DCMS have issued a position statement setting out what the Government’s guidance on accommodation closure (in England) means in practice:
Should hotels and other accommodation providers shut today?
Businesses should follow the guidance and take steps to close for commercial use as quickly as possible. However, full consideration should be given to the possible exclusions in terms of which residents should be allowed to remain. And any decision to close should be implemented in full compliance with the social distancing guidelines.
Does the closure apply to Hotels, hostels, BnBs, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses for commercial/leisure use, including short term lets e.g. Airbnb?
Yes. This applies to any business providing holiday accommodation, including short term lets bar very specific exclusions.
What are the exclusions?
Hotels and other accommodation providers should be able to remain open if
- They are part of the key worker / vulnerable groups / health response.
- There is a specific need for some or all of the site to remain open (e.g. they are housing people who have been flooded out of their homes and/or being used to provide services under local authority homelessness duties/powers or by other public services to provide emergency accommodation).
- Some people live full time in holiday parks and caravan parks – if that is their primary residence they can remain
What happens to families in temporary accommodation/B&Bs?
If the temporary accommodation is currently the families primary residence, they can remain.
What if people are symptomatic? Should they use public transport to return to their primary residence?
If anyone is symptomatic (cough, fever), they should not be using public transport. If they are not symptomatic but they need to return to where they live, then using public transport is ok. Whilst using public transport people should try to adhere to the simple social distancing principles of being 2m apart.
Can hotels continue to serve food?
Yes. Hotels and accommodation providers that are remaining open in order to house key workers, vulnerable groups and other exempted groups will still be able to serve food, subject to the social distancing guidelines (e.g. takeaway service / ‘grab and go’ or room service). Workplace canteens can also stay open where required but must adhere to social distancing guidelines.