We have been of course keeping an eye on the government advice in regards to when holiday accommodation providers are allowed to open again for business as usual.
The current advice states that The Government’s current planning assumption is that further adjustments to the latest measures will be no earlier than 4th July, based on the assessment of risks carried out closer to the time. This includes the reopening of hospitality including holiday accommodation. For more information please visit: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
You can see all of our previous COVID-19 help and advice articles here: https://help.scrumpy.co.uk/category/133-covid-
Although your holiday properties should remain closed there are a few exemptions, for example, if your accommodation is part of the response to support key workers or vulnerable groups. If this is the case you can use your Google My Business page to reflect your services or, for properties remaining closed you can also state this here too. For more information take a look at this Google support article on Accommodation affected by COVID-19. If you currently don't have a Google My Business page for your property you can find out more about setting one up here. Please let us know if you would like assistance with this.
Reopening Holiday Properties
We know you are all desperate to go back to normal so we have come up with some ideas to help you prepare for reopening your properties up to guests again:
- Up to date terms and conditions: I know we have covered this before but it is so important that your terms and conditions are up to date. We are unsure what the future holds so making sure your cancellation policies are clear is vital. You can also add any new rules you may have for keeping your guests safe in your property, advising if they are showing any symptoms that they do not come etc. Take a look at our help article for instructions on how to edit these.
- Paperless welcome books: reduce the number of things that guests will share between bookings. You can add your welcome books as a PDF or content page on your website and then send your guests links to them either within their check in details or using a custom email. If you would like assistance with doing this then please feel free to send us an email and we will do our best to assist.
- Leave spaces between bookings: Hygiene is more important than ever so you may require more time for cleaning the properties once guests have stayed. You could change your check in and check out times to reflect this or leave days between your bookings, reassuring guests that no one has been on the premises immediately before their arrival and allocating enough time to get the property ready for the next guest.
- Offer additional cleaning services: Not to discredit the usual high standard of cleaning that properties undergo between bookings but you could offer an optional extra to the guests of a deep clean in which you get a specialist to come in and disinfect the entire property. It could be a premium service in which guests can pay for and you could also guarantee that the property will be empty for a certain amount of time between it being cleaned and the start date of the booking.
- Provide hand cleaning facilities: You could add an antibacterial hand gel dispenser by the door as the guests enter the property and anywhere else throughout the property you see necessary. Make sure you have plenty of hand wash available to your guests too.
- Add some signs: Nothing too intrusive but just a few gentle reminders throughout the property to your guests to wash their hands. This also shows that you are taking things seriously and could help ease any worry they have about the previous guests staying before them.
- Risk Assessment: Consider carrying out a risk assessment. The Government are yet to release COVID secure guidelines for holiday accommodation but we will be sure to keep an eye out and keep you updated as soon as we know more.
- Consider a key safe: Are you meeting guests at the property to physically hand over keys? Maybe now is the time to get a key safe or a smart lock to reduce any unnecessary contact between you and your guests.
We hope you find this useful, if there are any other ways you are making your properties COVID secure we would love to hear about it so we can help give our owners as much help and advice as possible. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like any assistance with any of the above.
Article accurate as of 28th May 2020