Support for hospitality businesses

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Preparations are being made across the borough to reopen dozens of hospitality businesses following a further easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England.

Government confirmed this week that reopening will be permitted from 4 July.

We have been working closely with tourism-related businesses to make sure they are able to trade again and to salvage what they can of the 2020 holiday season.

Tourism is vital to the borough’s economy. The area welcomes 7.3 million visitors every year who spend £748 million during their stay.

Tourism also supports more than 18,000 jobs across Filey, Whitby and Scarborough.

The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the borough’s tourism sector.  An estimated 3,500 jobs have been lost as a result of the closure of businesses since March.

In financial terms, the impact is thought to have cost a total of £63 million to the North Yorkshire economy.

Our support for hospitality businesses includes providing advice on the practical measures that they need to take to be able to trade safely.

It includes how to achieve ‘Covid-19 secure’ status. This is essential so that residents, visitors and employees know they are safe.

Businesses that want to give extra confidence to their returning customers can sign up to the new ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard and supporting mark, launched this week by Visit Britain and Visit England.

Obtaining the standard shows that a business is adhering to government and public health guidance, has carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and checked they have the required processes in place.

The scheme is free to join and open to all businesses across the tourism sector. More information is available at goodtogo.visitbritain.com

Even before this week’s announcement by the prime minister, and the publication of official guidance, venues across the borough have not wasted time getting ready to trade again.

The Sea Life Centre in Scarborough has put down aquatic themed floor signage and introduced a one way system to ensure visitors can keep socially distanced at all times.

Guests will be subject to temperature checks on arrival, hand sanitisers will be available and there will more, and visible, cleaning.

Talks and demonstrations, which required people to get close together, will be suspended.  Online booking will be mandatory and visitor numbers will be restricted.

English Heritage has been preparing its attractions, including Scarborough Castle and Whitby Abbey.

Again, the number of people allowed on each site at once will limited, social distancing measures will be in place and eat-in cafes will be closed.

Many hotels, restaurants, cafes and pubs are also ready for reopening.  This includes making necessary adjustments to their premises.

We are also working hard to open more of our own facilities across the borough so they can be enjoyed in full by residents and visitors alike.

Cllr Liz Colling, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Growth, said:

"Our tourism businesses are vital to the economy of the Yorkshire coast and our borough.

"Sadly, the coronavirus has been devastating for some of them. Jobs have been lost and the economic impact runs into millions of pounds. It is essential that we get this sector up and running from 4 July.

"We’ve been doing all we can to support accommodation, attractions and venues to reopen even before government made its latest announcement.

"I know that some residents may be concerned that reopening will see an influx of visitors.

"They can be assured that we, along with businesses, will ensure social distancing measures and government guidance are in place. We will be a coronavirus-safe destination."

Andrea Selley, English Heritage Territory Director, North, said:

"Whitby Abbey and Scarborough Castle will reopen to visitors on 4 July.

"To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, visitor numbers will be limited and all those planning to visit will have to book in advance on the English Heritage website.

"New measures have also been introduced to ensure the health and wellbeing of members, visitors, volunteers and staff, and those who visit can expect their day out to be a little different with social distancing in place.

"I am very grateful to Scarborough Borough Council for its advice and leadership during this difficult period.

"We will continue to work with the council to support the wider tourism industry and business recovery on the Yorkshire coast."