtain further guidance

Hotels and other guest accommodation

Indoor and Outdoor attractions

Business Events

General guidance

Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) advice:

National Counter Terrorism Security Office advice

Appendix

Definitions

Common areas Refers to areas and amenities which are provided for the common use of more than one person including canteens, reception areas, meeting rooms, areas of worship, toilets, gardens, fire escapes, kitchens, fitness facilities, store rooms, laundry facilities.
Clinically extremely vulnerable people Refers to people who have specific underlying health conditions that make them extremely vulnerable to severe illness if they contract COVID-19. Clinically extremely vulnerable people will have received a letter telling them they are in this group, or will have been told by their GP. Who is ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’?
Clinically vulnerable people Refers to people who may be at increased risk from COVID-19, including those aged 70 or over and those with some underlying health conditions. Who is ‘clinically vulnerable’?
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Research and analysis: Public attitudes to science 2019

This is the sixth in a series of studies looking at the UK public’s attitudes to science, scientists and science policy.

Public attitudes to science 2019 (PAS 2019) uses a mix of research and allows some trends to be tracked as far back as 1988.

Overall, the survey results show that attitudes have remained broadly the same since the 2014 study, with scientists and engineers being seen as some of the most trustworthy professionals in the eyes of the public. The report also shows that the public is supportive of spending on ‘blue skies’ research, and that UK adults are becoming more familiar with, and more adaptable to, an ever-accelerating pace of technological change.

PAS 2019 uses a mix of methodologies, including:

  • a face-to-face survey of 1,749 UK adults aged 16+ carried out in January-April 2019 using a random probability sampling approach. The survey comprised a core section of questions which have been tracked over time, and 4 topic-focussed modules:
    • ageing society
    • AI, robots and data
    • genome editing
    • micro-pollution and plastics
  • a literature review conducted by Dr Kevin Burchell which comprised an independent review and synthesis of existing literature, primarily since 2010 (Burchell, 2019)
  • 4 waves of online qualitative research using a deliberative digital dialogue process, and 16 face-to-face qualitative group discussions with digitally excluded participants, focussed on 4 science-related topics
  • 4 waves of social listening, to track how 4 different science topics were discussed online over the last 2 years

The technical and other related reports are available from the Kantar PAS 2019 website.

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Press release: Tech that turns CO2 into animal feed gets funding boost

  • Innovative agri-tech projects across the UK, including fruit picking robots and autonomous crop systems, to benefit from £24 million government investment
  • leading project in Nottingham that recycles carbon dioxide from Drax power station into sustainable animal feed gets £2 million boost
  • funding will help the UK meet its net zero target by reducing carbon emissions in food production

An innovative project in Nottingham that converts carbon dioxide into clean animal feed is 1 of 9 pioneering agricultural technology projects set to benefit from £24 million of government funding.

Nottingham-based consortium REACT-FIRST will receive over £2 million to generate clean, sustainable food for fish and poultry with an up to 75% smaller carbon footprint. Led by Nottingham company Deep Branch Biotechnology, the project will use its unique technology to turn carbon dioxide from Drax Power’s Selby power station into animal food with minimal water usage and without the need for arable farmland.

The funding will allow the consortium to provide a greener alternative to soy and fishmeal for the animal industry, enabling industries that traditionally create higher levels of waste, such as agriculture, to contribute to a cleaner environment.

The project will work with leading retailer Sainsbury’s as well as the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre to integrate into the fish and poultry supply chain, helping to ensure that industry demand is met.

It is 1 of 9 projects benefitting from a £24 million package from the UK government, which are applying big data, artificial intelligence and robotics to UK farming, with the aim of establishing a more efficient system of food production that cuts costs and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Science Minister Amanda Solloway said:

From robotics assisting our farmers in fruit picking, to technology that converts CO2 to clean animal feed, the incredible projects we are backing today represent the future of farming.

Working with the best of British science, we are turning our most creative ideas into pioneering projects that will accelerate our transition to net zero food production, boost jobs and drive forward the UK’s economic recovery.

Other projects receiving funding include the world’s first Autonomous Growing System (AGS), led by Optimal Labs in London, which will receive over £2 million to provide autonomous technology that controls climate, irrigation and lighting, enabling any crop variety to be grown in any location. This will significantly increase production levels and resource-efficiency in existing UK greenhouses, helping to protect the UK’s food system against climate change and population growth.

A further project led by Saga Robotics in Lincoln will receive nearly £2.5 million to perform the largest known global demonstration of robotics and autonomous technologies on a farm. The robots will assist farmers by carrying out essential, energy intensive physical farm processes such as picking and packing fruit and treating crops to reduce critical pests and diseases. This will help provide a more efficient food supply at a cheaper cost, allowing farmers to commit more time to the wider running of their farms.

Farming Minister Victoria Prentis said:

It’s great to see investment in these outstanding ideas which will help us tackle the farming industry’s greatest challenges, from achieving net zero emissions to investing in sustainable alternative protein for animal feed. Farming has never before been at the centre of such exciting and forward looking innovations.

Projects receiving funding include:

REACT-FIRST (Nottingham), led by Deep Branch Biotechnology, will receive over £2 million to use carbon dioxide from Drax Power’s Selby power station and apply its unique CO2-to-protein process to generate food for fish and poultry with up to 75% smaller carbon footprints, no requirements for arable land and minimal water usage.

Autonomous Growing System (London), led by Optimal Labs, will receive over £2 million to provide autonomous technology that controls climate, irrigation and lighting, enabling any crop variety to be grown in any location. This will significantly increase production levels and resource-efficiency in existing UK greenhouses, helping to protect the UK’s food system against climate change and population growth.

Robot Highways (Lincoln) led by Saga Robotics, will receive nearly £2.5 million to perform the largest known global demonstration of robotics and autonomous technologies on a farm. The robots will assist farmers by carrying out essential, energy intensive physical farm processes such as picking and packing fruit and treating crops to reduce critical pests and diseases.

Production at the Point of Consumption (Maidstone) led by Evogro, will receive nearly £850,000 to research and develop the next generation of autonomous growing systems, to ensure they are affordable for new consumer markets, and to make it an economic method to produce mainstream crops.

InFarm2.x (London) led by vertical farming business InFarm will receive over £3 million to develop a farming system that can grow a wider variety of fruit and vegetables than is currently possible by growing their crops in vertically stacked levels, rather than on a single level surface, such as a field. It will also use technology including gas sensors and monitoring cameras to observe the growth patterns of their crops, helping to identify the optimal growing conditions, increasing productivity.

AGRI-SATT (London) led by Feed Algae, will receive over £4 million for its project which is based around an algae growing system that exploits natural seawater to produce food in deserts. This project aims to combine data from the growing system with satellite data to automate production and increase the nutritional quality of the food produced.

GelPonic (Manchester), led by AEH Innovative Hydrogel, has developed a new growth material that will improve crop yields on farms worldwide. It will receive over £1 million to develop a material that conserves water and protects plants by filtering pathogens and includes a new graphene-based IoT device that allows remote-monitoring of conditions in vertical farms.

REMEDY (Bath), led by Quality Milk Management Services, will receive over £1.7 million to provide precision technologies to dairy farmers enabling them to access real time data to ensure their farm is as productive, efficient and environmentally friendly as possible. This includes technology such as wearable devices for cows that tracks their behaviour and nutrition, ensuring farmers can make more informed decisions when managing their farm.

TUBERSCAN-DEMO (Lincoln), led by B-hive, will receive nearly £2 million to develop and test an innovative demonstrator system to measure average potato sizes and yield throughout potato fields, providing insights that will enable selective harvesting to take place, optimising crop yield and resource use. It is anticipated that this technology could generate an estimated 5-10% increase in UK marketable potato production.

The investment in new resource efficient, low-emission production systems is part of the government’s commitment to boost spending on research and development to £22 billion by 2024 to 2025. It follows the publication earlier this month of the government’s ambitious R&D Roadmap, announced by the Business Secretary, setting out plans to establish the UK as a science superpower.

Notes to editors

Today’s funding is being awarded through 2 competitions – the Future Food Production Systems competition and the Science and Technology into Practice Demonstration competition. It forms part of UK Research & Innovation’s (UKRI) Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Transforming Food Production (TFP) challenge, which aims to set food production systems on the trajectory to net zero emissions by 2040 producing food in ways that are more efficient, resilient and sustainable.

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Stopping industrial action: citizens’ rights

You have the right to stop industrial action if it’s unlawful and affects goods or services being provided to you. You must be acting as a citizen and not representing a company.

The industrial action must either be likely to:

  • prevent or have prevented you from receiving any goods or services produced by a company
  • lower or have lowered the quality of those goods and services

This is called the ‘citizen’s right to prevent disruption’.

Apply to the courts for an injunction, which orders:

  • the trade union to stop organising the action
  • those taking action to stop

You can get legal advice if you want to apply for an injunction.

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Detailed guide: Business changes that affect payment of Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay

You take over a business

If the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE Regulations) 2006 apply, then continuity of employment is not broken. These regulations apply when you:

  • take over a business, part of a business or a service provision
  • take on, at the same time, the contracts of employment of the employees being transferred

The transferor or employer must provide ‘employee liability information’. This gives the identities of those employees being transferred with the business.

If you are not sure if the TUPE Regulations apply contact The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas), or in Northern Ireland contact the Labour Relations Agency.

If the TUPE regulations do not apply, continuity of employment may still not be broken when:

  • a teacher in a school maintained by a local education authority moves to another school maintained by the same authority – this includes maintained schools where school governors, rather than the local education authority, are the teacher’s employer
  • one corporate body takes over from another as the employer by or under an Act of Parliament
  • the employer dies and their personal representative or trustees keep the employee on
  • there is a change in the partners, personal representatives or trustees
  • the employee moves from one employer to another and at the time of the move the 2 employers are associated

If continuity of employment is not broken, your employee can get Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay as long as they work for you and the previous employer during the 26 weeks ending with the relevant week.

If continuity of employment is broken and you take on a business:

  • after the death of a child or stillbirth, the previous employer must pay Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay to your employee
  • before the death of the child or stillbirth, your employee cannot get Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay

You cease to trade

If you stop trading you remain liable to pay any outstanding Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay until either:

  • your employee has received their full entitlement
  • their entitlement ends for some other reason

You become insolvent

If you become insolvent during the Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay period HMRC will pay your employee’s Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay from the date of the insolvency.

You should advise your employee to Contact HMRC.

You, the administrator, liquidator or other similar must tell HMRC. Your employees are then paid as soon as possible.

Your employee is made redundant

If you make your employee redundant you’re still liable to continue paying Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay providing all the qualifying conditions have been met.

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Corporate report: Groceries Code Adjudicator: statutory review, 2016 to 2019