March 25, 2020

Covid-19 and 41 Mill

Last updated 7th August, 2021

Firstly, best wishes to all during these challenging times for all.

We will use this page to update all future guests with existing bookings and potential guests who have not yet booked with us yet on our plan around Covid-19.

Summer 2021 Update - 19th July relaxation of restrictions

With most legal restrictions ending in England on the 19th July, 41 Mill is largely back to how it was run pre-pandemic. The rule of 6 has been removed, meaning there are no legally imposed limitations on guest numbers or households that can visit us. Track and trace forms are no longer being collected before arrival and it is no longer a requirement to book the Swimming Pool in advance. We are still keeping enhanced cleaning measures in place, and the more practical touches like leaving small bottles of hand sanitiser for guests on arrival. We would advocate you wear masks in the indoor parts of the Estate and in shops in the local community so we can all do our bit to minimise transmission.

In reality, we've found the biggest difference is simplicity for you and us. Holidays have been complicated for the last year or so... we feel they're getting more straight forward now for both our guests and us as owners. Long may that continue :)

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NHS Track and Trace (2020 - no longer in place as of Summer 2021)

From Thursday 24th September 2020, it is a requirement of leisure operators (the Lower Mill Estate and 41 Mill specifically are included in this classification) to further support the government's Track and Trace program as per guidelines at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-workplace-guidance.

The government now requires that any business or venue accepting members of the public (which would apply to rental guests), support Test and Trace through registering the venue on the .gov website and displaying a Test and Trace poster with a QR code at each individual venue. We have put a QR code poster up at the entrance of 41 Mill. Furthermore, shared facilities at the estate (Mill Pool, playground, sports pitch) have QR codes in place also. We ask all guests over the age of 16 to download the government's NHS Covid-19 app from the Apple's App Store or Google's Play store.

Maximum Group Size of 6 (2020 - no longer in place as of Summer 2021)

As of Monday 14th September 2020, the government have stated it is no longer legal to meet in groups of more than 6 socially in England. Clarification from the government ( https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do#can-i-go-on-holiday-can-i-stay-in-my-second-home ) confirms this law applies to those visiting holiday homes. The only exception to this law is if you already live in a household of more than 6 or the combined group is part of the same bubble.

Of course this impacts a number of our existing guests who booked with us before this new rule was introduced. As has been the case throughout this pandemic, we are aiming to be as fair and flexible to guests as possible. With that in mind, if bookings were made prior to the announcement of this new rule, guests have the option to:

- Cancel their booking: If made directly with us (vs a booking site like AirBNB) we will refund you in full. If made through a booking site such as AirBNB we will refund all of our side of the booking. It is unclear at the time of writing if and how AirBNB will refund your booking fee
- Postpone their booking: we'd be happy to re-schedule the booking for your for a future date
- Reduce the size of your booking to 6 or under: We realise this may be tricky if you're holidaying as two groups or families

For guests booking after 9th September 2020, we have decided to allow bookings to be made for more than 6 people in the expectation that this law will be relaxed at a later date. Please note for these bookings it will be the duty and responsibility of guests to ensure they adhere to the rules in place at the time the booking takes place, and we won't be able to refund guests who book for a group of more than 6 to find they are only able to have 6 guests stay.

Re-opening

41 Mill re-opened to guests as of the 4th July. To support the re-opening of the Estate, we ask that all abide by amended Estate rules that are available at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_klwnKbBv0AfWGdltBG07kmSwaWHo6pN/view?usp=sharing

As the tourism and leisure sector gradually begins to re-open, it can be hard to keep track of what is and what isn't open. Many thanks to Davina and the Cotswold Water Park who are curating this list of local suppliers and their plans and progress with re-opening: https://waterpark.org/#covid_update

Future bookings

We are very happy to take future bookings, and indeed at a time when the travel industry is facing a significant slowdown, these would be of real value and use to us from a cashflow point of view.

We are happy for these to be either for specific dates or on an open ended deposit basis.

Normally we charge 50% of a total booking value at the point of booking. We have reduced this to 25% in acknowledgment of the uncertainty that still exists for guests and us as owners. In the event you have to change dates (for whatever reason) or we do (where requested to legally remain closed by the government) you can either re-book for future dates of your choosing or keep the deposit open ended.

Our booking calendar is up to date and available to take booking at this lower deposit rate now: https://www.millvillage.co.uk/rates/

We are also happy to take "open ended" deposits for a booking at a future date. If you're not sure when you would like to stay, but would like to place a deposit to ensure priority booking please contact us to discuss further.

Cleaning

We are working closely with the Estate's professional contract cleaning business who undertake all of our cleans to ensure all Health and Safety guidance from government (along with best practice from relevant trade associations) are not only adhered to but surpassed. The cleaning company are employing a dedicated cleaning supervisor who has previously worked in a supervisory capacity for the NHS to oversee all cleans. In addition, we can offer to have 41 Mill professionally "fogged" between guests to ensure the very highest levels of deep cleanliness are adhered to. Please contact us if you would like more information on this optional (additional cost) option.

Existing bookings cancelled due to lockdown

We had a long discussion around how we help existing and potential guests in these extraordinary times.

After a hard think, we have taken the difficult but fair decision to provide full and complete refunds to *all* future 2020 guests who booked with us prior to lockdown and up to the re-opening of the Estate (4th July, 2020) with no penalty should they wish. This includes refunding of credit card booking fees as well. The house is mortgaged (and we rely on the rental income to pay that mortgage) but we are both currently in full-time work so can for the time being cover the mortgage.

Like all holidays, we do ask guests to ensure they're fully insured in the event of the need to cancel but understand that these are extraordinary times and in reality insurance claims will either take significant time (months) or have exclusions that prevent claims.

As an alternative, we are happy for you to move the booking to a future date this or next year. We would also offer you a 10% discount on the total booking cost should you wish to do this. It hopefully goes without saying that if you are able to, this would certainly be of benefit to us in terms of short-term cash flow.

Ultimately, the decision is totally yours. Hopefully the above gives our guests enough flexibility to make a decision that works best for them but if we've missed anything or if you have any other ideas, do please let us know.

We hope we've answered all your questions and are providing a flexible and open approach to support you, our guests, in these exceptional times.

As humans, we will be measured in the months and years to come as family, friends, colleagues, businesses and nations by the decisions we take over the next few weeks and months. Our motto in simple: #BeAGoodHuman

Be well and best wishes.