International travel may be prohibited, but interprovincial travel is still allowed with no limitations. This means that families can take advantage of off-peak rates now that the opening of schools has been extended to the 15thof February. Shaun Lamont, Managing Director of First Group Hotels and Resorts, says that while hitting the road for a sneaky getaway is a good idea for both the economy and your mental health, it’s not risk-free. “Now, more than ever, it’s important to keep safety a priority when choosing your holiday accommodation.”
He adds, “We are in unprecedented times. Naturally, we are social beings, and not being able to exercise the very thing that makes us human, is incredibly difficult. However, in the interest of returning to a better version of our current reality, we have to be more responsible.”
Lamont says that choosing a resort that follows strict Covid protocols should be top of every holiday-makers list. “For example, all of First Group’s hotels and resorts’ cleanliness practices and protocols have been rewritten to ensure only the highest standards at the Group’s 25 properties. Our new ground-breaking protocol, called PristinePurposeCleaned (PPC), is designed to optimise guest safety from check-in to check-out.”
To reduce risk even further the World Health Organisation (WHO) advises that it is crucial to avoid the three Cs – crowded places, close-contact settings and confined enclosed spaces. Lamont believes that opting for self-catering accommodation allows you to comply with the guidelines offered by the WHO whilst still being able to enjoy some time away. Here is why he believes that self-catering is your safest bet during a pandemic:
1. You can avoid crowded places: Choosing self-catering accommodation, whether it’s a cottage in the Berg or a seaside apartment, allows you to steer clear of places with lots of people nearby. In fact, in some cases (especially in the Berg and bush!) cottages are miles apart. In general, though, you are able to enjoy the fresh air and a lower concentration of people.
2. You can avoid close-contact settings: Staying in a self-catering chalet means that you eat, sleep and socialise in your own private ‘bubble’ without having to brave common areas that will expose you to close-range conversations with strangers.
3. You can avoid confined enclosed spaces: Avoiding enclosed spaces with poor ventilation is easy when you are soaking up the sun, and are surrounded by nothing more than mountains, hills or the ocean.
“Overall, self-catering offers you the opportunity to make magical, lasting memories with your family while reducing their exposure to the virus and keeping them safe. Plus, February offers the best weather countrywide, take advantage of it and book your self-catering holiday today,” Lamont concludes.