New House Farm Country Estate – What we are doing to be “Covid-19 secure”
UPDATE – 15th July 2021
As you probably know, we have only re-opened since April 12th, with restrictions still in place, and we’re finding our ‘new normal’ at a relaxed pace.
Whilst we are seeing many organisations keep restrictions in place, such as Transport For London, we too will lead by example, and shall not be ceasing all attempts to minimise the spread of infections either.
Whilst many hospitality businesses will be opening back up to their pre-pandemic ways of operating next week on July 19th, many are still maintaining a policy of caution and preventative measures. We want to reassure you that our guests’ safety and comfort, alongside that of our staff, is our main priority.
Therefore, you won’t see many changes here in terms of asking guests to remain Covid-19 aware and ask guests to still follow any remaining laws and guidelines, and be sensible
Also we will still have some restrictions in the Long Barn’s opening hours and availability.
Facemasks will no longer be compulsory, for guests when not seated in the Long Barn, or in the shared lounge areas and kitchens. However, we are asking guests to please still wear them when walking around, if it makes you and other guests feel more comfortable.
We’ll start fully relaxing things as and when we and our guests feel ready.
In the last 24 hour period, we have seen the virus infections rise sharply again, with the highest number of new infections in the last 6 months.
The number of people being told to self isolate in England and Wales by the NHS trace app has also sharply risen.
Therefore, we cannot responsibly act as if this pandemic is over. Please feel free to send us your thoughts via email.
We look forward to welcoming you all over the summer and beyond, and thank you all for your understanding so far.
Jon, Mike and the team
The UK Government have announced that any venues to be open to the public need to be “Covid- 19 secure”. We have invested a lot of time, thought, and work into making our venue “Covid-19 secure” in line with this new Government standard. At all times we are following UK Government laws and guidelines.
Here at New House Farm, we are fortunate to have 12 acres of fully accessible gardens and grounds. We have invested in making many different outside spaces, giving many opportunities for keeping separate from other groups, maintaining all social distancing guidelines and laws. Also, our gardens have easily recognisable demarcated areas thanks to our pathways, walled garden, pool garden, stepped lawns, a Victorian ‘haha’ wall, hedges and box hedging.
Our venue is down a long rural track away from Sheepstreet Lane, and the track is not a “through track” so there is minimal traffic, and nobody is allowed onto the grounds except for the occasional delivery, during which full social distancing measures are practices, with drivers all wearing the necessary PPE.
Also, for accommodation, we have 6 individual, entirely separate lodges, and a farmhouse with its own private grounds and gardens, fenced and walled off from the lodges. All 7of these accommodation options have their own facilities – kitchen, dining area, lounge, bathroom, toilet and their own private outside space for relaxing or dining outside in privacy.
The Long Barn is a huge 50m long building, which we aerate, and have a 1 way system when necessary, and there is enough space within for fully compliant social distancing, with clear signage throughout.
All guests with any of the symptoms of Covid-19, before coming to visit us – including persistent cough, high temperature – and any guests who have been in contact with them, are advised that they need to follow the Government guidelines and laws on their situation, which currently means that they need to self isolate at home.
We recommend that guests take Covid-19 tests and wait for a negative result before departing for New House Farm.
Guests must make arrangements in advance of arriving for transport away from the venue in case they develop symptoms whilst here or have been told they need to self isolate.
All guests have to supply names, addresses and contact details before arrival, for the NHS ‘test and trace’ system.
We have a non contact laser digital thermometer, and upon arrival all guests have to make sure their temperature is at a normal level – between 35 and 37 degrees – as a guide for the safety of accessing the estate.
If a guest has a high temperature, their group can make the decision whether that guests self isolates here, for no longer than the length of their booking, or returns home to self isolate.
Spread out all across the 12 acres, we have many separate clearly defined relaxation areas – more than 2 for each individual lodge and. Also, we have well maintained woodland walks, and meadows walks and riverbank and field walks which are more than 2 metres wide, with plenty of room for keeping socially distant from others – much more so than in urban areas – and guests will be completely surrounded by wide open spaces and views for miles.
Inside, we have put up notices to suggest the recommended number of guests to go in each lounge in the Farmhouse, in line with a 2m / 1m with mitigation distance between guests from different households or social bubbles. More may use them, if they are from the same social bubble, but maintain social distance from other social bubbles.
Everywhere are notices regarding the safe social distancing inside, and guidelines on how to wash and rub hands. All the information from the Government guidance and how it can be applied to New House Farm is sent out in advance to all guests.
We provide alcohol based anti viral hand sanitiser, hand cleaner, as well as supply personal sanitisers bottle for guests for the duration of their stay. Also, anti viral wipes are provided to take around the estate and for all sinks, to wipe any surfaces (eg swimming pool rails or the children’s swings and pool table) before their use. We have put up signage everywhere detailing hand washing and where it is recommended, we are supplying 2m distance signage.
There are 10 public footpaths which lead off from our grounds, with very minimal numbers of people using them each day, and none of these go through the estate, ensuring the safety of no unauthorised people entering the estate, whilst also ensuring privacy from the public.
We have made Wi-fi accessible across the whole 12 acres of the New House Farm estate, which means that guests wishing to use it for work, online meetings, or for children with iPads, for example, do not have to be inside, or close to the source of the buildings’ Wi-fi sources, and can also carry out social distancing whilst using their devices, in the wide open countryside space. This also facilitates outside meetings, either via Zoom, or by maintaining the designated 2m metre socially distant standard.
All of this means that guests can come to New House Farm and practice social distancing. Families that know each other can still come, and keep separate in the separate lodges and house and their own private outside spaces, and in all of the outside relaxation areas. There are 12 acres of accessible gardens and grounds, where anywhere can be a place to spend time, and remain socially distant, but still away in the countryside together with friends.
Our cleaning team will not be at work if they show any symptoms of Covid-19, and all will have their temperatures checked when arriving to work at New House Farm. They use anti viral wipes and sprays when cleaning, and we supply them all with their PPE to wear. Any communal areas will have surfaces wiped down and sprayed with anti-viral cleaning products, and all accommodation will all be thoroughly cleaned, including with anti-viral products between the time guests leave and new guests arrive. All cleaning will be performed to very high standards of health and safety.
All staff have been strictly following the social distancing rules throughout the pandemic. They have also all been trained in Covid-19 awareness with certificates from CPL Learning.
The availability and security of the outdoor, heated pool and outdoor hot tub, as well as any indoor communal areas shall be in line with all other hospitality venues with similar facilities. We will be following the UK Government health and safety guidelines about Covid-19 security, which all similar venues will have to adhere to.
The swimming pool and hot tub are available again, and we have expanded the relaxation areas around them, so guests may enjoy each others’ company, in higher numbers, but still maintaining social distancing guidelines. We will discuss the individual needs of the pool and hot tub with each group upon arrival, and whether we use a ‘reservation and clean’ system, or if the group wish to manage the social distancing and pool / hot tub usage themselves.
For the use of any shared showers in bathrooms, we recommend following the Government guidelines of using a reservation and cleaning system.
We provide all the necessary personal hand sanitisers and anti viral wipes and sprays that any group will need.