I’m really hoping this might be the last time we have to make one of these announcements! But, we regret to announce that we have decided to cancel all Go Cotswolds tours until the end of July 2020.
What’s the current situation in the UK?
Here in the UK we have been under a Government-mandated ‘Coronavirus lockdown’ since the 20th March. Although some of the initial restrictions on freedom of movement are now easing, strict social distancing measures are still in place.
When out and about in public, people must continue to stay 2 metres apart. This means that, while shops are now open, they must limit the number of people in the store at one time, and as a result, everyone else must queue up outside, at 2 metre intervals.
Cafes, restaurants and pubs are still all closed to eat/drink-in customers, so they are only serving in gardens, or offering take-out or delivery. Visitor attractions with outdoor space, such as gardens and zoos, are now allowed to open, but again, there are strict limits on customer numbers, and many are operating on a pre-booked only system.
Many people continue to work from home, schools are only open to children of some age groups, and wearing face-masks is now mandatory on all public transport.
New rules have come into force making face coverings mandatory if you’re using public transport in England. @PHE_uk have advice on how to wear and make coverings here: https://t.co/kEaBH1OQ0w (1/2) pic.twitter.com/4mOWvm3ye6
— GOV.UK (@GOVUK) June 16, 2020
The UK Government has also announced that international visitors coming to the UK will be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine period, which we imagine will put many people off coming!
There are new rules in place for entering the UK during the coronavirus outbreak.
— GOV.UK (@GOVUK) June 9, 2020
What does this mean for Go Cotswolds?
Although it is possible that tour companies like ours may be able to operate from the 4th July 2020, this remains in doubt as there has not yet been any specific guidance for our industry from the Government.
Since our tours are conducted in a 17-seater minibus, it is not viable for us to operate within the limits of the current social distancing regulations. We also have a burden of social responsibility to the communities we support and feel that the time is not yet right to bring groups of visitors into the Cotswold villages.
Finally, given travel restrictions and the mandatory quarantine period for international visitors, sadly we have very few customers for now anyway!
When will you open again?
In line with several other tour companies in and around the Cotswolds, we are currently aiming to resume operations in August 2020, although whether those operations will be ‘business as usual’, or some kind of ‘new normal’ remains to be seen. We are waiting for some clarity from the Government and official tourism bodies about the measures that we may or may not need to put in place to ensure the safety of our customers, our team members and our community.
Tickets for our tours are available to book on our website from August 2020 through to the end of 2021. If in doubt, please ask us before you make a booking.
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 31st July and are handling these bookings as a priority.
If you have booked a tour with us after 31st July, 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.
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.