The Covid-19 Pandemic has obviously resulted in the complete shut-down of the Welsh tourist industry and as providers of holiday accommodation we have been affected by this. In compliance with Government advice and Welsh law we closed to all bookings in March and have remained closed ever since. However as we move slowly towards an easing of the lock-down restrictions we have been examining the advice and how it will impact upon us when eventual permission is given for businesses to resume trading and visitors are once again allowed to travel to Wales.
The Welsh Government has issued its ‘road-map’ for the gradual resumption of the economy. Unlike the UK Government’s plans the Welsh equivalent uses a ‘traffic light’ system to categorise each stage in the reopening procedure. There are no target dates or details of what will allow the country to move from one phase to another but our understanding of how we can trade in each phase is as follows:
· Lockdown: Completely closed
· Red phase: Completely closed
· Amber phase: We can open on a reduced occupancy basis
· Green phase: We can reopen fully albeit with some distancing protocols in place
The guidance says that in the ‘amber’ phase "accommodation businesses without shared facilities" will be able to reopen. Obviously each of our apartments at Bryn Melyn is an independent unit, however they share access through a communal stairwell. It is not clear if this would count as a ‘shared facility’ or not. A bigger problem would be the outdoor sun terrace, deck and hot-tub, which is clearly a shared facility. This guidance is being regularly clarified and updated so these issues may become clearer. The safety of our guests and full compliance with Welsh Government advice and law is our primary concern, so based on the current guidelines we have decided that, once the go-ahead to ‘amber’ is given, we will operate on a reduced basis as follows:
· Amber phase: We will open just one apartment which will have exclusive use of all facilities. If the guidelines are relaxed to allow gatherings of more than one household we will consider allowing such a group to book more than one apartment. In order to provide the best experience for our guests and the most flexibility in this phase the apartment that will be open will be ‘Noddfa’.
· Green phase: All three apartments will be allowed to reopen, although we may still need to instigate some distancing protocols on the terrace.
Because there are already bookings in the diary for this summer this will unfortunately mean that we will have to reschedule some reservations whilst others will be able to go ahead as planned, but a phased opening is our only real option. As we all adjust to the new ways that we will have to operate and live, at least for the foreseeable future, we ask for your understanding of the measures we are taking to ensure the safety of you as guests and to fulfil our obligations to the authorities that regulate our business. We very much hope to be able to welcome at least some of you to Bryn Melyn this year.