Scotland

Coronavirus: Tourism and hospitality sector told how to re-open

A waitress in a socially-distanced bar in Spain Image copyright Getty Images

Scotland's hotels, restaurants and pubs have been given new guidance as they prepare to reopen.

The tourism and hospitality industry is set to emerge from almost four months of lockdown on 15 July.

But businesses will have to adopt to the new reality through measures ranging from social distancing to improved hand hygiene.

Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing said: "The coming months will be extremely challenging."

Last week it was announced the sector could reopen if the country moves to the third phase of the route map for easing lockdown restrictions.

'Queue management'

On Thursday, Scotland moved into phase two, which includes relaxing the rules on meeting other people and setting a date for shops to reopen.

The new guidance for the tourism and hospitality sector includes advice for establishing physical distancing which takes account of "organisational capacity, queue management, signage and markings".

It will also detail "enhanced hand hygiene measures and cleaning practice" and advice for employers on issues including training and equality issues.

Separate guidance has been drafted for customers to make them aware of how their experience will change as a result of Covd-19.

Both documents have been developed in partnership with industry, unions and public health bodies.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Fergus Ewing last week said the tourism industry could begin making preparations for the reopening of the sector on 15 July

Mr Ewing said: "We want a strong tourism and hospitality sector to help drive Scotland's economic recovery and future prosperity.

"Industry is telling us what it needs and we are listening.

"The coming months will be extremely challenging but the Scottish government is doing everything in its power to ensure this vital sector bounces back."

Visit Scotland chief executive Malcolm Roughead welcomed the progress of recent weeks.

He added: "We are delighted to start seeing real clarity for the tourism industry - both through the proposed date and these new guidelines which we will help to promote across Scotland.

"It is understandable that people will be anxious about travelling and crucial that they are reassured that the tourism industry is doing everything it can to restart the holiday season as safely as possible.

"Everyone is excited about being able to get tourism up and running again and these guidelines will give the industry the insight they need to reopen."

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