Scotland takes UKHospitality guidance on board in roadmap to reopen hospitality and tourism sectors

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 19th June 2020

Yesterday, Nicola Sturgeon announced the next steps in easing lockdown measures in Scotland, reflecting the advice of trade body UKHospitality in its roadmap to reopen the tourism and hospitality sectors. 

With an indicative start date of 15th July, hospitality professionals in Scotland can breathe a sigh of relief in that they have a comprehensive guide of how to resume operations safely.

The long and short of it

The guidelines cover risk assessments and workforce planning - from building confidence and supporting staff wellbeing to PPE, pay and travel to work. 

It also proposes an operational checklist for business owners, which, it says, "should be fully considered and implemented, where relevant, as part of procedures and should be considered by managers, health and safety officers, small business owners and sole traders." 

This includes guidelines on how often to disinfect toilets, safe food preparation, how to manage bookings, orders and supplies, how to advise customers, and how to deal with any potential Covid-19 outbreaks in the workplace. 

Furthermore, it lays out what is considered best practice in terms of training.

It says businesses "should consider an induction process for all staff covering new, enhanced hygiene and physical distancing measures," which playing in the industry's favour, "can help demonstrate that businesses are taking the COVID-19 risks seriously and have adapted their working environment accordingly."

Indeed, it adds, "this should have the effect of increasing confidence amongst the workforce, sending the message that the workplace is safe while also being clear on individual employee responsibilities." 

Industry-led

UKHospitality welcomed the guidance and applauded the fact that its own advice, based on its knowledge of the hospitality industry's operations, had been taken on board and linked to in the document

UKHospitality Executive Director for Scotland, Willie Macleod, said: “It is heartening to have the Scottish Government’s guidance, and the clarity they bring for businesses. They should provide an end to many of the uncertainties which have persisted over recent weeks for businesses that have been hit very hard by this crisis as and allow planning to get underway for re-opening.

“The importance of the hospitality sector to Scotland’s economy cannot be denied. Hospitality is the mainstay of the country’s tourism industry and plays a vital role socially as well as economically. Re-opening will be critical in helping the country get back up and running.

“We are naturally very pleased that the Scottish Government has also included a link to UKHospitality’s guidelines which is available to the entire sector.

“Even with the greater certainty that the re-opening dates now provide, we should not forget that businesses have been hit very hard and the sector remains in a fragile state. We must have continued sector-specific support from both UK and Scottish Governments. We are pleased to see that social distancing measures will be reviewed also. Reducing the minimum distance required, if it is safe to do so, would be a huge bonus for businesses as they look to reopen.”

It's not perfect

UKHospitality did take issue on several points in Nicola Sturgeon's announcement, namely that the opening of outdoor areas and pubs wouldn't be confirmed until July 2nd, and that changes to social distancing guidelines won't be published for another two weeks.

 

While the news is bright for the Scottish hospitality industry, it begs the the question of whether the devolved authorities in England will soon publish guidance of their own, ahead of establishments reopening on July 4th. 

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 19th June 2020

Scotland takes UKHospitality guidance on board in roadmap to reopen hospitality and tourism sectors