Covid Frequently Asked Questions

Published:

Last Updated 27 November 2020

We've outlined below some of the questions you might have or scenarios you might be facing if you have a booking with us already or if you are thinking of making a new booking. If the scenarios below don't appear cover your situation then please do get in touch and we'll be able to answer your questions.

1.  Can I come and stay at a cottage over Christmas? 

Up to three households can stay at a holiday cottage for four nights from 23rd December and the guidance around travelling between areas in different Tiers will be relaxed during this period. 

You will need to contact us if you would like to enquire about prices and availability of a 4 night break at any of our cottages as our online bookings only allow you to book either three nights or a full week break at Christmas. 

Please email enquiries@sallyscottages.co.uk or call us on 017687 80571 if you would like us to double check that for you.

2.  Can I come and stay at a cottage over The New Year?

If Cumbria is still in Tier 2 after Christmas, then we are expecting that guests from one household or support bubble will be able to stay over New Year.

3.  What Tier is Cumbria in?

Cumbria has been placed in Tier 2, which means we are able to welcome visitors from one household or support bubble into our cottages (If you have a booking for Christmas then the rules up to three households are allowed to come and stay between 23-27 December). 

The Tiers that have been allocated to different areas are due to be reviewed on 16th December.

4.  I live in a Tier 3 area and am not supposed to travel - what can I do? 

If this applies to you, then please contact us and we will arrange for you to transfer your booking or have a refund (minus the booking fee).  Please email us on sally@sallyscottages.co.uk rather than call as we can get everything sorted much quicker this way. 

Please note that the Tiers that have been allocated to different areas are due to be reviewed on 16th December so the Tier allocated to your area (or here in Cumbria) may change at that point.

5.  'The Rule of Six' - Will I get a refund if I cancel my booking because of the guidance around how many households are allowed to mix?

We do not know how long the Rule of Six will be in force.  If it is still applicable for the dates of your stay, it may be that you decide to come and stay but with less people in your group (if this is the case, you can amend your party size in your visitor area on the website here).  If you do not wish to come and stay at the cottage, please do let us know and we will contact the cottage owner to see if they are able to transfer your booking. 

If a transfer isn't possible and you cancel your booking, then if the rule of 6 is still in place at the time of your cancelled booking, then please contact us around a week before you would have been due to stay and we will refund your payment (minus the booking fee).

If we need to cancel your booking due to your party size exceeding the rule of six, then we will refund your payment (minus the booking fee) at the point of cancellation (please note that this may take up to 14 days to process but we will try to make sure they money gets back to you quicker than this.) We will send you confirmation as soon as your refund has been processed.

If we cancel your booking and your booking is for a family bubble that would be allowed under the Rule of 6 or if you would like to amend your booking to fewer than 6 people and still come, or if you would like to transfer your booking, then please let us know straight away and it would be fine to arrange that.

Please note that at the moment it is still possible to book a cottage for more than 6 people via our website - bookings that exceed the 'rule of 6' will be cancelled out straight away and will NOT BE ALLOWED to come and stay at the cottage while these rules remain in place.  

Please do continue to check the Government guidance yourself too before deciding whether to travel.

6. What happens if overnight stays aren't allowed in Cumbria for the dates I am due to stay?

In this scenario, you will be able to transfer your booking or have a refund.  The only things to be aware of are that the booking fee is non-refundable, and that if you choose to transfer your booking then you won't be able to have a refund at a future point (unless the Covid restrictions are extended to cover the dates of your new booking) - our normal terms and conditions will apply to the new booking on the new dates.

7.  I want to come if overnight stays in Cumbria are allowed - when is my balance due?

That's great! We will ask you to pay your remaining balance 6 weeks before your stay and we're confident that you will have a superb holiday.    

If you asked us to take the balance automatically from your card when you made the booking, this will be taken six weeks before your arrival date.  We will email you to remind you that it is due to come out beforehand. 

The reason why we need you to commit to paying your balance in advance or else cancel your booking is because if you decide not to come at the very last minute, then there isn't much time to get a new booking, which would mean that you'll probably lose out on your deposit and the owner will also lose out on the booking at the usual rate. 

If the restrictions are subsequently extended so that overnight stays in Cumbria aren't allowed at the dates of your stay, then you will receive a refund of monies paid (minus the non-refundable booking fee). 

8.  I'm hoping to come but I'd prefer to wait and see nearer the time before committing to paying the balance on my booking

I'm afraid that we can't hold your booking without a balance payment 6 weeks before your stay.  The reason for this is that if you don't pay your balance now and then at the last minute, due to an unforeseen eventuality, you aren't able to come, then there isn't much time to get a new booking, which would mean that you'll probably lose out on your deposit and the owner will also lose out on the booking.  

We are getting lots of enquiries and bookings, so if you cancel your booking we'll do our best to get the cottage re-let, in which case if we are able to get a new booking at the full value of your stay, then you will get a refund for monies paid (minus the non-refundable booking fee and our £45 cancellation fee).  

If the cottage isn't re-let and nearer the time you decide that you would like to go ahead with your booking, then you will be able to reinstate your booking and pay the remaining balance.

If the restrictions are subsequently extended so that overnight stays in Cumbria aren't allowed at the dates of your stay, then you will receive a refund of monies paid (minus the non-refundable booking fee) – even if you have cancelled your booking. 

If overnight stays are allowed, then our normal cancellation policy will apply. We will, however, continue to monitor the government advice in respect of this.
 

9.  I no longer wish to come and stay at the cottage, regardless of what restrictions are in place at the time of my booking

We are getting lots of enquiries and bookings, so if you definitely don't want to come, regardless of what restrictions are in place at the time of your booking, then it probably makes sense to cancel your booking now and our normal cancellation policy will apply.  

If you cancel your booking we'll do our best to get the cottage re-let, in which case if we are able to get a new booking at the full value of your stay, then you will get a refund for monies paid (minus the non-refundable booking fee and our £45 cancellation fee).  

If the cottage isn't re-let then you won't be due a refund but if nearer the time you decide that you would like to go ahead with your booking, then you will still be able to reinstate your booking and pay the remaining balance.

If the restrictions are subsequently extended so that overnight stays in Cumbria aren't allowed at the dates of your stay, then you will receive a refund of monies paid (minus the non-refundable booking fee). 

If overnight stays are allowed, then our normal cancellation policy will apply. We will, however, continue to monitor the government advice in respect of this.
 

10.  I would prefer to transfer my booking now because I don't think I'll want to come just now

If you would like to transfer your booking please let us know your preferred dates that you would like to transfer to and we contact the cottage owner to see if this is possible.  Please note that if you transfer your booking, then you won't be able to ask for a refund at a later date (unless the Covid Restrictions are extended to cover the dates of your transferred booking) - our normal terms and conditions will apply to the new booking on the new dates.


11.  I want a refund now

We can't offer refunds now for future bookings outside of the lockdown period as we don't know what the restrictions will be at the time of your booking.  If you cancel your booking, and restrictions are extended to when your booking was due, please contact us around a week before the dates your holiday would have taken place and we will look into that on a case by case basis.  Please make sure you include the below mentioned Documentation when you submit your refund request.  Please note that the booking contract is with the person who made the booking ('The Hirer'), and the documentation provided would need to relate to the 'Hirer'.

12.  Will I get a refund if, at the time of my booking, I am shielding?

If you believe you are due a refund due to the restrictions that are in place at the time of your cancelled booking, then please contact us around a week before you would have been due to stay and we will look into that on a case by case basis.  If you have been advised by the Government that you are not allowed to travel as you are shielding then when you submit your refund request you will need to provide a copy of your shielding letter showing your name and the dates of when your shielding period starts and ends. 

13.  Will I get a refund if, at the time of my booking, I not allowed to travel to the cottage due to regional differences about official travel restrictions?

If you believe you are due a refund due to the restrictions that are in place at the time of your cancelled booking, then please contact us around a week before you would have been due to stay and we will look into that on a case by case basis.  If you have been advised by the Government that you are not allowed to travel due to regional differences about official travel restrictions, then when you submit your refund request you will need to provide a copy of Official Government information detailing the travel restrictions that are preventing you from coming to stay and a copy of a recent utility bill showing your name and address. 


14.  Will I get a refund if I cancel my booking because of the guidance around how many households are allowed to mix?

Please do continue to check the Government guidance yourself too before deciding whether to travel.  

It may be that you decide to come and stay but with less people in your group but if you do not wish to come and stay at the cottage, please do let us know and we will contact the cottage owner to see if they are happy for you to transfer instead - this would be at the discretion of the property owner. 

If you believe you are due a refund due to the restrictions that are in place at the time of your cancelled booking, then please contact us around a week before you would have been due to stay and we will look into that on a case by case basis. Please note that we will need proof of the addresses of all of the members of the party.

15.  When I come and stay at the cottage, how will I know that the cottage is safe?

We are putting in place new procedures to make sure that each of our cottages has additional deep cleaning, particularly on frequent touch areas.  We'll be updating the arrival and departure times to ensure that there is enough time for additional cleaning, and also to ensure that there is no contact between the cleaner and yourselves.  We will send you more information about what we are doing to keep the cottage safe prior to your stay. 

16.  Have you passed on the Government's temporary reduction in VAT to lower the cottage prices? 

Because the cottages are owned by individual owners, they don't tend to be VAT registered and so VAT is not charged on the rental price.  This means that the Government's temporary VAT reduction does not apply to the holiday cottages.   

17.  How do I get in contact with you? 

We are all working from home at the moment so the best way to get in touch with us is via email sally@sallyscottages.co.uk.  We’re working our way through every email we receive but we’re getting a lot at the moment so don't worry if it takes longer than usual to get back to you. 

If you're staying at a cottage and you need us to get back to you urgently, please put 'urgent' in the subject header of your email, as well as the name of the cottage that you're staying at.