FAQs – 5 November national lockdown exemptions explained

Following the 31 October announcement, the Government have clarified the exemptions for accommodation providers and conferences and events venues during the national lockdown.
Please see below some frequently answered questions on this topic.

Who Can Stay in Visitor Accommodation?

A person (providing visitor accommodation) may continue to carry on their business and keep any premises used in that business open — 
(a) to provide accommodation for any person, who— 
(i) is unable to return to their main residence
(ii) uses that accommodation as their main residence
(iii) needs accommodation while moving house
(iv) needs accommodation to attend a funeral
(v) is isolating themselves from others as required by law
(vi) is an elite athlete, the coach of an elite athlete, or (in the case of an elite athlete who is a child), the parent of an elite athlete, and needs accommodation for the purposes of training or competition, 
(b) to provide accommodation for any person who needs accommodation for the purposes of their work
(c) to provide accommodation for any child who requires accommodation for the purposes of education
(d) to provide accommodation for the purposes of a women’s refuge or a vulnerable person’s refuge
(e) to provide accommodation or support services for the homeless
(f) to provide accommodation for any person who was staying in that accommodation immediately before these Regulations came into force
(g) to host blood donation sessions
(h) for any purpose requested by the Secretary of State, or a local authority.

Can people staying in accommodation use the restaurant or bar?

Accommodation operators with bars and restaurants can sell food and drink via takeaway or delivery for consumption off the premises between 05:00 and 22:00 but must keep the restaurant and bar areas closed. Food and drink served to people legally staying in the property must be via room service.

Are business meetings for up to 30 people still permitted?

Business meetings and events are advised against, but may take place with up to a total of 30 people if reasonably necessary - for example for the purposes of work that cannot be done at home - if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance. Event spaces can be used for reasons permitted by law, including for education and training purposes where reasonably necessary.

Can elite sports teams staying in hotels eat together in the hotel restaurant?

Restaurants and bars within guest accommodation should remain closed; there are no exemptions to this in the regulations meaning that hotels do not have the cover to provide group dining or open restaurants for elite athletes. The exemption for elite athletes refers only to their need for accommodation for the purposes of training or competition. Food and/or drink including alcohol can be provided through room service as long as it is ordered by phone or online.
Will outdoor events at hotels be allowed to continue after Thursday 5 November?

Outdoor events should not be taking place during the period of national restrictions.
Can food and drink be served at a business meeting?

Basic catering and light refreshments can be provided where reasonably required at business meetings (for up to 30 people) and at education, work and training events. Food and drink should be served in the room where the meeting takes place and consumed by attendees while they are seated. We expect people to act reasonably and responsibly so the purpose of the meeting should not be the meal itself and private dining/banqueting should still not be happening.

Can weddings take place?

There are exemptions to allow people to both hold and travel to weddings – although only 6 people can attend. It is also Important to note that although people are allowed to travel for the purpose of a wedding, there is no corresponding ability for people to stay in visitor accommodation for the purpose of attending a wedding.

Please do not hesitate to contact tourism@wmgrowth.com if you have any other specific questions about the new restrictions and/or financial support.