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

New national restrictions in England are now in force until Wednesday 2nd December.

Key points

Durham County Council has announced details of how services will be affected across the county during the latest lockdown period. These details are under continuous review as government advice and guidance emerges.


From 2nd December, the government has announced that County Durham, along with other authorities in the North East of England, will be placed in a strengthened Tier 3 (Very High Alert). A statement from the North East LA7 Leaders regarding the announcement is available online.


Update from Michelle Gorman, Managing Director, Visit County Durham

As the sector faces another devastating lockdown, Visit County Durham is committed to supporting businesses during this incredibly challenging time. The county’s visitor economy has proved time and time again that it is resilient, and we aim to provide businesses with the information and support they need to adapt, reset and recover.


It is vital that we look ahead and plan for recovery. By continuing to work together, we can ensure the county is best placed to emerge even stronger. If you need information or support, please email


Visit County Durham’s virtual ‘Tourism of the Future’ Autumn Conference was held on Wednesday 4th November 2020. The conference heard from Foresight Factory on future tourism trends, UKHospitality on current impacts of the pandemic and the latest industry lobbying of government, and an update from Visit County Durham.

Download the presentations from the conference.


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:

30 November


  • The online service for the third grant of the Self-Employment Income Support Grant is now available. You must make your claim on or before 29 January 2021. To make a claim for the third grant your business must have been impacted by coronavirus on or after 1 November 2020. If you’re unable to claim online you should contact HMRC for help.


  • HMRC is holding a webinars providing an overview of the Self-Employment Income Support Grant Extension launching on 30 November, and further support available for the self-employed. You can register for webinars being held on 1st, 3rd and 8th December.

27 November


  • Guidance has been updated on face coverings, in particular making it clear that plastic visors are not acceptable face coverings – ‘A face visor or shield may be worn in addition to a face covering but not instead of one.’
  • Jobcentres will remain open, as they have throughout the pandemic, and from 2 December 2020 with the introduction of the strengthened tier system in England, updated jobcentre guidance will apply to customers, and will ensure essential support is provided whilst keeping colleagues and customers safe.

26 November


25 November


Business Support


  • Tourism study confirms COVID-19 ‘tectonic shift across the North. Over the last sixteen weeks the NatWest North of England Tourism Business Barometer has taken the temperature of the North’s tourism business environment including changes in employment, trends in revenue and overall business confidence. The study commenced in mid-July when the UK was emerging out of lockdown and covered a period up to and including the introduction of the government’s three tier alert level in late October.

24 November


  • The Prime Minister made a statement in the House of Commons on the Government's COVID-19 Winter Plan. The plan presents a programme for suppressing the virus, protecting the NHS and the vulnerable, keeping education and the economy going and providing a route back to normality. The plan sets out the Government’s approach to ending the national restrictions on 2 December.
  • From Wednesday 2 December, the government will replace the current national restrictions with a new 3 Tier system where different restrictions apply in different parts of the country. These tiers will be strengthened compared to the previous tiers in order to prevent a return to growing infections. On Thursday 26 November the government will announce which areas are in which tier.

Catch up on previous annnouncements

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