Coronavirus: Gîte and holiday letting rules in France

What cleaning preparations do I need to make for guests at my gîte or holiday home that I let out now that I can have guests staying again – are there any official rules?

6 July 2020
By Connexion journalist

There are no national official rules on how to clean and prepare your gîte or holiday let for visitors to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19 however leading organisations have published guidelines on recommended precautions to take.

Holiday letting industry body UNPLV has drawn up a ‘sanitary protocol’ which it says has been approved by the government. Certain well-known letting organisations such as Gîtes de France and Airbnb have also issued their own advice.

Created in a partnership with cleaning service O2, the UNPLV protocol can be downloaded on the body’s website. 

A spokesperson for UNPLV, which represents leading French holiday rental groups such as Abritel-Home-Away, Airbnb and CléVacances, said following its measures means cleaning will take longer than normal but it will reassure holidaymakers who may therefore choose your property over others if you advertise that you have followed its protocol.

Key points include:

  • The gap between one set of clients leaving and another arriving, as recommended by official health advisory body the Haut Conseil de la Santé Publique, is a minimum of six hours. This means it is still possible to have Saturday to Saturday bookings and not lose out on rental days. However, rigorous cleaning is advised with a short turnaround because the latest studies show that the Covid-19 virus can stay on surfaces for several hours or even days: 72 hours on plastic, 48 hours on stainless steel and 24 hours on cardboard.
  • You should wear disposable gloves and masks during cleaning or otherwise wash your hands before, during and after the session. You should wash the clothes you wear during cleaning at 60°C.
  • Start by cleaning surfaces and floors with a normal multi-surface cleaning product or soap and water. Then disinfect the surfaces to kill the virus using bleach such as eau de Javel (for example one litre of ‘2.6%’ eau de Javel, diluted in 4 litres of cold water) or otherwise use a disinfectant with the EN 14476 standard marked on it (this means it kills viruses).
  • In bedrooms, strip the beds first and wash bedding at 60°C. Rooms should be aired by opening the windows for at least 15 to 30 minutes and if possible should be left open during the whole cleaning process.

Airbnb, though a member of UPLV has its own guidelines, updated on July 2 and you can find them in French for France or in English for the UK (but also applicable to France). Owners signed up with AirBnB also have access to a special cleaning handbook.

Gîtes de France has sent all of its 42,000 owners a document advising on matters such as cleaning door handles, temperatures for washing bedding and its recommended periods between guests.

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