Operating during COVID-19

13 December 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 8 December 2021:


The Prime Minister has announced a move to Plan B for England. The measures include:


  • The re-introduction of guidance for everyone who can to work from home. This will be introduced from Monday 13 December.
  • From Friday 10 December, face coverings will become compulsory in most public indoor venues, such as visitor attractions, cinemas, theatres and places of worship. There will be exemptions in venues where it is not practical to wear one, such as when you are eating, drinking or exercising. For that reason, face masks will not be required in hospitality settings.
  • From Wednesday 15 December (subject to parliamentary approval) the NHS Covid Pass on the NHS App will become mandatory for entry into nightclubs and settings where large crowds gather, including:
    • Unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people       
    • Unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people
    • Any venue with more than 10,000 people.


Read the latest guidance on wearing face coverings.


Read the latest public guidance. 



Update 14 July:


On 12 July the Prime Minister confirmed that England will move to step 4 from 19 July


Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance from Step 4 has now been published, including sector-specific information for:



The new guidance will replace the existing visitor economy guidance from 19 July.


The six priority actions for all businesses are:


1. Complete a health and safety risk assessment that includes risks from COVID-19. This should consider the points below in the rest of this guidance. It should also take into account any reasonable adjustments needed for staff and customers with disabilities. You should share your risk assessment with your staff. You can find more information in the section on risk assessments and HSE guidance

2. Turn people with COVID-19 symptoms away. Staff members or customers should self-isolate if they or someone in their household has a new, persistent cough; a high temperature; or loses/has changes to their sense of taste or smell, even if these symptoms are mild. They must also self-isolate if they or someone in their household has had a positive COVID-19 result, or if they have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. If you know that a worker is self-isolating, you must not ask or make them come to work.

3. Provide adequate ventilation. You should make sure there is a supply of fresh air to enclosed spaces where there are people present. This can be natural ventilation through windows, doors and vents, mechanical ventilation using fans and ducts, or a combination of both. You should identify any poorly ventilated spaces in your premises and consider steps you can take to improve fresh air flow in these areas. In some places, a CO2 monitor can help identify if the space is poorly ventilated. Heritage locations should take into account the preservation of the building or artefacts displayed. You can find more information in the on section on ventilation and the HSE guidance on ventilation and air conditioning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. Clean more often. Increase how often you clean surfaces, especially those that are touched a lot. Heritage locations should ensure cleaning materials and schedules are appropriate for historic surfaces and materials. You should ask your staff and customers to use hand sanitiser and clean their hands frequently, and provide them with advice to promote good hygiene. 

5. Enable people to check in at your venue. You are no longer legally required to collect contact details, however doing so will help to support NHS Test and Trace to reduce the spread of the virus. You can enable people to check in by providing an NHS QR code poster, though you do not have to ask customers to check in or turn them away if they refuse. If you display an NHS QR code, you should also have a system to collect (and securely store) names and contact details for those who ask to check in but do not have the app. 

6. Communicate and train. Keep all your workers, contractors and visitors up-to-date on how you’re using and updating safety measures.

You should read the full version of the guidance relevant to your business.


For a summary and more information see our Latest information and advice for businesses page.


Key Government guidance

  • Hotels and other guest accommodation

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

  • Events and attractions

    Guidance for people who work in settings related to events and visitor attractions.

  • Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services

    Guidance for people who work in or run restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes, nightclubs or takeaways.

  • Weddings and civil partnerships

    Guidance for venues hosting weddings and civil partnerships.

  • Shops, branches and close contact services

    Guidance for people who work in shops or similar environments and for close contact services.

  • Managing public outdoor settings

    Guidance for local authorities, owners and operators to support the safe use and management of outdoor public places.

  • Guidance from Public Health England

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

  • Grassroots sport operators

    Guidance for grassroots sport providers, venue operators and participants.

  • 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.

  • Ventilation of indoor spaces

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

  • NHS

    Create an NHS QR code for your venue

    Create a free QR code for your venue to support the track and trace system.

  • 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.

  • Be award of COVID-19 vaccine fraud

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

  • Downloadable posters

    Government posters for display in venues to remind customers of the current guidance.

  • Rules on face coverings

    When face coverings are required, including information on exemptions.

  • Face covering poster

    A downloadable poster to display on business premises where face coverings are required.

  • Test and trace workplace guidance

    What to do if you or someone you employ is required to self-isolate, including self-isolation rules and financial support.

  • Guidance on mandatory COVID-19 status checks

    Guidance for venues and events that must use the NHS COVID Pass, or equivalent proof of vaccination or testing, as a condition of entry.

  • 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

    Government guidance on working safely

    How to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in your workplace.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • Long COVID advice for employers and employees

    Guidance from ACAS on sickness and absence from the workplace because of long COVID.

  • Hybrid working

    Advice for employers on how to consider, discuss and introduce hybrid working from ACAS.