Today marks the first day since the beginning of lockdown where people can stay overnight (or indeed longer!) in self-catering holiday accommodation in Scotland. With that restriction lifting and lots of people keen to have a view of the world other than from their sofa, it is no wonder the tourism industry is reporting a significant increase in bookings.

Below, we highlight 5 considerations for providers of self-catering accommodation to think in the context of COVID-19.

1. Have you carried out a COVID-19 specific risk assessment?

The risks of COVID-19 are known and therefore need to be managed. You should review the risks arising from their rental business and identify ways to minimise the risk of COVID-19 to guests entering your property. This might include enhanced cleaning regimes, contactless check in/out and taking steps to reduce touch points within the property (for example, removing any basic food supplies which might normally have been provided).

2. Have you reviewed your terms and conditions?

You should review your cancellation and refund policy in respect of what to do if a guest can’t attend the property due to contracting COVID-19 or if a guest develops COVID-19 symptoms whilst at the property.

3. Do you have a code of practice for guests?

Once satisfied that the property is in a position to be rented safely, you may wish to consider what they are asking guests to do whilst they are staying at the property to limit the risks to them, and others, further. Guidance could be issued on steps to follow whilst staying at the property, such as hand hygiene, waste disposal and bagging linen before departure. 

4. Have you considered what will happen if a guest becomes ill whilst at your property?

You should consider implementing a procedure for what do if someone develops COVID-19 symptoms whilst at the property to ensure that the necessary steps are taken to minimise the risk of further infection. This procedure should be notified to guests ahead of their stay.

5. Do you have appropriate insurance cover?

You should ensure you have appropriate public liability (and, if appropriate, employer's liability) insurance cover, to protect you in the event that a guest does make a claim alleging to have contracted COVID-19 whilst at the property.


Lynn Livesey

Legal Director