Covid-19 Protocols For the Writing Houses

The following outlines our current COVID-19 policies.

As Covid rates are extremely high right now, and out of consideration for more vulnerable participants, tutors and staff, we are maintaining a set of protocols that diverge in some respects from current government policy, including the continuation of mask wearing in certain settings. While none of these measures can guarantee that you will not contract Covid-19 during your course week, they do mitigate the risk of doing so, and we are grateful for the coooperation of all participants in complying with them.

Lateral flow testing

While we appreciate that access to tests is now limited, if you are able to take a lateral flow test on the Sunday before arrival then we would encourage you to do so. If your result is positive, we ask that you do not attend the course, and you will be refunded in full.

At all three houses, if you start to display symptoms of Covid-19 at any point during the week, we ask that you take a lateral flow test immediately. If you have your own stock of tests please do bring some with you; if not, we will provide you with a test.

Testing positive during the week

Should you test positive for Covid-19, we ask that you leave as soon as possible. If you are unable to leave immediately, you will need to self-isolate in your room, and you will be supported and provided with meals until you are able to depart. You will receive a pro-rated refund of the course fee for any portion of the course that you miss due to testing positive for COVID-19.


All the bedrooms are single occupancy.


  • The Hurst has all en-suite bathrooms, with no shared bathroom facilities.
  • Lumb Bank has 6 bathrooms – 2 in the barn shared by 4 writers, and 4 in the main house shared by up to 9 writers.
  • Totleigh Barton has 1 en-suite accessible bedroom and 4 additional bathrooms shared by up to 13 writers (max 4 per bathroom).

Catering Arrangements

Cooking and eating together is an essential and enjoyable part of an Arvon week, and we have returned to our traditional catering arrangements now that we have reopened.

You will help yourself to breakfast in the shared kitchen. Lunch will be prepared by Arvon staff, who will also cook an evening meal for the group on the Monday night.

You will cook one evening meal with a small group of fellow writers, and you will also be responsible for some clearing up after meals. We have invested in commercial dishwashers in each of our houses to increase hygiene standards.

These duties are confined to a few hours in total, so the rest of the week is left free for writing. Please do not be nervous about cooking for the group. You will cook in a small team and receive lots of support from house staff. (And if you have any access issues that prevent you from taking part in the shared cooking, that is not a problem. Just let us know and we will leave you off the rota.)

You will be asked to wear a mask while using the shared kitchen and preparing food. If you are unable to wear a mask for health reasons, this isn’t a problem either.

COVID-19 Precautions

We will continue to observe the following Covid-19 precautionary measures:

  • The houses will be thoroughly ventilated.
  • We will be making more use of our outdoor spaces as the weather allows.
  • We will ask you to continue to observe a high level of hand hygiene, with handwashing facilities and gels at each building entry point.
  • We will continue to carry out increased surface cleaning in the communal spaces.
  • We ask that everyone continues to wear a mask in the kitchen and when moving around the house.

Travel and incidental costs

Please note that we are not, under any circumstances, able to reimburse travel or other costs that you may have incurred in connection with your booking, and in the event of cancellation by you or by us, our liability to you will be limited to fees you have paid to Arvon.