It has been an unprecedented few months and we’re sure many of you have questions about bookings – both current and future. While the situation is changing, we will continue to update our FAQ to support you.
Can I take bookings for UK stays?
Government alert levels, advice, restrictions and regulations differ across the UK. You should familiarise yourself with any restrictions that apply to your location, as well as the different government health measures that may impact your guests.
Can guests still go on a UK holiday?
The wellbeing of our guests and owners is the most important thing to us. Where guests are travelling from, and where they are staying and when will all determine whether they can take their holiday as planned. You can find the latest advice and restrictions for England here, for Wales here, for Scotland here, and for Northern Ireland here.
What do I say to a guest if they want to cancel their stay within the UK?
If a guest needs to cancel a stay, we have recommended they get in contact with you to explore options, including the possibility of rearranging their booked dates. If they are not ready to commit to a future date, you could offer to credit their stay in gift vouchers (if this is something you offer).
What do I do if a guest doesn’t want to reschedule their UK stay?
If a guest does not want to rearrange their UK stay and is asking for a refund, you should recommend they contact their travel insurer to see whether they can claim back the cost of their trip. We’ve made guests aware that we are working with small, independent businesses whose policies in situations like these will vary.
In a widely covered report released by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the watchdog has issued guidance relating to full refunds if the product that the customer bought (specifically mentioning holiday accommodation) couldn’t be delivered. This means guests are now more likely to request refunds and are supported by this CMA guidance.
What do I need to do to welcome guests?
The UK government released guidance for companies in the ‘visitor economy’ which includes places to stay.
In case you haven’t seen it already, please take a look. You’ll need to familiarise yourself with the guidance and implement where relevant to your place.
Visit Britain has launched the official “Good to Go” mark, in partnership with the Tourism Organisations of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. To receive the mark, you need to supply evidence of a Covid-19 specific risk assessment and the measures you will take to keep customers and staff safe. It’s free to register, and you can do so on the official website.
What if a guest is travelling from overseas where there is a travel ban?
This will be on a case-by-case basis but we would recommend that they follow the current advice of their own government and travel advisories. They will also need to adhere to any appropriate restrictions on entering the UK, dependent on the requirements of the country they are travelling from and arriving into. If an official government health measure means they cannot travel, their travel insurance should provide them with a full refund. Alternatively, you can offer gift vouchers to credit their stay or suggest alternative dates.
I have a property in France, Italy, Spain or Portugal and guests from the UK are wanting to cancel. What do I do?
We have told our guests to contact you directly so that you can go through your individual policies with them.
For European bookings we have recommended that guests check the current FCO advice, and to be aware that England has requirements for those entering the country from lists of red, amber and green countries. The Welsh and Scottish administrations have their own guidelines regarding international travel, as does Northern Ireland.
We would recommend that guests check whether they can claim back their holiday via their travel insurance if advised not to travel. Alternatively, you could offer them a date change or credit their stay via gift vouchers so they can book dates further in advance.
Should I take new bookings?
For European owners, we would suggest that you follow your current Government advice about travel into and within your country.
Going forward, we would suggest that all owners set clear T&Cs for guests who make future bookings. Consider outlining what would happen to a booking in the event of local, regional or national lockdown as well as what happens if a guest displays symptoms before or during their stay. We would advise that you try to remain as flexible as possible to encourage guests to book.
How can I get in touch with Sawday’s?
Whilst the team are working remotely as well as in the office, we are using cloud technology to transfer telephone calls. As with many cloud services, during periods of increased demand, reliability has been affected. If your call isn’t answered within a few rings, we would encourage you to email your account manager or email@example.com and we can get the relevant member of the team to get in touch with you.