Operating during COVID-19

15 June 2021

The following resources focus on practical guidance to help tourism businesses operate in a COVID-19 Secure way during the coronavirus pandemic.

Information on emergency funding, including Government support, can be found on our Support for tourism and event businesses during COVID-19 page.

Update 14 June:

On 14 June the Prime Minister announced that as not all of four tests for proceeding to step 4 in the UK Government roadmap have been met, step 4 openings will be delayed until 19 July, with the exception of weddings and wakes of more than 30 guests, which still can go ahead with social distancing.


The situation will be monitored daily and if after 2 weeks, the risk looks like it has diminished, it would be possible to move to step 4 earlier. In the meantime, pilots for sporting events, such as the Euros, and some theatre performances will continue.


View the Prime Minister's statement and the slides and dataset from the briefing.


On 22 February the Prime Minister announced the roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions in England


Further guidance has been released on reopening businesses and venues.


The key elements for the tourism industry include:


From 29 March:

  • the 'Rule of Six' will return outdoors, including in private gardens; outdoor meetings of two households will also be permitted on the same basis
  • outdoor sports facilities – such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools – will be able to reopen.


Confirmed from 12 April:

  • self-contained holiday accommodation in which all facilities (including for sleeping, catering, bathing, and indoor lobbies and corridors for entry and exit) are restricted to exclusive use of a single household/support bubble will reopen. A reception area is not to be treated as a shared facility or indoor communal area if they are required in order to be open for check-in purposes
  • campsites and caravan parks will be permitted to reopen provided that the only shared facilities used by guests at the campsite or caravan park are washing facilities, toilets, water points and waste disposal points. These facilities should be operated so as to ensure no household mixing takes place. This would involve either assigning shower facilities to one household group/support bubble, (i.e. making them private), or running a reservation and clean process (whereby one household can exclusively book the shared facilities for a fixed time, and the facilities are cleaned between reservations and kept well-ventilated)
  • pubs and restaurants will reopen outdoors for table service, with no curfew or a requirement to purchase a substantial meal with alcohol
  • zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas will re-open
  • non-essential retail and personal care such as hairdressers will reopen
  • indoor leisure facilities such as gyms will re-open
  • permitted businesses operating in otherwise closed attractions (such as a gift shop or a takeaway kiosk at a museum) may only open where they are a self-contained unit and can be accessed directly from the street
  • outdoor gatherings or events, organised by a business, charity, public body or similar organisation, can be organised, subject to specific conditions.


Confirmed from 17 May:

  • hotels, hostels and B&Bs will reopen
  • pubs and restaurants will reopen indoors for table service
  • cinemas, theatres, concert halls and children's play areas will reopen
  • most restrictions on meetings outdoors will be lifted, subject to a limit of thirty
  • the Rule of Six or the meeting of two households will be allowed indoors.


Businesses should continue to follow the visitor economy guidance


No earlier than 21 June:

  • the aim is to remove all legal limits on social contact, including for weddings and other life events
  • businesses that up to this point have remained close will re-open, including nightclubs
  • large events such as theatre performances will take place, potentially using testing to reduce the risk of infection.


Read the Prime Minister's 22 February statement.

Read ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’, setting out the roadmap out of the current lockdown for England.

Read the guidance on the reopening of businesses and venues.

Read the Organised events guidance for local authorities, which includes the latest information on reopening for the events sector.

On 5 February the Government announced that from 15 February anyone travelling to the UK from a country on the UK’s travel ban list will be required to quarantine in a Government-approved facility for 10 days. Read the press release on hotel quarantine.


Contracts have now been awarded and information is available on Gov.uk on how to book a place in a quarantine hotel and arrange coronavirus (COVID-19) tests if you're travelling to England from a country on the banned travel list.

Key Government guidance

  • Visitor Economy Guidance

    Guidance for people who work in hotels and guest accommodation, indoor and outdoor attractions, and business events and consumer shows.

  • Guidance from Public Health England

    Guidance for businesses, employers and employees on preventing the spread of the virus.

  • Hotels and other guest accommodation

    Guidance for people who work in or run hotels and other guest accommodation.

  • Heritage locations

    Guidance for people who work or volunteer in heritage locations.

  • Check what actions you need to take

    This online tool from Government will generate guidance and help you do a risk assessment based on your sector, visitors, suppliers and employees.

  • Reporting outbreaks of COVID-19

    Guidance for businesses and organisations on how to recognise, contain and report incidents of COVID-19.

  • NHS

    Create an NHS QR code for your venue

    It is a legal requirement to display an NHS QR code following the launch of the NHS COVID-19 App.

  • Protecting customer and staff details

    Guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office on how to manage personal data collected for NHS Test and Trace.

  • Maintaining records of staff and customers

    Guidance for hospitality and tourism businesses on collecting and maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace.

  • Customer Logging Toolkit

    Template materials to display and guidance on logging customer information for NHS Test and Trace.

  • Help customers plan a holiday

    Businesses are asked to raise awareness of Government guidance for tourists who fall ill whilst on holiday.

  • Rules on face coverings

    When to wear face coverings, including public areas of hotels, hostels and indoor tourist attractions.

  • Face coverings exemption toolkit

    Download a poster to remind customers that not all health conditions are visible.

  • If customers contract COVID-19

    Guidance on what should happen if a customer contracts COVID-19 while on holiday.

  • Early outbreak management

    Download an action card for your business type to help you manage and report a COVID-19 outbreak.

  • When to call your local health team

    The Government’s business action cards provide information on when to contact your local health protection team.

  • Be award of COVID-19 vaccine fraud

    Download the Government quick guide to preventing COVID-19 vaccine fraud.

  • Ventilation of indoor spaces

    Guidance on the ventilation of indoor spaces to stop the spread of COVID-19.

  • Environment Agency Boating Guidance

    Guidance from the Environment Agency, including information on boating.

  • Does your area have lateral flow test sites?

    Find out if your area offers rapid lateral flow test sites. Rapid lateral flow tests are free.

  • Guidance for marriages and civil partnerships

    Guidance for marriages and civil partnerships, which is continually updated.

  • Downloadable poster for your premises

    This official poster can shows customers that you have complied with the guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19.

  • Guidance for Domestic Cruise Ships

    Guidance on domestic cruise travel during COVID-19.

  • COVID-19 risk assessments

    Guidance from the HSE on completing a COVID-19 risk assessment.

  • Step 3 restrictions poster

    A downloadable poster to remind customers and staff which restrictions are currently in place.

  • Guidance for visitor attractions

    Inclusive reopening guidance

  • Helping visually impaired customers

    Top tips from Henshaws on helping visually impaired customers navigate your COVID-19 safety measures.

  • Reopening tourism for disabled travellers

    Guidance from the UNTWO on how to provide a COVID-Secure environment without creating obstacles for disabled customers.

  • Guidance from the Business Disability Forum

    Resources and webinars from the Business Disability Forum to guide your organisation, employees and customers through the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Guidance from RNIB

    Best practice guidelines to help you understand how to help your blind and partially sighted customers.

  • Guidance on sighted guiding

    Guidance on how sighted guiding can be done safely and what additional precautions to take.

  • EMBED reopening guidance

    Solution-based guidance to help you consider the potential barriers faced by disabled customers.

  • 7 principles to ensure an inclusive recovery

    A guide for the arts & cultural venues to support disability inclusion, designed to complement Government guidance on COVID-19.

  • Top tips on supporting disabled people

    This infographic from AccessAble gives practical guidance on supporting disabled people during COVID-19.

  • Supporting your disabled customers

    Euan’s Guide top 10 tips to help venues to support disabled customers during COVID-19.

  • UNWTO Inclusive Recovery Guide

    This guide from UNWTO can help inclusive recovery.

  • Inclusion training

    Find training courses on disability awareness and inclusion for you and your staff.

  • Guidance from the ISTO

    Recommendations from the International Social Tourism Organisation on welcoming disabled people during COVID-19.

  • Make your business accessible

    Find guidance, tools and resources to help you provide access for all in our dedicated section.

  • Reopening your venue

    Guidance from Attitude is Everything on how to reopen your venue for Deaf and disabled audiences.

  • Looking after your employees

  • Alex Hare

    Guidance on social distancing at work

    Advice for employers on social distancing during COVID-19.

  • Testing guidance for employers

    Your legal obligations as an employer on testing during COVID-19.

  • Advice from ACAS

    Guidance on handling employees, including sick pay, managing staff shortfalls, if somebody becomes unwell at work and what to do if you need to close.

  • Online sick note system

    An online sick note system on the NHS website can provide employees with evidence that they have been advised to self-isolate.

  • Guidance from HSE

    Health and Safety Executive advice on keeping your employees and workplace safe.

  • Test and trace in the workplace

    If there is more than one case of COVID-19 in your workplace you should contact your local health protection team.

  • Psychological first aid training

    A free 90 minute online training course to help you recognise people at risk of distress.

  • Check if you should go back into work

    Employees can use this tool to find out if they should be going back into work, and how to return to work safely.

  • Managing working from home arrangements

    Guidance from ACAS on making working from home arrangements, management and health & safety.

  • Self-isolating after returning to the UK

    Guidance for employees and employers on self-isolating after returning to the UK.

  • Cleaning your workplace to reduce risk

    Guidance from HSE on cleaning your workplace to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

  • Changes to apprenticeships due to COVID-19

    Guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers, end-point assessment organisations and external quality assurance providers about changes to

  • Employees and face coverings

    Guidance on managing requirements for staff face coverings and exemptions.

  • Protecting home workers

    Guidance from HSE on your employer responsibilities for people working from home.

  • Supporting employees with hearing loss

    Simple steps that employers can take to support staff with deafness and hearing loss during COVID-19.

  • Approved COVID-19 test providers

    The list of private providers of COVID-19 testing to help employers set up their own testing programmes.

  • Guidance on work absences

    Guidance for employers and workers on rights and responsibilities related to employees who may not be able to go into work during COVID-19.

  • COVID-19 Visa Concession Scheme

    Information for people who have been unable to return to make an application for leave to remain (LTR) or indefinite leave to remain (ILR).

  • Reporting lateral flow test results

    Report the results of lateral flow test for your employees on the official Government website.

  • Instructions for COVID-19 self-testing

    How you can safely test yourself and your staff for COVID-19 and report the results.

  • Support finder tool for individuals

    Employees can use this Government tool to find advice and support on COVID-related issues such as paying bills or self-isolating.

  • Staff testing endorsement scheme

    The We Offer Testing to our Staff (WOTTOS) endorsement scheme is a free promotional scheme for businesses in the workplace testing programme.

  • Employer COVID-19 vaccine toolkit

    Ensure your employees get access to reliable and accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Enabling safe and effective volunteering

    Guidance to help businesses understand how to safely and effectively involve volunteers during the pandemic.