Coronavirus Advice and Gatherings of 6 and Support Bubble Information
UPDATE 4TH JANUARY 2021
The prime minister has today announced a nationwide lockdown and so our properties are now closed until further notice.
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 please see 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 'Rule of Six’ introduced on 14th September 2020 evidently generates significant difficulties, which requires us to deal with each booking on a case by case basis. Our response at Sleep to ensure that our Viney Holiday Properties 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.
Gatherings of 6 and Support Bubbles 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. On Monday 14th September 2020 it became law that you cannot meet in groups of more than 6 indoors or outdoors in England. Since then we've had a Tier System where parts of the country were put into different tiers and subject to different restrictions according to the rates of infection; then we had a second lockdown which ended on 2nd December 2020. We emerged from that with a tougher Tier System in place, so there are still different restrictions depending on where you live and what Tier that area is in. For details of those restrictions please see here.
So. The big question: Can you go on holiday with Viney Holiday Properties? Well, our properties in England are all in Tier 2 where the rule is that you can meet with 6 people (including children) outside, but inside you must not meet with anyone you don't live with or who is not in your support bubble. Oh, and that's another thing, sometimes households and support bubbles number more than 6 people, so that's allowed - see below for more about support bubbles.
That means that if you live in a Tier 2 area you can have a Sleeps12 holiday with your family (the people you live with, ie. your household) or with your support bubble - technically, the people in your support bubble count as part of your household. If you live in a Tier 3 area you should avoid travelling outside of that area.
Let's take a closer look at what is meant by households and support bubbles:
From the same household
That’s straightforward - if you’re a family of up to 6 or more from one household, no problem, you can all go on holiday together just as you normally would.
Example: Two parents with 8 children (a total of 10 people) who all live in the same household can go on holiday together.
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. You'll find more on the official government website.
To add to the confusion, the regulations are different for Wales. People living in Wales can't travel to Tier 3 areas and vice versa, so if you live in a Tier 3 area in the UK a holiday in Wales is out of the question. If you live in a Tier 1 or 2 area or in Wales, and want a holiday in Wales you can only do so with the people you live with. For the latest see here.
If you’re travelling from abroad there are rules and restrictions that may apply depending on where you are coming from, 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 Go to Go mark which means each property is subject to very strict hygiene procedures and is considered low risk. Please do your bit too.