Much as we would all rather forget Covid-19 and the associated devastation caused by it, I thought I would store the Covid updates from the Wild Shetland Tours website here for posterity. Obviously, many of the links in the updates below are now out of date. Hopefully one day, we will all be able to look back on this period of time and say we have at least learned something, whatever that may be...
Covid-19 and Wild Shetland Tours
13TH APRIL 2021 UPDATE
Although the UK appears to be making good progress with its vaccination programme, the Scottish Government is still being extremely cautious regarding re-opening, with very little information available on their future plans. At the time of writing (13th April 2021), travel into and out of Scotland is still not permitted, and travel within Scotland is still very limited, with journeys out of your own "Council area" not permitted. Even if/when Scottish travel restrictions are eased, other restrictions on gatherings, mixing and distancing are unlikely to change much. In addition, there has still been no guidance whatsoever as to how vehicle-based tours such as those offered by Wild Shetland Tours can operate safely and within the law. It seems very unlikely that any group bookings will be feasible for many months to come, although individual or family bookings could well be possible soon.
We are still happy to take enquiries for future tours in the late spring/summer of 2021 and beyond, and will attempt to find ways to make small tours work safely and legally. Provisional bookings can be made, and as no deposit will be required these bookings can easily be cancelled or rearranged without any problem.
23RD JANUARY 2021 UPDATE
Whilst the prospect of vaccinations gives some hope for the future, it is no secret that the UK is struggling more than most countries in the world in containing the spread of Covid-19, and the situation is worse now than at any time in the pandemic. Unfortunately, from a local point of view, Shetland is also currently suffering more than it ever has, with over 200 confirmed cases in total, the majority of which have been within the last month. As such, travel is still severely restricted, both to and from the UK, and to and from (and within) Shetland. It seems likely that restrictions on movements, gatherings and distancing will remain in place for many months to come, and it is clear that vehicle-based tours such as those offered by Wild Shetland Tours are not going to be possible for some time. As such, Wild Shetland Tours will not be offering any tours before the end of April 2021, although this will obviously be reviewed if the situation improves dramatically.
In the meantime, we are happy to take enquiries for future tours in the late spring/summer of 2021 and beyond. Provisional bookings can be made, and as no deposit will be required these bookings can easily be cancelled or rearranged without any problem.
17TH SEPTEMBER 2020 UPDATE
With Scotland and the rest of the UK (and much of Europe) seemingly going backwards in the fight against Covid-19, and new restrictions on gatherings, movements, quarantining etc being imposed at very short notice, it is apparent that now, unfortunately, is not the time for tour guides/companies to attempt to "re-open". Shetland has mercifully remained almost Covid-free for many months, although there have been two isolated cases in recent weeks. Travel to/from the islands by air is still very unpredictable, with many flights being cancelled or rearranged at short notice.
As such, Wild Shetland Tours will not be offering any tours until March 2021, although this will be reviewed if the situation improves dramatically over the autumn and winter months, which currently seems unlikely. However, we remain positive and optimistic that 2021 will see a return to some form of normality and allow visitors to Shetland to enjoy everything the islands have to offer in the company of a guide.
Bookings and enquiries for future tours are still more than welcome. Please email if you have any questions or need any information. In the meantime, stay safe.
12TH JULY 2020 UPDATE
Despite recent announcements from the Scottish Government that "tourism will open" on 15th July 2020, it is not clear what this actually means in practical terms. As yet, there has been no guidance as to how tour guides/companies such as Wild Shetland Tours, who provide vehicle-based tours, can operate safely and legally under current social distancing regulations. Many of Shetland's tourist attractions and venues have yet to announce opening dates and travel to/from Shetland will be below normal capacity for some time to come. Therefore, unfortunately, Wild Shetland Tours will not be offering any tours until October 2020 at the earliest, for the safety and peace of mind of guests and the local community alike.
Shetland has been fortunate in that the small number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the islands occurred early in the outbreak and, as such, were relatively successfully contained. There has not been a new case of Covid-19 in Shetland since late April 2020. This does, however, make the re-opening of the tourism industry in particular potentially more tricky.
Travel to and from Shetland is currently more limited than usual both by air and sea. More information from Northlink Ferries can be found on their coronavirus information page. Loganair currently have a reduced flight schedule, travellers should keep up to date with the Loganair website.
Travel within Shetland is currently also limited. Shetland Islands Council's inter-island ferries are running a restricted timetable with changes to bookings and payments. Click here for more information. Inter-island flights operated by Airtask are restricting travel to island residents and essential travellers only. More details can be found here.
Bookings and enquiries for future tours are more than welcome, and hopefully by 2021 we will be in a much better situation. Please email if you have any questions or need any information, or even if you just want to say hello! You can keep up with a small slice of Shetland life by visiting the blog pages. In the meantime, stay safe.