Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Hotels and other guest accommodation

Guidance for people who work in or run hotels and other guest accommodation

Applies to: England (see guidance for Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland)

COVID-19 roadmap

The government has published the COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021 setting out the roadmap out of the current lockdown for England. This explains how the government intends to ease restrictions over time.

This guidance includes changes to restrictions for step 2, which come into effect on 12 April. It will be updated ahead of further steps, which are set out in the roadmap.

What’s changed

This guidance was updated on 8 April to reflect Step 2 of the roadmap.

Introduction

In this section:

What this guidance covers

This guide will help those in the guest accommodation sector understand how to make their workplaces COVID-secure. It covers practical steps that employers, employees and volunteers need to take to work safely.

This includes guidance on how to operate safely within the current restrictions, for those venues which are permitted to operate. It also includes guidance for closed venues, which will help you to prepare for reopening when it is safe to do so.

This guidance does not cover managed quarantine for international travel from banned countries. You can find more information on managed quarantine hotels in the guidance on booking and staying in a managed quarantine hotel and what to expect in managed quarantine.

Who this guidance is for

This guidance is aimed at owners or operators of hotels and other guest accommodation facilities. This applies to income-generating accommodation, including:

  • hostels
  • motels
  • inns
  • pubs
  • student accommodation (when it is used as a hotel or guest accommodation, such as during a conference)
  • holiday parks
  • bed and breakfasts (B&Bs)
  • short-term serviced accommodation and similar letting
  • guest houses
  • caravans
  • boats (including for holiday hire and hotels)
  • sleeper trains
  • yurts
  • chalets
  • campsites

How to use this guidance

  1. You need to do a COVID-19 risk assessment to identify and manage any potential risks. This includes the risks and actions in this document, as well as any you identify that are specific to your business or site. You can find more information about COVID-19 risk assessments in the section on how to do a COVID-19 risk assessment.

  2. This guidance gives you key principles to follow in relation to risks in the workplace for your sector, and suggests actions you should take to mitigate these risks. You should consider how best to mitigate these risks, and take the actions which are most appropriate for your organisation.

  3. This guidance does not supersede any of your existing legal obligations relating to health and safety, employment or equalities.

  4. This guidance applies to volunteers as well as employed staff.

  5. You should follow the steps set out in this guidance as well as reviewing any relevant guidance produced for your sector (by trade bodies, industry bodies or other organisations in your sector). For example, you can find more detailed advice in the guidance for the hospitality sector from UKHospitality.

  6. If there are any additional facilities within your premises (such as cafes and bars, personal care services, sport facilities or retail shops) or you are running certain types of events, there may be additional restrictions on those facilities or activities. You should check the guidance for relevant facilities or events (you can find links in the section on where to find more information and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures.

Priority actions to take

When your venue is permitted to open, you should follow all the steps set out in this document in order for your workplace to be COVID-secure. The following key steps are a summary of the priority actions you need to take to protect yourself, your staff and your customers.

  1. Complete a COVID-19 risk assessment, including consideration of the reasonable adjustments needed for staff and customers with disabilities. Share it with all your staff. You can find more information in the section on how to do a COVID-19 risk assessment.

  2. Clean more often. Increase how often you clean surfaces, especially those that are being touched a lot. Ask your staff and your customers to use hand sanitiser and wash their hands frequently. You can find more information in the section on keeping the site clean.

  3. Ask your customers to wear face coverings where required to do so by law, and in any indoor space. This is especially important if your customers are likely to be around people they do not normally meet. You can find more information in the section on face coverings and PPE, and more detail on face coverings and exemptions in the government guidance on face coverings.

  4. Make sure everyone is social distancing. Make it easy for everyone to do so by putting up signs or introducing a one-way system that your customers can follow. You can find more information in the section on working with the public.

  5. Provide adequate ventilation where people are in enclosed spaces. This can be natural ventilation (opening windows, doors and vents), mechanical ventilation (fans and ducts), or a combination of both. You can find more information in the section on ventilation and the HSE guidance on ventilation and air conditioning.

  6. You must take part in NHS Test and Trace by keeping a record of all your customers, visitors and staff for 21 days. This is a legal requirement. Some exemptions apply. You can find more information in the section on NHS Test and Trace, and more detail on how to keep records in the NHS Test and Trace guidance.

  7. Turn people with coronavirus symptoms away. If a staff member (or someone in their household) or a customer has a persistent cough, a high temperature or has lost their sense of taste or smell, they should self-isolate and get a test. You can find more information in the section on people who need to self-isolate.

  8. Ensure customers are aware of the legal limits on group sizes. Check with customers on arrival who they are with and how many people will be attending. Put up signs to remind customers to interact only with their group. You can find more information in the section on working with the public.

  9. Encourage contactless payments. Whenever possible, use online booking and pre-payment and ask for contactless payments. You can find more information in the section on minimising transmission through contact.

  10. Manage food and drink service safely. Only provide facilities such as restaurants, bars and room service where it’s permitted. Minimise customer self-service of food, cutlery and condiments, as well as contact between staff and guests. You can find more information in the section on hospitality (food and drinks).

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Coronavirus restrictions

In this section:

Coronavirus restrictions are currently in place in England. Find out about what you can and cannot do

This page includes guidance on how to operate safely within the current restrictions, for those venues which are permitted to operate. It also includes guidance for closed venues, which will help you to prepare for reopening when it is safe to do so.

This guidance includes changes to restrictions for Step 2, which come into effect on 12 April. It will be updated ahead of further steps, which are set out in the roadmap.

Key information for your sector

Business operation and closures

Step 1 (from 29 March)

Holiday accommodation must remain closed for leisure stays.

All accommodation may continue to open for legally permitted reasons, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for providing accommodation or support to the homeless, or where it is essential to stay there for work, education or training purposes. You can find the full list of permitted reasons to provide accommodation in the section on changes to operations.

Step 2 - from 12 April, the following will apply:

Self-contained accommodation

Overnight leisure stays in self-contained accommodation will be permitted. This is defined as accommodation in which facilities including: kitchens, sleeping areas, bathrooms and indoor communal areas such as lounges, sitting areas, and any lifts, staircases or internal corridors used to access the accommodation are restricted to exclusive use of a single household/support bubble. A reception area is not to be treated as an indoor communal area if it is required in order to be open for check-in purposes, but it should only be used for the purposes of check-in. Guests may also use indoor public toilets, baby changing rooms, breastfeeding rooms, and facilities for laundering clothes, which are not to be treated as indoor communal areas. These areas should be cleaned regularly and kept well-ventilated and guests should try where possible to limit their interaction with other households whilst using these facilities. This will mean that any holiday parks, ‘standalone’ holiday lets such as houses and cottages, chalets, yurts, holiday boats, and motels and other accommodation in which kitchens, sleeping areas, bathrooms and indoor communal areas such as lounges, sitting areas, and any lifts, staircases or internal corridors used to access the accommodation are for the exclusive use of a single household/support bubble may open for leisure stays.

Campsites and caravan parks will be permitted to open for leisure stays provided that the only shared facilities used by guests at the campsite or caravan park are receptions, washing facilities (including facilities for laundering clothes), public toilets, baby changing rooms, breastfeeding rooms, water points and waste disposal points. Shower facilities should be operated so as to ensure no household mixing takes place. This would involve either assigning shower facilities to one household group/support bubble, (i.e. making them private), or running a reservation and clean process (whereby one household can exclusively book the shared facilities for a fixed time, and the facilities are cleaned between reservations and kept well-ventilated). Other facilities - receptions, facilities for laundering clothes, public toilets, baby changing rooms, breastfeeding rooms, water points and waste disposal points - should be cleaned regularly and kept well-ventilated and guests should try where possible to limit their interaction with other households whilst using these facilities.

If a site is open to provide self-contained accommodation for leisure stays, permitted businesses or services can also operate on site and can be used by guests and by the general public. This includes:

  • Indoor and outdoor sport facilities (swimming pools and gyms), recreation facilities such as ziplining, spas and personal care, and retail. These facilities can open even where access is via shared indoor communal areas such as lifts or corridors, as long as those communal areas are used solely to access the facilities and not to access accommodation. Saunas and steam rooms must remain closed. You should check the guidance for sport facilities, close contact services and retail shops, stores and branches and ensure you adhere to any relevant requirements.

  • Outdoor hospitality such as restaurants, cafes and bars. These facilities can open even where access is via shared indoor communal areas such as lifts or corridors, as long as those communal areas are used solely to access the facilities and not to access accommodation. The use of indoor public toilets (and facilities such as baby changing rooms) is permitted even if access is via shared indoor communal areas such as lifts or corridors, as long as those communal areas are used solely to access the facilities and not to access accommodation. You can find more information in the section on hospitality. You should check the guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services, and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures.

  • Hospitality venues may provide takeaway food and drink (including takeaway alcohol).

Hotels and other non-self-contained accommodation

Hotels and other guest accommodation which is not self-contained must remain closed for leisure stays. This includes accommodation, such as hostels, B&Bs, guest houses and any other accommodation with shared facilities including: kitchens, sleeping areas, bathrooms and indoor communal areas such as lounges, sitting areas, and any lifts, staircases or internal corridors used to access the accommodation. This will also require the continued closure of any holiday lets or serviced accommodation within apartment buildings that share any of the facilities listed above. If your business provides both self-contained and non-self-contained accommodation, you are only permitted to open the self-contained accommodation for leisure stays. This means accommodation in which facilities including: kitchens, sleeping areas, bathrooms and indoor communal areas such as lounges, sitting areas, and any lifts, staircases or internal corridors used to access the accommodation are restricted to exclusive use of a single household/support bubble.

If a site is not self-contained and therefore remains closed for leisure stays, permitted businesses or services can still operate on site and can be used by guests and by the general public:

  • Indoor and outdoor sport facilities (swimming pools and gyms), spas and personal care, and retail may open for access by the public as well as for guests staying for legally permitted reasons. These facilities can open even where the entrance is within the hotel and access is via shared indoor facilities such as lifts/corridors. Saunas and steam rooms must remain closed. You should check the guidance for sport facilities, close contact services and retail shops, stores and branches and ensure you adhere to any relevant requirements.

  • Outdoor hospitality such as restaurants, cafes and bars can open for the public as well as for guests staying for legally permitted reasons. Outdoor hospitality can open even where the entrance is within the hotel and access is via shared indoor communal areas such as lifts/corridors. The use of indoor toilets (and facilities such as baby changing rooms) is permitted, even if accessed through shared communal areas such as lifts/corridors. You can find more information in section on hospitality. You should check the guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services, and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures. Food and/or drink (including alcohol) can be provided through room service as long as it is ordered by phone or online.

  • Communal spaces such as lounges or lobbies may remain open to guests but no food or drink should be served in these spaces, people should not be encouraged to gather and social distancing should be observed.

If your business provides both self-contained and non-self-contained accommodation, both may only open subject to their respective restrictions, for example:

the hotel may open for legally permitted stays (only) the self-contained chalets may open for leisure stays and for legally permitted stays the hotel’s indoor facilities may open to the public and to all guests For existing bookings, if guests are not able to take a planned holiday due to coronavirus restrictions, accommodation providers should give guests a chance to cancel their bookings. If a booking is cancelled, either by the guest or the provider, we encourage accommodation providers to offer alternative dates if this can be agreed with the customer. If this cannot be arranged, we expect businesses to provide a refund depending on the terms of the booking contract.

Travel and overnight stays

Overnight stays are permitted for members of the same household or support bubble.

People should minimise travel and avoid making unnecessary journeys (for example, by combining their trips where possible).

People are permitted to travel to visit, maintain, clean and collect belongings from their second homes, self-catering holiday homes, caravans on parks or boats, if they are not your primary residence, but people should minimise travel where possible. You must adhere to indoor social contact limits at this stage and only make overnight stays as a single household or support bubble.

International travel remains restricted and holidays abroad are not permitted.

International visitors may continue to enter the country, but must follow steps including quarantine and COVID-19 tests. You can find more information in the section on managing guests who are quarantining after international travel (including testing). There are additional restrictions on travel from some countries; people who have visited or passed through a ‘red-list’ country (from which travel to the UK is banned) in the last 10 days must quarantine for 10 days in a managed quarantine hotel. You can find more information in the guidance on [what to do when you arrive in England]{.ul}.

You can find more information in the sections on changes to operations and changes to facilities and services.

Workplace testing

You can arrange regular asymptomatic testing for staff who cannot work from home. Free test kits will be available until the end of June. However, your organisation must register interest by 12 April (even if you are currently closed and want to receive them at a later date).

Registration for free test kits will close on 12 April; after this date businesses will still be able to access tests through private providers and community testing sites. You can find more information in the section on testing and vaccinations.



Other relevant measures to be aware of

Social contact: people can meet outdoors in groups of up to 6 people, or as a group of 2 households. A group made up of 2 households can include more than 6 people, but only where all members of the group are from the same 2 households (each household can include an existing support bubble, if eligible), or an exemption applies. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a bubble. Indoors, people are not permitted to meet others they do not live with unless an exemption applies. You can find more information in the coronavirus restrictions guidance, and the section on working with the public.

Minimise travel: people should minimise travel and avoid making unnecessary journeys (for example, by combining their trips where possible). International travel remains restricted and holidays abroad are not permitted. You can find more information in the guidance on safer travel and the international travel advice.

Events and meetings: permitted venues, including exhibition and conference centres, can hire out function and event spaces for essential work, education and training purposes, where these events cannot reasonably be conducted remotely. However, they must not host conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, private dining events or banquets. Visiting a business event venue for the purpose of viewing the venue for a future booking for a work-based event (even if the venue is otherwise closed) is permitted if this cannot be reasonably done from home. Other viewings (where there is not a permitted exemption such as essential work) are not permitted, and should not take place in closed venues. You should check the guidance for visitor economy settings and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures. You can find more information in the section on business meetings and events.

Weddings/civil partnerships and funerals: weddings/civil partnerships and funerals can take place, however there are limitations on the types of activity and the number of guests who can attend. You should check the guidance on wedding and civil partnerships receptions and celebrations and funerals and ensure you follow any relevant measures. You can find more information in the section on meetings and events.

Indoor games and recreation facilities must remain closed. This includes bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, water parks and aqua parks, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres). You should check the guidance for the visitor economy, and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures.

From Step 2, outdoor attractions can reopen and some outdoor events organised by a business, charity, public body or similar organisation are permitted. Locations which have both indoor and outdoor facilities can open the outdoor areas and facilities, but indoor areas and facilities (other than toilets and facilities such as baby changing rooms) must remain closed. You can find more information in the guidance for heritage locations and the visitor economy.

Where a premises or venue delivers a mix of services, only those services that are permitted to be open should be available.

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1. COVID-19 risks

In this section:

1.1 How to do a Covid-19 risk assessment

As an employer, you must protect people from harm. This includes taking reasonable steps to protect your workers and others from coronavirus. Considering these risks and how to manage them is called a COVID-19 risk assessment and it will help you manage risk and protect people.

Failure to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and put in place sufficient control measures to manage the risk may be considered a breach of health and safety law.

While you cannot completely eliminate the risk of COVID-19, you need to think about the risks your staff and others face and do everything reasonably practicable to minimise them. Your risk assessment will help you decide whether you have done everything you need to.

How to do a COVID-19 risk assessment:

COVID-19 is a hazard in the workplace and should be managed in the same way as other workplace hazards. This includes completing a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks of COVID-19 in the workplace and identifying control measures to manage that risk. If you have fewer than 5 workers, or are self-employed, you don’t have to put your risk assessment in writing, but it can be useful to do so.

The Health and Safety Executive has published information on how to do a COVID-19 risk assessment, and you can also find more resources in their general advice on managing risk and risk assessments.

In your risk assessment you should:

  • identify what work activity or situations might cause transmission of the virus
  • think about who could be at risk
  • decide how likely it is that someone could be exposed
  • act to remove the activity or situation, or if this isn’t possible, control the risk

Your COVID-19 risk assessment should include an up-to-date plan for what you will do in the event of an outbreak in your workplace. This includes nominating a member of staff as the single point of contact (SPOC) who will contact local Public Health teams. You can find more information and resources on handling outbreaks in the section on COVID-19 cases or outbreaks in the workplace.

Your risk assessment should also take into account the impact of your policies on groups who have protected characteristics, and to those who are more at risk of being infected with COVID-19 or have a higher risk of serious illness. You can find more information in the section on protecting people at higher risk.

Consulting your workers

Employers have a duty to consult their workers on health and safety matters. You can do this by listening and talking to them about the work they do and how you will manage the risks from COVID-19.

You could consult the health and safety representative selected by a recognised trade union or, if there isn’t one, a representative chosen by workers. As an employer, you cannot decide who the representative will be.

Raising concerns:

Employers and workers should always come together to resolve issues.

If concerns still cannot be resolved, you or your workers can contact your employee representative, or your trade union if you have one.

You can also contact HSE’s COVID-19 enquiries team:

1.2 Key actions to include

As an employer, you have a duty to reduce workplace risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures. You should make sure your risk assessment includes the following key action areas, as well as any risks and issues specific to your organisation, so that everybody’s health and safety is protected.

Remember that a risk assessment is not a fixed document, and you should update it when risks change or new issues occur. You must also review the measures you have put in place to make sure they are working, if there are changes to the law or government guidance which affect your workplace, or if there are changes in the workplace that could lead to new risks.

Key points to consider in your risk assessment:

  1. Ensure that workers, customers and visitors who feel unwell do not come to the workplace. By law, businesses must not require a self-isolating worker to work anywhere other than where they are self-isolating (normally their home). See the section on who should go to the workplace for more information.

  2. Remind customers, visitors and staff to wear face coverings where they are required (e.g. by putting up signs). It is a legal requirement for staff and customers to wear face coverings in certain settings such as retail and hospitality venues, unless an exemption applies. In these settings, businesses also have a legal duty to remind people to wear face coverings. See the section on face coverings and PPE for more information.

  3. Increase the frequency of cleaning for higher-risk areas (such as surfaces) and encourage frequent hand washing. See the section on managing your facility for more information.

  4. Make every reasonable effort to ensure your staff can work safely. This includes consideration of reasonable adjustments for employees or customers with disabilities, including hidden disabilities that are not immediately obvious. This also includes following government guidance on whether staff should work from home. For those who can’t work from home, ensuring that COVID-secure guidance is closely followed in the workplace. See the section on who should go to the workplace for more information.

  5. Ensure that people make every reasonable effort to comply with social distancing guidelines by maintaining 2 metres distance from others (or where 2m is not possible, at least 1m with additional control measures, such as wearing face coverings). Where social distancing guidelines cannot be followed in full for a particular activity, consider redesigning the activity or taking further steps (such as using fixed teams or putting up screens) to mitigate risk. See the section on managing your workforce for more information.

  6. Assess the risk levels of relevant activities (and any mitigations you put in place), to determine whether the activities can safely go ahead. If a high-risk activity (such as working face-to-face for a sustained period) cannot be redesigned, consider whether the activity needs to continue for the business to operate and take all mitigating actions possible to reduce the risks. Nobody is obliged to work in an unsafe environment, so you should take steps to keep your staff safe and take into account the impact on people with higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19. See the section on managing your workforce for more information.

  7. Consider the risks arising from periods of closure. If your building is unoccupied or has reduced occupancy during a period of restrictions, you should take steps to manage any risks that could arise when reopening (for example, by reviewing HSE’s guidance on the risk of legionella). See the section on reopening after a period of closure for more information.

  8. Ensure you are providing adequate ventilation where people are in enclosed spaces. This can be natural ventilation (through opening doors, windows and vents), mechanical ventilation using fans and ducts, or a combination of both. You can find more information in the section on ventilation and the HSE guidance on ventilation and air conditioning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

1.3 How to share your risk assessment

You should share the results of your risk assessment to show your workers and customers that you have properly assessed the risk levels and taken appropriate mitigating measures.

What you should do:

  1. Share the results of your risk assessment with your workforce

  2. If possible, consider publishing the results on your website (and we would expect all businesses with more than 50 staff to do so)

  3. Display the COVID-secure notice (below) in your workplace, to show you have followed this guidance

Download the COVID-secure notice for your workplace.

1.4 COVID-19 cases or outbreaks in the workplace

You should ensure you and any relevant staff (such as managers or supervisors) are aware of the steps to take if there is a case or outbreak of COVID-19 in your workplace.

What you should do:

  1. Ensure you have an up-to-date plan setting out the steps to take if there is a COVID-19 outbreak in your workplace or facility. This includes designating a single point of contact (SPOC) who will lead on contacting local Public Health teams.

  2. Contact your local PHE health protection team if you’ve had an outbreak and need further guidance. Find your local PHE health protection team.

  3. If the local PHE health protection team declares an outbreak, you will be asked to record details of symptomatic staff and assist with identifying contacts. You should therefore ensure all employment records are up to date. You will be provided with information about the outbreak management process, which will help you to implement control measures, assist with communications to staff, and reinforce prevention messages.

1.5 NHS Test and Trace

The rules on what you need to do when a group enters your venue have changed.

If this applies to your facility, you must ask every customer or visitor aged 16 and over to scan the NHS QR code using their NHS COVID-19 app or provide their name and contact details, not just a lead member of the group. This is to ensure everyone receives the necessary public health advice in a timely manner.

Hospitality facilities (including restaurants, cafes or bars within other types of venue) are legally required to refuse entry to those who refuse to check in or provide their contact details.

You can find more information in the guidance on NHS Test and Trace.

Hotel and guest accommodation facilities are legally required to keep a record of all visitors, customers and staff on the premises, to support NHS Test and Trace.

If this applies to your facility, you need to keep these records for 21 days and make them available when requested by NHS Test and Trace or local public health officials, to help contain clusters or outbreaks. You must also display an official NHS QR code poster so that customers and visitors can ‘check in’ using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details.

This is a legal requirement and failure to comply is punishable by fines. You can find more information in the guidance on NHS Test and Trace.

What you must do:

  1. Ask every customer or visitor aged 16 and over to provide their name and contact details.

  2. Keep a record of all staff working on your premises and shift times on a given day, and their contact details.

  3. Keep these records of customers, visitors and staff for 21 days and provide data to NHS Test and Trace if requested.

  4. Display an official NHS QR code poster, so that customers and visitors can ‘check in’ using this option, as an alternative to providing their contact details. However, you must still have a system to collect (and securely store) names and contact details for those who do not have access to a smartphone.

  5. Ensure you manage this information in line with data protection regulations.

This is a legal requirement and failure to comply is punishable by fines. You can find out more about these requirements in the NHS Test and Trace guidance.

1.6 Who should go to the workplace

Anyone who can work from home should do so. If it is unreasonable for people to work from home, they can go to their place of work.

You should review your business or facility management plans and consult your employees to determine who needs to come into the workplace, giving extra consideration to those people at higher risk.

What you should do:

  1. Consider the maximum number of people who can be safely accommodated on the site.

  2. Monitor the wellbeing of staff who are working from home and help them to stay connected to the rest of the workforce, especially if the majority of their colleagues are on-site.

  3. Keep in touch with off-site workers on their working arrangements, including their welfare, physical and mental health and personal security.

  4. Provide equipment to allow staff to work from home safely and effectively, such as remote access to work systems. Consider how best to account for different types of needs, including the needs of people with disabilities.

1.7 Protecting people who are at higher risk

There are some groups who are at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. If employees are in these groups, they may be advised to follow additional measures. See guidance on who is at higher risk from coronavirus.

Clinically extremely vulnerable people are at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus, so at times may be advised to take additional steps to protect themselves. Government advice is that clinically extremely vulnerable people no longer need to shield, and should follow the general coronavirus restrictions which apply to everyone.

However, clinically extremely vulnerable people are advised to continue to take extra precautions to protect themselves. The guidance on protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable sets out practical steps they can take to minimise their risk of exposure to the virus.

Clinically vulnerable people are at moderate risk of severe illness from coronavirus. They should take additional care to follow the relevant guidance in their area, including any specific measures for clinically vulnerable people. You should consider this in your risk assessment, and look at how best to support staff in these groups.

What you should do:

  1. See current guidance on who is at higher risk from coronavirus, and ensure that you are aware of any specific measures for people who are clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable.

  2. Provide support to staff who are clinically extremely vulnerable, and consider options for altering work arrangements if they are advised not to come into the workplace if this is advised in future.

  3. Provide mental health and wellbeing support for workers. This could include advice or telephone support.

1.8 People who need to self-isolate

All businesses are prohibited from requiring self-isolating workers to come into work.

If you are made aware of a worker needing to self-isolate, you must ensure that they do not come to the workplace. It is against the law for you to knowingly require or encourage someone who is required to self-isolate to come to the workplace. This includes people with a positive test, people who are advised to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app, and people required to self-isolate in relation to travel.

What you should do:

  1. Ensure workers who are required to self-isolate do not come into the workplace.

  2. Enable staff to work from home while self-isolating, if appropriate.

  3. Ensure you and your staff are familiar with the symptoms of COVID-19 (a high temperature, new and persistent cough, or a loss of/change in sense of taste or smell) and what they should do if they develop symptoms or are required to isolate.

  4. Review guidance for employers and employees on statutory sick pay due to coronavirus.

You can find more information in the guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection, for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus infection who do not live with the person, and what to do if you’re told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app.

Additional information for hotels and guest accommodation

This section relates to workers who are self-isolating. For information on guests and self-isolation, see the sections on managing guests who have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 and managing guests who are quarantining after international travel (including testing).

1.9 Equality in the workplace

When you are applying this guidance, you should be mindful of the particular needs of different groups of workers or individuals. For instance, employers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to avoid disabled workers being put at a disadvantage compared to non-disabled people in the workplace.

It is breaking the law to discriminate, directly or indirectly, against anyone because of a protected characteristic such as age, ethnicity, sex or disability.

Employers also have particular responsibilities towards disabled workers and those who are new or expectant mothers.

What you should do:

  1. Take steps to understand the particular circumstances of those with different protected characteristics, and take them into account in your working safely policies.

  2. Involve and communicate appropriately with staff whose protected characteristics might either expose them to a different degree of risk, or might make any steps you are thinking about inappropriate or challenging for them.

    Measures such as social distancing may not be possible or will be more challenging for workers with certain disabilities, such as individuals in wheelchairs or with vision impairments. You should discuss with disabled employees what reasonable adjustments can be made to the workplace so they can work safely.

  3. Consider whether you need to put in place any particular measures or adjustments to take account of your duties under the equalities legislation.

  4. Make reasonable adjustments to avoid disabled staff being put at a disadvantage, and assess the health and safety risks for new or expectant mothers.

  5. Make sure that the steps you take do not have an unjustifiable negative impact on some groups compared to others, for example, those with caring responsibilities or those with religious commitments.

1.10 Testing and vaccinations

It’s important that you continue to put measures in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, including maintaining social distancing, frequent cleaning, good hygiene and adequate ventilation, even if your employees have:

  • received a recent negative test result
  • had the vaccine (either 1 or 2 doses)

Where you are providing testing on-site, you should ensure that workplace testing is carried out in a safe manner, and in an appropriate setting where control measures are in place to manage the risk of COVID-19 transmission during the testing process. These include maintaining social distancing where possible, frequent cleaning, good hygiene and adequate ventilation. You should also ensure that an appropriate setting is available for individuals to wait in while their test is processed.

You can also order rapid lateral flow tests, to test employees with no coronavirus symptoms. The test kits are entirely free of charge until 30 June 2021 for businesses that register by 12 April.

Anyone with symptoms should get a free NHS test as soon as possible.

Ordering COVID-19 tests for employees with no coronavirus symptoms

You can register to order tests if:

  • your business is registered in England

  • your employees cannot work from home

Register and order COVID-19 tests for your employees

Free test kits will be available until the end of June. However, your organisation must register interest by 12 April (even if you are currently closed and want to receive them at a later date). After this date, businesses will still be able to access tests through private providers and community testing sites.

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2. Managing operations

In this section:

2.1 Changes to operations

Measures to control the infection rate may restrict your operations, including whether you can open and how people can use your venue. Enforcement action can be taken against businesses or organisations that do not comply with the law. You can find more information on compliance and enforcement in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England.

Self-contained accommodation

Step 1 (from 21 March):

  • Self-contained accommodation must remain closed for leisure stays.

Step 2 - from 12 April, the following will apply:

Overnight leisure stays in self-contained accommodation will be permitted. This is defined as accommodation in which facilities including: kitchens, sleeping areas, bathrooms and indoor communal areas such as lounges, sitting areas, and any lifts, staircases or internal corridors used to access the accommodation are restricted to exclusive use of a single household/support bubble. A reception area is not to be treated as an indoor communal area if it is required in order to be open for check-in purposes, but it should only be used for the purposes of check-in.

Guests may also use indoor public toilets, baby changing rooms, breastfeeding rooms, and facilities for laundering clothes, which are not to be treated as indoor communal areas. These areas should be cleaned regularly and kept well-ventilated and guests should try where possible to limit their interaction with other households whilst using these facilities.

This will mean that any holiday parks, ‘standalone’ holiday lets such as houses and cottages, chalets, yurts, holiday boats, and motels and other accommodation in which kitchens, sleeping areas, bathrooms and indoor communal areas such as lounges, sitting areas, and any lifts, staircases or internal corridors used to access the accommodation are for the exclusive use of a single household/support bubble may open for leisure stays.

Campsites and caravan parks will be permitted to open for leisure stays provided that the only shared facilities used by guests at the campsite or caravan park are receptions, washing facilities (including facilities for laundering clothes), public toilets, baby changing rooms, breastfeeding rooms, water points and waste disposal points. Shower facilities should be operated so as to ensure no household mixing takes place. This would involve either assigning shower facilities to one household group/support bubble, (i.e. making them private), or running a reservation and clean process (whereby one household can exclusively book the shared facilities for a fixed time, and the facilities are cleaned between reservations and kept well-ventilated). Other facilities - receptions, facilities for laundering clothes, public toilets, baby changing rooms, breastfeeding rooms, water points and waste disposal points - should be cleaned regularly and kept well-ventilated and guests should try where possible to limit their interaction with other households whilst using these facilities.

The exclusive use of a single household/support bubble - alongside the definition of linked households - can be found in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021.

Hotels and other non-self-contained accommodation (Steps 1 and 2)

Hotels and other guest accommodation which is not self-contained must remain closed for leisure stays. This includes accommodation, such as hostels, B&Bs, guest houses and any other accommodation with shared facilities including: kitchens, sleeping areas, bathrooms and indoor communal areas such as lounges, sitting areas, and any lifts, staircases or internal corridors used to access the accommodation. This will also require the continued closure of any holiday lets or serviced accommodation within apartment buildings that share any of the facilities listed above.

If your business provides both self-contained and non-self-contained accommodation, you are only permitted to open the self-contained accommodation for leisure stays. This means accommodation in which facilities including: kitchens, sleeping areas, bathrooms and indoor communal areas such as lounges, sitting areas, and any lifts, staircases or internal corridors used to access the accommodation are restricted to exclusive use of a single household/support bubble.

All accommodation may continue to open for legally permitted reasons, to a person who:

  • is unable to return to their main residence

  • uses it as their main residence

  • needs it while moving house

  • needs it to attend a funeral, linked commemorative event or following a bereavement of a close family member or friend

  • is isolating themselves from others as required by law

  • is an elite athlete (or their coach or, where the elite athlete is a child, their parent) and needs it for training or competition

  • needs it for work purposes, or to provide voluntary or charitable service is homeless

  • was already staying there when England entered lockdown

  • needs it to attend education or training

  • needs it to visit a person who is dying

  • needs it to care for a vulnerable person or seek respite from doing so

  • needs it to attend a medical appointment or treatment

  • needs it as a parent for the purposes of access to a child where the child does not live in the same household as their parents or one of their parents

You can also open your facility for a small number of exempt activities, such as:

  • for use as a women’s refuge or a vulnerable person’s refuge

  • enabling access by the site owners or managers, staff or people authorised by them (including volunteers) for maintenance where this is reasonably necessary

  • work to ensure readiness to open, such as receiving deliveries of supplies

  • providing essential voluntary or public services (including the provision of food banks or other support to the homeless or vulnerable, hosting blood donation sessions, or support in an emergency)

  • making a film, television programme, audio programme or audio-visual advertisement

  • voting or related activities (including in an overseas election)

  • for any purpose requested by the Secretary of State, or a local authority

Other businesses and services (such as holding a wake) are permitted to continue in law, but must not take place within accommodation settings. Support groups can meet in some venues, but are not permitted to meet in hotels and guest accommodation (aside from the exceptions listed above, such as acting as a women’s refuge).

Where possible, you should work cooperatively with local authorities to provide accommodation to vulnerable groups, including the homeless.

You can find more information in the coronavirus restrictions guidance.

Travel and overnight stays

Overnight stays are permitted for members of the same household or support bubble.

People should minimise travel and avoid making unnecessary journeys (for example, by combining their trips where possible).

People are permitted to travel to visit, maintain, clean and collect belongings from their second homes, self-catering holiday homes, caravans on parks or boats, if they are not your primary residence, but people should minimise travel where possible. You must adhere to indoor social contact limits at this stage and only make overnight stays as a single household or support bubble.

International travel remains restricted and holidays abroad are not permitted.

International visitors may continue to enter the country, but must follow steps including quarantine and COVID-19 tests. You can find more information in the section on managing guests who are quarantining after international travel (including testing). There are additional restrictions on travel from some countries; people who have visited or passed through a ‘red-list’ country {from which travel to the UK is banned) in the last 10 days must quarantine for 10 days in a managed quarantine hotel. You can find more information in the guidance on what to do when you arrive in England.

You can find more information in the guidance for safer travel and the coronavirus restrictions guidance.

2.2 Changes to facilities and services

Measures to control the infection rate may restrict the facilities or services your venue can provide. If you deliver a mix of services, only those services that are permitted to be open should be available.​ This could mean, for example, that your venue can open (where permitted) but some facilities within it must stay closed.

Step 2

Self-contained accommodation

If a site is open to provide self-contained accommodation for leisure stays, permitted businesses or services can also operate on site and can be used by guests and by the general public. This includes:

  • Indoor and outdoor sport facilities (swimming pools and gyms), recreation facilities such as ziplining, spas and personal care, and retail. These facilities can open even where access is via shared indoor communal areas such as lifts or corridors, as long as those communal areas are used solely to access the facilities and not to access accommodation. Saunas and steam rooms must remain closed. You should check the guidance for sport facilities, close contact services and retail shops, stores and branches and ensure you adhere to any relevant requirements.

  • Outdoor hospitality such as restaurants, cafes and bars. These facilities can open even where access is via shared indoor communal areas such as lifts or corridors, as long as those communal areas are used solely to access the facilities and not to access accommodation. The use of indoor public toilets (and facilities such as baby changing rooms) is permitted even if access is via shared indoor communal areas such as lifts or corridors, as long as those communal areas are used solely to access the facilities and not to access accommodation. You can find more information in the section on hospitality. You should check the guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services, and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures.

  • Hospitality venues may provide takeaway food and drink (including takeaway alcohol).

Hotels and other non-self-contained accommodation

If a site is not self-contained and therefore remains closed for leisure stays, permitted businesses or services can still operate on site and can be used by guests and by the general public:

  • Indoor and outdoor facilities such as sport facilities (swimming pools and gyms), spas and personal care, and retail may open for access by the public as well as for guests staying for legally permitted reasons. These facilities can open even where the entrance is within the hotel and access is via shared indoor facilities such as lifts/corridors. Saunas and steam rooms must remain closed. You should check the guidance for sport facilities, close contact services and retail shops, stores and branches and ensure you adhere to any relevant requirements.

  • Outdoor hospitality such as restaurants, cafes and bars can open for the public as well as for guests staying for legally permitted reasons. Outdoor hospitality can open even where the entrance is within the hotel and access is via shared indoor communal areas such as lifts/corridors. The use of indoor toilets (and facilities such as baby changing rooms) is permitted, even if accessed through shared communal areas such as lifts/corridors. You can find more information in the section on hospitality. You should check the guidance for [restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services, and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures. Food and/or drink (including alcohol) can be provided through room service as long as it is ordered by phone or online.

  • Communal spaces such as lounges or lobbies may remain open to guests but no food or drink should be served in these spaces, people should not be encouraged to gather and social distancing should be observed.

If your business provides both self-contained and non-self-contained accommodation, both may only open subject to their respective restrictions, for example if your site has a hotel with indoor facilities on one part of the site, and a group of self-contained chalets on another part of the site:

  • the hotel may open for legally permitted stays (only)

  • the self-contained chalets may open for leisure stays and for legally permitted stays

  • the hotel’s indoor facilities may open to the public and to all guests

Other settings

Outdoor attractions can reopen and some outdoor events organised by a business, charity, public body or similar organisation are permitted. Locations which have both indoor and outdoor facilities can open the outdoor areas and facilities, but indoor areas and facilities (other than toilets and facilities like baby changing rooms) must remain closed. You can find more information in the guidance for heritage locations and thevisitor economy.

Indoor games and recreation facilities must remain closed. This includes bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, water parks and aqua parks, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres). You should check the guidance for the visitor economy, and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures.

2.3 Hospitality (food and drinks) in hotels and guest accommodation

There are restrictions on hospitality facilities that will apply to any relevant facilities (such as bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes) within your venue. There are also restrictions on how you provide food and drink to guests in other settings, teas and coffees in business meetings.

Hospitality facilities:

From Step 2, outdoor hospitality such as restaurants, cafes and bars can open:

  • In self-contained accommodation, outdoor hospitality can open even where access is via shared indoor communal areas such as lifts or corridors, as long as those communal areas are used solely to access the facilities and not to access accommodation. The use of indoor public toilets (and facilities such as baby changing rooms) is permitted even if access is via shared indoor communal areas such as lifts or corridors, as long as those communal areas are used solely to access the facilities and not to access accommodation.

  • In non-self-contained accommodation, outdoor hospitality can open even where the entrance is within the hotel and access is via shared indoor communal areas such as lifts/corridors. The use of indoor toilets (and facilities such as baby changing rooms) is permitted, even if accessed through shared indoor communal areas such as lifts/corridors.

From Step 2, where outdoor hospitality service is being provided to customers who will remain on the premises:

  • At any venue that serves alcohol, customers will be required to order, be served and eat/drink while seated (even if no alcohol is ordered). Payment should also be taken at the table or at another outdoor location. If it is not possible for a venue to take payment outdoors, for example because the venue’s portable payment device is not working correctly or if other types of payment, such as cash, cannot be used, then payment can be taken indoors. If a venue needs to take payment indoors, it should ensure that only one customer is indoors at any one time for the purpose of making payment and it should operate a tab system to ensure that customers do not need to make multiple indoor payments during their time at the venue.

  • If a venue doesn’t serve alcohol, then customers can go indoors to order, collect and pay for food and drink at a counter, but they must consume any food and drink while seated outdoors.

Hospitality venues may provide takeaway food and drink (including takeaway alcohol).

Indoor service is not permitted.

Where groups of guests are permitted to stay in your guest accommodation (such as elite sports teams) they must not eat together in indoor hospitality facilities. Indoor restaurants and bars within guest accommodation should remain closed; there are no exemptions to this in the regulations meaning that hotels and guest accommodation cannot provide group dining or open restaurants for any purpose. The exemption for elite athletes or other permitted guests refers only to their need for accommodation for the purposes outlined in the section on changes to operations. Food and/or drink including alcohol can be provided through room service as long as it is ordered by phone or online.

You should check the guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services, and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures.

Other food and drink provision:

All food and drink (including alcohol) can be provided through room service, as long as it is ordered by phone or online.

Communal spaces such as lounges or lobbies may remain open to guests but no food or drink should be served in these spaces.

What you should do:

  1. Ensure customers are aware of any restrictions and safety measures in place, for example when booking or checking in.

  2. Ask customers to order room service over the phone, or through online ordering systems where possible.

  3. Encourage contactless payments where possible.

It is a legal requirement for staff and customers to wear face coverings in some settings like retail, leisure and hospitality venues (unless they have a valid reason not to wear one, such as a medical exemption).

Where this applies, businesses also have a legal duty to remind people to wear face coverings. You can find more information in the section on face coverings and PPE.@

2.4 Business meetings and events

If your hotel or guest accommodation contains a conference centre or other meeting facilities, you may be able to open these for a limited number of legally permitted reasons.

Permitted venues, including exhibition and conference centres, can hire out function and event spaces for essential work, education and training purposes. This includes, for example:

  • exams for a group of students from the same school, college or university
  • mandatory or work-critical training courses, such as training towards a formal qualification
  • hiring a venue to provide additional office space where this is essential to allow safe social distancing of employees from the same company

The legal gathering limits do not apply to essential work, education or training events. Attendees are not limited to gathering in groups of up to 6 people or 2 households.

If venues have multiple, separate meeting facilities, these can be hired out simultaneously for separate meetings/events if the groups can be kept separate.

Business meetings and events

Meetings and events are only permitted under certain circumstances. Where meetings and events are permitted, social distancing should be maintained and the venue should demonstrate it has followed COVID-secure guidance. More information can be found in the guidance for the visitor economy, and in other guidance for specific types of event, such as guidance for the performing arts.

  • Permitted venues, including exhibition and conference centres, can hire out function and event spaces for essential work, education and training purposes, where these events cannot reasonably be conducted remotely. However, you must not host conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, private dining events or banquets.

  • In-person meetings for work, training or education purposes should only take place where they cannot be delayed or reasonably be conducted remotely, and only where social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate it has followed COVID-19 guidance.

  • Business meeting/event show-rounds, viewings and site visits for the purpose of viewing the venue for a future booking can take place at venues which are permitted to open at each step of the roadmap, or where a relevant exemption applies. From Step 2, this will include conference centres and exhibition halls, including conference centres located within hotels. Viewings of other venues such as museums or indoor attractions can only take place from Step 3 (no earlier than 17 May).

  • Catering can be provided at meetings and events for essential work, education and training purposes. This does not extend to activities that are not strictly related to the essential work, education or training, such as private dining or social purposes with work colleagues. If an essential work, education or training activity changes into a primarily social gathering, then social contact and indoor hospitality restrictions apply, and the activity must stop. This means that things like post-work drinks or festive celebrations must not take place in breach of the rules. Those participating in such a gathering could be fined, as could any premises hosting it.

  • Essential events must not contain social elements such as receptions, and hospitality areas remain subject to restrictions (you can find more information in the sections on changes to facilities and services, and hospitality (food and drinks).

  • Some venues or facilities which would otherwise be closed can open for a small number of exempt activities, such as elite sport training and competition, performing arts training/rehearsal and filming (without an audience), childcare and supervised activities for children, and to enable the provision of medical treatment, blood donation and food banks.

What you should do:

Some parts of this information will be relevant only to larger events, and should be used to inform your planning for when these events are permitted to reopen.

  1. Check with the work, education or training organiser to ensure they are aware of the national restrictions, and that the meeting is essential and cannot be delayed or reasonably conducted remotely. Ask them to keep the number of attendees as small as possible.

  2. Consider pre-attendance screening, and prevent people attending if they have symptoms of COVID-19 (or a positive test) or have recently had any contact with someone positive or symptomatic, or have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

  3. Ensure customers are aware of any restrictions and safety measures in place, for example when booking or registering.

  4. Review meeting rooms and seating areas to ensure they allow social distancing. Space out chairs and tables to meet social distancing requirements, and discourage close face-to-face interaction between guests. Any auditorium or theatre-style seating at conferences and other large events should follow the principle for audience seating in the guidance for performing arts venues.

  5. Use signs and floor markings where needed, to highlight social distancing requirements, and direct staff to bathrooms and shared facilities. Ensure that social distancing measures are in place not just where the meeting is being conducted, but also entrances and exits, break rooms, canteens and similar settings.

  6. Ensure that meeting rooms are cleaned thoroughly between users and the frequent touch points such as door handles and surfaces are continuously kept clean through an event. Minimize the use of shared objects, such as pens and paper.

  7. Consider ways to manage groups of visitors, for example splitting delegates into smaller groups to manage entry and exit (colour-coding groups can help with routes and signage) and staggered lunch or break times.

  8. Consider providing (or recommending the purchase of) name tags and a badge holder for business cards, to avoid the exchange of business cards.

  9. Where hospitality is permitted, ensure that food and drinks can be consumed in line with safety and social distancing requirements. Arrange specific areas for food and drink provision such as lunches, teas and coffees (serve catering in the room where the meeting is taking place if possible, otherwise in a specific designated area), ensure visitors consume food and drink while seated, manage visitors to avoid crowding (for example, by organising delegates into groups), and arrange seating and tables to maintain social distancing guidelines (2m, or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable) between customers of different households or support bubbles. You should also use clear messaging on when face coverings should be worn. You can find more information in the sections on hospitality (food and drinks), and face coverings and PPE.

  10. Avoid situations which encourage people to raise their voices, as this increases transmission risk. Where possible, do not play music or broadcasts, or lower the volume so that it does not make normal conversation difficult. Where possible, use microphones (cleaned between users) for communicating to larger groups. You can also use static microphones (rather than roving microphones which are passed between people) for delegates to ask questions, which should be cleaned between users. Consider providing disposable cleaning wipes and a bin, so that delegates can clean the microphone after their own use. Speakers should wear face coverings when presenting and speaking where possible, and speak at least 2m from attendees. Microphones and podiums should be cleaned between speakers.

  11. Increase ventilation by keeping doors and windows open where possible and running fresh air ventilation systems at all times. Hold meetings outdoors or in well-ventilated rooms whenever possible. You can find more information in the section on managing your facility.

  12. Encourage contactless payments where possible.

  13. Consider any relevant guidance that has been produced for your sector. You can find links to resources and guidance for your sector (including indoor and outdoor attractions, meetings and events) in the section on where to find more information.

Additional considerations for hotels and guest accommodation facilities:

  • Make a checklist of all main touchpoints (such as door handles and surfaces) to be cleaned when guests vacate.

  • Clean keys between guests.

  • Introduce enhanced cleaning of all facilities regularly during the day and at the end of the day, with particular regard to any shared facilities.

  • Ensure that housekeeping staff follow government handwashing guidelines.

  • If you are cleaning after a known or suspected case of COVID-19, you may need to provide additional PPE to protect the cleaner’s eyes, mouth and nose in areas where a higher level of virus may be present (for example, in a hotel room where someone unwell has spent the night). You can find more information in the guidance for cleaning in non-healthcare settings.

3. Managing visitors

In this section:

3.1 Working with the public

Clear communication to customers, visitors, guests and audiences is important, to ensure that they take all reasonable measures to comply with social distancing and hygiene measures throughout their visit. You can find more information on social distancing in the guidance on stopping the spread of coronavirus.

You should also take into account the legal gathering limits that apply, as these may affect the types of activity that can take place, and how many people can gather or mix (particularly for indoor activities).

Social contact rules and gathering limits

You should ensure your facility operates in line with the coronavirus restrictions and legal gathering limits.

Outdoors

  • People can meet in groups of up to 6 people, or as a group of 2 households. A group made up of 2 households can include more than 6 people, but only where all members of the group are from the same 2 households (each household can include an existing support bubble, if eligible) or an exemption applies.
  • Social distancing must be maintained between people who do not live together or share a bubble.
  • People can meet in all outdoor settings, including private gardens.
  • Different rules apply when participating in organised sport. You can find more information in the section on changes to operations, and grassroots sport guidance for the public and sport providers.

Indoors:

  • People are not permitted to meet others they do not live with (or share a bubble with).

People should minimise travel and avoid making unnecessary journeys (for example, by combining their trips where possible).

You can find more information in the coronavirus restrictions guidance.

Businesses should not intentionally facilitate gatherings that breach legal gathering limits.

You must take all reasonable steps not to take bookings for a greater number of people than is permitted, or allow such groups to enter. You should also ensure that customers are aware of the rules on gathering limits and what this means in your facility.

You can find more information on enforcement and fines in the relevant coronavirus regulations.

3.2 Minimising transmission through contact

Where permitted to open to the public, you should reduce the risk of transmission for your customers, guests, visitors or audience members, by minimising contact opportunities.

What you should do:

  1. Consider how you can make any reception or office areas safer, with increased cleaning, keeping the activity time as short as possible and considering the addition of screens between guests and staff.

  2. Minimise contacts around transactions, for example by using online booking and pre-payment and encouraging contactless payments wherever possible.

  3. Minimise unnecessary face-to-face contact by making staff accessible to guests via phone, emails and guest apps.

  4. Take measures to ensure the handover of keys to property can be done in a socially distanced way, and clean keys between guests.

  5. Consider how you can minimise risk in room service (or other staff visits), such as dropping butler’s trays outside the door, and encouraging tips to be added to the bill rather than handed over in person.

  6. Close dormitory rooms to groups of over 6 people (except where housing parties from the same household or support bubble).

  7. Shared facilities (such as communal kitchens where guests prepare their own food, TV and leisure rooms) should only be used where social distancing can be managed within current government guidelines. If social distancing cannot be maintained, these areas should close. Communal spaces such as lounges or lobbies may remain open to guests, but no food or drink should be served. People should be encouraged not to gather in these spaces, and to observe social distancing at all times.

  8. Minimise sharing of equipment or resources, and customer self-service (such as for food, cutlery or condiments). For example, consider removing magazines from reception areas.

  9. Ensure that toilet and shower facilities are managed appropriately. You can operate private rooms in all indoor accommodation with en suite showering facilities, or one designated shower facility per guest room. For accommodation with shared facilities, consider introducing a system of staggered entry and booked timeslots for using shower facilities. You can find more information in the section on managing your facility.

  10. Consider revising schedules for planned work and essential services to reduce interaction with customers, for example, carrying out services at night.

  11. Check whether face coverings are required in different areas of your accommodation facility, and ensure this is communicated to guests. Ensure face coverings are worn where required (such as in public areas of the accommodation facility) and encourage guests to wear them on communal corridors. You can find more information in the section on face coverings and PPE.

  12. Check whether there are additional rules for specific areas in your facility (such as gyms, spas, shops, restaurants and bars, soft play areas) and ensure you follow the appropriate guidance. You can find more information in the section on facilities and services and links to other guidance and resources in the section on where to find more information.

  13. For guest accommodation facilities on boats: apply appropriate social distancing measures, including during boat handover, and clean boats between users.

  14. For guest accommodation in outdoor settings (such as caravans and camper parks): ensure that shared facilities like water points, waste points or washing up points are cleaned regularly.

3.3 Providing and explaining relevant guidance

Where permitted to open to the public, you should provide and explain any relevant guidance to make sure people understand how to use your facility safely.

You must take all reasonable steps to ensure that customers comply with the limits on gatherings. You should not take bookings for a greater number of people than is permitted, or allow such groups to enter. You should also ensure that customers are aware of the rules on gathering limits and what this means in your facility.

You also have a legal duty to remind people to wear face coverings, if this is required in your facility. See the section on face coverings and PPE for more information.

What you should do (where permitted to open):

  1. Consider how you can inform visitors of any relevant guidance and changes to processes in advance of their visit, for example on your website, when booking by phone or email, and in your digital marketing.

  2. Ensure that visitors are aware of the rules on gathering limits, and how this affects your facility and the services you offer. For example, ensuring your website informs customers of any group limits before they book, and that they are made aware of any guidance on how to behave when they arrive.

  3. Provide clear guidance on social distancing and hygiene to visitors on arrival, for example through signs and visual aids at entrances. Make sure to consider the needs of people with protected characteristics, for example those who are hard of hearing or visually impaired.

  4. Consider other ways you can communicate relevant information to visitors throughout their visit, for example spoken communication from a greeter or reception staff, or designating staff as ‘social distancing champions’ to remind customers to follow relevant guidance.

  5. Inform visitors of the rules on face coverings and how this applies to your facility. See the section on face coverings and PPE for more information.

  6. Consider how you can ensure this information is communicated to all of your customers, for example those who do not speak English as a first language, and those with protected characteristics (e.g. people who are hard of hearing or visually impaired).

3.4 Capacity, queuing and avoiding crowds

Where permitted to open to the public, you should carefully manage the number of visitors in your facility, and their movements, to ensure that social distancing (2 metres distance, or at least 1m with additional control measures where 2m is not possible) can be maintained between guests, and avoid risk of crowding.

What you should do (when permitted to open):

  1. Manage the number of visitors to your facility to ensure that social distancing can be maintained. Some businesses and organisations also have specific capacity limits relevant to their sector.

  2. Enforce capacity limits by managing ticket sales and entry, for example, by implementing timed ticketing or asking customers to book ahead where possible. You must take all reasonable steps to adhere to social contact restrictions when taking a booking and managing entry (and advising groups not to break the rules when on the premises) or you will be breaking the law.

  3. If your facility organises events or activities where large numbers of people attend at the same time, put in place measures to ensure that social distancing can be maintained in queues and within the premises.

  4. Consider the cumulative impact of many venues reopening in the local area. You should think about how to collaborate with local authorities, neighbouring businesses, travel operators and Local Transport Authorities to assess this risk and apply any additional mitigations required.

Additional mitigations could include:

  • further lowering capacity (even if it is possible to safely seat a number of people inside a venue, it may not be safe for them all to travel or enter that venue)
  • staggering entry times with other venues and taking steps to avoid queues building up in surrounding areas
  • arranging one-way travel routes between transport hubs and venues
  • advising patrons to avoid particular forms of transport or routes and to avoid crowded areas when in transit to the venue

Additional considerations for hotels and guest accommodation facilities:

  • Take steps to avoid crowded reception areas, such as staggering check-in and check-out times or placing markers on the floor to maintain social distancing.

  • Consider how to manage areas of congestion, such as queues at an outdoor shared water-point.

3.5 Managing guests who have confirmed or suspected COVID-19

You should ensure you have a policy in place which covers what to do if there is a case — or a suspected case — of COVID-19 in your guest accommodation facility, including how the guest’s booking will be managed; whether the guest can stay in your accommodation facility to self-isolate and, if so, how meals and laundry will be arranged; and how to clean their accommodation after they have left.

Guests should follow government guidance on dealing with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

Accommodation providers should take all reasonable steps to encourage guests to adhere to government restrictions, including informing guests of restrictions when taking bookings. It is also good practice for accommodation providers to ensure individuals are aware of their legal obligations to self-isolate. However, it is not your responsibility to check guests’ test results or enforce self-isolation rules; enforcement of the law remains a matter for the police.

What you should do:

  1. Ensure you have a policy in place which covers what to do if there is a case of COVID-19 in your accommodation facility. Guests with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should return home if they reasonably can, but this may not always be possible. You should consider how the guest’s booking will be managed, how they (and any other affected or exposed guests) will isolate, how meals and laundry will be arranged, and how to clean their accommodation after they have left.

  2. Consider whether it is possible and safe for guests to self-isolate in your facility. There will be some types of accommodation where self-isolation would not be possible, for example if there are shared washing facilities or if the risk to the host, owner or staff cannot be mitigated. In these cases, you should advise guests to make arrangements to travel home if they reasonably can, using private transport (but should only drive themselves if they can do so safely).

  3. Take reasonable steps to encourage guests to adhere to government restrictions, including informing them of relevant restrictions and any safety measures in place at your accommodation facility. You could also ensure individuals are aware of legal obligations to self-isolate if they have COVID-19 symptoms, a positive test, or are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, and ask them to inform staff if this happens. However, guests do not have to disclose their test results or other personal information about their health, and it is not your responsibility to check the guest’s test results or enforce self-isolation rules; enforcement of the law remains a matter for the police.

  4. Inform guests about your policy for Covid-19 symptoms or cases, for example during the booking or check-in process. You should include the process that will be followed and any implications for the guest, such as additional costs if their stay is extended. Unless otherwise provided for in the contractual terms of the booking, the guest will be expected to pay the costs of an extended stay in all but exceptional circumstances. Exceptional circumstances may include but are not limited to where the accommodation provider has failed to follow government guidance to create a COVID-secure environment.

  5. In case of a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, follow the guidance on cleaning after a known or suspected case of COVID-19.

If a guest informs you they have tested positive for COVID-19 or they have symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Advise the guest (and any relevant members of their family or party, such as those sharing a room) to immediately self-isolate where they are if possible (to minimise any further risk of transmission), to arrange an NHS test as soon as possible, and to return home if they reasonably can.

  • Discuss with the guest whether they are able to return home, or whether it is possible to extend their stay. Make sure to inform them of any costs an extended stay would include (which the guest would usually be expected to cover).

  • If they choose to return home, they should use private transport but only drive themselves if they can do so safely.

  • If a guest cannot reasonably return home (for example if they do not have the means to arrange private transport or they are not well enough to drive themselves home safely) and cannot self-isolate in your accommodation facility, their circumstances should be discussed with an appropriate health care professional and, if necessary, the local authority.

If the guest self-isolates in your accommodation facility:

  • Inform the guest of any relevant safety measures you will take, and ensure they are familiar with the guidance on possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection which they should follow.

  • Discuss practical measures with the guest, such as changes to meal and laundry provision. They should stay in their accommodation and should not use shared areas (such as TV rooms or lounges) or shared dining facilities. If meals are delivered, contact with the guest should be minimised and social distancing maintained at all times. You should also consider whether symptomatic guests should clean their own rooms and strip their own beds, to avoid exposing cleaning or housekeeping staff to unnecessary risk.

  • The guest should not leave the accommodation facility, except in a few specific circumstances, including for urgent medical assistance, urgent veterinary services, legal obligations, attending the funeral of a close family member, accessing critical public services, and to move to a different place of isolation if it is impractical for them to remain at your accommodation facility. They are also permitted to leave where they need in order to obtain basic necessities (such as food and medical supplies). However, you should discuss with the guest whether there are other ways these supplies could be provided so they do not have to expose others to potential transmission risk by leaving their place of self-isolation unnecessarily.

  • Once the guest has finished the required self-isolation period and is no longer symptomatic, they no longer need to isolate and should return to their main residence (in line with the national restrictions).

If your facility is unsuitable for self-isolation (for example, if it has shared washing facilities, or there are risks to staff that cannot be mitigated):

  • Guests with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should return home to self-isolate if they can. Ensure that guests are aware in advance that they will not be able to self-isolate in your facility, and may have to arrange private transport home if they need to self-isolate.

3.6 Managing guests who are quarantining after international travel (including testing)

Everyone allowed to enter England from outside the Common Travel Area (Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man) must quarantine for 10 days and take COVID-19 tests on day 2 and day 8 of their quarantine. Travellers from most countries can quarantine in a private residence, or in a hotel or other guest accommodation facility.

Your hotel or guest accommodation facility may be used as a quarantine location for most international arrivals for 10 days, or for an overnight stay where the traveller has a long journey to their quarantine location. You should consider how your facility will manage bookings for guests who are quarantining and put in place any necessary measures.

This is not the same as being a ‘managed quarantine hotel’, which are specific facilities that are working with the government to provide managed quarantine packages for those returning from non-red-list countries. Anyone arriving into England from a country on the list where travel to the UK is banned (the ‘red list’) must book and stay in a managed quarantine hotel

What you should do:

  1. Consider how you will manage bookings for guests who need to quarantine. You should determine your own approach to taking bookings from quarantining or self-isolating guests, and consider how best to inform guests about your policy (for example during the booking or check-in process). There is no requirement to ask a guest whether they are self-isolating.

  2. Guests arriving into the UK should organise their accommodation for the entire quarantine period. It is the guest’s responsibility to organise their quarantine in the same location for the entire period of quarantine (10 days, with the day of their arrival into the UK as ‘day 0’), to declare this location on their passenger locator form and to make it known that they are self-isolating.

  3. Take reasonable steps to encourage guests to adhere to government restrictions, including informing them of the restrictions and any safety measures in place at your accommodation facility. You should also ensure individuals are aware of their legal obligations to self-isolate during their quarantine, and how this will work during their stay. You could ask them to inform staff if they have COVID-19 symptoms, a positive test, or are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. However, guests do not have to disclose their test results or other personal information about their health, and it is not your responsibility to check the guest’s test results or enforce self-isolation rules; enforcement of the law remains a matter for the police.

  4. Inform guests about your policy for COVID-19 quarantine, for example during the booking or check-in process. You should include the process that will be followed and any implications for the guest, such as additional costs if their stay is extended. Unless otherwise provided for in the contractual terms of the booking, the guest will be expected to pay the costs of an extended stay in all but exceptional circumstances. Exceptional circumstances may include but are not limited to where the accommodation provider has failed to follow government guidance to create a COVID-secure environment.

  5. Consider whether to offer support or assistance to guests with testing requirements. Guests who are quarantining will be required to take tests during their stay. They are not required to let you know about their plans to take a test. If a guest does share this information with you, you should consider whether to offer any support or assistance to the guest with the testing process or logistics. This is at your discretion. However you should always be mindful of people’s privacy and ensure information about their health is not shared without their permission.

  6. In case of a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, follow the guidance on cleaning after a known or suspected case of COVID-19.

Test to Release for international travellers

Under the Test to Release for International Travel scheme, guests can choose to pay for a private COVID-19 test in order to end their quarantine before the full 10 days have been completed. You can find more information in the guidance on Test to Release.

  • The scheme is voluntary, and guests who choose to opt-in will have to arrange and pay for a test with a registered provider. This is in addition to the tests that everyone must take on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of their quarantine period.

  • The test cannot be taken until they have been in the UK for 5 full days. Tests can be arranged at a testing site, or self-administered tests can be sent to their quarantine location. Guests may wish to let staff know that they expect a test to be delivered. Guests using the scheme can leave their quarantine location to post their test or to travel directly to and from the testing site (following safer travel guidance, and avoiding public transport if possible).

  • Guests are not required to let you know about their plans to take a test. If a guest does share this information with you, you should consider whether to offer any support or assistance to the guest with the testing process or logistics. This is at your discretion. However you should always be mindful of people’s privacy and ensure information about their health is not shared without their permission.

  • The guest will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, who will advise them whether they need to isolate or take any other steps. NHS Test and Trace will also get in touch with people who have been in close contact with the guest and advise them if they need to isolate. If a staff member has had close contact with the positive case and needs to self-isolate, they will be informed by NHS Test and Trace. You can find more information in the section on who should go to the workplace).

  • If the test result is negative, the guest is released from quarantine as soon as they receive the result. They will no longer have to self-isolate, and can use the accommodation in the same way as other guests. However, they are still required to take the mandatory COVID-19 test on or after day 8.

  • If the test result is positive the guest will need to continue self-isolating for a further 10 days (from the day of the test, or from the onset of symptoms, if earlier). If you are made aware of this, you should discuss with the guest whether they will continue to isolate in your accommodation facility, and what that will involve. You should follow the steps in the section on managing guests who have confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

  • Guests are not required to disclose their test result to you, and it is not your responsibility to check their test results. However, NHS Test and Trace will advise guests who test positive to inform their accommodation provider immediately so that you can take appropriate measures to minimise risk to staff and other guests.

  • You should take reasonable steps to encourage guests to adhere to government restrictions, including informing them of the restrictions and any safety measures in place at your accommodation facility. You should also ensure individuals are aware of their legal obligations to self-isolate during their quarantine, and how this will work during their stay. However, it is not your responsibility to enforce self-isolation rules; enforcement of the law remains a matter for the police.

Those who do not opt-in to the Test to Release scheme must quarantine for the full 10 days.

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4. Managing your workforce

In this section:

4.1 Social distancing for staff

You should maintain social distancing in the workplace wherever possible. This means ensuring that all staff adhere to social distancing guidance by maintaining 2 metres distance from others (or where 2m is not possible, at least 1m with additional control measures, such as wearing face coverings).

What you should do:

  1. Ensure that all staff are aware of social distancing guidance and the need to maintain 2 metres distance from others.

  2. Consider the needs of staff with protected characteristics, as social distancing may not be possible or will be more challenging for workers with certain disabilities (such as individuals in wheelchairs or with vision impairments). You should discuss with disabled employees what reasonable adjustments can be made to the workplace so they can work safely.

  3. Consider all areas of your facility. Social distancing applies to all parts of a premises where business is conducted, not just areas open to the public. This includes work areas where people spend most of their time, but also entrances and exits, break rooms, canteens and other settings. These are often the most challenging areas to maintain social distancing, so you should consider the most appropriate measures for your facility. You can find advice on measures which may be appropriate in different settings in the Health and Safety Executive’s guidance on social distancing to make your workplace COVID-secure.

  4. Where the social distancing guidelines cannot be followed in full in relation to a particular activity, you should consider whether that activity needs to continue for your business to operate, and, if so, take all the mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission for your staff.

You should also consider other control measures to minimise risk. These could include:

  • Minimising the number of staff on-site, or reducing the number of people in close proximity in the work area.

  • Reducing the number of people each individual has contact with, for example by using fixed teams or partnering so that each person works with only a few others. You can find more information in the section on shift patterns and working groups.

  • Limiting the movement of staff around the site. You can find more information in the section on moving around buildings.

  • Increasing the frequency of cleaning, including disinfecting of heavy footfall and frequent touch points such as surfaces and door handles, with particular attention to shared showers, changing rooms, and toilets/restrooms. You can find more information in the section on keeping the site clean.
  • Encouraging staff to wash hands frequently, and providing hand sanitiser in areas with poor access to hand washing. You can find more information in the section on hygiene.
  • Ensuring higher-risk activities (involving close contact) are as brief as possible.
  • Using screens or barriers to create a physical barrier between individuals or workspaces (particularly where an individual is in contact with a high volume of people, such as reception or ticket office staff). You can find more information in the section on workplaces and workstations.
  • Avoiding face-to-face working wherever possible, for example by arranging desks/workspaces so that staff are back-to-back or side-to-side. You can find more information in the section on workplaces and workstations.

  • Maintaining good ventilation by opening doors, windows and vents, where possible. You can find more information in the section on ventilation and guidance from the Health and Safety Executive on ventilation and air conditioning.

You can find further advice in the Health and Safety Executive’s guidance on social distancing to make your workplace COVID-secure.

4.2 Communications and training

You should ensure that workers are informed of relevant safety measures implemented or updated.

What you should do:

  1. Engage with workers and worker representatives through existing communication routes to explain and agree any changes in working arrangements.

  2. Ensure staff returning to the workplace are given any relevant training or updated guidance in advance, particularly where it relates to new procedures for arrival at work. Use remote or visual communication to explain changes where possible, to reduce the need for face-to-face communications.

  3. Provide clear, consistent and regular communication of any relevant safety measures or changes to policy/procedure. Use simple messaging to explain guidelines using images and clear language, with consideration of those for whom English is not their first language.

  4. Ongoing engagement with workers (including through trades unions or employee representation groups) to monitor implementation of changes to working environments, and understand any unforeseen impacts.

  5. Communicate approaches and operational procedures to suppliers, customers or trade bodies to help their adoption and to share experience.

  6. Increase awareness and focus on the importance of mental health at times of uncertainty. This may include sharing guidance on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (COVID-19).

4.3 Workplaces and workstations

Workstations should be assigned to an individual wherever possible. If they need to be shared, they should be shared by the smallest number of people possible and cleaned frequently.

For people who work in one fixed place, workstations should allow them to maintain social distancing wherever possible. If it is not possible for workstations to be sufficiently far apart, businesses should consider whether that activity needs to continue for the business to operate, and if so take all mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission.

What you should do:

  1. Review layouts to ensure workspaces are spaced to allow for social distancing. If fixed workspaces cannot be moved, consider leaving empty desks or workspaces between individuals.

  2. Avoid face-to-face working wherever possible, for example by arranging desks/workspaces so that staff are back-to-back or side-to-side.

  3. Use screens or barriers to create a physical barrier between individuals or workspaces where possible (particularly where an individual is in contact with a high volume of people, such as reception or ticket office staff).

  4. Reduce the number of people each individual has contact with by using fixed teams or a consistent pairing system, particularly if people have to work in close proximity (such as maintenance activities that cannot be redesigned).

  5. Consider using floor tape or paint to mark areas to help people socially distance.

  6. Minimise contacts around transactions, for example by using contactless payments wherever possible.

  7. Ensure that demonstrations or other promotional activities are designed to minimise direct contact and to maintain social distancing.

4.4 Shift patterns and working groups

You should review working patterns to minimise risk to staff by reducing the number of contacts each worker has.

What you should do:

  1. Consider ways to minimise staff contacts and exposure, for example through staggered shifts and assigned staff mealtimes. You should take into account the particular circumstances of those with protected characteristics, including disability, maternity and religion, and how they may be impacted by changes to shift patterns.

  2. Consider revising schedules for planned work and essential services to minimise contact with other staff and customers, for example by carrying out services at night or less busy times of the day.

  3. Where workers are split into teams or shift groups, consider fixing these teams or shift groups so that any unavoidable contact is between the same people.

    How to use fixed teams/groups:

    — Group individuals into fixed teams that work together throughout a production or project, or for specific periods, to minimise the risk of transmission beyond these fixed teams.

    — Keep fixed teams in separate areas or schedule breaks at different times, to minimise risk during breaks or when moving around a venue.

    — Ensure that there is no swapping between designated fixed teams. This is to reduce the risk of whole-team impact in the event of one member of a team contracting COVID-19.

    — Ensure that support workers for disabled workers or performers are included as a member of the fixed team.

  4. Identify areas where people have to directly pass things to each other (such as equipment and supplies) and finding ways to remove direct contact, for example by using drop-off points or transfer zones.

  5. Assist NHS Test and Trace by keeping a record of staff shift patterns for 21 days and providing the data if needed. This could help contain clusters or outbreaks (see the section on NHS Test and Trace for more information, or read the guidance on NHS Test and Trace).

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5. Managing your facility

In this section:

5.1 Reopening after a period of closure

If your site or location has been closed or partially operated during a period of restrictions, you should make sure it is clean and safe before you reopen.

What you should do:

  1. Check whether you need to service or adjust ventilation systems so that they do not automatically reduce ventilation levels due to lower than normal occupancy levels or poor maintenance.

    Most air conditioning systems do not need adjustment if they draw in a supply of fresh air, however where systems serve multiple buildings, or you are unsure, advice should be sought from your heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) engineers or advisers.

  2. Open doors, windows and vents to improve natural ventilation. You can find more information in the section on ventilation and Health and Safety Executive guidance on ventilation and air conditioning.

  3. Consider the risks arising from periods of closure. If your building is unoccupied or has reduced occupancy during a period of restrictions, you should review HSE’s guidance on the risk of legionella.

5.2 Keeping the site clean

You should ensure that you keep the workplace clean and safe. This includes minimising potential transmission routes by cleaning surfaces and touchpoints, and minimising use of shared objects.

What you should do:

  1. Frequent cleaning of work areas, equipment, bathrooms and other high-traffic areas, using your usual cleaning products.

  2. Frequent cleaning of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, including door handles, lift buttons and handrails, and making sure there are adequate disposal arrangements for cleaning products.

  3. Clear workspaces and remove waste and belongings from the work area at the end of a shift.

  4. If you are cleaning after a known or suspected case of COVID-19 then you should follow the measures set out in the guidance for cleaning in non-healthcare settings.

  5. Provide extra waste facilities for staff and visitors to dispose of single-use face coverings and PPE. You should refer to the guidance on disposing of personal or business waste during the coronavirus pandemic for more information.

  6. Maintain good ventilation by opening doors, windows and vents, where possible. You can find more information in the section on ventilation and Health and Safety Executive guidance on ventilation and air conditioning.

  7. Consider wedging doors open to reduce touchpoints where appropriate. This does not apply to fire doors, which should be kept closed.

Additional considerations for hotels and guest accommodation facilities:

  • Make a checklist of all main touchpoints (such as door handles and surfaces) to be cleaned when guests vacate.

  • Clean keys between guests.

  • Introduce enhanced cleaning of all facilities regularly during the day and at the end of the day, with particular regard to any shared facilities.

  • Ensure that housekeeping staff follow government handwashing guidelines.

  • If you are cleaning after a known or suspected case of COVID-19, you may need to provide additional PPE to protect the cleaner’s eyes, mouth and nose in areas where a higher level of virus may be present (for example, in a hotel room where someone unwell has spent the night). You can find more information in the guidance for cleaning in non-healthcare settings.

5.3 Hygiene: washing hands, sanitation and toilet facilities

You should take steps to ensure that good levels of hygiene are maintained throughout the facility.

What you should do:

  1. Use signs and posters to build awareness of good hand-washing technique, the need to increase hand-washing frequency, and good hygiene practices like avoiding touching your face and coughing or sneezing into your arm. Considering how to ensure safety messages reach those with hearing or vision impairments.

  2. Frequently clean toilet facilities. Set clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets to ensure they are kept clean and social distancing can be maintained, including putting up a visible and up-to-date cleaning schedule. Special care should be taken for cleaning of portable toilets and larger toilet blocks.

  3. Provide hand sanitiser in toilet facilities as well as areas where there may be a higher risk of transmission (such as reception and entrance foyers, doorways and lifts). You should check frequently to ensure you maintain adequate supplies at all times, and ensure that any equipment placed is accessible to, and does not impede, wheelchair users.

  4. Keep the facilities well-ventilated, for example by opening doors, windows and vents where possible, and ensuring extractor fans work effectively.

  5. Increase the number of waste facilities and frequency of rubbish collection.

  6. Ensure suitable options for drying are available (either paper towels or hand dryers). Consider the needs of people with disabilities.

  7. Minimise the use of portable toilets. Special care should be taken for cleaning of portable toilets and larger toilet blocks.

Accommodation with shared bathroom facilities

You can operate accommodation with shared toilet or shower facilities, but you must take all possible steps to reduce the risk of transmission. You should:

  • Close shared shower facilities or assign them to one household group, (i.e. make them private), or run a reservation-and-clean process so that one household can exclusively book the shared facilities for a fixed time, and the facilities are cleaned thoroughly between reservations.

If shared toilet and shower facilities are in the same room, guests can use the toilet but can only use the shower if it is assigned to one household or support bubble, or run using a reservation-and-clean rota.

  • Introduce enhanced cleaning of all shared facilities regularly during the day and at the end of the day. Where toilets are shared, set clear use and cleaning guidance to ensure they are kept clean and clear of personal items and that social distancing is achieved as much as possible.

  • Make information available to guests on the increased risk of using these facilities.

  • Where possible, increase ventilation to the facility (e.g. by opening doors and windows).

5.4 Moving around buildings

You should ensure that social distancing can be maintained wherever possible while people travel to, through, and from the workplace.

Arriving and leaving:

  1. Ensure you and your staff are familiar with the Department for Transport’s guidance on safer travel. Consider ways to help people walk or cycle to work if they can, such as installing bike racks.

  2. Consider staggering arrival and departure times, where appropriate, to reduce crowding into and out of the workplace (making sure to consider the impact on those with protected characteristics).

  3. Take steps to minimise transmission risk when using corporate vehicles such as work minibuses. This could include lowering the number of passengers in the vehicle at one time, and leaving empty seats between passengers.

  4. Reduce congestion around entry and exit points, for example by having more entry points to the workplace if possible, and introducing one-way flow with markings and signage.

  5. Provide hand washing facilities or hand sanitiser at entry and exit points and ensure it is accessible.

  6. Consider alternatives to touch-based security devices (such as keypads), for example so that staff can show a pass to security personnel from a distance. If touch-based security devices are necessary, adjust processes to reduce the risk of transmission (for example by cleaning pass readers regularly, and asking staff to hold their passes near readers rather than touching them).

    Within the facility:

  7. Reduce movement by discouraging non-essential trips within buildings and sites, for example by restricting access to some areas, or encouraging use of radios or telephones (note that items shared by staff members will require cleaning between users).

  8. Introduce one-way flow through buildings. Provide floor markings and signage to remind both workers and customers to follow social distancing guidance wherever possible.

  9. Regulate use of high-traffic areas including corridors, lifts, turnstiles and walkways to maintain social distancing.

  10. Provide accessible hand sanitiser for the operation of lifts, and reduce maximum occupancy to ensure that social distancing can be maintained. Encourage the use of stairs instead of lifts wherever possible, but ensure that people with disabilities are able to access lifts.

  11. Consider the needs of those with protected characteristics, such as those who are hearing or visually impaired.

5.5 Ventilation

Ventilation can be used as a control measure to reduce the risk of transmission of COVD-19. Tiny airborne particles can travel further than droplets, and in poorly ventilated spaces this can lead to viral particles spreading between people. Good ventilation can reduce this risk.

Ventilation into any building should be optimised to ensure a fresh air supply is provided to all areas of the facility and increased wherever possible.

What you should do:

  1. Consider how best to maximise ventilation in your facility. There are different ways of providing ventilation, including mechanical ventilation using fans and ducts, natural ventilation which relies on passive flow through openings (doors, windows, vents) or a combination of the two. Open doors, windows and air vents where possible, to improve natural ventilation.

  2. Keep toilet, shower and changing facilities well-ventilated, for example by opening doors, windows and air vents where possible and ensuring extractor fans work effectively. The risk of transmission is greater in spaces that are poorly ventilated.

  3. Consider if you should take further steps to increase ventilation, particularly in areas which have limited air output or where higher-risk activity (such as exercise or people singing or raising their voices) takes place. For example, by opening doors, windows and air vents.

  4. Take additional steps to minimise risk. Ventilation will not reduce the risk of droplet or surface transmission, so other control measures such as cleaning and social distancing are also required.

You can find more detailed advice on identifying poorly ventilated spaces, and further steps you can take to improve ventilation, in the Health and Safety Executive’s guidance on ventilation and air conditioning.

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6. Face coverings and PPE

In this section:

6.1 Face coverings

Face coverings are required in many public indoor places, as well as settings like public transport. This can apply to both staff and visitors, unless they have a valid reason for not wearing one (such as a medical exemption or other permitted reason). If this applies to your business, you have a legal duty to remind your customers to wear face coverings where it is mandated. You should ensure you are aware of the rules on face coverings and how this applies to your facility.

If face coverings are not required in your facility, you should consider asking or encouraging your customers and visitors to wear them. It is strongly encouraged that everyone wears face masks in enclosed public spaces (even where it is not legally required), particularly where social distancing may be difficult or where people may come into contact with others they do not live with or share a support bubble with.

If staff are not legally required to wear face coverings, you should review the risks in your workplace, and assess the need for face coverings on a case-by-case basis. You should support your workers if they choose to wear face coverings.

However you should remember that face coverings are not a replacement for the other ways of managing risk, including minimising time spent in contact, using fixed teams and partnering for close-up work, and increasing hand and surface washing. These measures remain the best ways of managing risk in the workplace and you should not rely on face coverings as a sole form of risk management.

Face coverings for hotels and guest accommodation

  • Face coverings must be worn by customers in public areas of hotels and guest accommodation. This is the law, and you have a legal duty to remind your customers to wear face coverings if this applies to your facility.

  • Check whether guests and staff need to wear face coverings in shared areas of the facility such as reception areas, self-service kitchens and TV or leisure rooms. Ensure guests are aware of the spaces in the facility where face coverings are required, through signage and verbal/digital communications).

  • Encourage customers to wear face coverings in other indoor areas, such as communal corridors. Face coverings should be worn whenever social distancing may be difficult and people are likely to come into contact with people they do not normally meet. You should also consider asking guests to wear face coverings in spaces where they aren’t required but may involve higher risk, such as an outdoor queue to a shared water-point.

  • Staff who work in an indoor area that is open to the public and where they’re likely to come into contact with a member of the public must wear a face covering (unless there is a physical barrier, such as a perspex screen, between them and customers). This also applies to any retail, leisure or hospitality areas of your accommodation facility, such as shops and restaurants.

  • Staff who don’t work in public areas or have close contact with members of the public do not have to wear face coverings. This also applies to any retail, leisure or hospitality areas of your accommodation facility, such as shops and restaurants. However you should encourage or allow staff to wear face masks if they choose to, particularly if social distancing is difficult in their role, or they are likely to have to interact with people from outside their household or support bubble.

  • There may be other rules for different facilities in your venue. For example, people are not required to wear face coverings in sport facilities, however they should be encouraged to wear face coverings in enclosed public areas when not engaging in sport or physical activity. Staff providing close-contact services (such as massage therapists and beauty treatments) are required to wear a visor and a specific type of face mask. You can find more information in the guidance on close contact services and sport facilities.

What you should do:

  1. Ensure you and your staff are familiar with the rules on face coverings and how this applies to your facility. Consider whether you should encourage staff or visitors to wear face coverings in areas where it is not legally mandated.

  2. Ensure that face coverings are worn by staff where required. It is against the law to prevent your staff from wearing a face covering where they are required to do so.

  3. Provide face coverings to staff, if they are required. Where staff need to wear face coverings for their work, you should provide these (as it is a health and safety requirement), but allow staff to use their own face coverings if they choose to.

  4. Take reasonable steps to ensure that visitors are informed of the rules on face coverings, for example through notices at the entrance and in-store communications. You may also want to inform visitors that they should be prepared to remove face coverings if asked to do so by police officers and staff for the purposes of identification (for example, if your business sells age-restricted products).

  5. Consider the impact on people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound, and ways to mitigate this (such as giving staff training on safe or alternative means of communication).

You can find further detail on when and where to wear face coverings (as well as the enforcement measures which can be taken if you do not comply with the law) in the guidance on face coverings.

6.2 Personal protective equipment (PPE)

PPE protects the user against health or safety risks at work. It can include items such as safety helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and safety harnesses. This does not include face coverings, which are covered in the section on face coverings.

Where you are already using PPE in your work activity to protect against non-COVID-19 risks, you should continue to do so.

Where you do not use PPE in your usual work activity, you should not encourage the precautionary use of extra PPE to protect against COVID-19. PPE is only recommended in certain scenarios such as clinical settings, or for people responding to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.

COVID-19 is a different type of risk to the risks you normally face in a workplace, and needs to be managed through social distancing, hygiene and fixed teams or partnering, not through the use of PPE.

What you should do:

  1. Review the need for PPE in your risk assessment. Unless you are in a situation where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is very high, your risk assessment should reflect the fact that the role of PPE in providing additional protection is extremely limited.

  2. If your risk assessment does show that PPE is required, you must provide this PPE free of charge to workers who need it. Any PPE provided must fit properly.

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7. Travel and transport

In this section:

7.1 Work-related travel

You should avoid unnecessary work travel and keep people safe when they do need to travel between locations.

What you should do:

  1. Minimise non-essential travel – consider remote options first.

  2. Ensure you and your staff are familiar with the Department for Transport’s guidance on safer travel.

  3. Minimise the use of shared vehicles for people from different households or support bubbles (where it is permitted) by using fixed travel partners, increasing ventilation by opening windows, and avoiding sitting face-to-face.

  4. Minimise transmission risk when using corporate vehicles such as work minibuses. This could include lowering the number of passengers in the vehicle at one time, and leaving empty seats between passengers.

  5. Ensure shared vehicles are cleaned between shifts or on handover.

  6. Where workers are required to stay away from their home, centrally log the stay and make sure any overnight accommodation meets social distancing guidelines.

For more information about work-related travel to make deliveries to other sites, see the section on deliveries and handling goods.

7.2 Deliveries to other sites

You should ensure that workers delivering to other sites (such as factories, logistics sites or customers’ premises) can maintain social distancing and hygiene practices.

What you should do:

  1. Ensure you and your staff are familiar with the Department for Transport’s guidance on safer travel.

  2. Minimise the use of shared vehicles by using fixed travel partners, increasing ventilation by opening windows, and avoiding sitting face-to-face.

  3. Ensure shared vehicles are cleaned between shifts or on handover.

  4. Put in place procedures to minimise person-to-person contact during deliveries to other sites.

  5. Use solo workers to make deliveries and load or unload vehicles, where it is possible and safe. Where two-person deliveries are required, maintain consistent pairing where possible to minimise transmission risk.

  6. Minimise contact during payments and exchange of documentation, for example by using electronic payment methods and electronically signed and exchanged documents.

  7. Where workers are required to stay away from their home, centrally logging the stay and making sure any overnight accommodation meets social distancing guidelines.

7.3 Inbound and outbound goods

You should ensure that on-site and visiting workers maintain social distancing and avoid surface transmission when goods enter and leave the site.

What you should do:

  1. Ensure you and your staff are familiar with the Department for Transport’s guidance on safer travel.

  2. Review pick-up and drop-off collection points, procedures, signage and markings, and consider ways to minimise transmission risk.

  3. Minimise unnecessary contact at delivery points such as security checkpoints, delivery yards and warehouses. For example, consider implementing non-contact deliveries where the nature of the product allows for use of electronic pre-booking.

  4. Consider methods to reduce the frequency of deliveries, for example by ordering larger quantities less often.

  5. Use solo workers to make deliveries and load or unload vehicles, where it is possible and safe. Where two-person deliveries are required, maintain consistent pairing where possible to minimise transmission risk.

  6. Encourage drivers to stay in their vehicleswhere this does not compromise their safety and existing safe working practice, such as preventing drive-aways. However you should ensure drivers have to access welfare facilities when required.

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Where to find more information

In this section:

Guidance for your sector

Hospitality:

Meetings and events:

Resources

How to find your local PHE health protection team

The COVID-secure notice you can display in your workplace if you follow this guidance

Health and Safety Executive guidance on COVID-19 risk assessments, social distancing to make your workplace COVID-secure, ventilation and air conditioning and general advice on managing risk

Register and order COVID-19 tests for your employees

Support for businesses and employers during coronavirus (COVID-19)

General guidance for employees during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Guidance for employers and employees on statutory sick pay due to coronavirus.

Guidance on maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace

Coronavirus guidance and support

COVID-19: What you need to do

Guidance on the current restrictions and what you can and cannot do

Guidance on education, universities and childcare, and advice for schools and out-of-school settings

Guidance on accessing green spaces

Guidance on face coverings

Guidance on NHS Test and Trace and self-isolation

Guidance on NHS COVID-19 testing

Guidance on safer travel

Guidance on social distancing

Guidance on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Guidance for wedding and civil partnerships receptions and celebrations and funerals

Guidance on who is at higher risk from coronavirus, and for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

What to do if you or someone in your household has symptoms or tests positive.

What to do if you have close contact with someone outside your household who has symptoms or tests positive

Guidance for workplace settings

Guidance on cleaning in non-healthcare settings

HSE guidance on the risk of legionella

Guidance on disposing of personal or business waste during the coronavirus pandemic

Working safely in close contact services (including hairdressers and beauty facilities)

Working safely in factories, plants and warehouses

Working safely in heritage locations

Working safely in hotels and guest accommodation

Working safely in indoor and outdoor sport facilities (including gyms, saunas and steam rooms)

Guidance for outdoor gyms and playgrounds, and soft play areas

Working safely in the performing arts

Working safely in restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway service

Working safely in retail shops, stores and branches

Working safely in visitor economy settings (including business events, large events, attractions and leisure events)

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