As you can imagine, we’ve had a few enquiries about how the global spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) could affect our retreats.
The first thing to say is: don’t panic! At the moment, the April retreat will be going ahead, as things currently stand. The retreat is taking place in a very secluded location with very little contact with the outside world during our time there. In reality, our writers are likely to be more at risk continuing with their usual daily routines than on a retreat.
At this point we have no attendees from outside the UK. The UK currently has one of the lowest rates of infection in the world and, even though there has been a warning that there could be more cases in the future, there is no reason at this stage to think that it will have developed into a full-blown pandemic by the end of April.
As you would expect, the Writers’ Retreat UK management has been closely following the news concerning Coronavirus, and looking at Public Health England’s advice on a daily basis. The current advice is that, for the majority of people, Coronavirus is a mild disease not unlike influenza. As with influenza, colds and other respiratory illnesses, the advice remains as per the Public Health England website: wash hands frequently and use a hand-sanitiser or antiseptic hand-wipes and observe basic hygiene by coughing or sneezing into a tissue and then throwing it away and washing your hands. Other than these precautions, no other special measures need be taken.
There are currently no travel advisories in place for the UK, and there are still only a relatively small number of cases in this country. It is important for people to take notice of the advice in their own countries regarding travel, but there is no reason for anyone to not attend unless they have been in direct contact with someone who has the flu strain or is exhibiting symptoms and needs to verify with their doctor. If anyone does decide that they are too worried to attend, Writers’ Retreat UK will issue a deposit refund on that basis, if we can fill your place. Once the full balance is paid, as with any travel, we recommend our writers take out suitable travel insurance to cover unexpected and last minute cancellations.
This is obviously a fast-changing situation and we will, of course, continue to monitor the government guidelines as they evolve, and advise of any changes to the above information when we have it.