Go Cotswolds provides Covid safe guided tours – and we’re Good to Go!
Domestic COVID-19 restrictions are mostly being lifted from today (Monday 19th July), so you might be thinking about your summer ‘staycation’, or taking UK day trips. We’d like to reassure you that we are working in line with Government guidance, and tourism industry advice, to maintain our COVID safe guided tours.
The Roadmap out of Lockdown: step 4
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last week that from Monday 19th July, most of the current COVID-19 restrictions in place in England would be lifted.
Essentially: it’s no longer a legal requirement to wear a face mask or to practice social distancing.
Some have called it “Freedom Day”, but like many businesses, we’re taking a cautious approach to this next phase of lockdown lifting.
How does Go Cotswolds ensure COVID safe guided tours?
Ever since the start of the pandemic, we have been following all Government advice, and advice from Visit England (the national organisation for England’s tourism industry).
If you haven’t already seen the COVID-19 information page on our website, this explains our procedures and policies: https://www.gocotswolds.co.uk/covid-19/.
Visit England recently gave us a set of 6 guidelines to follow, so as to keep everyone as safe as possible from COVID-19 during these continued uncertain times. These six points are listed below, with an explanation of how we are meeting them underneath each one.
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
- 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. Turn people with COVID-19 symptoms away
As part of our commitment to providing COVID safe guided tours, we have been asking our tour guests a few short health questions before they board the minibus. We have also been recording their temperature with a non-contact forehead thermometer to check for fever.
We will continue to run these pre-tour checks. Any passengers registering a fever or who otherwise appear unwell, will not be able to join the tour.
3. Provide adequate ventilation
During your Go Cotswolds tour, you will actually spend more time outside in the fresh countryside air than on the minibus.
However, while travelling in the minibus, we keep all windows and air vents open to allow fresh air to circulate.
4. Clean more often
We like to keep our vehicles spick and span at the best of times, but throughout the pandemic, 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.
We will continue to provide hand sanitiser, and will continue to ask our guests to use this every time they get on the minibus.
5. Enable people to check in at your venue
As a transport provider with no physical premises, we are exempt from having to display an NHS QR code, so you can ‘check in’ for contact tracing purposes.
However, we support the NHS Test & Trace scheme. Therefore, we will share with them the contact details you provided at the time of booking, if we are requested to do so. We encourage all passengers to download, switch on and use the NHS Test & Trace app wherever possible.
6. Communicate and train
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 all have regular training on how and why to operate our COVID-19 procedures.
All of our team members have had both doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
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 stays that way. Nevertheless, we have procedures in place to deal with any positive cases we might encounter.
Face masks and social distancing
Social distancing is no longer a legal requirement, so we can now carry our full capacity of 16 passengers.
It also no longer law to wear a face mask on our vehicle. So, while the Government “expects and recommends” face masks to be worn in enclosed spaces, this is now personal choice.
We believe we are doing everything we can to make our tours safe, while also still being enjoyable. We hope you will join us on a tour this year! For further reassurance, check out our recent Tripadvisor reviews. Some of our recent customers have specifically mentioned our COVID-19 procedures and their feedback has been amazing.
We won’t be offended if you decide it is still not the right time to take a tour with us. The Cotswolds isn’t going anywhere, and neither are we, so we hope to see you soon!