COVID-19: Are You a Considerate Holiday Home Guest?

Couple arriving at holiday home

As travel restrictions and lockdowns lift across the UK, people are finally able to take those long-awaited holidays and staycation breaks. For holiday homes in the UK, COVID-19 means that quite a few things will be different for guests. Follow our advice on what to know before you stay in a holiday property, and how to be a more considerate guest.

1. Read any guidance from your host

It is likely that your host will have had to make some significant changes to their operating procedures as a result of COVID-19, particularly regarding check-in, check-out, property changeovers, and cleaning protocols. If your host contacts you to provide information relating to COVID-19 in advance of your stay, take some time to familiarise yourself with important details.

Read through any guidelines carefully before you go, and in particular, take note of any items you are expected to bring along with you for your stay. Some properties are removing certain items to reduce the risk of COVID-19, and you may be asked to bring your own. This relates to items such as bedding, towels and other linens (e.g. tea towels) as well as your own crockery. If in doubt about what you need to bring, check with your host. 

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2. Be mindful of social distancing

social distancing

At the time of writing, a variety of social distancing measures remain in place across the UK, and these differ across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. We recommend checking the latest Government guidance for the country you are visiting before you leave – this is particularly important if you are travelling to a different country. 

When you arrive at your accommodation, we recommend keeping unnecessary face-to-face contact with your host, owner, and any staff who are working onsite to an absolute minimum. The same also applies when you are out and about in the local area too. When you are on holiday, it can be easy to let things slip – remember that restrictions are in place for the time being.

3. Know what to do if you develop symptoms

If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19 before your trip, do not travel. These are:

  • A high temperature
  • A new, continuous cough
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste


If you become unwell or suspect that you have COVID-19 symptoms whilst on holiday, current Government guidance is as follows:

  • Inform the host or owner of the property as soon as possible.
  • Immediately self-isolate in your accommodation to minimise any risk of transmission.
  • Request a COVID-19 test.

If you are confirmed to have COVID-19, you should return home if you reasonably can. If a guest cannot reasonably return home (for example because they are not well enough to travel or do not have the means to arrange transport), your circumstances should be discussed with an appropriate health care professional and, if necessary, the local authority.

4. Bring the right things with you

masks and hand sanitizer

Remember to bring a supply of face masks for everyone in your party with you. The rules in relation to the wearing of face masks differ across the UK, so make sure you are aware of the latest guidance for the area you are visiting. We also recommend bringing some hand sanitizer along with you – one to keep and use while you are in the property, and another to take with you when you go out.

5. Follow any specific instructions when you leave

Your host may have specific instructions for guests to follow for when they leave a property. For example, you may be asked to check out slightly earlier, so that a deep clean can take place before the arrival of the next guests. Furthermore, if your host has opted to provide you with bed linen and towels etc, they may ask you to strip all the beds and bag up all linen and towels before you leave to minimise the risk to cleaning staff. 

You may also be asked to leave the windows open after you leave to ventilate the property and allow fresh air to circulate. Follow any instructions your host has outlined, as this will make their lives easier and help them prepare to welcome the next lot of guests as efficiently as possible.

Have we missed anything?

Is there anything else you think guests need to know in relation to COVID-19 before they stay in a holiday property? If you are an owner or host, what are you asking guests to do? If you are a recent guest, what advice do you have?

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