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Ireland and Coronavirus
March 24th 2020: As part of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis management, the Irish government, together with public support and the support of the Irish Tourism Industry, have officially asked everyone to stay indoors, except for limited essential needs such as essential services, grocery shopping, food shopping, and travelling to and from essential work. This is to remain in place until April 19th.
This morning, all non-essential shops, libraries, playgrounds, places of worship and public spaces are closed. Last week saw last call in our pubs for a few weeks, and all clubs, bars, restaurants, theatres, gyms, schools and gyms closed their doors. Schools have been closed and will remain so until May.
We know that this will come to an end and when it does, we will work harder than ever to deliver trips of a lifetime for you and your friends and families.
How is living in Ireland during coronavirus?
It is very calm and quiet on our streets. This morning, employees all over Ireland are working from home on laptops at the kitchen table. Children remain at home, away from the playgrounds. Radio chat shows spread the news and offer tips on how to work from home and how to occupy children with board games, cooking classes, suggestions on books to read and other forms of entertainment. Students continue to study for upcoming exams, Garden mowers hum and neighbours greet each other from a distance – over the garden fence. Grandparents are mastering Zoom and Whatsapp and chat with grandchildren over the internet. Its a new day…
Social distancing has been introduced and so far we can see it is working in the larger grocery shops, pharmacies and other locations that remain open. It is heart-warming to see how quickly the community banded together to look out for the elderly and needing help with groceries, daily newspapers and other services. It’s wonderful to see everyone come together with kind actions like these.
We have a country whose economy relies heavily on tourism and hospitality, with thousands of small businesses closed for the time being. Some are lucky to have resources to have staff work from home while others are not so fortunate.
Our tours operate in some of the most economically fragile communities in Europe. Your support during time could make the difference between many rural enterprises staying in business, or potentially changing the face of the community forever. Likewise, our wonderful tour partners, accommodation providers and amazing guides are sitting tight. Your support can help keep them in a profession they love and one they excel at.
With this in mind at this time of uncertainty we want to reach out to reassure you that we will continue to speak with each of our partners as the situation evolves. We would kindly ask for your support at this time to please encourage you to only postpone your travel arrangements with us if you are due to travel within the next 4 – 6 weeks, especially if you have booked a private or custom trip.
The situation is changing rapidly and hopefully we can each make an informed decision nearer your time of travel. At that point, if you would like to postpone their trip, we will be happy to help you do so. Be assured that we will continue to speak with each of our partners on a personal basis as the situation evolves.
Meanwhile, I leave you with this wonderful, albeit nostalgic view of Ireland through the eyes of Rick Steve. It will bring a smile or two!
Beannacht Dé Oraibh ~ Stay Safe And Well!
Owner and Tour Director
Co Galway, Ireland
Tel: 353 (0) 91 877323