Latest information on COVID-19

COVID-19 Business Hub
COVID-19 Business Hub

COVID-19 Business Hub

Latest information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

On Monday 22 February, the Prime Minister announced the government’s roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions in England. The ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’ document outlines four steps for easing restrictions. Before proceeding to the next step, the government will examine the data to assess the impact of the previous step. This assessment will be based on four tests:

  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  • Assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern

This means that any dates given as part of the roadmap are indicative and could be pushed back depending on progress against the four tests.

Currently, England is at Step 3 of the Roadmap.

All being well, Step 4 will start no earlier than 21 June. You can see a simplified table of the steps on pages 47-48 of the ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’ document.


Latest Statement from LA7 Leaders

We have worked too hard to fall at the final hurdle. Read the latest statement from leaders of the seven North East England local authorities.


Update from Michelle Gorman, Managing Director, Visit County Durham

This week sees the reopening of many more tourism businesses across the county, as England successfully reaches the third stage in the roadmap out of lockdown. We would like to send a message of good luck to those businesses, who have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure they can welcome customers back safely. Visit County Durham is committed to supporting businesses as we progress along the road to recovery. By working in partnership, we are confident that the county’s visitor economy can emerge even stronger. 

Access the Visit County Durham Covid-19 Business Hub for information and support, or email


Find out more about the work undertaken by Visit County Durham during the last year throughout the pandemic.


Latest information and announcements

We would advise all partners to regularly check this website and the VisitBritain and Government business support web pages, all of which are being continually updated with the latest advice and information for all tourism businesses.


The latest VCD Grapevine COVID-19 Business Support e-news


Latest announcements:

11 June



  • The Government has announced a new plan to drive the rapid recovery of the tourism sector. The plan aims to recover domestic tourism to pre-pandemic levels by 2022 and international tourism by 2023 - both at least a year faster than independent forecasts predict. New initiatives to boost tourism include £10 million National Lottery Days Out scheme to support attractions and a new rail pass to encourage domestic breaks.


10 June


  • VisitBritain has launched the Domestic Support Fund designed to offer financial support to kick start the return of business events and to showcase that the UK is ready to meet again and has adapted to new ways of meeting in a COVID-19 secure environment. Applicants must be UK not-for-profit organisations, and meetings and conferences must target the domestic audience. All activities need to take place between 21 June and 17 December 2021.

9 June


  • The Government has announced additional measures across Greater Manchester and all Lancashire County Council areas. There is extra guidance on steps people can take, which includes minimising travel in and out of affected areas.
  • Ministerial Directions in relation to the Event Research Programme pilot events have been published for 2020 UEFA European Football Championships, Royal Ascot Races and LV= Insurance Test: England vs New Zealand. In order for these pilot events to take place, parts of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/364) need to be disapplied by the Secretary of State for both DCMS and DHSC. This means relevant restrictions such as gathering, hospitality or the requirement to wear face masks can be disapplied at a specified premise or event and for specified periods for the purpose of research into the transmission of coronavirus in a controlled environment.


8 June


  • The Restart Grant scheme which supports businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation sectors with a one-off grant to reopen safely as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, will close for applications on 30 June.


  • From today, people aged 25 and over will be invited to get their coronavirus vaccine. The NHS will contact eligible people, although you do not need to wait to be contacted if you’re in an eligible group, you may be able to book your COVID-19 vaccination appointment online now.
  • NHS vaccine bus to deliver more walk-in jabs across County Durham. The bus, which has a capacity to provide around 250 vaccinations a day, will stop at: Aldi Car Park, Horden, Peterlee, SR8 5BA, on June 9, from 12 noon to 7pm; Kelloe Working Men's Club Car Park, 4 Front Street, Kelloe, DH6 4PD, on June 11, from 12 noon to 7pm; Ferryhill Market Place, DL17 8JW, on June 15, from 12 noon to 7pm; Asda Car Park, Byron Place, South Terrace, Seaham, SR7 7HN, on June 21, from 12 noon to 7pm

7 June



  • A new page has been published bringing together information on the Events Research Programme (ERP). The results of programme will be published in the coming weeks.
  • new email address has been added under the unaccompanied minors section of booking and staying in a quarantine hotel if you’ve been in a red list country.

4 June


  • The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has now closed for claims on the fourth grant. A fifth grant covering May 2021 to September 2021 will be open to claims from late July 2021.
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance has been updated with an example on how to calculate the amount you should claim for an employee who is flexibly furloughed during June 2021.


  • The first update to the government’s traffic light list for international travel took place on Thursday 3 June 2021, with Portugal moved to the amber list. Afghanistan, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Trinidad and Tobago will move from the amber list to the red list.

Catch up on previous annnouncements

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