COVID-19 - Business status update 23 March 2020
These are unprecidented times, and just a few days ago we were focusing on preparing ourselves to deliver safe, boating holidays to our guests. We have continued to monitor the situation and the Government advice closely, always mindful of our duty to protect our staff, our guests and our local community. Over the last 48 hours there has been an increasing and understandable concern in local communities towards holiday visitors, and the government has re-stated guidance that there should be no unnecessary or non essential travel. The non-essential travel guidance now includes the following statement "...visits to second homes, camp sites, caravan parks or similar, whether for isolation purposes or holidays. People should remain in their primary residence."
Therefore, it is now clear to us that the government guidance precludes guests from travelling to us and has thereby effectively temporarily suspended our boating holidays operation. We will be contacting guests with bookings in the coming weeks in order to try to find alternative dates for holidays later on in the year, and we will endeavour to do this each week for those holidays that are 6 weeks out if you have not sought to contact us first. For the moment the yard will remain open for boat repairs and launching although this will remain under review on a daily basis.
Please understand that this decision has been made as an absolute last resort in the public interest, and the effect on our staff as well as our suppliers will be considerable. We thank them all for their efforts and will do all that we can to restore normal service as soon as it is safe to do so.
We will continue to monitor the scientific and government advice in the coming weeks and will publish updates on our website and social media accounts.
Thank you for your understanding.
As of 17 March 2020
Latest Government Announcement as at 5pm 16th March 2020
At Martham Boats, the health and safety of our guests, owners and team is our highest priority. We understand that you may be feeling unsettled given the rapidly changing situation around Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are constantly reviewing the latest Government advice and how this could affect your holiday and we will update this notice as any further relevant information emerges.
Confidence in our care
The latest Government advice is clearly intended to maximise social distancing and is particularly focused on containing any infection to households. We still believe that we are in a position to offer a holiday service where households can effectively self-isolate on our boats whilst sailing the Broads, and we are therefore still happy to receive guests.
None the less, we recognise that we have an increased responsibility to ensure that any boats are thoroughly cleaned and sanitised before handover. We have reviewed all our cleaning policies and consulted experts on the products we are using, and have put in place enhanced cleaning practices. It is likely that these will lead to extended turnaround times, but we will deal with these on a case by case basis with guests.
Our team has had additional briefing on health and safety procedures and guidance in relation to keeping themselves and our guests, as safe and secure as possible including during handover briefings.
In the event that we are unable to provide a boat at short notice, we would offer the opportunity to change the dates of your holiday or a refund.
We will continue to review any Government advice in a calm and measured way, and update these practices in line with emerging issues.
Changes to your Booking relating to Coronavirus
We recognise that some of our guests with existing bookings will be unable to travel due to the official restrictions. In an effort to support those people, we have put in place a temporary policy to allow guests with bookings before the 30th June 2020 to reschedule their holiday dates rather than cancel. We would encourage customers to consider their own personal circumstances and to call us if you wish to discuss moving your holiday.
Where can I receive more information about Coronavirus?
We would advise you to check the GOV.UK website for the most up-to-date information: www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
If you are impacted by this advice, have any symptoms of Coronavirus or have any concerns please call the dedicated line for the most up to date information: 0330 100 6634
If you have any questions relating to Coronavirus, please visit our FAQs.
What can I do to protect myself?
We would ask all our guests and owners to take the following sensible Government Advice:
- Washing hands regularly. Wash hands for at least 30 seconds and use an alcohol based hand sanitiser if soap and water is not available. www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-your-hands
- Maintain good hygiene practices such as using tissues when coughing or sneezing and disposing of the tissue in a bin.