COVID-19: We’re good to go!

We are delighted that self-catering accommodation in Scotland is now open from 3rd July provided Covid-19 transmission remains low.

Protocol for safeguarding guests, staff and the local population during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Association of Scottish Self-Caterers has published a cleaning protocol which our staff have undertaken. Your co-operation will also be much appreciated. Here is the link, scroll to the bottom and click on ‘Cleaning Protocols for Self-Catering Properties and Short-Term Lets:https://www.assc.co.uk/cleaning-protocols-for-self-catering-properties-in-the-context-of-covid-1/

We will however put some new housekeeping rules in place in order to safeguard you our guests, our staff and the local community. We will be reviewing these and will update them on this site. You will also be sent details in your welcome letters and information packs. I

See the following website for local amenities, where you may be able to order provisions to be delivered or a takeaway: http://www.helmsdale.org/index.html.

Glencoast Phone01431 821372 can be contacted for fishing tackle and gold panning equipment – you may be able to order over the phone and arrange deliveries. Johnny might be able to collect for you if he has time.

Thyme and Plaice have adapted quickly and are running a takeaway service:  01431 821598

Here is the website for the Spar, you may be able to make arrangements with them also, but please bear in mind the same issues of hoarding are present in the Highlands as everywhere else and I am sure the locals will not appreciate extra pressure on their supplies.

https://www.spar.co.uk/store-locator/lan15302-spar-helmsdale

Balvallioch Cottage: 

On departure please can guests strip beds and towels and leave in a pile in the corner of the room.  

Cleaning products will be left in the kitchen and bathrooms by the bath, sink and loo.  Please kindly use them to clean the taps, flush and door handle regularly – in particular just before you depart. Gloves will be provided but you may prefer to bring your own.

Ditto for the kitchen sink, fridge, oven and cupboard doors.

Please leave windows open and internal doors wedged open on your departure.

If you feel ill during your stay, please go straight home. The local community would appreciate you not taking up precious space in the few ICU beds that are available.

Balvallioch Cottage has a new ‘Nespresso’ machine.  You may wish to bring your own pods (regular size), but we would be most grateful if you are able to take home used pods in a ‘Nespresso’ recycling bag to recycle as usual.  We appreciate this may not be possible, but we are asking just in case you are able. 

Upper Suisgill Lodge:

Guests will be expected to make their own beds daily (if they wish!) and keep bathrooms clean.  Lorraine will not be expected to enter the lodge at all during your stay.

On departure please can guests strip beds and towels and leave in a pile near the back door, but not blocking it.

Cleaning products will be left by the bath, sink and loo.  Please kindly use them to clean the taps, flush and door handle regularly. Although gloves will be provided, you may prefer to bring your own. 

Please discuss with your any cooks you have organised about what you want to do. I am sure neither you nor they want to be responsible for passing on the virus to someone who then becomes extremely ill from it. The best thing would be for your cook to leave plenty of ready made meals in the freezer for you to heat up during your week. If this can’t be managed, then please practise good social distancing from your cooks.  Cooks will be expected to keep the kitchen clean thoroughly as usual.  Take great care after using taps, opening cupboard/fridge doors and so on.  Cooks should make sure all these are disinfected on departure.

I repeat, if you get ill during your stay, please go straight home. The local community would appreciate you not taking up precious space in the precious few ICU and hospital beds that are available.

Please leave internal doors open on your departure. 

Ghillies: 

We value our guests and our ghillies.  Please practise good social distancing and stay at least 2 meters apart at all times.

The Helmsdale River Board has issued advice along the following lines:  Ghillies will not be expected to: Travel in the same car as guests, tie flies, put up rods, cast for guests, help people in difficult wading.  Ghillies will be able to demonstrate how to tie a fly (from a distance), but will not actually tie it for you.  If someone needs help with wading, then please can they use another member of their party.  Please maintain social distancing advice and do not shake hands with your ghillie or any of the river bailiffs.  Ghillies will be able to land fish for you with their own net. You will not touch or handle each other’s nets or rods. Fishing huts will be locked. If you need to picnic, please do so either outside or in your vehicle.