Stays during the COVID-19 epidemic
Keeping Safe; Keeping Others Safe; Booking
[This article was archived at the end of March and replaced by a new article which will be updated as events unfold: https://thehyningestate.com/news/COVID-Booking]
Update 27th March 2020:
- We have finally found clarification in the Government's guidance ("COVID-19 advice for accommodation providers" which was published in support of the Prime Minister's announcement of 23rd March) that "businesses providing holiday accommodation (including hotels, hostels, B&Bs, campsites, caravan parks, boarding houses and short term lets) should now take steps to close for commercial use as quickly as is safely possible". "Short term lets" clearly ecompasses self-catering accommodation and therefore The Hyning Estate.
Update 24th March 2020:
- Last night the Prime Minister issued new instructions:
- Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes:
- To shop for essentials, as infrequently as possible
- To exercise outdoors once per day, alone or with household members
- To receive medical treatment or provide care
- Travel to and from work, if impossible to work from home.
- Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
- Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public
- As well as closing pubs, cafes, restaurants, gyms and museums, the requirement makes it explicit that this includes: “hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses for commercial/leisure use (excluding permanent residents and key workers)”. Self-catering properties weren't specifically included so technically they remain open but empty (which may make it difficult for owners to access some of the assistance promised) but from a visitor perspective it's very clear that whilst the Prime Minister's "Stay at Home" order is in place no-one is permitted to travel anywhere in the UK except for the purposes listed above which preclude taking a holiday.
- The lockdown is accompanied by new powers that equip the Police to enforce it.
Update 22nd March 2020:
- We are no longer accepting online bookings for stays starting within the next 90 days but we are still open and should you wish to book then we suggest that you call us on 01539 824900 when we will be able to discuss your potential booking in the light of the latest guidance.
- It is clear that Social Distancing measures will be needed until we either have herd immunity or sufficient numbers of us have been vaccinated, we will therefore only be accepting bookings from individual family units in the short term and we are not accepting bookings in our "linked properties" until 1st April 2021 or until the situation changes.
- The Government has not asked self-catering businesses to close but Cumbria Police have issued a request for tourists “not to travel to the Lakes or other Cumbrian holiday destinations” and Cumbrian Tourism have said that "Cumbria and the Lake District remains a World Class tourism destination but many may decide to postpone their visit to a time when the amazing range of things to do and enjoy returns to the full range. In the face of the major current crisis this seem a wise decision".
Nothing can ever be guaranteed and the best way of keeping each other safe is to assume that the virus is all around (and to act accordingly) although we have seen no direct evidence of the virus yet and haven’t knowingly come in contact with it.
Guests may have concerns and questions when booking or just ahead of arrival and we would like to reassure you that we are doing everything that we can:
- What we’ve always done:
- All bathroom surfaces are spotlessly clean (using anti-bacterial cleaning products).
- Ditto Kitchens and dining tables (but with food-safe anti-bacterial cleaning products).
- We wipe down surfaces using disposable paper towels when cleaning rather than cloths.
- All hard floors are steam cleaned. The steam cleaning pads are always changed between properties and between bathrooms and kitchens within the same property.
- If the previous guests have hand-washed plates or utensils then we re-wash them in a dishwasher.
- Extra precautions during the COVID-19 outbreak:
- Minute attention to detail in respect of personal hygiene (significantly reducing the chances of cross-contamination).
- Three empty-days are being kept clear between new bookings in each property for the period March through July 2020 for the added protection of staff & guests. [Depending on the surface we're told that outside a host the virus can only survive between 5 hours and 2 days in extreme circumstances. UK Government guidance is 72 hours (3 days) - hence our 3-day "firewalls"].
- All other hard surfaces (bedside drawers, banisters, door handles, keys, leather sofas etc.) are also cleaned with anti-bacterial products (where previously they may have been cleaned with a spray polish).
- All plates and cutlery are now being rewashed in a dishwasher come what may.
- As a temporary measure we will not provide any "Welcome" food or drink items or put anything in the fridge (so no milk, bread, cheese etc.) to reduce the chances of contamination.
- For multi-week stays we will provide fresh towels and bed linen at the end of each completed week but we will not come into the properties to make beds during your stay - please place used linen in the laundry basket provided.
- We are managing our availability in order to ensure that we have the time required to fully implement our additional procedures. [To help us implement our intensive cleaning regime and "social distancing" we ask that you strictly observe the published "arrival after" and "departure before" times and ensure that any grocery deliveries are booked at least one hour after the published arrival time (or that you choose "click & collect")].
- Notes for keeping yourself & others safe (after the "Stay at Home" order has been lifted):
- Choose to limit travel to your own car and avoid public transport (which will also facilitate a “safe” and swift return home should one of your party develop symptoms whilst away).
- All the supermarkets in Kendal offer “Pay at Pump” (but ensure that you use gloves).
- There is no need to go to the Supermarket – Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury's will all deliver to The Hyning Estate. You may prefer to "Click & Collect" if you can't obtain a suitable delivery slot.
- Each property is self-contained.
- Each property has its own MVHR system (Mechanical Ventilation & Heat Recovery) which means that the air in the property is being continually replaced with warm fresh air. Air is never recirculated and the input and output filters are independent so there can be no cross-contamination.
- With two large National Parks, Hadrian’s Wall and the Arnside and Silverdale ANOB to explore, you should be able to keep a safe distance from other people whilst enjoying the Natural Beauty of the countryside but please enforce the 2 metre rule, avoiding towns and note that cafes, restaurants, gyms and many attractions in the Lake District have announced that they have closed for the foreseeable future.
- You must act responsibly to minimise passing on the virus to others, particularly if you have been in contact with someone who has since diagnosed with the virus or if you’ve travelled back from an area of high infection in which case the Government is telling you to stay at home. Please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance
Should you be concerned that you have been exposed to someone with the virus or worried that you may have developed symptoms then please let us know before leaving home and in any event as soon as possible.
The Government has asked that we adopt “social distancing” to stay safe and keep others safe. We look forward to welcoming everyone personally again at some point in the future but in the short term Reception will be closed (so no Printer, DVDs, Books, Maps etc) and we will leave your keys in the property along with a Welcome letter and our comprehensive Welcome Guide. Be reassured that we will also be on-hand to answer questions or to address any issues you may have. To simplify matters we’re not asking couples for the normal pre-authorisation but ask families and groups to call us in advance so that we can process the pre-authorisation for you over the telephone (ortherwise we will not release the keys).
- Up to the date that the original balance payment is due Guests are able to cancel their booking and then transfer their payments to a new booking subject to a £50 administration fee as described in our standard Terms and Conditions (but they can only do this once).
- Guests will be aware that it is their responsibility to have arranged suitable holiday cancellation insurance (a requirement that is further highlighted on every booking summary & invoice) so if cancelling after the original "balance due date", or if looking to recover a deposit then please speak to your insurers. Please point out that our Terms and Conditions state that compensation payments will not apply where we cannot fulfil our obligations to our customer due to circumstances beyond our control (including epidemics and heath risks).
We hope all of our actions will help to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to keep us all safe but please do let us know if you have any particular concerns.
Last updated 27th March 2020