Coach operator Bakers Dolphin is bringing back drivers to restart tours after its fleet of 70 coaches stood idle for months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many of the Somerset-based company’s 100 employees have been furloughed during lockdown, with some of drivers working as back-up staff for Bristol Ambulance Emergency Medical Services across the region.

The first commercial coach tour sine March resumed in late July, with a further 16 holidays due to have been completed by the end of August.

Coach capacity has had to be reduced to ensure social distancing but seats remain available for some September departures.

Sales and marketing director Amanda Harrington said: “We’ve waited a long time to be able to take passengers away again, and it’s extremely gratifying to get such positive feedback.

“We have introduced additional intervention measures in our procedures and on our vehicles, adding air filtration systems which reduce the amount of pollutants in the air, as well as enforcing the wearing of face coverings and reducing vehicle capacities to aid social distancing.

“We want to encourage people back on board and assure them that they can travel safely in style and comfort. We believe that our coaches are as safe as they can possibly be.”

Bakers Dolphin has been awarded VisitEngland’s ‘We’re Good To Go’ charter mark in recognition of it complying with all Covid-19 government and public health guidance.