COVID-19

These guidelines have been prepared to give clarity as to the expected cleaning guidelines required of all property owners, cleaners and management contractors in order to minimise the risk of potential transmission of Covid-19. The health and safety of our clients and all those involved in maintaining the properties is paramount and as such we will keep these guidelines under constant review. We believe that these guidelines will ensure a safe working environment for those working within the properties as well as the guests coming to stay.

Introduction:

At Falmouth Holiday Homes we have always understood the important role that cleanliness has in ensuring our guests have a safe and pleasurable stay, and have been appreciative of the work carried out to ensure that these standards are maintained. Now, more than ever, it is critical to uphold the highest standards of hygiene to ensure that the risk of spreading infection is minimal

This document will lay out the key recommendations for ensuring the highest standards of cleanliness and creating a safe working environment for those working within the properties. It will cover a number of considerations, including the use of personal protective equipment for cleaners, disinfectant use and cleaning methods, communicating with guests and avoiding face to face contact where possible. The purpose of this document is to give additional information that may be helpful when considering how best to safely have guests back in holiday homes and to ensure that anyone working or staying within the properties stays safe and healthy.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

We advise that, in line with government guidelines for housekeepers, contractors and cleaners, that any persons providing cleaning or maintenance within the properties should wear appropriate PPE. These may include disposable gloves, aprons and masks which would need to be changed between cleans and disposed of appropriately. Regular hand washing is also recommended and hand sanitiser should be provided at all times for those working within the property.

Cleaning guidance

General guidance:

Windows and doors should be opened during cleaning to provide extra ventilation.

Consider changing check in/ check out times to ensure that you have enough time to carry out any additional cleaning required.

It is strongly advised that you do not conduct any cleaning during your guests stay for the safety of the cleaners and guests. In cases where guests would normally require a linen change, extra should be provided before the guests arrival and wipe clean or washable laundry baskets provided for the disposal of dirty sheets and towels.

If the property has been unused for a period of time, there is a risk of stagnant water increasing the risk of Legionnaires disease. Please therefore ensure that all taps are run for at least 5 minutes, including showers and outside taps. All toilets should be flushed and appliances requiring water, such as dishwashers, set to run through.

Effective products:

We recommend using products showing EN14476 or EN14675 on the labels, although most household disinfectants, diluted bleach solutions and disinfectants containing at least 70% alcohol are believed to be effective against Covid-19. We ask that the cleaning products are used correctly and left on surfaces for the recommended time to kill the virus. Individual products will carry the appropriate guidance.

Cleaning utensils such as mops, cloths and towels are recommended to be changed, disposed of or laundered between cleans to ensure there is no cross contamination between properties.

Other recommended cleaning practices that are believed to be effective in killing Covid-19 include:

  • Steam cleaning (high pressure, high temperature dry steam) allows effective cleaning and disinfecting using just water.
  • Ultra Low Volume Fogging –  this mobile disinfectant cleaning machine enables the chemical solution to be disseminated across a wide range of surfaces, including textiles. In addition to manual cleaning it can ensure a higher degree of disinfection.
  • Atmospheric mists and sprays can be used in enclosed spaces to kill bacteria and viruses with minimal effort.

Linen, laundry and bedding:

It is recommended that all dirty laundry is bagged and removed before cleaning of the property commences. These are the recommended practices to ensure minimal contamination from linen:

  • Gloves should be used to remove the bed linen, towels and all other removable linen items, and then discarded. Fresh gloves should be used to put clean linen on the beds and to replace all linen items.
  • Avoid shaking any dirty laundry as this can cause Covid-19 to be airborne, increasing the risk of infection.
  • Pillow and mattress protectors should be included in the items laundered and replaced between guests.
  • Where possible, a wipeable or washable laundry basket / bags should be left in the property for guests to use. For the safety of cleaning staff, guests should be advised to strip their own beds and place dirty laundry into the laundry baskets / bags provided. Laundry baskets should then be disinfected or laundered between guests.

Areas for special consideration in cleaning:

Within properties there will be areas that may be used more frequently than others. These high traffic areas should be given extra attention for disinfecting. They may include:

Door knobs

Door frames

Remote controls

Light switches and lamps

Banisters

All kitchen appliances (fridge, dishwasher, oven etc)

Hand help electrical appliances such as irons, hairdryers etc

High chairs

Any books, toys, games and DVD’s supplied in the property

Keys and key safes

Window handles

Toilets, taps and sinks

Soap dispensers

Cleaning appliances (mops, brooms etc)

Garden furniture and outside play equipment

Outside cooking facilities such as barbeques

This list is not exhaustive. It is recommended that for extra hygiene and to make the cleaning process easier that ornaments and unnecessary clutter be removed from the property.

Waste disposal:

It is recommended that all household waste is placed in a plastic bag, tied and removed from the property into an external bin. This should be disposed of away from the property prior to new guests arriving.

All bins within and external to the property should be cleaned inside and out with attention paid to the lids of the bins.

Key collection:

Recommended best practice for key collection is now using a method such as a key safe to avoid face to face contact where possible and adhere to appropriate social distancing rules.

Hot tubs, pools and spas:

Current evidence suggests that disinfection and maintenance of pools and spas in line with current cleaning guidelines is effective in combatting Covid-19, meaning that transmission through the water in these areas is highly unlikely.

BISHTA guidelines are in place regarding the change over of hot tubs and can be found at www.bishta.co.uk. As the surrounding areas to pool areas may be high traffic areas, it is recommended that attention is given to the surrounding environments to ensure that transmission is minimised from items such as controls and towel hooks.

Reassuring guests during their stay:

It is worth considering what extra supplies, over and above what is usually provided, may help you reassure guests and allow them to practice the highest levels of hygiene for their stay. Items that may be useful can include disposable gloves, disinfectant wipes, paper towels, tissues, hand sanitiser and fresh cloths and dish brushes.

Hand soap should be available at each sink within the property.

Fire evacuation advice should be visible on the wall and laminated to enable it to be wiped down.

You should let guests know the extra steps that you have taken to ensure their safety during their stay. Providing them with advice on how to ensure the safety of cleaning and maintenance staff should also be provided, such as stripping their beds, putting all laundry into baskets provided and ensuring that all waste is disposed of in the bins.

We recommend that you condense the current guest information folder into one laminated sheet which can be thoroughly cleaned between guests.   This should contain instructions for heating, WiFi, refuse, power failure, smoke alarms and TV operation.

Emergency maintenance:

Any maintenance that can be carried out outside of a guests stay, should be done so to avoid unnecessary contact. Should emergency maintenance be required however, they should be advised to wear disposable PPE, including masks and gloves and dispose of it appropriately. Social distancing should also be adhered to at all times.

 

 

Useful references:

Public Health England Coronavirus (Covid-19):
https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Social distancing guidelines:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing/staying-alert-and-safe- social-distancing

A guide on how to protect people from coronavirus (Covid-19) in your workplace:
https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/assets/docs/talking-with-your-workers.pdf

A guide to Legionella:
https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/legionella-risks-during-coronavirus-outbreak.htm

Government Guidance to cleaning in a non-healthcare setting:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings/covid-19- decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings

Accreditation, advice, and support:
https://www.qualityintourism.com/