Concerns about the potential impacts of the rule of six have grown over the last week and increasing media comment over the weekend has confirmed this. However, as we approach the midway point of the two-month transition between the end of the summer season and the start of the off-peak winter period there are clear indications that there are bigger things to worry about.
Comments over the weekend confirmed by today’s scientific briefing make it clear that Government believe that without appropriate action we are at the cusp of a rapidly accelerating second wave, the worst possible outcome the UK and by default “tourism”. Although catastrophic for many parts of the tourism and hospitality industry now and for the hoped for half term and festive boosts the “rule of six” and recent limited local restrictions may on reflection be a manageable price worth paying?
More worrying perhaps are suggestions of a short, sharp two-week national lock down or “circuit breaker” and, in particular, speculation that that might be targeted to coincide with the half-term holiday which for the majority in England and Wales falls in the last week of October and a week earlier in Scotland. If the rate of infection is increasing at speed suggested in today’s Westminster scientific statements then late October for a circuit break might be unrealistic? Other comments are suggesting that a more limited national sector specific lockdown may be being considered, however, that approach is likely to target none essential social interaction and therefore almost certainly leisure, tourism and the hospitality sectors.
We are also being told that the devolved Governments are discussing the potential for a coordinated single approach today, ahead of announcements to be made by the PM to MPs at Westminster tomorrow, Tuesday 21 September 2020.
Meanwhile British Destinations are hold an Officers Advisory Group meeting 1400 -1530 on Thursday 24 September looking at the results for the summer season, the conduct of the current off-peak period and prospect for the winter season and beyond. Invitation to destination mangers on that group have been circulated, but may not have been received. In addition, representatives of any other member destination are welcome to join the meeting, subject to manageable numbers. We also open to consider request from a few guests destinations or representative of other organisation who can contribute to the discussions. If you wish to attend but have not received the detail please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will forward links to you.