I am sure that most of you reading this will be aware that Skomer and Skokholm have remained closed for day and residential visitors this season. A small team have remained isolated on the island to protect the breeding seabirds and conduct essential research and monitoring.
The overnight guests that were due to visit this year were given the option of transferring their stays to the same days in 2021 and the vast majority of people decided to do this.
A large proportion of people that decided not to transfer their booking to next year have asked to donate their booking fees or in some instances the whole of the cost of their stays to the Trust. These displays of understanding and generosity have on occasion been quite overwhelming and will make a considerable difference over the coming months.
We face a period of uncertainty for 2021. If the situation remains the same with regard to the Coronavirus, the challenges will also remain constant. We would need to consider how we manage the shared accommodation facilities. We would need to carefully plan how to quarantine all guests on the islands for up to 2 weeks, if someone displayed symptoms of the virus whilst staying on an Island.
We know that nearly all bed spaces for 2021 between mid- April and the end of July on both islands have been reserved for guests that have transferred their bookings from this year. We also understand that we might need to limit the number of overnight guests to maintain a safe environment for all.
The result of these considerations has forced our hand and we feel that opening the bookings for the remaining spaces on both islands in October would be misleading and irresponsible. We fully understand that this will be a huge disappointment once we understand more about the impacts of Coronavirus next year, we will be able to allow further bookings. We will update both our website and our social media channels and e-newsletters when the situation for next year becomes clear.
We thank you for your understanding and support at this difficult time and we remain hopeful for a solution in the not too distant future.