Coronavirus Arrangements: Solitary Retreats

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Updated 13 January 2022

Given the continuing high level of cases and ease of transmission of Omicron (the new variant of Covid-19), we are slightly revising our Covid protocols to ensure the safety of our staff and participants.

Previously we asked participants to undertake a Lateral Flow Test 48 hours before a retreat and to provide proof of this on arrival, and to do a further test on day 3 of their retreat.

We would like to extend this and invite participants to take a Lateral Flow Test first thing in the morning on each day of their retreat. Please ensure you bring enough tests with you.

We are very much hoping this will be a temporary arrangement and will contact you as soon as possible to update you of any changes. 

We are monitoring the changing Government guidelines closely in relation to the coronavirus pandemic, the latest Government 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 look forward to welcoming you.

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, and then to test daily throughout their 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 within the 48 hours before your retreat, 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 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.

Step 4: Throughout your retreat

Please test again in the morning of each day of your retreat. If your result is positive please let a member of staff know immediately and they will advise on next steps.

  • 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.

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 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