The hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit sectors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Travel restrictions and rules around overnight stays have resulted in many hotels, hostels, and B&Bs struggling to survive. However, restrictions are beginning to lift.
In February this year, the government published the COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021 roadmap; a four-step plan detailing key proposed dates of when the UK can expect a gradual migration from lockdown back to a more normal life. The government stresses that the plan will be, “guided by data, not dates”, and that each step will only be taken when it is safe to do so, therefore proposed dates are indicative and subject to change.
Step 1 of the roadmap took place in March this year. Holidays abroad and global travel continued to be prohibited, and hotels were only able to remain open for guests staying for essential travel purposes
The UK moved into Step 2 on 12th April. During this time the country has been warned to continue to behave responsibly and minimise travel, however, stay at home guidance was lifted, and rules around staying local are not limited by how far you can travel within England. Whilst international holidays remain prohibited, self-contained accommodation has been permitted to re-open if guests are from the same household or support bubble. This includes campsites, caravans, boats, and other self-contained accommodation such as holiday cottages.
The next step in the UK’s plan to exit from lockdown restrictions is due to take place no earlier than 17th May. During this stage, it is hoped that remaining holiday accommodation, such as hotels, hostels, and B&Bs, can reopen for staycations in England. A Global Travel Taskforce report has been released to support the safe return of non-essential international travel using a traffic light system for different countries. The green, amber and red system indicates what sort of quarantine or restrictions will be needed to visit those countries.
The final step is due to happen no earlier than 21st June. At this point, the government will review social distancing measures and hopes to remove all legal limits on social contact, subject to collected scientific data. The regulation of wearing a face covering will also be considered at this time. The result of this review will influence when we can relax the current requirement of staff and guests to wear face coverings in public areas and adhere to social distancing measures. However, even if the requirement of wearing face coverings is lifted, Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser has warned that face masks may be required in specific situations should infections rise over the winter.
With the current success of the UK’s vaccination programme, falling coronavirus case numbers, and the Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, suggesting that the UK is no longer in pandemic status, it looks likely that the proposed outlined dates will go ahead as planned. Here at Guestroom Genie, we advise investing in a property management system now to simplify and streamline your business to save you time as bookings begin to ramp up. Customer confidence in hotel safety has been somewhat compromised therefore, it is advisable to maintain your higher cleaning standards and extra precautions even after the restrictions lift. With Guestroom Genie you can assign cleaning schedules, and avoid time consuming administration tasks, leaving you time to concentrate on helping your staff and guests to feel safe and valued. Contact us or call 0114 207 0221 today to discuss your FREE trial.