CoronaVirus – I’ve already booked

  1. Please note: We are open and continuing with business as usual but we are not taking new bookings for stays in the lockdown period.  This information will help you if you’ve already booked with us..

Frequently asked questions…

I’ve already booked, what are my options to cancel/change/move my stay?

Please read points 1-5 at the bottom of the page.

Read our cancellation policy here.

Read our full terms and conditions here.

 

How will our check in and checkout be affected by new regulations? 

We received the new regulations about reopening, and new ways of running our businesses, from the Professional Association of Self Caterers (PASC) on 22.6.2020. Based on the assumption that we can open on the 4th July, this is how we are expecting check ins and outs to be affected.

The new regulations are comprehensive and the cleaning requirement is huge.

Normally changovers are hard work, but now the disinfection requirement is adding a great deal of time to the cleans. We have decided to delay all checkins to 5pm to help.

In order to deliver the holiday and to comply to regulations, we may also have to remove some of the items from houses that are for styling purposes, or that are not suitable for guests with the enhanced cleaning required. For example, first aid kits, shared food basics etc.

We also can’t provide enough pillows for everyone any more. We have to rotate our pillows between groups. So we will provide 1 pillow per person and be asking you to bring another if you want it. We also need you to strip your own beds at the end of your stay. That way our teams are protected against the virus transfer on bedding.

There is a lot for our teams to do.

Your safety and that of our property teams is of the highest priority to us. We will be contacting you by email shortly, to help you prepare for what to expect.

How are we cleaning properties and linen before your stay?

We are following best practice advice given by PASC. www.pascuk.co.uk

We already clean all the areas they suggest but will also extend our cleaning practice to include “an increased focus on cleaning and disinfecting ‘community’ areas (interior and exterior); light switches, TV controls, WIFI router, doorknobs, light switches, handles”, and the house keys and key box, for example.

It is important that you understand we will do our absolute best to ensure the cleanliness of all our properties, however we cannot guarantee it will be perfect. It is your choice to travel and take a holiday and we cannot be held responsible, in any way, if you contract COVID19, or other illnesses on holiday.

For more information on cleaning, please read our Cleaning Guide here.

What’s on and what’s happening locally?

The local community is slowly opening up again, following Government advice of course. 

There are some good local websites that will shortcut you to what’s happening. 

For Lymington – use – https://www.lymington.com/

For Milford on Sea – use – http://www.milfordonseanews.org/

For an overview on the area and Brockenhurst – use – https://www.thenewforest.co.uk/

I want to come, but I’m worried about food shopping. Can you help?

All our houses supply the basics that you will need. You will need to bring your main food shop.

There are good supermarkets and local shops across the New Forest. At time of writing (17 March) there are toilet roll and hand sanitiser shortages across Britain, but most of the local supermarkets are being restocked daily with food.

We have also started a food shopping service. We can shop for you and drop it to your door.

I want information about the local hospitals.

Local hospitals are well regarded.

Southampton Hospital is excellent. https://www.uhs.nhs.uk/home.aspx

Bournemouth Hospital is also very good. www.rbch.nhs.uk

Lymington has a community hospital with a minor injuries A&E. https://www.southernhealth.nhs.uk/locations/lymington-new-forest-hospital/

Is it safe to travel?

Only you can decide this.

We would ask that you only come if you are not showing symptoms and have not been with other people who have COVID. If this is the case, please consult your travel insurance policy.

If you do contract COVID whilst you are away, we will ask you to leave and go home immediately so that we can prepare the house for new guests coming in.

What about the local community?
At New Forest Escapes, our highest priority will always be for the safety of our guests, our team and the local community, which is why when the government called for the closure of holiday rental properties, we did so immediately. We have taken no guest stays to start in lock down except from those who came before lockdown started and stayed in isolation here just as we ourselves have done.
Unlike other holiday companies, we also offered our guests a refund of their holiday so that we could support them in their time of need.
When the government deems it safe once more for holiday homes in the New Forest to reopen, we are prepared as best we can for this time. Working with the PASC (Professional Association of Self Caterers) we are ensuring that our communication to guests, our team and owners are clear on what we are doing that is best practice in our sector.
We are asking that all guests are following the law and only travelling if they are healthy and in appropriate group sizes for the current law.
We have provided additional training to our team, we are employing more local cleaners for additional cleaning time, we are only using cleaning materials that are approved based on their chemical make up. We are doing all we can with the help of our guests to ensure that changeovers leave minimal exposure to the COVID 19 disease for the next set of guests.
By implementing all these new protocols we are doing our part to minimise the spread of this disease as best we can by following government advice. Read our cleaning guide here. 
For any guests who are booked with us during an extended lock-down, this is the situation:

1. You can ask us to move the stay date (preferably within 2020).

2. Or you can ask for a refund.  If this is the case, then we are asking for all our guests to pay a handling fee of no more than 10% of the total value of your booking. It is important that you understand that you do not have to pay this – but as a small business in the travel industry we are trying our best to keep our business alive and we would appreciate any support you can give us. For the guests whose bookings were during this first lockdown period, we had an overwhelming response of support from this requrest and have been very humbled by people’s kindness. Over 95% of people supported us with a voluntary payment and this has allowed us to keep paying our staff and keep the business on good ground until Government assistance comes through.

For all other booking dates and scenarios, please read here:
  1. 1. If your booking is after the lockdown period, and you have reasons that you cannot travel, that fit with the Public Health England Guidelines currently we believe that your travel insurance will pay out for your cancellation, so please stay safe and at home.

2. If you have booked your holiday prior to 13th March 2020 and paid a deposit only for your holiday you have 2 options:
a. You can cancel your holiday before your balance is due and get a refund of you holiday accommodation cost minus a £55 admin charge and our £35 non-refundable booking fee.
b. You can move the dates of your holiday to later in 2020. We are offering to move people for free, once. Moving people causes a lot of admin for us. If there is a price difference of more than you have paid, then you will need to pay that on changing the dates, if less we will refund you the difference. You can also move to a different house.

3. If you have booked your holiday before 13th March 2020, and  paid in full, and your stay is after the lockdown period, then your holiday is booked and confirmed with us. We look forward to welcoming you on your New Forest Escape.

If you still do not want to come, these are your options:
a. Pls see point 2 above.
b. Or you can transfer your stay to another suitable group.
c. Or you can ask us to relet the booking for you. We may not be able to do this but we will try very hard. If we can relet the stay, you will get a refund of approximately 75-85% of the full amount. This percentage is a direct reflection of the new price that we sell the stay at. We may not be able to sell it at full price, and we will still take the commission due to us, from selling the booking. Please discuss this with us.

If you booked your holiday after the 13th March then we will have already phoned you and will:
a. move the dates of your holiday to later in 2020. We are offering to move people for free, once. Moving people causes a lot of admin for us. A second date change will cost £55. If there is a price difference of more than you have paid, then you will need to pay that on changing the dates, if less we will refund you the difference. You can also move to a different house.
b. Or you can ask for a full refund. If this is the case, then we are asking for all our guests to pay a handling fee of no more than 10% of the total value of your booking. It is important that you understand that you do not have to pay this – but as a small business in the travel industry we are trying our best to keep our business alive and we would appreciate any support you can give us.

5.  I have booked and paid with Airbnb, HomeAway, Tripadvisor, or i-escape. What is my cancellation situation?

You must contact who you have booked with :

Airbnb, please check this page for their current advice  – https://www.airbnb.co.uk/help/article/2701/coronavirus-information-and-extenuating-circumstances-policy.

You can call them on 0203 318 1111

6. If you have extenuating circumstances, and do not have a primary residence in the UK, we will try to accommodate you but cannot promise it will be in your first booked property. Please email us.

Thanks, Rachel, Jane and the team.