Visit England/Visit Britain have launched a UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark, in partnership with the national tourist organisations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to provide a ‘ring of confidence’ for UK tourism as the sector works towards reopening.
The “We’re good to go” industry standard and supporting mark means businesses across the sector can demonstrate that they are adhering to the respective Government and public health guidance, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and check they have the required processes in place.
The scheme is free to join and open to all businesses across the sector. To obtain the mark businesses must complete a self-assessment through an online platform including a check-list confirming they have put the necessary processes in place, before receiving certification, the ‘We’re Good To Go’ mark, and guidance on how to display it in their premises and online.
Businesses across the UK are required to follow their respective national guidance, including the social distancing and cleanliness protocols that must be in place.
The Government’s guidance for hotels and accommodation providers, indoor and outdoor visitor attractions and conference and events centres outlines the processes and facilities that tourism businesses in England need to put in place before re-opening, so that both staff and visitors can be kept safe. These include:
- Hotels and accommodation providers will need to introduce deep cleaning regimes between guests.
- Meal services including breakfasts will need to be pre-booked and timed, and shared facilities will only be accessible to one family group at a time.
- Timed tickets will be introduced for exhibitions, theme parks, galleries and attractions to reduce the number of visitors in locations at the same time.
- One way systems, clear floor markings and a queue management system should be in place to maintain social distancing measures at all attractions and help to limit contact between both staff and visitors.
- Organisations should also encourage cashless payments throughout to avoid cross contamination.
- In addition, visitor attractions will need to introduce regular deep cleaning regimes across their site and some interactive displays will need to be temporarily closed.
An ‘alert’ system has also been set up to ensure that businesses signed up to the “we’re good to go” industry standard are notified if there are changes to the official guidance. A call-handling service will provide support and assessors will also carry-out random spot-checks to ensure businesses are adhering to the guidance.
The scheme has been developed in partnership with Tourism Northern Ireland, VisitScotland and Visit Wales to ensure a standard-led approach across the UK with input from more than 40 industry bodies including UK Hospitality, the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, the British Holiday & Home Parks Association, the British Beer and Pub Association and the National Caravan Council, as well as destination management organisations across the country.
The self-assessment includes specific guidelines for sectors including accommodation, visitor attractions, restaurants and pubs, business conference and events venues and tour and coach operators with signposting to further industry and trade association guidance as required.
Alongside the industry standard, Visit Britain have launched a ‘Know Before You Go’ public information campaign to support UK tourism as businesses start to re-open, reassuring visitors as restrictions are lifted by checking about what it is safe to do and when, and sign-posting to information about destinations and available services before travelling.