A list of 175 “fully Covid-compliant” UK hotels has been published under the newly launched Safe to Trade Scheme.

Brands who have so far signed up to the scheme include Malmaison, Hotel du Vin, Handpicked Hotels, Amaris Group and Almarose Hotels, as well as smaller chains and individual properties.

The scheme has a wider remit beyond the hotel industry, to help holidaymakers “identify which hotels, bars, restaurants and cinemas are going the extra mile to ensure the safety of both their staff and guests”.

According a press release the scheme “has been launched by top-ranking hospitality safety experts, including the former CEO of the Health and Safety Executive and Food Standards Agency and the ex-Head of Local Delivery at Food Standards Agency, and is an independently verified safety standard for hospitality businesses that are not only compliant with, but also implementing measures that go above and beyond the government’s guidelines for trading during the Covid-19 pandemic”.

It is working with venues on an ongoing basis to both advise on and audit safety practices, with properties “passing a strict approval process and adhering to stringent health and safety guidance to achieve ‘Approved’ status”.

Customers wanting to share positive experiences or flag up concerns can scan a QR code on the venue’s Safe to Trade window sticker, or visit the scheme’s website to leave feedback, which is then fed back to the hotel , with managers and owners “encouraged to adjust and adapt their practices to ensure that their business stays Covid compliant and safe”.

Commenting on the news Mark Flanagan, chair of the Safe to Trade Scheme governance board said:

“Consumer confidence in the hospitality sector has taken a huge hit, as our research shows that 96 per cent of industry guests want to see venues rated in terms of their Covid compliance before they consider visiting and nine out of ten respondents intend to choose one venue over another if it clearly shows that it conforms to, or surpasses, government safety standards.

“For those customers looking to make the most of what’s left of the summer with a UK staycation but who want to do so as safely as possible, the Safe to Trade Scheme provides peace of mind. By visiting the Scheme’s website at safetotrade.org.uk, they can identify which hotels have been approved by the Scheme and do this by name or by location.”