What is this?
This action card provides advice on measures that are likely to be reasonable to take to minimise the risk of coronavirus in tourism businesses, such as accommodation and visitor attractions.
This action card relates to the measures tourism businesses (holiday accommodation and visitor attractions) must take, by law, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Those responsible for these venues are required to take reasonable measures to minimise the risk of people being exposed to coronavirus, and spreading the virus, at their premises.
As a basis for deciding what measures should be taken, they must also carry out a specific assessment of the risk posed by the coronavirus.
The action card highlights risks generally associated with these venues and considers what reasonable measures could to be taken to mitigate those risks.
This is not an exhaustive list and other reasonable measures not referred to below may be appropriate.
If you have questions or concerns please seek advice from your local authority’s environmental health department as soon as possible. Please be aware and respectful of the fact that their role is to ensure that appropriate reasonable measures are taken so that your venue can operate as safely as possible. However, it is not their role to approve your risk assessment.
Accommodation businesses and attractions with a hospitality offering (i.e. a licensed or non-licensed hospitality settings within a venue) should also consider the hospitality action card.
Specific risks in these venues
While risks will vary from venue to venue, and will depend on the activities being undertaken at the venue and the number of people present, the following risks will be typical:
- close physical interaction, including queuing in close proximity to others before entry and while inside, for example at the reception area, lifts, toilets, cloakrooms or at museum displays or exhibitions;
- close physical interaction in hostel or dormitory accommodation with a multi-bed room environment shared by people from different households and shared facilities, like bathrooms, kitchens and lounges;
- potential for poor ventilation, particularly problematic where people spend prolonged periods together (indoors) and mix with others in these venues.
- increased likelihood of mixing and face to face interaction, possibly exacerbated by the influence of alcohol at bars and restaurant facilities within accommodation and attractions;
- raising of voices over loud music increasing risk of aerosol transmission, especially at bars and restaurant facilities within accommodation and attractions.
What reasonable measures should I consider taking to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus?
While it is unlikely to be possible to mitigate the risks completely in venues of this nature, some measures are reasonable to take so must be taken.
You should consider whether the following measures are reasonable to take. The measures you take should be informed by your assessment of the risk of coronavirus spreading at your premises and tailored to your specific circumstances. The Welsh Government has produced a standard template for coronavirus risk assessments, and there is further information available to support you provided by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Reduce the chance of coronavirus being present
- Requiring staff and (where feasible) customers to take a test before they enter premises.
- Requiring staff and (where feasible) customers to show that they have been vaccinated before they enter premises.
- Asking customers if they have been vaccinated, have recently been tested or if they have COVID-19 symptoms before they enter premises.
- Informing customers and staff that anyone who is symptomatic, has tested positive, is awaiting a test result or has been asked to self-isolate by NHS Wales Test Trace Protect, must not enter premises.
The best way of preventing spread of coronavirus in any premises is to reduce the risk of the virus being on the premises in the first place.
- Limiting numbers or controlling movement of people so that where possible customers can safely distance themselves from others. For example use one way systems to walk around the premises and control the movement of people coming together in confined areas such as toilets and bars. Physical distancing between individuals and between groups remains an effective control measure in premises where there is mixing of different groups of people.
- Controlling entry and exit points to prevent people coming together.
- Adopting a table service system at busy times in bars, restaurants and cafes.
Limit your capacity
- Where this is economically viable, reducing the number of people who may be inside your premises at any one time. Limiting numbers will reduce the extent to which close physical interaction will occur, in particular by reducing the potential for crowding.
- Spreading people evenly across the venue so that they don’t gather in disproportionate numbers in one room or space.
Consider travel restrictions
- Businesses should not knowingly accept customers in breach of the international travel restrictions.
- Supporting customers to test as required
Improve your ventilation or go outside
- Encouraging use of outdoor space instead of staying indoors.
- Enhancing airflow by opening windows and propping open internal doors (but not fire doors) where possible and consider maximum capacities.
- If there is a lack of natural ventilation, ensuring mechanical ventilation systems provide 100% fresh air and do not recirculate air from one space to another.
- Make sure mechanical ventilation systems are effectively maintained and have been serviced.
- Monitoring CO2 levels to identify areas where ventilation may be poor.
Keep your premises clean
- Minimising the number of surfaces and objects people can touch. For example, limit contact with menus, use apps to order and pay, use contactless technology.
- Thorough and regular cleaning using disinfectant in high footfall areas and in high contact touchpoints such as counter tops, tables and door handles.
- Thorough deep cleaning in between bookings in accommodation settings.
- Placing hand sanitisers in multiple locations, particularly at entry points and elsewhere at key touchpoints, and providing automated soap dispensers, water and paper towels in washrooms.
Keep the noise down
- Lowering the volume of any music played to reduce the need for people to shout or bring their faces close together to talk.
Look after your staff
- Implementing systems to minimise contacts between staff. For example, stagger staff shifts, break times and deliveries; set a maximum number for kitchens, staff rooms, changing rooms and areas such as smoking shelters.
- Providing staff with face coverings or other PPE.
- Erecting screens to protect staff, for example in the bar area or where people pay.
- Facilitating (and not preventing) members of staff that have symptoms, test positive or who have been identified as a close contact by Test Trace Protect (and are not exempt by way of age or vaccine status) to self-isolate. Self-isolating when a person has tested positive is required by law.
Remember face coverings
- Helping to ensure that people present comply with their legal obligation to wear a face covering.
- In hospitality settings (where food and drink is served) despite face coverings not being a legal requirement, requiring them to be worn in some areas if other ways of mitigating risk aren’t practical.
- If your business is multi-purpose, with food & drink one of the many reasons for a visit (e.g. a hotel with a restaurant, an indoor attraction with a café, an events or conference centre with a restaurant, a cinema or theatre with a bar), face coverings must still be worn by staff and customers in all areas of the business apart from the specific areas where food & drink are consumed.
Help Test, Trace, Protect
- Understanding the role of the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect system has in monitoring and controlling the virus.
- Informing guests in an accommodation setting that if they become symptomatic, they must return home immediately, self-isolate and take a PCR test.
- Keeping records of staff, customers and visitors to support the NHS Wales TTP Service.
Note also that you have a legal obligation to provide information to those entering or working at the premises about how to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus. This includes, in particular, information to all those present about their risk of exposure to coronavirus identified in the risk assessment and the measures to be taken to minimise this risk.
This could include advising of measures in place at the time of making a booking, announcements, clear signage (e.g. signs, floor tape or paint) for limits on the number of people present in a particular area or room, queuing systems and one way systems.