Covid19 - Customers FAQs
Published: Tuesday 17th March 2020
Updated: Friday 25th September 2020
To all our valued customers and homeowners,
As a family-owned business, people are at the heart of everything we do, so your safety and health is, and continues to be, our top priority. We have put measures in place to ensure you can have a safe and enjoyable holiday, to read more about this, visit our Safety First page. Furthermore, you can book without worrying about what may happen in the event of further restrictions. You can see the detail on our Book with Confidence page.
The Government rules in relation to Covid are constantly being updated and are therefore subject to change. We will do our best to keep this page as up to date as we can. The property details pages on our website provide information about individual properties and you can find the answers to other Frequently Asked Questions below. We hope that this information is helpful. It includes the information our teams will be able to give you if you do contact us.
For customers impacted by the new rules on gatherings and localised restrictions:
New rules on gatherings:
From 14 September 2020, it will be against the law to meet people you do not live with, indoors or outdoors, in a group larger than 6 (unless you are part of the same household or support bubble). In England, the maximum of 6 people includes children of all ages whereas in Wales, children under the age of 11 are not included within the maximum of 6.
As such, any bookings with a party size of 7 or more cannot currently take place unless the party members are from the same household or support bubble.
There are now a number of different legislated localised restrictions in place in England and Wales. Please note that, at the moment, holidays within areas covered by localised restrictions in England are still able to go ahead provided you travel with your household or support bubble. However, no one is permitted to enter or leave an area affected by a regional lockdown in Wales without a reasonable excuse (such as for work or education).
We will do our best to contact all guests we believe are affected by the legal restrictions, however, it remains the responsibility of guests to ensure they are complying with the law.
Any customers impacted by the above have the following options:
- Transfer your holiday to new dates in 2020 or 2021, free of charge. Furthermore, if you choose the equivalent dates in 2021 (taking into account any changes in public or school holiday dates), and you booked before 15 September, we will freeze the price.
- Get a credit voucher for the amount previously paid for your booking, to spend on any Original Cottages break, to take place before the end of 2021.
- Change your booking by either reducing the number of people travelling or changing the composition of your party such that the booking can still go ahead under the new rules.
- Cancel your booking and receive a refund of the amount already paid for the holiday.
If your party size is greater than 7 people, but the party is from the same household or support bubble, your booking can still go ahead as planned and the above options do not apply to your booking.
If you have not yet heard from us, please complete the contact us form to advise us which of the above options you wish to choose and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
There is currently no official end date to the new rules, however, the legislation is subject to regular Government review. This means that the new legislative restrictions may be relaxed within a few weeks. As such, in order to prioritise providing assistance to customers with imminent bookings, we are initially only able to respond to affected customers with bookings due to start prior to 28 October 2020. This date will be reviewed/extended on a weekly basis dependant on Government updates.
We politely request that if your booking is due to start after this date, that you wait and see what the position is nearer the time. Please be assured that if it is impossible for you to take your booked holiday due to legal restrictions after 28 October 2020, the above options will be available to you. If there are no legal restrictions in place at the date your booking is due to start our normal terms and conditions apply.
We advise all our guests to keep up to date with the latest Government rules and guidance on travel (https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus) and take this and their own personal circumstances into account before booking and deciding whether to travel.
We will continue to update this page with more information as and when needed but in the meantime, we would like to thank each and every one of you for your understanding and support during this difficult period. You are the reason our teams come to work every day and love what they do - so we thank you for working with us to ensure we can continue to provide you with the best UK holidays again in the future.
- The Original Cottages Family
If there are legal restrictions in place preventing me from taking my holiday, what options do I have?
When you book with Big House Holidays, you can be assured that our team will be ready to move or cancel your booking if the need arises.
Booking with us gives you the reassurance that if you are unable to go on holiday because:
There are UK Government restrictions on travel due to the Coronavirus outbreak in place at the date your holiday was due to start which make going on your holiday impossible, and/or
The property or location you have booked is legally closed to visitors due to the Coronavirus outbreak at the date your holiday was due to start
Then you will be able to choose one of the following options:
- Transfer your holiday to new dates in 2020 or 2021, free of charge. Alongside our property owners, we shall do everything we can to help you transfer your holiday to another date. Furthermore, if you choose the equivalent dates in 2021 (taking into account any changes in public or school holiday dates), and you booked before 15 September, we will freeze the price. If you decide to transfer your holiday to a different (non-equivalent) date in either 2020 or 2021, any difference in the price of your new dates will be applied or credited as appropriate at the time of transferring.
- If you are not in a position to decide on new holiday dates now you can choose to receive a Credit Voucher for the amount previously paid for your booking, to spend on any Original Cottages break, to take place before the end of 2021. Terms and conditions can be found here.
- We encourage all our customers to transfer your holiday to another date and alongside our property owners, we shall do everything we can to help you to do this. If you do not wish to do this, you will be able to cancel your booking and receive a refund of the amount already paid for the holiday.
All other booking terms and conditions remain unchanged.
What is the position if I am in a property in an area that has local restrictions imposed during the course of my holiday?
The government’s guidance states that if restrictions are imposed in a local area during your holiday and it is not reasonable for you to curtail your stay, you should finish your holiday as planned. Until the end of this holiday you should make every effort to reduce socialising indoors outside of your household and follow local regulations and guidance.
What is the position where the Government has issued guidance which means I may not wish to travel?
We appreciate that some guests may have bookings that are affected by Government guidance (as opposed to legal restrictions). Since this guidance is subject to regular review and updates, we recommend you wait until closer to the start of your holiday before deciding whether to change your arrangements.
However, if you would like to make a change to your holiday, because the property is legally available and because you are not legally restricted from travelling, then our normal terms and conditions apply. We are happy to approach the homeowner to try and find you a suitable alternative or a refund, however this remains at the discretion of the homeowner. To request a change to your booking outside of formal/legal lockdown restrictions, please contact us on 0333 2020 899.
I’ve got an E-Voucher, how do I redeem it?
In order to redeem your e-voucher, please follow these steps:
- Log in to your customer account via the 'Login' link at the top of this web page. If you have not yet registered an account please select 'Create an account' and follow the instructions.
- Select 'Vouchers' in the main menu. Voucher terms and conditions can be found here.
- You’ll then see a list of all your vouchers and can click on each one to see more details, including the holiday dates that the voucher is valid for.
- Select the voucher you want to use and click 'Use this voucher'.
- You’ll be taken to our website where you can select the property and dates you’d like, and make your booking.
The voucher will be automatically applied to the booking and you’ll see it deducted from the total cost. If the value of the voucher is less than the cost of your new booking, you’ll need to pay the remaining amount. (Deposit payments are due immediately and balance payments are currently due 12 weeks before your holiday starts.)
If the value of the voucher is more than the cost of your new booking, the balance will stay on the voucher and you can use it towards another holiday.
If you have any issues, please contact us here.
Why have you changed the arrival/departure times?
The safety of our guests, owners, housekeepers and the local communities are of paramount importance to us. As such, on the advice of medical/public health professionals, we have implemented a new regime which allows for there to be a sufficient time period between guests leaving and the housekeeper entering the property so as to reduce the risk of any infection. This is vitally important in terms of both protecting the safety of the housekeepers as well as the community at large. Furthermore, additional time is required to ensure the properties are thoroughly cleaned and sanitised in line with Government guidelines, please visit our Safety First page for more details.
What happens if I or one of my party feels unwell during my stay?
If you or a member of your party show symptoms that could be related to coronavirus you must follow the appropriate government advice. In addition, please contact us and we will be able to assist you. When contacting the NHS, please specifically state that you are staying in a holiday property. 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 amount due for an additional stay in addition to any related costs.
Where can I find more information on Coronavirus?
To find out more about Coronavirus and read the most recent advice from our Government, we would advise you to visit: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus