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Statement related to Covid-19 (also known as Coronavirus)

Updated 23rd February 2021

Monday 12th April 2021 (“Key Date”)

Following the latest government announcements, we are responding to do our bit to avoid the spread of Coronavirus, to protect our guests, our support team and the wider community in Norfolk and the UK.

See government statement here:

Purpose of statement

The purpose of this statement is to provide information on how the current situation affects your holiday with River Cottages (previously called Wroxham Cottage).

If you are due to stay with us prior to Key Date you will not be able to have you holiday, due to the current restrictions. We realise that this is a disappointment to you.

We will be contacting everyone affected to explain the options available. We will be offering everyone the opportunity to rebook for a future date.

We will update this policy as the situation changes. There are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) at the end of the page, which we will be adding to, as required.

Background to this statement

We have all had to come to terms with and adapt to the coronavirus pandemic and the dramatic effect it is having on all of our lives, since March 2020.

  • From 12th April, single households will be able to rent a holiday let with no shared facilities.
  • From 17th May, guests will be able to go on holiday with up to 6 different people, or more people from two households only.
  • From 21st June, all legal limits on mixing could be lifted and large events should also be able to take place.

This statement focuses on England as our properties are in England. (Different rules may apply to Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland).

What does this mean for you?

We are unable to take bookings for holidays starting before the Key Date and no one can use our properties for holiday purposes.

If you are a keyworker, you are able to stay with us. Please contact us directly to discuss this and not through any of the agencies that we use.

If you are due to stay with us, we are varying our standard Terms and Conditions as follows:

  1. If your holiday starts prior to Key Date you can postpone and rebook for a later date within 13 months of your original holiday dates.
    • At the rate applicable for your new week. See our website for details or available dates and rates
    • We are waiving our standard admin fee of £35 for amending these bookings
    • If the rate is different by less than £10, we will not request an extra payment
    • If the rate is different by £10 or more, any difference will need to be paid directly to ourselves (even if you came via an agency site)
    • When rebooking, you will need to book for the same number of days or a greater number.

  2. If your holiday starts on or from Key Date we hope to be open.
    • Therefore, you should pay your final holiday balance when due. If the due date has passed, please pay this now.
    • If travel restrictions continue beyond Key Date, we will write to you again and explain the options available to you.

  3. If you just choose to cancel your holiday, then our standard Terms and Conditions apply. Note: if you have come via an agency, at the current time we don’t know if agencies will making full refunds, in particular their fees. You will need to contact the agency to find out their policy.

The current policy of one of the main agencies states: “Please note that the booking fee is non-refundable, as stated in the cancellation policy.”

Our Terms and Conditions can be found here: River Cottages Terms and Conditions

If you wish to contact us

As you will appreciate, lots of people are contacting us. So that we can best respond to you, please use this email address below, including a contact number and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

We are asking you to contact us directly, as this is easier and faster than using an agency messaging system, also we will most likely need to speak to you.

We will be responding to those with the earlier holiday dates first.

And finally, to help us help you....

We understand the concern you must feel given the current situation and disappointment that your holiday maybe postponed. However, we must all play our part in limiting the spread of this virus for the sake of everyone.

Once we are through the current situation, we look forward to welcoming you again to enjoy the Norfolk Broads.

We hope that you, your family and friends continue to stay safe and keep well.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

This section is based on questions we have been asked by our guests and will be updated as we get more questions.

I have a holiday booked, can I still go?

Currently the government have enforced a lockdown…

“Overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences will not be allowed- including holidays in the UK and abroad.

Therefore, you will not be able to have your holiday until the lockdown restrictions have been lifted.

Can I change my holiday dates if I have a booking BEFORE Key Date?

Yes, we are helping guests to rebook for a date within 13 months of their original holiday dates. We have waived our normal admin fee to rebook.

Can I change my holiday dates if I have a booking on or AFTER Key Date?

I am sure that we are all hoping that the lockdown will be over and that it will be possible to have a holiday in self-catering accommodation, so we are planning to be open.

Should I pay the balance of my holiday?

If you have a holiday from 8th March 2021 onwards, yes please pay your final holiday balance when due. If the due date has passed, please pay this now. This will help to reduce our admin.

What happens if I cannot travel due to Covid-19?

If you are unable to travel due to contracting Covid-19 at the time of your holiday or having been advised to self-isolate on the official advice of the UK Government, please contact us in the first instance. We will discuss the options with you and provide you with the necessary documentation to allow you to make a claim using your travel insurance where you have taken out this option.

Am I covered by travel insurance?

You should check with your insurance provider. If you are, we can provide a letter confirming your holiday dates and the amount you have paid.

Can I just cancel and get a refund?

We hope that when the situation improves you will still want to holiday with us and have something to look forward to, therefore, we are not offering refunds unless it is not possible to travel due to government restrictions in which case we will offer a refund.

Why is the rate for my new dates different?

The price for your booked holiday is based on the dates that you selected and our 2021 rate. Our rates change throughout the year and we apply a small increase each January. This is a standard practice for all companies in the travel industry, as prices are generally higher where there is greater demand.

Your new dates may be for a more expensive or cheaper period.

  • If the rate is different by less than £10, we will not request an extra payment, nor refund this difference
  • If the rate is different by £10 or more, any difference will need to be paid directly to ourselves (even if you came via an agency site).

You can view our rates here on our website for 2021 and 2022. Select the dates you are interested in and the number of nights from the dropdown.  

How does the Rule of 6 affect my holiday?

The rule of 6 applied from Monday 14th September 2020 and means that “any social gatherings of more than six people will be against the law.” See further information here:

If you are booked to stay at Waterside Retreat or Brightside your group can't be more than six people. The only exceptions is if you are part of a “support bubble” There are very specific rules regarding this, see here:

It is your responsibility to understand whether your booking is affected and whether or not you are able to travel.

If you believe that you are affected, you need to contact us to discuss this.

If you breach rules or break the law, this is your responsibility.

How will local restrictions in my area affect my holiday?

You are responsible for checking the government guidelines for your area. They can be found here, enter your post code on the website below check the instructions:

If you live in an area categorised by the government as ‘Very High’ you must follow the government guidelines.

You must also let us know as soon as possible. We will try to resell the dates and discuss with you the options available to you. If you fail to let us know, then out normal terms and conditions apply.

How will local restrictions in Wroxham affect my holiday?

If Wroxham is categorised by the government as ‘Very High’ we will contact you and let you know the options.

You can check this on the government website using this post code: NR12 8UH.

How is this affecting River Cottages and your team?

Some of you know us and some of our team, as you have been staying with us for many years and have been kind enough to ask after us.

We are a small, family run business made up of 2 brothers and our wives, employing 6 local people who do the cleaning and maintenance. A typical small business.

We are currently all well, which is the main thing.

From a financial perspective, this will be a worrying time and will be tough for our team and ourselves, as it is for the majority of the people in the UK.

Advice regarding COVID-19

We will not be providing advice regarding the virus or how to stay safe. To get this advice, please refer to government, NHS and BBC news websites:

Government Guidance for Coronavirus

NHS Guidance

BBC News