2020 has been a very difficult year for our businesses and also for the islands. The COVID-19 pandemic dealt a severe blow to the tourist sector on Scilly, causing the cancellation of many events such as the World Championship Gig Weekend as well as many ordinary everyday island activities such as Zumba, playgroup, the WI plus many more. April, May, June and early July were wiped out completely.
But the Isles of Scilly are unique in so many ways and the community that lives here is united and caring in its response to the pandemic crisis. Islanders rallied around the Health Centre and the medical staff who braced themselves for the impact of COVID-19. There was also a high level of help and support for the elderly and the vulnerable among the island population. The Council of the Isles of Scilly developed impressive contingency plans, in collaboration with IOSSC, Penzance Helicopter and mainland medical resources to deal with any eventuality here.
The weather was very mild and wet last winter but, almost as soon as lock down came into force, we had sunshine and warmth which made for a lovely spring and early summer. Sadly there were no visitors here to enjoy it but islanders made the most of having the islands to themselves - a very novel experience!
Scilly opened for business on 4th July and our first guests arrived on 8th July. Since then we have been very busy with virtually no vacancies until our last guests left on 8th November. It was extremely hard work with double the amount of laundry each week as well as enhanced Covid-safe cleaning protocols to follow. Changeovers took two or three times longer than previously and we were compelled to close the Gallery on changeover days each week (Wednesday morning and all day Thursday). However, our guests were amazing, considerate, helpful and went out of their way to observe Covid precautions. The islands did have two cases of Covid-19 in the summer but they were actually islanders returning and the track & trace system worked very well. No other cases were notified and we are all hoping that our luck holds out this winter.
We'd like to say thanks to our regular and new guests who were more than generous and considerate during these difficult times. We are grateful for your loyalty and are pleased to see that the 2021 bookings chart is looking very healthy. Let's keep fingers crossed that Covid will not disrupt holidays next year ....
Don't forget that we're on Twitter as GlandoreScilly and on Facebook as Glandore Gallery on Scilly - both of which are often updated with photos and our latest news.
Stephen and Lois Ann Morris - Glandore Gallery and Apartments