Torbay’s tourism and hospitality businesses reopen after three months of lockdown

All ready for July 4 - Naturally Inspiring Torbay

All ready for July 4 - Naturally Inspiring Torbay - Credit: Archant

There is a 'buzz' in the air again and combined excitement and apprehension. After being forced to close for three months Torbay's tourism and hospitality industry has reopened today (July 4) under strict Government guidelines.

The English Riviera BID Company

The English Riviera BID Company - Credit: Archant

The guidelines for tourism and hospitality are the most complex set of Government guidelines published to date, with so many different types of business, services and facilities to consider.

Many national organisations led by the British Hospitality Association have been involved in drafting the guidelines over recent weeks and getting them signed off by No 10.

Each type of business - hotels, attractions, food and drink establishments - all have a specific set of adaptations that they are required to put in place to keep us safe.

'Preparing to reopen has been no easy task and has been a very anxious and costly time,' said Carolyn Custerson, chief executive of the English Riviera BID Company, But the local tourism and hospitality businesses have risen to the 'Responsible Riviera' challenge and Carolyn feels confident that the Bay is in a good place to start welcoming 'Responsible Visitors' back to the English Riviera.

Torbay's tourism and hospitality industry is worth £550 million to the Torbay economy in a normal year and provides 12,000 local jobs. Around £300 million has been lost so far for 2020.

THE NEW NORMAL - REOPENING WILL MEAN THINGS WILL BE DIFFERENT

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• book ahead as much as you can to avoid disappointment

• check opening times

• tables will be spaced to ensure social distancing – do not congregate in groups

• table service - most venues including pubs have adapted for table service, so you must be 'seated to be served' – you are not allowed to congregate at the bar

• order your food and drink via your smart phone rather than at the bar. Single-use menus will be available if you choose to order from a member of the team

• socially distancing - venues will have adapted a one-way system with clearly signposted entrances and exits. Where possible you will be greeted on arrival

• cashless payments- not all venues will accept cash with the majority promoting the use of cashless payments

• simpler menu- venues will have streamlined their menus for their staff's safety in the kitchen working under new procedures and to ensure a speedy service for you

• deep cleaning- staff will be dedicated to take extra cleaning measures to keep us all safe so please be patience as you wait for that table!

• hand sanitisers- you will be asked to make use of the hand sanitiser on arrival and stations around the venue, plus remember to carry your own!

• tables will be laid with the bare minimum and either laid on arrival or cutlery will be delivered with your food. Condiments will be brought to your table and the majority will be in sachets. Those will be cleaned between use.

• you will be asked to all initially 'sign in' for NHS Track and Trace. This will be kept on file for 21 days and stored under GDPR procedures

• please be patient and kind as the 'new normal' will be different.