Covid-19 Safe Operating Procedures for Holiday Customers (as of 21st July 2021)

Date Added 16/07/2021

Some good news at last! We were extremely pleased to hear the latest announcement from the government (on Monday 5th July) regarding the lifting of restrictions in England. The announcement has been welcomed by all in the travel and tourism industry who have been eagerly awaiting to recommence their programmes at full capacity after over a year of uncertainty and restrictions. 

Following the successful rollout of the vaccine programme, we’ve all adhered to social distancing regulations and followed the ‘Hands, Face, Space’ rule, as well as many other restrictions that have been in place for our safety. We are now very pleased indeed to announce that in line with government guidance, from Monday 19th July we will at last be able to see your happy, smiley faces enjoying our holidays once again with no restrictions in place. 

Good hygiene practice will remain in place. We will of course still operate robust procedures to ensure your safety and to enhance your confidence to travel. We kindly ask that you maintain good hygiene with hands washing and the use of anti-bacterial gel. We also ask you to make your own informed decision when it comes to wearing your mask on board our coaches - we want everyone to remain safe, and happy!
This is in addition to the good news from last month when we announced that we can now seat passengers on every forward-facing seat on our coaches. That change followed a risk-based case for the use of every forward-facing seat on coaches that was published by the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT). CPT’s document highlighted measures that our industry has taken to mitigate virus transmission on coaches.  It also noted that aeroplanes and trains that have operated for some time now with no mandated social distancing have experienced almost no evidence of increased transmission risk.

Remember that we have had considerable mitigation procedures in place for some time now and are pleased that some of these can now be relaxed. We want to ensure that you fully enjoy your holiday with us so please read on.

‘Comfort Stop’ and Coach Cleaning: Our enhanced procedures on our coaches and in our ‘Comfort Stop’ will remain in place. This includes cleaning of all floors, seats and glass surfaces; mopping with disinfectant of all floor surfaces; disinfectant wiping of dash areas, driver controls and handles. It also includes cleaning all handrails, hand grabs, seat belt buckles, armrests and floors. It will also include vehicle anti-viral fogging on a weekly basis.  

How do I protect myself and my fellow passengers?
The fundamentals of staying in good health are still, that you wash hands frequently, at every opportunity during your holiday; use clean tissues for coughs and sneezes; and try to avoid touching your face - we know it is difficult!

  1. Firstly, please be sure that you are well and in good health during the week prior to your holiday.  If at any time prior to your holiday, you do feel any of the symptoms of Covid: 19, for example, tiredness, cough, high temperature, loss of sense of smell and taste; then please contact us so that can agree any appropriate action.
  2.  When our door-to-door driver arrives at your door, he or she will be wearing a face mask and will have sanitised hands with anti-bacterial gel prior to handling your luggage.  The vehicle will of course be clean, safe and sanitised; however, as our car and mini-bus cabins are a relatively confined space, we do request that you continue to wear face coverings during these door-to-door journeys. Capacity limits will be lifted therefore you may find that your door-to-door service carries up to 7 passengers.
  3. When you arrive at our premises, you will be assisted by our staff.  As they are in an outside environment, they may not be wearing face masks. Once you arrive at our premises and step out of your door-to-door service please feel free to remove your face covering. Our ‘Comfort Stop’ toilet facilities will be available; please wash your hands and use the anti-bac gel while waiting to board.
  4. Please also continue to respect the personal space of other passengers wherever possible, as you gather and when approaching and speaking with our driver. Our driver will continue to sanitise his hands with anti-bacterial gel prior to and after handling your luggage and/or mobility aids like wheelie walkers and scooters.
  5. Most importantly, you are not now required by us to wear a face covering during the coach journeys. We kindly ask that you make your own informed decision when it comes to wearing your mask on board our coaches.
  6. Our drivers and couriers may wear a mask; this is because like yourselves, they are making their own decision when it comes to wearing masks on board our coaches. They will have anti-bacterial gel available and you will be requested please to sanitise your hands prior to boarding during the course of your holiday.  Please also note that the toilet on board the coach will be available if required and our courier will sanitise it after each use.  Also, rest assured that no journey will be longer than approximately 2 hours without a comfort stop.
  7. We are pleased that hot drinks will be available during journeys. All hot drinks are now £1.00 per cup and furthermore, bottled water will also be available again at £1.00 per bottle.
  8. As detailed above, we are now seating passengers on every forward-facing seat and not enforcing the wearing of face coverings. Therefore, you may find that you are seated across the aisle from someone who you are not travelling with. Furthermore, the mitigations listed in this document enables us to seat two separate customers on a double seat. Should you be uncomfortable with this arrangement please contact us immediately, so that we can make alternative arrangements.  Passengers who are travelling together, will of course be seated together on a double seat.  Please also note, that for the reasons above, your seat number may also have changed from when you originally booked your holiday.
  9. We will continue to ensure good air quality on our coaches. Our coach air-conditioning systems have been upgraded to ensure the provision of clean, filtered air. Our drivers are not now required to wear a face mask while driving.
  10. Upon arrival at the hotel and at attractions please continue to respect the personal space of other customers while waiting to disembark.
  11. Once at the hotel, whilst we do expect that our hoteliers will relax many of their Covid secure rules, we all still need to remain cautious. Therefore, you will still be required please to follow their own guidelines throughout your stay. We will ensure that all rules and special arrangements that they do still have in place are communicated to you in our pre-holiday travel pack letter. The same applies to the attractions that you’ll be visiting in the holiday itinerary –please follow their own guidelines.
  12. Throughout your holiday, at the hotel and at attractions, please continue to wash your hands more regularly. Each day our driver and courier will still wipe and sanitise all touch points on the coach, including all handrails, hand grabs, seat belt buckles, headrests and armrests.
  13. Please note that at the present time, different restrictions are in place in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Therefore, our drivers, couriers and our customers are required please to abide by the rules of that country.
  14. With regard to the storage and exchange of luggage and such things as lost property, mobility aids etc, this will be carried out as usual - and with full regard to all hygiene requirements.
  15. Your opinion is important to us. Shortly after you return from your holiday or excursion you will receive a Feefo feedback request on behalf of Johnsons Coaches (if you have an email address on file with us) asking for your review of our Safe Operating Procedures, as well as other factors. Your feedback is important to us as it allows for future development of all Johnsons holidays and excursions, as well as ensuring we meet your expectations when travelling with us.

We appreciate that some precautions and procedures do remain in place however it is good news that most of them do not create any major inconvenience.  Most importantly, we want you to remain safe, healthy and that you still have a most enjoyable holiday!  Should you require any further information or have any concerns then please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]

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