Ahead of the Easter Holidays, Torbay Council and the English Riviera BID Company are calling on all holiday accommodation providers, including letting agents and online booking platforms, to support the COVID-19 response by following the Government’s closure orders.

Leader of Torbay Council, Cllr Steve Darling, said: “We thank the overwhelming majority of holiday accommodation providers, such as self- catering businesses, bed and breakfasts, caravan parks, hotels, campsites and holiday homes adhering to the closure orders. They have shut their doors as a result of the Government ordering all non-essential businesses to stop operating and for everyone to stay at home and avoid non-essential travel.

“There are a number of exemptions which allow some holiday accommodation businesses to remain open, for example to provide accommodation for key workers, NHS staff, health and care use, and for those that are homeless. Also, holiday accommodation can remain open for any other purpose requested by the Secretary of State or Local Authority. However, there are some holiday accommodation providers still taking guests operating in contravention of the rules.

“It’s up to all of us to play our part in fighting this virus, as well as obeying the law, and this simply means that not only should all the traditional tourism business close to holiday makers, but also people letting out rooms and properties on online booking platforms including Airbnb that have grown rapidly over the last few years.”

Chief Executive of the English Riviera BID Company, Carolyn Custerson, said “It is so important that we comply with the legislation and help fight COVID-19 during this challenging period. We have a great network of tourism accommodation providers in the Bay and I believe that most of them are complying with the current legislation.

“This legislation requires any person responsible for running a business providing holiday accommodation, whether in a hotel, hostel, bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday apartment, home, cottage or bungalow, campsite, caravan park or boarding house, to cease trading during the emergency period. The Government’s controls are expected to remain in place until the regulations are reviewed by the Secretary of State and a direction issued to end them.”

Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing, Cllr Swithin Long, said: “We are calling on and trust that our holiday accommodation providers in Torbay will do the right thing and ensure compliance with this requirement which has been introduced to protect the health of our population, NHS and other critical services at this time.

“We understand that this legislation may have serious financial impacts upon businesses so please read the guidance to understand how you can access the financial help you need.”

A current list of exemptions can be found on the Government's website.

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