The Government’s ‘Shop Local Week’ is running until 17 August to encourage shoppers to return to their local high street and to shop safely, and there’s never been a better time for residents to show how much they love The Lake District, Cumbria, than by supporting local retailers and communities.

Although famous for its world class landscape, Cumbria also boasts a multitude of fabulous independent shops, with plenty of retail therapy on offer across the stunning National Park, in towns dotted along more than 100 miles of the county’s coastline, in and around the city of Carlisle, and to the east of the county where the Lakes meets the Dales.

Businesses and shops on high streets up and down the county have adapted since the outbreak of coronavirus and are now able to welcome customers back to business-almost-as-usual.

Shop Local Week reassures shoppers that safety is paramount, and that their custom is valued by local high street shops and businesses. It also gives customers an opportunity to show appreciation and support for their local communities.

The initiative is part of the Government’s Enjoy Summer Safely campaign, which aims to inspire the public to get back to the things they enjoy, whilst following coronavirus safety guidelines.

Cumbria is brimming with dynamic and exciting shops, offering everything from groceries to artisan gifts and food. From the city of Carlisle to towns like Barrow, Kendal, Ulverston and Cockermouth, to tucked away gems like Alston or Coniston.

With bespoke independent outlets in historic market towns like Kirkby Lonsdale and Penrith, there’s also the official ‘book town’ of Sedbergh, where plenty of opportunities await those who want to get lost inside a new set of pages.

Also well-worth a look are shops in the coastal spots of Whitehaven, Workington and Maryport. Many visitor attractions have shops on-site too.

‘Shop Local Week’ also coincides with ‘Afternoon Tea Week’: A celebration of one of the nation’s favourite traditions. Whether enjoyed in a 5-star hotel or in a cosy cafe, The Lake District, Cumbria, is the home of countless providers of some of the best afternoon teas that money can buy.

It’s another great excuse to take advantage of the government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme which is running this month, again to help local food and drink businesses get back on their feet.

The Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme will give people a discount of up to 50% when eating or drinking soft drinks in participating cafes, pubs, restaurants and hotels Monday-Wednesday, until 31 August. The maximum discount available is £10 per person, with establishments deducting the money off the bill and claiming it back from the Government.

Many places also offer great discounts on afternoon teas to holders of Cumbria Tourism’s ‘MyCumbria’ discount card. So, what better way to celebrate conquering a mountain than by raising a glass to the achievement, and tucking into a tasty meal or afternoon snack?

To qualify as a card holder, you just need to either live or work in a CA or LA postcode area.  For further information on MyCumbria, contact: info@mycumbriacard.co.uk

Cumbria Tourism has teamed up with the county’s Lord Lieutenant and MPs in county-wide efforts to help local food and drink businesses get back up and running through the Government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme.

Over the past 48 hours, Cumbria Tourism Board members have been out and about meeting local businesses who are offering discounts as part of the newly-launched ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ initiative.  They have been accompanied by Cumbria’s Lord Lieutenant Claire Hensman and MPs from across the county, to listen to their recent experiences about the impact of the pandemic and to help inspire customer confidence about eating out again.

Locations ranged from Coniston, Hawkshead, Keswick and Cockermouth, to Barrow and Ulverston, alongside Brampton, Carlisle and Workington.

Chairman of Cumbria Tourism, Jim Walker, has been among those visiting hospitality businesses. He says, “More than 65,500 jobs and livelihoods rely on Cumbria’s visitor economy, so we are hoping that ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ will provide a much-needed boost for hardworking tourism businesses, who have pulled out all the stops to ensure their establishments are COVID-secure and ready to welcome people back.

 “We thank everyone involved in the whistle-stop tours so far this week; the aim is not just to reassure and encourage people to eat out, but also to consider combining meals with day trips or overnight stays to the fantastic range of attractions and accommodation providers we have here on our doorsteps. By supporting local businesses through the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme, residents across Cumbria really can show their practical support for our vital tourism industry.”

The Government’s new ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme runs on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August and enables people to get 50% off up to the value of £10 per person in any participating establishment.

Cumbria Tourism is promoting participating Cumbrian businesses on its visitor facing website www.visitlakedistrict.com and is recommending that customers contact their chosen establishments in advance to book ahead.

The Government has also launched a restaurant finder to enable diners to search for participating eateries within a 5 mile radius of a specific postcode.

As visitors continue to return to Cumbria many cannot wait to return to enjoy the Lake District’s outdoor spaces, and the county’s official Destination Management Organisation (DMO) is working alongside partners to help make sure first-time hikers and experienced adventurers enjoy a safe return to the fells by planning ahead and asking themselves three simple questions.

94% of visitors surveyed by Cumbria Tourism reported feeling better mentally during their trip*, and with exercise currently being encouraged a hike, cycle or even wild swim is a fantastic way for many to enjoy low-impact exercise in the fresh air as part of a wider trip sampling the county’s attractions.

Whilst Cumbria Tourism always encourages visitors to enjoy the outdoors safely as part of its destination marketing, the current situation means that it is more important than ever to plan ahead. They are encouraging those looking to get active to ask themselves three simple questions to ensure they stay AdventureSmart.

1 Do I know what the weather will be like?

2 Do I have the right gear?

3 Do I have the knowledge & skills for the day?

 

The object of the campaign is not to dissuade visitors from lacing up their boots, rather to help them plan ahead and consider the risks before making an informed decision. Whilst the weather or an individual’s skills may mean one route is unavailable, there are plenty of other options to choose from.

Cumbria Tourism Chair Jim Walker says “The Lake District, Cumbria is a truly fantastic place to enjoy the great outdoors, and after months of lockdown we are welcoming the return of visitors. It’s been very encouraging to see tourists abiding by the new social distancing measures to reduce the spread of Coronavirus but it’s important not to overlook other safety measures.

 “Nobody sets out expecting to require the emergency services but even in summer the weather is changeable, it doesn’t take much effort to plan for the conditions and ensure an enjoyable and safe day out.

Our local mountain rescue volunteers do an amazing job, but we all need to ensure their services are reserved for unavoidable emergencies.”

Cumbria also boasts a fantastic range of guides and instructors prepared to help the less experienced, or those looking to expand their comfort zone whilst minimising risk. Outdoor businesses have adapted their practices to reflect social distancing guidelines and are ready to offer high-quality experiences.

Local outdoor instructor Stuart Lockton from The Expedition Club says “So many outdoor activities are naturally socially-distanced. As an outdoor activities guide working with a wide range of clients doing activities in the hills and on the lakes I have had to adapt my procedures to the current climate, but this doesn’t fundamentally change the nature of our provision – supporting people of all backgrounds to be active and experience the wonderful outdoor space available in the Lake District.

 I now ensure all my interactions with clients are outside. I work with smaller groups, following the latest guidelines. I have changed the way I brief groups about any equipment such as climbing harnesses and canoe paddles, to avoid close contact. I either wipe down or quarantine equipment which has been handled by clients.

 Overall, my customers will still be able to experience the same exciting and invigorating or renewing experiences outdoors and in nature, under the watchful and supportive guidance of an experienced, qualified instructor, as I have always been able to deliver.”

Safety information is available on www.visitlakedistrict.com as well as at www.adventuresmart.uk

*Cumbria Tourism Visitor Survey 2018.

Communities across Cumbria are being urged to make use of the Government’s new ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme – running on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August – to help local food and drink businesses get back on their feet.

As the county’s official Destination Marketing Organisation, Cumbria Tourism says the 50% discounts are a great way not only for local people to get back out and rediscover the range of foodie treats on their doorstep, but also to show their practical support for local tourism and hospitality businesses which were closed during lockdown.

 Cumbria’s visitor economy supports 65,500 jobs in the county and Cumbria Tourism’s research has already revealed an estimated loss of almost £2billion across the industry so far this year. It’s hoped that ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ will provide a much-needed boost by increasing customer confidence not just about eating out, but also about combining meals with day trips or overnight stays to other parts of Cumbria they may have missed in recent months.

The Lake District, Cumbria is renowned for its world class food and this new government-subsidised initiative is a great opportunity for all businesses which offer eat-in food to get back on the road to recovery,” says Jim Walker, Chairman of Cumbria Tourism.

“As well as directly supporting food and drink businesses, we hope the Eat Out to Help Out  scheme will encourage both residents and visitors to rediscover our diverse and inspirational county, or perhaps to seek out parts of Cumbria they haven’t explored before. Businesses have been working hard to implement all the necessary health and safety measures, to reassure everyone that they can enjoy a great food experience at the same time as helping to safeguard local jobs and livelihoods.”

Jo Lappin, Chair of the Business and Economic Response and Recovery Group and Chief Executive of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, adds, “Eat Out to Help Out is a really positive way to support local businesses and help our restaurants and pubs to get back on their feet after lockdown. It a great opportunity for everybody to get out and about, sample everything that is on offer and treat themselves and friends and family to a meal at the same time.”

During August the Brockhole Café and The Gaddum Restaurant are participating in the Eat out to Help Out initiative.

Sam Mason, General Manager of Brockhole on Windermere says, “This is a fantastic way for people to support the Lake District hospitality industry while enjoying great food. So if you want to feed the family after a busy morning of activities at our 30 acre Brockhole site, or you want to treat yourself to a sumptuous afternoon tea, enjoying one of the best views in the Lake District then please book your table with us.  We’re thrilled to be welcoming visitors back and are proud that we have received official Good to Go accreditation from Visit England.”

The Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme will give people a discount of up to 50% when eating or drinking soft drinks in participating cafes, pubs, restaurants and hotels Monday-Wednesday, from 3 to 31 August. The maximum discount available is £10 per person, with establishments deducting the money off the bill and claiming it back from the Government.

Cumbria Tourism is promoting participating Cumbrian businesses on its visitor facing website www.visitlakedistrict.com – which people can also use to plan other activities across the county – and is asking customers to plan ahead and book in advance.

The Government has also launched a restaurant finder to enable diners to search for participating eateries within a 5 mile radius of a specific postcode.

With Cumbria being world-famous for its local produce and household name foods, businesses right across the county which offer on-premises dining are being encouraged to sign up to the government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme – not just to help the food and drink sector, but tourism across the board.

As Cumbria Tourism continues to help businesses overcome the financial difficulties caused by the effects of Covid-19, the organisation is urging people to use the scheme as a springboard to go-on to explore everything the county has to offer, in addition to enjoying a tasty meal at a discounted price. Nationwide, more than 32,000 restaurants have signed-up to the scheme so far.

Designed to encourage further confidence among consumers as lockdown measures continue to ease, from next week, every household will be entitled to dine at a discount at participating businesses, where from August, meals from Monday to Wednesday will be sold at a 50% discount (of up £10), including children’s meals and non-alcoholic drinks. It is not just restaurants which are eligible, but all establishments that sell food for consumption on the premises.

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “The Lake District, Cumbria is famous for Herdwick Lamb, Cumberland Sausage, Sticky Toffee Pudding and Grasmere Gingerbread, just to name a few, so it would be great to see strong support for the scheme here. This government-subsidised initiative not only means businesses will benefit, but it also means attractive savings for residents and visitors. Plus, it also provides an incentive for people to visit new and inspirational parts of the county, or to rediscover those places they have missed in recent months, through day trips or longer stays.

“So, enjoy a meal with a great view or an afternoon tea at one of our many hotels, then combine it with a visit to an attraction or cultural venue like Tullie House or Windermere Jetty for example. It’s a perfect opportunity for friends and family to reconnect, with the added bonus of being able to take advantage of the discounts on meals as many times as they like.”

In the coming weeks, Cumbria Tourism will be taking a tour of some of the participating businesses to raise awareness of their involvement in the scheme on social media. Each will be featured online via Cumbria Tourism’s social media channels, newsletters, website content and blogs.

Gill Haigh continues, “Cumbria is not only the home of world class landscapes, but of world class food. Let us not forget, we are proud to have more Michelin stars anywhere north of London, which immediately sets the tone! This is a great opportunity for all businesses which offer eat-in food to get back on the road to recovery, which must not disappear in the wake of Covid-19.

“Businesses have been working very hard to offer a Covid-secure environment, meaning those who dine can be assured of not just a great food experience but also a safe and reassuring one. By using the Eat Out to Help Out scheme residents and visitors will also be supporting businesses and safeguarding jobs and livelihoods.”

The scheme launches on August 3, when each participating establishment will simply deduct the discount from the bill, so no vouchers are needed. In the coming days, participating businesses will receive window stickers so customers can look out for the logo.

Cumbria Tourism will promote participating businesses on a comprehensive list on its visitor facing website www.visitlakedistrict.com, which people can also use to plan other activities right across the county.

 

Details of how to sign-up to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme is at Cumbria Tourism’s Covid-19 information hub at www.cumbriatourism.org.

One of Cumbria Tourism’s Strategic Partners and best-known attractions says as the school holidays approach, the county’s residents can help in the summer’s crucial efforts to get the local economy moving again.

As the tourism industry continues its phased reopening approach for businesses across the county, Windermere Lake Cruises has further outlined how it is working to ensure the health and safety of its passengers remains its top priority, with pre-planning and booking ahead becoming ‘the new normal’.

As one of the top ten most popular paid-for attractions in the whole of England, it catered for 1.61 million passenger journeys last year, before the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in the temporary closure of all tourism-related businesses earlier this year.

Sales and Marketing Director, Jennifer Cormack, says, “Now, with all previously furloughed staff returning, services have been gradually re-introduced onto the lake in recent weeks, beginning with small self-drive boats, private hire of traditional wooden launches, and our fleet of larger ‘steamers’. Like so many of Cumbria’s tourism-related businesses, we have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to develop new systems and procedures and changed all of our products and services. Despite having no trading income since 20 March, we have made significant investment in new systems to future proof the business. As Cumbria’s biggest attraction, we have an important part to play in helping to “kickstart” the visitor economy which supports 65,000 jobs in Cumbria, the equivalent of more than 38,000 full time roles.

“We have had to essentially create a new business using existing assets. With restricted capacities, we have introduced new routes and new timetables to ensure that we can implement social distancing. Cleaning routines both onboard and at onshore facilities have also been reviewed, with extra measures in place to ensure surfaces like handles, railings and counters are regularly disinfected.

“With all cruises now operating on ‘circular’ routes, starting and ending at the same points with no stops at other piers, pre-booking online is essential as all seats are allocated in advance.

Whilst it has not been possible to reintroduce all of our usual services and offers, we do aspire to reintroduce our point to point sailings as early as August. However some of our routes and discount schemes will not be reintroduced until the 2021 season, and we want to thank our customers and local residents for their support, patience and understanding during this time.”

Nigel Wilkinson, Managing Director of Windermere Lake Cruises, says, “The safety of our passengers and staff has always been our top priority, a fact which has obviously taken on even more importance in recent months. We hope our new measures will ensure they can achieve exactly what they want from a cruise on Windermere: A Covid secure, enjoyable, relaxing experience with any concerns about health and safety quickly leaving their minds, so they can sit back, relax and enjoy the stunning views on England’s longest lake.”

While fewer seasonal staff than planned will be taken on this summer, the attraction’s efforts to future-proof the business has resulted in no redundancies of full-time workers being made, with every staff member returning to work this month for the first time since lockdown measures began in March.

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “Since 4 July we are starting to see visitors return. Businesses have worked incredibly hard to put in the steps required to support safe visiting. We really need our local communities to get behind the industry by supporting local attractions whenever possible. The way local people responded by supporting other businesses in March, April, May and June was absolutely fantastic, and we need this strong showing of support to continue.

“Being such an important attraction here in Cumbria, many people will be looking to Windermere Lake Cruises as a great example of best practice. I know Nigel and his team have been working around the clock to make sure that sailings take place in the safest way possible. With so many people finally being able to enjoy a day out after the stresses of the last few months, this is yet another example of an attraction putting safety for residents, visitors and staff right at the top of their list.”

As the tourism and hospitality sector begins to re-open, Cumbria Tourism has paid tribute to the industry for the way it has supported communities over the last three months and the careful preparations it has made as they begin to be able to welcome visitors and customers once more.

Covid-19 has cost Cumbria’s tourism economy £1.6 billion so far this year, more than half the total value of last year’s total contribution, and there is a long road to recovery lying ahead for hundreds of businesses and the more than 65,000 people employed in the crucial sector.

Based on its visitor research the official destination management organisation has developed a campaign that encourages local people to back tourism businesses and welcomes our visitors to begin to return. The campaign highlights the extraordinary lengths businesses have gone to in order to ensure safe, positive and enjoyable visits – huge numbers have already signed-up to VisitEngland’s “We’re Good to Go” seal of approval scheme, which reflects the government guidance businesses must adhere to. Cumbria Tourism’s own research shows 78% of people would feel more confident visiting businesses with some sort of visual certification as Covid-secure.

Cumbria Tourism has featured on national and regional TV and radio in recent days to raise awareness of the need for visitors to “Know Before You Go”, spreading key messages about the need to plan-ahead. The organisation is also using the exposure to drive people to its new visitor website, visitlakedistrict.com which offers advice for planning ahead and things to do once here.

President of Cumbria Tourism, Eric Robson, says, “Cumbria’s economy is hugely reliant on visitors. The Government says now is the time to re-open businesses with the wellbeing of both visitors and residents a top priority. Over the last few months businesses have gone to extreme lengths to make important changes to support safe and enjoyable visitor experiences. The ‘new normal’ affects us all, and we have a collective responsibility to safeguard wellbeing and protect jobs. While many visitors may not return immediately, planning ahead and booking now will be a tremendous help, and of course we are also encouraging visitors to support other local businesses like smaller shops and post offices, for example, while they are here.

“In addition to accommodation, many attractions also now need to be pre-booked, while some have timed or staggered entry in place, so always check first. Cumbria Tourism is a not-for-profit organisation, so by booking via visitlakedistrict.com or directly with businesses, visitors from the local area and further afield will all be directly helping our economy to recover.

“The Lake District, Cumbria, is the perfect place to reflect, to reconnect, rediscover, recharge and to reinvigorate after a very difficult start to the year. There’s no escaping the fact that social distancing is likely to become a way of life for the foreseeable future though, so a joined-up approach with local authority partners, public health officials and businesses will be required for quite some time. With that in-mind, we are working hard to publicise the fact that Cumbria is open for business and good to go!

“As Cumbria Tourism, we represent the whole county and continue to urge our visitors to explore beyond the boundary of our famous Lake District and to support local businesses whenever possible. We have many areas much more off the beaten track to explore and open spaces to enjoy and will continue to use our ‘attract and disperse’ messaging to help people discover areas of our world class landscape they may never have seen before, along with attractions, experiences, activities and adventure, food and drink, heritage, arts, and culture.”

At the weekend, Cumbria Tourism teamed-up with local MPs to visit many of Cumbria’s attractions and accommodation providers, eateries and other venues to help bring additional attention and focus to the reopening of the sector. This week, Cumbria Tourism will also meet Tourism Minister, Neil Huddleston, thanks to support from Tim Farron MP.

“We will ensure we use this opportunity to leave the Minister in no doubt about the scale of the challenge and the urgent long term support package required”, Eric added.

The Prime Minister’s announcement that parts of the hospitality sector could re-open on 4th July undoubtedly brought a huge sigh of relief to landlords, restauranteurs and hoteliers. Not to mention their customers! But, in working through long lists of guidance about 2 metre distancing (or is it one metre plus?), making plans for the collection of customer data probably didn’t feature.

However, the Prime Minister’s announcement explained that hospitality businesses planning to re-open would be asked “to help NHS Test and Trace respond to any local outbreaks by collecting contact details from customers, as happens in other countries, and we will work with the sector to make this manageable”. The ICO, in recent guidance, reassures us that it doesn’t need to be complicated, saying businesses can just choose the process that best suits them. As with many aspects of COVID-19 related guidance, it looks as if a pragmatic approach will probably be best in following the ‘five simple steps’ suggested by the ICO to help ensure that data protection is not a barrier to recovery (see further below).

Who is covered by this guidance?

There is a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19 in premises where customers and visitors spend a longer time in one place and potentially come into close contact with other people outside of their household. To manage this risk, establishments in the following sectors, whether indoor or outdoor venues or mobile settings, should collect details and maintain records of staff, customers and visitors:

  • hospitality, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés
  • tourism and leisure, including hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos and theme parks
  • close contact services, including hairdressers, barbershops and tailors
  • facilities provided by local authorities, including town halls and civic centres for events, community centres, libraries and children’s centres
  • places of worship, including use for events and other community activities

The guidance applies to any establishment that provides an on-site service and to any events that take place on its premises. It does not apply where services are taken off site immediately – for example, a food or drink outlet which only provides takeaways. If a business offers a mixture of a sit-in and takeaway service, contact information only needs to be collected for customers who are dining in.

The guidance does not apply to drop-off deliveries made by suppliers or contractors.

What information are businesses being asked to collect?

Businesses are being asked to collect information about both staff and customers/visitors to their premises. They are being asked, where possible, to collect the following information:

For staff:

  • the names of staff who work at the premises;
  • a contact phone number for each member of staff; and
  • the dates and times that staff are at work.

For customers and visitors:

  • the name of the customer or visitor. If there is more than one person, then the name of the ‘lead member’ of the group and the number of people;
  • a contact phone number for each customer or visitor, or for the lead member of a group of people;
  • date of visit, arrival time and, where possible, departure time; and
  • if a customer will interact with only one member of staff (e.g. a hairdresser), the name of the assigned staff member should be recorded alongside the name of the customer.

The guidance states specifically that no additional data should be collected for supporting NHS Track and Trace.

How should the information be collected?

Many organisations that routinely take bookings already have systems for recording details about their customers and visitors – including restaurants, hotels, and hair salons. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, more organisations are planning to implement an ‘advanced booking only’ service to manage the numbers of people on the premises. The guidance anticipates that these booking systems will be able to serve as the source of the information that businesses are being asked to collect.

However, there is no requirement to collect information in any particular way: businesses are asked to collect the information in a way that is manageable for their own establishment. If not collected in advance, information should be collected at the point that visitors enter the premises, or at the point of service if impractical to do so at the entrance. It should be recorded digitally if possible, but a paper record is acceptable too.

Recording both arrival and departure times (or estimated departure times) will help reduce the number of customers or staff needing to be contacted by NHS Test and Trace. The guidance notes, however, that recording departure times will not always be practicable.

What if someone does not wish to share their details, or provides incorrect information?

If a customer or visitor informs you that they do not want to provide their details, or do not want their details shared for the purposes of NHS Test and Trace, they can choose to opt out, and if they do so you should not share any information collected and used for booking purposes with NHS Test and Trace.

The guidance asks businesses to encourage customers and visitors to share their details – but there is (currently) no obligation on businesses to require this of customers – or on customers to provide it. The accuracy of any information provided will be the responsibility of the individual who provides it. There is no obligation on businesses to check or verify an individual’s identity for NHS Test and Trace purposes.

How long does the customer information need to be kept?

The guidance suggests that customer information collected to support NHS Track and Trace should be kept for 21 days. This reflects the incubation period for COVID-19 (which can be up to 14 days) and an additional 7 days to allow time for testing and tracing. After 21 days, this information should be securely disposed of or deleted. The usual requirements will apply when deleting or disposing of data – ie you must do so in a way that does not risk unintended access (e.g. shredding paper documents and ensuring permanent deletion of electronic files).

 

Records which are made and kept for other business purposes do not need to be disposed of after 21 days. The requirement to dispose of the data relates to a record that is created solely for the purpose of NHS Test and Trace. Bear in mind, however, the general principle of the GDPR which states that data should not be kept for longer than is necessary.

Is the GDPR relevant to collecting and holding this information?

Yes – any customer or visitor data you collect pursuant to the guidance is personal data (that is to say data that identifies a living individual) and must be handled in accordance with GDPR to protect the privacy of your staff, customers and visitors.

GDPR allows you to request contact information from your staff, customers and visitors and share it with NHS Test and Trace to help minimise the transmission of COVID-19 and support public health and safety. It is not necessary to seek consent from each person, but you should make clear why the information is being collected and what you intend to do with it.

For example, if you already collect this information for ordinary business purposes, you should make staff, customers and visitors aware that their contact information may now also be shared with NHS Test and Trace.

You do not have to inform every customer individually. You might, for example, display a notice at your premises or on your website setting out what the data will be used for and the circumstances in which it might be accessed by NHS Test and Trace. You may need to offer some people additional support in accessing or understanding this information – for example, if they have a visual impairment or cannot read English.

While consent is not required, the guidance recommends that consent is sought in sensitive settings such as places of worship and for any group meetings organised by political parties, trade unions, campaign or rights groups, other philosophical/religious groups or health support groups. This is because of the potentially sensitive nature of the data collected in these circumstances.

Personal data that is collected for NHS Test and Trace, which you would not collect in your usual course of business, must be used only to share with NHS Test and Trace. It must not be used for other purposes, including marketing, profiling, analysis or other purposes unrelated to contact tracing, or you will be in breach of the GDPR. You must not use the data in a way that is misleading or could cause an unjustified negative impact on people e.g. to discriminate against groups of individuals.

As is the case with all personal data collected, appropriate technical and security measures must be in place to protect customer contact information. These measures will vary depending on how you choose to hold this information, including whether it is collected in hard copy or electronically. Make sure that access to Test and Trace contact details are restricted to as few people as possible and that both electronic and manual records are kept secure.  Ensure that you share requested Test and Trace contact details through official channels (i.e. to official Test and Trace teams). Beware of potential fraudulent attempts from third parties posing as NHS Test and Trace. Ensure that you are sharing Test and Trace Information securely (e.g. an encrypted attachment to an email).

In addition, individuals must be enabled to exercise their data protection rights, such as the right of erasure or the right to rectification (where applicable).

How, in practice, hospitality businesses will comply with the GDPR when collecting visitor data for test and trace purposes will probably be different for each business. For some, the ask may not be a significant one. It might be that existing reservations software can be used, adapted or repurposed to store customer/visitor registers and add information about the dates and times of their visits. Some businesses may have existing Privacy Notices setting out how they use customer data for booking and marketing purposes. But for those smaller businesses that usually manage bookings in a physical calendar or those that don’t take bookings at all, being asked to communicate privacy information and collect potentially large volumes of visitor contact details and visit information may present additional headaches. However, information can be presented to visitors in many ways – for example adding the information to blackboards or A-frame menus, and drawing attention to this information when visitors arrive as well as when bookings are made online or on the phone.

As always, there is a balance to be achieved. Achieving gold star GDPR compliance will not be as high a priority for some as simply trying to keep their business viable. So, as we said at the beginning of this note, a pragmatic approach to compliance will be the way forward and a ‘one size fits all’ approach is just not possible.

What does the ICO say about this?

The ICO has produced both basic and more detailed guidance for businesses. Its ‘five simple steps’ approach to ensuring that data protection is not a barrier to recovery is as follows:

Ask for only what is needed

Be transparent with customers and visitors – say clearly what are you asking for and why

Carefully store their data

Don’t use data for other purposes

Erase data in line with government guidance

The more detailed guidance expands on these five simple steps. The guidance is available here: https://ico.org.uk/global/data-protection-and-coronavirus-information-hub/coronavirus-recovery-data-protection-advice-for-organisations/collecting-customer-and-visitor-details-for-contact-tracing/

The ICO continues to update its guidance on this and other coronavirus-related data protection issues on its dedicated web hub.

Questions?

Please contact Caroline Redhead or your usual Burnetts legal adviser.

As the tourism and hospitality sector begins to re-open this week, Cumbria Tourism has paid tribute to the industry for the way it has supported communities over the last three months and the careful preparations it has made as they begin to be able to welcome visitors and customers once more.

Covid-19 has cost Cumbria’s tourism economy £1.6 billion so far this year, more than half the total value of last year’s total contribution, and there is a long road to recovery lying ahead for hundreds of businesses and the more than 65,000 people employed in the crucial sector.

Based on its visitor research the official destination management organisation has developed a campaign that encourages local people to back tourism businesses and welcomes our visitors to begin to return. The campaign highlights the extraordinary lengths businesses have gone to in order to ensure safe, positive and enjoyable visits – huge numbers have already signed-up to VisitEngland’s “We’re Good to Go” seal of approval scheme, which reflects the government guidance businesses must adhere to. Cumbria Tourism’s own research shows 78% of people would feel more confident visiting businesses with some sort of visual certification as Covid-secure.

Cumbria Tourism has featured on national and regional TV and radio in recent days to raise awareness of the need for visitors to “Know Before You Go”, spreading key messages about the need to plan-ahead. The organisation is also using the exposure to drive people to its new visitor website, visitlakedistrict.com which offers advice for planning ahead and things to do once here.

President of Cumbria Tourism, Eric Robson, says, “Cumbria’s economy is hugely reliant on visitors. The Government says now is the time to re-open businesses with the wellbeing of both visitors and residents a top priority. Over the last few months businesses have gone to extreme lengths to make important changes to support safe and enjoyable visitor experiences. The ‘new normal’ affects us all, and we have a collective responsibility to safeguard wellbeing and protect jobs. While many visitors may not return immediately, planning ahead and booking now will be a tremendous help, and of course we are also encouraging visitors to support other local businesses like smaller shops and post offices, for example, while they are here.

“In addition to accommodation, many attractions also now need to be pre-booked, while some have timed or staggered entry in place, so always check first. Cumbria Tourism is a not-for-profit organisation, so by booking via visitlakedistrict.com or directly with businesses, visitors from the local area and further afield will all be directly helping our economy to recover.

“The Lake District, Cumbria, is the perfect place to reflect, to reconnect, rediscover, recharge and to reinvigorate after a very difficult start to the year. There’s no escaping the fact that social distancing is likely to become a way of life for the foreseeable future though, so a joined-up approach with local authority partners, public health officials and businesses will be required for quite some time. With that in-mind, we are working hard to publicise the fact that Cumbria is open for business and good to go!

“As Cumbria Tourism, we represent the whole county and continue to urge our visitors to explore beyond the boundary of our famous Lake District and to support local businesses whenever possible. We have many areas much more off the beaten track to explore and open spaces to enjoy and will continue to use our ‘attract and disperse’ messaging to help people discover areas of our world class landscape they may never have seen before, along with attractions, experiences, activities and adventure, food and drink, heritage, arts, and culture.”

At the weekend, Cumbria Tourism teamed-up with local MPs to visit many of Cumbria’s attractions and accommodation providers, eateries and other venues to help bring additional attention and focus to the reopening of the sector. This week, Cumbria Tourism will also meet Tourism Minister, Neil Huddleston, thanks to support from Tim Farron MP.

“We will ensure we use this opportunity to leave the Minister in no doubt about the scale of the challenge and the urgent long term support package required”, Eric added.