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Draft COVID-19 secure guidelines published

UKHospitality's draft guidelines and risk assessment for hospitality businesses

Ahead of a full version, due soon, UKHospitality have published a draft COVID-19 secure guidelines and risk assessment for hospitality businesses, which we reproduce below:

Draft COVID-19 Secure guidelines and risk assessment for hospitality businesses

UKHospitality, in collaboration with industry stakeholders, has identified three key principles and procedures as we look towards the hospitality, leisure and tourism sector gradually re-opening venues, in order to play our part in the national economic recovery.

This is caveated by businesses being clear they do not wish to move ahead with re-opening before the time is right in this regard and there is a willingness to remain closed in support of the Government health-led advice in place.

  • A phased approach to re-opening determined by social distancing guidelines as part of stage 3 of the Government’s reopening roadmap

  • Continued and enhanced support for closed businesses (furlough, rents, financing)

  • Industry-developed operational risk assessments to ensure businesses are COVID-19 Secure (such as this document)


Meeting guidelines

The Government’s COVID-19 Secure guidelines are the legal requirement to adhere to make your business COVID-19 safe. (Note: relevant guidelines/national advice for devolved nations will be applicable as appropriate in Scotland and Wales).

To do this, you must have an individual risk assessment for your premises outlining how you are meeting these guidelines, and carry these out in your business to keep your staff and customers safe. An example risk assessment will be available with the full guideline document.

The sectoral advice in this document is a collation of good practice inform your robust risk assessment and changes to your premises and operating plans, supported by individual risk assessments for each specific site as each hospitality business is different.

It will be key to ensure that all elements of the risk assessment can be evidenced in a practical way in line with the Government COVID-19 Secure guidelines. This document brings together input from across the wide spectrum of hospitality businesses to help inform their own risk assessments for their individual businesses.

This has been subdivided into different industry sectors to assist businesses in developing their own risk assessments, in line with Government guidance, to ensure they can open and operate safely for their staff and customers in line with Government COVID-19 guidelines. Some businesses will operate across sectors and therefore multiple standards should be referred to.

The Covid-19 Secure standards for hospitality business will be posted online.

The sectoral advice below has been developed to support the reopening of hospitality businesses in a safe and secure manner. This outlines core areas that you should focus on – including staff and customer protection. It also highlights specific functions within your business that should be considered as part of your reopening plan and Covid-19 Secure risk assessment. Some parts of your operation may fall into different categories, and the document is intended to enable you to consider measures in all elements of your COVID-19 Secure risk assessment for your individual business.

The template COVID-19 Secure risk assessment is intended to act as a guideline for own risk assessment for your business. You must complete an individual risk assessment to demonstrate compliance and understanding of the Government COVID-19 Secure standards (which can be found online) and measures you are taking to comply with them. The risk assessment must be completed by the lead manager of your site with operational oversight. The risk assessment must be accompanied by evidence of compliance and the measures you have taken to meet the COVID-19 Secure standards.

We envisage compliance checks will be carried out by enforcement bodies such as Environmental Health Officers, and these will be responsible for checking your risk assessment, evidence and your operational practices in place in your establishment.

  • Read and understand the Government COVID-19 Secure advice
  • Read and understand the relevant advice sections below and how these can apply to your own business
  • If there are any areas not covered by this standard, please refer to other standards
  • Make any adjustments to your operating procedures and premises based on this advice and any other changes that you identify 
  • Talk to your staff to gauge their concerns and whether you plan addressed them and, if not, how these can be addressed
  • Complete your risk assessment reflecting the above 
  • Compile evidence to support your risk assessment
  • Be prepared for an enforcement visit


Advice by sector

(click an establishment type to read more below - this is a sample document contents as provided by UKHospitality and examples from only the first three sections have been provided)

1. Hotels, accommodation and hostels
2. Restaurants and casual dining
3. Pubs and bars
4. Nightclubs
5. Amusement parks, attractions, family entertainment centres 
6. Holiday Parks
7. Quick service, coffee shops, takeaways
8. Food Service Management
9. Risk assessment and appendices
10. Glossary
Our core aim is to ensure our staff and our customers are safe in our businesses

Please note that this is a working document, the operational requirements outlined in this document are taken from current operational practice and existing health and safety guidelines carried out by all hospitality businesses, enhanced social distancing measures taken from World Health Organisation advice, and UKH member planning for their individual businesses.

These protocols have been developed by individual hospitality sub-sectors and other partners, as each sector and businesses within them are different. However, by using these guidelines to develop site-by-site risk assessments businesses will ensure they meet the COVID-19 Secure guidelines.

Examples for businesses to consider as part of their risk assessment:

General staff safety for all premises types  
  • This is paramount. Guidelines contain details and recommendations to ensure you keep your staff safe.
  • First and foremost, ask all staff to wash their hands immediately before leaving home and when arriving at work to wash their hands immediately upon arrival. This is vital.
  • Duty managers/appropriate person should remind everyone to wash their hands again at the start of every shift (in addition to washing hands at arrival). That way any virus particles picked up on the way to work are removed before they can be spread to others either via direct contact (do not shake hands) or by touching hand contact surfaces (door handles, tables, kettle handles, kitchen equipment etc.).
  • Heightened disinfection needs to be undertaken to disinfect all frequently touched areas in staff areas such as tables, chairs, counters tills, card machines etc.



  • If staff help guests with luggage, keep the required distance apart from guests whilst collecting luggage and either take it to the room before the guest arrives there or knock on the door, step back and leave the luggage at the door. After handling luggage, staff should wash their hands or use a hand sanitiser afterwards.
  • Room service – consider using trays which can be left off the floor next to the door, or think of other ways to protect the order, for example a small light table, or a folding luggage rack both of which have been disinfected first. Staff should knock on the door and leave the tray outside the door and step away. The guest can then pick the tray up, and the staff can remove the tray stand or table etc.
  • Lifts - consider minimising lift usage from reception, and follow current Government workplace advice on lifts.
  • Consider central key card deposit box placed in lobby for disinfection of room keys.
  • Hotel gyms and spas - Numbers permitted into a spa/gym will be within safe guidelines and monitored through the day; booking system for spa/pool usage.
  • Residents encouraged to change in hotel bedrooms to minimise crowding of changing rooms.


Restaurants and casual dining

  • Individually wrapped condiments and sauces should be offered on request and put with the plated food, not left on tables
  • Cutlery to be brought to the customer with the food and condiments rather than customers helping themselves or left on the table.
  • Develop your table plan and arrangement based on the current physical distancing distance guidelines operational at the time.
  • Customer contact with commodities (e.g. menus, trays, napkins) should be limited to what is necessary or designed in such a way that cleaning / replacement is carried out after each use. Menus left on tables/table talkers discouraged in favour of other forms of display to the customer. Consider the use of single-use/laminated menus brought to the table.
  • Use disinfectants and sanitisers that are effective against bacteria as well as cold and flu viruses, as recommended by the current Government advice.
  • Cleaning regimes for kitchens should reflect the need to reduce risk from coronavirus as well as maintaining all normal expectations relevant to a food business regarding hygiene.
  • Control movements of staff to maintain mandated social distancing measures where possible i.e. include one person at a time allowed in the chilled stores or dry stores, or the changing rooms and toilet.
  • Handwashing of glassware, plates and cutlery should be avoided where possible with glassware washed separately from plates and cutlery.


Pubs and bars

  • Assess the flow of staff and customers in the pub as part of the risk assessment.  For bar orders, inform customers to keep the minimum safe distance from barstaff as well as from other customers waiting in a queue to be served – e.g. directed by tape marks on the floor, signage.
  • Measures to consider include managing the bar to create directional movement of customers ordering drinks at a till point, then moving to a second point to collect their drinks.
  • Consider restrictions on customers remaining at the bar after ordering and getting their drink.
  • Advise that empty glasses are collected from tables by staff, and customers discouraged from returning empty glasses to the bar.
  • Beer gardens/outside areas - although easier to manage if a large outdoor area, there is a danger of groups forming. Consider as part of your risk assessment - Regular patrol of outside areas, smoking/vaping areas, restrictions that may be required for children’s play areas
  • Toilets - As part of your risk assessment, have a plan specifically for customer toilets to ensure compliance with physical distancing rules and ensure all staff are aware.

Rated Trips will publish links to the full advice once it has been formally published.

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