Corona Virus Update
Corona Virus Information - 28th May 2020
The Scottish Government has published updated information on a phased easing of lockdown on the 28th May and we have moved to phase 1. This means that in Scotland, we have more freedom for outdoor activities close to our homes (current guidance 5 miles) and with a maximum of two households.
The government have committed to releasing information for tourism business and importantly accommodation by 18th June. So we are eagerly awaiting this information. In the meantime the tourism industry is facing many challenges, most are struggling to make ends meet with very little government support and bookings/income dropping to zero overnight. This news article highlights some of the problems.
There are a number of phases which has been suggested could be three weeks each (which is the government review dates) that we will go through before we can operate. As the information is still not fully released we'll need time to review, digest and plan around each phase and it's implications. We are just second guessing the situation and our current thoughts are as follows;
Estimated Operational Phases
Phase 1 (Fri 29th May) - Travel limitations and household mixing rules will not allow us to operate fully. We can take essential travel boat transfers or one household that live locally (within 5 miles of Oban).
Phase 2 (possibly Friday 19th June)- Details are still to be released however it is thought that travel limitations will be extended along with allowing further mixing of households. This is when we may be able to start trips from Oban However it may only be with people who can drive to Oban and back in a day, as accommodation may still be limited. We hope to have information on this soon as detailed above.
Phase 3 -4 (possibly Fri 10th July / Fri 31st July) - This is when we expect that relaxing of measures will allow us to function operationally. However details are very limited and there are many factors that need to be considered.
International travel - This is part of the UK government and there are currently restrictions planned for 14 day quarantine. It is very political and the situation changes often, especially with advice from other countries own border policy. It make it forward planning almost impossible. No dates have been set so far and the situation is very fluid with estimates of it only lasting a short while. See here for the latest news report about it. This report also details many thoughts that the quarantine policy may not last long.
If your tour date has been effected then they will be rescheduled and we'll be in touch via email. Please check junk mail folders if you haven't seen anything. For all future dates then we'll be in touch as below.
Covid Measure on Tours
Post-Covid measures are likely to have a very significant effect on daily life and restrictions on our tours. This ranges from distancing on the boat, hands on activities such as snorkelling, disinfecting of hire equipment, ferry policy, facilities on the islands, measures for accommodation etc. It's a very complex situation and it will take a lot of time to work out.
We are waiting on more advice, guidance and information, which will enable us to make some decisions and plans. We'll be in touch with booked clients as soon as we have relevant information to share. In the meantime we are working on it and have as much information as you!
Although we are hoping to run as much as possible for this summer we have also opened up our multi-day basking shark tours for peak summer 2021. This is our three, four and week long basking shark tours.
November Orca Whale Safari
Our Orca tours are not scheduled until November and we are intending for these trips to run as planned. If you want to join us in Norway this year then our 19/11 tour still has some spaces available!
How you can help!
It is a difficult time for the business. Rachel & Shane are working from home answering queries, still planning for summer and creating lots of social media content! If you are not already following us on social media we can be found under "Basking Shark Scotland" on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. We are hosting a live quiz, posting regular updates and also have a podcast to try and provide you with some ocean based relief!
We need your support more than ever so if you can recommend us to a friend, have a look at our shark shop, buy a gift voucher for a future tour or send some love our way on social media it will be highly appreciated!
We will get through this together and the ocean will be waiting!