Restriction easing and when to move on

Easing Lockdown Restrictions

As we enter our 14th week and stumble towards our 100th day in lockdown here in Devon it looks like there could be some good news being announced by the powers-that-be this week. Rumours of official easing of Covid-19 restrictions are rife and we are waiting to hear how our world might be changing in the next few days.

The current lockdown has obviously affected millions of people and we fully appreciate just how lucky we have been in being able to shelter down here in the beautiful south west of England throughout the crisis. Nobody knows what restrictions will be eased yet but it seems likely that the two main areas of change will be Social Distancing and Hospitality.

Social Distancing


Social Distancing Changes

Much debate has been going on with strong feelings on either side about reducing the UK social distancing from 2 metres down to 1 metre. Several countries such as France, Denmark, Singapore and China have 1M distancing and others like Germany, Netherlands, Australia and Portugal have 1.5M. Interesting to see what Boris announces but everyone is expecting it to be the WHO-advised 1 metre. This will be a major change for all of us.

Just think about all of those stickers and posters about 2M distancing that will need to be changed!


Easing the Hospitality Sector

Reduced distancing will allow them to open up bars, coffee shops, pubs and hotels too hopefully. There will undoubtedly be so many new rules around how they operate but it will be a huge change to our lives. I can’t for the life of me see how pubs will work but I’m sure something will be worked out. Maybe table service only or ordering via an app? Who knows?

If as expected these areas do see change this week then that will throw up a whole host of questions for us JWalkers.

If they open up overnight accommodation and we can freely use public transport do we just go?

We’re not in the same situation as the vast majority of travellers and travel bloggers in that we don’t have a home to hold up in during this pandemic. Our life is truly nomadic and as Paul Young insisted on saying over and over again “Wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home“. Thanks Paul, you hit the nail on the head.

North Devon Home


Overnight accommodation and transport

This is the big one that will change a lot of options for us. If people can start booking holidays and planning time away then housesitting will once again take off and TrustedHouseSitters opportunities will arise. Plus we would be able to plan our own trips and organise those all important little stays between sits. The availability of holidaying in the UK and abroad will make a huge difference although we are not interested in leaving the country for a few months at least.

So with public transport getting back to normal now and the government advice being that it’s okay to travel if you wear a face covering, the only official advice is now;

Consider all other forms of transport before using public transport.

Not really a problem for us as we don’t have any other option and really have considered everything else.

Looks like we can just head off then doesn’t it? Apply for some housesits, organise a few places to stay and book some train tickets. Perhaps. Before we go ‘booking-crazy’ and hit the credit card with everything we’ve got we need to consider a few other things.

  • Will family and friends be comfortable with us visiting them?
  • Are we taking a huge risk by starting to use public transport regularly?
  • Is it safe to stay in budget hotels straight away?
  • Can we trust housesits not to get cancelled again?
  • What happens if there is a second wave, where would we go?

We can’t actually answer any of these until the government announces the extent of the easing this week but you can imagine the conversations we’ve already had over what-ifs and those that we will have once the news is out. That could be one serious chat couldn’t it?

Boris Johnson Prime MInister


When is the right time to leave?

The million-dollar question. We seriously want to get our travelling life running again and desperately want to see our sons but don’t want to endanger our health or risk being isolated somewhere if the country goes into lockdown again. Once we leave our current apartment in North Devon it might be tricky to return so we could really be in hot water if the world shut down once again.

So it is all about timing and about how confident we feel. Any movement will be a risk but we have to decide whether that risk is worth it. Watch this space …..

JWalking Backpacks

19/06 – 22/06/2020


46 comments

  1. Many questions and few answers. It’s a whole new charted territory. We are of the mindset to wait. The first wave of C-19 is still upon the world and the second wave is around the corner. Most cases here in Colombia are with the 20–40 age group! Why? because they are not adhering to the safety restrictions. Stay safe!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Those are tough questions. My daughter sent me a list, ranking risk levels of activities and COVID. Gyms and bars are at the top. Tennis and food take-out or pick-up is the lowest. I’m trying to stay healthy while Boulder goes through a spike. Kids on campus have been partying since they thought they’d be immune. Now they’re the age group with the highest number of cases!

    I would rent an RV.
    Stay safe!

    Liked by 2 people

    • So many people think it’s safe and all over but it hasn’t gone away has it? I think you’re right to watch yourself and keep away from the kids, just need to be careful. Think we might be in the wrong country to rent an RV, roads just aren’t big enough. Just waiting for the government advice tomorrow to see what is happening.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a tough call. There will be a few announcements later on today I believe so that will make things clearer but potentially throw up some big decisions. I think as long as we keep to the advice then the risks are minimal but of course you can’t plan for other peoples attitudes.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Do you know, I never thought about how the 2m rule changing would mean all the signage etc would need reprinting! Here’s hoping for some clarity and confidence so we can step forward into the ‘New Normal’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hopefully there will be a whole load of announcements today and we will know what’s going to happen at the beginning of July. That’s when we need to have a think and decide when we feel safe to start moving again.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I know you’re bursting to get going again but please be careful. Here we have just a few cases but the ones who aren’t returned travellers in quarantine are all community transfer from people who did not socially distance and stay home while infected.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s so hard to know when to know it’s safe to travel or even just to take public transport. I have a Dr appointment tomorrow and I’m walking the three miles there since I don’t feel comfortable taking the train yet. People haven’t been the best at social distancing here in the US.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are doing pretty well at the whole social distancing in the UK but you are right to be wary and walk to the doctors. Best to be careful and minimise any risk isn’t it?

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  6. Hopefully you’ll get the balance right and set off when it’s safe to do so. One of our sons lives on his own so we have been able to visit him for a few days and he has also been up to stay with us, so lovely after so long. Hope it’s not too long before you can visit your sons too.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As some one who has spent the last 14 week in full isolation(part of the vulnerable, shielded group), this is still taking extra time for me. I will shortly be allowed to go out, only if I social distance. Still not allowed to go and stay anywhere, or have overnight visitors. In August, my restrictions will be “paused” which is a good word, as it means a second spike will send us all back into isolation. Still, we’re getting there, albeit slowly. But it is the unknown bit that makes it difficult, especially for you. I am guessing that for both of you, it has rather confirmed your vagabonding tendencies!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you’ve been okay throughout the isolation Sarah. Must have been difficult but you need to be extra careful now. You’re so right about the unknown being the real issue. We just need to think carefully and make sure we move when we are ready.

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  8. We had initially decided to wait the virus out from the safety of our own home. But then the intrastate border restrictions lifted and the weather turned cold…. only time will tell if we’ve been to hasty. No matter what your intentions are, I’m positive that once the taste of freedom is on the tip of your tongue, you’ll (like us) throw caution to the wind, and you’ll be off. Just do what you can to keep safe as you spread your wings once again.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Don’t be in a hurry to move on, as we’ve found here in Oz another outbreak has tightened restrictions again. Which I should add has left us unable to enter Queensland and feeling like Typhoid Mary as we wait it out in Northern New South Wales. There is a plus side though, it is warm, gloriously warm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds like you’re stuck in a fairly good place especially as it’s good weather. We’re not desperate to move but have accepted that we will have to go reasonably soon and need to start planning for that I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m honestly really dreading having to go out again – much as I like travelling and visiting museums, I’d so much rather keep working from home forever, and if that means all other museums are closed as well, so be it (though obviously if my museum was closed forever, I’d eventually be out of a job, so it’s a bit of a catch-22). Not pleased about the 1 metre thing at all – I want people as far away from me as possible!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It still feels dangerous to go out doesn’t it and so much is changing so quickly now. A lot of people seem to think it’s all over and is back to normal which is even more worrying. We are going to have to move on reasonably soon though which may be a bit stressful.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Lots of questions still for you Jonno! We are starting to open up here in Australia but not without problems. We will be staying put here for quite some time to come I feel. It’s interesting to read your thoughts on the situation and all that you have to consider before you get out and about again. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s getting even more difficult now Deb as they ease those restrictions and we can actually start planning ahead. So difficult to make decisions especially as we know we can’t stay where we are indefinitely.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. You are in a difficult position Jon. So many unanswered questions and tough decisions to be made. As you are probably aware, Portugal’s restrictions were lifted June 1st. Since then we’ve seen the number of cases rise and parts of Lisbon have been put back into partial lockdown. Mainly as a result of de-restriction parties and the number of visitors increasing. The Algarve have also seen an increase in cases and the situation is obviously being closely monitored by the government. It’s a double edge sword. The Algarve cannot survive without tourism but the threat of the virus will massively increase as the tourists arrive. I think Portugal have managed the virus really well so far but it’s going to be difficult to monitor the more people arrive. We have to wear our masks when entering any building and have done for awhile. This includes the supermarkets. Last week a couple of English people refused to wear their masks on entering a supermarket in Albufeira and just stormed in shouting out they were “on holiday and won’t wear masks”. The police were called and they were taken away. Just an example of how quickly the virus could spread! Good luck with whatever you decide Jon and take care both of you😘 x

    Liked by 1 person

    • So difficult to know what to do and when to start moving on. Those tourists in Albufeira were hopefully locked away and deported. Idiots. Hopefully people can remain cautious and be considerate of others but there are obviously a lot who won’t.

      Like

  13. The problem we have is that Boris is relying on the common sense of the British people. Sadly it would appear from recent events that 20% of the population have 80% of the common sense. If you could guarantee on only mixing with that 20% then everything will be cushty. However…………………………….

    Liked by 1 person

    • You may be right although I optimistically believe that most people are generally sensible and thoughtful. Just a few idiots ruining it for everyone.

      Like

  14. Totally agree, it’s all about when you yourself feel ready. I don’t see any rush. Got our household prepared though for when we do need to venture out. Voucher Shares has some really great face masks discounts at the moment!

    Liked by 1 person

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