Covid-19 Position Statement
From South Knoydart Community Council, Resilient Knoydart & Knoydart Foundation
5th July 2020
In line with the Scottish Government’s recent updates, many of our local businesses who were forced to close operations in March are now making preparations to resume work when permitted. It is important to note that while some restrictions are being lifted there will still be changes to our normal, daily life to ensure that we keep our community and visitors as safe as possible while Covid-19 is prevalent.
We acknowledge that information resources and Covid guidelines are being updated on a daily basis and it can be hard to keep track. An online information resource has been set up - www.visitknoydart.co.uk/covid - which will provide up-to-date Covid-related information to aid in planning a trip to Knoydart. We encourage all visitors to check this page regularly, both before and during their holiday.
Our ferry service provider, Western Isles Cruises, has introduced a phased increase in the schedule for July, however capacity is still limited to allow for social distancing. Advanced booking and wearing a face covering are required, and passengers are advised to pack sensibly to minimise luggage. We would like to thank the Western Isles team for their continued efforts in supporting our community, and enabling us to access essential services throughout lockdown.
Tourism is a large part of the economy in Knoydart, and our accommodation, food and activity providers have faced difficult decisions in how best to manage their operations for the rest of the summer. Some accommodation providers will remain closed, at least for the time being, and others are implementing new procedures to allow them to welcome visitors back. Availability of food provisions on the peninsula, and options to dine out, are expected to remain limited for some time.
We must also stress the importance of adhering to the guidance set out by the Scottish Government, along with any instructions provided by our community and local businesses. Social distancing, good hand hygiene and the use of face coverings where appropriate will help us to keep our residents and visitors safe. A new procedure has been implemented at Inverie Pier for loading and unloading passengers and luggage to ensure social distancing is maintained, and a hand-wash station is also available.
Moving to the next phase out of lockdown will bring its own set of challenges, and we must highlight that some residents are, naturally, wary of visitors returning and the increased risk of Covid reaching our shores. We ask visitors to be mindful of this and by acting respectfully, responsibly and working together, we hope that both residents and visitors will feel safe and be able to continue enjoying all that Knoydart has to offer.
Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to say thank you. The last three months have been extremely difficult for many of us, and we must acknowledge the efforts of dozens of hard working volunteers who have helped to keep our community functioning, and in some cases even thriving.