Coronavirus has now affected all of our lives and our thoughts go out to our customers and holiday home owners who have been impacted by an ever changing tide of restrictions. After a very difficult year the vaccine is now rolling out at pace and it now feels like there is some light at the end of the tunnel. For peace of mind, our policy on Coronavirus related restriction changes that may affect your booking, are laid out for you below.
I have just seen an announcement that will affect my upcoming booking, what do I do?
Government guidance and laws have been changing very quickly. It is likely that any changes will be announced on the news before we have the full details. In these circumstances, the team will work as quickly as possible to contact the guests with the closest arrival dates and then work forward prioritising stays that are within the next 7 days.
If your stay is 7 days or less away and you have not heard from us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What happens if my holiday cannot go ahead due to a national lockdown?
If the property is closed and you are told not to travel from your main residence, you will be able to transfer your booking to a later date and if suitable dates cannot be found you will be given a full refund.
What happens if I or some of my party cannot leave where we live due to locally imposed Tier or lockdown restrictions?
Any person on the booking not in a restricted area may still travel to the property and continue with the stay however we can appreciate that this would not be the experience you had originally planned. If you want to move your dates forward we will do this in agreement with the owner and subject to availability.
What happens if my booking is for a large group but a restriction on size, eg rule of 6, is placed upon all travellers so my booking can only go ahead with less people?
If you wished to continue with your stay with a much smaller group using less bedrooms, then we would discuss a discount with the owner. This is likely to be a reflection of the reduced cleaning costs for using less bedrooms and laundry so it would not be pro-rata by guests. As a guide somewhere between 20-30% has been applied in the past, depending on house and owner.
If you did not want to travel as a smaller group then we would transfer your booking to a future date, subject to availability and in agreement with the Owner.
Someone in my group has coronavirus or is self isolating, can we move our booking forward?
As coronavirus is now a known event, several insurance companies are providing cover for falling ill or having to self isolate. You can find these by using comparison sites. Some bank annual travel policies may cover this now too. We recommend that every guest has travel insurance to cover this. If you choose not to continue with your stay you would be cancelling for your own reasons and our normal cancellation terms would apply. A refund could only be given if the dates are re-let. Refer to our full terms, section 9.
My balance is due for my holiday, do I have to pay it?
We understand that the uncertainty around travel plans is a concern for everyone. As it stands, if there are no specific travel restrictions for your booking date, then it is still assumed it will go ahead as planned. Therefore, you will need to pay your balance unless you wish to cancel your booking. If you do not pay your balance then your booking would be deemed to be cancelled and normal cancellation terms would apply. Balance payments are due 3 months before your arrival date.
What happens if I cancel my booking and my dates are subsequently covered by restrictions which would have prevented the stay from going ahead?
If you choose not to continue with your stay, you would be cancelling for your own reasons and our normal cancellation terms would apply. A refund could only be given if the dates are re-let. Refer to our full terms, section 9. We would only be able to offer you the opportunity to change your dates if your booking had not been cancelled and your rental balance had been paid 3 months prior to your arrival date.
If you are concerned that your stay may not go ahead as planned, we’d recommend that you pay your remaining balance so that we can provide you with flexible options in the event that restrictions are in place. We recommend that every guest has travel insurance in place.
Does this Covid-19 cancellation policy apply to every property?
Unfortunately, some owners do have stricter cancellation policies. If they have their own terms it will say on the Key Facts page Covid-19: Owner Cancellation Terms apply. There are very few of these and we will let you know who they are when you enquire.
How can I be sure that my property is clean and safe?
With holiday accommodation reopening after the Covid-19 lockdown, we are working hard to ensure the safety of our guests, houses and teams. We have taken advantage of the wealth of advice and assistance from industry bodies such as PASC-UK and Visit Britain. We have provided our owners with access to information on safety practices and guidance on cleaning and asked all owners to complete a Covid-19 Risk Assessment.
Each owner is considering their own specific circumstances and planning for any additional measures they need put in place to ensure the safety of their guests. We recommend making contact with the owner or housekeeper of your property in the week before your stay to understand exactly what may be required from you to play your part.
Our owners, housekeepers, cleaning and maintenance staff are an integral part of the kate & tom’s experience. They are all highly responsible and have guest safety at the heart of all they do. Our aim is not to limit your experience but to provide the best stay we can while keeping you safe.
While each property is different we have laid out below the common safety points which will apply to all houses:
- Completion of a Risk Assessment for Covid-19.
- Safety consideration in place for the housekeeping team and PPE provided
- Enhanced cleaning processes and sanitising, working with laundry companies to ensure safe linen.
- Increased cleaning time allowed by an earlier check out and later check in time, also avoiding contact between cleaners and guests.
- The use of recommended anti-viral solutions replacing household items.
- Online guest packs in place of hard copies.
- Non-contact check in using key box and phone, or online instructions.
- Social distancing advice for emergency maintenance at the house.
- A process for guests reporting illness and departing.
Government regulations on COVID-19 change frequently. Before you travel, you need to ensure you have checked and understood the relevant regulations applicable to you, your location, your destination and the make-up of your party as it is your responsibility to comply.