To give reassurance and confidence to visitors, a new national industry standard has been launched by Visit England the National Tourist Board to support the opening-up and recovery of the tourism and hospitality sector.

Free for all tourism and hospitality businesses to apply for and promote at their own premises, a large number of Torbay businesses have already applied for the ‘We’re Good to Go’ global ‘marque’.

Look out for this sign being displayed round the resort.

The Torbay Weekly has talked to a few of those businesses that have already got the accreditation and what it means to their business in helping their re-opening.

• Kelly Widley, consultant from Socialised Hospitality and director on the English Riviera BID Company:

“In my role as a director on the English Rivieria BID company I have kept in regular contact with our food and drink businesses throughout lockdown and it was wonderful to see how supportive of each other they have been with shared best practice.

“Never have these venues had to think quite outside the box before in some scenarios! They have faced these challenges with grit, determination and lots of creative planning!

“I have been delighted to be able to help and consult with local eateries while they prepare to reopen and become Covid-19 secure with most already receiving their ‘Good to Go’ accreditation from Visit England based on the work and commitment they have put in so far to their risk assessments.

“Correct signage, warnings, training, detailed information and risk assessments are crucial. Staff must be made aware of new procedures, correct use of PPE, safe hand-washing techniques, social distance spacing and robust cleaning systems.

“Customers must also be communicated to clearly about how service will be conducted as we adjust to our new normal. Communication will be king throughout this process.

“Please support your local food and drink businesses and be kind.

“They are all adjusting and have had to change their businesses so much to keep us all safe. These highly resilient venues cannot wait to reopen and welcome back their teams and customers.” 

• Martyn Strange, Babbacombe Inn:

“While we have been closed, we have been re-evaluating our businesses at Babbacombe Inn, Hamiltons and Three Degrees West on Oddicombe Beach.

“Feast and famine-type trade, with some very busy days and incredibly quiet days.

“Until the visitor numbers come back to Torbay, it will be difficult to manage staff and the flexible furlough is hugely helpful.

“We’ve extended table service to the garden area of our property and we have introduced an app for people to order from their table.

“The main thing is to manage how the traffic of people move from the building and not having customers come to the bar.

“After this weekend, we will have the chance to re-evaluate on what works best.”

• Ian Pagel, Sealawn Hotel in Paignton:

“Expectations are low this weekend and we will just see how things go. All our regulations are in place, although the scenes in Bournemouth last weekend may have scared some customers.

“A lot of new bookings will want to leave it a couple of weeks to see what happens and whether we have a second wave, but we will be ready to provide a safe environment for our guests when they do come.”