Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)

The visitor economy

Guidance for people who work in hotels and guest accommodation, indoor and outdoor attractions, and business events and consumer shows.

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

National restrictions apply in England from 6 January.

Find out about the new restrictions and what you can and cannot do.

For the visitor economy, this means:

Certain businesses and venues will be ordered to close.

  • These include:
    • indoor and outdoor leisure, games and recreation facilities such as bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres), circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, water parks and theme parks, animal attractions (such as zoos, safari parks, aquariums, and wildlife centres).
    • indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open for outdoor exercise
    • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, arcades and bingo halls
    • personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, spas, and massage parlours all non-essential retail, including travel agents, market stalls selling non-essential goods and vehicle showrooms.
    • hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery.
    • accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances, 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 purposes. Restaurants and bars within guest accommodation should remain closed although 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 be encouraged not to gather and social distancing should be observed. Further information can be found in the guidance for hotels and other guest accommodation.
    • leisure and sports facilities such as gyms, swimming pools, sports courts and fitness studios including those within guest accommodation. Outdoor sports courts, outdoor gyms, golf courses, outdoor swimming pools, archery/driving/shooting ranges and riding arenas must also close.
    • 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.
    • 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.

People should stay at home where possible and should only travel to work if they cannot work from home.

  • People should minimise time spent outside their home, but can leave their home to exercise. This should be limited to once per day, and they should not travel outside their local area. They may exercise on their own, with one other person, or with their household or support bubble, and should ensure they are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of their household or support bubble.
  • Under these restrictions, some heritage locations can be visited for the purposes of daily exercise in a public outdoor place, this should be limited to once per day, and people should not travel outside their local area to access these locations. These include historic parks, gardens and landscapes and ruins, and monuments open to the elements, even where entry is paid for. People should maintain social distance when exercising with anybody who is not in their household or support bubble, and avoid any activity which requires close contact.
  • Travel:
    • People must not leave home without a reasonable excuse (for example, for work or education purposes). If travel is necessary people should stay local and look to reduce the number of journeys.
    • The list of reasons that people can leave their home and area include, but are not limited to:
      • work, where they cannot reasonably work from home
      • accessing education and for caring responsibilities
      • visiting their support bubble – or childcare bubble
      • visiting hospital, GP and other medical appointments
      • buying goods or services that they need, but this should be within their local area wherever possible
      • outdoor exercise. This should be done locally wherever possible, but people can travel a short distance within your area to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space) attending the care and exercise of an animal, or veterinary services
      • maintaining second homes, caravans, boats and other assets is not generally a reasonable excuse for leaving home. However, people may leave home to secure their second home, caravan or boat in order to avoid it posing a risk of harm/injury to themselves or others.
  • Overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences will not be allowed - including holidays in the UK and abroad. This includes staying in a second home or caravan, or people staying with anyone they do not live with or are not in a support bubble with. There are specific exceptions, for example if people need to stay away from home (including in a second home) for work or education purposes.
  • When travel is necessary and staying in hotels and other guest accommodation required, we expect people to act responsibly, in line with government regulations and guidance. Guest accommodation providers such as hotels, B&Bs and caravan parks may remain open for the specific reasons set out in law, including where guests are unable to return to their main residence, use that guest accommodation as their main residence, need accommodation while moving house, are self-isolating as required by law, or would otherwise be made homeless as a result of the accommodation closing.
  • At the time that restrictions are brought in, if people are currently on holiday and it is not reasonable for them to curtail their stay, they should finish their holiday as planned. People should return home as soon as practical and comply with the ‘stay at home’ requirements whilst in holiday accommodation in the meantime. Further information can be found in the guidance for hotels and other guest accommodation.
  • People can only travel internationally – or within the UK – where they first have a legally permitted reason to leave home and should consider the public health advice in the country they are visiting. If overseas travel is required (and legally permitted, for example, because it is for work), travellers should look at the rules in place at their destination and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice.
  • UK residents currently abroad do not need to return home immediately.
  • International visitors may continue to enter the country, subject to the existing Travel Corridor rules. Whilst here, international visitors should adhere to all national lockdown regulations and guidance.
  • Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people, and it is advised that only close friends and family attend. Wakes and other linked ceremonial events such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 6 people in attendance. Anyone working is not included. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.
  • Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies must only take place with up to 6 people. Anyone working is not included. These should only take place in exceptional circumstances, for example, an urgent marriage where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover, or is to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery.

From 6 January 2021, national lockdown restrictions supersede the contents of this guidance document, in particular where the document refers to tiers 1,2,3 and 4. This guidance document can still be used by those businesses which are permitted to operate under the national restrictions, to support those businesses to operate safely.

This guidance was updated on 7 January 2021.

What’s changed

Updated guidance covering national restrictions in England from 6 January.

Local restriction tiers - suspended during national restrictions from 6 January

Different tiers of restrictions apply in different parts of the country. 

There are 4 tiers for local restrictions:

It is right to target the toughest measures only in areas where the virus is most prevalent and where we are seeing sharper increases in the rate of infection.

Find out which tier your organisation will be in.

Restrictions for organisations in the visitor economy vary according to tier.

Below is the visitor economy guidance document setting out the restrictions that are in place for tier 1: Medium alert. Areas in tier 2: High alert, tier 3: Very High alert and tier 4: Stay at home will be subject to further restrictions, the details of which can be found here.

For tier 1: Medium alert

Social Contact People must not socialise in groups larger than 6, indoors or outdoors (other than where a legal exemption applies)
Travel and Overnight Trips There are no restrictions on travel, though people should stay local and avoid travelling outside of their local area where possible, and are encouraged to walk or cycle rather than use public transport where possible and to avoid sharing a car with those outside their own household or support bubble.

Residents are able to travel within their local area or to other tier 1 areas and stay overnight in hotels and other holiday accommodation in groups of up to six people (or larger if from a single household/support bubble). People should maintain social distancing with anyone they do not live with.

Residents are allowed to travel to tier 2 areas, but should only do so within their own household/support bubbles.

We advise people to avoid travelling to any part of the country subject to tier 3 restrictions, unless necessary for a permitted reason such as for work.

People should not travel into a Tier 4 area from another part of the UK, other than for permitted reasons such as work, education and for caring responsibilities.

People are still allowed to travel abroad. Anyone planning to travel abroad should check the situation in their destination country and what restrictions they will be subject to, as well as FCDO travel advice and the current travel corridor list.
Business Closures Businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law.

Relevant venues in the entertainment, leisure and tourism sectors must be closed between 11pm and 5am. This includes social clubs, casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls.
Education, Work and Training Permitted venues, including exhibition and conference centres, can hire out function and event spaces for essential work, education and training purposes. See Chapter 2.2.3 for further detail.
Business Meetings and Events Business meetings and events such as conferences, exhibitions, conventions, and consumer/trade shows are permitted at a cap of 50% of the venue’s capacity or 4000 people outdoors and 1000 people indoors, whichever is lowest.

Social distancing must be maintained, and the guidelines that follow in this document should be followed.

This cap does not include venue or site staff.

See Chapter 2.2.3 for further detail.
Outdoor Events In addition to outdoor business events (such as trade shows and exhibitions), both elite sporting events and live performances and shows in performing arts venues are permitted at a cap of 50% or 4000 people, whichever is lowest.

This cap does not include venue / site staff.

All other outdoor events organised by businesses, charitable organisations and public bodies, such as funfairs and fairgrounds, car boot sales, and literary fairs are permitted and are not subject to this cap. Event organisers must follow all relevant guidance and adhere to all legal requirements. Local authorities are responsible for permitting or prohibiting organised outdoor events in their local area. Decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis, with consideration given to both the risks and the mitigations in place, and advice on how to manage events of this type should be provided if required.

Further information can be found at Annex A.
Hospitality Hospitality venues such as pubs, restaurants and cafes - including those inside hotels and other accommodation - must take last orders at 10pm and be closed between 11pm and 5am. This will include take-aways but delivery, click and collect and drive-through services can continue after 10pm. Ports, transport services and motorway service areas are exempt from this requirement, though no alcohol must be served after 10pm.

Hotels and other accommodation will still be able to provide food and drink including alcohol through room service between the hours of 11pm and 5am as long as it is ordered by phone or online.

Businesses that sell alcohol for consumption on the premises must only do so via table service. This means all food and drink (whether or not alcoholic) from any business that sells alcohol for consumption on site must be ordered from, served at and consumed by seated customers. A business that does not sell alcohol, but sells food and drink for consumption on or near the premises, does not need to provide table service. However, food and drink must be consumed by customers while they are seated. For example, a hotel bar selling alcohol must only provide table service, and customers must be seated. A kiosk or counter that does not sell alcohol but has a seated area on site can sell food or drink over the counter, as long as they take reasonable steps to ensure customers will only consume the food or drink once seated. There are exemptions for cinemas, theatres, sports venues, and concert venues.

Businesses offering breakfast/lunch buffets are allowed to have people order and be served by a member of staff at the food station as long as no alcohol is being served at the sitting restaurant at the time. Food and drink must be consumed seated.
Guided Tours Tour groups must operate in line with social contact rules. If it is possible to ensure that groups of more than six (or larger if they are from one household) do not mingle on a guided tour, it can go ahead. People must stay in their own group at all times throughout the tour. Tours may take place indoors or outdoors provided businesses undertake risk assessments in line with this guidance document and put any necessary mitigations in place.
Coach Tours Tour groups must operate in line with social contact rules. If it is possible to accommodate separate groups of up to 6 (or larger if they are from one household) and they do not mingle on a tour, it can go ahead. Legislation does not place capacity constraints on public transport services, private hire vehicles or leisure tours. However, operators should continue to provide Covid-secure transport services which can accommodate multiple groups of up to 6 to ensure groups do not gather unlawfully. People must stay in their own group on all parts of the tour and must socially distance from those they do not live with - including whilst in hospitality settings and when visiting attractions as well as whilst on the coach. Passengers should wear face coverings and should wash their hands at the start and the end of their journey. The coach should be well ventilated with fresh air and any other necessary mitigations should be put in place to ensure the coach is Covid-secure.

Travel is permitted between tier 1 and tier 2. Travel into or out of tier 3 is advised against and only allowed for legally permitted reasons in tier 4, but a coach could drive through a tier 3 or tier 4 area to reach a tier 1 or tier 2 area. They should not stop in the tier 3 or tier 4 area unless there is an emergency, and passengers must adhere to the tier 3 or tier 4 rules on social contact while they are in the tier 3 or tier 4 area.
Weddings and Civil Partnerships Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are permitted with up to 15 people. Wedding and civil partnership celebrations, in the form of a sit down reception or meal, are permitted with up to 15 people. Anyone working is not included. See further guidance on wedding and civil partnerships receptions and celebrations.
Funerals Funerals are permitted with up to 30 people. Wakes and other commemorative events are permitted with up to 15 people.

In addition, this visitor economy guidance will highlight key restrictions and provide further clarification on measures that are in place for tier 2: High alert, tier 3: Very High alert areas and tier 4: Stay at home areas. You should always check the local tier level in your area to see which level applies to your business, and read further guidance about each tier level.

A summary of key restrictions relating to tier 2: High alert and tier 3: Very High alert areas can be found in the table below, these are in addition to restrictions in tier 1: Medium.

Tier 2: High Tier 3: Very High
Social Contact: Indoors People must not socialise with anybody outside of their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.

People should maintain social distancing with anyone they do not live with.
People must not socialise with anybody outside of their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.
Social Contact: Outdoors People must not socialise outdoors in a group of more than 6 people from different households (larger gatherings are permitted if from the same household/support bubble), including in private gardens or public outdoor spaces like beaches or parks (other than where specific exemptions apply in law).

People should maintain social distancing with anyone they do not live with.
You can meet in groups of up to 6 people from different households in public outdoor places (such as parks, beaches, and outdoor sports courts and facilities).

However, you must not meet socially outdoors with anybody outside your household/support bubble in other outdoor venues or in private gardens.

People should maintain social distancing with anyone they do not live with.
Travel and Overnight Trips People should stay local and avoid travelling outside of your local area where possible.

Residents are able to travel within their local area and stay overnight in hotels and other holiday accommodation, but should only do so with members of their own household/support bubble.

Residents can leave tier 2 areas to go on holiday in tier 1 or other tier 2 areas within their own household/support bubbles, though are encouraged to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible.

We advise people to avoid travelling to any part of the country subject to tier 3, unless necessary for a permitted reason such as for work.

People should not travel into a Tier 4 area from another part of the UK, other than for permitted reasons such as work, education and for caring responsibilities.

People are still allowed to travel abroad. Anyone planning to travel abroad should check the situation in their destination country and what restrictions they will be subject to, as well as FCDO travel advice and the current travel corridor list.
People should stay local and avoid travelling outside of your local area where possible.

Residents should avoid travelling or making overnight stays outside their local area, unless necessary for activity such as work, education or youth services, or to meet caring responsibilities. If an overnight stay is essential, people must only do so within their own household/support bubble.

Residents may make overnight stays in hotels or other accommodation within their local area within their own household/support bubble.

People who live outside a tier 3 area should avoid entering or making overnight stays there, unless necessary for activity such as work, education or youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if travelling through as part of a longer journey. This is the case even for people who live in a different tier 3 area.

If an overnight stay is essential, people must only do so with their household/support bubble.

People should not travel into a Tier 4 area from another part of the UK, other than for permitted reasons such as work, education and for caring responsibilities.

Whilst people are advised against travel outside of tier 3 areas, people are still allowed to travel abroad. Anyone planning to travel abroad should check the situation in their destination country and what restrictions they will be subject to, as well as FCDO travel advice and the current travel corridor list.
Education, Work and Training Permitted venues, including exhibition and conference centres, can hire out function and event spaces for essential work, education and training purposes. See Section 2.2.3 for further detail. Permitted venues, including exhibition and conference centres, can hire out function and event spaces for essential work, education and training purposes. See Section 2.2.3 for further detail.
Business Meetings and Events Business meetings and events such as conferences, exhibitions, conventions, and consumer/trade shows are permitted at a cap of 50% of the venue’s capacity or 2000 people outdoors / 1000 people indoors, whichever is lowest.

Social distancing must be maintained, and the guidelines that follow in this document should be followed.

This cap does not include venue / site staff.

Social lunches are not permitted.

See Section 2.2.3 for further detail.
Large business events such as conferences, exhibitions and trade shows are not permitted indoors, or outdoors with the exception of drive-in events.

Smaller business meetings are advised against, but may take place with up to a total of 30 people if reasonably necessary — for example, for the purposes of work that cannot be done at home — if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance.

Event spaces, including in conference centres and exhibition halls, can be used for permitted reasons, including for business events of up to 30 where reasonably necessary, for education and training purposes where reasonably necessary, or to provide socially beneficial public services such as Nightingale hospitals or food banks. Conference centres and exhibition halls should remain closed for conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, private dining or banqueting events.

Social lunches are not permitted.

See Section 2.2.3 for further detail.
Outdoor Events In addition to outdoor business events (such as trade shows and exhibitions), both elite sporting events and live performances and shows in performing arts venues are permitted at a cap of 50% or 2000 people, whichever is lower.

This cap does not include venue / site staff.

All other outdoor events organised by businesses, charitable organisations and public bodies, such as funfairs and fairgrounds, car boot sales, and literary fairs are permitted and are not subject to this cap.

Further information can be found at Annex A.
Outdoor business events (such as trade shows and exhibitions) are not permitted.

Elite sporting events are permitted without spectators.

Performing art venues will be closed to audiences. Drive-in venues will remain open to performances with audiences. Outdoor performing arts activity can still take place in line with the Performing Arts guidance.

All other outdoor events organised by businesses, charitable organisations and public bodies, such as funfairs and fairgrounds, car boot sales, and literary fairs are permitted but must follow all relevant COVID-Secure guidance.

Further information can be found at Annex A.
Hospitality Pubs and bars must close unless operating as restaurants; hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals and must close if they do not serve substantial meals. There are exemptions for cinemas, theatres, sports venues, and concert venues.

Hospitality venues such as pubs, restaurants and cafes - including those inside hotels and other accommodation - must take last orders at 10pm and be closed between 11pm and 5am. This will include take-aways but delivery, click and collect and drive-through services can continue after 10pm. Ports, transport services and motorway service areas are exempt from this requirement, though no alcohol must be served after 10pm.

Hotels and other accommodation will still be able to provide food and drink including alcohol through room service between the hours of 11pm and 5am as long as it is ordered by phone or online.

Table service rules apply as at tier 1.

Businesses offering breakfast/lunch buffets are allowed to have people order and be served by a member of staff at the food station as long as no alcohol is being served at the sitting restaurant at the time.
Hospitality venues must close with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drink for takeaway; though food and drink including alcohol can be purchased via click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery.

Hotels will still be able to provide food and drink including alcohol through room service as long as it is ordered by phone or online.
Accommodation No restrictions in place. Hotels and other guest accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions set out in law.

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 be encouraged not to gather and social distancing should be observed.

Hotels may keep open any onsite facility (such as gyms and spas) that is not otherwise closed by law outside a hotel setting.

Further information can be found in the guidance for Hotels and Other Guest Accommodation.
Visitor Attractions Relevant venues in the entertainment, leisure and tourism sectors must be closed between 11pm and 5am. This includes social clubs, casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, bingo halls and sports stadia. Indoor venues and attractions must close. This includes indoor play centres and areas including trampolining parks and soft play, casinos, bingo halls, bowling alleys, arcades, leisure activities such as laser quest and escape rooms, cinemas, theatres and concert halls. This also includes indoor attractions at water parks and aqua parks, zoos, safari parks, wildlife reserves, aquariums, model villages, museums and galleries, botanical gardens, biomes, greenhouses, visitor attractions at film studios, heritage sites such as castles and stately homes and landmarks including observation decks and viewing platforms. Indoor shops, through-ways and public toilets at these attractions can remain open.

If a heritage railway service is provided primarily for dining or other recreational purposes; or for the carriage of passengers from the same start and end point then this is an indoor attraction and must close in tier 3. If the heritage railway service is going from place to place (i.e. point A to point B), it is considered ‘public transport’ and can be permitted if required for the purposes of transport in tier 3 provided all social distancing and face covering requirements are followed.

Outdoor venues and attractions may remain open. This includes adventure playgrounds and parks, theme parks, ziplining, fun fairs and fairgrounds, public gardens and outdoor areas of botanical gardens. This also includes outdoor attractions at water parks and aqua parks, zoos, safari parks, aquariums, model villages, museums and galleries, botanical gardens, and heritage sites.

Outdoor venues and attractions can remain open and can offer food and drink as a takeaway service. Alcohol may only be sold as delivery or click and collect.
Guided Tours Tour groups must operate in line with social contact rules.

Indoors: If it is possible to ensure that groups of a single household/support bubble do not mingle on a guided tour, it can go ahead.

Outdoors: If it is possible to ensure that groups of more than six (or larger if they are from one household) do not mingle on a guided tour, it can go ahead.

People must stay in their own group at all times throughout the tour.

Tours may take place indoors or outdoors provided businesses undertake risk assessments in line with this guidance document and put any necessary mitigations in place.
Indoor venues and attractions will be closed.

Tours may take place outdoors if it is possible to ensure that groups of one household/support bubble do not mingle on a guided tour. If your tour is taking place outdoors at a historic park, public garden or landscape, then the rule of six applies, in line with general visiting restrictions. People must stay in their own group at all times throughout the tour. Businesses must undertake risk assessments in line with this guidance document and put any necessary mitigations in place.
Coach Tours Tour groups must operate in line with social contact rules.

If it is possible to accommodate separate groups of a single household/support bubble and they do not mingle on a tour, it can go ahead. Legislation does not place capacity constraints on public transport services, private hire vehicles or leisure tours. However, operators should continue to provide Covid-secure transport services which can accommodate multiple groups of single household/support bubbles to ensure groups do not gather unlawfully. People must stay in their own group on all parts of the tour and must socially distance from those they do not live with - including whilst in hospitality settings and when visiting attractions as well as whilst on the coach. Passengers should wear face coverings and should wash their hands at the start and the end of their journey. The coach should be well ventilated with fresh air and any other necessary mitigations should be put in place to ensure the coach is Covid-secure.

Travel is permitted between tier 1 and tier 2. Travel into or out of tier 3 is advised against and only allowed for legally permitted reasons in tier 4, but a coach could drive through a tier 3 or tier 4 area to reach a tier 1 or tier 2 area. They should not stop in the tier 3 or tier 4 area unless there is an emergency, and passengers must adhere to the tier 3 or tier 4 rules on social contact while they are in the tier 3 or tier 4 area.
People are advised not to travel into or out of an area if it has been categorised as tier 3, other than for work, education, to access youth services or because of caring responsibilities. We therefore advise that coach tours within/to/from a tier 3 area do not go ahead. Coaches can drive through a tier 3 area to reach a tier 1 or tier 2 area. They should not stop in the tier 3 area unless there is an emergency, and passengers must adhere to the tier 3 rules on social contact while they are in the tier 3 area.
Weddings Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are permitted with up to 15 people. Wedding and civil partnership celebrations, in the form of a sit down reception or meal, are permitted with up to 15 people. Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are permitted with up to 15 people. Wedding and civil partnership celebrations are not permitted.
Funerals Funerals are permitted with up to 30 people. Wakes and other commemorative events are permitted with up to 15 people. Anyone working is not included. Funerals are permitted with up to 30 people. Wakes and other commemorative events are permitted with up to 15 people. Anyone working is not included.

A summary of key restrictions relating to tier 4: Stay at home areas can be found in the table below, these are in addition to restrictions in tier 1: Medium.

Tier 4: Stay at home
Social Contact People must not leave or be outside of the place they are living unless they have a reasonable excuse. People cannot meet other people indoors unless they live with them, or are part of their support bubble.

People can only meet with one other person outside their household in public outdoor places.
Travel and Overnight Trips Residents must not leave their home unless they have a reasonable excuse (e.g. for work or education purposes). If people need to travel they should stay local - meaning avoiding travelling outside of their village, town or the part of a city where they live - and they should reduce the number of journeys overall.

The list of reasons that people can leave their home and area include, but are not limited to:

- work, where people cannot work from home
- accessing education and for caring responsibilities
- visiting their support bubble - or childcare bubble
- visiting hospital, GP and other medical appointments
- buying goods or services from premises that are open in tier 4 areas, including essential retail
- outdoor recreation or exercise. This should be done locally wherever possible, but people can travel a short distance within their tier 4 area to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space) People are encouraged to walk or cycle where possible and plan ahead to avoid busy times and routes on public transport.

People should not travel into a tier 4 area from another part of the UK, other than for permitted reasons such as work, education and for caring responsibilities.

Residents in tier 4 areas can only travel internationally - or within the UK - where they first have a legally permitted reason to leave home.

People living outside a tier 4 area may still transit into or through a tier 4 area to travel abroad if they need to.

People that need to travel overseas from a tier 4 area (and are legally permitted to do so, for example, because it is for work), should look at the rules in place at their destination and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice.
Business Closures Businesses and venues which must close include:

- non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores
- leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and indoor gyms, indoor swimming pools, indoor sports courts and indoor fitness and dance studios
- personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons
Accommodation Hotels and other guest accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions set out in law, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home or for providing accommodation or support to the homeless.

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 be encouraged not to gather and social distancing should be observed.
Hospitality Hospitality venues must close with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway (until 11pm). Food and drink can be purchased via click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery.

Hotels will still be able to provide food and drink including alcohol through room service as long as it is ordered by phone or online.
Indoor Attractions Indoor entertainment venues and attractions must close. These include: theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres) and circuses.

Indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes, zoos and other animal attractions, and landmarks must also close, though the outdoor attractions of these premises can stay open.

People must stay at home unless they have a reasonable excuse.
Outdoor Attractions and Events Entertainment venues must close including: fairgrounds, funfairs, water parks and theme parks.

Outdoor business events (such as trade shows and exhibitions) are not permitted. Performing art venues will be closed to audiences, including outdoor performing art activities.

All other outdoor events organised by businesses, charitable organisations and public bodies, such as car boot sales, and literary fairs are not permitted.

Elite sporting events are permitted without spectators.
Guided Tours and coach tours Indoor venues and attractions will be closed.

Guided tours should not take place in tier 4.

Coach tours must not take place in tier 4.
Education, Work and Training Permitted venues, including exhibition and conference centres, can hire out function and event spaces for essential work, education and training purposes. However, they must not host conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, private dining events or banquets (other than where these are only attended by employees of the venue itself)
Business Meetings and Events Large business events such as conferences, exhibitions and trade shows are not permitted, this includes drive-in events.

Business meetings for work, training or education purposes can still take place but only where the event cannot be delayed, where it is not possible to carry out the activity from home, and if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate it has followed COVID-19 guidance.

Event spaces, including in conference centres and exhibition halls, can be used for permitted reasons, including for business events where reasonably necessary, for education and training purposes where reasonably necessary, or to provide socially beneficial public services such as Nightingale hospitals or food banks.

Conference centres and exhibition halls must remain closed for conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, private dining or banqueting events (other than where these are only attended by employees of the venue itself).

Social events, including lunches with colleagues, are not permitted.
Weddings and Civil Partnerships Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies must only take place in COVID-19 Secure venues or in public outdoor spaces in groups of up to 6 people. Anyone working is not included. Where possible, these should only take place in exceptional circumstances, for example, an urgent marriage where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover, or is to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery.
Funerals Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Wakes and other linked ceremonial events can continue in a group of up to 6 people. Anyone working is not counted in these limits. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.

Additional considerations:

  • It is law for staff and customers to wear face coverings in retail and hospitality venues and in private hire vehicles and taxis, except when eating or drinking (or because they are exempt). Businesses must remind people to wear face coverings where mandated.
  • Staff who can work effectively from home should do so. Employers must not knowingly require or encourage someone who is being required to self-isolate to come to work.
  • It is an offence for a relevant business to fail to take all reasonable measures to:

    • i) require adherence to social contact restrictions (respecting all exceptions to this) when taking a booking; or allowing entry and once groups are within the premises failing to take steps to advise groups not to merge in ways that breach the rules

    • ii) ensure adequate distance between tables (2m or 1m+ with appropriate mitigation)

Priority actions to take - what businesses need to do to protect staff and customers

Seven steps to protect yourself, your staff and your customers during coronavirus.

  1. Complete a COVID-19 risk assessment. Share it with all your staff. Find out how to do a 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.

  3. Ask your customers to wear face coverings in any indoor space or where required to do so by law. That is especially important if your customers are likely to be around people they do not normally meet. Some exemptions apply. Check when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own.

  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.

  5. Increase ventilation by keeping doors and windows open where possible and running fresh air ventilation systems at all times.

  6. Take part in NHS Test and Trace by keeping a record of all your customers for 21 days. Some exemptions apply. Check Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace for details. You must 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.

  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.

Further things to be aware of if your business is part of the ‘visitor economy’:

  • Let customers know that by law they can only visit in groups as permitted by law. 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.
  • Encourage contactless payments. Whenever possible, use online booking and pre-payment and ask for contactless payments.
  • Understand how your business interacts with the local area. Limit risk by reducing queues on the street outside, staggering check in times and opening hours to other businesses, and advising customers to avoid particular forms of transport at busy times or routes to avoid crowded areas.

These are the priority actions to make your business safe during coronavirus, you should also read the full version of the guidance below.

Introduction

The UK government’s COVID-19 Winter Plan presents a programme for suppressing the virus, protecting the NHS and the vulnerable, keeping education and the economy going and providing a route back to normality.

This guide will help you understand how to make your workplace COVID-Secure and help tackle COVID-19. We thank you for playing your part in this national effort.

Who this guide is for

The visitor economy is much broader than tourism and encompasses all staying and non-staying visitors and the activities and expenditure involved in supplying products and services for visitors by both the private and public sectors.

The visitor economy also encompasses a multitude of different working environments, from outdoor paid for attractions like theme parks to indoor attractions like stately homes or planetariums.

It also includes a variety of activities and events which take place at hotels, convention and exhibition centres and conference halls and meeting rooms.

This guidance is aimed at business owners, operators and workers in the following areas:

  • hotels and other guest accommodation (including self-catering accommodation, B&Bs, hostels, camping, holiday homes, caravan parks, boats and other types of accommodation including short-term letting). This guidance should be read in conjunction with the working safely in hotels and other accommodation guidance.
  • indoor and outdoor attractions (e.g. arcades, guided tours, theme parks, family entertainment centres, funfairs, zoos, and aquariums). The events guidance may also be useful.
  • business events (e.g. conferences, exhibitions, conventions, consumer/trade shows and other events and meetings).
  • outdoor events - an annex to this document provides guidance for events organisers and Local Authorities assessing event applications, to supplement full guidance issued by the Events Industry Forum.

The guidance should also be read in conjunction with other guidance on working safely during coronavirus, the safer travel guidance and other available sector guidance.

This guidance is to help employers, employees and the self-employed in England understand how to work safely and protect their customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping to the recommended social distancing guidance applicable at the time.

Public health is devolved in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales; this guidance should be considered alongside local public health and safety requirements and legislation in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. For advice to businesses in other parts of the UK please see guidance set by the Northern Ireland Executive, the Scottish Government, and the Welsh Government. Tourism is also a devolved competency; as such, this guidance is meant to complement any guidance in the Devolved Administrations, where relevant.

While this guidance applies to England, you should always check the local COVID alert level of your area. If so, you should first read the guidance relevant to your area as this may supersede guidance in this guidance.

If you have any feedback for us, please email tourismheritagecovid@culture.gov.uk.

This guidance is designed to be relevant for people who work within the visitor economy; for example people who operate or run hotels and other types of accommodation (there is also a separate hotels and other guest accommodation guidance), indoor and outdoor visitor attractions guidance, and guidance for people who run or manage spaces for business or leisure events and conferences.

How to use this guidance

This document sets out guidance on how to work safely within the visitor economy and for guests and visitors to these locations while minimising the risk of spreading COVID-19. It gives practical considerations of how guidance can be applied in the workplace and at these locations which, in the case of the visitor economy, will be different for each premises or outlet. This guidance only relates to activities permitted by Her Majesty’s Government regulation.

Each business will need to translate this into the specific actions it needs to take, depending on the nature of their business, including the size and type of business, how it is organised, operated, managed and regulated. A site by site approach is essential and COVID-19 risk assessment for premises will be unique. Therefore this guidance should be used to translate to whatever areas are relevant to your business and any measures that are taken should fit safely with any operational needs.

This guidance does not supersede any legal obligations relating to health and safety, employment or equalities and it is important that as a business or an employer you continue to comply with your existing obligations, including those relating to individuals with protected characteristics. It contains non-statutory guidance to take into account when complying with these existing obligations. When considering how to apply this guidance, take into account agency workers, contractors and other people, as well as your employees.

To help you decide which actions to take as a business, you need to carry out an appropriate COVID-19 risk assessment, at a business and site level, just as you would for other health and safety related hazards. This risk assessment must be done in consultation with unions or workers.

We know many people are also keen to return to or contribute to volunteering. Organisations have a duty of care to volunteers to ensure as far as reasonably practicable they are not exposed to risks to their health and safety. This guidance around working safely during COVID-19 should ensure that volunteers are afforded the same level of protection to their health and safety as employees, the self-employed and customers.

Recognising that within the visitor economy it is common practice to operate both in your own and in third parties’ premises or venues, and to hire equipment from third parties, collaboration between groups, organisations and businesses will likely be needed to give proper effect to this guidance.

1. Thinking about risk

In this section

Objective: That all employers carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment.

COVID-19 is a public health emergency. Everyone needs to assess and manage the risks of COVID-19, and in particular businesses should consider the risks to their workers and customers. As an employer, you also have a legal responsibility to protect workers and others from risk to their health and safety. This means you need to think about the risks they face and do everything reasonably practicable to minimise them, recognising you cannot completely eliminate the risk of COVID-19.

You must make sure that the risk assessment for your business addresses the risks of COVID-19, using this guidance to inform your decisions and control measures. A risk assessment is not about creating huge amounts of paperwork, but rather about identifying sensible measures to control the risks in your workplace. If you have fewer than 5 workers, or are self-employed, you don’t have to write anything down as part of your risk assessment. Your risk assessment will help you decide whether you have done everything you need to. The Health and Safety Executive has guidance for business on how to manage risk and risk assessment at work along with specific advice to help control the risk of coronavirus in workplaces.

Employers have a duty to consult their people on health and safety. In a small business, you might choose to consult your workers directly. Larger businesses may consult through a health and safety representative, chosen by your employees or selected by a trade union. You can do this by listening and talking to them about the work and how you will manage risks from COVID-19. The people who do the work are often the best people to understand the risks in the workplace and will have a view on how to work safely. Involving them in making decisions shows that you take their health and safety seriously. You must consult with 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.

At its most effective, full involvement of your workers creates a culture where relationships between employers and workers are based on collaboration, trust and joint problem solving. As is normal practice, workers should be involved in assessing workplace risks and the development and review of workplace health and safety policies in partnership with the employer.

Employers and workers should always come together to resolve issues. If concerns still cannot be resolved, see below for further steps you can take.

How to raise a concern if you are an employee:

First, speak to your employer.

  • contact your employee representative, if your workplace has one
  • contact your trade union if you have one
  • contact HSE at:

HSE COVID-19 enquiries
Telephone: 0300 790 6787 (Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm)
Online: working safely enquiry form

1.1 Managing risk

Objective: To reduce risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures, in order of priority

Operators in the visitor economy have a duty to reduce workplace risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures. Employers must work with any other employers or contractors sharing the workplace so that everybody’s health and safety is protected. In the context of COVID-19 this means protecting the health and safety of your workers and customers by working through these steps in order:

  1. In every workplace, increasing the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning.

  2. Businesses and workplaces should make every reasonable effort to ensure their employees can work safely. People who can work effectively from home should do so.

  3. When in the workplace, everyone should make every reasonable effort to comply with the social distancing guidelines set out by the government (2m, or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable).

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

  5. Further mitigating actions include:

    – wearing a face covering where social distancing cannot be maintained and where contact between people who do not normally meet is likely to occur

    – increasing the frequency of hand washing and surface cleaning, including disinfection of high footfall areas or common touchpoints with particular attention to toilets/restrooms
    – keeping the activity time of any activity where social distancing cannot be maintained as short as possible
    – using screens or barriers to separate people from each other
    – using back-to-back or side-to-side working (rather than face-to-face) whenever possible
    – reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’ (so each person works with only a few others)
    – Using screens or barriers to separate people from each other.

  6. Finally, if people must work face-to-face for a sustained period with more than a small group of fixed partners, then you will need to assess whether the activity can safely go ahead. No one should be forced to work in an unsafe work environment.

  7. In your assessment you should have particular regard to whether the people doing the work are especially vulnerable to COVID-19.

  8. Businesses will need to check the tier level for their local area to see which level applies and take into account any restrictions that may be applicable.

The recommendations in the rest of this document are ones you must consider as you go through this process. You could also consider any advice that has been produced specifically for your sector, for example by trade associations or trades unions. UKHospitality has further information on many parts of the visitor economy that may help with this process, including hotels and other guest accommodation, restaurants, pubs and bars, amusement parks and holiday parks.

If you have not already done so, you should carry out an assessment of the risks posed by COVID-19 in your workplace as soon as possible. If you are currently operating, you are likely to have gone through a lot of this thinking already. When a building or space is repurposed - for example when there is any change in use or type or use or other circumstance - there needs to be a fire risk assessment. More information can be found on the Health and Safety Executive website.

You should consider the security implications of any changes you intend to make to your operations and practices in response to COVID-19, as any revisions may present new or altered security risks or issues with accessibility which may need mitigations. Sections 2.3 outlines the key security considerations and advice.

Whilst the risk to health from COVID-19 is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, the threat of terrorism nonetheless remains substantial. It is essential that businesses and other organisations remain cognisant of these threats as they look to adjust their operations, ensuring that security measures are proactively adapted to support and complement other changes.

Where the enforcing authority, such as the HSE or your local authority, identifies employers who are not taking action to comply with the relevant public health legislation and guidance to control public health risks, they are empowered to take a range of actions to improve control of workplace risks. For example, this would cover employers not taking appropriate action to ensure social distancing, where possible.

Failure to complete a risk assessment which takes account of COVID-19, or completing a risk assessment but failing to put in place sufficient measures to manage the risk of COVID-19, could constitute a breach of health and safety law. The actions the enforcing authority can take include the provision of specific advice to employers to support them to achieve the required standard, through to issuing enforcement notices to help secure improvements. Serious breaches and failure to comply with enforcement notices can constitute a criminal offence, with serious fines and even imprisonment for up to two years. There is also a wider system of enforcement, which includes specific obligations and conditions for licensed premises.

Employers are expected to respond to any advice or notices issued by enforcing authorities rapidly and are required to do so within any timescales imposed by the enforcing authorities. The vast majority of employers are responsible and will join with the UK’s fight against COVID-19 by working with the Government and their sector bodies to protect their workers and the public. However, inspectors are carrying out compliance checks nationwide to ensure that employers are taking the necessary steps.

1.2 Sharing the results of your risk assessment

You must share the results of your risk assessment with your workforce. If possible, you should consider publishing the results on your website (and we would expect all businesses with over 50 workers to do so).

We would expect all businesses to demonstrate to their workers and customers that they have properly assessed their risk and taken appropriate measures to mitigate this. You should do this by displaying a notification in a prominent place in your business and on your website, if you have one.

Below you will find a notice you should display in your workplace to show you have followed this guidance.

There may also be other industry standards or marks that you can use to demonstrate to any visitors, guests and customers that you have thought carefully about risk.

If there are more than 5 cases of COVID-19 within 14 days associated with your workplace, you should contact your local PHE health protection team to report the suspected outbreak. Find your local PHE health protection team.

2. Managing your customers, visitors and contractors

In this section

2.1 Top level considerations for all parts of the visitor economy

Objective: To provide top level considerations for managing customers, visitors and contractors.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Assessing the number of customers, or crowd density, that can reasonably enable social distancing within any space. This will vary depending on layout or usage. This will require taking into account the total floorspace as well as pinch points and busy areas.

  2. For indoor and outdoor attractions, and business event venues, limit the number of customers or adjust the crowd density at any time. For example, by implementing timed ticketing or asking customers to book ahead where possible. It is an offence for a relevant business to fail to take all reasonable measures to require adherence to social contact restrictions (respecting all exemptions to this) when taking a booking, allowing entry and - once groups are within the premises failing to take steps to advise groups not to merge in ways that breach the rule.

  3. Consider how customers and employees will move in congestion areas, for example doorways between adjacent indoor spaces and outdoor spaces.

  4. Reviewing how customers move through and around the venue (indoors and outdoors) and considering how you could adjust the flow of customers and employees to reduce congestion and contact; for example, queue management or one-way flow, where possible.

  5. Managing queues to ensure they do not cause a risk to individuals or other businesses, for example by introducing queuing systems, using barriers and having staff direct customers. This may include using outside premises for queuing where available and safe, for example some car parks. Also letting customers know that they may need to queue in rain or colder weather and asking people to bring umbrellas/wear warm clothing.

  6. Ensuring any changes to entry, exit and queue management take into account reasonable adjustments for those who need them, including disabled customers. For example, maintaining pedestrian and parking access for disabled customers.

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

  8. Encouraging customers to use handwashing facilities or hand sanitiser (where washing facilities are not available) as they enter the premises to reduce the risk of transmission by touching products or surfaces.

  9. Determining a regime for checking and refilling sanitation facilities in anticipation of increased usage e.g make sure hand sanitiser is being regularly checked and topped up in high footfall areas.

  10. Reminding customers who are accompanied by children that they are responsible for supervising them at all times and should follow social distancing guidelines.

  11. Working with your local authority and landlord to take into account the impact of your processes, including queues, on public spaces such as high streets and public car parks and fire escapes outside and within the public realm.

  12. Having clearly designated positions from which employees can provide assistance to customers whilst maintaining social distance.

  13. Working with neighbouring businesses and local authorities to consider how to stagger the number of people arriving throughout the day; for example, by staggering opening hours which could help reduce the demand on public transport at key times and avoid overcrowding.

  14. For any activities which involve passing objects around (e.g. in casinos or indoor attractions, specifically including environments such as laser tag) the following steps should be considered:

    – Putting in place picking up and dropping off collection points where possible, rather than passing goods hand to hand
    -Regular cleaning of these objects or replacement with new objects as and when needed
    - Encouraging increased handwashing and introducing more handwashing facilities for workers and customers or providing hand sanitiser where this is not practical.

  15. Where changing facilities and toilets are required, setting clear use and more frequent cleaning guidance for toilets, showers, lockers and changing rooms to ensure they are kept clean and clear of personal items, where possible safe fresh air ventilation is increased and that social distancing is achieved as much as possible, including for example by staggered shift usage.

  16. Where a premises delivers a mix of services, ensuring only those services that are permitted to be open are available.

  17. Providing written or spoken communication of the latest guidelines to both workers and customers inside and outside the venue. You should may want to display posters or information setting out how customers should behave at your venue to keep everyone safe.

  18. Any requirement or recommendation for visitors or guests to wear face coverings when queuing or while inside the attraction/event or hotel should be consistent with the latest government guidance. Face coverings can be made at home and visitors should be signposted to the latest government guidance.

  19. It is law for staff and customers to wear face coverings in retail and hospitality venues and private hire and taxis, except when eating or drinking (or because they are exempt). Businesses must remind people to wear face coverings where mandated.

People should continue to socially distance from those they do not live with wherever possible. The latest information on social contact can be found in the meeting others safely (social distancing) guidance.

It is against the law for gatherings of more than 30 people to take place in private homes (including gardens and other outdoor spaces).

Businesses and venues following COVID-19 Secure guidelines can host larger groups, if this is in accordance with the relevant guidance for their sector. Events for larger groups may also take place in public outdoor spaces that are organised by businesses, charitable or political organisations, and public bodies, provided they take reasonable steps to mitigate the risk of transmission, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance and including completion of a risk assessment.

Individual businesses or venues should consider the cumulative impact of many venues re-opening in a small area. This means working with local authorities, neighbouring businesses and travel operators to assess this risk and applying additional mitigations. These 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

Venues can permit indoor performances to socially distanced audiences, including drama, comedy and music, in line with the caps on the number of attendees in place at each tier. Performances must be in line with the Performing Arts guidance.

All venues should ensure that steps are taken to avoid people needing to unduly raise their voices to each other. This includes - but is not limited to - refraining from playing music or broadcasts that may encourage shouting, including if played at a volume that makes normal conversation difficult. This is because of the potential for increased risk of transmission - particularly from aerosol and droplet transmission. We will develop further guidance, based on scientific evidence, to enable these activities as soon as possible. You should take similar steps to prevent other close contact activities - such as communal dancing - and reconfigure entertainment spaces to enable customers to be seated at a fixed safe distance rather than standing. For example, repurposing dance floors for customer seating.

It is an offence for a relevant business to fail to take all reasonable measures to require adherence to social contact restrictions (respecting all exemptions to this) when taking a booking, allowing entry and - once groups are within the premises failing to take steps to advise groups not to merge in ways that breach the rule.

Reconfiguring entertainment spaces to enable customers to be seated at a fixed safe distance rather than standing. For example, repurposing dance floors for customer seating.

Test and Trace

Continued opening up of the economy and public services is reliant on NHS Test and Trace being used to minimise transmission of the virus. In order to ensure that businesses and local services are able to remain open, we will be mandating that organisations in designated sectors must:

  • ask at least one member of every party of customers or visitors (up to 6 people) to provide their name and contact details
  • keep a record of all staff working on their premises and shift times on a given day and their contact details
  • keep these records of customers, visitors and staff for 21 days and provide data to NHS Test and Trace if requested
  • 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
  • adhere to General Data Protection Regulations

In addition, the hospitality sector will be required to ensure that anyone visiting pubs, restaurants and other venues provides their contact information or checks in using the official NHS QR code before being allowed entry to the venue.

Hotels and accommodation providers

Displaying an official NHS QR code poster and collecting contact details for NHS Test and Trace is a legal requirement for hotels and accommodation providers. However, if a guest chooses to check in by scanning the NHS QR code, they do not also need to complete the customer log. In this case the guest should scan the hotel’s QR code each day of their stay.

If the hotel or accommodation provider has different venues within it, such as a restaurant or bar, the business should display separate QR code posters for each of these areas. Guests can then check into these spaces allowing them to be sent notifications with public health advice if needed.

Any designated venue that is found not to be compliant with these regulations will be subject to financial penalties. It is vital that relevant venues comply with these regulations to help keep people safe, and to keep businesses open.

Designated venues will need to keep records of customers, visitors and staff for a period of 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 can find out more about these requirements in the Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors guidance

2.2 Providing and explaining available guidance

Objective: To provide links to relevant industry sources and specific resources for each part of the visitor economy

Consideration should be given to the sector specific guidance and resources highlighted below, where relevant.

The government has also published guidance on:

UKHospitality has a number of resources available on its website to aid reopening. Whilst it is not comprehensive, it can be used in conjunction with the links below to provide further information and resources for your risk assessment. This UKHospitality guidance is applicable to businesses UK-wide and adaptable to local circumstances.

Guidance referenced below from a trade body or association may include best practice documents, templates and more detailed sector specific advice on certain environments. Industry bodies may also be able to provide examples or templates to enable you to carry out an appropriate risk assessment.

2.2.1 Hotels and Accommodation

  • Please refer to the separate hotels and other guest accommodation guidance document. Whilst hotels and other guest accommodation have been able to reopen, shared facilities (e.g. shared sleeping spaces such as dormitories, guest kitchens, and communal spaces such as TV rooms where social distancing cannot be managed within current government guidelines) should remain closed. Shared ablutionary facilities (showers and toilets) can remain open but should adhere to all government guidelines to minimise the risk of transmission.
  • Accommodation providers following COVID-19 Secure guidelines can provide accommodation for a group of 6 people from different households to stay together in tier 1. No one should stay in a group of greater than 6 (unless from the same household or support bubble).
  • Accommodation providers following COVID-19 Secure guidelines can provide accommodation for a group comprising a single household/support bubble in tier 2.
  • In tier 3 and tier 4 areas, accommodation providers must close unless the exemptions set out in law apply. Accommodation providers should only open for those who:
    • are unable to return to their main residence
    • use that accommodation as their main residence
    • need accommodation while moving house or attending a funeral or commemorative event to celebrate the life of a person who has died
    • need to self-isolate as required by law
    • need accommodation for the purposes of attending a medical appointment or to receive treatment
    • are a carer of a vulnerable person or a person who has a disability and needs respite.
    • need accommodation for the purposes of their work, or to provide voluntary or charitable services
    • needs accommodation for the purposes of permitted education or training, including, where that person is a child, their parent.
    • are elite athletes, their coach or (in the case of an elite athlete who is a child), the parent of an elite athlete, and need accommodation for the purposes of training or competition
    • are visiting from abroad on holiday or for work purposes
    • are being provided accommodation to relieve homelessness
    • were staying in that accommodation immediately before the new Regulations came into force
    • Accommodation providers may keep their business open to provide accommodation to vulnerable groups including the homeless or for the purposes of a women’s refuge or a vulnerable person’s refuge; to host blood donation sessions or food banks; or for any purpose requested by the Secretary of State, or a local authority.
  • Accommodation providers both within and outside a tier 3 or tier 4 area may continue to take bookings from residents of the same tier area, as there are a number of reasons people may need to stay overnight (e.g. for work or for education).
    • We encourage all accommodation providers to consider their approach towards guests from inside tier 3 and tier 4 areas.
    • Accommodation providers should communicate to all customers, including those with existing bookings, reminding them not to travel outside the area unless it is essential (such as for work purposes or attending a funeral).
    • For existing bookings, accommodation providers should give guests a chance to cancel their bookings if they intend on no longer travelling and staying at the accommodation.
    • Accommodation providers outside of an area with restrictions may refuse a booking or cancel a booking from guests from inside a tier 3 or tier 4 area. The decision to refuse service is at the discretion of the business owner, and the terms of the booking contract may allow for discretionary cancellations.
    • Any decision to refuse service should be done with sufficient notice to the guest, and we would expect any funds already paid by the consumer to be repaid.
    • At the time when restrictions are introduced, if people are currently on holiday in a group including people who are not in their household or bubble and it is not reasonable for them to curtail their stay, they may finish their holiday as planned but should follow the new social distancing rules as much as possible. However, for those placed under tier 3 or tier 4 restrictions, their stay should only be as long as reasonably necessary and they should return home as soon as practical. They should make every effort to reduce socialising indoors outside of their household whilst in holiday accommodation in the meantime.
  • UKHospitality has published guidance which includes advice for hotels and accommodation, pubs and restaurants.
  • Camping/ caravanning/ motorhomes and holiday parks - in addition to the UKHospitality guidance, which includes these sectors in more detail, associations such as the National Caravan Council, British Holiday and Home Parks Association have resources on their websites with advice and further information.
  • British Marine has information on waterways and advice on areas such as hotel boats and holiday boat hire.
  • Self catering accommodation and short term lets - in addition to the hotels and other guest accommodation guidance and UKHospitality guidance, the Professional Association of Self Caterers; the B&B Association; the Short Term Accommodation Association and the Country Land and Business Association all have further information available on their websites
  • Bars, restaurants, cafes and catering: please refer to the pubs and restaurants guidance, which also has advice on catering. The British Beer and Pub Association can also provide further resources and information.

2.2.2 Indoor and outdoor attractions

2.2.3 Business meetings and events

Education, work and training event hire

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

This is applicable across all tier levels. There is no cap on the number of attendees at an essential work, education or training event and the rule of 6/single household rule does not apply to these activities. Permitted venues, including exhibition and conference centres, can hire out function and event spaces for essential work, education and training purposes. They must not host conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, private dining events or banquets (other than where these are only attended by employees of the venue itself). All attendees must be socially distanced and venues/organisers must follow all Covid-Secure guidance - including where appropriate the guidance for office environments. And, if the nature of this event becomes primarily a social gathering then the social contact restrictions apply, and the activity must stop if it breaches them. 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 hospitality premises that are hosting it.

Business Meetings and Events

Business Meetings and Events are permitted as follows:

Tier 1:

  • Business meetings and events such as conferences, exhibitions, conventions, and consumer/trade shows are permitted at a cap of 50% of the venue’s capacity or 4000 people outdoors / 1000 people indoors, whichever is lowest. This capacity refers to the total number of people per event and does not include venue staff. Multi-day events are not currently permitted.

Tier 2:

  • Business meetings and events such as conferences, exhibitions, conventions, and consumer/trade shows are permitted at a cap of 50% of the venue’s capacity or 2000 people outdoors / 1000 people indoors, whichever is lowest. This capacity refers to the total number of people per event and does not include venue staff. Multi-day events are not currently permitted.

Tier 3:

  • Large business events such as conferences, exhibitions and trade shows are not permitted, with the exception of drive-in events.
  • Smaller business meetings are advised against, but may take place with up to a total of 30 people if reasonably necessary - for example for the purposes of work that cannot be done at home - if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance.
  • Event spaces, including in conference centres and exhibition halls, can be used for permitted reasons, including for business events of up to 30 where reasonably necessary, for education and training purposes where reasonably necessary, or to provide socially beneficial public services such as Nightingale hospitals or food banks. Conference centres and exhibition halls should remain closed for conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, private dining or banqueting events.

Tier 4:

  • Large business events such as conferences, exhibitions and trade shows are not permitted, this includes drive-in events.
  • Business meetings for work, training or education purposes can still take place but only where the event cannot be delayed, where it is not possible to carry out the activity from home, and if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate it has followed COVID-19 guidance.
  • Event spaces, including in conference centres and exhibition halls, can be used for permitted reasons, including for business events where reasonably necessary, for education and training purposes where reasonably necessary, or to provide socially beneficial public services such as Nightingale hospitals or food banks.
  • Conference centres and exhibition halls should remain closed for conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, private dining or banqueting.

If venues have multiple, separate meeting facilities, these can be hired out simultaneously for separate meetings/events if social distancing can be maintained, groups can be kept separate, and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance.

The government is permitting the measured reopening of business events such as conferences, exhibitions, conventions, and consumer/trade shows in tiers 1 and 2. Event organisers and venues must complete COVID-19 risk assessments, and take into account all of the Covid-Secure guidance outlined in this chapter.

When organising and running business events, the wider rules apply in the following ways:

Meeting people safely

  • People who are working at the meeting/event or are attending the meeting/event for the purposes of their work are not bound by the rules on social contact i.e. the rule of 6 in tier 1 or the single household/bubble rule in tier 2. However, people should attend larger events either alone or in groups as small as possible, should avoid mixing and switching between groups wherever possible, and should adhere to all risk mitigations identified for that event.
  • People who are neither working at the event nor attending the event for the purposes of their work must adhere to social contact rules (i.e. the rule of 6 in tier 1 or the single household/bubble rule in tier 2). This may be the case if, for example, you are attending a trade show or exhibition as an individual consumer.
  • Social distancing must be maintained between people who don’t live together, and all attendees should limit contact with others wherever possible — including with those working at the event where possible and appropriate.

Events must not contain social networking elements such as receptions, and private dining and banqueting events remain prohibited. Event organisers should consider limiting the sale of alcohol at events; where alcohol is sold, all restrictions for hospitality venues must be followed.

All attendees at the event must wear a face covering in exhibition halls and conference centres and in any other venue where the use of face coverings is mandatory. People are also expected to wear a face covering before entering any of these settings and must keep it on until they leave unless there is a reasonable excuse for removing it. More detailed advice on the application of these requirements in different settings can be found in the government’s guidance for working safely.

For all indoor settings where the use of face coverings is not legally mandated, businesses should assess the use of face coverings by staff and attendees on a case by case basis. Face coverings should be worn where social distancing may be difficult and wherever interaction between people not from the same household or support bubble is likely to occur. Employers should assess the use of face coverings by staff depending on the workplace environment, other appropriate mitigations that have been put in place, and whether reasonable exemptions apply.

Event organisers should take all reasonable steps to ensure these mitigations are implemented (e.g. using signage, marshalls, and reminding people when purchasing tickets for the event).

These measures are intended to allow the measured reopening of the business events sector in order to allow activity such as business-to-business engagement or business-to-consumer trade. As people should still work from home where possible, we encourage businesses not to hold business events for the purposes of gathering staff if not essential, for example an optional staff away day.

The government will look to loosen these restrictions to allow more business events in larger numbers as soon as it is safe to do so.

Considerations for managing customers and visitors

Objective: To reduce transmission of COVID-19 and maintain social distancing.

Steps that will be needed will include:

Steps that will be needed will include:

  1. Assessing the capacity of the venue/site to determine whether the capacity cap of 50% or the relevant number cap applies. This assessment must determine what the venue can safely accommodate to enable social distancing within any space. This will vary depending on layout or usage and ventilation. This will require taking into account the total floorspace of the area where the event is being held as well as pinch points and busy areas. Where a building is mixed-use, for example a conference hall inside a hotel or museum, the capacity of the area where the event is taking place should be calculated rather than the capacity of the entire venue.

  2. Providing detailed pre-event registration details including a pre-attendance health check/questionnaire. Best practice is to provide a QR code for contactless registration and a reminder text message to all delegates reminding them not to attend if they have any COVID-19 symptoms.

  3. Preventing the attendance of anyone who is symptomatic; has recently been symptomatic; tested positive for COVID-19; or if they are a contact of someone symptomatic or has been identified by the NHS Test & Trace programme as someone who has been a close contact of a case. See current guidance for people who have symptoms and those who live with others who have symptoms.

  4. Taking part in NHS Test and Trace by keeping a record of all your customers for 21 days. This will be enforced in law. Some exemptions apply. Check Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace for details. You should 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.

  5. Asking customers to attend events in groups as small as possible. Taking reasonable steps to ensure that anyone who is not attending the event in a work capacity adheres to the relevant rules on household mixing relevant in each tier. Putting up signs to remind customers to limit contact with others wherever possible and to maintain social distancing at all times.

  6. Avoiding the potential for transmission of COVID-19 during meetings, for example avoiding sharing pens and other objects.

  7. Encouraging customers to use handwashing facilities or hand sanitiser (where washing facilities are not available) as they enter the premises to reduce the risk of transmission by touching products or surfaces.

  8. Determining a regime for checking and refilling sanitation facilities in anticipation of increased usage e.g making sure hand sanitiser is being regularly checked in high footfall areas.

  9. Ensuring 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.

  10. Ensuring that social distancing applies to all parts of a premises where the meeting is being conducted, not just the place where people spend most of their time, but also entrances and exits, break rooms, canteens and similar settings. These are often the most challenging areas to maintain social distancing.

  11. Ensuring that any theatre-style seating at conferences and other large events follows the guidance for seating in performing arts venues.

  12. Preparing delegates that they may need to queue in rain or colder weather for example asking people to bring wear warm clothing in the pre-event communications.

  13. Splitting delegates into smaller groups and colour coding the groups to control flows and manage staggered entry and exit out of rooms and staggered lunch / break times.

  14. If serving tea or coffee to delegates, having a specific area where these can be consumed in a socially distanced way and using clear messaging that face coverings will need to be used after people walk out of that area.

  15. Providing individuals with (or recommending individuals to purchase) a badge holder for business cards to permit easy identification and avoid exchange of business cards.

  16. Increasing ventilation by keeping doors and windows open where possible and running fresh air ventilation systems at all times. Holding meetings outdoors or in well-ventilated rooms whenever possible. See below for more information on air ventilation.

  17. Having socially distanced seating and/or spacing out any tables to meet social distancing requirements.

  18. When indoors avoiding those speaking doing so directly face to face with other participants whenever possible.

  19. Taking steps to avoid loud speaking or shouting, such as not using background music, and using microphones.

  20. For areas where regular meetings take place, using floor signage to help people maintain social distancing.

  21. Putting up clear signage to direct delegates to bathrooms and within communal areas. Make it easy for everyone to social distance so by putting up signs or introducing a one way system that your customers can follow.

  22. Speakers and speaking panels are a common feature of business events. You should consider:

    – taking steps to avoid loud speaking or shouting, such as not using background music and using microphones

    –asking that all speakers wear face coverings when presenting and speaking and speak at least 2m from attendees

    –cleaning microphones and podiums between speakers

    –having static microphones on the main floor of the room for delegates to ask any questions, with the delegates cleaning the microphone when finished. A bin should also be provided for any used wipes.

  23. Encourage contactless payments. Whenever possible, use online booking and pre-payment and ask for contactless payments.

Individual businesses or venues should consider the cumulative impact of many venues re-opening in a small area. This means working with local authorities, neighbouring businesses, travel operators and Local Transport Authorities to assess this risk and applying additional mitigations. These 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.

Catering

Meals and refreshments can be provided at business meetings and events and at education, work and training events. The relevant sections of the COVID-19 guidance for bars, pubs and takeaway services should be followed.

For smaller meetings, we advise that meals are served in the room where the meeting takes place. Food and drink must be consumed by attendees while they are seated, and attendees should remain socially distanced from those they do not live with whilst eating. If serving tea or coffee to delegates outside the meeting room, we advise on having a specific area where refreshments must be consumed seated and using clear messaging that face coverings will need to be used when people walk in/out of that area. Delegates should not interact with people outside their meeting/event group.

If delegates are moving to a restaurant area for catering, or are having a working meeting in a restaurant or other hospitality venue, then the COVID-19 guidance for bars, pubs and takeaway services should be followed, including following table service requirements where alcohol is served, adhering to curfew restrictions, and providing clear messaging on the wearing of face coverings. Managing staggered entry and exit out of rooms and / or staggered lunch / break times is advised.

People must not meet socially in any indoor setting:

  • In areas at tier 1 level – in a group of more than six, other than when they are with people they live with or have formed a support bubble with.
  • In areas at tier 2, 3 or 4 level – with anyone they do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with.

There is an exemption to allow gatherings for work purposes, which is critical to enable people to keep working in the full range of working environments, but this does not extend to activities that are not strictly work-related, including for private dining or social purposes with work colleagues. If a work meeting changes into a primarily social gathering, then social contact restrictions apply, and the activity must stop if it breaches them. 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 hospitality premises that is hosting it.

For larger business events such as conferences, exhibitions, conventions, and consumer/trade shows, hospitality outlets within conference centres and exhibition halls should follow the wider restrictions on hospitality venues. This includes:

  • If the hospitality venue sells alcohol for consumption on the premises, table service must be provided. This means all food and drink (whether or not alcoholic) from these businesses must be ordered from, served at and consumed by seated customers. In tier 2, the sale of alcohol must be accompanied by a substantial meal such as breakfast, lunch or dinner.
  • If the hospitality venue does not sell alcohol, but sells food and drink for consumption on or near the premises, orders may be ordered from and served at the counter but must be consumed by customers while they are seated.
  • If the hospitality venue does not have sufficient seating facilities, food and drink (with the exception of alcohol) can be offered as a takeaway service. If it is not possible to seat all attendees, we advise on having a designated area where refreshments can be consumed standing. Where relevant, breaks should be staggered to ensure that as many attendees as possible can be seated to eat and drink.
  • People should only sit or stand with the people in their group, and should remain in their groups at all times.
  • Last orders must be placed at 10pm and the venue must close at 11pm.

Multi-purpose venues

In tier 1 and 2 areas:

  • Theatres, concert halls and cinemas are exempt from having to provide table service to audience members who have a ticket and are planning to consume the food or drink in the auditorium, or area of the venue where the performance / screening is taking place. Food and drink (including alcohol) must be consumed whilst seated in the auditorium, or area of the venue where the performance / screening is taking place. Venues should take steps to reduce queues for ordering, ensuring social distancing is maintained at all times.
  • This exemption extends to performance/screening areas within the premises of another venue such as a pub, hotel or holiday park. The exemption only applies to the specific performance/screening area, which must therefore be separate and distinct from the wider premises. The activity must be ticketed, and venues must have all relevant approvals and authorisations (e.g. licensing or planning) from the Local Authority. This means for example that a separate, standalone function room in a hotel could serve as a concert hall if i. it is set aside and designated for that purpose, ii. attendees are ticketed and iii. the venue has the necessary authorisations for hosting live music or performances. However, a concert performance in a hotel lobby or working restaurant would not be exempt by law as it is not a separate and distinct space, meaning that any alcohol would need to be provided via table service and in tier 2 accompany a substantial meal.
  • Theatres, concert halls and cinemas may stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm. Where venues are multi-purpose, these extended hours do not apply to any area outside the auditorium or performance area.
  • Hospitality services must take last orders at 10pm, and close at 11pm.

In tier 2 areas:

  • Theatres, concert halls and cinemas are exempt from only being able to serve alcohol with a substantial meal, provided it is limited only to customers with tickets who intend to consume alcohol drinks in auditoriums or area of the venue where the performance / screening is taking place. This applies to performance/screening areas within other venues as above. Venues should also only serve alcohol without a substantial meal to ticketed customers during the performance and for a maximum of 60 minutes, which can be split either side of the performance or screening if required.

In tier 3 areas:

  • Indoor and outdoor performing arts venues, such as theatres, concert halls and music venues will be closed to audiences. Drive-in venues will remain open to performances with audiences in tier 3 areas.

All performing arts activity should take place in line with performing arts guidance.

In tier 4 areas:

Indoor and outdoor performing arts venues, such as theatres, concert halls and music venues will be closed to audiences, this includes drive-in venues.

Private Dining, Banqueting and Corporate Hospitality

Banqueting, private dining and corporate hospitality events should not take place in any venue at any tier level.

If a venue can operate as a restaurant and has all relevant planning and licensing permissions, it can do so as long as all relevant guidance for restaurants is followed.The restaurant sitting should contain no elements that would create a private dining or banqueting experience; sit down meals for large groups should not take place and the individual tables should not be part of a larger event. In particular you must:

  1. Seat customers on tables of up to 6 people (or larger if from one household/support bubble) in tier 1 and on tables of single household/support bubbles only in tier 2. People should maintain social distancing from anyone they do not live with.

  2. Keep groups apart. Space out tables, consider using barriers between groups, and manage the number of customers in the venue. Customers must not be permitted to mix with any other table, including approaching other tables or sitting at different tables. Customers must not congregate anywhere on the premises pre or post dining.

  3. Ensure all customers remain seated. Prevent social contact by ensuring customers sit down to eat and drink at the venue.

  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. Enable people in the same party who do not live together or form part of the same support bubble to remain a safe distance apart.

  5. Ask your customers to wear face coverings where required to do so by law. That is especially important if your customers are likely to be around people they do not normally meet. Some exemptions apply. Check when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own.

  6. Lower music and other background noise. Prevent shouting, singing and dancing in the venue by making sure music and broadcasts are played at a low volume. Private dining and banqueting events should not take place and there should therefore be no announcements, awards ceremonies or similar.

  7. Take last orders at 10pm and close between 11pm and 5am.

The following trade associations have published guidance on business events, which events organisers and venues should make reference to when developing risk assessments for events:

  • The Association of Event Organisers will publish guidance specifically for exhibition, trade fairs and consumer shows to reopen

  • The Meetings Industry Association as produced guidance specifically for conferences and meetings venues, which is also wrapped into the wider UKHospitality guidance

  • You should consider the relevant sections of workplace guidance as well as relevant guidance on pubs and restaurants and the UKHospitality guidance for catering requirements

  • Outdoor events (e.g. including agriculture shows and festivals) are covered by events guidance drafted by the Events Industry Forum

  • Events taking place in heritage attractions/buildings should read 2.2.4 and follow through to Historic England guidance.

The opening up of the economy following the COVID-19 outbreak is being supported by NHS Test and Trace. You should assist this service by keeping a temporary record of your customers and visitors for 21 days, in a way that is manageable for your business but effective for managing disease transmission risks, and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed.

People are also strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in any enclosed public space where there are people they do not normally meet.

2.2.3 Heritage attractions and buildings

DCMS and Historic England have drafted guidance on recommendations specifically for heritage or listed buildings. If part or all of your business includes heritage assets or listed buildings, please also refer to this for guidance to enable you to open and operate.

2.3 Overarching security considerations

Adapting to COVID-19 measures will inevitably result in changes to operating policies, processes and procedures of accommodation providers, indoor and outdoor attractions and business event centres and venues. Any changes should always be considered alongside security implications. If you have a security department or manager, they should be consulted to help ensure good security is maintained as far as possible and that there are no unintended security consequences as a result of changes. This should be achieved by conducting a security risk assessment.

Specific examples of where security implications may arise are: queueing, search and screening (where this has been directed by a wider government policy on security), maintaining vigilance for potential threats, and access controls. There may be others that your organisation will need to consider.

2.3.1 Queues and social distancing

Whilst dense crowding is unlikely if social distancing is operating correctly, the revised layout of spaces may present new security risks, particularly where multiple queues are created.

Considerations include:

  • Operators should try and organise queuing within existing protected areas; Operators should NOT remove any security features or useful street furniture items without considering protective security in the round.
  • If queuing is only possible outside of protected areas then consider and mitigate the vulnerabilities by: routing queues behind permanent physical structures (e.g. street furniture, bollards, trolley parks and bike racks) to provide a visual deterrent and delay; closing off vehicle access to shared spaces; adjusting servicing and delivery times; reducing the opportunities for vehicles (including potentially hostile vehicles) to interact with pedestrians; erecting robust barriers; introducing a reduced speed limit or traffic calming measures.
  • Operators should be careful to avoid giving credible, detailed information that could help a hostile entity identify an attractive target and carry out an attack. In particular, this should not be included in detailed risk assessments published on public websites under Section 1.2. Be mindful of messaging, both at the site and particularly on-line, which covers detailed information about queue locations and times, the number of people expected, and suggesting removal of security features such as street furniture, bollards etc.

2.3.2 Search and screening

  • Conduct of physical search and screening of staff, contractors and visitors may need adapting in order to adhere to social distancing measures.
  • To maintain effective security and deterrence, search and screening should still be conducted as appropriate and in line with the organisation’s policies.
  • Ensure security staff are and feel safe. For example, having access to hand-washing facilities, and that they are able and confident to raise any concerns.
  • The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) has published guidance on adapting existing search and screening processes to take account of physical distancing. Details are also available from your local Police Counter Terrorism Security Advisor (CTSA), which are available online.

2.3.3. Staff, security officers and stewarding

It is vital for staff to remain vigilant and act on potential security threats including terrorism and wider criminality. It is advised to:

  • Continue to ensure that awareness of security threats is raised alongside safety and health risks through staff briefings.
  • Whilst stewards and security officers may be focused on managing people and queues for COVID-19 safety reasons, they should continue to remain vigilant for and report any suspicious activity as soon as possible.
  • Ideally consider providing separate stewarding to manage the social distancing and other safety aspects to enable your security staff to focus on their core responsibilities to keep the site safe from threats.
  • Ensure there is a good communication system in place to inform people of any incident. Carry out a short exercise or test to check procedures and equipment for this are working correctly.

2.3.4 Restricted entry points

  • Restricted access entry points, such as those facilitated by keypad, biometrics and/or pass should remain fully in operation. They should not be deactivated.
  • Pin pads and biometrics should be highlighted as “touch points” and cleaned regularly (note: generally, they are touched less than door handles)
  • Access control (staff) proximity cards will work up to 10cm from the reader. Staff can be informed that there is no need to physically touch the card on the reader.

3. Who should go to work?

In this section

Objective: Employers should ensure workplaces are safe whilst also enabling working from home.

To help contain the virus, office workers who can work effectively from home should do so over the winter. Where an employer, in consultation with their employee, judges an employee can carry out their normal duties from home, they should do so. Public sector employees working in essential services should continue to go into work where necessary. Anyone else who cannot work from home should go to their place of work. The risk of transmission can be substantially reduced if COVID-19 secure guidelines are followed closely. Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk.

Businesses should consider the impact of workplace reopening on local transport, and take appropriate mitigating actions (e.g. staggered start and finish times for staff). When it is decided that workers should come into their place of work then this will need to be reflected in the COVID-19 risk assessment and actions taken to manage the risks of transmission in line with this guidance. It is vital employers engage with workers to ensure they feel safe returning to work, and they should not force anyone into an unsafe workplace.

Steps that will usually be needed:

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

  2. Planning for a phased return to work for people safely and effectively.

  3. Monitoring the wellbeing of people who are working from home and helping them stay connected to the rest of the workforce, especially if the majority of their colleagues are on-site.

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

  5. Providing equipment for people to work at home safely and effectively, for example, remote access to work systems.

3.1 Protecting people who are at higher risk

Objective: To protect clinically vulnerable and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals.

Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals may be advised not to work outside the home if the prevalence of disease in the community is very high. Current advice can be found in the protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable guidance.

If clinically vulnerable individuals cannot work from home, they should be offered the option of the safest available on-site roles, enabling them to stay at the recommended distance away from others. If they have to spend time within this distance of others, you should carefully assess whether the activity should continue. If so, further mitigating actions should be taken to reduce the risk of transmission between individuals (see Section 3 for examples of actions that can be taken). As for any workplace risk you must take into account specific duties to those with protected characteristics, including, for example, expectant mothers who are, as always, entitled to suspension on full pay if suitable roles cannot be found.

See current guidance for advice on who is in the clinically extremely vulnerable and clinically vulnerable groups.

3.2 People who need to self-isolate

Objective: To make sure individuals who are advised to stay at home to prevent the spread of infection under existing government guidance do not physically come to work. This includes individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19 and/or have tested positive for COVID-19, those who live in a household or are in a support bubble with someone who has symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19, and those who are advised to self-isolate as part of the government’s test and trace service.

There will now be a legal prohibition from requiring self-isolating employees from coming into work. This will apply across all businesses and organisations.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19—a high temperature, new and persistent cough or anosmia, however mild, you should self-isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms started OR if you are not experiencing symptoms but have tested positive for COVID-19 you should self-isolate for 10 days starting from the day the test was taken.

If you have tested positive whilst not experiencing symptoms but develop symptoms during the isolation period, you should restart the 10 day isolation period from the day you develop symptoms. The contacts of individuals who test positive for Coronavirus are required to self isolate for a period of 10 days. Contacts will need to self isolate for 10 days from the day after contact with the individual who tested positive has taken place.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Enabling workers to work from home while self-isolating if appropriate.

  2. See current guidance for employees and employers relating to statutory sick pay due to COVID-19.

  3. See current guidance for people who have symptoms and those who live with others who have symptoms.

3.3 Equality in the workplace

Objective: To make sure that nobody is discriminated against.

In applying this guidance, employers 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.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Understanding and taking into account the particular circumstances of those with protected characteristics.

  2. Involving and communicating appropriately with workers 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.

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

  4. Making reasonable adjustments to avoid disabled workers being put at a disadvantage, and assessing the health and safety risks for new or expectant mothers.

  5. Understanding and responding to the concerns of those who consider themselves at increased risk.

  6. Making 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.

4. Social distancing for workers

In this section

Objective: To maintain social distancing wherever possible, including while arriving at and departing from work, while in work and when travelling between sites.

You should maintain social distancing in the workplace wherever possible.

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

Mitigating actions include:

  • wearing a face covering where social distancing cannot be maintained and where contact between people who do not normally meet is likely to occur
  • further increasing the frequency of hand washing and surface cleaning, including disinfecting of heavy footfall and frequent touch points, with particular attention to shared showers, changing rooms, and toilets/restrooms
  • provision of hand sanitiser in areas where poor access to hand washing
  • keeping the activity time involved as short as possible
  • using screens or barriers to separate people from each other
  • using back-to-back or side-to-side working (rather than face-to-face) whenever possible
  • reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’ (so each person works with only a few others)
  • Using screens or barriers to separate people from each other. These are particularly appropriate where an individual cannot maintain social distancing and is in contact with a high volume of people such as ticket office staff.

Social distancing applies to all parts of a premises business is conducted, not just the place where people spend most of their time, but also entrances and exits, break rooms, canteens and similar settings. These are often the most challenging areas to maintain social distancing.

4.1 Coming to work and leaving work

Objective: To maintain social distancing wherever possible for workers, on arrival and departure and to enable handwashing upon arrival.

More information can be found in the guidance on safer transport and safer guidance for passengers.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Staggering arrival and departure times at work to reduce crowding into and out of the workplace, taking account of the impact on those with protected characteristics.

  2. Providing additional parking or facilities such as bike-racks to help people walk, run or cycle to work where possible.

  3. Limiting passengers in corporate vehicles, for example, work minibuses. This could include leaving seats empty.

  4. Reducing congestion, for example, by having more entry points to the workplace in larger stores.

  5. Using markings and introducing one-way flow at entry and exit points, which are back of house or employee only and where appropriate, taking into account premises structure, style of operation and customer profile.

  6. Providing handwashing facilities (or hand sanitiser where not possible) for workers at entry and exit points.

  7. Providing alternatives to touch-based security devices such as keypads.

  8. Defining process alternatives for entry/exit points where appropriate, for example, deactivating pass readers at turnstiles in favour of showing a pass to security personnel at a distance.

  9. In settings where the use of face coverings is not already legally mandated, asking staff to wear a face covering where social distancing cannot be maintained and where contact between people who do not normally meet is likely to occur.

4.2 Moving around buildings and stores

Objective: To maintain social distancing as far as possible while people travel through the workplace.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Reducing movement by discouraging non-essential trips within buildings and sites, for example restricting access to some areas, encouraging use of radios or telephones, where permitted. These items require cleaning between users if multi-use.

  2. Introducing more one-way flow through buildings. Providing floor markings, where appropriate, and signage should remind both workers and customers to follow to social distancing wherever possible.

  3. Reducing maximum occupancy for lifts, providing hand sanitiser for the operation of lifts and encouraging use of stairs wherever possible.

  4. Making sure that people with disabilities are able to access lifts while social distancing.

  5. Regulating use of high traffic areas including corridors, lifts, turnstiles and walkways to maintain social distancing and increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfection of these areas.

  6. In settings where the use of face coverings is not already legally mandated, asking staff to wear a face covering where social distancing cannot be maintained and where contact between people who do not normally meet is likely to occur.

4.3 Workplaces and workstations

Objective: To maintain appropriate social distancing between individuals when they are at their workstations.

For people who work in one place, workstations should be reconfigured to allow them to maintain social distancing wherever possible.

Workstations should be assigned to an individual as much as possible. If they need to be shared, they should be shared by the smallest possible number of people whilst maintaining social distancing.

If it is not possible to keep workstations at the recommended distance apart then 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.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Reviewing layouts to allow workers to work further apart from each other.

  2. Using floor tape or paint to mark areas, where appropriate, to help people keep their distance or using signage or other communication measures taking into account building characteristics, trading style and customer profile. .

  3. Avoiding people working face-to-face. For example, by working side-by-side or facing away from each other.

  4. Using screens to create a physical barrier between people.

  5. Using a consistent pairing system if people have to work in close proximity. For example, cleaning hotel rooms or servicing equipment at an indoor attraction

  6. Minimising contacts around transactions, for example, considering using contactless payments, and encouraging online booking and pre-payment where appropriate.

  7. If using cash, encouraging increased handwashing and introducing more handwashing facilities for workers and customers or providing hand sanitiser where this is not practical.

  8. Rethinking demonstrations and promotions to minimise direct contact and to maintain social distancing.

  9. In settings where the use of face coverings is not already legally mandated, asking staff to wear a face covering where social distancing cannot be maintained and where contact between people who do not normally meet is likely to occur.

4.4 Accidents, security and other incidents

Objective: To prioritise safety during incidents.

In an emergency, for example, an accident, provision of first aid, fire or break-in, people should not have to stay the recommended distance apart if it would be unsafe.

People involved in the provision of assistance to others should pay particular attention to sanitation measures immediately afterwards including washing hands.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Reviewing your incident and emergency procedures to ensure they reflect the social distancing principles as far as possible.

5. Cleaning the workplace

In this section

5.1 Before reopening

Objective: To make sure that any site or location that has been closed or partially operated is clean and ready to restart, including:

  • an assessment for all sites, or parts of sites, that have been closed, before restarting work
  • cleaning procedures and providing hand sanitiser, before restarting work

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Ensuring that ventilation systems are safe, including checking whether you need to service them or adjust them, for example, so that they do not automatically reduce ventilation levels due to lower than normal occupancy levels.

  2. Most air conditioning systems do not need adjustment, 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.

5.2 Keeping the workplace clean

Objective: To keep the workplace clean and prevent transmission by touching contaminated surfaces.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Frequent cleaning of work areas and equipment between uses, using your usual cleaning products.

  2. Frequent cleaning objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, including self-checkouts, trolleys, coffee machines, betting machines or staff handheld devices, and making sure there are adequate disposal arrangements for cleaning products.

  3. Clearing workspaces and removing waste and belongings from the work area at the end of a shift.

  4. Maintaining good fresh air ventilation in the work environment (for example, opening windows and doors frequently, where possible).

  5. If you are cleaning after a known or suspected case of COVID-19, refer to the specific guidance.

5.3 Hygiene: handwashing, sanitation facilities and toilets

Objective: To help everyone keep good hygiene through the working day.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Using signs and posters to build awareness of good handwashing technique, the need to increase handwashing frequency, avoid touching your face and to cough or sneeze into a tissue which is binned safely, or into your arm if a tissue is not available.

  2. Providing regular reminders and signage to maintain hygiene standards.

  3. Providing hand sanitiser in multiple locations in addition to hand-washing facilities.

  4. Setting clear use and cleaning guidance for showers and toilets to ensure they are cleaned very frequently and social distancing is achieved as much as possible.

  5. Enhancing cleaning for busy areas and common touch points.

  6. Special care should be taken for cleaning of portable toilets.

  7. Considering use of social distance marking for other common areas such as toilets, showers, lockers and changing rooms and in any other areas where queues typically form.

  8. Providing more waste facilities and more frequent rubbish collection. When disposing of face coverings and PPE, people should do so in a ‘black bag’ waste bin or litter bin. Face coverings or PPE should not be put in a recycling bin or dropped as litter. Businesses should provide extra bins for staff and customers to dispose of single-use face coverings and PPE, and should ensure that staff and customers do not use a recycling bin. Full details on how to dispose of your personal or business waste during the coronavirus pandemic can be found on GOV.UK.

  9. Providing hand drying facilities – either paper towels or electrical dryers.

  10. It is recommended that any ventilation or air conditioning system that normally runs with a recirculation mode should now be set up to run on full outside air where this is possible.

5.3.1 Toilets

Objective: To ensure that toilets are kept open and to ensure/promote good hygiene, social distancing, and cleanliness in toilet facilities

Public toilets, portable toilets and toilets inside premises should be kept open and carefully managed to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Using signs and posters to build awareness of good hand-washing technique, the need to increase hand-washing frequency and to avoid touching your face, and to cough or sneeze into a tissue which is binned safely, or into your arm if a tissue is not available.

  2. Consider the use of social distancing marking in areas where queues normally form, and the adoption of a limited entry approach, with one in, one out (whilst avoiding the creation of additional bottlenecks).

  3. To enable good hand hygiene consider making hand sanitiser available on entry to toilets where safe and practical, and ensure suitable hand-washing facilities including running water and liquid soap and suitable options for drying (either paper towels or hand driers) are available.

  4. Setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets, with increased frequency of cleaning in line with usage. Use normal cleaning products, paying attention to frequently hand touched surfaces, and consider use of disposable cloths or paper roll to clean all hard surfaces.

  5. Keep the facilities well ventilated, for example by fixing doors open where appropriate.

  6. Special care should be taken for cleaning of portable toilets and larger toilet blocks.

  7. Putting up a visible cleaning schedule can keep it up to date and visible.

  8. Providing more waste facilities and more frequent rubbish collection.

5.4 Handling goods, merchandise and other materials

Objective: To reduce transmission through contact with objects that come in the store.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Encouraging increased handwashing and introducing more handwashing facilities for workers and customers or providing hand sanitiser where this is not practical.

  2. Putting in place picking-up and dropping-off collection points where possible, rather than passing goods hand-to-hand.

  3. Cleaning exterior and interior touchpoints in accordance to sector guidance, for example, theme park rides and attractions. Also considering the introduction of hand sanitiser stations immediately before and after customer use.

  4. Keeping returns separate from displayed merchandise / stock to reduce the likelihood of transmission through touch.

6. Personal protective equipment (PPE) and face coverings

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. It also includes respiratory protective equipment, such as face masks.

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

At the start of this document we described the steps you should take to manage COVID-19 risk in the workplace. This includes working from home and staying at the recommended distance away from each other in the workplace if at all possible. When managing the risk of COVID-19, additional PPE beyond what you usually wear is not beneficial. This is because 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.

The exception is clinical settings, like a hospital, or a small handful of other roles for which Public Health England advises use of PPE, for example, first responders and immigration enforcement officers. If you are in one of these groups you should refer to the advice at:

Workplaces should not encourage the precautionary use of extra PPE to protect against COVID-19 outside clinical settings or when responding to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.

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. However, if your risk assessment does show that PPE is required, then you should provide this PPE free of charge to workers who need it. Any PPE provided should fit properly. Please be mindful that the wearing of a face covering may inhibit communication with people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound.

Face coverings

Face coverings must be worn by retail, leisure and hospitality staff working in areas which are open to the public and where they come or are likely to come within close contact of a member of the public. If businesses have taken steps in line with HSE guidance for Covid-19 Secure workplaces to create a physical barrier, such as a perspex screen, between workers and members of the public then staff behind the barrier will not be required to wear a face covering.

For all indoor settings where the use of face coverings is not legally mandated, employers should assess the use of face coverings by staff on a case by case basis. Face coverings should be worn where social distancing may be difficult and wherever interaction between people not from the same household or support bubble is likely to occur. Employers should assess the use of face coverings by staff depending on the workplace environment, other appropriate mitigations that have been put in place, and whether reasonable exemptions apply.

Employees should continue to follow guidance on wearing face coverings from their employer based on a workplace health and safety assessment. For recommendations and requirements in specific settings please check the government’s workplace settings guidance.

A face covering should cover your nose and mouth, fit comfortably but securely against the side of the face, and be secured to the head with ties or ear loops.

You should follow government guidance on face coverings, including:

You must wear a face covering by law in some public places unless you have a reasonable excuse for not wearing one or you are not able to wear one, for example, because of your age or a health condition.

You are also strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces, where not already required to do so by law, where social distancing may be difficult or where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet. Please be mindful that the wearing of a face covering may inhibit communication with people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound.

7. Workforce management

In this section

7.1 Shift patterns and working groups

Objective: To change the way work is organised to create distinct groups and reduce the number of contacts each worker has.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. As far as possible, where workers are split into teams or shift groups, fixing these teams or shift groups so that where contact is unavoidable, this happens between the same people.

  2. Identifying areas where people have to directly pass things to each other and find ways to remove direct contact such as by using drop-off points or transfer zones.

  3. You should assist the Test and Trace service by keeping a temporary record of your staff shift patterns for 21 days and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed. This could help contain clusters or outbreaks. You should 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. Check Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace for details.

7.2 Work-related travel

7.2.1 Cars, accommodation and visits

Objective: To avoid unnecessary work travel and keep people safe when they do need to travel between locations.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Walk and cycle if you can. Where this is not possible, use public transport or drive. If using public transport is necessary, wearing a face covering is mandatory, unless you are exempt for health, disability or other reasons.

  2. Minimising the number of people outside of your household or support bubble travelling together in any one vehicle, using fixed travel partners (e.g. always travelling with the same people), increasing fresh air ventilation when possible and avoiding sitting face-to-face.

  3. Cleaning shared vehicles between shifts or on handover.

  4. Where workers are required to stay away from their home, centrally logging the stay and confirming that any overnight accommodation meets social distancing guidelines.

7.2.2 Deliveries to other sites

Objective: To help workers delivering to other sites such as factories, logistics sites or customers’ premises to maintain social distancing and hygiene practices.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Putting in place procedures to minimise person-to-person contact during deliveries to other sites.

  2. Maintaining consistent pairing where two-person deliveries are required.

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

7.3 Communications and training

7.3.1 Returning to work

Objective: To make sure all workers understand COVID-19 related safety procedures.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Providing clear, consistent and regular communication to improve understanding and consistency of ways of working.

  2. Engaging with worker and worker representatives through existing communication routes and worker representatives to explain and agree any changes in working arrangements.

  3. Developing communication and training materials for workers prior to returning to site, especially around new procedures for arrival at work.

7.3.2 Ongoing communications and signage

Objective: To make sure all workers are kept up to date with how safety measures are being implemented or updated.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Ongoing engagement with workers (including through trade unions or employee representative groups) to monitor and understand any unforeseen impacts of changes to working environments.

  2. Awareness and focus on the importance of mental health at times of uncertainty. The government has published guidance on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (COVID-19).

  3. Using simple, clear messaging to explain guidelines using images and clear language, with consideration of groups for which English may not be their first language and those with protected characteristics such as visual impairments

  4. Using visual communications, for example whiteboards or signage, to explain changes to production schedules, breakdowns or materials shortages to reduce the need for face-to-face communications.

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

8. Inbound and outbound goods

Objective: To maintain social distancing and avoid surface transmission when goods enter and leave the site, especially in high volume situations, for example, distribution centres or despatch areas.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Revising pick-up and drop-off collection points, procedures, signage and markings.

  2. Minimising unnecessary contact at gatehouse security, yard and warehouse. For example, non-contact deliveries where the nature of the product allows for use of electronic pre-booking.

  3. Considering methods to reduce frequency of deliveries, for example, by ordering larger quantities less often.

  4. Where possible and safe, having single workers load or unload vehicles.

  5. Where possible, using the same pairs of people for loads where more than one is needed.

  6. Enabling drivers to access welfare facilities when required, consistent with other guidance.

  7. Encouraging drivers to stay in their vehicles where this does not compromise their safety and existing safe working practice.

This document has been prepared by the Department for Culture Media & Sport (DCMS) with input from members of the Visitor Economy Working Group; UKHospitality; VisitBritain; UKInbound; Association of Leading Visitor Attractions; Association of Event Organisers; the Meetings Industry Association, the Events Industry Board; Country Land and Business Association; trades unions and the devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and in consultation with Public Health England (PHE) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Where to obtain further guidance

Hotels and other guest accommodation

Indoor and Outdoor attractions

Business Events

Outdoor Events

General guidance

Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) advice:

National Counter Terrorism Security Office advice

Annex A - Organised outdoor events

This annex provides a quick reference guide for those organising outdoor events such as air shows, agricultural shows, carnivals, funfairs, fetes, steam rallies, community fairs, car boot sales, firework displays, flower shows, gardening events, historical re-enactment events, literature fairs, animal and pet shows. It also provides further guidance for Local Authorities assessing applications for such events, including the factors that should be considered.

It is not intended to replace full guidance and you should also read the full version of the relevant guidance depending on the type of event. This could include Outdoor Events, Funfairs, Performing Arts or Sports Events.

From 2 December, new capacity limits will be placed on: outdoor business events (such as trade shows and exhibitions); elite sporting events; and live performances and shows in performing arts venues.

  • In tier 1, these events will be permitted with a cap of 4000 or 50% of the site’s capacity, whichever is lower.
  • In tier 2, these events will be permitted with a cap of 2000 or 50% of the site’s capacity, whichever is lower.
  • In tier 3, business events and sporting events will not be permitted except for drive-in.
  • Elite sporting events are permitted without spectators.
  • Performing art venues will be closed to audiences but drive-in venues will remain open to performances with audiences. Outdoor performing arts activity can still take place in line with the Performing Arts guidance.
  • In tier 4, Entertainment venues must close including: fairgrounds, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks and theme parks.
  • Outdoor Santa’s grottos should also close given the risks of bringing people into contact with others they do not live with.
  • Outdoor business events (such as trade shows and exhibitions) and elite sporting events are not permitted. Performing art venues will be closed to audiences. Including outdoor performing art activities.
  • All other outdoor events organised by businesses, charitable organisations and public bodies, such as car boot sales, and literary fairs are not permitted.
  • In tier 4 professional and elite sports events are permitted without spectators.

In tiers 1, 2 and 3 all other outdoor events organised by businesses, charitable organisations and public bodies, such as funfairs and fairgrounds, car boot sales, and literary fairs are permitted and are not subject to this cap.

Outdoor events catering

In tiers 1 and 2: Where there is a seating in an adjacent area to a stall or outlet that is serving food and drink, and customers will be using it, their orders must be taken and served at the table if the stall or outlet sells alcohol. Where the sale of alcohol is not offered, customers will need to be seated when eating but can order food from the counter. Customers eating and drinking at tables outdoors will need to sit in groups of up to 6 people (unless they are visiting as a household or support bubble which is larger than 6). Signs should be put up to remind customers to only interact with their group.

In tier 2: Businesses selling food and drink must only operate as if they were a restaurant. This means alcohol can only be served with substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. Where there is a seating in an adjacent area to a stall or outlet that is serving food and drink, and customers will be using it, their orders must be taken and served at the table if the stall or outlet sells alcohol. Where the sale of alcohol is not offered, customers will need to be seated when eating but can order food from the counter. Customers eating and drinking at tables outdoors will need to sit in groups of up to 6 people (unless they are visiting as a household or support bubble which is larger than 6). Signs should be put up to remind customers to only interact with their group.

In tiers 1 and 2: Where there is no seating available, the stall or outlet will be providing a take away service. The customer can order their food and drink including alcohol to eat and drink anywhere in the outdoor setting. Customers should be reminded to adhere to safe social distancing when queuing for food and drink by putting up signs or introducing a one way system that customers can follow or employing extra marshals to enforce this. Customers eating and drinking in the outdoor setting should not gather in groups of more than 6 people

In Tier 3: Businesses selling food and drink (including alcohol) must close, but can sell food and drinks through takeaway, click-and-collect, drive through or delivery. Outdoor stalls can offer food and drink as a takeaway service, through click and collect or delivery. Food or drink purchased from a business otherwise closed may not be consumed on site, or on any adjacent seating ordinarily used by that business.

In Tier 4: hospitality businesses and venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars must close with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery.

Guidance for event organisers

Ten steps to protect yourself, your staff and your customers

While this guidance applies to England, you should always consider whether there are local restrictions in place in your area. If you live, work or volunteer in an area that is experiencing a local COVID-19 outbreak and where local restrictions have been imposed, different guidance and legislation will apply. Please consult the local restrictions pages to see if any restrictions are in place in your area.

  1. Complete a COVID-19 risk assessment, taking into account emergency situations and any security risks. Share it with all your staff. Find out how to do a risk assessment. Keep it up to date as guidance and public health risks may change.

  2. Consult with your local authority as early as possible. The earlier you do this, the more time you are providing to secure agreement for your event to proceed and any relevant licenses to be issued. Your local authority will review your risk assessment and can give you advice on how to manage your event whilst reducing risks to the local area. Find out if the local authority intends to convene a Safety Advisory Group (SAG) and how best to engage with this. If they do not intend to convene a SAG, contact the local Director of Public Health to discuss the event and whether any additional assurances are needed. Even when all necessary permissions are granted, your local authority can consider prohibiting, restricting or imposing requirements if they consider an event a serious and imminent threat to public health - so a good two-way channel of communication is essential.

  3. Engage with neighbouring businesses, transport operators and Local Transport Authorities to assess any risks to the local area of increased visitors from other locations and potentially apply additional mitigations.

  4. 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.

  5. Ask your customers to wear face coverings in any indoor space or where required to do so by law. That is especially important if your customers are likely to be around people they do not normally meet. Some exemptions apply. Check when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own.

  6. 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 and considering whether extra marshals are required to enforce this.

  7. Let customers know that by law they can only visit in groups of up to 6 people (unless they are visiting as a household or support bubble which is larger than 6). Put up signs to remind customers to only interact with their group.

  8. Increase ventilation in enclosed structures such as marquees, for example by lifting or removing side walls or using fans to circulate fresh air.

  9. Meet NHS Test and Trace requirements by keeping a record of all your customers, visitors and staff for 21 days and displaying an official NHS QR code poster. Check Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace for details.

  10. 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 be isolating.

You should also read the full version of the relevant guidance which depending on the type of event, could include for example Outdoor Events, Funfairs, Performing Arts or Sports Events.

There is an appeals process for events organisers should a local authority reject an application for an event. If a local authority does not permit an event, the Direction must contain details of the routes open to challenge it. There are two routes - one is to lay a complaint before the magistrates’ court and the second is to submit representations to the Secretary of State (DirectionNotification@dhsc.gov.uk). Guidance for each of these routes can be found here.

Guidance for local authorities

Assessing applications for organised outdoor events

Outdoor events organised by businesses, charitable organisations, and public bodies are currently permitted — within the restrictions on number of attendees set out below — provided:

  1. Event organisers follow all relevant Covid-19 Secure guidance - depending on the type of event, this could include for example Outdoor Events, Funfairs, Performing Arts or Sports Events

  2. Organisers and attendees adhere to all legal requirements including only allowing customers to attend in groups as set out in tier and social distancing guidelines and mandating face coverings in indoor areas

  3. The event does not pose a risk to public health.

Local authorities are responsible for permitting or prohibiting organised outdoor events from taking place in their local area. Decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis, with consideration given to both the risks and the mitigations in place.

From 2 December, new capacity limits will be placed on: outdoor business events (such as trade shows and exhibitions); elite sporting events; and live performances and shows in performing arts venues.

  • In tier 1, these events will be permitted with a cap of 4000 or 50% of the site’s capacity, whichever is lower.

  • In tier 2, these events will be permitted with a cap of 2000 or 50% of the site’s capacity, whichever is lower.

  • In tier 3, business events and sporting events will not be permitted except for drive-in. Performing art venues will be closed to audiences but drive-in venues will remain open to performances with audiences. Outdoor performing arts activity can still take place in line with the Performing Arts guidance.

  • In tier 3, elite sporting events are permitted without spectators.

  • In tier 4, Outdoor Santa’s grottos should also close given the risks of bringing people into contact with others they do not live with.

  • Outdoor business events (such as trade shows and exhibitions)

  • Performing art venues will be closed to audiences. Including outdoor performing art activities.

  • All other outdoor events organised by businesses, charitable organisations and public bodies, such as car boot sales, and literary fairs are not permitted.

  • In tier 4, elite sporting events are permitted without spectators

In tiers 1,2 and 3, all other outdoor events organised by businesses, charitable organisations and public bodies, such as funfairs and fairgrounds, car boot sales, and literary fairs are permitted and are not subject to this cap.

Local authorities should determine on a case by case basis whether an event contains any elements of a business event, elite sporting event, or live performance or show in a performing arts venue, that would make the event subject to the above caps on attendees. Event organisers may be able to remove a particular element of the event to allow it to proceed without a cap, and this should be discussed between Local Authorities and event organisers where relevant. Organisers of permitted events should be able to control the flow and dispersal across the event site of customers within their permitted groups — and should put mitigations in place such as staggered arrival and departure times — to ensure that large numbers of people do not congregate in any one area of the site.

Local authorities should consider convening a Safety Advisory Group (SAG) where appropriate in order to bring together representatives from the local authority, emergency services and other relevant bodies. The local Director of Public Health ( DPH) should also be invited to the SAG. If a SAG is not convened, or if the DPH is otherwise engaged, local authorities should engage the DPH at the earliest opportunity. Local Authorities should also work closely with Local Transport Authorities to develop a clear plan to reduce pressure on the local transport network arising from events in the area.

Local authorities/Safety Advisory Groups should provide advice to businesses on how to manage events of this type if required.

In deciding whether an event should be permitted, local authorities should consider factors such as:

  • Has the event organiser carried out a comprehensive risk assessment?
  • Has the event organiser taken into account the relevant Covid-19 Secure guidance?
  • Can/will all mitigations be operated effectively?
  • What will be the impact on the local area? Has the event organiser engaged appropriately with neighbouring businesses and transport operators to assess and mitigate risks arising from pressure on local and public transport?
  • What will be the risk to local population health, taking into account prevailing trends in the prevalence of Covid-19?
  • Will attendees be primarily local, or will there be additional risk factors created by attracting a national or international audience for the event?

Through conversations with the event organiser and a review of their Risk Assessment, are you satisfied that the event organiser has in place reasonable mitigations to:

  • Ensure social distancing between customers, performers and staff?
  • Ensure that customers attend in groups of up to 6 (unless an exemption applies) and that those groups can be kept separate within the event?
  • Ensure cleanliness in all areas?
  • Robustly log customer data for the purposes of NHS Test and Trace?

Organised outdoor events should be permitted unless they pose a threat to public health, provided that they follow relevant guidance and adhere to all legal requirements. If local authorities are concerned about an event, they should discuss those concerns with the event organiser at the earliest possible opportunity, and should consider whether any mitigations could be put in place to alleviate risks such as:

  • Reducing the number of attendees to allow full social distancing and minimise any burden on local transport systems.
  • 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.

Where an event poses a risk to public health, or in the event of a local spike in COVID-19 cases, local authorities can consider prohibiting, restricting or imposing requirements in respect of venues, events or outdoor public places using the powers available in The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 3) Regulations 2020 if the event, venue or gathering in an outdoor public place poses a serious and imminent threat to public health. Any such decision must be both necessary and proportionate. If an event organiser, the owner or occupier of the premises on which the event is held or any other person involved in hosting the event goes against such a direction, they can be issued with a fixed penalty notice by a police officer, police community support officer or an individual designated by the local authority.

If, by attending a particular event or gathering, an individual is contravening the regulations that have been put in place to control the spread of COVID-19, police officers, PCSOs and other relevant individuals designated by the local authority or Secretary of State have the power under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 to direct individuals to leave a location or remove them from that location. This can have the overall effect of shutting down the event if all attendees are dispersed. Individuals deemed to be attending an illegal gathering can be issued with a fixed penalty notice, and organisers of an illegal event with more than 30 attendees could potentially be issued with a £10,000 fine. Event organisers could also be issued with fines if they have contravened other business-related regulations such as those set out in regulation 4 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2020: these fines would be primarily issued by local authority enforcement officers, but can also be issued by police officers, PCSOs or an individual designated by the local authority or Secretary of State.

If appropriate, the government has powers under Schedule 22 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 to close venues hosting large gatherings or prohibit certain events (or types of event) from taking place, and a power under regulation 6 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020 to restrict access to a public place.

Download the ‘Staying COVID-19 Secure’ notice