Operating during COVID-19

14 January 2021

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

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

On 4 January the Prime Minister announced a national lockdown. Read the 4 January announcement


Guidance on the national lockdown has been published stating:

  • You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary for a reason permitted by law
  • Holidays in the UK and abroad are not allowed


The majority of tourism and hospitality businesses must close unless a specific exemption applies, including:


  • cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs (with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway until 11pm, click-and-collect and drive-through). All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery.
  • accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses, self-catering and campsites (except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for providing accommodation or support to the homeless, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes)
  • theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres), circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, water parks and theme parks
  • animal attractions (such as zoos, safari parks, aquariums, and wildlife reserves)
  • indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open for outdoor exercise.


Further information on which businesses must close, and permitted exemptions, is also in the guidance.


The national restrictions are expected to remain in place until at least mid-February.


View the national lockdown guidance.


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 visitor details

    A five step checklist 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 from 8 August.

  • 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.

  • National restrictions poster

    An official Government poster for businesses to share with staff and customers.

  • Tier restrictions posters

    Downloadable posters displaying information about the various tiers of restrictions in England from 2 December 2020.

  • Early outbreak management

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

  • Guidance for visitor attractions

    Inclusive reopening guidance

    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).