News Briefs – from AA Covid Confident assessments to free webinars


AA Launches free COVID Confident Assessment Scheme

The AA is launching a new free COVID CONFIDENT assessment scheme, backed by 19 industry bodies to help the hospitality sector prepare to re-open. Open to all restaurants, hotels, pubs, B&Bs, campsites, self-catering accommodation, golf courses and beyond, who will only be asked to make a donation to Hospitality Action. The AA COVID CONFIDENT 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 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 with an AA COVID CONFIDENT mark will be listed on the AA’s consumer-facing website Establishments can apply via and must meet the AA’s criteria.

UKH calls on Government to confirm hospitality reopening date

UKHospitality has called upon Government to confirm a re-opening date for hospitality and tourism, to allow businesses to prepare for a return to trading.   Following yesterday’s announcement of a review of social distancing requirements, the trade body has written to Secretaries of State at BEIS and DCMS, to reiterate the urgent need for clarity in order to reactivate workers and resume business.  UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “We need confirmation of the reopening date for hospitality businesses without any further delay. Businesses need time to prepare and the first step in giving them some much-needed clarity is confirmation of when they can open their doors again. 

Hotels preparing to re-open on 15th July include Glenapp Castle, a 17-bedroom luxury five-star hotel in Ayrshire, Gleneagles Hotel in Auchterarder and Meldrum House in Oldmeldrum. Meanwhile, Pride of Britain Hotels has three new Scottish members – The Fife Arms, Braemar; Edinburgh’s floating hotel Fingal and the Ness Walk in Inverness which opened last year.

Loch Lomond Whiskies has agreed to a new partnership with The European Tour, becoming the first Official Partner of the innovative new UK Swing. The distiller’s range of Single Malt Scotch Whiskies will become “The Spirit of the Tour” throughout the duration of the UK Swing. Loch Lomond Whiskies have been “The Spirit of The Open” since 2018.  As part of the new relationship, Loch Lomond Whiskies’ hand sanitiser will be available on every tee during each of the six UK tournaments when the European Tour returns to action in July.

Chartered Accountants Wylie & Bisset has launched a free Hospitality Hub and its Hub webinar is scheduled for 2pm on Tuesday 23rd June and will comprise a series of short presentations from high-profile speakers on the various challenges they have encountered during the coronavirus pandemic. Speakers include: John Quigley, owner of the award-winning Red Onion in Glasgow; Michael Modlin, owner of Parklands Hotel & Country Club, in East Renfrewshire, and Linda MacLellan, owner of the Bowmore Hotel on Islay.

Innis & Gunn has announced two new limited-edition beers a barrel-aged Rye Whiskey Cask brewed for Canada day and a one-off 100-day matured version of its award-winning lager, Scrubs Lager Beer, which is being sold to raise money for The Care Workers’ Charity, an organisation that provides crisis grants to current and former carers in need to help them pay for everything from food to funeral costs. On sale now at the Innis & Gunn online shop:

BT Sport is offering free digital support and training to pubs and clubs to help them relaunch their businesses. The new programme includes online webinars, instructional videos available and tailored 1-2-1 digital training exclusive to BT Sport customers via Skype. Three live webinars will be run on the BT Business YouTube page, each tailored to the hospitality sector and on-trade market and are open for anyone to join.  The first one is on Monday 22nd June at 11.30am and is called Get Your Business Visible Online – Join here . The second is on 24th June at 11.30 and is called Social Media – Join here: and finally on 25th June at 11.30am there is How to Build and Enhance Your Website. Join here: 

Tour company Highland Experience, has received CBIL from RBS. The company offers guided tours across the Scottish Highlands and Islands with hubs in Edinburgh and Inverness. Carrying up to 9,000 passengers a single month at its busiest time. Owner Michael Bremner says, “Securing the CBILS funding was hassle-free, and it’s provided a real lifeline for our company during a trying few months.”



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