The travel industry is carefully opening up in the wake of 2020’s Covid crisis, with a range of new measures in place to make travel as safe as possible. Our friends from PureChalets, a catered and self-catered chalet business, have pulled together some useful information on what you can expect regarding cancellation policies and sanitary measures from your accommodation provider.
The world has changed in the last few months, and the coronavirus pandemic has been devastating for the travel industry, with millions of holidays and travel bookings unavailable or cancelled.
However, with every day that passes, those with the good fortune to be safe and healthy are inevitably contemplating what happens next.
As we move forward, with France and other European countries emerging with caution out of their lockdowns, potential travellers are thinking about their next trip. They are especially looking for greater flexibility on holiday rentals while Covid-19 remains a consideration.
Individual travel and airline companies have set up differing policies, so it’s a good idea to do some research and know what your options are. With EasyJet, for example, you can switch onto any flight at any time with no change fees. You can also change your flight as many times as you’d like, to any route, for any date up to May 2021. EasyJet also reviews its flying programme every 7 days and advises customers to wait until then to be able to choose all available options given to them.
If you have already booked accommodation for summer 2020, standard policy is for your hosts to ask for your balance to be paid 8 weeks before your arrival date. However, due to the uncertainties of the current travel restrictions, PureChalets are not imposing this for summer 2020 bookings. You can wait until the last minute to let us know if you are able to travel, and if you can’t travel this summer due to Covid-19 restrictions, then it you can defer your booking until later in the year, or until the end of summer 2021.
If you are looking at other travel options rather than by plane, then the Alps are accessible by driving – it’s only 8 hours by car from Calais to the Northern Alps.
We are all keeping everything crossed that ski holidays can go ahead next winter.
But if you can’t travel due to Covid-19, you could look to delay your holiday, and transfer the deposit that you have paid to another date of your choice. The booking could be transferred to another period in 2021, or up to the end of the summer 2022. PureChalets are offering this flexibility free of charge, allowing you to transfer your holiday up to the same value of your original booking.
PureChalets hope that providing this flexibility will reassure you during this uncertain time, and reduce your financial risk.
Whilst the delivery of robust cleaning protocols and processes has always a been a crucial priority, property rental owners and their teams must now meet the new Health and Safety challenges and expectations presented by Covid-19.
A holiday in the mountains means less exposure to crowds, be that in the summer or the winter. The advantage of your own personal private chalet space – exclusively for you, with your own fully equipped kitchens – can’t be underestimated. Many properties have their own door access code, which hosts can send to you in advance, allowing you to self-check-in, and avoid face to face contact. In your own private chalet or apartment, you should expect hand wash in all bathrooms, alcohol-based hand sanitiser in communal areas, and disinfecting wipes available in bathrooms.
At PureChalets, we have always been fastidious about cleanliness and hygiene, to ensure everything is spotlessly clean and sanitised. Our hosts work to detailed cleaning checklists, which cover every cm of every room in a chalet or apartment.
These include strict adherence to the guidelines from the CDC (Centre for Disease Control) which recommend routine cleaning with soap and hot-water, followed by the use of disinfectant on surfaces and objects. Frequently touched surfaces, including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, toilets, taps and sinks, as well as TV remotes and screens, are additionally deep-cleaned. We use trusted disinfectant products, and whilst cleaning, hosts and cleaners use face masks and disposable gloves.
As a guest, you should be able to see the accommodation cleaning checklists and protocols, should you wish to.
France has colour coded its regions to help move out of lockdown, and the Alps area has been classified as “green”. The Alps are open for the stunning mountains to be enjoyed – whether that is on a biking holiday, a hiking adventure, rafting on rivers, or simply to enjoy the lakes, parks and charming villages. Swimming pools are also soon to reopen. Shops are open, with social-distancing being observed, and the wearing of face masks in shops is advised. Most people are wearing reusable, washable masks, which can be easily made at home.
France had three clear stages of easing of the lockdown rules, with cafes, bars and restaurants opening at the beginning of June. Many restaurants have large outdoor terraces for guests to enjoy al-fresco dining. Tables are to be spaced at least one meter apart, and guests must eat seated, rather than standing at a bar area.
The Coronavirus situation is evolving constantly. Please contact the English and French speaking team at PureChalets with any questions or enquiries about your summer or winter holiday to Samoens.