Sadly no Islay visit for me for the foreseeable future

Islay News

Unless you live in a cave (or the Big Brother house in Germany) this post probably won’t contain any huge surprises. With a heavy heart I’ve just cancelled my upcoming Islay visit in April. Regular readers and anyone who knows me will be aware how important in particular that visit is to me in the annual calendar, as it is the Islay walking week. I also fear my usual visit in June might not happen.

The reason is of course the dreaded Coronavirus/ Covid-19/ whateverthecorrectnameis. It’s all over the news, all over mainland Europe countries have gone into lockdown, the UK is now starting to (belatedly?) follow suit. The latest guidance as of writing this is “PM says everyone should avoid office, pubs and travelling”. While important to me personally I admit travelling to Islay for a holiday is “non-essential travel”. My employer has implemented a working from home where possible policy to support “social distancing”, providing regular updates, since Friday I’m working from home. Keeping in mind my major heart surgery a few years back and a few other factors I believe I’m in the “high risk” category, so I’m going to be safe rather than sorry. Travelling most of the length of the UK is not something I’d be comfortable with in these circumstances.

This whole situation is obviously also very bad and concerning for many small businesses on Islay, in particular in the tourism sector and related other businesses. If tourists don’t visit Islay these businesses lose their income, in worst case they might even go bankrupt and lose their business. I understand all of the Islay distilleries have closed their visitor centres until further notice, another hit to Islay’s tourism industry. I don’t know what the answer/ solution to this is, all I know is that continuing as if nothing was happening is not an option. I don’t think anyone would want the UK to be in a situation similar to Italy where hundreds of people die and medical staff in the hospitals have to make decisions who they are going to save and who they are going to let die because they simply don’t have the capacities.

What I do know is that the money I’m not spending now will find its way to Islay at some point. As soon as it is safe and possible to travel again I will return to catch up.

Author: Armin Grewe

I blog about Islay.

27 thoughts on “Sadly no Islay visit for me for the foreseeable future”

  1. Excellent points Armin, we all need to do our bit where we can in times such this. Your blog is actually a great help – please continue to post your wonderful Islay photos if you can. – they are very much valued.

  2. Hello Armin,
    I‘ve been following you on Twitter for a while now. Thanks for all the daily photos from this lovely island. Too sad you cannot go. We are booked for the Fèis Íle this year… let‘s see what happens. 😔 We just had to postpone our trip to Fife we had planned for next week.
    Stay safe, Tanja

    1. Fingers crossed, although from everything I’ve read so far I fear we’re talking at a minimum 3-4 months until we can start thinking about travelling again.
      I believe a decision about the festival (cancel or postpone) is due to be made today.

  3. Canceled for April yesterday, now waiting what about a refund of the flight and ferry ticket as well as hotel room. But we still have a small hope for June. Fingers crossed.
    Stay safe, Armin!

    1. Same here, not entirely letting go of some hope for June. Although as I said in another comment, from everything I’ve seen so far I fear it will be 3-4 months at a minimum until we can even start thinking about some careful travelling.

  4. Hi Armin, bad luck we have! I’ve planned for West Scotland end of June, not so shure now….
    Stay safe and keep the stories alive!
    Greetings from west coast Holland, Erwin

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