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Coronavirus FAQs

Last Updated: Monday 6th July 18:10pm

Please note: We are currently experiencing large volumes of inbound calls and emails. Before contacting us please ensure you have read all of the relevant information below and please accept our apologies for any delay in replying to your query. We are currently focused on replying to customers with bookings due to depart before the 15th July. For later bookings, we will be in touch as soon as possible.

We understand that customers may have some questions or queries they wish to ask before they make a booking at the current time or have questions about their upcoming booking.

You can find information about individual properties on the property details pages themselves and below we have provided some frequently asked questions that should help to guide you with any queries you may have. We hope that this information will be helpful, and it includes the information our agents will be able to give you if you do contact us.

This page is kept up to date as frequently as possible, but please accept our apologies for any delays in updating this information following any government announcements as they happen.

New Bookings

General

Yes, you can book a holiday with us. Please see below for the different regional variances for when holidays can arrive from.

During normal times, bookings are confirmed within 24 hours. However, due to the current volume of enquiries, this is currently taking us a little longer than it would normally. Please bare with us during this time as we work through all bookings as quickly as we can and we will get back to you as soon as possible. All bookings due to depart within 7 days are checked with the owner before confirmation.

Self-catering holiday accommodation in England will now open from the 4th July and holidays can commence from this date.

Customers are advised to keep up to date with the latest government advice on travel and should take in to account the latest government guidance and their own personal circumstances before deciding whether to travel.

Self-catering holiday accommodation in Scotland now looks set to open from the 3rd July and holidays can commence from this date.

Customers are advised to keep up to date with the latest government advice on travel and should take in to account the latest government guidance and their own personal circumstances before deciding whether to travel.

Self-catering holiday accommodation in Wales will now open from the 11th July and holidays can commence from this date.

Customers are advised to keep up to date with the latest government advice on travel and should take in to account the latest government guidance and their own personal circumstances before deciding whether to travel.

We will review our policy in line with the government advice as it is issued, as a minimum, every 3 weeks.


Your own situation

Customers can book with confidence and know that if you are unable to travel because a property is unavailable due to government restrictions, you will have options to amend your booking as needed.

As you can see in the below section for existing bookings, we have introduced a number of polices that allow guests as much flexibility as possible around their holidays, allowing bookings to be amended, extending balance payment dates and other options where needed.

The government guidance is constantly being reviewed and updated and is subject to change. Before making a booking, customers should ensure they have checked and understood the relevant government guidance that is applicable to their party size and party make-up. Please make sure you are comfortable with your decision to make a booking before doing so. It is not possible for us to currently know when the government guidance will change and while we will do our best to facilitate any requests from our customers, once a booking has been made it may not be possible to make any changes to a booking at a later date.

Guests should ensure they have checked the travel restrictions from their own government in their location before deciding to book. Once a booking has been made, it may not be possible to change it in the future should travel restrictions between countries change.


On holiday and at the property

We know that customers want to do their best to help the local communities that they are visiting whilst they are on holiday. That is why we have put together our Responsible Holidays Charter where you can find advice from us on how to holiday responsibly and sustainably with additional information in light of coronavirus.

When considering booking a property with shared facilities we will do our best to keep customers informed through our website on the property details page of the property (in the “need to know” section) and email communications about any changes to the arrangements at the property that have been made in order to help with guest safety. All of the most recent information we have about a property is made clear within the Need to Know section of the property.

As the government advice and guidance is continually being updated it is not possible to know when all shared facilities will be available. If the use of shared facilities is critical towards your arrangement for a holiday and you need to know before you can make your booking, please contact our Customer Services Team who will be able to assist you. Please do however note, due to high demand our Customer Service Team may take longer than usual to get back to you.

All of our properties are already cleaned to a high standard and in light of the current situation all of our property owners have been provided with additional information around changeovers, key collection and cleaning best practice to help reduce the risks at properties where possible.

Shops, attractions, pubs and other establishments are always subject to changes in their opening times and availability. It is not possible for anyone to predict the availability of such amenities and customers should always check directly with particular businesses if these are crucial to their holiday plans.

We sincerely hope that does not happen but in the, hopefully, very unlikely event it does please ensure you follow the appropriate Government advice. Please note this may be different depending on the country you are staying in. The UK government guidance for holiday homes in England can be found here. You will see that if you or a member of your party falls ill at a property, you should self-isolate and request a test. If you are confirmed to have Covid-19 you should return home if you can. We understand that the Scottish Government guidance is consistent with this. When contacting the NHS please specifically mention that you are staying in a holiday home. If you are advised by NHS to remain at the property, we will work with the owner to facilitate this as best we can and you will be required to pay the rates due for an additional stay and any other costs that relate to the additional stay.


Existing Bookings

General

Customers with bookings due to depart prior to the opening of holiday accommodation in the country of their holiday are eligible for a transfer, free of charge. Please see the dates above for when these periods end. If your holiday date was during the government “lockdown” period (before 4th July) and you have not yet discussed your booking with us, please contact our Customer Services Team and we will get back to you to discuss your options as soon as we can.

If your booking is in the future, and it is affected by government guidance or legislation that means the property is available but you cannot travel, please see our section “Your own situation” below.

Our team are currently working extremely hard to get back to all of our customers about each and every query received as quickly as possible. We appreciate that in these times you would like a quicker response than normal. Unfortunately, due to the sheer volume of enquiries, we apologise that this isn’t possible at the moment. Our team are working as hard as they can to get back to everyone and will do so in departure date order.

If a customer has chosen to amend their booking, a customer has 24 hours in which to make changes to this resolution if they wish to. Once this period has passed, it is not possible to change the resolution of an amended booking and the agreed outcome will be final. Please contact our customer services team if you need to do this.

We will review our policy in line with the government advice as it is issued, as a minimum, every 3 weeks.


Insurance

If you have purchased insurance through holidaycottages.co.uk or another of The Travel Chapter brands, your insurance is provided by Towergate. Your insurance documents were provided to you at the time of booking.

If you purchased travel insurance through holidaycottages.co.uk before 17th March 2020, then you should be covered if: you are diagnosed as having coronavirus, or you are required to self-isolate, or if you or a member of your household has contracted the illness, provided that the holiday date coincides with the period of self-isolation and you obtain a case reference from NHS111, please see further information online. Please contact Towergate to discuss your circumstances further.

If you transfer your booking using our Special Customer Amendments Policy, please note we have been informed that Towergate will allow the policy to be transferred to the amended booking, but that it will not cover any future claim relating to coronavirus.

Policies purchased after Monday 17th March 2020 will not cover claims relating to coronavirus.

If you transfer your booking using our Special Customer Amendments Policy, please note we have been informed that Towergate will allow the policy to be transferred to the amended booking, but that it will not cover any future claim relating to coronavirus.

For policies purchased before 1st January 2020 contact: [email protected]
For policies purchased on or after 1st January 2020 contact: [email protected]


Payments and amendments

Under normal circumstances guests are required to pay the balance for their holiday no later than 9 weeks (63 days) before their holiday is due to commence.

However, due to the on-going situation with coronavirus, for holidays booked before April 16th 2020, we have introduced a new Special Balance Payments Policy to help ease the worry of our customers who like to wait longer before making a decision as to whether to go ahead or to cancel their booking.For any holidays due to take place in September (regardless of when they were booked), and any holidays taking place in July and August booked after April 16th, the balance is due 9 weeks before departure. You can log in to your online customer account and see the exact date there.

We are not intending to extend our Special Balance Payments Policy to September holidays. Now that self-catering accommodation is re-opening we are returning to our normal balance collection policies, being 9 weeks prior to the holiday start date. If customers are concerned they may not be able to take their holiday they should consider their options as outlined within the FAQs below.

Customers can pay their outstanding balance by logging into their online customer account. Due to the volume of enquiries we’re currently receiving we would appreciate it if all customers could make this payment online.

If you cannot travel due to your circumstances or no longer wish to travel you can cancel your booking by logging into your online customer account and selecting the “amend booking” option.

As per our standard booking terms, guest’s deposits and the booking fees are non-refundable.

Under normal circumstances guests are required to pay the balance for their holiday no later than 9 weeks (63 days) before their holiday is due to commence.

However, due to the larger than normal demand and on-going changes to guidance around coronavirus, if a guest cancels their booking that was due to depart in July or August and the property is re-let, we will refund the guest the money they have paid up to the maximum amount we re-let the property for. Please login to your online customer account and select the “amend booking” option for more information.

If you cannot travel due to your own circumstances or no longer wish to travel you can cancel your booking by logging into your Online customer account and selecting the “amend booking” option.

As per our standard booking terms, guest’s deposits and booking fees are non-refundable. Any refunds due will be calculated in accordance with our standard booking terms.


Your own situation

The government guidance is constantly being reviewed and updated and is always subject to change. Before deciding whether to travel, customers should ensure they have checked and understood the relevant government guidance that is applicable to them and their party.

If you are unable to travel due to government guidance or restrictions that means the property is available, but you cannot get there, we will do our best to facilitate a transfer to a different date in the future, subject to the Property Owner’s agreement. The quickest and easiest way to request a transfer of your dates from logging in to your online customer account and selecting the “Amend Booking” button.

If a transfer is not possible for any reason you should cancel your booking by visiting your online customer account and selecting the “Amend Booking” button.

Please note: We are working through all requests of this nature in date order, so there will be a delay in getting back to you.

The government guidance is constantly being reviewed and updated and is always subject to change. Before deciding whether to travel, customers should ensure they have checked and understood the relevant government guidance that is applicable to them and their party.

If you are unable to travel due to government guidance or restrictions that means the property is available, but you cannot get there, we will do our best to facilitate a transfer to a different date in the future, subject to the Property Owner’s agreement. The quickest and easiest way to request a transfer of your dates from logging in to your online customer account and selecting the “Amend Booking” button.

If a transfer is not possible for any reason you should cancel your booking by visiting your online customer account and selecting the “Amend Booking” button.

Please note: We are working through all requests of this nature in date order, so there will be a delay in getting back to you.

The government guidance is constantly being reviewed and updated and is always subject to change. Before deciding whether to travel, customers should ensure they have checked and understood the relevant government guidance that is applicable to them and their party.

If you are unable to travel due to government guidance or restrictions that means the property is available, but your party make up is against the guidance and you decide you do not wish to travel, we will do our best to facilitate a transfer to a different date in the future, subject to the Property Owner’s agreement. The quickest and easiest way to request a transfer of your dates from logging in to your online customer account and selecting the “Amend Booking” button.

If a transfer is not possible for any reason you should cancel your booking by visiting your online customer account and selecting the “Amend Booking” button.

Please note: We are working through all requests of this nature in date order, so there will be a delay in getting back to you.

This will depend on the circumstances and the legislation put in place surrounding the lockdown. If the property is unavailable due to a localised lockdown we would expect to be able to provide you with various options including transferring your booking to later in the year or next year, a holiday voucher, or a cash refund. We will review and refine our policies depending on the specific circumstances.


Before you go and at the property

All arrival information is available in a customer’s account once they have paid their balance in full. Our team will also send this arrival information to you automatically via email prior to your stay.

Once a guest has paid in full they will be given the Property Owner’s details. It will then be possible to make contact with the Property Owner to ask any questions and get the latest information about your upcoming stay.

All of our properties are already cleaned to a high standard and in light of the current situation all of our property owners have been provided with additional information around changeovers, key collection and cleaning best practice to help reduce the risks at properties where possible.

We sincerely hope that does not happen but in the, hopefully, very unlikely event it does please ensure you follow the appropriate Government advice. Please note this may be different depending on the country you are staying in. The UK government guidance for holiday homes in England can be found here. You will see that if you or a member of your party falls ill at a property, you should self-isolate and request a test. If you are confirmed to have Covid-19 you should return home if you can. We understand that the Scottish Government guidance is consistent with this. When contacting the NHS please specifically mention that you are staying in a holiday home. If you are advised by NHS to remain at the property, we will work with the owner to facilitate this as best we can and you will be required to pay the rates due for an additional stay and any other costs that relate to the additional stay.

Shops, attractions, pubs and other establishments are always subject to changes in their opening times and availability. It is not possible for anyone to predict the availability of such amenities and customers should always check directly with particular businesses if these are crucial to their holiday plans.

We know that customers want to do their best to help the local communities that they are visiting whilst they are on holiday. That is why we have put together our Responsible Holidays Charter where you can find advice from us on how to holiday responsibly and sustainably with additional information in light of coronavirus.


The Travel Chapter Limited, trading as holidaycottages.co.uk | The Travel Chapter Limited is registered in England and Wales. | Registered office Travel Chapter House Gammaton Road Bideford EX39 4DF Company No. 02431506 | VAT reg: 143053210