Ideas to reopen the leisure & tourism sectors if social distancing is to continue

CaptainHaddock

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Our village bonfire/firework display is ticket only. You buy your tickets in local shops in the weeks leading up to it. Once they're sold out, that's it, you don't go. That was implemented to limit the numbers of people on the display field. Just some cheap printed tickets about the same size as business cards - works well enough. If something like that becomes necessary as the only way to open, then the clubs are going to have to do something similar and sell the tickets in shops etc near the ground.

If the football ground has standing areas, then either they close them and restrict attendances to the seating area, or they use portable barriers to partition off the standing areas into sections so people can segregate themselves by moving to a different area if they think too many have come into their area.

The rules/laws can't cover every eventuality. The civil servants drafting the rules can't visit every ground to do the risk assessment/planning etc for each club, all they can do is provide general guidelines. Ultimately it needs to be the club providing what they think is a safe environment, alongside the spectators having the option to remove themselves from what they perceive is a dangerous environment - i.e. flexibility. People need to take control of their own safety, hence the "stay alert" message. Clubs should already be well accustomed to existing laws re ground safety, at whatever league level - basic H&S laws apply everywhere. Covid is just another set of guidelines to put into the mix. Like any situation, if the provider can't guarantee a safe venue/attraction, then they can't go ahead (or they risk the full wrath of the law if they go ahead and something goes wrong!).
Nope, that model still wouldn't work for non league football. If a club has to shut its terrace and only offer seating in its 200-seat stand, social distancing would mean they would only have room for 50 people to attend. Half of those would be club officials and board members meaning that you could only allow around 20-25 paying punters in. Based on a typical step 4-5 admission of £10, gate receipts would be substantially less than the costs of hosting a game!

Plus, half the pleasure of non league football is social interaction - wandering around the ground, chatting to fellow groundhoppers, buying refreshments, enjoying a pint in the club bar and so on. A once a year ticket-only bonfire night event is not a valid comparison.

It's a moot point anyway as there'll be no more non league football until next season starts in August (hopefully), by which time I would expect most of the social distancing measures to have been either relaxed or removed.
 
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Ianno87

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There will be one for fire/evacuation risk assessment reasons. It'll be rather higher than it ever gets to, a bit like cross channel ferries which rarely reach their full passenger capacity because the car deck fills up first.
Most zoos (particularly big ones like Chester) aren't even close to being a social distancing problem even on busy days, except maybe for on site cafés etc that could be restricted or managed.
 

underbank

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Nope, that model still wouldn't work for non league football. If a club has to shut its terrace and only offer seating in its 200-seat stand, social distancing would mean they would only have room for 50 people to attend. Half of those would be club officials and board members meaning that you could only allow around 20-25 paying punters in. Based on a typical step 4-5 admission of £10, gate receipts would be substantially less than the costs of hosting a game!

Plus, half the pleasure of non league football is social interaction - wandering around the ground, chatting to fellow groundhoppers, buying refreshments, enjoying a pint in the club bar and so on. A once a year ticket-only bonfire night event is not a valid comparison.

It's a moot point anyway as there'll be no more non league football until next season starts in August (hopefully), by which time I would expect most of the social distancing measures to have been either relaxed or removed.
Well, you have to accept that social distancing will mean no football for the foreseeable future then. I can't imagine what will change between now and August that will mean social distancing is no longer needed.
 

underbank

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Most zoos (particularly big ones like Chester) aren't even close to being a social distancing problem even on busy days, except maybe for on site cafés etc that could be restricted or managed.
But it's things like cafes, toilets, shops, etc that WILL cause the attendance restrictions. People will crowd at the cafes around lunchtime - it's inevitable - you can't give people a time slot for their lunch at 4.15pm nor can you make them queue for an hour! You can make small tweaks such as starting the lunch menu at 11am instead of 11.30 and continuing it to 3.30 instead of finishing at 3, and encouraging people to visit "off peak" but if you've only just arrived after a long drive at 10.30, you're hardly likely to want your burger and chips at 11! Same with toilets, when you have a large attendance, then there will be times when lots of people (especially kids) need the toilet at the same time and, again, you can't make them wait in a queue for half an hour. The gift shop will always be busier at the end of the day when people are leaving and want to buy souvenirs etc. You either need to provide more cafes to spread the people out, or you need to close them and give everyone prior warning to bring their own packed lunches so they can picnic spread out across the whole site. You'd need loads of portaloos across the site to stop people congregating at the existing small number of toilet blocks. Rather than a single gift shop, they could set up a "pop up gift shop" in a marquee in the car park. Places like zoos need to change if they are to re-open, whether that is by restricting entry, providing more toilets/cafes, implementing one way systems, or whatever is best according to their risk assessments, business plan etc. A big place like Chester Zoo will have a crowd movement model showing typical numbers of people in each area at different times of the day. Such attractions will be madly working behind the scenes trying to find scenarios that will work for them, what changes they need to make etc - as they need to be ready to reopen and hit the ground running the moment they're allowed to.
 

greyman42

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Well it definitely isn't accurate picture of the pub scene, I've worked at three pubs and they're busy on weekdays and on weekends eg no tables available and the bar is full so the idea of pubs outside London being dead outside the weekend is rather naive thinking of someone who has no idea of what they're talking about!
Which city or town are you referring to?
 

CaptainHaddock

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Well, you have to accept that social distancing will mean no football for the foreseeable future then. I can't imagine what will change between now and August that will mean social distancing is no longer needed.
The lack of non league football till next season has nothing to do with social distancing, it's because players' contracts expired at the end of April and, unlike the Premier League fat cats, clubs at lower non-league levels can't afford to keep paying their players on the off chance they might be able to resume and finish off the season playing behind closed doors come June or July.
 

185143

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Zoom has been the "poster child" of doing stuff at home via video link. I suspect Eventbrite may well be the next "poster child", it takes about 2 hours to get it all set up (if that), no fixed costs and handles absolutely everything with regard to booking ticketed events (you can even scan people in with a mobile phone if you want). I have for instance used it for Scout camps, but it also works with events with tens of thousands.

I'm sure someone's in there with a restaurant booking system too.
I should imagine the Wetherspoon app could be adapted fairly easily to reserve a table in advance before you arrive at the pub-with strict rules that the app is the only way to book and order.
 

Carlisle

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reserve a table in advance before you arrive at the pub-with strict rules that the app is the only way to book and order.
Hopefully that wouldn’t have to apply to the smaller pubs or working men’s type clubs I visit occasionally as it doesn’t sound at all viable in those locations
 

Ianno87

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But it's things like cafes, toilets, shops, etc that WILL cause the attendance restrictions. People will crowd at the cafes around lunchtime - it's inevitable - you can't give people a time slot for their lunch at 4.15pm nor can you make them queue for an hour! You can make small tweaks such as starting the lunch menu at 11am instead of 11.30 and continuing it to 3.30 instead of finishing at 3, and encouraging people to visit "off peak" but if you've only just arrived after a long drive at 10.30, you're hardly likely to want your burger and chips at 11! Same with toilets, when you have a large attendance, then there will be times when lots of people (especially kids) need the toilet at the same time and, again, you can't make them wait in a queue for half an hour. The gift shop will always be busier at the end of the day when people are leaving and want to buy souvenirs etc. You either need to provide more cafes to spread the people out, or you need to close them and give everyone prior warning to bring their own packed lunches so they can picnic spread out across the whole site. You'd need loads of portaloos across the site to stop people congregating at the existing small number of toilet blocks. Rather than a single gift shop, they could set up a "pop up gift shop" in a marquee in the car park. Places like zoos need to change if they are to re-open, whether that is by restricting entry, providing more toilets/cafes, implementing one way systems, or whatever is best according to their risk assessments, business plan etc. A big place like Chester Zoo will have a crowd movement model showing typical numbers of people in each area at different times of the day. Such attractions will be madly working behind the scenes trying to find scenarios that will work for them, what changes they need to make etc - as they need to be ready to reopen and hit the ground running the moment they're allowed to.
The "simple" solution is to not offer cafes (BYO Lunch) and not open gift shops. Noting that these are probably as hefty a source of revenue as the entry fee.
 

johnnychips

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The "simple" solution is to not offer cafes (BYO Lunch) and not open gift shops. Noting that these are probably as hefty a source of revenue as the entry fee.
You could ‘social distance ‘ gift shops like they do in supermarkets with a maximum number inside and sell takeaway food with a socially-distanced queue.
 

underbank

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You could ‘social distance ‘ gift shops like they do in supermarkets with a maximum number inside and sell takeaway food with a socially-distanced queue.
Unlike supermarkets, the demand isn't spread evenly throughout the day. People want lunch at lunchtime and gifts as they leave. If you try to social distance the queues, you may as well not bother as people won't wait. Income needs to be maximised to make it viable to open the attraction, so they'd need more outlets which means more staff to manage the queues etc. That's why, upthread, I suggested pop-up marquees such as an extra gift shop in the car park.
 

ChrisC

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I think holiday accommodation will be a difficult one. I’m already really missing my regular breaks in hotels in the UK. Travelling on my own the social distancing aspect will not be too difficult. I usually travel by train and use rail and bus rover tickets in the area where I stay. If we are allowed to go on holiday again this year I will use my car and probably visit quieter country areas away from busy tourist spots.

It will be easy for people to socially distance in a hotel room but not in the dining areas or bar areas. If I’m not able to have breakfast in the hotel and eat out during the day or evening in cafes and restaurants, what is the point of staying in a hotel, as it would be preferable to go self catering. The thing that would worry me about self catering, as indeed staying in a hotel room, is infection from surfaces. You will not know about the status of the guests who stayed in the accommodation immediately before you. You will have to rely upon trusting that the accommodation has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitised before you arrive. Perhaps accommodation will have to be left vacant for a number of days between guests.
 

johnnychips

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Unlike supermarkets, the demand isn't spread evenly throughout the day. People want lunch at lunchtime and gifts as they leave. If you try to social distance the queues, you may as well not bother as people won't wait. Income needs to be maximised to make it viable to open the attraction, so they'd need more outlets which means more staff to manage the queues etc. That's why, upthread, I suggested pop-up marquees such as an extra gift shop in the car park.
Sounds a great idea. Of course you would have to have the queues for the aquarium and the reptile house, but zoos seem like one of the easier attractions to open. Of course, the danger is that if it’s the only leisure attraction open for miles, it might get overwhelmed. Online booking only?
 

Qwerty133

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Zoom has been the "poster child" of doing stuff at home via video link. I suspect Eventbrite may well be the next "poster child", it takes about 2 hours to get it all set up (if that), no fixed costs and handles absolutely everything with regard to booking ticketed events (you can even scan people in with a mobile phone if you want). I have for instance used it for Scout camps, but it also works with events with tens of thousands.

I'm sure someone's in there with a restaurant booking system too.
The problem with Eventbrite is that the fee structure leads to extortionate fees for relatively cheap (but not free) events, especially where it is desired to offer child or OAP discounts as this requires the second tier with higher fees. A non-league football club charging £5 for adults and £2 for children and an attendance of 400 adults and 100 would have the choice between losing £466 (approximately a fifth of their ticket revenue) in fees or asking their fans to pay a booking fee that is disproportionate to the ticket price which risks losing fans. The other problem with Eventbrite for many smaller sports clubs who rely on volunteers to man the gate is that without the necessary app there is nothing to stop the same ticket being used several times.
 

stevetay3

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If we have advance booking only for just about everything, at 25% capacity it is going to be nigh on impossible to get tickets for anything.Clubs Theatres Cinemas & just about everything else will become unviable in time. What’s left will become a ticket touts paradise.
 

Qwerty133

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If we have advance booking only for just about everything, at 25% capacity it is going to be nigh on impossible to get tickets for anything.Clubs Theatres Cinemas & just about everything else will become unviable in time. What’s left will become a ticket touts paradise.
Unfortunately, at least for my county, they'd be absolutely no problem in obtaining tickets for county championship cricket, even if the restrictions currently in place doubled the demand, with a 25% capacity.
 

stevetay3

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Who wants to watch County championship cricket, the good stuff like T20 will be impossible for most of us and football will just be for the very rich.
 

Bletchleyite

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If we have advance booking only for just about everything, at 25% capacity it is going to be nigh on impossible to get tickets for anything.Clubs Theatres Cinemas & just about everything else will become unviable in time. What’s left will become a ticket touts paradise.
Touting is easy to stop - names on tickets and check ID. The music industry only doesn't stop it because it suits them to have it.
 

dosxuk

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At 25% capacity, the music industry isn't viable to operate, so touting isn't going to be an issue as there won't be anyone putting on events.
 

Qwerty133

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Who wants to watch County championship cricket,
The loss to clubs in terms of county cricket will be as much in hospitality and catering as it is ticket sales. A lot of those who do watch county championship cricket are elderly and will quite happily purchase breakfast, lunch, afternoon cake and a few hot drinks during a typical day which all in all makes for a reasonable income per head inside the ground. There is also the fact that watching championship cricket may not be particularly appealing in itself having your company fund a private box including alcohol and up to 3 meals on a working day often is.
the good stuff like T20 will be impossible for most of us and football will just be for the very rich.
I'd doubt we'll see much of an increase in T20 cricket prices, if only, due to the fact in my experience many of the biggest spenders on site in terms of alcohol would not be the same as those willing to pay the most for a ticket.
 

stevetay3

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The loss to clubs in terms of county cricket will be as much in hospitality and catering as it is ticket sales. A lot of those who do watch county championship cricket are elderly and will quite happily purchase breakfast, lunch, afternoon cake and a few hot drinks during a typical day which all in all makes for a reasonable income per head inside the ground. There is also the fact that watching championship cricket may not be particularly appealing in itself having your company fund a private box including alcohol and up to 3 meals on a working day often is.

I'd doubt we'll see much of an increase in T20 cricket prices, if only, due to the fact in my experience many of the biggest spenders on site in terms of alcohol would not be the same as those willing to pay the most for a ticket.
Surely thay will have to raise prices just to compensate for the reduced capacity in the grounds?
Same with train and bus fares? You cant run a 600 seat train with only 150 allowed on board.at the current fares for long.
Takings from bars and catering at the grounds will also take a big drop.
 
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Qwerty133

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Surely thay will have to rise prices to compensate for the reduced capacity in the grounds. Same with Train and bus fares, you cant run a 600 seat train with only 150 allowed on board.at current fares for long.Takings from bars and catering at the grounds will take a big drop also
You need to balance the additional ticket revenue with the loss of revenues in other areas. By increasing the price you are likely to be pricing out those whose main purpose of attending is an excuse to get hammered (who are also the most likely to attend and purchase drinks in bad weather in which there is little prospect of play and refunds will end up being given on ticket prices which reduces losses on such games), and in many cases the total profit from such customers is that much greater than those who would pay more to get in that it more than makes up for a lower admission price.
 
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stevetay3

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There is little point in increasing ticket prices if the result is losing more profit in other areas than you gain in ticket revenue. In my experience working bars at such events it is usually those on the cheaper advanced (or even further reduced tickets offered to local clubs) tickets who by far purchase the most beer and other refreshments whilst on site.
But two thirds of them will not be in the bar to buy anything.No matter what price ticket thay would have purchased.
 

nidave

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I've got a feeling we won't be seeing cinemas, pubs and restaurants opening before 2021 despite what the government says. Let's be honest, do you really want to be sitting in a crowded pub, full to the brim with people with smokers cough?
 

Qwerty133

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But two thirds of them will not be in the bar to buy anything.No matter what price ticket thay would have purchased.
Businesses such as Sports clubs and Cinemas will be looking at ways to make sure that if they have to limit capacity that it is the portion of customers that buy the highly profitable added extras that gain admission, and simply raising the price doesn't achieve this. I imagine that they'll be a large rise in the availability of tickets that are only available packaged with add-ons (such as popcorn or prepaid alcoholic drinks) and the selective use of sales avenues based upon the typical add-on spend from such customers (so in the example of professional cricket I imagine the sales through local clubs and other groups will continue at a similar level while the proportion of tickets available directly on the club website and phone lines will dramatically reduce).
 

stevetay3

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I can quite easily manage without pubs etc. Transport is a different matter I have various health problems so can not drive,but public transport is a big concern, people in my position are getting no advice at all Political parties just bicker with each other to score points, the press tv media is just as useles. Are the elderly and vulnerable just supposed to vanish from society
 

stevetay3

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Businesses such as Sports clubs and Cinemas will be looking at ways to make sure that if they have to limit capacity that it is the portion of customers that buy the highly profitable added extras that gain admission, and simply raising the price doesn't achieve this. I imagine that they'll be a large rise in the availability of tickets that are only available packaged with add-ons (such as popcorn or prepaid alcoholic drinks) and the selective use of sales avenues based upon the typical add-on spend from such customers (so in the example of professional cricket I imagine the sales through local clubs and other groups will continue at a similar level while the proportion of tickets available directly on the club website and phone lines will dramatically reduce).
So on top of all the other rules we are now to have popcorn thrust on us and compulsory booze.
 

NorthOxonian

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I've got a feeling we won't be seeing cinemas, pubs and restaurants opening before 2021 despite what the government says. Let's be honest, do you really want to be sitting in a crowded pub, full to the brim with people with smokers cough?
Depends. Probably not at the moment, but eventually I'll want to resume a degree of normality in my life. If I'm expected to live a spartan existence until a vaccine comes (which could be years away), it'll have a big impact on my mentality and productivity, and a lot of people feel the same.

If the government have all leisure shut until the end of the year, they could well become the most hated government in history - most people are only approving of the current measures because they feel they are temporary and so are looking forward to the end of it. Ultimately (most) humans are deeply social and any long term social distancing is going to cause real problems for their wellbeing.
 

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