covid 19 Information and update

**********31 October 2020 update**********

Thank you for checking back for the November update re Covid-19

The Government announce a further total lockdown for England to commence  5 November 2020 until at least 2 December 2020. Of course no bookings can be accepted for this period however the diary is open from 2 December 2020 onwards. All November reservations have now been contacted and re-booked or cancelled. We look forward to welcoming guests again once the current Covid situation improves. Guests will not face any cancellation charge if their reservation is prevented from going ahead as a result of Govt Covid-19 restrictions. We understand the Tier system will be re-introduced once the full lockdown comes to an end…the full implication of this and how it will affect the South West will no doubt show itself in due course. As always our appreciation goes to all our guests who continue to support us.

*********26 October 2020 update*********

Thank you for checking back for the October update re Covid-19 

From 6pm on Friday 23 October, travel to and from the whole of Wales is prohibited as part of a Welsh national lockdown until 9 November. UK Govt have further announced measures for England in an on-going effort to slow down and hopefully stop rising Covid infection rates. In the South West the new Tier category system places our location in Tier 1 which is the lowest area category…Tier 3 being the highest.

As the South West is in Tier 1 the new rules will mostly apply to local restrictions on where a guest resides as Covid Tier levels in effect travel wherever the individual travels within the UK.

Visitors coming from another Tier 1 medium alert area face no new restrictions when staying in the South West…of course the current Covid rules remain in place including  rule of 6 / social distancing / 10pm hospitality closing /wearing of face masks etc and guests are able to dine indoors in a group of 6 from any number of families.

Guests coming to visit us here in Somerset from a Tier 2 high alert area have further restrictions to comply with. Guests are advised to restrict travel to essential only and travel with people in their household or support bubble. They may dine in their group or support bubble but cannot dine indoors in a group exceeding 6. Dining outdoors in a group of 6 is permissible.

Guests are not permitted to visit us here in Somerset from a Tier 3 very high alert area. People are requested not to travel if residing in a Tier 3 area and if they do they must only travel to another Tier 3 for essential reasons only. Tier 3 residents are prohibited from socialising with anybody they do not live with, or have not formed a support bubble with in any indoor setting. There are some exceptions to this but in the main these are the rules. Staying overnight in a Tier 3 area is not permitted if it means being inside with people outside your household or support bubble. We regret to advise that we are not currently accepting reservations from current and future Tier 3 locations.

On a more positive note and one much closer to home is our pleasure to report that as far as we know, no guest or member of staff has been ill or shown any Covid symptom either during or immediately after staying with us here at ECH. For this we are grateful to all guests for following the rules of the House and of course outside in the wider environment…thanks to everyone…you can all come again!!

***********23 September 2020 update*********

Thank you for checking back for the September update re Covid-19

The Govt have recently introduced further Covid 19 measures due to come into force on 24 September 2020…it looks very much like that these new changes will one way or another affect most people currently living in the UK for at least the next 6 months. The hospitality industry is particularly challenged in meeting these new restrictions but looking on the bright side we are not facing a complete lockdown in the way that we were back on the 23 March 2020. Face masks will now have to be worn by guests when in the House unless eating or drinking when sitting at a table or in the privacy of their own room.

Sally will be serving breakfast and evening dinner wearing a face mask and from hereon, the Honesty Bar will close at 10pm. At check-in we shall be wearing face masks and the same is expected of arriving guests. If wearing a face mask is problematic for the guest we would respectfully ask that the guest does not make a reservation at this time as no exception to this face mask wearing rule will be made. Once in the House guests will need to use face masks whenever moving around public areas including the Honesty Bar area.

Guests will find an Exmoor Country House QR scan code for track and trace purposes located in the front porch..it’s not mandatory that this is used as the lead booker will have already submitted validated contact details for the group when making the reservation nevertheless guests are encouraged to scan the QR subject to having the app on an up to date iPhone or Android device. A single group of 6 persons is the maximum group size that we will accommodate…group size larger than this will not be permitted.

Continued guest understanding and support makes for an easier task of running a tight ship within the Covid rules and regulations…our thanks go to all our guests who have played such an important part in helping to keep us all safe and well during recent months at Exmoor Country House.

*********** 24 August 2020 update ***********

Thank you for checking back for the August update re Covid-19  

As owner operators Sally and I are the ones who will deal with every aspect of your stay either before, during or after. Since re-opening six weeks ago, the Covid procedures we put in place at that time remain in place. Guests common-sense and respect for others have made our job much easier than it might have otherwise been…and more importantly no guest (as far as it’s possible for us to know) has been ill or shown any adverse symptoms of Covid-19 since our re-opening….for this we are truly thankful for everyone who has played their part.

Guests have us asked many questions about what we do behind the scenes and how we deal with daily things like offering breakfast in a Covid safe and manageable way. For those who have asked the question and for those thinking about staying with us, here is a blow by blow account of how we manage breakfast here at the House.

Guests will normally come down for breakfast anytime between 8am and 930am…we don’t need to know the exact time or what guests would like for breakfast…..so far so good!  Each guest has their own table exclusively for their own use during their stay and tables are left bare until the guest arrives…when they do Sally brings to table things like cutlery, condiments etc as well as a newly printed daily breakfast menu. After taking the guest order everything will be served to the guest at their table. At the end of breakfast service, guests usually head back to their room and everything else usually heads back to the kitchen. Cutlery and crockery etc goes through a high temperature deep clean dishwasher cycle and all condiments including toast racks, salt/pepper pots etc etc are hand wiped using 99.99% antibacterial wipes. All unused and unopened items such as jam pots etc are then quarantined for up to 4 days. Our two secure quaratine areas located on the ground and first floors are where all quarantine items are left undisturbed for at least 72 hours. After the quarantine period has elapsed items are then returned back to stock.

We look forward to welcoming all guests and hope everyone enjoys their breakfast!!

********** 22 July 2020 Update **********

Thank you for checking back for the July update re Covid-19

 Now that everyone is beavering away in the new norm we’re reverting to our usual 6 days a week for guest evening dinner so from the end of July 2020 the pots and pans will be clattering every day except Sunday. Pre-order evening dinner the day before arrival from the menu.

The following is a quick resume of what you can expect from us during the current situation.

The new face mask rule for shoppers will come into effect on 24 July which of course does not affect us as an accommodation provider. It’s up to guests to choose whether or not to wear a face mask in the House..it’s not something guests are generally choosing to do however the choice is a personal one and belongs entirely with the guest.

There’s no need to book a time slot for breakfast.

Guests will be shown to their room…a morning newspaper may be ordered which will be left outside the guest bedroom in the morning.

We are not operating a 2 night minimum stay policy.

We won’t be asking guests to fill out a pre-arrival health questionnaire or taking an infra red temperature check on arrival.

We are asking guests to maintain social distancing…all guests will be shown and instructed on new House rules and Covid procedures.

If you are not feeling well please do not travel.

If you have a reservation please check here from time to time for the latest  information.

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Following government permission (23 June 2020) we shall reopen the House to guests from Saturday 4 July 2020.

On the 4 July the 2m social distancing rule will be dropped in favour of a new 1m plus mitigation rule. We believe social distancing of 1m plus can be comfortably maintained in the House.

Surfaces regularly touched like door handles etc will have disinfection surface wipes placed nearby and of course hand sanitizer gel stations will be located throughout the House. We’ll be wiping these often used surfaces throughout the day.

Guests will be able to pre-order evening dinner every night of the week except Sunday…only guests are offered the option of evening dinner as we not open to the public.

 We shall not be setting out our normal breakfast buffet however Sally will be delighted to serve guests from the kitchen anything that would normally be put out for self-service. Full cooked English breakfast will of course still be available and cooked to order. Table menu’s will be removed along with other items normally out on the breakfast/dinner table. Cutlery will be sanitized before being brought out to the guest table and each room will have their own table for their exclusive use at breakfast and/or dinner for the duration of their stay.

There are changes to what we have in our rooms and how we manage our housekeeping. The following steps and measures have been taken to ensure good health and wellbeing for all our guests, our staff and ourselves.

Radio, robes, alarm clock, pen/paper and hairdryer have all been removed from your room. If you would like any item reinstated please let us know.

Magazines and books have also been removed from the guest bedroom. If you would like reading material please help yourself from the selection on the table outside your room. Quarantine trays will be available for guests to deposit handled printed material. Guests will be able to pre-order their own morning newspaper.

Remote controls are sealed in clear protective bags.

Your room will have been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized prior to your arrival. Beds will have been completely stripped and the mattress misted with a low odour 99.99% effective disinfectant (Nemisis eH2O.) Beds will be remade using fresh and sanitised bed linen

For now we shall be suspending normal daily room service…however we shall carry out a reduced daily basic room service.

Things which we shall not be doing in the daily basic service include…

Room tidy up

Vacuuming

Bed Making

Handling used towels

Sanitizing/wiping any items or surfaces

Basic servicing of guest bedrooms will only take place once the room is empty.

Please use the personal sanitizer gel in your room with our compliments.

We have decided not to introduce guest temperature testing as we understand skin surface temperature tests to be of limited value. Temperature tests are not mandatory in the UK.

We’ll appreciate card payments where possible…we will however still accept cash.

If guests feel unwell on or before the check-in date we ask that they do not travel but stay at home and seek immediate help by visiting www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19  Advice will be given should a guest become unwell while staying with us.

Our large private garden will be available to guests to fully enjoy Exmoory weather..!

We’re very mindful that guests visit Exmoor to relax and enjoy quality time in a beautiful and tranquil location. Although Covid 19 may be disruptive government guidance is issued for the health and safety of us all. As owners of ECH we shall apply the guidelines with diligence and without exception but we’ll do our very best not overburden our guests by going beyond government advice and guidelines. If there is anything of specific concern regarding an existing or a new reservation please ask……if we can answer it we will.

We would sincerely like to thank everyone for being so patient and supportive during a difficult time for us all…we look forward to welcoming you back to Exmoor in all it’s blooming loveliness!