Oxford City Council encourages tourism businesses and attractions to register for VisitEngland’s industry standard

Published: Friday, 16th October 2020

Oxford City Council is encouraging tourism businesses and attractions in the city to register for VisitEngland’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ certificate.

The certificate is similar to Scores on the Doors for food businesses and aims to show which businesses and attractions are adhering to the Government’s coronavirus guidance.

The aim is to help people visit businesses, attractions and destinations with confidence.

Businesses and attractions can apply for free to receive the standard, and the City Council is encouraging all in Oxford to do so.

So far, 78 businesses and attractions in Oxford have signed up for the scheme, including restaurants, hotels and museums.

In Oxfordshire, the accreditation is being organised and promoted by Experience Oxfordshire.

We’re Good to Go

To obtain the certificate, businesses must complete a self-assessment on VisitEngland’s website.

The assessment includes a check-list confirming the business has put the necessary processes in place, including implementing the Government’s Covid-19 reopening guidance, understanding the Public Health England guidance, and carrying out a Covid-19 risk assessment.

Businesses will then be able to display the certificate in their premises and online, and will receive notifications from VisitEngland if there are changes to the official guidance.

VisitEngland operates a call-handling service to provide businesses with support, and assessors will also carry-out random spot-checks to ensure businesses are adhering to the guidance.

The City Council and Experience Oxfordshire have been supporting businesses in Oxford to meet the requirements of the application by sharing information and advice about the latest Government guidance.

Oxford businesses signed up

So far 78 businesses in Oxford have signed up for the ‘We’re Good to Go’ accreditation scheme.

These include:

  • Ashmolean Museum
  • The Story Museum
  • Modern Art Oxford
  • Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum
  • Victors
  • Oxford Official Walking Tours
  • Oxford Bus Company
  • Stagecoach Oxfordshire
  • Old Bank Hotel
  • voco Oxford Spires
  • Jurys Inn Oxford

Members of the public can find out more by visiting thje VisitEngland website.

Covid Secure Team

City Council enforcement officers form part of the new Covid Secure Team, which was established last month (September) within Oxford and countywide to help businesses comply with the new rules, and give the public peace of mind when out and about.

Alongside providing information and support, the Oxford team also carries out night-time patrols of the city centre, Cowley Road and other hotspots to provide advice and ensure businesses are following the rules.

Some of their key activities over recent weeks have included:

  • Helping businesses register on the NHS Covid-19 app and display their QR code
  • Checking that businesses are adhering to the rule of six, wearing facemasks and avoiding crowding
  • Making sure that businesses are closed and clear of customers by 10pm
  • Checking Oxford’s parks to make sure that if people are congregating outdoors the rule of six is still being adhered to
  • Acting as the first response in call-outs of complaints over house parties within the city

The Covid Secure Team is a joint initiative by all Oxfordshire’s councils and is backed by Government funding. The team works closely with Thames Valley Police and both universities.

“Oxford is a fantastic place to visit throughout the year, especially for local residents, but it’s important now that we make people feel as safe as possible when they do visit.

“Businesses in Oxford have been doing excellent work to make their premises safe, and when our Covid Secure Team has visited they’ve been impressed with how seriously most businesses are taking this.

“The ‘We’re Good to Go’ certificate is an easy way for businesses to let customers know how hard they’ve worked to make sure people are safe on their premises.”

Councillor Mary Clarkson, Cabinet Member for City Centre, Covered Market and Culture           

“In order for Oxfordshire to reopen again safely and instil consumer confidence it is important that we get as many businesses as possible accredited with the supporting mark ‘We’re Good to Go’.  

“We have a great destination to visit and want to welcome back locals and visitors in an environment they feel safe and comfortable in.  

“As a globally recognised destination we should be aspiring to be recognised as one of the safest destinations to visit in England post Covid-19.

“It is great to see the City Council supporting our work in this way and hope that more businesses across the city will sign up to the scheme which will be an important aid for the recovery of the visitor economy.”

Hayley Beer-Gamage, Chief Executive of Experience Oxfordshire