The second UK national lockdown came into effect on Thursday, November 5th and is due to last until at least December 2nd, after which the government has announced it hopes to return to the previous regional restriction tiered system.

During this time, there are certain restrictions in place concerning overnight stays and what is and is not permitted by law. Here at Guestroom Genie we like to keep things straightforward, so we have simplified the guidance for you; here’s who can and can’t stay in your rooms…

Can I stay open for holiday makers in the UK?

No, the government have stated that all travel for leisure reasons is banned, and overnight stays in hotels, apartments, Bed and Breakfasts, boutiques and holiday cottages for leisure reasons are not permitted. Where possible, people should stay at home.

Can I stay open for specific guests?

Yes, whilst leisure holidays, classed as “non-essential travel” are not allowed, hotels are allowed to open to provide accommodation for guests for a limited number of reasons. Guests are legally allowed to stay in your accommodation if:

  • They require alternative accommodation as they need to travel for work
  • They are unable to return to their primary residence
  • They use your accommodation as their main residence
  • They require other accommodation whilst they are moving to a new house
  • They need alternative accommodation to attend a funeral or a related commemorative event, e.g. scattering ashes and stone setting ceremonies
  • They require accommodation to provide voluntary services
  • They are a child requiring alternative accommodation for education and/or care
  • They are part of a vulnerable group, e.g. are homeless, seeking asylum or are in a vulnerable situation, e.g. seeking refuge from domestic violence
  • They require accommodation to provide voluntary services
  • They are elite athletes, their coach, support staff or, if the athlete is under 18, the parent of an elite athlete, if it is necessary to be away from home for the purposes of training or competition

Guests who are already staying with you may remain doing so if they are unable to return to their home, are self-isolating as required by law, or would be made homeless as a consequence of your accommodation closing.

What should I do when someone contacts me to make a booking?

The government have stated that you should,“take reasonable steps to encourage guests to adhere to government restrictions.” This includes:

  • Informing guests of all restrictions when taking bookings
  • Checking with your guests that they belong to an exemption group (see above exemptions)
  • Reminding guests that they must not travel unless it is essential
  • Communicating current restrictions to customers with existing bookings, giving them a chance to cancel or rearrange their stay if it is not essential and they do not meet exemption criteria
  • Reminding guests to stay at home should they present with any coronavirus symptoms, live with someone with symptoms, or have been told to self-isolate by a test and trace service

You may refuse or cancel bookings that are not essential – this is at the discretion of the accommodation provider, and the terms of the booking contract. If you intentionally take a booking that does not adhere to government restrictions, you may be at risk of the premises being closed.

Whilst communicating with your potential guests, be sure to inform them of the health and safety adaptions you have made in line with government advice, and any modified services they can expect to experience, e.g. room service rather than food served in communal eating spaces.

Here at Guestroom Genie we understand what a difficult time this is for many businesses. Keeping up to date with the latest restrictions and regulations is time consuming and stressful. There’s no better time to exchange multiple business systems for a simple, cost effective property management system. Guestroom Genie are dedicated to providing a property management system that helps support your business. Let Guestroom Genie grant your wishes; contact us or call 0114 207 0221 today to discuss your FREE trial.

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