Business recovery webinar FAQs: Business adaptation and re-opening

Questions and answers from our second webinar, Business adaptation and re-opening, recorded 2 July.

Please note information provided in these responses was correct at the time of recording.

Andrew Jasper - ­Visitors this far have come prepared.

Andy Beer - ­We have an enhanced hygiene instruction for toilets that involves cleaning three times per day­.


Andrew Jasper - ­For RHS, each block of toilets is cleaned thoroughly once an hour. ­

Andrew Jasper - 100%. ­


Andy Beer­­­­ - Most of our older members are coming back - we seem to be a chosen venue for people to meet relatives half way­.

Andy Beer: We have a rapid closure plan in place in the event that we need it - and we also have a local lockdown plan - we think it is pretty likely we will need to use them­.


Andrew Jasper: ­We also have rapid closure plans in place. And are ready if this does happen. ­

Janet Uttley - The guidance on the ABI website may help you.

Andy Beer­­­­ -  ­We have tried to manage our costs on reopening by still running a skeleton staff and only opening food outlets once volumes allow. On that basis it more than breaks even­.

Andy Beer – I had a couple of hundred complaints in the first week - but it is amazing how quickly social norms have changed and everyone expects to book. We have simply said to complainants that it's the only way we can reopen safely.


Janet Uttley – Be honest with your response on what is possible, be clear about what you have done to get you to this point and thank them for the feedback with a gentle reminder that a global health pandemic is challenging us all.

Andy Beer -  From our perspective we are still in the situation where demand greatly exceeds supply, so we haven’t worried too much about broadening beyond our own channel­. ­I think that will be true until September at least and we are not taking group bookings until then.

Andrew Fox - Yes, that sounds a good idea if it suits your business - they should understand if they are communicated to prior to that. Again, they may think it as a positive as fewer people are touching common areas. The attitude and communication is the best service experience­.


Janet Uttley – Do consider providing cleaning materials that enable the guests to undertake any cleaning for themselves (stored in a secure place should children be part of the booking). 

Andy Beer - We have not yet asked volunteers in visitor-facing roles to come back but we have about 1,000 working on non-visitor facing roles already­. This hasn’t affected our operation because we are opening in such a restricted way (e.g. we are only piloting house reopening from 13 July in seven places)­.

Andrew Fox - No we aren’t opening the pool, it was an example of when we are able to, but it’s a moving beast.


Janet Uttley – Government guidelines remain clear that pools should not be open at this point.

Andrew Fox - We have kept the normal cotton towels, no issue with the normal laundry due to temperatures. Paper towels in public toilets though. We are not cleaning mattresses, just the normal linen changed.­


Janet Uttley – The option remains, a deep clean that includes airing the mattress or a 72 hour break between stays, as set out in the guidance from PASC, available on the Business Advice Hub.

Andrew Fox - We are conducting 2 hours induction for the 20 staff and then 4 hours of check in, F&B training for the HODs. The check-in experience has been simplified and no check out needed, as cards are pre authorised and bills are emailed afterwards.


Andy Beer - ­Yes - similar to RHS - although we are finding that staff are picking the content up really quickly - some need more reassurance than others­.


Andrew Jasper- ­A half day should do it. ­­PPE. Familiarisation and customer service. Scenario planning. ­


Janet Uttley – People 1St have a great online training resource, which is just £5 per head.

Janet Uttley – Be mindful that an area in lockdown should be identified by postcode via the website

Andy Beer -  ­Yes - if not above normal, given the lack of international travel­.

Andrew Jasper -  ­We’d help them return home safely. ­­We have deep clean processes in place which would kick in. ­

Andy Beer -  ­We discussed limiting times, but we are just offering arrival times. We are finding that dwell times are shorter and sites are big enough to cope once we have got people in the gate­. ­We planned for having to turn round lots of unbooked visitors, but after the first week this has become a very small number­. We have been working on a "be reasonable please" and trust basis (for example reserving slots of key worker members) and with the odd exception this has worked­.


Andrew Jasper -  ­We haven’t limited, though only release 4 weeks in one go - it is too complicated to manage otherwise. ­

Andrew Fox - Explain the processes in place, ideally with photos of the floor markings/cleaning schedules. The VisitEngland branded material is good to link in with.­

Janet Uttley – the toolkit is available for any business to use.

Andrew Fox- This depends on the regime. Our housekeeping outsourcing company have got a product that 'fogs' the room and is left for a few hours, it's water-based that sanitises everything and we leave overnight.  If not available we were working to 48 hours after a deep cle­an.

Andy Beer  - The guidance is not all crystal clear, so we are having to make some judgement calls and work with sector partners to be consistent­. Your local Destination Management Organisation may also be able to help you with this.

Janet Uttley – We are hoping to enable this and are working with our developers to see what is possible in the timeframe.   We also know that our Destination Management Organisations are also keen to amplify the businesses signed up to We’re Good To Go.

Janet Uttley – Individual properties need to go through the online assessment and have in place their own COVID-19 Risk Assessment that is relevant to their own property.

Janet Uttley – The team at Visit Isle of Wight will help you with this one directly.

A: Andrew Fox -  There is no advice to my knowledge, it just depends on the cleaning regime. We have a housekeeping outsourcing company that have a water based sanitiser that allows a 24 hour turn round. Before this product they were stating 48 hours­. Stay ons can be cleaned every day. I would suggest you clarify that may be a limited clean/ tidy. We are doing it when they are out of the room.­

Janet Uttley – Do consider providing cleaning materials that guests may use themselves, being mindful of course that if children are part of the booking a secure storage space should be made available.

Andy Beer -  This is going to be tricky while social distancing is in place. We are testing opening of larger houses in July and will then look to extend that as Government guidance allows. I think it will be later in the autumn for some places.

Janet Uttley – This is available to download from our website now.

Janet Uttley- ­With the named person, if not available with the General Manager or Duty Manager - not a junior member of the team, to reassure you­.  Please also be aware that spot checks will be two-fold, either in person or by phone.

Janet Uttley - ­DCMS have indeed been keeping a watchful eye on this and the Tourism Industry Emergency Response Group (TIER) that we host brings issues in this area to their attention­.

Janet Uttley - No - it is totally designed for all businesses. Do look and you will find it falling in line with the main guidance. Provided you have read the COVID-19 Visitor Economy Guidelines and have your own COVID-19 Risk Assessment in place, you will find this process very user friendly.

Janet Uttley - The guidance provided by PASC and UKHospitality recommends either a deep clean or 72 hour break in between bookings.

Janet Uttley - Why not consider TXGB, who might be able to help you with this.

Janet Uttley – I would be interested to know where this guidance has come from, we strongly urge you to please put in place a COVID-19 Risk Assessment to protect you as well as your visitors.  If you need help with this do look at the guidance.