OCEAN COTTAGES COVID-19 INFORMATION AND POLICIES

 

With times still so uncertain and the rules changing almost daily, we understand the disruption this can cause to holiday plans and the worry that goes with it.  This document will help to explain our policies and additional measures we are taking during the pandemic and we hope this will help to put your mind at rest so you can start to look forward to a well deserved break in beautiful North Devon!

If you are looking to make a future booking and have questions regarding the refund policy for lock down/rule changes, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions and Terms & Conditions, prior to confirming your booking.  

Please note - our self-catered holiday homes are privately owned and therefore not subject to VAT. The VAT reduction only applies to hotels, B&B's, campsites and caravan sites.

During periods of lock down we will not be allowing any guests or property owners to stay in any of our properties as it is against the rules to stay away from home overnight, unless for the purposes of work.

BOOKINGS FOR DECEMBER - MARCH
We are currently making the assumption that we will return to the tier system and rule of 6 once the current lock down is lifted.  Once the announcement is made and the rules confirmed, we will be in touch with any bookings for this period to confirm details.  If your booking is affected by any rule changes, we will work with you to adjust your booking in order to comply by reducing guest numbers, if that works for you.  Rest assured, if the lock down is extended or the new rules mean that your booking can no longer go ahead, you will be entitled to a full refund of the accommodation cost, only the booking fee is retained.

Please take the time to read through this document carefully prior to your arrival as it contains important information regarding the property and new procedures in place.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT SUPERCEDES ANY RELEVANT INFORMATION PROVIDED WITHIN THE PROPERTY INFORMATION PACK SENT 2 WEEKS PRIOR TO YOUR ARRIVAL (as these were prepared prior to the pandemic) 

 

Check In/Out Times

In order to provide our housekeepers with enough time to carry out a deep clean and sanitation between bookings, we have needed to adjust the check in/out times slightly to allow for the additional time this will take them.  Please do not arrive at the property or arrange for shopping deliveries before 6pm on your arrival day and please ensure you leave by 9am on your departure day.  We thank you for your understanding in this matter.

 

The Property & Cleaning

You may notice there are a number of non-essential items that you perhaps would have expected/wanted to see within the property. As we are sure you can understand during this unprecedented time that the nation faces, we have had to make some difficult decisions to limit the touch points and play our part in protecting yourselves, our housekeepers, and the local community in preventing the spread of Covid-19.  

We have therefore provided a limited inventory of crockery, cutlery and glassware etc,  (enough for the occupancy of the house) as every item will need to be run through the dishwasher on each changeover.  This is to facilitate limiting the touch points and for you to be confident of the cleanliness of the items you are using.  There will be an initial supply of dishwasher tablets but as there is a reduced inventory you may require a few extra loads in the dishwasher every day.  We will be providing the basic cooking utensils & equipment including saucepans, frying pans, baking trays, spatulas etc but 'Jamie Oliver' might want to bring his own specialist culinary equipment if there is anything specific you require!  

If you have requested use of the travel cot and/or highchair - please note that we are unable to supply travel cots during this time as they cannot be washed properly due to the materials they are made from.  Please bring your own.  The highchairs will have been washed down with soap and water (first line of defence) and If you wish, you are welcome to use your own cleaning products when you arrive.  Alternatively, you may feel more comfortable to bring your own.  Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to provide a refund on any extras added to the booking.

Some properties have needed to store their additional items in sheds/garages/lockable cupboards which may have previously been available to guests to use for storage of bikes/boards.  Please do not assume that these storage areas will still be available to you and therefore bring bike locks/covers with you if required.

Remembering that the property is self-catered, whether ordering from an online supermarket or bringing your own supplies, don't forget to include a multipurpose cleaner, similar to one you might have been using at home to protect yourselves and your family. BLEACH MUST NOT BE USED  as it can cause damage to certain surfaces. We are unable to leave these items due to health and safety regulations.   Local shops & supermarkets are preparing for the increased visitor numbers, however stock levels of certain items cannot be guaranteed so we strongly suggest you pre-order your shopping online for delivery or bring certain items with you which may be in high demand.  For clarity, there will be no food items remaining at the property, ie tea & coffee etc.  If you have holidayed with us previously, you may have received on your arrival, a welcome pack of milk/tea/coffee etc from the owners, but in these times the decision has been taken not to provide this, as It is not possible to ensure that these items are properly sanitised and we want to ensure your safety.  Any items left behind from previous guests such as salt, pepper, cling film etc will be disposed of prior to your arrival.

For your convenience, you will find a small fully wrapped bar of soap in each bathroom/cloakroom for when you arrive but please bring additional soap/hand sanitiser for the remainder of your stay.  As we all know, washing hands is the first defence. You won't find hand sanitiser, gloves or masks at the property. 

You will find linen bags left at the property for you to place all linen etc from your stay prior to departure. Please ensure that you strip all bed linen and mattress/pillow protectors and all towels, bath mats and tea towels are placed within these linen bags prior to your departure. Please separate the items into bed linen 1 - 2 bags, pillow/mattress protectors 1 - 2 bags and towels/bath mats/tea towels 1 - 2 bags and ensure that are zipped or firmly closed.  Where possible, please leave these bags in the hallway/near the front door.  This is to ensure the safety of our housekeeping teams and we very much appreciate your assistance with this very important aspect of your departure.  As this is such an important measure to protect our housekeeping teams, if you do not follow these steps, unfortunately, there will be a charge (depending on the size of the property between £65 - £100) applied to you, as additional time and PPE will be required.

Our Housekeeping teams are taking additional measures to ensure the property is fully cleaned and sanitised in readiness for your arrival.  Whilst we cannot guarantee that the property will be completely COVID-19 free, please be assured that every possible measure has been taken to protect you and our teams are complying fully with guidelines provided by PASC UK (Professional Association of Self-Caterers) & the Government.  It is ultimately your responsibility as a guest (and your family/group) to ensure that you remain alert, wash your hands regularly and adhere to all social distancing rules and guidelines throughout your stay to protect yourselves and the local community.

 

Lost Property & Deliveries

Any items left behind at the property will be immediately disposed of by the housekeeping team and cannot be returned to you, please ensure you check the property thoroughly before departing.

Please do not have any post, cards or deliveries sent to the property as many have postal diverts in place or inaccessible postboxes. We will not be held responsible for any lost/missing deliveries.

 

Local Facilities & Community

The South West has, thankfully, remained the lowest affected area in the UK and we would like to keep it that way in order to avoid another lock down whether national or regional!  This will require all visitors to stay alert and act responsibly throughout the stay, both within the property and outside in the local communities.

Prior to your arrival, where possible, we would ask you to consider self-isolating for 7 days to avoid the virus being carried into North Devon.  We are expecting tens of thousands of visitors to arrive each week in July/August/September so please bear in mind that shops and supermarkets will be very busy and we would suggest that you arrange for your shopping to be delivered or brought with you rather than relying on a visit to our local stores where stock levels may be low.  If you are arranging a delivery, the full address of the property is provided on your final balance received email and the access details email which is sent out 2 weeks prior to your arrival.  Please ensure you choose a time slot after 6pm on your arrival day in order that the Housekeeping teams will not be interrupted.  Tesco's, Sainsbury's, Asda and Waitrose all deliver to Saunton/Croyde/Woolacombe. 

Many local pubs and restaurants will be operating in a very different way to your previous experiences.  There are many takeaway services available and some establishments may be able to offer tables inside or in beer gardens etc. Please check their websites/social media channels for information regarding pre-ordering/booking and opening times.

There are also many local attractions re-opening in accordance with guidelines and with new safety procedures in place to help protect you, other visitors and the staff.  Please check the opening times and booking procedures in advance of your arrival.

The beach will obviously be the main attraction for your visit and we hope that you are able to enjoy many sunny days there!  Please ensure you abide by the 2m social distancing rules at all times, only enter the water when it is safe and in the flagged areas where lifeguard patrols are in place and take your rubbish home with you!  Remember also that the seagulls are hungry and will steal your picnic if it is left unattended!

 

IF YOU BECOME UNWELL DURING YOUR STAY/PRIOR TO ARRIVAL

You must inform us immediately if you, or anyone staying at the property develops symptoms of COVID-19 (new persistent cough, high temperature, change or loss to usual taste and smell) and you must all return home immediately to self-isolate in line with the NHS guidelines available here  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/  

If you or any member of your party is unable to travel due to illness or being instructed to self-isolate by track and trace, or you have to cut short your holiday due to developing symptoms, you will not be entitled to any refund.  There are insurance companies that are able to provide cover for these circumstances and we strongly recommend that you arrange this cover for your trip.  You must not travel if you have symptoms or have been instructed to self-isolate.

SUMMARY

  • Take out adequate insurance cover for COVID-19
  • Stay alert at all times, wash your hands regularly and act responsibly/adhere to social distancing measures at all times
  • Bring cleaning/anti-viral supplies with you
  • Pre-book shopping and activities/takeaways
  • Strip all beds and place all laundry including towels and bath mats into the linen bags provided prior to departure (charges apply if not completed)
  • Return home immediately if anyone staying at the property develops symptoms of coronavirus