Relax in beautiful Weymouth. Stroll round the Harbour or paddle on the Beach
Category Archives: Seafood Festival and Harbour Events
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Weymouth Harbour is a busy fishing port as well as a mecca for pleasure craft. Pubs, restaurants and cafes surround the Harbour and it is a tranquil place to sit and watch boats pass by. There are excellent fish and chip shops nearby and benches to enjoy your meal.
Yesterday (19th September 2020), it was a bit breezy here in Weymouth. Still sunny, so we popped out the back door to take a quick film of the Harbour. We noticed, along with the boats, the pontoons were moving significantly under the swell. The chap walking his dog along the pontoons had to pause for a moment to allow the rocking motions to subside. Today, the first “Yachtie” braved the channel and his spot was taken by a luxury cruiser (sorry, no photo).
It is great to see pleasure craft starting to return to Weymouth Harbour. The lockdown has been long and devoid of much normal activity. Yachts and Tall Ships have been sorely missed this year. Although there have been a few stand up paddleboarders around.
Meanwhile, in the Harbour, the pontoons are back and align better with available services (power, water, etc). There is hope for a new Harbourmaster appointment. The new Ferry Steps are open and Weymouth Bay cruises are back. Unfortunately, the Portland Ferry and rowboat ferries will not start till 2021. There is hope that a new cross-channel Ferry may be in sight, following negotiations.
I acknowledge the contagious nature of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 and that the NHS and many other public health authorities still recommend practicing social distancing. I further acknowledge that Aaran Guesthouse has put in place preventative measures to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19.
I further acknowledge that Aaran Guesthouse can not guarantee that I will not become infected with the Coronavirus/Covid-19.
I understand that the risk of becoming exposed to and/or infected by the Coronavirus/COVID-19 may result from the actions, omissions, or negligence of myself and others, including, but not limited to, guesthouse staff, and other clients and their families.
I voluntarily seek services provided by Aaran Guesthouse and acknowledge that I am increasing my risk to exposure to the Coronavirus/COVID-19.
I acknowledge that I must comply with all set procedures to reduce the spread while attending my appointment. I attest that:
I am not experiencing any symptom of illness such as cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell.
I have not traveled internationally within the last 14 days.
I have not traveled to a highly impacted area in the last 14 days.
I do not believe I have been exposed to someone with a suspected and/or confirmed case of the Coronavirus/COVID-19.
I have not been diagnosed with Coronavirus/Covid-19 and not yet cleared as non contagious by state or local public health authorities.
I am following all NHS recommended guidelines as much as possible and limiting my exposure to the Coronavirus/COVID-19.
I hereby release and agree to hold Aaran Guesthouse (“Aaran House”) harmless from, and waive on behalf of myself, my heirs, and any personal representatives any and all causes of action, claims, demands, damages, costs, expenses and compensation for damage or loss to myself and/or property that may be caused by any act, or failure to act of the guesthouse, or that may otherwise arise in any way in connection with any services received from Aaran Guesthouse.
I understand that this release discharges Aaran Guesthouse from any liability or claim that I, my heirs, or any personal representatives may have against the guesthouse with respect to any bodily injury, illness, death, medical treatment, or property damage that may arise from, or in connection to, any services received from Aaran Guesthouse.
This liability waiver and release extends to the guesthouse together with all owners, partners, and employees.
We are re-opening on 4th July and have our safety measures in place already
UK Government has confirmed that many more businesses may re-open soon, we have started plans. Therefore, part of our planning for re-opening on 4th July, is to re-open our booking diaries and add safety messages for prospective guests.
We suspect UK Government may require risk assessment as part of the legal framework for re-opening. So far, they have “mentioned” this for non-essential shops but have NOT clearly stated it as legally required. Accordingly, we think HSE may require it but they also have NOT been clear.
In this series of posts, we tried to outline what the Covid-19 lock down has meant for us. We have strayed into political comment here and there. But only because the Government’s handling of the emergency has been disastrously slow and inept. Allegedly, the UK is suffering the World’s worst economic impact. And we have the second-highest death-rate in the World. When Minister after Minister comes on TV daily spouting they have “done the right thing at the right time” it grates on the nerves. They point to their “unprecendented” achievements and it pales compared to many other countries. Claims to be “following the Science”, just look like getting their excuses ready.
In this period of uncertainty, we want to re-open in July, on the 4th as vaguely suggested by Government. We think we have everything in place to re-open safely, including training, risk assessments and PPE. We hope our customers will feel safe when they return to Aaran House.
During the last month, we have seen many changes. Government ignore the warnings and press on with easements on lockdown. Measures included permission to travel and meet in small groups. Some shielded persons may now venture outside. We anticipate re-opening on July 4th. Although this may change again, depending on UK.Gov restrictions.
We do not intend to dwell too much on the “Demonic” Cummings affair. His betrayal of the British People and arrogantly issued web of blatant lies must go down in History as something akin to Benedict Arnold, Judas Iscariot or maybe Pol Pot, before he took over completely. UK Government has lost respect and trust in supporting this treacherous weasel. (No insult intended to weasels!) Again, Government ignore the warnings. Maybe enough survivors will remain to vote out the incompetents who steered us into personal and financial tragedy on a mass scale.
The results may have been evident in the displays of thoughtless, careless and senseless crowds in the good weather of the following weekend. Basically, many folk started to believe the rules did not apply to them and we fervently hope a second wave is not the consequence.
Lack of trust in UK Government
Many questions remain, by NHS, Scientists, fellow MP’s and Head of UK Statistics, as to:
Why “quarantine” visitors now instead of months ago?
Should’nt “Test, track and trace” have started BEFORE the numbers grew?
Abroad, trace methods include phone tracking, surveillance camera data, credit card data, etc – why not here?
Are there “invalid” numbers of deaths – and test data for that matter?
After seeing the examples set by South Korea, Vietnam, Australia and others, why did UK Government ignore the warnings and delay for over a month before taking (the wrong!) actions?
Seeing Turkey take very prompt actions, including SENDING test personnel out to suspected victims AND providing results AND contact tracking data WITHIN 24 hours, why cannot the UK do that?
Why did UK Government ignore the warnings about pandemics in the reports from 2007, 2011 and Cygnus Report of 2016 – all of which highlighted lack of preparedness, lack of PPE, lack of respirators and vulnerability in Care Homes? They commissioned and paid for these reports!
We try to avoid politics in our blogs but, in this case, many lives are at risk and a floppy-haired child of four could have done better (with a “trusted” Chief Aide, of course!) That is our opinion.
Quarantine for inbound travellers
Well, it’s not a quarantine is it? Quarantine is corralling suspected cases together, while track and trace goes on. Politely asking travellers to self-isolate for 14 days serves no purpose except to continue to cripple the Tourism industry. For reference, the Tourism Sector is the third largest in the UK. (Worth about £127Billion a year, or 8 times as much as TV, Radio and Films together!)
BAME – Groups at special risk from Covid-19
Along with elderly males and those with certain pre-existing conditions, BAME groups appear to be at greater risk from infection and severity. (BAME = Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups).
Interestingly, the lowest death rates are for central African countries although things may change in future data sets.
China, where it all began, has a death rate of 3.3 while India has 4.5. Nations such as Nigeria, Chad, Congo, Cite d’Ivoire, Somalia (etc) are typically below 2.0 death rates so far. Despite highly effective and prompt measures to combat spread and track cases, Turkey has a death rate around 56. The higher susceptibility to infection and death seems to be local to European countries, as yet.
1. NOT “following the science”
WHO study finds 1 metre is adequate for social distancing. Blindly sticking to 2 metres threatens £137Billion hospitality sector AND 1million jobs.
2. “Doing the wrong thing at the wrong time”
Labour Shadow Home Secretary claims “only 273 people were quarantined during the pandemic period”. However 18 million travellers were allowed in. No wonder the disease spread so fast and killed so many people.
3. Top Italian scientists claim the virus is losing potency
If true, this would explain the fast peak in deaths, followed by a long slow decline in numbers. It also implies all the UK measures were a complete waste of time.
4. “Test, Track and Trace” not going to be useful
WHO studies have shown that asymptomatic cases are not as infectious as first thought. This means test, track and trace needs to focus on the 2 or so days when symptoms show. However, results MUST be much, much faster to be effective (10 minutes approx in many countries!) Also, the programme is at least 3 months too late.UK still does not have enough testing capacity either.(Government ignore the warnings!)
5. Lockdown may have been a waste of time
The UK lockdown was not effective, too late and has cost the economy over £300Billion (and counting!) By contrast, Sweden has had no lockdown and only about 1/8th as many deaths. However, the Swedish economy has hardly been impacted. Unlike ours.
6. Nightingale Hospitals – a white elephant?
NHS London Nightingale Hospital opened on 3rd April, over 2 months after the first Covid-19 case in the UK. As of 4th May it stands empty. Five of the other 6 such hospitals are now open. Meanwhile, in China, the 1000-bed Huoshenshan Hospital opened in Hubei Province on 1st February. It took just 10 days to build and is totally “state-of-the-art”. Nurses can mostly tend patients remotely, minimising carer exposure. The 1600-bed Leishenshan Hospital opened on 8th February. (Engineering and Technology, March 2020, 92-93).Even the Gaza Strip has a large field hospital for Covid-19 patients.
It looks like the “tail” of the pandemic plan and easing lockdown is going to be a long. drawn-out affair. We have switched to less frequent blog updates. This update covers a fortnight. The next will cover a month. Meanwhile, we are all hoping for a return to summery scenes before too long.
Self isolating and staying at home
At home, we are still self-isolating as much as possible, collective shopping and waving to neighbours from a safe distance. About once a fortnight, we take waste plastic bottles and cans to the recycling bins about 300 yards away. This is simply to prevent blocking of our fire exit. The neighbourhood online quizzes have stopped briefly, while we pause to think of new tricky questions.
Recovery – easing lockdown
We are also pondering the weekend (week 7) announcements about slight easing of lockdown, with a degree of trepidation. Uncertainty remains about exactly how our business would cope with working under the present pandemic plan. We have re-opened bookings for January 2021 but will probably not serve breakfasts. This would be to protect guests via maintained social distancing.
The article suggests the impact of the Covid-19 emergency and lockdown is equivalent to three consecutive winter seasons. Certainly, in our case, we lose an average of £3,000 – £4000 per month in winter because of fixed costs. It takes us till mid-July to start to break even – and that is not going to be possible this year. Many colleague businesses are in far worse shape than us.
Gaps in Government help for Tourism businesses
The report goes on to highlight dependent businesses, such as Tourism Travel companies and booking agents. Such groups do not receive any Government support presently. Further, the many suppliers, delivery drivers, repair firms and specialist infrastructure firms are also at financial risk and facing very uncertain futures. The Tourism landscape is going to be pretty bleak for a long time after Covid-19 has been and gone.
(Below is a quasi-political section which readers can skip if they wish – at least it’s not our usual “science-y” section! It includes a brief description that shows British planning was years ahead of other Nations. BUT our complacency and austerity tripped us up when action was actually needed.)
Some of the statements in Thursday’s Government Briefing suggested that the process of untangling lock down may be starting soon. Next week, the Cabinet advised by SAGE (Science Advisory Group) and NHS, will be looking at the potential for easing restrictions in some situations. Of course, actual easing is still weeks or months away, but a plan is being considered.
In our specific case, we would need several weeks notice. We would need to finish maintenance and repairs, re-hire cleaner(s), deep clean and re-stock. Most of our existing stock has gone out-of-date and would need disposing. All the bedding in all rooms would need stripping, laundry and replacing. Most difficult, we would need to re-establish our presence online, publish availability and try to get customers again. Our review scores and listing rank have been dropping steadily throughout the crisis.
Rainy day Tuesday
We have seen much drama during the covid-19 lock down but the effect of a little rain on Tuesday was spectacular. Suddenly, there were no cyclists, no joggers, no kids on the beach and only the regular dog walkers. Meanwhile, the Pavilion carpark contained vans instead of the usual cars. It was like flicking a switch from “normal Weymouth” to “Gobi Desert” – only with rain. We imagined hundreds of dogs in lock down, crossing their legs and whimpering to go out. We hope the general public has not been confusing the “sunshine” vitamin D with immunity.
JUST SEEN: Wednesday Morning: Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds have had a baby boy this morning. It is great to have some good news among all the gloom.
Sunniest April since the 1800’s
For a decade or so, locally we have needed a prolonged spell of sunshine in Spring to kick start the season. We finally get the good weather and look what we got with it! Alanis Morissette and “Ironic”.
We are still self-isolating at home. The Missus makes the occasional shopping trip, including a couple of neighbours’ requirements. Meanwhile, about once a week, I make the short trip to the bottlebank 300 yards away to get rid of cans and bottles. The rest of the rubbish cannot be dealt with currently, since we have no collection and the Tip is closed. The Missus is baking fruit pies and the neighbours are baking cakes. Nobody is starving!
Social Distancing – some observations
We are not ONS or National Census but we have noticed a few changes resulting from social distancing and lock down. We overlook both the Beach and the Harbour so see everyone out and about during the day. It is nice to see folk enjoying the marvellous sunny weather, exercising and keeping well apart from each other. However, there may be increased accidents as cyclists fail to negotiate the old railway tracks along the Harbourside.
Roughly 5 times as many cyclists
About 3 times as many joggers
A few more gull and crow feeders on the beach
Similar numbers of rough sleepers and “drinkers”
Initially, twice as many pensioners, now normal numbers
We repeat, we are not experts but are just listing a few interesting references from people who are. We hope we can distract folk away from all the fake news out there (e.g. 5G masts!) Note that the bottom item (China Global Television News website) often refreshes URL links so that item may disappear soon. Later in the week, the weather broke, leading to showers and cloudy spells. However, Weymouth Esplanade, Beach and Harbour remained quiet, with just the occasional person exercising or walking their dogs.
In this era of Covid-19 and restrictions around travel and social contact, we hope we can welcome guests and provide a safe environment under Government guidelines and complying with some in-house safety measures.
Regrettably, we cannot serve breakfasts. This is to ensure proper social distancing
We cannot clean rooms during your stay. We can provide clean towels and toiletries outside your door
There is sanitizer hand gel provided in your room and public areas, along with some PPE (gloves, masks, etc)
We ask that guests do not meet together in close proximity and observe cough and hand-cleaning hygiene
Please do not pass by each other on stairs. We clean all communal contact surfaces multiple times daily.
Please provide a reasonably accurate time of arrival so we can stagger arrivals and maintain social distancing
Between 9.00 am and 8.00 pm we are available by phone to answer your requests
We have our Covid-19 Risk Assessment, PPE and Coronavirus prevention certificates plus instructions for safe use of PPE available in our public areas. There is 70% alcohol hand gel, gloves, masks, bootees and individual hand gel sachets in the entrance and rooms.