In his latest address to the nation, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has again extended the period of coronavirus ‘lockdown’ until the next review point in 3 weeks’ time. Accordingly, we have now cancelled all tours until the end of May 2020.
What’s the current situation in the UK?
On the 20th March, the UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered mandatory ‘social distancing’ measures, including the closure of restaurants, theatres, cafes, gyms, parks, schools and childcare facilities, shops selling non-essential items, etc. The message “Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives” was our mantra for the next 7 weeks.
Last night (10th May), in his announcement about the three-weekly review of our ‘lockdown’ situation, he stressed that while the UK now appears to have passed the ‘peak’ of new coronavirus infections, continued social distancing is necessary to ensure that the infection rate does not increase again. Changing the public message to “Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Save Lives”, the emphasis remains on staying at home wherever possible.
The rules have been every so slightly relaxed, however. Previously, only certain ‘key workers’ (mainly medical, emergency services and supermarket staff) were allowed to travel to work, but Mr Johnson has now said that non-keyworkers who cannot work from home (for example, construction and manufacturing workers) can now go to work provided that, where possible, a distance of 2 metres is kept between staff. From Wednesday 13th May, we will also be allowed to leave our homes for recreation, more than once per day if we wish – again, provided that we maintain a distance of 2 metres from other people.
When will you open again?
Unfortunately, there is not yet any predictable end to the lockdown situation for businesses in the hospitality or tourism industries. Therefore, we have now cancelled all Cotswolds Day Tours and Brewery & Pub Tours until the end of May 2020.
Tours from the start of June onwards are currently active on our website and available to book. HOWEVER, if you wish to book a tour with us, we strongly recommend that you wait until we have clarity about when the lockdown restrictions will be relaxed, because we may be forced to cancel more tour dates. If in doubt, please ask us before you make a booking – or perhaps purchase a gift voucher instead!
The lockdown situation is reviewed every 3 weeks, so for tours beyond June, we will continue to listen to Government advice and act accordingly.
We’ve said it before, but we can’t say it enough – a huge THANK YOU to all of our wonderful friends, family members, and customers past, present and future for your kindness, generosity, patience and understanding during this difficult time.
By now, Tom, Zoe and I have adjusted somewhat to the “new normal”. I (Lisa) have temporarily returned to my former career as a scientific editor to bring in some income, meanwhile Tom has been busy keeping our almost-three-year-old daughter Zoe entertained! We’ve been running and walking a lot, having video calls with friends, and Tom has discovered a new love of baking! Last Friday we celebrated VE (Victory in Europe) Day with a socially distanced street party with our neighbours, which was great fun, but we are really missing our friends, family and customers, and can’t wait for this all to be over!
I’m going to need to cancel – what do I do?
We have been in touch with all customers affected by our enforced closure up until the end of May and are handling these bookings as a priority.
If you have booked a tour with us from June onwards, we absolutely understand that you may wish to postpone or cancel your tour – perhaps because of a lockdown situation in your own country, a cancelled flight/vacation, health issues, or simply the uncertainty in the world right now.
We’d like to offer you the option to transfer your booking to a new date or, if you aren’t able to make new plans at this time, we can transfer your booking to a gift voucher. Our vouchers are valid for 2 years, and contain a coupon code that you can use on our website to rebook your tour at your convenience. If you can, choosing one of these options will greatly help us at this difficult time, when our outgoings are exceeding our incomings!
Of course, we’re also happy to provide you with a refund, less a nominal cancellation fee of £3 per person. This fee is simply to cover our administrative costs (e.g., the fee that we are charged by our online payment handling provider) and ensures that we, as a small family business, are able to “break even” at this difficult time.
What can I do to help?
Some things you can do to help us at this time:
- Please follow and interact with us on our social media pages – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – where we’ll be sharing photos, and posting news and updates. Please tag your friends, share our content and spread the word about our lovely little business!
- If you have been on a tour with us, and you haven’t got round to leaving us a review, it would be amazing if you could do this! You can leave us a review on Google, Facebook or Tripadvisor.
- If you think you might like to take a tour with us some time within the next 2 years, please consider purchasing a gift voucher. These are available for both our Cotswolds Day Tours and Brewery & Pub Tours and are valid for bookings made within 2 years.
Stay tuned for further updates – our super-duper award-winning top-rated as-recommended-by-Rick-Steves Cotswolds tours will back before you know it!