The current success of the UK’s Covid vaccination programme has made it possible for the government to consider easing lockdown restrictions. A roadmap for reopening the British economy was outlined by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on May 11th. Within this, an indication was given of when leisure travel may resume. Leisure travel, or non-essential travel, has been banned in the UK since the beginning of January this year. During this time, the majority of hotels have remained closed. Other hotels have provided accommodation for specific guests for a limited number of essential reasons. There are now proposed dates of when accommodation can reopen for non-essential reasons.
When could leisure travellers use hotels again?
The latest announcement details a 4-step lockdown exit strategy. Whilst dates are included within the plan, each step will be guided by data regarding infection rates, new Variants of Concern, and the continuation of a successful vaccine deployment programme. If the necessary criteria is not met, lockdown pace will decelerate, pushing back each proposed date.
Self-contained accommodation, with no shared facilities, could reopen in England in step 2. This will not take place before 12th April, and includes campsites and holiday lets. It is not until step 3, that we can expect the reopening of hotels, hostels and B&Bs. Step 3 has an estimated date of 17th May; a significant date for the leisure travel and hospitality industries as international travel may also resume on this day.
What services will be permitted?
The hotel industry has made multiple necessary adaptions to hotel policies, procedures, and services in response to the coronavirus pandemic. There is currently no clear timeframe detailing if/when some services will be able to begin again. COVID-Secure guidance will remain in place when hotels reopen their doors, for example, social distancing will need to be adhered to. Breakfast buffets and indoor social dining room experiences will still need to be replaced by alternative options such as room service and takeaway grab bags. Whilst room service will continue to be allowed, it should be ordered by phone or online. Socially distanced and outdoor dining service experiences may also be a possibility. It is hoped that these will be short-term measures, and that over time pre-pandemic services will resume. In the meantime, the advice remains to continue to operate your business in full accordance with government guidelines, with a view to reviewing and updating the amenities and services you can safely offer your guests when new guidance is released.
Make safety and well-being your main focus
Your guests will understandably be more vigilant regarding the cleanliness and safety of your hotel. At Guestroom Genie, we recommend you have a transparent policy regarding your cleaning procedures which highlight how you have strengthened pre-existing high hygiene standards. A cleaning checklist, available to Guestroom Genie users, is an excellent tool to ensure your rooms and communal spaces are held to the highest cleaning standards. It is important to communicate this to your guests to give them the peace of mind to choose your hotel as their accommodation, and aid a relaxing and enjoyable stay.
We’re here to grant your business wishes!
After a difficult and worrying year you can have confidence in Guestroom Genie. Our intuitive, cost effective hotel management app will help to streamline the day-to-day workings of your business affording you the headspace to reopen your hotel safely, and as stress free as possible. You could say it’s geni-us!