Covid-19: Essential Information

Update: 19th July 2021  at 21:30 GMT

Coronavirus infections in the UK are surging again and hospitalisations are on the rise, driven by the spread of the Delta variant and the partial lifting of restrictions. Nearly all restrictions have been discarded in England, including mask-wearing and social distancing mandates.

There will inevitably be a mixed response to to this relaxation.  There will be many for whom this step is a long-awaited release yet the news will be met by some with a sense of trepidation.  This will be especially so with the many guests I host who are travelling to Oxford to attend one of the 6 hospitals that are within walking distance of the house.

I have therefore taken the decision not to relax any of the protocols put in place to mitigate the infection risks to both guests and my family.

Whilst it is no longer a legal obligation to wear face-coverings, for example, I still owe all guests a Duty of Care under UK Law.

There is much confusion in the Hospitality Trade at large as to the responsibilities we now have to guests and customers. Until I can better understand my responsibilities to you please rest assured that none of the protocols and processes put in place to minimise the risk of infection will change here at Sandfield Guest House.

Moreover, adherence to the protocols put in place here at Sandfield Guest House remain a condition of booking.  Guests refusing to adhere will be asked to leave and will forfeit the value of their stay.

There are 2 key requirements that I would like to highlight to all guests:

  • Unless there is a reasonable excuse not to wear a face-covering then doing so remains mandatory in all public areas.  If you believe that you have such a reasonable excuse it is essential that you advise Paul prior to arrival.
  • Social Distancing will be expected of all guests.  There is no reason not to maintain a 2 metre space between those in the house so why wouldn't we?

The over-arching changes to the rules and the new guidance can be found HERE.

The guidance for Hotels and other Guest Accommodation was updated yesterday and I am in the process of analysing the lengthy guidance.  Key updates will be highlighted here and a Risk Assessment will be published in due course.  Click HERE for the guidance itself.

Key Points:

  • There will be no restrictions on domestic travel, though people should continue to follow guidance on travelling safely. People are encouraged to walk or cycle rather than use public transport where possible. Private vehicles can be used, within the legal gathering limits.
  • Hotel and guest accommodation facilities are still strongly requested to keep a record of all visitors, customers and staff aged 16 or over who are on the premises, to support NHS Test and Trace.  I also display an official NHS QR code poster so that guests can ‘check in’ using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details.
  • Below you will find the process that will be followed if there is a confirmed case of Covid-19 on the premises and any implications for the guest, such as additional costs if their stay is extended. Unless otherwise provided for in the contractual terms of the booking, the guest will be expected to pay the costs of an extended stay in all but exceptional circumstances. Exceptional circumstances may include, but are not limited to, where the I have failed to follow government guidance to create a COVID-secure environment.

The updated conditions for National Travel that continue to apply and can be found HERE.

In short, you must not travel at all if you:

You must wear a face covering in all public areas on the premises (Hall, Stairs, Landing) unless you are exempt or have a reasonable excuse. This is the law. Read guidance on face coverings.

International Travellers

The UK Government has categorised Departure Countries as Red, Amber and Green.  You can find out which category your nation has been given and the rules by which you must abide HERE.

Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or concerns.... I'll do my best to be of service.

Please click to expand each section:

We now live in a different world and guests will want to know that I am doing everything I can to ensure the safety and hygiene of Sandfield Guest House.

I understand that everyone has their own subjective opinion about the virus. That said, I have to take the risk, however slight it may be perceived, very seriously. Accommodation establishments remain a high-risk environment simply because we welcome customers from all over the country and from around world & so must provide our services by mitigating this risk as far as possible.

The slightest relaxation of my protocols on your or my part could lead to the closure of Sandfield Guest House, the cancellation of bookings for our future customers and of course, all of our health.

As a result, I have revised many of the pre-Covid daily practices and services to minimize the risk of contracting and spreading Covid-19. These have been vetted by Visit Britain & a “We’re Good to Go” Certificate awarded along with the AA’s Covid-19 Confident Certificate.

All of the “House Rules” will be constantly revisited and updated, in accordance with government advice and “best practices”. These protocols are in place to protect you, other guests & my family. It is important that you understand them fully and I must insist that they are respected.

In the strongest of terms I encourage you to adhere to the Government’s lockdown regulations: before your arrival a short questionnaire will be sent offering free options for your room including a beverage tray, hairdryer, extra pillows, alarm clock, etc. This questionnaire will also require that you sign a declaration stating that you have adhered to the lockdown measures, have not presented any symptoms of Covid-19.

Alongside this is a Registration Form which must be completed prior to arrival.

Breakfast service has been cancelled altogether until I have devised a method to reinstate the provision of breakfast in a secure manner. Restoring this service is a priority & I appreciate your patience. All prices are on a Room-Only basis for the time being.

When moving through the public areas the risks of coming into contact with other guests is greatly increased & it is a requirement of booking that we all wear face-coverings in these areas. I ask that you respect social distancing, use the plentiful hand-sanitiser & feel free to take tissues & disposable masks available throughout the premises

Decorative bed items (bed runners, patterned cushions) have been removed. Each bed will always offer freshly and hygienically cleaned linen. Additional pillows & linens are available on request.

Check-in and check-out will be done with social distancing in mind . The payment of your stay will be made remotely, using the bank card of your choice & the receipt for your stay will be automatically sent by email.

Hand cleaning with an appropriate solution when arriving is compulsory. A hand-sanitising station is be available in the porch, the entrance hall & on the first landing so that you can use it when entering & exiting the building or moving through public areas.

In order to respect your personal space I will not perform housekeeping during stays of more than one consecutive night. However, new towels and other supplies will be available upon request.

I invite you to contact me before your stay so that I may explain my limited services and any potential policy updates that are in place to protect everyone on the premises.

If a guest behaves in a way inconsistent with the policies and government directives, they will be asked to leave the premises immediately:  billing for the stay will remain applicable.

If a guest shows symptoms of a virus which could harm other customers and ourselves, they will be asked to leave the premises immediately (if possible & without endangering health), the services used will be invoiced.

Guests are responsible to ensure that their reservation meets current government travel restrictions and are responsible for ensuring their Domestic/International travel insurance covers them in the event of cancellation due to Covid-19.

Despite the necessary rules and restrictions, I would like to assure you that I continue to strive to provide the best service and to do everything I can to make your stay as pleasant as possible.

Because government travel rules & regulations will be constantly revised, flexible conditions for bookings made directly remain in place. This will allow you to modify your reservation up to 72 hours before the arrival date. Reservations made on other booking platforms will be subject to their general conditions. My “direct” prices remain consistently the most cost effective way to book at Sandfield Guest House.

In the event of government action related to Covid-19 a credit note/postponement will be offered rather than a cash refund.

I thank you for understanding and your cooperation & encourage you to familiarise yourself with the following processes & procedures.

Please read this document thoroughly before entering Sandfield Guest House.
Upon entering our establishment you are accepting these terms and conditions. Covid 19 – Revision of hotel services and rules to help protect you, my family and future guests. These will be constantly reviewed.  We still live in a very different world to the one we once knew. We all must adapt new behaviour and rules to protect ourselves and each other. I ask that you read this notice to ensure you fully recognise the changes I have made to Sandfield Guest House and also your responsibilities to protect yourselves and any other persons.

What you can expect from me:-

  • Guest rooms will be left vacant for a minimum period of 24 hours in between guests and aerated for a minimum of 3 hours with open windows when the weather permits.
  • I have deployed a new, more intensive cleaning regime for the guest rooms, using appropriate chemicals and products. I have increased the frequency of cleaning public areas and identified “touch points” to which extra attention will be paid.
  • I will use different clothing when handling used and fresh bed linen
    All detergents and cleaning products are from leading industrial suppliers and are specifically recommended.
  • I have removed a large number of decorative & surplus soft furnishings from guest rooms and public areas to prevent the risk virus transmission
  • I will keep a social distance from guests at all times.
  • I will provide hand cleaning gel, disposable masks, tissues & pedal bins in all public areas at all times.
  • I am available almost 24 hours a day. I live on-site and in case of any emergencies, you can contact me anytime using either of the bells or text-messaging/Whatsapp (07916-044-669).
  • Check-in/Check-out will be done with social distancing in mind. Your card will be charged remotely and your invoice sent to you electronically

What is expected of you:-

  • To adhere to all social distancing measures when in public areas and respect the concerns & safety of other guests.
  • To use the alcohol gel provided when re-entering the building at any time and wear a face-covering in all public areas as mandated by UK Law from 8th August 2020.
  • To wear a face covering in all public areas on the premises (Hall, Stairs, Landing, etc) unless you have a reasonable excuse not to and advised Paul prior to arrival.
  • If you or anyone of your party are showing any symptoms of the Coronavirus (repetitive cough, fever, unusual tiredness, sore throat, difficulty breathing) I ask that you or someone in your party notifies me immediately and remains isolated in your room until further notice.
  • It is a condition of booking to wear a face-covering in public areas of B&Bs and guest houses. Disposable face masks are freely available in all public areas at Sandfield Guest House.
  • Any guests or visitors that are deemed as not adhering to the new guidelines that all businesses and society have had to adopt to prevent the spread of the virus will be asked to leave the premises immediately.
  • On arrival, please first use the automatic hand-sanitiser dispenser.
  • If not already wearing a face-covering please do so.
  • Only then… ring the doorbell.
  • Step back onto the “Please Wait to be Served” marker & wait for Paul to answer the door.
  • When Paul answers the door he will open it & you may be required to have your temperature taken using a contactless thermometer. If you do have a fever (38C or over) you will be refused entry & assistance offered. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are healthy to travel, present no symptoms & act in accordance with travel restrictions. Please check your travel insurance to ensure you are covered for such an eventuality irrespective of where you are travelling from.
  • Paul will then step right back beyond the 2m marking tape & welcome you in.
  • The locations of publicly accessible PPE & Hand-Sanitising stations will be highlighted along with any pertinent signage.
  • Paul will then indicate where your room is & ask that you take your baggage up and proceed deep into your room.
  • Once in your room, Paul will follow up the stairs & from your doorway explain the room amenities & how to contact him should you need anything during your stay.
  • Please use hand-sanitiser or wash your hands before entering or exiting the premises.
  • Please give priority to those coming up the stairs.
  • You must wear a face covering in all public areas of the premises (Hall, Stairs, Landing, etc) unless you are exempt or have a reasonable excuse and advised Paul prior to arrival. It may no longer be a legal requirement to wear a face-covering however it remains a booking condition that you do so unless you have a very good reason not to and have advised Paul prior to arrival.
  • It is entirely possible to maintain a 2m distance between yourself & others… please ensure that you do so.
  • Paul will thoroughly sanitise all Public Areas at regular & frequent intervals throughout the day. Nonetheless, please be very careful to touch as little as possible in Public Areas.
  • Please note that your room will not be serviced during your stay unless you have specific requests and/or pre-arrange with Paul.
  • There is a brass bell in the Entrance Hall should you like to speak to Paul. This will be sanitised each & every time he hears it ring.
  • Alternatively & preferably, a text/WhatsApp message to 07916-044-669 will be an effective means of communication during your stay.
  • There is a button for night-time emergencies on the balustrade on the Landing. This will be sanitised as part of the standard process as well as each & every time he hears it ring.
  • Please note that Paul lives on the premises with his young family & so whilst endeavouring to be on hand as much as possible during daylight hours there will be times when his response will not be immediate. If you foresee a need or request, the sooner you communicate this to Paul the sooner he can respond.

If a guest presents symptoms of Covid-19 during their stay, Paul will endeavour to do everything he can to assist, following Government Guidelines closely. His process is as follows:

    • The guest is to inform Paul as a matter of urgency & immediately self-isolate in their room or vacate the premises.
    • Paul will video call/call the guest to assess the situation and establish if the guests need to extend their stay or leave immediately (as per current government guidelines the guest will be expected to pay the costs of an extended stay in all but the most exceptional of circumstances).
    • Guests are if possible (to minimise any further risk of transmission), to arrange an NHS test as soon as possible, and to return home if they reasonably can.
    • Paul will instruct guests to stay in bedroom or return to their residence without delay.
    • Assistance with calling local doctors, 111, 119 (to request a test) or an ambulance will be offered as necessary.
    • Paul will immediately clean all public areas, increase the cleaning frequency of all public areas and place quarantine signage on the guest room door.
    • On departure, Paul will request that the guest strips the bed and place linen and towels in bags provided and to open windows of bedroom prior to departure.
    • Paul will leave the bedroom empty for as long as possible – 72 hours minimum
  • Public Areas
    • Hand Sanitiser & Tissues available in Porch, Entrance Hall & Landing
    • Disposable Facemasks available in Entrance Hall & on Landing
  • In Room
    • Hand Sanitiser
    • Anti-Bacterial Soap
  • Presenting symptoms prior to arrival:
    • It is guests’ responsibility to inform Paul as soon as possible if they suspect a Covid-19 infection.
    • It is the guests’ responsibility to ensure that they are infection free prior to travel.
    • It is the guests’ responsibility to ensure that they have sufficient travel insurance cover in the event that they have to cancel & curtail their visit to Sandfield Guest House.  This is particularly important in the event of a guest needing to cancel their booking at the last minute or as a result of becoming symptomatic when on the premises.  Government Guidelines state that the guest will be expected to pay the costs of an extended stay in all but exceptional circumstances.
  • Guests are expected to pay all costs associated with any requirement to cancel or extend their stay. These costs include but are not limited to:
    • The cost of additional nights required;
    • The cost of any support required during additional nights (food, laundry, medications, etc);
    • Any costs incurred by Sandfield Guest House in the guest’s cancellation or the cancellation/rearrangement of other guests’ bookings as necessary.