COVID-19 Update from The Suffolk Escape

Updated 3rd July 2020

A personal update from Andrew Bryce, owner of The Suffolk Escape, regarding the good news that we can reopen on 4th July.

 

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FAQs for Holidays 4th July 2020 Onwards

I have a booking with you for dates after 4th July, can I visit as planned?
Absolutely! We are open for business from 4th July 2020 as per the Government announcement. We are very much looking forward to welcoming all our guests here as planned and are delighted you will be able to enjoy a relaxing holiday in the log cabins or the Sheepyard Barn.

We are, of course, monitoring the situation closely and should there being any change in government advice that restricts guests from travelling to us, we will contact those impacted on a case by case basis.

If you have a booking in our Sheepyard Barn and are a mixed group from multiple households, please ensure you are compliant with the latest government guidelines and contact us if there are any adjustments to be made to your booking.

I have a booking for the Sheepyard Barn but we are a group of multiple households, can we still visit as planned?

The current government guidelines are that only two households (which can include a bubble) can holiday together in July. We cannot police this and therefore ask that you risk assess your group and decide for yourself if your group is appropriate.

I’ve booked one of your properties – will we be able to use the hot tub?

Yes, the private hot tubs for each log cabin and the hot tub at the barn will be available for you to use. All handles, buttons and areas around the hot tubs will be disinfected prior to your arrival.

I’ve booked the Sheepyard Barn – will we be able to use the indoor swimming pool?

Yes, the private indoor swimming pool at the barn will be available for you to use. All handles, buttons and areas around the pool will be disinfected prior to your arrival.

Are there any changes to arrival and departure times?

To comply with enhanced cleaning protocols as advised by the Government and leading bodies within the industry, our team do require more time between guests arriving and guests departing. Therefore, we kindly ask that guests arrive from 5pm and depart by 9:30am.

I’ve got a balance due to pay, should I go ahead and pay it?
If your booking is in July, August or September 2020 your balance payment is due two weeks prior to arrival rather than our standard balance payment terms. We amended this payment term to allow more flexibility while the country is eased out of lockdown. For bookings from October 2020 onwards, our standard balance payment terms of 8 weeks prior to arrival stand. If you are planning to go on your holiday as per the booking then the balance payment is required.

What is the situation if there is another lockdown?
If another lockdown is reintroduced, we would work with you to transfer your holiday to new dates wherever possible.

What steps are being taken in your log cabins and barn to reduce the risks of spreading COVID-19?

 The health and well-being of our guests and dedicated team is our main priority. As part of our standard operations we have strict cleaning procedures for the log cabins and Sheepyard Barn, however, as you would expect we have implemented additional cleaning protocols to ensure the properties are effectively disinfected and are using cleaning products that are approved to the appropriate certification against coronaviruses. We have also made some small, but important changes, that we believe will help ensure as safe an environment as we can offer.

These include:

  • Slightly later arrival times and slightly earlier departure times to ensure the team have the extra time required to carry out the necessary cleaning protocols.
  • Self check-in rather than us personally meeting you but we will be on site and on hand should you have any questions on arrival. We also have welcome videos set up with lots of information about the accommodation.
  • Our Guest Information Folder will now digitally available to guests prior to arrival rather than having the paper-based version in the accommodation.
  • Some non-essential or multiple items, or those that would be difficult to ensure their sanitisation, have been removed from the properties such as books, DVDs, games, etc.
  • Supplying hand sanitisers, a certified cleaning product and new pump hand soaps at the kitchen sinks for guests to use if they wish.
  • A change in departure whereby we won’t come to your accommodation to say goodbye but will be in touch to ensure you enjoyed your holiday.

We will be encouraging our guests to follow the advice of the Government and the NHS to play their part in reducing the risk of spreading the virus by washing their hands regularly, maintaining social distancing when on the farm and in the local area, maintain good hygiene practices such as using tissues when coughing or sneezing, or your sleeve if you have no tissues, and disposing of tissues in the bin.

We are in a remote countryside location which makes it easier to maintain social distancing. We have some lovely walks from the door or you can soak up the views and watch the new lambs in the meadows. In particular, our log cabins allow you to keep yourselves to yourselves in an isolated environment yet still get away and enjoy a peaceful break.

Here is some guest feedback from a family staying in our Sheepyard Barn for one week at the end of July 2020:

“I just wanted to say on behalf of my family and myself a very big thank you for everything you did to enable us to stay with you. We thought the high standards of the Barn were not compromised with the things you had to implement to keep us and yourselves safe during this very difficult time. 
The information sent to us prior to our stay was very comprehensive and clear and the videos were amazing, especially useful for our pizza oven experience! I cannot thank you enough for providing the perfect setting to celebrate my birthday and we all had a brilliant time. I will certainly recommend the Suffolk escape to others and look forward to joining you again in the future for another break.”

 

Can I amend my holiday or change my dates?
As we are open for business from 4th July, our standard terms and conditions apply to all bookings. If travel restrictions are increased again due to the spread of COVID-19 then we will be in touch to discuss your situation on a case by case basis.

Will I receive a refund if I want to cancel my holiday?
As we are open for business from 4th July, our standard terms and conditions apply to all bookings.

What happens if I want to cancel my booking because I am worried about becoming infected with COVID-19?
We understand you or your family/friends within your group may be worried. As we are open for business from 4th July, and there are no government travel restrictions in place, our normal terms and conditions apply. This means if you choose to cancel, a refund will not be offered. Please do bear in mind that balance payments are not due until 8 weeks prior to arrival (for all bookings in July, August and September this has been reduced to 2 weeks prior to arrival) so we recommend you wait and see what the situation is at that point in time rather than cancelling your holiday now. Things are changing on a daily basis so it’s hard to predict what will happen and we’d hate for you to miss out on your holiday.

To hopefully help ease your concerns a little, we have new cleaning protocols in place that are aligned with leading bodies within the industry and the Government. We are also using products that are approved to the appropriate standard against coronaviruses. If you have any specific concerns, please do contact us so we can help alleviate any worries.

What happens if I need to cancel my holiday because I become infected with COVID-19?
Please contact us to discuss and we will work together to see how we can help.

What happens if I am not infected with COVID-19 but have to cancel my holiday because I have to self-isolate or I’ve been advised not to travel by a medical practitioner?
Please contact us to discuss and we will work together to see how we can help.

What should I do if I or one of my group feels unwell during my stay?
If you or anyone in your accommodation develops symptoms of COVID-19, please contact us to advise us of the situation.

If you/your guest has acute symptoms such as breathing difficulties or life is at potential risk, please seek medical help urgently.

If you show any signs of having the virus then you must immediately go and get tested by contacting https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-an-antigen-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/.

If your test is positive, the current guidance from the government is that you will need to return home to self-isolate unless you or any other members in your group cannot drive you home.

If anyone in your group shows signs of covid-19 then we will need you to provide, names, telephone numbers and email addresses of everyone in the party, so that we can pass this onto the NHS if it is required. This information will not be used for any other purpose.

What if I need to self-isolate whilst I am on holiday with you?
If you show any signs of having the virus then you must immediately go and get tested by contacting https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-an-antigen-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/.
If your test is positive, the current guidance from the government is that you will need to return home to self-isolate unless you or any other members in your group cannot drive you home.

What happens if someone has to self-isolate in the property that I have got booked after them?

In the unlikely event that a guest becomes infected with COVID-19 and can’t return home to self-isolate, we may have a situation where your accommodation becomes unavailable for your booking as planned. If this occurs, we will contact you as soon as possible to advise you of the situation. If we are not able to offer you alternative accommodation, we will offer to move your booking to a later date or offer a full refund. We understand this would be an extremely disappointing situation for everyone involved but the management of the circumstances would be beyond our control and we would want to do everything we can to ensure the safety of all involved.

If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and we’ll do our very best to help.

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Updated 25th June 2020

We are delighted to confirm we will be reopening on 4th July as per the Government announcement this week and the easing of restrictions.

We are currently working on our final protocols to ensure the safety of guests and our staff and will be sharing more information once we have worked through the most up to date guidelines.

We will also be uploading a revised set of FAQs in relation to staying with us in the current climate but will always be more than happy to answer any additional questions you may have.

We continue to accept bookings but please note July and August are fully booked in our log cabins and the Sheepyard Barn. You can check out availability on our live availability calendar to hopefully find some dates that will work for you.

Thank you for supporting us. We very much look forward being able to welcome you here soon.

Kind regards

Andrew, Sarah, Jess and the team.

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Updated 5th June 2020

We continue to monitor government guidance and wait for the next update for our industry which we understand will be at the beginning of July.

For now, we have blocked out any available dates for July 2020 until we know more from the Government but should you wish to be kept informed on any changes to July availability, please email us at escape@suffolkescape.co.uk and we’ll be happy to let you know as soon as we know more from the Government.

We are accepting bookings for August 2020 and onwards and have amended our balance payment terms while covid-19 is still a factor. Until the end of September 2020, all balance payments on new bookings will be due two weeks prior to arrival rather than the normal terms of eight weeks prior to arrival. For example, if your arrival date is Friday 4th September 2020, the balance will be due Friday 21st August (rather than 10th July). For those who already have a booking with us and we have not yet contacted you about the delay in your balance payment, please be assured we will be in touch nearer the time your balance is due, please do not worry. We will be continually reviewing this amendment in line with the impact of covid-19.

If you are making a booking now and are concerned that your holiday may be affected by covid-19, please be assured that we will work with you to move your holiday to new dates if lockdown restrictions are still in place for your holiday dates. The deposit is normally non-refundable but we will transfer this to your new booking should the lockdown restrictions still be in place when you are due to stay with us.

We are being as transparent and fair as possible to all and continue to listen to our guests so please do contact us if you have any queries or concerns.

Before the lockdown came into force, we had new protocols around standards of cleanliness and social distancing in place but we will be reviewing these again and will update you as we know more.

As always, we hope you and your families are safe and well, and look forward to hopefully welcoming guests here soon.

Thank you for your support and patience.

Kind regards

Andrew, Sarah, Jess and the team.

 

 

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Updated 3rd May 2020

Due to the ever-changing nature of this pandemic and the country’s response to it, we are working on a ‘lockdown period’ basis and personally call each guest who has a booking that is impacted by the Governments instructions.

To date, we have worked closely with all those guests the travel restrictions  have affected and will continue to support our guests to the best of our abilities.

For those with bookings further in the future or who have a balance due in the near future and we have not yet contacted you, please be assured we will be in touch. With the next government review due to take place on 7th May, we will all be in a better position to discuss the next steps.

As always, we are here and available to chat by phone or email if you have any questions or concerns and will continue to offer support. Through these uncertain and unsettling times, we strive to make your experience with us as smooth and stress-free as it can be. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Most importantly, we hope you and your families are safe and well.

Thank you for your continued support.

Andrew, Sarah, Jess and the team

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Updated 30.03.20

A personal letter from us – please take a moment to hear our thoughts on the current situation.

Thank you for taking the time to read it.

Andrew, Sarah, Jess and the team

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Updated 23.03.20

It is with great sadness, but the right decision, that the Prime Minister yesterday and the Health Secretary this morning have advised people to avoid non-essential travel, which includes travelling to a UK holiday property. Clearly this has an impact on our business as our guests are now restricted from travelling to our properties.

We are contacting everyone with a booking with us in the coming weeks to ensure you’re aware of the situation and to advise you to contact your travel insurer. We’re very sad that we aren’t able to welcome you here as planned because the Government has put these restrictions on your travel. Please bear with us while we make contact with everyone to advise you of the situation. We promise we will contact you. Andrew is calling each guest one by one to inform and help as he can.

Please see the COVID-19 essential travel guidance from the Government – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/covid-19-essential-travel-guidance

We really appreciate your patience and support. Please stay safe.

Andrew, Sarah, Jess and the team

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Updated 20.03.20

As a small, family run business, the health and well-being of our dedicated team, families and guests is, and will continue to be, our main priority. Through the uncertainty we all find ourselves in, we hope to offer a peaceful retreat for those booked to stay with us, and for those who have some queries, we are on hand to help you navigate your way through this.

Please be assured we are open for business and are following the UK government guidelines closely, adapting our response as and when they change. We will do our best to alleviate concerns and have put some frequently asked questions below together to help you which we will continuously review and update as necessary.

The majority of our guests are still travelling as planned and we hope you feel confident in the new measures we have already put in place to ensure the welfare of our guests and team.

We appreciate your patience at this time and thank you for your support. We wish you all well, to stay safe and look forward to hopefully welcoming you here when we’re on the other side of all of this.

Andrew, Sarah, Jess and the team

 

Frequently Asked Questions

I have a booking with you, can I still go?
Absolutely! We are fully open for business as normal and all our guests are here as planned and enjoying a peaceful holiday away from everything going on elsewhere, hopefully finding a moment of calm in these difficult times.

We are taking advice from several trade bodies and keeping up to date with UK government information as it is issued.  Currently there are no warnings issued by the UK government against travel within the UK, therefore, if you have booked to stay in one of our properties and wish to go ahead with your holiday, then all of our properties are still very much open, available and we look forward to welcoming you here.

We are, of course, monitoring the situation closely and the Government advice is constantly being updated and can be checked online by visiting the Government website and NHS online. Guests, familiar faces returning and those who experience our cabins and barn for the first time, always comment on how wonderfully remote each of the properties are so maintaining good social distancing, as per current government advice, is very easy.

Should anything change, we will contact guests on a case by case basis.

Can I amend my holiday or change my dates?
As we are currently open for business, and plan to remain so unless told otherwise as we know how much guests are enjoying being able to escape and switch off, our standard terms and conditions apply.  However, should you wish to change your dates, we would try to help as much as we could in terms of rebooking your property for your existing dates before being able to consider transferring any money paid towards new dates, less any costs incurred.

Will I receive a refund if I want to cancel my holiday?
Currently the UK government hasn’t imposed any travel restrictions within the UK, as such, we are not offering amendments or refunds to bookings if you decide you would like to cancel your booking. We hope you’ll still wish to visit and enjoy a peaceful break but if you are considering cancelling, please speak to your travel insurance provider to understand how you might qualify under the terms of your policy.

Should you still choose to cancel your booking, we will endeavour to rebook your holiday booking. If we are successful in rebooking the property on your behalf, we will refund you the rest of the monies less any costs and discounts we had to offer to the new guests to fill the dates. As always, cancellations must be made in writing to us.

What happens if I want to cancel because I am worried about catching COVID-19?
We understand you or your family/friends within your group may be worried. Currently, there are no government travel restrictions in place, therefore, our normal terms and conditions apply. This means if you choose to cancel, a refund will not be offered.  Please do bear in mind that balance payments are not due until 8 weeks prior to arrival so we recommend you wait and see what the situation is at that point in time rather than cancelling your holiday now. Things are changing on a daily basis so its hard to predict what will happen and we’d hate for you to miss out on your holiday.

What happens if I need to cancel my holiday because I catch COVID-19?
We advise that you check with your travel insurance provider as to whether you are covered.  Unfortunately, we do not offer refunds in this case but we would do our best to help as much as we could in terms of rebooking your dates and offering a change of dates on a case by case basis.

What happens if I do not catch COVID-19 but have to cancel my holiday because I have to self-isolate or I’ve been advised not to travel by a medical practitioner?
We ask that you check with your travel insurance provider as to whether you are covered.  Unfortunately, we do not offer refunds in this case but we would try to help as much as we could in terms of rebooking your dates and offering a change of dates on a case by case basis.

What should I do if I or one of my party feels unwell during my stay?
In the first instance you should follow the Government advice  here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19. If the symptoms are COVID-1 related please also, at the earliest opportunity before leaving the property, contact our team on 01473 652149 as we need to notify others that may become at risk.  The same applies should you show symptoms of COVID-19 after your holiday with us.

What if I need to self-isolate whilst I am on holiday?
As this is an ever-changing situation, we recommend that you review the up to date guidance from the Department for Health & Social Care. If you are advised to stay in your holiday property, please contact our team on 01473 652149 ASAP.

What will happen if my property becomes unavailable due to COVID-19?
At the moment, there is no reason to believe any properties will become unavailable. We appreciate how important a relaxing break is for guests, more so than ever at the moment, so we will continue to do our utmost to ensure our properties are ready and available to those who wish to get away. We will keep you updated with any changes concerning your booking if necessary.

What is the situation if there is a lockdown?
Where a government prohibits or restricts travel, we understand this is not typically covered by an insurance policy, however you would need to seek clarification from your insurance provider that you purchased your policy from.

If the government prohibits or restricts travel and you feel you may lose your holiday but you have no insurance cover, we would endeavour to help as much as we could in terms of accommodating your booking for different dates and sharing the burden of any losses as it is neither you or our fault that the holiday cannot go ahead. In this situation we would review the booking on a case by case basis.

I’ve got a balance due to pay, should I go ahead and pay it?
If you still wish to visit us and enjoy your holiday property, our standard terms and conditions apply but we understand you may have some concerns. We are giving guests in this situation an additional 7 days grace period to make the final payment.  After the additional 7 days, if the balance isn’t paid, we will take this as notice to cancel.

This will then give us 7 weeks to try and rebook the property. Should we successfully rebook the property for the full amount, we will give you the opportunity to carry your deposit over to a new booking.

What steps are being taken in your holiday properties to reduce the risks of spreading COVID-19?
The health and well-being of our guests and dedicated team is our main priority. As part of our standard operations we have strict cleaning procedures for the holiday properties but we have, of course, implemented extra deep cleaning procedures. Each property is sanitised between guests, paying particular attention to hard surfaces and high traffic areas such as light switches, TV remotes, kettles and toasters, door handles, keys, etc.

We are asking guests to depart slightly earlier to give our team the extra time required to carry out the necessary additional disinfection protocols.  We have reviewed the NHS guidelines on how to prevent the spread of germs https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/how-to-prevent-germs-from-spreading/ and created these protocols. We will continue to take advice and adapt our procedures as required.

The water in our swimming pool and hot tubs are chlorinated and are sufficiently treated with bromine, however, there is no evidence that the virus is water borne.

We do encourage both our guests and team members to follow the advice of HM Government and NHS England in particular:

– Wash your hands regularly for at least 30 seconds using soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser if soap and water is not available.

– The NHS has provided advice on how to wash your hands properly at https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands.

– Maintain good hygiene practices such as using tissues when coughing or sneezing, or your sleeve if you have no tissues, and disposing of tissues in the bin.

– Maintain social distancing (to help with this we are operating a self-check in system. There are also Welcome Videos loaded on the TVs within the properties to clearly explain to guests how to use the properties features and facilities).

– We have removed our welcome folders and are sending this content out digitally.

We are in a countryside location which makes it easier to maintain social distancing. We have some lovely walks from the door or you can soak up the views and watch the new lambs in the meadows. In particular, our Log Cabins allow you to keep yourselves to yourselves in an isolated environment yet still get away and enjoy a peaceful break.

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