Coronavirus Arrangements: Sharpham House Retreats

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Updated 13 September 2021

We are monitoring the changing Government guidelines closely in relation to the Coronavirus pandemic, the latest update can be found here. The safety of our staff and guests is paramount and we are carefully developing our risk assessment planning to ensure that we can make your stay here as safe as possible.

This page will be updated as the guidelines change so please check back here as your retreat date approaches. 

We have been reviewing our Covid protocols against a backdrop of increasing cases and an expected rise in transmission as schools and universities resume for the Autumn term. Although many restrictions have been eased, we are continuing our commitment to keeping our staff and participants safe as we continue to navigate our way through the pandemic. 


Vaccines, testing and symptoms

At this time we are not going to insist everyone should be vaccinated. Instead, we are asking all participants - regardless of their vaccination status - to provide proof of a negative Lateral Flow Test taken in the 48 hours before attending a retreat. We feel this is the best way to minimise any ongoing risk.

Please go through the following process:

Step 1: Ensure you have lateral flow tests to use

Lateral Flow Tests are freely available from GP surgeries and local chemists and you can also order them online. For further details please click here

Step 2: Report your results

Once you have tested, please report your results on the Government website here If you have tested negative you can attend the retreat. If you have tested positive you will not be able to attend the retreat and should book a PCR test as soon as possible to confirm the results. If you have tested positive click here for our Cancellation Ts and Cs

Step 3: Retain your proof to show us

When you log on to the Government website to report your result you will be asked to enter an email or mobile phone number and the result will be sent to you. On arrival at your course or retreat you will be asked for evidence of a negative test on your phone or a print of confirmation from your email. If you are unable to provide this we will ask you to take a Lateral Flow Test when you arrive. If the result is positive you will not be able to attend.

If you have any questions about the above, please let us know.

  • Do not attend if you have any symptoms in the week prior to your retreat. Symptoms are - a high temperature, a new continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
  • We encourage participants and staff to be vaccinated but do not require it
  • If you are double-vaccinated and get pinged by the NHS App whilst you're here, we'll ask you to do a Lateral Flow Test

What happens if you develop symptoms whilst on retreat?

If you develop any of the main symptoms during a retreat you will be asked to self-isolate and return home as soon as possible.

The main symptoms of Coronavirus/COVID-19 are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

If you think you might be developing any of these symptoms prior to the retreat please do not travel.

We are unable to offer refunds to people who have to leave a retreat early.

Social distancing

  • In support of our staff and your fellow retreatants, we are asking participants to still be aware of social distancing both indoors and outdoors
  • We encourage participants to interact socially outdoors where possible and to be aware of social distancing where this is not possible


  • We encourage participants to wear masks indoors when moving around the house but not when in their bedroom, dining room, outdoors and in group sessions


  • We are only offering single-occupancy bedrooms
  • There are 20 bedrooms in Sharpham House
  • There will be a maximum of 20 participants on retreat split into smaller groups
  • All bed linen and towels are professionally laundered between retreats

Shower and bathroom facilities

  • Bathrooms are allocated to each room
  • If sharing, please clean before and after each use with materials supplied. Staff will clean daily
  • Wash hands regularly before and after using the bathroom and at mealtimes. Hand sanitiser is also available

Hygiene and cleaning

  • The House will be deep cleaned between retreats
  • Communal bathrooms and shared spaces will be regularly cleaned
  • Disinfectant materials will be provided in all bathrooms for participants to use if they so wish
  • Hand sanitiser will be provided at multiple locations
  • We will control and limit access to the House by people not involved in the retreat
  • Participants will be asked to bring their own thermos flask, cup and drinking water bottle


  • Catering arrangements are carefully managed
  • Food is prepared by staff following the appropriate guidelines
  • Participants can eat outside, weather permitting


  • We will organise any activities so that they follow the social distancing guidelines

How should I travel to the retreat?

  • This is a personal choice
  • We have sufficient car parking
  • If you use public transport such as the train you can get a taxi from Totnes station to Sharpham

What if the situation changes?

  • We are constantly monitoring the situation: if necessary we will cancel the retreat and refund participants
  • We would aim to do this with adequate notice

We are aware that this has been a difficult and stressful time for many and we are looking forward to welcoming you to Sharpham. Our hope is that our programme of retreats will offer a much needed opportunity for contemplation and personal reflection to help you take stock of the extraordinary times we are living in, as well as opportunities for connection with each other and with the natural world.




If you would like to know more about the information on this page, please contact:

Name: Programme Administrator
Tel: 01803 732542
Email: [email protected]
Address: Sharpham Trust, West Wing Office, Ashprington, Totnes, Devon, TQ9 7UT