A note from our family to yours

Update 4th August : Scotland, beyond level 0.

What you need to know:

Scotland, beyond level 0. The legal requirement for physical distancing and limits on gatherings will be removed on 9th August.

Some protective measures will stay in place such as the use of face coverings in indoor public places and on public transport and the collection of contact details as part of Test and Protect.

International guests: From Monday 2nd August, fully-vaccinated passengers arriving from amber list countries do not have to quarantine upon arrival in Scotland. Arrivals will have to carry with them a form of certification to provide details of their vaccine status. For details and countries list go to the Scotgov website.

We are maintaining our extreme cleaning between guests as outlined in our 'How we are keeping everyone safe' post, here we also outline guests responsibilities as well. We very much look forward to seeing you this year.

Big love & stay safe

Susan & Jenny x

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Update 19th July : Scotland reached level 0

We are fully open but operating within the Scottish levels system. Presently Scotland is in level 0.

What you need to know:

Importantly Level 0 isn't 'freedom day'. In Scotland we must all continue to follow FACTS guidance (Face covering, Avoid Crowds, Clean hands, Two meter distance, Self isolate).

In Level 0, a maximum of 8 people from up to 4 households can socialise in a holiday cottage. Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards the total number of people permitted to meet.

You do not need to physically distance from family and friends in a holiday cottage.

Up to 10 people from up to four households can meet in a public indoor space, such as a pub or restaurant.

You can meet up to 15 people from 15 households outdoors.

Face coverings will continue to be mandatory.

International travel will remain under review, restrictions will remain in place with managed isolation on arrival.

Customer records will need to be kept for all guests for 21 days in order to support NHS Scotland's Test and Protect service.

We are maintaining our extreme cleaning between guests as outlined in our 'How we are keeping everyone safe' post, here we also outline guests responsibilities as well. We are absolutely delighted to be open again and hope very much to see you this year.

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Update 14th June : Open again

We are now fully open again but operating within the Scottish levels system. Presently Midlothian and Edinburgh are both in level 2.

What you need to know:

In Level 2, a maximum of 6 people from up to 3 households can stay and socialise in a holiday cottage. Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards the total number of people permitted to meet.

You do not need to physically distance from family and friends in a holiday cottage.

You can travel anywhere in Scotland in Levels 0, 1 or 2 but must not enter a Level 3 or 4 area unless you have a permitted reason like going to work or caring for a vulnerable person.

What can open at Level 2

Places and business that can open at Level 2 include:

  • cafés, pubs and restaurants
  • all shops and stores
  • hairdressers and beauty salons
  • gyms and swimming pools
  • visitor attractions
  • cinemas, theatres, concert halls
  • stadiums and events – with maximum numbers

International travel will remain under review, restrictions will remain in place with managed isolation on arrival.

Customer records will need to be kept for all guests for 21 days in order to support NHS Scotland's Test and Protect service.

We are maintaining our extreme cleaning between guests as outlined in our 'How we are keeping everyone safe' post, here we also outline guests responsibilities as well. We are absolutely delighted to be open again and hope very much to see you this year.

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Update 22nd April : A new normal

From Monday 26 April, hospitality venues such as cafés, pubs and restaurants can reopen, along with tourist accommodation. Non-essential retail outlets and close contact services such as beauty salons can also reopen, in addition to indoor attractions such as galleries and museums.

The First Minister confirmed that all parts of the country will move to Level 3 from Monday 26 April. The remaining travel restrictions within Scotland will be lifted and travel within the UK will be permitted for any purpose. The First Minister says it is expected that all of Scotland will move to Level 2 on Monday 17 May.

What you need to know:

From the 26th April guests from one household can stay overnight in self catering.

On the 17th May four guests from two households can stay overnight in self-catering. Children aged 12 or under are not included in these numbers.

International travel will remain under review, restrictions will remain in place with managed isolation on arrival.

Customer records will need to be kept for all guests for 21 days in order to support NHS Scotland's Test and Protect service.

We are maintaining our extreme cleaning between guests as outlined in our 'How we are keeping everyone safe' post, here we also outline guests responsibilities as well. We are absolutely delighted to be reopening on the 30th and hope very much to see you this year.

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Update 31st March : A clearer road map

We have always tried to be as clear as possible to keep both our valued guests and ourselves up to speed with the latest guidelines (while trying not to lose the plot). So in the spirit of that here is what you need to know now:

From the 26th April guests from one household can stay overnight in self catering.

On the 17th May four guests from two households can stay overnight in self-catering. Children aged 12 or under are not included in these numbers.

It is hoped that the border will reopen and we can welcome guests from England from the 26th April.

International travel will remain under review, it will not be possible before the 17th May, restrictions will remain in place with managed isolation on arrival.

We are reopening our doors on the 30th April, see you then.

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Update 22nd March : Reopening 30th April 2021

We are so excited!! The Scottish Government has given us a reopening date. Although the sector is allowed to reopen from the 26th of April, here at Eastside we shall not reopen our doors until the 30th April 2021.

The First Minister is doubtful about our international guests, even those with dates later in the year. We are starting to get in touch with those guests to postpone or refund as they see fit. It is a mixed feeling I guess, we still must disappoint our international friends. But light is at the end of the tunnel, and we can't help but be excited to welcome you all to Eastside once more.

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Update 23rd February : Scotland's non existent road map

We were very disappointed today to still not receive any (even rough) guidance on reopening dates. The Scottish Government announced today that Scotland would continue Tier 4, the highest level of lockdown, until at least the 26th April. At this point the path is quite honestly unclear. We are then most likely to return to Tier 3 which allows us only guests from Midlothian? But it's anyones guess...

We have therefore taken the decision not to reopen until the 26th April 2021 and play it by ear from there. Any questions please get in touch. We will try our very best to answer them.

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Update 18th February 2021 : Tier 4 continues

I know we sound like a stuck record, we feel like a stuck record believe me! We are writing to you following the Scottish Government's most recent announcement regarding the continuation of the present Tier 4 Covid restrictions. The First Minister said that we are to continue Tier 4, the highest level of lockdown, well into March and possibly Easter.

We have therefore taken the decision not to reopen until the 2nd April 2021 and play it by ear from there. Any questions please get in touch.

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Update 23rd January 2021 : Tier 4 continues

We are writing to you following the Scottish Government's most recent announcement regarding the continuation of the present Tier 4 Covid restrictions. The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that we are to continue Tier 4, the highest level of lockdown, well into February 2021.

We have therefore taken the decision not to reopen until the 5th March 2021. It is with great sadness that we bring you this bad news - we had been really looking forward to welcoming you all back to Eastside.

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Update 10th December 2020 : New festive restrictions & Tier 4

We are writing to you following the Scottish Government's most recent announcement regarding further Covid restrictions over the festive period. The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced today that we are to enter Tier 4 (at midnight on Christmas Day) and for 3 weeks thereafter.

We have therefore taken the decision to close from today until the 5th February 2021. It is with great sadness that we bring you this bad news - we had been really looking forward to welcoming you this December & into the New Year.

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Update 2nd December 2020 : Scot Gov festive fiasco

Today we have been told by the Scottish Government that (as we remain in level 3) we cannot welcome any guests from England or from beyond the Midlothian council area for the entire festive period, including the 23rd - 27th December when restrictions were to be relaxed throughout the UK.

As it stands you can travel from England to visit and stay with your 150 year old Scottish granny...

...but you can't stay in Scottish holiday accommodation (whilst visiting your granny in a socially distanced outdoor setting).

Today we took the decision to offer refunds or postponements to all of our December guests travelling from beyond the Midlothian council area. Frankly we do not want to mess about our hugely valued guests as much as Scot Gov have us.

If you're from Midlothian and fancy a break we'd love to see you.

All the best... from the rather frazzled Susan & Jenny x

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Update 23rd November 2020 : Last minute decision for Midlothian to remain at level 3

Today we made the decision not to reopen until the 11th December (Woodshed 4th). The uncertainty every week of not knowing what Scot Gov are going to announce is draining for everyone so we've decided to stop putting ourselves through it & instead work towards more positive plans for the year end festivities & on into next year.

For now we are putting the laptop down, getting wrapped up with beanie hats & good boots to gather the sheep in off the hills. We will go out and enjoy eating from our local restaurants and support friends and local businesses who have worked tirelessly to ride out this storm.

As ever, we owe you huge thanks for all your support, patience and positivity in this last year. We will forever be grateful & cannot wait to welcome you back very soon.

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Update 18th November 2020: Level 2 and travel restrictions put into law

From the 24th November Midlothian moves from level 3 restrictions down to level 2. Travel restrictions will be put into law on 20th November to further enforce the current guidance that restricts people who live in a level 3 or level 4 local authority area from travelling outside their local authority except for an essential purpose - such as work or caring responsibilities.

What you need to know:

We are reopening 27th November 2020. We are now in level 2.

You may travel to stay at Eastside from a level 2 or level 1 local authority. You may not travel to Eastside from level 3 or 4. This has now been made law. We are totally heartbroken to now have to cancel guests from level 3 areas and will work as fast as possible to process refunds or postponements.

You should only stay with your household or extended household.

The Scottish Government is updating local levels on a weekly basis and we will update guests as soon as we have that information. Please get in touch if you have any questions, we will try our very best to answer them.

Here we have written an article detailing what the new normal is, what we are doing to keep you safe and what we are expecting of guests to keep both our staff and ourselves safe too: How we are keeping everyone safe: Covid 19

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Update 31st October 2020: Scottish Government level 3 travel restrictions

From the 2nd November there will be stricter restrictions for some areas of Scotland. Eastside Cottages fall within the Midlothian area which has been placed in the Scottish Governments level 3 covid restrictions.

What you need to know:

We are closing our doors until the 27th November 2020, we are unbelievably sorry and have contacted all those effected regarding postponements or refunds.

Level 3 travel restrictions mean that all non essential travel is stopped into and out of a level 3 area. Locals of Midlothian council area only may still holiday at Eastside.

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Update 9th October 2020: Scottish Government Central Belt restrictions

From the 9th October there will be stricter targeted restrictions for some areas because of the higher rate of infection in the Central Belt. Eastside Cottages fall within the Central Belt area.

What you need to know:

We remain open and our covid cleaning and changeovers remain at the highest standard to keep both our guests, our staff and ourselves safe.

Within the Central Belt all Restaurants & Pubs will have to close from the 9th October for 16 days.

Within the Central Belt you are advised to avoid public transport unless absolutely necessary.

Please ensure that you have reviewed the complete list of enhanced restrictions before your stay here.

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Update 25th September 2020: Scottish Government requirements

From the 25th September the Scottish Government has changed the requirements for those staying in self-catering accommodation.

Self-catering holiday accommodation is within the Scottish Government's definition of a private dwelling, so from 25th September self-catering accommodation may only be used by a single household (or recognised extended household).

The one household rule per self-catering premises is now a legal requirement. If your group is made up of more than one household then please get in touch. We can postpone or refund as appropriate. We are a small family business and, as you can imagine, this has been and continues to be a difficult time for us. We would like to thank you for your ongoing patience and support.

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Update 17th July 2020: We are now open

It has been a long empty summer but we have now reopened. Slowly, safely and in a way that we are comfortable with.

Here we have written an article detailing what the new normal is, what we are doing to keep you safe and what we are expecting of guests to keep both our staff and ourselves safe too: How we are keeping everyone safe: Covid 19

Traveling from abroad: Presently the UK & Scottish Governments have a 14 day quarantine period for those coming from outside the UK unless the country that you are arriving from is on the Governments exemption list. For further information and exemptions see here.

We are a small family business and, as you can imagine, this has been and continues to be a difficult time for us. We would like to thank you for your patience and support. We understand that it must be tremendously disappointing that you may not be able to visit us here in the hills at this time. But please know that we will try to help as much as possible.

We thank you for your understanding and hope to see you in the better times ahead. We have opened bookings for 2021 and we'd love to see you soon.

Stay safe everyone. Susan & Jenny xx

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