The Countdown to Our Re-Opening ... 
As we gradually tick each day off the calendar as Monday 17th May approaches, we feel like we’ve been here before ... hey, wait a minute ... we have! 
The ‘forgotten year’, by which the 12-months between March 2020 and March 2021 is fast becoming known as, has brought with it some repetitive moments, and being able to open safely here at the Riviera Guesthouse is one of them. 
We are definitely feeling a strong sense of déjà vu … 
The Summer of 2020 
Cast your mind back to July 2020: in fact, 4thJuly, which is when we could reopen our family-run business after Lockdown 1.0. 
Last year, it was very new to us. Lockdown was a word that was fast becoming popular in all our conversations. Covid-19 was this frightening new virus that was sweeping the globe. And as a result, many of us in the hospitality industry had to become very Covid-19 Secure. 
While our doors remained closed, we worked hard in the background to adjust to the new expectations of our guests. 
We watch the Daily Briefings from Downing Street as to how the nation was going to cope and we understood this situation was serious, so serious that businesses had to temporarily close for the safety of everyone. 
You can read our experiences as to the emotional rollercoaster-ride we had getting ready for last year’s opening here
The Spring of 2021 
Fast forward to Spring 2021, while we feel the same anticipation with regards to our re-opening, this year there is a difference. 
Our Covid-19 Secure measures are firmly in place for the safety of our guests, our family, and our team. 
To remind our guests of the main points: 
• Guest rooms, communal areas and the dining room will be fogged out with a sanitising solution on a regular basis. 
• Increased cleaning of communal areas and high touch points will be carried out. 
• Hand sanitiser stations will be in place throughout the guesthouse. 
• Breakfast will include table service and there will be two sittings. 
• We’ll also have plenty of helpful signage to remind guests about social distancing throughout the building. 
• Each room will be serviced on a daily basis and as with last year’s measure, we’ve removed any unnecessary soft furnishings. 
• Take care on the stairwells in our guesthouse; ‘give way’ to other guests if you can. 
We also have full details here about our AA Covid-19 Secure status here. 
It's Fine To Wait, Though ... 
We understand there’s a lot to take in, even though most of these steps have been in place for some time. If you have any questions, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch us so we can hopefully answer them. 
We also understand there will be a few of you reading this that won’t be ready to ‘take the plunge’ and prefer to wait until a later date to take your well-deserved staycation. 
This is a totally understandable position to be in and we are taking bookings for dates later in 2021 and into 2022 here. 
What Is Different This Time Around? 
So while there is a powerful sense of “we have been here before “, there are some huge differences. 
Firstly the gradual opening of some hospitality businesses since 12thApril has helped ease us back into the ‘new normal’. 
Like many of us, we’ve felt a little bit of trepidation as lots of visitors return to Whitby. We’ve put much of this down to the fact we’re not used to seeing the crowds, of people bustling along often narrow streets and lanes of our hometown. 
Also Lockdown 3.0 seems to have gone on for a long time. We think this is partly because this lockdown took place in the darker, colder winter months of January February and part of March. 
Also the kids being off school again was tricky. Home-schooling is never easy! However, last year we had that stunning weather in April and May, so we could venture outside once a day with comfort and ease. 
The winter months meant darkness fell in the late afternoon and while we are very grateful to have our lovely surroundings here at the Riviera, it was a long time to be cooped up indoors. 
Yet, on the plus side, this time around most people said they knew what to expect this time around in terms of Lockdown 3.0. And as we slowly emerge from it, rather like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis, we will slowly spread our wings as many places of interest reopen from Monday 17th May, too. 
What To Expect From Monday 17th May 2021? 
If you are regular visitor to the Riviera Guesthouse, then you’ll be familiar with our communication with our guests before arrival. 
These include us getting in touch with you five days before your arrival date with information, hints and tips as to how you can make the most of your stay with us. 
Upon arrival, you will be greeted by a warm ‘hello’, and you’ll be asked to sanitise your hands. 
There is a QR code which guests are requested to use upon arrival, too. If you have an older smart phone, which doesn’t allow the QR code to work, we also have a registration form for you to complete. 
This is part of the Government’s efforts to keep the potential spread of the virus under control. 
Then as you settle in, you will be asked to make your breakfast choices for the next morning and will be given a time slot for this most important meal of the day! 
Then all you need to do is … relax! 
What Will Be Open In Whitby? 
From 17th May, and providing nothing changes in between time, indoor hospitality venues will re-open. 
This will include Whitby’s museums and indoor attractions and similar locations throughout the area. 
Government guidance is clear, though: hands, face, space. So, you will still need those facemasks (unless you are officially exempt), keep two metres distant from those outside your household and keep washing or sanitising your hands. 
One of the biggest joys of a holiday is the fact you don’t have to cook anything – hurrah! This means cafés, pubs and restaurants in Whitby and other locations will be busy. 
Table service will be in place (unless it is a take-away venue). 
Our advice to our guests is to book well ahead if you want to sample some of Whitby’s finest foodie places. 
Some outdoor events will resume once again, and venues such as the Whitby Pavilion can reopen albeit with safety measures in places. You can see our What’s On Guide here
And if you are a first-time visitor to Whitby (or a regular), why not have a read of our Ten Favourite Places, details here. 
What Happens If I’m Ill? 
Of course, we hope that all our guests remain fit and well during these difficult times. 
However, it goes without saying (but we’re going to say it anyway) that if you feel unwell before your holiday the please tell us straight away and we can get the ball rolling with your booking. 
If you become ill while staying here, notify us immediately. You MUST phone us on either 01947 602533 or 07540945537. 
We will do our best to assist you to get home as safely as possible. Covid-19 is still a health threat, unfortunately, so in terms of keeping everyone safe, these strict rules have not changed. 
The Way Ahead 
The Government is hoping that we’ll be ‘back to normal’ from 21st June 2021. 
We really hope this will be the case. 
However, we do know this can only be achieved if everyone ‘does their bit’. 
We have made it through a very, very strange and turbulent 12 months or so. 
Many of us will have experienced personal loss, vastly reduced human contact and perhaps even had the virus itself. 
We are all eager to have some time away from our usual four walls; to have new experiences; and perhaps ‘find’ ourselves again. 
Here at the Riviera Guesthouse, we’re here to help you have a fantastic break in Whitby. The coastline is as stunning as ever, and the North York Moors National Park is just a short drive away, offering open-air relaxation and beautiful views. 
Yet without wanting to clip your wings, we ask all our guests to respect their surroundings, respect those of us who are very fortunate to live in the area, and be mindful of the hands, face and space rules. 
We are thinking positively, and we are looking forward to the rest of 2021 and, hopefully, into 2022. Who knows, we might even be able to have a ‘proper’ Easter next year! 
Easter 2022 is very late next year with Easter Day falling on Sunday 17thApril … you’ve been ‘warned’ … 
Monday 17th May 2021 Will Be Here Very Soon … 
… and we are very much looking forward to seeing our guests from that special day. 
Our warm welcome hasn’t changed, nor have our delicious breakfasts. 
Our rooms will be sparkling and spotless, ready for our booked-in visitors to enjoy. 
There will be ice creams, fish and chips, sandy beaches, and glorious walks to enjoy. 
We can’t wait to see you … 
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