It saddens me to say, that after just 38 days of our planned nine months away, Emily and I have been forced to put our travels on hold and fly home because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
It comes after our 12-day tour of Sri Lanka with One Life Adventures was cut short by three days, as well as countries implementing restrictions on entering and shutting their borders.
In the next couple of blog posts, I’ll be detailing the amazing time we had in Sri Lanka.
However, for now, I’m going to talk about what it was like to travel; what precautions I’ll be taking and what our plans are for the future.
Travelling around the world with the threat of Coronavirus
Where to start?
Coronavirus – the word that is on every man and his dog’s lips and consequently, the topic that is dominating the global press – You can’t get away from it!
COVID-19 was front-page news before we left the U.K in February, but I admit it’s only until recently that I started to take it seriously.
Hand sanitiser was provided at supermarket entrances; thermal imaging was used at every airport (other than Manchester!) along with thermometer testing in some airports and hotels. It was also evident that many more people were wearing face masks both in and outside of airports.
Obviously I’m gutted that we were forced to come home after just over 5 weeks of our planned nine months away, but it was important that we prioritised our health and safety.
Precautions against Coronavirus
Although I have none of the symptoms of Coronavirus at the moment, I’m still choosing to self-isolate. This is in case I’ve picked up the virus during our travels, or more likely, on the planes home.
I’m also following the governments advise by social distancing myself between family members and friends.
Boris Johnson stated in his speech on 19 March that he believed life could go back to normal within 3 months if we all follow the precautionary measures, but I’m not holding my breath.
It comes after he announced this evening that cafes, gyms, leisure centres, pubs & restaurants etc. must be closed from tomorrow.
However, what was encouraging was Rishi Sunak’s (Chancellor of the Exchequer) announcing this evening that government grants would cover 80% of the salary of retained workers, up to £2,500 a month; Deferred VAT until June; a £7 billion uplift to Universal and Working Tax Credit; £1 billion to cover 30% of house rental costs AND self-employed to get the same as sickness benefit payments.
Planning for the future
In the meantime, I’m actively looking for any freelance work OR any fixed term contract jobs in the marketing, media, public services, retail, sales or transport sector.
It goes without saying, we hope to continue our travels as soon as possible, but in truth, no one knows how long the coronavirus will last for.
Stay safe and follow the governments advise!