Holiday accomodation

Latest News Covid-19
Call to holiday lets to follow COVID-19 closure orders
Ahead of the Easter holidays Cornwall Council is calling on holiday accommodation providers, including letting agents and online booking platforms, to support the COVID-19 response by following the  Government’s closure orders. The overwhelming majority of holiday accommodation providers, such as self- catering businesses, bed and breakfasts, caravan parks, hotels, campsites and holiday homes, have shut their doors as a result of the Government ordering all non-essential businesses to stop operating and for everyone to stay at home and avoid unessential travel. There are a number of exemptions which allow some holiday accommodation businesses to remain
open, for example to provide accommodation for key workers, NHS staff and for health and care use. One such establishment is Carnmarth Hotel in Newquay which has been providing a place to stay for people who have
been in hospital, are able to be discharged, but are not ready to go home. However, Cornwall Council has received complaints alleging that some
holiday accommodation providers are still having holiday makers in their
premises and operating illegally. Ahead of the Easter holiday the Council’s enforcement team is now writing to all holiday accommodation owners,
letting agents and online booking platforms in Cornwall who are not
exempt to the COVID-19 orders to ask for their cooperation in complying with the orders. The letter, which is going out to holiday accommodation
providers April 2, says: “As you know the Government passed legislation
last week which requires certain businesses to close with immediate
effect. We appreciate that you may have already acted on the
Government’s directions and closed your accommodation, although there
are a few exceptions which are covered in this letter. Most businesses in
Cornwall have done exactly that. Indeed, we know that some businesses
have been able to provide valuable support to the community by housing
vulnerable people and key workers. “Nevertheless, the Council is receiving complaints that allege that some holiday accommodation businesses are continuing to trade. This is undoubtedly a small minority, but due to the
risks involved, we are taking the precaution of writing to you to seek your
support in helping to control the COVID 19 outbreak in Cornwall.” The new legislation requires any person responsible for running a business providing holiday accommodation, whether in a hotel, hostel, bed and breakfast
accommodation, holiday apartment, home, cottage or bungalow, campsite, caravan park or boarding house, to cease trading during the emergency
period. The Government’s controls are expected to remain in place until the regulations are reviewed by the Secretary of State and a direction issued to end them. In its letter to accommodation providers Cornwall Council
outlines the new legal requirements and where businesses can get further
advice. It also warns that businesses can face enforcement action if they
flout the orders. Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for environment and public protection, said: “We are calling on and trust that our
holiday accommodation providers in Cornwall will do the right thing and
ensure compliance with this requirement which has been introduced to
protect the health of our population, NHS and other critical services at this time. “We understand that this legislation may have serious financial
impacts upon businesses so please read the guidance to understand how
you can access the financial help you need.” Malcolm Bell, Chief Executive of Visit Cornwall, said: “It’s up to all of us to play our part in fighting this virus, as well as obeying the law, and this simply means that not only should all the traditional tourism business be closed to holiday makers, but also people
letting out rooms and properties on the online booking platforms that have grown rapidly over the last few years.” Inspector Miles Topham from Devon and Cornwall Police said: “We will work closely with and support our
partners in protecting the public. If people undertake non-essential travel
which could include travelling to second homes then we reserve the right
to take enforcement action which will be considered on a case by case
basis.” There are a number of exemptions which allow holiday
accommodation businesses to remain open, including where they provide
services to: People who live there permanently or because their primary residence is unavailable. Critical workers and non-UK residents who are
unable to travel to their country of residence during this period. People who are unable to move into a new home due to the current restrictions.
Homeless and other vulnerable people such as those who cannot safely stay in their home, through arrangements with local authorities and other public bodies. Those attending a funeral. Hosting of blood donation sessions. Also, holiday accommodation can remain open for any other purpose
requested by the Secretary of State or Local Authority. A current list of
exemptions can be found on the Government’s website. The government
has produced guidance on business closures for further reference.
However, if you require additional advice please do not hesitate to contact
the Council’s Business Support Hub at businessadvice@cornwall.gov.uk.    If you believe that holiday accommodation might not be complying with the new regulations then please contact Cornwall Council at 
businessadvice@cornwall.gov.uk. For anyone seeking refunds due to a
holiday booking cancellation Cornwall Council advises: Check the small
print on your booking – what does it say about cancellation due to
Government intervention? Check the small print on your travel insurance – will your booking be covered? Register your concerns with your holiday
provider – are they working to a timetable (ie most imminent bookings
first)? What are they suggesting as a solution? But please be patient as businesses have to deal with many pressures at this current time. If you
paid for your holiday by credit card you may have additional protection
through the credit card provider.
1. If you do still need further advice or information about cancelling a
booking due to Covid-19 please call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506 or contact Cornwall Council Trading Standards at 
businesscompliance@cornwall.gov.uk. Cornwall Council will be working
with Visit Cornwall when this emergency period is over to support those
affected.

All latest government advice on Coronavirus is available at 
www.gov.uk/coronavirus.   

The address of any properties flouting this needs to be sent to me so that it can be sent to the emergency team.  

Take care and stay safe. Many thanks, Sue Nicholas
sue.nicholas@cornwallcouncillors.org.uk

Cornwall Council
County Hall, Truro TR1 3AY
Media news releases at: www.cornwall.gov.uk
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