Trade bodies pen open letter urging for ‘robust’ Test and Trace

Industry trade bodies have penned an open letter calling on the sector to maintain “robust” procedures when implementing Test and Trace or risk seeing guidelines “significantly strengthened”.

In the letter, written by UKHospitality, The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) and the British Institute of Innkeeping, said that Test and Trace is a “key part” of maintaining customer confidence and cementing pubs as being responsible traders as mitigation of the pandemic continues.

They also point to recent data taken from the Yumpingo and CGA campaign “We hear you”, which reveals that nearly 80% of consumers make their choice about which venue they will visit, based on the precautionary Covid-19 measures those businesses have put in place.

“Proactively engaging all of your customers in our venues’ new ways of working has now clearly become a business critical issue. Without high levels of customer confidence supporting trade now and critically building momentum moving forward, we will not see the ongoing revenues that will be needed to sustain many of our venues,” the letter reads.

“Test and Trace is a key part of this. The vast majority of consumers are willing to give their contact details, yet there remains considerable variation from business to business around the procedures for how these details are taken.”

It continues: “As always, the majority are playing their part, but with recent reports of hospitality venues not asking for these basic details on arrival, the reality for our industry is that these guidelines will be significantly strengthened and may soon become mandatory in England, as with Wales and Scotland. Not explicitly delivering these requirements, will increasingly lead to a real risk of significant business disruption.”

The trade bodies conclude the letter by warning that at the heart of a successful recovery will be the sector’s “collective ability to meet the expectations of our customers”.

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the BBPA said: “In the few cases identified by Test and Trace, our sector has reacted swiftly and efficiently to ensure the safety of everyone involved and proved that hospitality businesses have always been adept at dealing with health and safety within their venues. Ensuring details are collected across the board will be key to keeping our venues open and trading once we head into Autumn.”

UKH chief executive, Kate Nicholls, added: “There are many methods that can be used to collate the simple data required for Test and Trace, and we have seen widespread support from consumers when it comes to providing those details.

“We must come together as a sector to show how committed we are to ensuring the continued safety of our customers and teams, at a time where we are seeing a huge surge in customer numbers with customers taking advantage of the “Enjoy Summer Safely” campaign.”

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