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 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.
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?
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 …..
19/06 – 22/06/2020