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Health, safety and hygiene

TRUST, TRUST, TRUST. In a Covid-19 world we understand that there is a new normal; more importantly we understand how important it is that you have trust in our health, safety and hygiene practices. Trust that we are doing everything in our power to ensure that our building and our guests are safe as possible and that it is safe to stay with us.

To reiterate that trust we applied for and received the Visit England ‘Good to Go’ accreditation and the World Travel & Tourism Council ‘Safe Travels’ accreditation which means we are following British and worldwide industry standards to keep our accommodation safe and taking all necessary steps to stay Covid secure. See our certificate here.

We have inevitably had to make changes to the way we operate the hostel. Rooms have changed, facilities have changed, procedures have changed… but we haven’t changed. We are still the same old (well not so old), chirpy people but we may just sometimes be wearing a mask; it’s nothing personal and we’ll still be smiling behind it :-).

We are being led by UK Government guidelines, which are coming out frequently and so we are making further changes as guidance is published.

Flexible T&Cs

In order to remain as flexible as possible over this period we have adjusted our Terms & Conditions for bookings made on or after 10th June 2020; these changes allow for free cancellations / modifications up until Midday the day before arrival. More information can be found on our T&Cs page; please do take a look – we’ve tried to make it as friendly and readable as possible.

Covid-19 Flexibility Guarantee

All our school and group bookings for 2021 are protected by our Covid-19 Flexibility Guarantee. This ensures that if your trip is cancelled for any Covid-19 related reason (lockdown / local lockdown / outbreak in the school, etc.) and government guidance advises you not to travel you will either be able to transfer your trip to a later date OR cancel entirely and receive a full refund.


As you navigate our website you will come across some changes. We are no longer offering beds in shared dorms and all our rooms are private for solo travellers, couples, families or support bubbles with a new pricing structure to reflect this. Pricing is per room instead of per bed.

In addition to this we have reduced the occupancy of the hostel to minimise the number of people in the building; this ensures safe access to facilities as well as enabling us to implement adequate social distancing measures.

Within the rooms we have removed the privacy curtains from the bed; with the rooms all private this shouldn’t pose too much of an issue and it minimises COVID transmission via soft furnshings which cannot be laundered between guests.

Who can stay with us in one room

While the Rule of 6 is in play [currently estimated to be 17th May – 19th July 2021]:

  • 2 households / support bubbles or a single group of 6 people who all know each other can stay together in one room.
  • If a small group from multiple households / support bubbles would like to stay with us then you must ensure that you have separate rooms and continue to adhere to all social distancing guidelines inside Cohort and outside in St Ives.
  • Everyone staying in the same room MUST ARRIVE TOGETHER otherwise we reserve the right to refuse your reservation and no refund will be given.

Do not book a group of more than 6 people or 2 households (or support bubbles) into Cohort if you would like to congregate inside as we are still operating under social restrictions and cannot encourage breaking with government guidance.

19th July onward

There is currently no clear guidance on how we will be able to operate after 19th July. We are hoping that we will be open our dorm rooms and more space will become available; please watch this space.

If you book for this period on the assumption that the Rule of 6 / social distancing measures won’t be in place please be aware that we / you may have to cancel your booking if things do not change and your booking goes against government guidance.

Shower blocks

One thing we cannot escape from or change is the fact we are a hostel residing in an old Grade II listed building with shared washroom facilities. However we are confident that the changes we have made minimise the risk of COVID transmission within these facilities.

We have installed contactless taps to minimise touch points, are cleaning the shower blocks (even more) regularly, providing sanitisation products within the showers for guest use, ensuring shower blocks are kept fully ventilated and are operating a social distancing, ‘two at a time’ system in each washroom block.

We appreciate that this may be less than convenient at times but please trust that we are these doing things to ensure your safety and that of our staff.


We have had to make changes to our facilities. To minimise risk of transmission of COVID-19 we have put into storage non-essential comfort items such as communal bean bags, cushions and games.

We have installed alcohol hand sanitising stations throughout the hostel and we expect all guests to use these, especially when they enter and leave the building and when entering and leaving the washrooms.

Please note that while we have had to reduce facilities at Cohort we are working really hard to get them up and running again as soon as possible.

  • Our dining room, dry room and laundry area are closed
  • Games and beanbags/cushions have gone into storage
  • Bed privacy curtains in storage
  • TV area is closed
  • No access to the communal kitchen (see below)
  • Reduced lounge occupancy (see below)


Shared kitchen facilities represent a higher risk area. For this reason the government have instructed all hostels to close shared kitchen facilities.

We know what an important facility this is and rest assurred that we are doing everything we can to get it open in some capacity as soon as possible. To go someway to compensating you for the loss of this facility we are offering free tea and coffee from the bar throughout your stay.

Main lounge

We have reduced the seating area in our lounge with a maximum capacity of 15 people. All seating is distanced at 1m+ from each other.

Social distancing

In order to adhere to current UK Government social distancing guidelines we have reduced the number of people allowed to occupy our communal lounge to a maximum of 15 people at any one time, with distancing measures in place at our reception desk and bar/café.

We are also operating a traffic management system around our corridors (Stop, Look, Give way) to minimise close contact between guests when moving around our building as well as a one-way traffic system. We reside in a Grade II listed building with some small corridors and so care and common sense will need to be used.

Cleaning procedures

We have revised and implemented enhanced cleaning protocols at Cohort.

Staff will be carrying out regular checks and cleans of all surfaces and touch points throughout the building.

Check-in time

For those that have stayed with us before, another change is that we have moved our check-in time from 12 to 2pm to allow extra time for deep cleaning of the rooms between guests.  

NHS Test & Trace app

Please download the Covid-19 NHS Test & Trace app. You can then check-in at Cohort on arrival using the QR code that we will supply. More details, including the QR code, can be found here.

While we encourage all our guests to use the QR code if you would rather not we will have to ensure that everyone in your party has their address, mobile number and email address recorded in our booking system for Test & Trace purposes. If you refuse to provide these details we reserve the right to refuse to check you in and a refund will not be offered.

A note from us…

All the above measures are designed to keep you and our staff safe: That is our priority. On arrival you will be given a leaflet outlining all these changes and the new procedures that you need to know.

Our new procedures are fluid and will be constantly monitored and revised to ensure that we are acting in the best interests of our guests and staff while still ensuring that you have a good time during your stay; after all, you are on holiday.

We trust you’ll appreciate the reason for all these changes and visit us confident in the knowledge that everything we have done (and will continue to do) at Cohort will make it a safe and pleasurable place to stay.

When all is said and done the best way for you to keep safe is to regularly wash your hands for 20 seconds, dry them properly, adhere to social distance guidelines and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. If these simple measures are followed then that is the best way to keep yourself safe and those around you safe.

A note from St Ives

St Ives town is doing everything it can to reduce the risk of transmission when out and about. Please do behave responsibly around town, stick to the rules around social distancing and be mindful of others. Above all keep smiling – you’re on holiday! Finally!

Get in touch

If you have any questions before you arrive about these changes or our health and hygiene procedures then please do not hesitate to contact us, you can call us on 01736 791664 email or use the form below:

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