James and the ASAP team send all our Members and their families, along with everyone across our sector, every good wish during these trying times. Stay safe, wherever in the world you are!
COVID-19 is a serious threat to hospitality worldwide; we are all too aware of this.
The serviced apartment and aparthotel industry itself is global, and we represent Members operating all around the world. So we intend to provide a resource for as many regions as we can. But being UK-based, we appreciate that much of our own information is being relayed in our own time zone and may have a lag in getting to others; on top of which, some countries’ sensitive advice is restricted by geographical location, and other information is getting lost in the sheer volume of data.
Please bear with us on this, and let us know of other resources local to yourselves that could be shared with your fellow Members.
All countries worldwide are tackling the crisis at different stages, and in different ways. We hope that by sharing these links as best we can that Members can learn from one another and share with others best practice from their own experience.
With our access to the keyword-led ASAP Newshub, with its constant newsfeed and active editorial team, we can constantly update Members with such things as:
- latest news from and affecting the industry
- Government advice applicable to the sector
- Business, Finance and HR resources
- information about what we’re doing on your behalf – and you can do on ours – to ensure we all come through this.
COVID-19 on the ASAP Newshub:
We will continue to share blogs, stories, links and posts from around the world that may be of interest to Members and subscribers via the hub. These will continue to be gathered in a weekly Bulletin, so please share with others the chance to subscribe and receive the newsletter which serves as a regularly-updated source of information.
Thank you for your continued support of ASAP. While nobody can predict what the world will look like after this crisis passes, we will get through this. In the meantime, please, stay healthy and safe.
ASAP Business Partner STR has a useful collection of webinars and blogs, on its COVID-19: Hotel Industry Impact page
The Association continues to support all member businesses in the industry. Below are some of the resources we have tapped into or created and actions we have taken on your behalf.
The World Health Organisation has relaunched its interactive map showing latest cases and deaths worldwide – to be updated at least daily.
The UNWTO has a COVID-19 resources page with global advice on tourism, and constantly-updated links.
Through our involvement with the Global Alliance of Serviced Accommodation (The Alliance), we are running webinars discussing the industry’s response to the virus, with viewers learning from other industry professionals. Register to view this online, and keep returning to watch for future webinars.
We have advised best practice for a communications strategy to help your company keep your current and future guests informed.
We are continuing to update and promote the Serviced Apartment Operator and Agent Directory, so as the crisis eases and restrictions are lifted, travel buyers and consumers have an instant resource for finding our Accredited Members quickly and easily, knowing they can Stay with Confidence.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme opened for applications
Latest guidance says that people will be able to make their claim on a specified date between 13-18 May, based on their Unique Tax Reference number. HMRC has assigned eligible self-employed individuals a specific date to apply on and this can be checked on HMRC’s online checker. Applications cannot be made before the individual’s allocated claim date but can make a claim after that day. The aim is for payment to reach bank accounts by 25 May 2020, or within six working days of completing a claim.
- We have been actively collecting information on Members willing and able to provide to healthcare workers and displaced people, matching available stock with those looking for accommodation. PLEASE ADVISE US IF YOU HAVE CURRENT AVAILABILITY AND WOULD LIKE TO HELP.
- Guidance for Employers to Help Workplaces Operate Safely
- Work from home, if you can
- Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, in consultation with workers or trade unions
- Maintain 2 metres social distancing, wherever possible
- Where people cannot be 2 metres apart, manage transmission risk
- Reinforcing cleaning processes
This survey is being conducted to understand the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on organisations in DCMS sectors and their engagement with the available government interventions. Respond by Friday 15th May.
Guide has been published on how people can travel safely when returning to work. It provides guidance for walking, cycling, using private vehicles and travelling by taxis and public transport.
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme update: step by step guide for employers
- All UK Government business support information is updated here.
- Latest UK COVID-19 cases dashboard
- ASAP has corresponded on behalf of the serviced apartment industry and ASAP Members to Ministers directly involved with the business and financial support during the Coronavirus outbreak. Latest UK Government advice for employers and employees can be found here.
- ABTA is calling for industry-wide action to ‘Save Future Travel’
- Information on the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF)
- There is updated guidance on how to claim for your employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- There is also new guidance on the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)
- Guidance on who critical workers are, since hotels are allowed to open for guests from this group: Critical workers and non-UK residents who are unable to travel to their country of residence during this period can continue to stay in hotels or similar where required.
- Latest UK Government information for food businesses.
- Latest travel advice: the updated UK Government Travel advice can be found here.
- ASAP has been working directly with the UK NHS to offer support for frontline keyworkers looking to stay close to hospitals and government departments.
- We have been working with advocates and influencers to find solutions for healthcare workers struggling for housing close to hospitals.
- UK Visas and Immigration have produced a collection of resources on immigration and borders during the coronavirus
- The Professional Association for Self-Caterers UK is sharing regular COVID-19 updates and advice for self-catering businesses including about deferring bookings and other tips. Businesses can sign-up to their newsletter on the PASC website.
Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme opens for claims on 26 May. Small and medium-sized employers will be able to recover Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees through an online portal from 26 May. Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be able to apply to HMRC to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related SSP.Other Government updates:
- A new page has been published pointing businesses to the main links for making a claim to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
- Guidance outlining how holiday entitlement and pay operate during the coronavirus pandemic, where it differs from the standard holiday entitlement and pay guidance, is available.
- Guidance for the owners and operators of urban centres and green spaces has been published to help social distancing.
- Input your views on the roles that are being filled by migrant workers, the salaries they are paid and implications of potential changes in the Migration Advisory Committee consultation. Closing date: 24 June.
- The Government is supporting businesses and their employees through a package of measures during this period of unprecedented disruption. This website helps you find the right support, advice and information to help with the impact of coronavirus (Covid-19) on your business. The Government is doing its best to stand behind businesses, and is asking businesses to do their best to stand behind their workers. Access the website HERE
- Support available to businesses outside of the UK Government can be found HERE
- NHS Covid-19 Advice can be accessed HERE
- Small Business Grant Fund / Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund Guidance for business can be found HERE
- Information on the business disruption loan can be accessed HERE
- There is a BEIS Business Support Helpline for any queries: 0300 456 3565. For further information and guidance for employees, employers and businesses, please click here.
- England: Information for English businesses .GOV
- Scotland: Information for Scottish businesses at .GOV
- Wales: Information for Welsh businesses at .GOV
- Northern Ireland: Information for NI businesses .GOV
Also refer to the following resources
VisitBritain Covid-19 updates available HERE
VisitScotland updates available HERE
Tourism NI updates available HERE
UKHospitality updates available HERE
HOSPA Crisis Support and resources can be found here
Mental Health Awareness Week – more resources here
North America Members
- Probably the simplest way to find out how our US Members may be affected by the crisis is to access the dedicated website from our friends and partners at the CHPA, which has resources and information relevant right across the sector, State-by-State, and includes communications from some of their members about their own responses to dealing with the virus.
- Latest general US Government Coronavirus website can be useful for the latest updates; its advice service for small businesses including Paycheck Protection Program offers its latest news here, and the latest updated US Government Travel advice can be found here.
- The CHPA have also written an Open Letter to Congress which they encourage members to download and send to Senators and representatives.
- As a body comprised of numerous countries, many without physical borders, the EU faces extremely complex challenges around the movement of goods and people. The European Commission is coordinating a common European response to the outbreak of COVID-19, to reinforce its public health sectors and mitigate the socio-economic impact across the European Union. This is to help all Member States coordinate their national responses, and the Commission is providing objective information about the spread of the virus and effective efforts to contain it.
- EC research across all 34 EU Civil Protection Mechanism countries (participating Member States plus Iceland, Norway, Serbia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Turkey, plus Switzerland) and the UK, shows latest implemented restricted measures, by country
- EU funding is available for all types of companies, including our own Members across Europe should they need help. These include a wide range of financing, including business loans, microfinance, guarantees and venture capital. The Commission can help find financial institutions that provide ﬁnancial support.
- To contain the spreading of the virus, on 16 March, the European Commission recommended to Member States to apply a temporary 30 days coordinated restriction of non-essential travel from third-countries into the EU.
- Following the endorsement by EU leaders, all EU Member States (except Ireland) and all Schengen Associated Countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) are now applying this travel restriction.
- On 30 March, the Commission provided guidance on how to implement the temporary travel restrictions, on repatriations from across the world, and on dealing with overstays caused by travel restrictions.
- EU Member States and Schengen Associated Countries are allowed to refuse entry at the external borders to ‘non-resident third-country nationals’ where they present symptoms or have been exposed to risk of infection, and are considered to be a threat to public health. Member States must allow their own citizens and EU citizens or third-country nationals legally residing on their territory to enter.
- There is guidance from the EC about the movement of essential and key workers; this complements separate guidance around the free movement of non-essential workers.
Advice for separate countries and regions across APAC fall under each jurisdiction.
Currently, hotels, hostels, bed and breakfast, campsites, caravan parks and boarding houses will be a decision for each state and territory.
There is general Government advice on employment, a $1.1 billion fund to expand mental health and telehealth services, tackle domestic violence and provide more emergency food relief, and an online form to complete to help Government track the spread of the disease.
Return to Work information
The UK Government has published guidance on steps employers are required to take to ensure that they are providing a safe place to work before their employees can return to the workplace. In this advisory, Katten has broken down the risk assessment components to help you achieve compliance.
Our thanks to Diane and the team at Katten for providing these key updates.
Check out and download the document
Our partners are a key part of our success and provide an extremely valuable service through discounts, advice and interesting and alternative solutions to help your businesses, many of them offering special discounts and services for ASAP Members. We wish to highlight specific partner products and services which may be of assistance to our members during these challenging times and as we come out into the “new normal”. All of our business partners can be viewed <HERE> but we are pleased to highlight those with current specific support services and products below.
Do let them know that you’ve contacted them after an ASAP referral when you make contact.
Criton offers hoteliers free app to reduce touchpoints during COVID-19
Award-winning hospitality tech provider Criton is offering its guest engagement platform completely free of charge until 2021, enabling hotels to digitise their guest journey, reduce touchpoints and put guests’ safety first with their own branded guest app.
Check out the offer <HERE>
KATTEN LEGAL HELPLINE
Katten have set up a dedicated ‘helpline’ exclusively available to ASAP members, for the provision of headline summary legal guidance for no-fee, in response to key issues that COVID-19 is causing your business.
For further information on how to access this key legal support please view <HERE>
The MRP Group are offering FREE assistance to operators during COVID-19
The MRP Group are here to help, with over 30 years of experience in the sector and having advised and supported operators through SARS, Ebola and 9/11, Max Thorne and the team are on hand to help. We are here to answer questions regarding rent reductions, rent free periods or anything else relating to operating during this unprecedented time in our sector.
WGC offer GuestAssured™ Disinfection Service
Given the current landscape with the COVID-19 outbreak, restoring customer confidence is vital. Our disinfection service guarantees a non-toxic, fast drying and environmentally friendly solution for hotels, offices and public spaces.