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Update to Restrictions and Guidance for Tourist Accommodation and Attractions

From 27 December, tourist accommodation (including hotels, hostels, boarding or guest houses, members clubs and bed and breakfast accommodation providers) and indoor tourist attractions will be required to:

  • Implement one metre physical distancing between groups of customers in tourist accommodation and indoor tourist attractions. Business and premises should bear in mind that this may impact their capacity limit. Current guidance advises customers to limit their groups to a maximum of three households.
  • Implement table service for food and drink in tourism accommodation and indoor attractions where alcohol is sold for consumption, or consumed, on the premises. Ordering at a bar is permitted if table service is not practical in the premises. In this case, a queuing system with physical distancing should in place and customers must return to their table to consume any food or drink.  Table service does not apply where alcohol is not served or consumed on the premises.  Buffet services in tourist accommodation for breakfast and other meals are permitted if a queuing system with physical distancing is in place and customers return to their table.

Self-catering / exclusive use accommodation is not included in the requirement to implement physical distancing.  

A group is defined as two or more members of the same household, or of a group formed of more than one household attending the premises together.   The strong advice is that people should not meet in groups of more than three households.  

Accommodation providers should take reasonable measures to ensure physical distancing between self-defined groups in spaces such as shared dining areas, lounges, shared kitchens, hallways / entrance areas and in the case of hostels – shared dormitory rooms.

In addition to the above, premises in the tourism and hospitality sector should continue to observe ongoing baseline measures, such as wearing of face coverings when not seated in hospitality, recording customer contact details and observing good hygiene practices throughout premises.

The previous advice on covid on the premises and test and protect and specific Q&A on face coverings was included in the previous iteration of the guidance and remains unchanged. 

Q.  Do guests have to wear a face covering in shared sleeping accommodation – such as a dormitory room in a hostel? 
A.  No, this is not required as the sleeping accommodation would only be accessible to those who are occupying the dormitory or bedroom. 
Q.  Do guests have to wear a face covering in a hotel room or suite? 
A.  No, as this space would only be accessible to those occupying the bedroom or suite.
Q.  Do guests have to wear a face covering in a communal space (toilets, lounges, kitchens or dining spaces) within a hotel, hostel, guest house or B&B? 
A: Yes, if members of the general public (non-guests) have access then they would be required to do so, unless eating or drinking.  Accommodation providers with staff on-site (for example hotels, hostels etc.) also have discretion to recommend the use of face coverings in communal areas where members of the public (non-guests) do not have access (for example, lounge areas, kitchens, bathrooms).  This may be advisable in busy or crowded spaces where guests congregate outside of shared bedrooms and dormitories. 

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