Today the AA has announced the launch of a new Covid Confident accreditation scheme to help instill confidence in consumers to travel as the hospitality sector prepares to come out of lockdown.
The AA Covid Confident assessment scheme is open to hotels, restaurants, pubs, B&Bs and other accommodation offerings, and is free to all businesses, with applicants encouraged to make a donation to Hospitality Action instead.
Even properties that do not currently hold an AA Rosette or Star rating are able to apply, however any establishment serving food will need to hold a food hygiene score of three and above to be eligible.
Each participating establishment will be required to pass stringent criteria to gain the new accreditation, including supplying a risk assessment, being able to provide clear evidence that relevant procedures and measures are in place, and that staff training has taken place, plus the completion of an online self-assessment.
Businesses must also sign up to the Covid Confident Charter, a code of conduct that will include a commitment to continuing to update procedures and measures as guidelines change, and to submitting to future audits as required.
The accreditation will indicate to customers that an establishment has in place the necessary risk assessments, safety measures and staff training, in line with the Government and UKHospitality’s published guidelines, to reopen safely when permitted to do so by the Government.
The AA Covid Confident scheme is backed by 19 industry bodies, including Master Innholders, HOSPA, Institute of Hospitality and the B&B Association.
The AA will be providing all those awarded a Covid Confident mark with regular updates on the latest Government guidelines, Health & Safety Executive Guidelines, and best practice. Establishments will also be listed on the AA’s consumer facing RatedTrips website, making accredited businesses hard to find.
Simon Numphud, managing director at AA Media, commented: “Covid-19 has had a profound impact upon all those working in the hospitality sector. At the AA we are committed to supporting our colleagues across the industry as we work together to rebuild consumer confidence. We believe that many members of the public will be looking to enjoy days out, short breaks, eating out and other experiences as lockdown eases, but that confidence in the sector is vital. We hope that the Covid Confident scheme will be a valuable stepping stone for establishments to restore consumer confidence as lockdown eases.”