I hope everyone managed to enjoy the holiday period within the restrictions - though somehow that already feels like a long time ago.
I really hoped I wouldn’t be writing another post like this
in 2021, but Covid-19 just continues to mess up so many parts of our lives. First, we all hope all of our members and visitors are coping OK following the recent lockdown and restriction announcements across the UK. Times are so tough - and we’re thinking of all of you and your families.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the site in 2020 - we saw a pretty huge increase in most areas of engagement during 2020 - more deals, more comments, more votes. I hope it provided some measure of distraction during that awful year. As the situation continues to change and, sadly, worsen, I wanted to take the time to update you on how what you see on hotukdeals will be affected.
Here at hotukdeals we have now all been working from home for the last ten months. This is working pretty well (we think!) and modern communication tools help us a lot in making the 1,000s of decisions needed every day to run a community of this size. Some things have been harder to solve though, particularly more casual contact between workmates, which many of us miss as a way of keeping our mood up and being productive. I know this is a common problem for many home workers (not the main point here, but would love to hear any actions you’ve taken personally that have worked well).
We also now have more experience of what the pandemic means for companies putting offers together. Thankfully in 2020, supply chains didn’t break down (though there were delays) and panic-buying largely stopped after a hairy period in the late spring.
Home working means that as a company, we are able to meet our social responsibility and to limit physical proximity and do our bit to help to slow down the spread of the virus as much as possible. Both this, and coping with the rigours of the virus in general, led us to change our rules back in the full lockdown in April 2020 - and I wanted to let you know we will be doing the same again now...
For the duration of the national lockdown in England, and for as long as similar measures persist in the other UK countries, we will have the following approach to in-store deals.
- The only ‘in-store only’ deals allowed will be groceries (food, drink, toiletries, childcare items, basic homeware, batteries, home safety equipment) and medicine. We are roughly following this list from the Welsh government
- If something essential has only been spotted in one or two stores, the location should be added to the title and Local details submitted on the deal form.
- All other in-store deals will need to be available for delivery, and we will use the delivered price in the title and price field
- The same will apply for Click and Collect, for items other than groceries and medicine.
In all these cases, which involve travelling outside of your home, we will be adding the following warning message into the deal, reminding people to limit journeys and consider whether an item is essential before making the trip. If you are posting these deals, it would be really helpful if you can add it into the top too - thanksImportant. Please avoid making journeys that aren’t essential. In-store items can sell out quickly, so any trip made just for this could be wasted and unnecessarily risk spreading the virus. It’s important we all shop responsibly, wear a face mask when required and continue to help slow the spread of Covid-19. You can read more here about the Coronavirus restrictions (gov.uk/cor…rus).
We also will be avoiding pushing these deals into prominent positions, such as on our Highlights page or in our Daily Picks notifications.Restaurants/Pubs
These are all supposed to be closed, so no deals will be allowed.
The only exception is takeaway/drive-through deals. These will be allowed, and the above warning included.Travel
We will err on the side of not allowing travel deals, for booking flights, hotels and so on. We may allow total freebies where there is no risk of cancellation or loss, and reserve the right to consider any unusual deals on a case by case basis.Permanent freebies
We all need entertaining, educating and generally help staying sane during this period. So we will loosen our rules on some things that would normally go into discussions, such as Joe Wicks free Youtube PE lessons
We don’t want this to be a free-for-all though so will be using our discretion - please bear with us
This is where we have got to for now - but I’m sure we will need to reconsider some of these (not least because I am writing this with two kids running in and out of my work room, who would have been at school, and have probably forgotten something). We are watching the situation continually as it develops, will listen to your feedback and make the decisions that seem most reasonable to us.
The comments are open as we want to know what you think and how you are all feeling, so please let us know - but hopefully you can be patient if we don’t have all the answers or always agree. Also please, this is not the right place to discuss the ins and outs of COVID-19 or government policy.
And finally, I would like to take the opportunity to ask you to do everything in your power to slow down the spread of Corona as much as possible:
- Pay attention to hygiene and rather wash your hands once too often (although there is actually no such thing as too much)
- Avoid unnecessary physical contact / proximity to other people
- Refrain from stockpiling! This means that people who belong to risk groups have to go to the supermarket more often.
- If you do not belong to a risk group: Check whether you can help your neighbours, acquaintances or relatives if they themselves belong to a risk group, e.g. by buying food.
- Be kind to each other And wear a mask (including over your nose) when you are asked to!