Covid is all around us – Stay #covidsafe

The UK Government has announced that for England from Monday 19th July 2021 the legal restrictions in relation to Covid will be lifted! A resounding cheer can be heard from every hospitality organisation no doubt. Amongst the measures being lifted a big sigh of relief will come as it legally means the end of social distancing, our establishments can now operate at full capacity, the wearing of face masks indoor is no longer compulsory, and the NHS Track and Trace does not have to be enforced.

Although this is great news for our industry, I would urge all hospitality establishments not to throw caution to the wind and to think twice before removing all covid related safety measures that are currently in place. What it does mean is to rewrite risk assessments and retrain staff once more as your operational procedures will change again.

Remember – Covid is all around us, it is everywhere we go

Things to consider:

–         It is no longer compulsory to wear facemasks indoors, but if your establishment is at full capacity, areas will become crowded. How safe will you feel in such close proximity to so many people in an enclosed space? You may want to make it a personal choice for your staff to continue to wear a facemask.

–         Avoid being too hasty in removing any physical ‘safety barricades’ you have in place. There is still the distinct possibility in the future they may have to be put back! At least for now we can remove any social distance markers, one way systems and entry / exit signs.

–         Keep hygiene the top of your priority list. Our messaging needs to be clear that we operate Covid safe environments. So hand sanitisers and those visible cleaning regimes should stay.

–         Many organisations have invested in technology such as online ordering using apps and contactless payments systems. QR codes have made a come back. The public are used to this and will expect this to continue.

–         For venues with large capacity and nightclubs, it has been urged to make use of the NHS Covid Pass to show proof of double vaccination, or a recent negative test as part of the entry requirements.

As you spend this time reconfiguring your establishments, think carefully about which measures you scrap totally and which ones will be beneficial to keep in place. Obviously this is individual to the way you operate. Although any changes you make should be constantly reviewed.

A new national survey shows consumer attitudes and predicts the recovery for hospitality:

With regards to COVID-19, compliance and cleanliness is still dominating consumers’ choice of accommodation providers, as 69% say they are willing to pay more for hotels, B&Bs and holiday lets offering these additional services: 38% said they would pay more for a property which has a COVID-19 deep cleaning service, while 31% would pay more for a property with clear instructions on its COVID-19 guidance.

Four-fifths of holiday accommodation owners questioned (80%) said that they had been spending money on being compliant with COVID-19 guidelines, while 71% have been improving their property or services.

At the end of the day it is your choice as to the changes you decide to make. Hospitality is all about being welcoming, let’s continue to do so whilst remaining #covidsafe.

If you need any assistance in how to make the appropriate changes to the way that you operate, please feel free to contact me.