We would like to reassure our clients that the announcement about restrictions on social gatherings in England being limited to six people does not put an end to group day trips, holidays and other events.
There has already been confusion over what is allowed, when privately and informally planned compared to what a business can now safely and legally offer.
The new legal prohibition is designed to enable authorities to crack down on privately and informally organised gatherings – where social distancing may not be observed – and comes on the back of rises in positive COVID-19 tests among younger people.
Here is the important distinction from the guidance that applies to coach trips and group visits:
- Businesses and venues following COVID-19 Secure guidelines can host larger groups
- Premises or locations which are COVID-19 Secure will be able to hold more than 30 people, subject to their own capacity limits, although any individual groups should not interact with anyone outside of the group they are attending with
In other words, group trips and events are permitted when they are professionally organised by businesses who have made risk assessments and put in place good practices for COVID safety. It is important that, within larger groups, people maintain social distancing between different household and bubble groups. Our coach operators and tour operators will have taken steps to make sure that this can happen.
Ideally the government will make particular references to coach trips, to help clear up any confusion, especially as our sector has already been deeply affected by the pandemic. For now, we have taken this opportunity to provide reassurance, and help our sector to keep going while also keeping passengers safe and properly informed.