Managing the risk of Covid-19 transmission at your property:

Our aim is to support you with the tools to make assessing and managing the risk of a holidaymaker contracting Covid-19 at your property as straightforward as possible. 

Government guidance states all businesses should assess the risk of Covid-19 to any of their customers. It is best practice for holiday homeowners to record this process via a risk assessment. To help, we have created a template that can be easily adapted to your property. 

As the owner of a holiday property, you are ultimately responsible for the health and safety of your guests. By completing a risk assessment, you can demonstrate (should the need arise) that you considered the risks posed by Covid-19 at your holiday home and put in place reasonable measures to protect your guests. The Government's guidance states all businesses should consider the risk of Covid-19 and how these can be mitigated. Whilst it does state “if you have fewer than 5 workers, or are self-employed, you don’t have to write anything down as part of your risk assessment”, we believe a simple document as a record of what was considered and done to limit the risk of infection is best practice. However, it is ultimately your decision on how you document your procedures. 

We have produced a number of resources that might help you decide how you wish to prepare your property for guests, information about these are available below. You will also find a risk assessment template which might act as a good starting point for you to adapt and apply to your property.

Recommendations for property preparation

We have already shared with you our recommendations on how to adapt the way holiday properties are  prepared and cleaned to ensure those involved in that preparation are protected and safe and to provide our guests with confidence that the risk of contracting Covid-19 has been minimised. You can access the recommendations here.

Cleaning checklist

A clear and concise checklist of the additional cleaning measures from our recommendations can be found here. This can be used when cleaning your property to keep a record of the steps that have been taken.

Property information card

In all properties managed by us, a new information card has been placed containing a breakdown of the changes made in response to Covid-19 with details of how to report symptoms. An online version of the information card can be viewed here

The information card is permitted for use in owner managed properties where all recommendations laid out in the document are being followed. The document should be provided, laminated and sanitised between stays, or replaced with each stay.

Handling suspected or confirmed cases of Covid-19

In the unlikely event that a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19 is reported to us we have launched a dedicated new telephone support line and email address, enabling us to rapidly respond. We have also devised a process which we will follow when a suspected or confirmed case is reported, information about this and the measures we will take to protect you, our teams and onward guests can be found here.

Managed properties

Where we carry out the cleaning or maintenance of your property for you our teams will be operating in line with our recommendations, using our cleaning checklist and leaving an information card in the property ready for the incoming guests. You can use the above resources to help you incorporate the work we are doing for you into your risk assessment.

Risk assessment template

We have created a template risk assessment for managing the spread of Covid-19 in holiday accommodation. It is essential that you consider the risk yourself and tailor to your property as there may be other considerations or specific risks for you to include. 

Select here to open and download the risk assessment template

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why do I need to do a risk assessment?

As owner of the holiday property, you are ultimately responsible for the health & safety of your guests. By completing a risk assessment, you can demonstrate (should the need arise) that you considered the risks posed by Covid-19 at your holiday home. The Government's guidance states all businesses should consider the risk of Covid-19 and how these can be mitigated. Whilst it does state “if you have fewer than 5 workers, or are self-employed, you don’t have to write anything down as part of your risk assessment”, however, we believe a simple document as a record of what was considered and done to limit the risk of infection is best practice. However, it is ultimately your decision on how you document your procedures.

Do you as the agency require a copy of the completed risk assessment?

No, we do not need to keep a copy on file. If you wish to share with us then please do so but as a “living document” we are aware there may be additions or alterations as the situation evolves and it may not be practical to always update it in multiple places.

If you manage my property can you complete it for me?

Sorry, we cannot complete it on your behalf. However, we hope by providing a risk assessment template, resources and advice and guidance on procedures that this gets you most of the way to recording potential risks and how you can best mitigate them.

Will I be liable if someone contracts Covid-19 in my property?

Our understanding is that in order for a guest to successfully bring a claim for contracting Covid-19 in a property, they would have to be able to definitively prove that that property is where they contracted the virus and even then they would have to prove that the contracting of the virus was down to the negligence of the property owner. In relation to the first point, it is our understanding that, due to the nature of the virus, it would be virtually impossible to prove where the virus was contracted and therefore it is likely that no guest would be able to successfully bring a claim in this regard. 

In relation to the second point re negligence, we advise that all procedures for dealing with the risks associated with Covid-19 are documented contemporaneously so as to be able to prove that all reasonable precautions have been taken (which would provide a defence to any claims of negligence), this includes the completion of the risk assessment in addition to the documentation of the additional cleaning procedures that will be undertaken.

Where can I read more about this?

The Government released advice about hospitality on the 24th June and the guidance can be seen here. The Professional Association of Self-Caterers (PASC) have issued guidance and their recommendations can be read on their website https://www.pascuk.co.uk/.

Can a guest ask for a copy?

Yes - the Government guidance states: “We would expect all businesses to demonstrate to their workers and customers that they have properly assessed their risk and taken appropriate measures to mitigate this. You should do this by displaying a notification in a prominent place in your business and on your website, if you have one.”

Is it legally required?

The Government guidance states “if you have fewer than 5 workers, or are self-employed, you don’t have to write anything down as part of your risk assessment”, however, we believe a simple document as a record of what was considered and done to limit the risk of infection is best practice. However, it is ultimately your decision on how you document your procedures.

What if I don’t want to do it?

As stated, we fully recommend this is done, but ultimately this is your decision.