COVID-19- Government update for hotels and accommodation.
Covid-19 update for hotels and other guest accommodation
On the 7th August 2020, the UK government updated the guidance above to make hotels and other guest accommodation providers aware of people visiting from areas with local restrictions.
What does this mean for hotels and other types of accommodation?
What is a local restriction?
A local restriction is an area in the UK where the government has implemented measures to restrict social contact throughout the community because there has been a spike in COVID-19 cases.
What are the changes?
Here is an extract from the guidance
2.5 Advice on local restrictions for hotels and other guest accommodation providers
2.5.1 What to be aware of
People resident inside an area with local restrictions are advised to only socialise indoors with members of their own household or support bubble.
People resident inside an area with local restrictions can go on holiday outside that area, but whilst there should only socialise indoors with members of their own household or support bubble.
However, in both cases, people must only stay in a private home – which includes self-catered accommodation such as holiday cottages, apartments or boats – with members of their own household or support bubble. People can stay in a hotel or similar accommodation (for example, a hostel or bed and breakfast) with another household but should avoid sharing rooms with people they do not live with or otherwise socialising indoors, for example in each other’s rooms, in reception areas, or in restaurants and bars. We advise against sharing a caravan with another household.
At the time that local restrictions are brought in if you are currently on holiday with another household in an area with local restrictions and are staying in a private home – which includes self-catered accommodation such as holiday cottages, apartments or boats – and it is not reasonable for you to curtail your stay, you should finish your holiday as planned. Until the end of this holiday, you should make every effort to reduce socialising indoors outside of your household and follow local regulations and guidance.
What this means
Basically, if you live in an area that has local restrictions you can go on holiday, but you can only socialise indoors with people that you live with or support bubble. That doesn’t sound like a great holiday, but with everyone feeling the need to get out and about in the world after being in lockdown and working from home for such a long period, it may well happen.
What can hotels and other guest accommodation providers do to comply?
Change your cancellation policy
People from the restricted areas may decide to still visit because they don’t want to lose the money for their holiday. Offer a free cancellation and the offer to re-book so that people from restricted areas have this option.
Inform all potential new guests information regarding the cancellation policy, and also inform them of the precautions that you are taking to keep your premises COVID-19 Secure.
Provide information on check in to guests about your COVID-19 secure procedures.
What do you do if you know a guest is from an area with a local restriction?
This is very tough, and it will probably be a case by case scenario. There is no reason they cannot sit outdoors or stay in the accommodation rooms, but they should no be using the common areas such as restaurants and bars, and if a ceremony or function is booked then the organiser must be made aware of the government guidance.
Recommend Cancelling Guest Bookings
On the extreme side and dependant on your business, you may wish to recommend that your future guests cancel the existing bookings at no extra cost and reschedule for a later date.
Do you have best practices that you would like to share?
We’re happy to hear from anyone working in the hotels and other guest accommodation provider industry. Please get in touch and share, we’re in this together.
Do you need help?
I work with several hotel and accommodation providers and it is one of the trickier industries to manage because of all the COVID-19 guidance that applies to different service streams. If you need some assistance, you should be able to see a little bubble floating in the right-hand corner, click on it and get in touch for a free 45-minute chat.
Please find a link to the full UK government guidance for Working Safely during Corona Virus Hotels and other guest accommodation providers.