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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.

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 have reduced the number the rooms available in the building to 8, and we are no longer offering shared dorms but are now selling all as private rooms to solo travellers, couples, families or support bubbles and our new pricing structure reflects this. We are pricing per room instead of per bed.

In addition to this we have reduced the occupancy of the hostel by up to 60% to minimise the number of people in the building to ensure safe access to facilities as well as being able to safeguard adequate social distancing measures

Who can stay with us in one room

Singles, couples, families or friends living in the same household or one support bubble consisting of 2 households.

While the Rule of 6 is in play [currently estimated to be 17th May – 21st June 2021]:

  • Do not book a group of more than 6 people or 2 households (or support bubbles) into Cohort as we cannot encourage breaking with government guidance. On arrival if we find or suspect you are in a group of more than 6 people over a number of rooms then we reserve the right to refuse your reservation and no refund will be given.
  • If 6 people from different households want to stay together you must book at least 2 large private rooms as our rooms are not suitable for social distancing for over 3 people.
  • 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.
  • Everyone staying in the same room MUST ARRIVE TOGETHER otherwise we reserve the right to refuse your reservation and no refund will be given.

21st June onward

There is currently no clear guidance on how we will be able to operate after 21st June. We are hoping that we will be open our dorm rooms or, at the very least, more of our rooms as privates and more space will become available.

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.

Paying for your stay

The building is now CASHLESS. Please do not try to pay with any form of cash as we will not accept it. We will only accept cards or Apple Pay.


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 and so we have to make some significant changes. Please accept these as part of the quirks of staying in such a lovely building!

We have improved our hand washing facilities in the bathrooms by installing contactless taps and replacing our automatic hand dryers with paper towels: These changes reduce the risk of spreading or picking up germs.


The Government has published strict guidelines around shared shower facilities. Each room will now be allocated their own shower cubicle in one of the two washrooms (formally the male and female washroom). For this reason our shower rooms have had to become UNISEX shower blocks (it goes without saying that each shower cubicle is completely private).

In addition to these measures we are also operating an only ‘two at a time’ in each washroom block. So there will never be high numbers of people in each block, in addition because of our reduced capacity there are not long waiting periods (if any) to access the washrooms.


Though our toilets facilities are in the same areas as the shower facilities we are still operating segregated toilet facilities. We expect our male guests to use to the toilets in the male washroom and female guests to use the female toilets.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause; we are led by UK Government guidance and this system is the only way our hostel can work practically, safely and within the COVID guidelines. 


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 and our library of books.

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, books and beanbags/cushions have gone into storage
  • Book exchange unavailable to use
  • 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.

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.

We will be offering FREE tea and coffee from 8am – 10pm in the main lounge. You will not be able to approach the bar however just find a seat as we are now offering table service. Teas and coffees can be served in takeaway cups if there is not enough available seating or you are keen to get out into town.

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 hourly cleans of all surfaces and touch points throughout the building and the cleaning products we use all meet UK Government guidance and are effective against enveloped viruses (Covid-19).

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.  

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.

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.

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. They have produced a Town Guide specifically for this season and you can download it here. Please do behave responsibly around town, the last thing we all want is another lockdown.

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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Pod dorm beds from £17/night
Single & Twin Private rooms from £25/night
Triple rooms from £50/night
Family rooms from £68/night

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