Well as we all know, life as we knew it ground to a halt in 2020. Here in the UK it happened in March. The Covid19 virus hit and we first practiced social distancing and then went into full lockdown on 23rd March. I went from a full diary and the anticipation of meeting lovely Beatles fans from here, there and everywhere to cancellation of literally everything and staying home for the foreseeable future. As I write this I haven't left my neighbourhood for 4 full weeks. Time to ponder and strangely enjoy the leisurely days, whilst at the same time watching incredulously as the death toll rises. Today in the UK over 16,000 people have lost their lives to the virus and the figures Worldwide are unbelievable.
I am a positive person though, and now, my mind has turned to the future. Today I began participating in online courses offered by the excellent TTC group, and these include waking up to a new way of working. Good tour operators always have their customer needs first, and I have to say that last season TTC upped their game with hygiene levels on their coach tours and theirs is one of the models I'm following along with a healthy dose of common sense!
This is my own 'exit strategy' with a smattering of Beatles wisdom
It Wont Be Long
But how long is a piece of string? When will the tours start again? Well of course there is no right answer to that. Each part of the World is at a different stage of the pandemic, and all I can say is when we're ready and that could be "Any Time At All"
As the World slowly awakens and visitors start drifting back to Liverpool I hope that we will be seeing the beauty of simple things with a new Inner Light. Baby steps mean doing things a little different and so I've made some common sense decisions as to how my private tours will be conducted.
Hold Me Tight
I'm usually a hugger if you are too! By the time you arrive in Liverpool we will have chatted on email or social media and I always feel like I'm meeting a friend in person for the first time. I'd at least meet you with a handshake! Unfortunately in current circumstances we'll keep to the social distancing for as long as necessary. Elbow bumps or foot taps are the new hugs...or a simple Macca style thumbs up.
Private Tours: Hopefully the 2 metre distance rule will be relaxed by then as that would be pretty difficult in our Mercedes Viano. What I will say though is that the vehicles I use are spotlessly maintained and as an added precaution I'll ask my drivers to use a disinfectant mist prior to every tour. There are always surface wipes available. I will also make sure that every vehicle supplies quality hand santiser. For this I will work with local company Aintree Gin who have turned their lovely gin production over to sanitising products for our local hospitals and health workers. www.aintreegin.com
If you wish to observe the 2 metre rule on private tours, then we can work it out by providing larger vehicles at a small supplement.
On the shortest tours there will be at least 2 stops where you will be able to wash your hands. More for longer tours. One stop is at Penny Lane and the other Strawberry Field...perfect!
Coach Tours: If I am providing your coach I will ask the operators to commit to the standards above. I will also provide hand santiser to be used as you leave and enter the coach. If I am 'stepping on' a coach I would hope that, like TTC group strict rules will be observed anyway, but if not I will carry some supplies myself.
Wearing the face thats she keeps in a jar by the door...
The mask dilemma. Do we/Don't we. I'm not certain about this one. I would find it difficult to talk to you wearing a mask, but if it makes you feel better I will. For many years visitors from some countries have always worn masks when they feel unwell to stop them spreading germs rather than preventing infection. It is common to see on group coach tours and will probably become the norm. I am open minded about the issue and will be guided by your preference. Personally I usually wear a scarf that can cover my face as and when needed.
I really love to take photographs on tours and have become pretty good at it! On private tours I will still do that, or course following top hygiene standards. Coach tours are gonna be a little different. Rather than taking 50 pics at a time and increasing risk to myself, for the foreseeable future I'm gonna suggest selfies at Penny Lane etc. I'll still maintain an orderly queue as we British do, and suggest the best angles, but I wont physically do the snapping.
If you or any of your party feel unwell, and especially if you are showing symptoms of the virus, .for the foreseeable future it would be best to stay at home. Same goes for me. As soon as it is available I will be keen to take the antibody test to see if I have already been exposed and may have some immunity. Like many of you who may have had felt a little unwell over the Winter there is that possibility. I will share this information as soon as the tests are widely available.
I'll Be Back
We all will. When you're ready to take the plunge and book your trip just drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any concerns or suggestions as to how you think I can make this work best. I am taking bookings for August onwards with no deposit at the moment just in case we have to rethink.
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE
And lots of it,
Stay safe and well everyone,