Our COVID-19 Operating Plan

First Growth Wine School fully is open for classroom courses always in compliance with public health policies and regulations witch at the moment requires a safe pass to attend indoor spaces. Below, we’ve outlined how we will keep our students safe while still providing a fun and interactive learning environment. First, here are three things we ask for your assistance with, to help us ensure that you and your fellow students have a safe and enjoyable learning experience.

1. Don't take risks with your health

If you’re not feeling 100% fit and well, please stay at home. If you have any concerns or feel something coming on, err on the side of caution. Even if you are feeling fine, but you have come into contact with someone with COVID-19 symptoms in the last 14 days, get in touch and we’ll transfer you to the next available course.

There won’t be any financial repercussions if you can’t attend a booked course for any of these reasons. Your safety is our top priority.

2. Take care on your journey to the School

If you are unable to walk or cycle, you’ll most likely be using one of the many available public transport methods to reach us. On your journey, please wear a face covering and sanitise your hands regularly, especially after touching surfaces and before touching your face.

If you are unable to make your course due to transport restrictions, please get in touch as soon as you can. Our team will work with you to ensure that you can start or continue your learning with us at the earliest available point.

3. Use of face coverings

We are now asking students to wear a face covering at all times within the school, apart from when sitting at their desk. This means that all staff and students will need to wear masks in reception, stairwells, corridors, and all other communal parts of the building.

We are aware that some people are not able to wear face masks so please identify yourself upon arrival at reception if this is the case for you.

Our COVID-19 Health & Safety Plan

Below we have summarised our plan, with all the information you need for an enjoyable and safe classroom learning experience. We’ll update these procedures as things change and evolve, so be sure to check back here before you set off for the School. If you have any questions that aren’t answered here, please feel free to contact us.

General procedures

Social distancing

  • Class sizes have been limited to allow ample space between desks
  • The number of courses being delivered daily has been carefully managed to ensure that social distancing can be respected both in the classroom and in the common areas
  • Course start times have been staggered to limit the amount of people entering the building, breaking for lunch and leaving for the day at any one time. You can help us with this by arriving promptly (not late but not too early) for your class.
  • During breaktimes, we encourage you to take advantage of the variety of open spaces that are located at the Hotell. If you are unable to go outside due to the weather, we’ll ask you to stay in the classroom to restrict the number of people moving around/gathering in the corridors, stairwells and bathrooms.


  • The hotel ensures extra sanitisation will take place throughout each day of frequent contact spaces including the reception desk, the lift, entrance doors and handrails, bathrooms, tables and seats
  • Our team will use cleaning products and protocols which are approved to effectively fight against viruses, bacteria and pathogens on all equipment and surfaces. We’ll continue to explore additional sanitation tools and stay abreast of the most effective methods and products to use.
  • Hand sanitiser will be available in every room
  • Where possible, doors and windows will remain open to increase fresh air flow

Keeping our team safe

  • Our employees will undergo regular training on COVID-19 safety and sanitation protocols
  • Our team is here to support you, so please feel free to ask any questions throughout your course. All we ask is that you follow social distancing guidelines when speaking to our staff, particularly before and after sessions when there can be a temptation to gather in larger groups.

Room-by-room plan

The hotel that hosts us planned out our protective measures carefully, room by room, to ensure that nothing has been missed.

Reception lobby

  • All chairs, tables, magazines and marketing materials have been removed from reception
  • Only one member of reception staff will be at the desk at any one time, and they will be protected by a plastic screen. Give your name to the receptionist on arrival and they’ll sign you in and let you know where to go.

Stairwells and corridors

  • If you are able, please use the stairs (rather than the lift) when moving around the building, keeping the lift available for those who need it
  • If you do need to use the lift, please do so one person at a time
  • Students and staff will be discouraged from pausing for too long on the stairs or landings, to allow everyone to respect social distancing
  • If you need to cross someone on the stairs, please do so on the landings where there is space for you to keep a safe distance from the other person

In the classroom

  • The classroom has been rearranged to meet social distancing guidelines and our class capacities have been adjusted to reflect this. Upon arrival, please choose a desk and take a seat. Just because you have a desk to yourself, don’t let this stop you saying hello to the people around you!
  • We ask that you bring your own writing materials (please note: for examinations you will need a pencil and rubber)
  • We will provide all the glassware you need for the course/exam (you do not need to bring in your own glasses for any courses or exams onsite)
  • We will also provide disposable recyclable spittoons – you’ll just need to dispose of your spittoon in one of the bins provided at the end of the session
  • All wine, spirits or sake samples will be poured by your educator or a member of our resources team, so you won’t need to pass bottles between one another
  • We’ll display the bottles on a table at the front so that you can take a look at the labels, but we’ll ask you not to pick up/handle the bottles


  • Bathrooms will be cleaned regularly throughout the day
  • Breaktimes have been staggered to make it easier for you to access a bathroom without having to wait in the stairwell

How will we keep things fun?

We hope that this plan has reassured you that we’ll be providing a safe environment for your course. But we also know that many of you have chosen to study with us purely for the enjoyment of learning in the company of other like-minded people, and we really don’t want to lose that in amongst all the safety measures.

Don’t worry, the wine, spirit and sake samples will be just as delicious, the course content will be just as fresh, and our educators will be keener than ever to share their passion for their subject with a classroom of students. We are also playing around with a few new ideas to keep things fun, interactive and sociable while you learn.

This will be a new way of doing things for all of us, but we’re excited to take on the challenge of making wine, spirits and sake education more enjoyable than ever in a socially distanced world!