In light of the latest Government advice, holiday property owners will be allowed to reopen their holiday properties in England as of the 4th of July.
Article accurate as of 24th June 2020
Throughout lockdown we have been keeping a close eye on the Government advice and doing our best to provide you, as property owners, up to date, useful advice and links to information to support you during this uncertain time. You can see our full collection of COVID-19 support articles here: https://help.scrumpy.co.uk/category/133-covid-
In our previous article we discussed ways in which you can prepare your holiday property for reopening. As of 23rd June, it was confirmed that holiday accommodation in England would be allowed to reopen as of 4th July. Please be aware that these dates differ for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. You can find more information and links to Government advice specific to your location here: https://www.ratedtrips.com/business/covid-update.
You can see the latest Prime Ministers statement here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/prime-ministers-statement-to-the-house-on-covid-19-23-june-2020
Conditions of Reopening
Although properties have been given the green light to reopen there is still a lot to consider. From 4th July, provided that no more than two households stay together, people will be free to stay overnight in self-contained accommodation. This will mostly affect those large properties but is important to be aware of when accepting bookings at your property. Within SCRUMPY you can define your own custom statements that guests must agree to before being able to book a property. It might be an idea to ask the guest to confirm that all guests are from no more than two households at the time of booking. Here is a link to our help article on Property Agreements.
If a guest comes to stay and has symptoms they are required to get tested and then self isolate at their home not yours. It might be worth leaving this information in the property or sending it to the guest via email so they are aware of what action should be taken if this was to occur. Here is a link to the advice on this published 5th June 2020: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-advice-for-accommodation-providers
In order to assist the NHS Track and Trace service we would advice you keep a record of all guests that have stayed in your property. You can do this within SCRUMPY by requiring guest information for your bookings. To do this within your admin got to: Properties > (select the property) > Edit > Configuration. This will mean that bookings made at the property will be missing guest information until the number of guests entered matches the number of adults, children and infants a guests has indicated.
We will be keeping a close eye on the latest advice specific to the reopening of holiday accommodation. The Visit Britain website is also great for providing frequent updates and links to relevant information on the gov.uk website : https://www.visitbritain.org/business-advice/get-ready-reopen
Please get in touch if you have any questions, would like any assistance making amendments to your website or if you have any other advice or ideas that you think other property owners may be interested in.
AA Covid Confident Award
Set up for the entire leisure and tourism industry, Rated Trips and The AA have created the "COVID-19 confident" award, which can be attained by self-catering properties as well as visitor attractions.
You can get a certificate and display the rating on your website by submitting a risk assessment, proving that you are following strict guidelines and have adequate training in place. It's also free, so a great way of reassuring guests that you're doing all you can to maintain standards: https://www.ratedtrips.com/aa-covid-confident
Please let us know if you would like assistance adding this to your website.
Safe, Clean & Legal™
Prior to the 2020 pandemic, Quality in Tourism created the "Safe, Clean & Legal" accreditation for accommodation providers. It covers a wide scope of business practices and you can apply if you cover their mandatory safety and legal requirements.
The scheme now covers COVID-19 and is another great way of demonstrating to your customers that you offer a safe holiday destination. Prices vary depending on the size of your business, starting from £125 (plus VAT).
With an end in sight for the imposed shutdown of the self catering industry we wanted to take a second to thank all our customers for their continued support & optimism throughout the lockdown.
We like many of the small businesses we work with are a tightly run ship with only a handful of staff. We couldn't furlough staff without having risked customers questions going unanswered or technical problems going unaddressed at an already challenging time for agencies and owners. With no support available and the suppliers we work with still needing to be paid we've been heavily reliant on the subscription fee's our customers pay to see us through, fee's that we're very aware are being paid by businesses that themselves aren't receiving any income, for this we're extremely grateful.
If there's anything we can do to help you get back up and running please let us know, once again thank you.