Go Cotswolds provides Covid safe guided tours – and we’re Good to Go!
The news we have been waiting for has finally been announced: from 17th May 2021, we at Go Cotswolds can OFFICIALLY resume our Covid safe guided tours of the Cotswolds!
But most importantly, that means YOU can now start planning a UK getaway or day trip this year! Woo hoo!
The Roadmap out of Lockdown: step 3
The UK Government announced this week that the next phase of the ‘roadmap out of lockdown’ will go ahead as scheduled on Monday 17th May 2021. This means that most businesses can now reopen, including hotels, guest houses – and mixed group guided tours like ours!
Over two-thirds of adults in the UK have now had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and one-third are now fully vaccinated.
However, there is one final step of the roadmap out of lockdown still to come before we can get truly ‘back to normal’. That final step is expected no earlier than the 21st June 2021. Until then, there are still some law and guidelines we will need to follow to help keep everyone safe.
How does Go Cotswolds ensure COVID safe guided tours?
1. We meet official safety standards
We hold the Visit England ‘We’re Good to Go’ quality mark. To obtain this industry standard, we had to show professional competence and understanding about operating a tourism business safely in the global pandemic.
In practice, this meant we:
•Conducted a thorough, COVID-19-specific risk assessment
•Put Covid-safe procedures in place for our tours (see below)
•Train our team members to ensure they all understand and follow these procedures
We passed a Visit England spot check last autumn, and continue to revisit and update our risk assessment and procedures as official guidance evolves.
In 2021, the World Travel and Tourism Council also awarded us with the ‘Safe Travels’ standard. This internationally recognised standard provides further assurance that we are providing COVID safe guided tours.
2. Our driver-guides are up to date
As a small, family-run company, we can easily keep our team members up to date with the latest information for COVID safe guided tours. We are all regularly trained on how and why to operate our COVID-19 procedures (see below).
All of our driver-guides have now had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with the second dose to follow within 12 weeks. In fact, it’s only Lisa, who doesn’t usually have face to face contact with tour guests, who hasn’t had a jab yet because her age group hasn’t been called forward.
Furthermore, all of our team members undergo twice-weekly COVID-19 tests. So far, none of our team members has ever tested positive for COVID-19, and we hope it will stay that way. Nevertheless, we have procedures in place to deal with any positive cases we might encounter.
3. Our vehicles are super-clean
We like to keep our vehicles spick and span at the best of times, but in the wake of COVID-19, we have raised our cleaning game.
Our minibuses are deep-cleaned and disinfected in between every tour; we wipe and sanitise all surfaces and allow fresh air to flow throughout the vehicles.
During each tour, our driver-guides also clean common touch points, like door handles, seats and seat belts. This, in conjunction with the use of hand washing, hand sanitiser and face masks, will ensure there is nowhere for COVID-19 particles to settle.
4. Our Covid safe guided tours are still fun!
By now, we’ve all become used to things like wearing face coverings and sanitising our hands. And, until things are fully back to ‘normal’, there are a few things we will ask you to do on our tours. Even if you have had a COVID-19 vaccination.
•We’ll ask you a few quick health questions and check your temperature before you board – to be on the safe side!
•Hand sanitiser is provided, which you must use each time you get on the minibus
•Unless you are exempt, you must wear a face covering on board the minibus – it’s still the law, for now
•We have fewer passengers on board and socially distanced seating
But face masks and social distancing aside, COVID-19 can’t spoil the Outstanding Natural Beauty of the Cotswolds! We operated during the pandemic between lockdowns last year, and had brilliant feedback from our tour guests. Check out some of our latest Tripadvisor reviews!