Making the move to Tier 2

Updated: Nov 19, 2020



Original blog reads:

There are new regulations that effect bookings at Saramique Studio from Sunday onwards. East Riding Council area - it has been announced today - is moving to Tier 2 Covid-19 restrictions.

The biggest change effecting your visit is that we now can only accept bookings for one household (or support bubble).

This remains the case until any further announcement. You can find out more about the full Tier 2 conditions from East Riding Council here .

We will try and answer your questions here but do get in touch privately if you want to know something that we haven’t covered.

Bookings of more than 6 are not permitted (unless your group is one household/support bubble). How do you intend to manage that?

We have an online booking system that on the whole has worked really well so far.

We put the hard work in back in July when we personally set this up to allow for:

  • staggered starts

  • prioritised table allocation (capacity is reduced, tables are spaced apart and extra mitigations are in place, but we have gone further by making sure that neighbouring tables do not arrive at the same time, where possible).

Where a start time isn’t available the system shows you alternative options, allows you to input special requirements and gives you remote access to make changes to your reservation 24/7.

This also automatically enables capture of NHS Test and Trace details for those without the NHS app.

Tier 2 will not effect this as we have always had in place a prompt, whereby groups larger than 6 have to book directly. This facilitates a direct conversation between us that allows us to check your needs and discuss compliance.

How are you ensuring visits are within guidelines?

We already have clear pre-booking terms in line with guidelines, before you click through to reserve your table online. We will now be changing that pre-booking guidance in line with new guidelines.

Yes, we understand that there is a personal obligation for visitors to know the rules and adhere to them...but let’s face it, we all know that things change quickly and can be confusing.

As a business we choose not to ‘pass the buck’ or hide behind an ‘ignorance is bliss’ attitude. We can ONLY do this with your help of course, and we ask for honesty from every visitor with regard their booking needs.

Please do not be offended where we sadly cannot accept a booking. It doesn’t make us feel good to do so...but our integrity is key to your trust in us to provide transparency and ‘covid confidence’ to you, others, our family and our community.

What about group events or private parties?

We operate within the ‘visitor economy’ as a dedicated attraction/hospitality venue and guidance clarifies that COVID secure venues can continue to host people, up to their social distancing capacity.

The case stands that anyone booking onto such an event must be from one household or support bubble, and cannot be more than 6 (except where the household - including bubble - is greater than 6). Sadly, we still cannot host a private celebrations, as we did before the world went topsy turvy. We can however host public events such as clay workshops; the essential difference between private parties and public events being that the temptation to socialise with those we do not live, is negated.

We may also need to reconsider the bookings for events, such as our Christmas ‘adult-only’ painting evenings; we may find that many bookings include people from more than one household. We are holding off on deciding the best way forward with those until nearer the time, as current measures can and will likely change again, prior to those events taking place.

Why do you now have minimum painter numbers?

We implemented minimum painter numbers on every booking when we reopened. This currently stands at a minimum of two painters on any booking, and at least half of your group being painting visitors, where bookings are for more than 3.

This is not about greed! It is about the ability to sustain the business and stay open. We already have much to fight against...reduced capacity, increased cost, restriction of large private celebrations etc. All of this remains a huge blow and we hope you understand our position on minimum painter numbers at this time.

What about when actually visiting?

Many of the current restrictions go against our natural instincts to help people...simple things like popping an apron on a child, holding baby whilst parent gets the pram sorted, helping with hand prints...the list goes on! But we are reassured by our consistent feedback from you guys that your stay still feels relaxing and inviting.

In addition to all we have mentioned above, we have welcome advice sent out prior to your visit and at every table, to help you understand the new layout and what’s happening around you, and to let you know what is expected of you when visiting. The government guidelines specify for example, that children must be supervised by you at all times.

We have painting guidance at the table to reduce that contact time...this doesn’t mean we can’t chat to you! Our great relationships with our customers is a huge part of our service. We are wearing face masks like you, at all times, and would encourage you to ask us for any painting advice you need when here.

What about equipment?

All underglazes, tools and materials are chosen by individuals at our new equipment zone, with hand sanitiser within the zone and regular cleaning of the area. Underglaze paint sets are not on tables current as we cannot adequately sanitise liquids and we cannot be sure that lids are not removed or airborne particles aren’t transmitted through having paints for prolonged periods on tables/at home. Brushes and water pots are provided on tables already. Regular hand washing is encouraged and facilities provided for this. We also have 3 hand sanitising stations, located to facilitate every studio area.

What about around the studio?

In addition to all of the above, we have Covid screens in place in key areas, we have mitigation between tables such as back to back seating, we have designated walkways, we have ‘no-queue’ systems operating, we have contactless pottery collection in place, we have enhanced cleaning in all areas...all this and much more - a lot of which goes on behind the scenes - to ensure we are doing everything we can to make your stay welcoming, enjoyable and covid confident.

All visitor numbers are managed; visits to the studio are currently ONLY allowed where you are painting or collecting, and these are managed in strict numbers through online booking. All other enquiries are dealt with remotely. Even those pottery collections are managed so that nobody is coming in or out at key times such as painter start/finish times. Collection numbers are also limited to 5 per 15 minutes so that there is reduced need for you to queue outside.

We have tried to think of everything and for sure, there have been times when our brains have been boggled by trying to keep up with ever-changing goalposts. Fingers seems to work smoothly on the whole, so far!

We were delighted to have received great feedback from the local council when spot checked for our Covid measures earlier this month and we are accredited with the Visit England Partnership’s ‘ring of confidence’ under the We’re Good To Go scheme. I’m

Do get in touch privately and directly if you have any questions or concerns...we will do all we can to help!