Opening Holiday Homes Safely After Lockdown
Published 13th July 2020
We can’t wait to welcome guests back to our historic holiday apartments – and it’s a top priority for us at Fife Historic Buildings Trust to do this safely, as we come out of the COVID-19 lockdown. We have taken our time to research, read and understand how to do this in the best way. We want to be as honest and transparent about all of the changes we have made, to ensure guests and the local community feel as comfortable as possible, as we open back up. We welcome all questions about how we are approaching this and we hope the below can offer some guidance. To check availability and book our holiday homes click here
Contact-free booking and check-in/check-out
- Bookings can only be made in advance in the following ways: directly on our website, through email or using one of the online travel agents we are displayed on including, Embrace Scotland, AirBnB, HomeAway, TripAdvisor and Booking.Com
- Before guests arrival, they will be provided with details to access the keys from a lock box and how to access the property, including other important information. Check in is from 4pm on the day of arrival.
- On check-out, guests are to leave by 10am, and to follow the instructions provided for locking up.
- Bookings must be made at least 2 days in advance of the stay, to ensure that the property is cleaned and ready.
Cleaning procedures- housekeeping
- We are working with our housekeeping team to keep them safe during each changeover and to ensure they understand the new procedures in place
- Staff have completed training on the new cleaning procedures based on the official guidance, set out by ASSC and supported by the Scottish Government for holiday homes
- Staff are provided with appropriate PPE to wear during cleaning
- We have adopted a Green, Amber, Red clean method. Green; means the holiday homes have been empty for 4+ days, Amber; apartment has been recently vacated – less than 4 days and Red; someone has departed with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 Symptoms. All high touch surfaces (handles, switches etc) will be cleaned and sanitised regardless of the level of clean but additional measures will be taken at each phase to ensure the holiday homes are cleaned and sanitised. This is on top of the standard clean the holiday homes would receive.
- Dishes, crockery and glasses will be put through the dishwasher during changeover for Amber and Red cleans, additional kitchen items will be checked as normal for cleanliness, and it is up to the individual guest if they would like to clean these again before use.
- New and additional cleaning equipment and materials, including cleaning products that are certified to kill coronavirus (BS EN1276 / 5-log reduction) are being used.
- Providing signed checklists for guests to see what has been done in the apartment during clean
- Linen is washed at 60 degrees
- We have acquired the industry standard mark “We’re Good To Go” – meaning that we are following government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, we have a risk assessment in place and processes to maintain cleanliness and social distancing. Certificate and risk assessments are available under the heading documentation, below.
- We have stopped same-day changeovers for the foreseeable future, we now have a 30 hour gap (minimum) between guest stays
- We have removed some extra items from the apartments that are unable to be cleaned/sanitised regularly, due to the type/material of the item and also due to time restraints. We will have a list of what we have removed and guests will have the opportunity to let us know if they would like it to be put back in the property for their stay. If this is possible we will do this.
- We have created a signage board – whilst not in keeping with the historical aspects of the property, this board will allow information to easily be seen, read and cleaned. Allowing guests to have easy access to important information we hope will provide all the key information needed for a safe and enjoyable stay, and will reduce the amount of “emergency call outs” for simple questions – reducing face to face contact
- Duplicated welcome folders – so if needed they can be cleaned removed and swapped for the second copy between stays
- We will still provide tea, coffee, sugar in canisters, what is not used will be thrown out and canisters washed and re-filled for each guest. To limit waste we will not fill these to the top.
- Salt, pepper and oil will still be provided – and bottles/grinders cleaned and sanitised between stays
- We will still provide welcome baskets – though unlikely in the basket
- As per Scottish Government guidance, we will be asking guests a couple of pre-stay health questions to ensure that they are healthy before their visit.
How guests can help
In order to keep the apartments safe we are asking guests to do a couple of things during their stay, including:
- Ventilating holiday homes throughout stay
- Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces regularly, as they would at home – the cleaning materials/products are available in the apartments
- Strip bedding, before departure and bag up in linen bags provided – this will make a huge difference for our housekeepers, and we are grateful for guests help with this.
- Remove rubbish from the property and use outside bins and/or local recycling facilities where possible.
- If symptomatic contact Test & Protect NHS Inform / 0800 028 2816 and contact Fife Historic Buildings Trust to advise ASAP
- Follow Scottish Government guidance when in property and when out in the community / local area
- Remove any extra food/condiments, as they cannot be left for the next guests
- We have adopted a flexible cancellation policy as we are opening holiday homes up and refund policy for those affected by COVID-19. Guests that are unable to travel due to national or regional lock-downs, cancellation in transport or if they/someone they have been in contact with has symptoms or have been contacted as part of the “test & protect” scheme, guests can transfer to alternative dates (price of stay may change depending on new dates selected) or can receive a full refund, minus any booking charges.
What if guests develop symptoms during their stay
Below information has been taken directly from Scottish Government website (accessed 09.07.20) Click here for latest guidance
In the event that a guest develops symptoms whilst staying away from home, they should immediately book a test through NHS Inform or, if they can’t get online. by phoning 0800 028 2816.
In accordance with Test and Protect, people with symptoms are required to self-isolate for at least 7 days, and everyone in their household should isolate for 14 days. If the test is negative, everyone can end isolation. If the test is positive, everyone should continue to isolate, and the NHS Test and Protect team will be in touch to start contact tracing. Those contacted through the Test and Protect programme will be required to self-isolate for at least 14 days.
If guests who are isolating can travel home safely to isolate, avoiding the use of public transport, they should do this.
In the event that this is not possible, the guest should discuss this with the NHS Test and Protect team. The guest may be signposted to the National Assistance Helpline on 0800 111 4000 if they need help to isolate and cannot arrange it themselves or through friends and family.
In some circumstances further discussion may be required with the local Health Protection Team and local authority to ensure that the person has suitable accommodation to isolate safely and effectively.
After the required period of self-isolation, guests and anyone else in their party who has been affected can then return to their main place of residence.
Note from Fife Historic Buildings Trust: If guests are unable to travel home safely to isolate or are unable to find other accommodation, please let Fife Historic Buildings Trust know, if possible we may be able to extend your stay, however the extended stay will be charged