The disruption that coronavirus is having on society, life and business increases daily. The government thus far has been clear in emphasising how proper social distancing is key to helping to suppress the chains of transmission of the virus.
Late last night (22nd March 2020) the government issued further guidance around ‘essential travel’ and made reference to businesses that are in our sector. The latest guidance as of 10 pm Sunday 22nd March is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/covid-19-essential-travel-guidance. The key advice being that people avoid travel whether for isolation purposes or holidays and remain in their primary residence.
As a result of this, and due to continuing extraordinary circumstances outside of our control, we took the incredibly difficult decision, as of late Sunday 22nd March 2020, to temporarily not take any further bookings for any of our cottages with an arrival date before 4th June 2020. We believe that continuing to do so would be against the spirit of strong government recommendation and may put the safety of our customers, our owners and the communities in which your properties are located at risk.
Alongside this, we are recommending that all customers due to arrive before or on the 30th April defer their holiday to a later date within the next 12 months. As you know, we have made a temporary amendment to our booking conditions to allow customers to rebook their holiday without any rebooking fees. We may choose to extend this date as we receive more information from the government.
Over the last week, we have had to take many challenging decisions. These latest changes are no less difficult to make. In line with similar decisions from other companies in the travel industry and within the sphere of self-catering, we believe this is the most socially responsible course of action that we, as a business, can take in the circumstances.
We will of course update you further as the situation continues to evolve.