Corona Virus Update
Corona Virus Information - 19th June 2020
The Scottish & UK Government have published updated information on a phased easing of lockdown and we have now moved to phase 2. 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 three households and 8 people outdoors.
The tourism industry has been given a date of 15th July in which to resume activities, a number of guidelines and advice documents have been released and we are working our way through them currently.
Accomodation providers, ferries, taxi services along with ourselves are all working on our risk assessments and plans so please bear with us during this time.
Estimated Operational Phases
Phase 2 - (now) - commercial boating can resume as per phase 1, however the limitations on visitors may mean this will restrict our activities. Leisure & recreation has remained to be restricted to a guide of 5 miles from your home with visitor accommodation still limited. We can meet outdoors with up to a total of 3 households and 8 people maximum. We could have this setup on the boat however these other limitations may hinder your plans to get to us.
Ferry Timetable - (30th June) - This will allow to confirm the tour schedule.
Phase 3 -(9th July estimated) - We are unsure if the lockdown update will allow us more flexibility to run day tours prior to the tourism resumption on the 15th July. If you are keen for tours over these dates we are happy to take enquiries and pre- bookings / rescheduled tours.
Tourism Start - 15th July - At the current time, everyone in tourism is due to restart then. We are working towards our first scheduled peak season tour on the 18th July.
Phase -4 (August?) - This is much less restricted and back to near normal. How this will differ from phase 3 we are unsure but perhaps less distancing requirements etc. It may means things will run a little easier.
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. . See here for the latest news report about it. This report also details many thoughts that the quarantine policy may not last long. 9th June - here's more media reports about it only lasting till 29th June.
- Oban Day Tours 9th July Onwards - Pre-bookings & Enquiries.
- Peak Season Week Tours 18th July to 15th August - we are contacting you now to make arrangements. Please check your emails.
- Basking shark day tours from 18th July - These tours are based on the Calmac ferry timetable which is due to be updated on 30th June. An update will follow that information.
- 3 & 4 Day Basking Shark Tours from 16th August - As per the day tours we will update after the ferry announcement as these tours are based on specific ferry times and may change.
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.
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!