Coronavirus Advice and Rule of 6 Information
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice
Covid-19 Update 16th October 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic imposes considerable difficulties on our customers, on our owners and on ourselves as a business, requiring us at Viney Holiday Properties Ltd to constantly monitor the government's rapidly evolving guidelines and legislation and act accordingly. For the latest information, please see the following trusted websites, which will contain the most current information.
Our concern is always to ensure that we are properly acting within the law and that our properties are safe to operate. On that basis, we are fully compliant with government and industry guidelines designed to ensure the health and well being of both staff and guests. Very strict cleaning routines have been implemented at each and every one of our properties, and before opening to guests all property owners are required to complete a Visit England Accredited Online Certificate. To see the latest guidelines, see Visit England or PASC UK Self-catering COVID-19 Cleaning Guidelines.
We consider that through the effective implementation of these measures, we have underscored the fact that self-catering accommodation is a low risk service provider, both generally and within the hospitality sector.
In terms of new law, the recent renewal of lockdown restrictions by the government does not include the mandatory closure of holiday lets, as it did from March to July. We therefore remain open for business, subject to all of the above-mentioned health and safety guidelines. As there is no obvious ‘frustration’ of contract, which was the case when holiday lets were required to close, this means that we are not required to refund bookings. However, should any of our properties be subject to mandatory closure in the future, then a full refund would be given where requested for bookings made at that property.
For our customers, however, the government’s new 'Rule of Six’ evidently does generate significant difficulties, which requires us to deal with each booking on a case by case basis. Our response at Viney Holiday Properties Ltd to ensure that our customers’ needs are served as well as possible during these trying times is to do our utmost to find a suitable and reasonable solution whenever a customer decides they are unable to fulfil a booking.
For information, we have included a link to the CMA guidance to show that we are closely aligned with them on when full refunds are due, as well as the requirement to act fairly and reasonably with our customers on a case by case basis.
For information on Guidance on holidays in areas with local lockdown restrictions see below:
Can I still have a holiday?
On 12th October more changes were introduced by the government, with a 3 tier system put into place. Like a lot of people, you might be wondering what this means if you have a holiday lined up or are thinking of booking one, so we thought we'd produce our own little guide to help you.
Basically, different parts of the country are put into a Medium, High, or Very High category according to the level of transmission of coronavirus in that area. The basic rules re holidays/gatherings for each tier are as follows:
MEDIUM - Tier 1 - You can still go on holiday in England to or from a Tier 1 area but you must not socialise in groups of more than 6 indoors or outdoors (unless your family or support bubble total more than 6).
HIGH - Tier 2 - You can still go on holiday to and from Tier 2 regions in England, but you cannot socialise with another household indoors and cannot mix households in your accommodation. You must not socialise with people outside of your household or support bubble in any indoor setting. Outdoors numbers should not exceed 6, other than larger familes or support bubbles.
VERY HIGH - Tier 3 - Travel to or from a Tier 3 region should be avoided. Whilst there is no official travel ban at present, we do not recommend holidaying from or to a Tier 3 area.
WALES - You can still have a holiday in Wales, unless you are travelling from a Tier 2 or Tier 3 area in England, or into an area of Wales that is subject to local restrictions. People should not meet indoors in groups of more than six people (excluding children aged under 11 years) who are not members of their household (or support bubble)
For more about households and support bubbles see here.
It's really important that you check the very latest Government advice before you leave for your holiday as it's possible that things might change in all areas of England and Wales. We recommend these trusted websites:
Rule of 6 Explained
We’ve produced our guide Gatherings of 6 and Support Bubbles Explained to help straighten out any confusion around the latest restrictions introduced to help stop the spread of coronavirus. From Monday 14th September 2020 the law is that you cannot meet in groups of more than 6 indoors or outdoors. It’s supposed to be that simple, but of course, there are exceptions. We look to the official Gov.uk website for clarification and what they say is that as from 14th September any party of more than 6 people cannot have a holiday together unless they are from the same household or support bubble. In England that includes children of all ages, in Wales it doesn’t include children aged 11 years or younger.
Okay, so let’s look at that a bit closer:
From the same household
That’s straightforward - if you’re a family of more than 6 from one household, no problem, you can all go on holiday together just as you normally would. Bear in mind that in England that group of 6 includes the kids, in Wales it doesn’t.
Example – England: Two parents with 8 children (a total of 10 people) who all live in the same household can go on holiday together.
Example – Wales: Three families could holiday together if the entire party consisted of three couples with three or more children all younger than 11. (a total of 15+ people)
From the same support bubble
What does that mean exactly? Well, if you didn’t know already, a support bubble, as per gov.uk. is a support network between a household with only one adult in the home (known as a single-adult household) and one other household of any size. If you form a support bubble you can then think of it as one household, but here’s the thing – you shouldn’t really change who’s in your bubble.
That single adult thing, clarification please. Single people who live alone, obviously, or single parents with children who were under 18 years of age on 12 June 2020 count.
Example: A family of two parents and 4 children could form a support bubble with a single parent with 4 children, making a support bubble of 11.
What if you share custody of children? You can form a support bubble with another household other than the one that includes your child’s other parent. So, imagine this scenario – you’re a single adult with three children and your ex partner and you share custody of them. That’s fine, the children can still see both parents and spend time at their different households, and you (and your kids) can still form a support bubble with another family – so for example, you might buddy up with your sister’s family who could be two parents and four children. So, that’s 6 from their family and 4 from yours, 10 of you who can all go on holiday together.
What if you want to change your support bubble? The government advice is to avoid close contact with your existing bubble or other people for 14 days before forming your new bubble. Be aware that if someone in your bubble develops symptoms or tests positive you all have to follow the stay at home guidance
Now the other confusing thing is that Gov.uk say when meeting with groups of people you do not live with you can socialise in groups of up to 6. You should maintain social distancing with people you don’t live with. PASC’s (The Professional Association of Self Caterers) interpretation of this is that the group of 6 could come from as many as 6 different households but if they do, they should socially distance whilst on holiday.
Be aware that If you’re travelling from abroad certain rules and restrictions may apply so we advise that you check this before you book. We also advise that you take out travel insurance which covers you if your holiday is affected because you have to self isolate or if you test positive for coronavirus.
And very importantly, remember that the safety and well being of our guests is our priority, so our big group accommodation carries the Visit England Good To Go mark which means each property is subject to very strict hygiene procedures and is considered low risk. Please do your bit too.