Monday May 17th saw people in England, Wales and most of Scotland waking up to an important milestone in the government’s lockdown roadmap; we have now entered into Step 3 of easing lockdown restrictions. Step 3 includes the reopening of indoor hospitality, indoor entertainment and some larger outdoor events. All holiday accommodation can now welcome back guests travelling for leisure, including hotels and B&Bs, for groups of up to 6, or larger groups if everyone included is from 2 households. Within current guidelines, each household can also include a support bubble. Accommodation offering saunas and steam rooms may now reopen these facilities, adhering to strict COVID-secure guidelines. The Stay in the UK restriction has also been lifted, affording international travel to green list countries who permit inbound travel. Border control measures remain in place which include predeparture tests and a PCR test at least two days before returning to the UK.

What Step 3 means for hotel bars and restaurants

Under Step 3 guidelines, indoor hospitality venues, such as hotel bars and restaurants, can reopen for groups of up to 6 people, or larger groups if everyone included is from 2 households. During this time, venues providing alcohol are required to provide table service. Settings that do not provide alcohol may permit customers to order from the counter, however food and drink must only be consumed while seated.

Transitioning from Step 3 into Step 4…expect delays?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for a, “heavy dose of caution” during our transition into Step 3, and the government has warned that there may be “serious disruption” to Step 4 easements, which are set to go ahead no earlier than June 21st. This uncertainty is due to a rise in cases of the Indian coronavirus variant. The government had hoped to announce further details regarding what we can expect to see in Step 4 by the end of the month, however, they have recently stated that there will now be, “no set time” for those announcements to be made .

If the planned roadmap remains on track, and the final step out of lockdown goes ahead on June 21st, the government hopes to remove all restrictions and legal limits on social contact. This includes the removal of social distancing measures, and a further review of the requirement to wear face coverings. The government will also look to relax COVID-secure requirements on businesses. This is subject to the outcomes of the Events Research Programme, and the reviews of social distancing measures and COVID-status certification

Helping guests be, and feel, safe

During this time, the UK public will understandably be displaying a “heavy dose of caution” when it comes to leaving the relative safety of their homes to stay overnight in hotels and B&Bs. It is, therefore, of great importance that potential guests feel reassured that your hotel is a safe environment. Guestroom Genie recommend highlighting that the safety of guests and team members is the utmost priority, and that you are vigilant in reviewing your hotel and bar/restaurant policies to guarantee you are COVID-secure and operating within up-to-date government guidance.

Guests will likely be expecting an exceptional high standard of hygiene; therefore, it is important to ensure particular emphasis is placed on transparent enhanced cleaning policies and infection control measures. Remember, Guestroom Genie customers can take advantage of our COVID document Library with printable signs and cleaning checklist.

So much to do, so little time…

Keeping up to date with restriction revisions, current policies, and reassuring guests with regular updates and enhanced cleaning procedures are all essential yet time-consuming additional pressures faced by the hotel industry. Guestroom Genie provides a Property Management System that takes care of labour-intensive administration tasks, granting you the time to concentrate on the personal and important aspects of your business. We are so confident in our product, that we are offering a no obligation free trial for all new members! Try Guestroom Genie today for a guaranteed roadmap out of paper-based and spreadsheet property management systems.

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