Guidance for Cleaning and Maintaining Social Distancing at Holiday Cottages.

Updated 1 July 2020

This document does not relate to Cottage Decontamination in the event of a confirmed case of Covid-19

  • Stay at home if you have been asked to self-isolate by the NHS or you think you have Coronavirus
  • Wash your hands frequently and rigorously
  • Sneeze and cough into a hanky or your elbow
  • Don't touch your face
  • Maintain social distancing.

At this stage the government hasn't released specific information about cleaning in the hospitality sector but they have issued the following guidelines for cleaning in people’s homes, which is a useful reference:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/homes

When making your Cleaning Plan to ensure that the cottages can be cleaned safely for everybody (including Guests, Cleaners, Sally’s Cottages Staff and all other Suppliers), it is important to make sure that the following factors are taken into consideration:

  • Cleaners (and all other suppliers who enter a cottage) must follow Government guidelines in reference to the use of PPE at all times.
  • Extra time should be allocated as necessary to allow for additional cleaning and to ensure Social Distancing can be maintained at all times.
  • Appropriate Cleaning Products must be used.
  • The relevant government social distancing guidelines must be followed by everyone who enters a Cottage (including Cottage Owners, Guests, Cleaners, Sally’s Cottages Staff and all other Suppliers).

 
Social Distancing

Social Distancing guidelines must be followed at all times. If it is necessary for anyone to visit the property whilst occupied, please ensure this is arranged in advance with the guest.

We’ve updated guest arrival and departure times on all of the cottages. This is to give extra time for cleaning and also to ensure that social distancing will be maintained and that the guests won’t come into contact with anyone who needs to access the cottage during the changeover period.
Where possible cleaners should allow half an hour after guests have left before going into the cottage to make doubly sure that everything is settled. Cleaners will need to have left the cottage half an hour before guests are due to arrive to make sure they don’t come into contact with guests.

Guests will not be allowed to access the cottage early and they will need to depart on time.

If anyone lives on site or there are multiple properties in the same location, then social distancing guidelines must be observed at all times.

PPE

Although the current Government Advice doesn't require the use of a face mask, we recommend wearing a mask during the cleaning process, particularly in the bathrooms where there are more airborne particles. 

Washing your hands regularly still remains the safest option but in addition to this we recommend that disposable (or washable) gloves should be worn when handling bedding and cleaning kitchens and bathrooms.

Clothes should be washed immediately at the end of the cleaning day.

Cleaning

Extra cleaning will be required at the cottages, especially focussed on the kitchen and bathrooms and frequent touch areas.  We’ve updated the arrival and departure times at all of the cottages to allow extra time for this extra cleaning.

Windows

Upon arrival, the windows should be opened to keep the cottage well ventilated while the cottage is being cleaned. 

Bedding & linen

Beds should be stripped and dirty laundry should be removed from the cottage at the start of the clean (where possible guests should strip the beds prior to their departure).

Cleaners should wear disposable gloves and/or wash their hands immediately after handling dirty laundry.

Kitchens and bathrooms

Additional time and attention should be paid to cleaning in kitchens and bathrooms, particularly making sure that all work surfaces and frequent touch surfaces are cleaned meticulously and using correct cleaning products.

Frequent touch surfaces and high use areas:

Extra time must be spent to ensure that high touch areas and frequently used items are cleaned meticulously.  This includes:

  • Doorknobs (inside and out), kitchen cabinet handles, light switches, stair bannisters, keys, window handles, remote controls, thermostats, high chairs
  • Appliances such as ovens, fridge freezers, toasters, kettles and vacuum cleaners
  • Toilets, taps, sinks, shower heads
  • Outside areas such as shared entrances and key safes.

Unnecessary items (such as cushions on beds) should be removed from the cottage.

Cleaning Products

Most common household disinfectants, as well as cleaning solutions with diluted household bleach are believed to be effective against the coronavirus.

To ensure guests are able to keep to a high standard of cleanliness and hygiene we recommend that owners provide an adequate supply of essential cleaning products.  

New cloths should be provided for each booking. All cleaning cloths must be disposed of or laundered appropriately between each clean.

Rubbish Disposal

Bins should be emptied, cleaned inside, outside and special attention paid to lids. All waste should be placed in a plastic bag, tied and removed from the property and disposed of in an the relevant bin.

Key Collection

To make sure social distancing is maintained, we recommend that keys are collected using a key safe and not transferred in person.  All keys and key safes should be disinfected on each changeover.

Hot Tubs

Proper operation and maintenance (including disinfection with chlorine and bromine) of these facilities should deactivate the virus in the water however it’s vitally important that frequent touch surfaces are cleaned meticulously with the correct cleaning products.
Hot tubs should not be shared between guests staying in different properties.

Emergency Maintenance and Cleaning

To ensure social distancing is maintained only emergency maintenance and cleaning should only be carried out at the cottage during a guest’s stay.
 

FAQs for cleaners working at Sally's Cottages Managed Cottages

  • Stay at home if you have been asked to self-isolate by the NHS or you think you have Coronavirus
  • Wash your hands frequently and rigorously
  • Sneeze and cough into a hanky or your elbow
  • Don't touch your face
  • Maintain social distancing.

FAQs

1. What happens if I need to self-isolate?
2. Cleaning
3. Cleaning Products
4. Masks and 
6. Guest Arrivals and Departures
7. Sally’s Cottages Office
8. Lost property

1. What happens if I need to self-isolate

What happens if I develop symptoms of Covid or have been asked to isolate for 14 days through the track and trace?

If asked to self isolate it is imperative that you do so. Please do let us know if you are self-isolating so we can arrange cover. 

2. Cleaning

Extra cleaning will be required at the cottages, especially focussed on the kitchen and bathrooms and frequent touch areas.  We’ve updated the arrival and departure times at all of the cottages to allow extra time for this extra cleaning.

My clean is going to take longer to complete, is that ok?

We do expect cleans are going to take longer, especially until you have got into the new routine. How much extra time will be required will depend on the size of your cottage - we'll be in touch to let you know how much extra time to allow for cleaning at your cottage.

What are ‘high-touch’ areas classed as?

High touch areas include things like:

  • All handles: doors, wardrobes, fridges, ovens, loos, toasters, microwaves, kettle etc.
  • Bannister rails
  • TV remote control, keyboards, TVs, taps and light switches/ pull-cords, washing machine doors and buttons, oven handles and controls etc.
  • Waste / Recycle bins
  • Fridge shelves
  • Key safes 
  • Visitor information booklets and folders. Remove any leaflets which aren’t necessary.
  • Hoovers, mops, irons 

Do I need to wash all the kitchen equipment on each changeover?

We will be asking all visitors to ensure that they thoroughly wash all equipment after use and to put it away in the correct cupboards. We will most likely find that incoming guest will want to rewash items before they use them too.  We would ask that you do a spot check through all the cupboards and rewash cutlery, cups, glasses and anything which doesn't appear to be cleaned thoroughly.

Please make sure that the cutlery drawer is cleaned out on every changeover and cupboards are wiped down with the appropriate cleaning products.

Will guests be asked to strip the beds?

Yes, we have emailed the guests and asked them to strip the beds and gather up towels.   

Please make sure that the mattress protectors and pillow protectors are not bundled up with the rest of the bed linen and sent off to Shortridge Laundry or they won’t come back!

Do I need to wash mattress protectors and pillow protectors?

Wherever possible pillow protectors should be laundered after every changeover. These can often be washed and dried whilst at the cottage if there are facilities available. 

If the cottage uses a launderette they can be washed with the bedding.  If neither options are available please can you take them home for washing and we will reimburse you for the cost at the end of each month.

What do I do about cleaning soft furnishings?

If your cottage has enough cushions and throws that you can split them and rotate them for each set of guests, this would be advisable.  

If this isn’t possible please remove any unnecessary frequent touch items such as extra cushions on beds.

Items such as extra blankets can be removed and stored away during the summer months. It will be far more reassuring to guests and one option that will make life a tiny bit easier!

Will visitors be asked to leave windows open on their departure?

Due to the security and the potential to invalidate the property insurance, we are unable to ask visitors to leave the windows open.  We have asked all visitors to depart at 9.30am to allow 30 minutes minimum before your arrival to allow any airborne particles to clear.  When you enter the property please open all windows to get plenty of fresh air in and ensure that they are closed before you leave. 

Can we leave items such as salt & pepper, oils, tea & coffee for visitors?

Any items of food which have been opened must be removed.  Loose tea, coffee and sugar must be removed and only the individual sachets or full new packs may be left.

3. Cleaning Products

What cleaning products and equipment should I use?

Most common household disinfectants, as well as cleaning solutions with diluted household bleach are believed to be effective against the coronavirus.

Please ensure that you have adequate supplies of cleaning products to complete the clean and leave a supply for guest usage. 

New clean cloths will need to be used for each property and all cleaning cloths must be disposed of or laundered appropriately between each clean.

The most effective way to ensure that any germs are removed is to wash all surfaces and touch points down with hot soapy water, then revisit each area with an antiviral cleaner or bleach solution (rather than an anti bacterial cleaner) and a clean cloth.

Do we need to leave extra cleaning materials for the visitors?

As always, please ensure that a hand wash is available at every sink and a supply of cleaning products is available. Please can you leave 2 new cloths and 1 new sponge scourer as a minimum.

4. Masks and Gloves

Do I need to wear a face mask while cleaning?

Although the current Government Advice doesn't require the use of a face mask, you may wish to wear a mask during the cleaning process, particularly in the bathrooms where there are more airborne particles. 

Do I need to wear gloves while cleaning?

Washing your hands regularly still remains the safest option but in addition to this we recommend that you should wear disposable (or washable) gloves when handling the bedding and cleaning the kitchens and bathrooms.

Will you supply masks and gloves?

You will need to purchase your own masks and gloves as having the correct fit is important. 

We will be asking owners to contribute towards the cost of these items as part of the additional cleaning cost.

What other precautions should I take?

When you arrive please open the windows to keep the cottage well ventilated while you are cleaning. 

Please make sure that you wash your clothes as soon as you return home at the end of your cleaning day. 

5. Social Distancing

Social Distancing guidelines must be followed at all times.

Is it ok for me to work as a team still, are we expected to social distance during the clean?

It is fine for you to work in a team with people from outside your household as long as social distancing measures are adhered to.  Wherever possible, try and work in separate rooms and avoid sharing equipment. 

If social distancing can’t be maintained then we recommend wearing a face mask whilst working inside.

Will tradespeople be allowed to visit during the changeover?

We are only going to be dealing with emergency maintenance on changeover days to allow us to ensure social distancing is adhered to. If we do need to arrange a tradesperson to visit we will make you aware and where possible arrange this for either before or after you have been. If this isn’t avoidable then please maintain social distancing at all times.

6. Guest Arrivals and Departures

We’ve updated guest arrival and departure times on all of the cottages. 

What happens if the visitors are late leaving, when is it safe for me to enter the property?

If you arrive to start the clean at 10am to find that the visitors are still in the property, please ensure that you adhere to the social distancing guidelines when speaking to them and do not enter the property whilst they are still in.  

We advise that you leave the property for a minimum of 10 minutes before entering the property to allow any airborne particles to settle. If you clean a larger property of say 6-8 people upwards a minimum of 20 minutes would be best. Please also notify the office if this is going to mean that you are going to over run and be late getting to your next property.

What happens  if the visitors arrive early?

We have notified all visitors to let them know what time they can come to the cottage.  You may find that they arrive early and leave their car parked and go out for a walk, but they should not enter the property.  It‘s ok to refuse entry - we will not allow an earlier arrival without agreeing this with you first. 

7. Sally’s Cottages Office

Will I be able to collect cleaning products from the office?

Yes, you will be able to collect cleaning products from the office.  We will be operating a Social Distancing policy in the office and you may not be able to come in to the office - at this stage we’re planning to put a table at the door where we’ll lay out items for you to collect.  

Please give us as much notice as possible so we can make sure that we have the items ready and waiting for you to collect.

If you can’t get to the office, then we will arrange a delivery to your home address.

Is the office going to be open for me to collect and drop off items?

The office will be open, although most of the team are going to continue working from home for now, so the opening hours are likely to be reduced to begin with  (please would you be able to check opening hours before you come).

As restrictions ease and normality returns the office opening hours will lengthen.  

8. Lost property

What should I do with items of lost property?

Please put any lost property in a plastic bag and tie a knot in it. Can you please then notify the office, if this can’t be dropped off at the office on the same day it will need to be left in the locked cleaners cupboard away from the visitors.

We expect that this document will be updated over time. This version is up to date as of 1 July 2020. You can check for updates at www.sallyscottages.co.uk