Position Statement - August 2020
Covid-19 Position Statement
FROM SOUTH KNOYDART COMMUNITY COUNCIL, RESILIENT KNOYDART & KNOYDART FOUNDATION 4TH AUGUST 2020
July was a month of adjustment on Knoydart as many of our local accommodation providers and tourist-facing businesses were able to resume operations in line with the Scottish Government's route map out of lockdown. Our local economy is steadily opening up again and we are seeing an increase in visitor numbers as the weeks progress.
The Resilient Knoydart volunteers continue to work hard behind the scenes to ensure residents and visitors have the most up-to-date information at hand, and have the resources available to keep themselves safe and healthy. Regular posts continue to be put on the Visit Knoydart Covid-19 Info page www.visitknoydart.co.uk/covid and social media pages, and we urge visitors to check these regularly before and during their holiday. Sadly, our efforts have not gone unhindered and some issues presented themselves early on which we would like to address.
Multiple reports have been made of visitors entering residents' private gardens, and in some cases attempting to enter private residences. We remind visitors that respect for private property must be given at all times, and this is especially important whilst Covid-19 is prevalent. The second issue concerns physical distancing on the pier and loading/unloading the ferry. Pier volunteers are working with our ferry provider to improve the pier procedure and keep everyone safe, and we ask residents and visitors to please follow any instructions given and ensure that physical distancing is maintained at all times.
Our ferry operator Western Isles Cruises resumed a full schedule from Monday 3rd August, and with this day-visitors will now be able to travel. Concerns have been raised by a large number of residents that the increasing number of visitors has the potential to put strain on our limited resources and heighten the risk of Covid-19 transmission to Knoydart. It is vital that all visitors make themselves aware of what will and will not be available ahead of time to avoid disappointment or being caught out. We currently have no public toilet facilities however The Old Forge is allowing day-visitors to use their facility between 11:30am and 6:30pm daily. We anticipate that the toilet on Inverie Pier will reopen at some point in August. Eateries, organised activities and many tourism-based services remain extremely limited - please see the Visit Knoydart website for up-to-date info. Given these factors and local concerns, Resilient Knoydart cannot encourage day-visitor travel to Knoydart at present. Instead, we would ask those who are keen to explore the area to consider an alternative activity such as a Loch Nevis wildlife cruise with Western Isles Cruises.
Finally we would like to acknowledge the continued efforts of the Resilient Knoydart volunteers, local residents and business owners who have been working tirelessly to reopen Knoydart in as safe a way as possible; and also thank those visitors so far who have respected the guidelines and worked with us during their holiday.