CORONAVIRUS – UPDATE 27 March 2020
On Thursday, 19 March, we held a meeting of the full Mountview Hotel team, and I informed everyone that the Hotel and indeed the whole Heatherlea business would temporarily close on Saturday 21 March. My main concern was to fully protect all our employees and valued customers, and to conform with instructions issued by the UK Government.
Our final overseas tour was currently being curtailed early in Nepal, and we were actively evacuating clients together with UK-based Guide Toby Green. The new arrangements went without a hitch, and all returned home safely. Early on Saturday morning, I personally transferred our last visitors staying at Mountview Hotel to the railway in Aviemore, and made sure their train was on time. That was it, everyone relying on our services was either home safe or in transit in the UK.
We then began the process of contacting clients due on holidays to be delivered in March and April, and were quite overwhelmed by the good wishes and support of so many, thank you for your kindness and understanding.
I’m now pleased to confirm that all clients booked with Heatherlea on tours due to commence between March 28 and the end of April will be offered a transfer to a future tour, or a refund. Please bear with us while we contact you in person to do this, our office is now closed, and we are working from home. Processing paperwork and dealing with banks and others will take some time! We are well aware of the disappointment many of you will feel, conversations about White-tailed Eagles and Crested Tits are already filling the phone line!
Because of the great uncertainty we all face, we are presently restricting cancellations to tours due in April, though it seems likely we might have to extend this to tours in May and perhaps beyond. If you wish to contact us for clarification please do so by email, our single company phone line will almost certainly be engaged. We will try to answer all email enquiries within 24 hours.
May I again thank so many of you for your messages of solidarity and support. We have been humbled by the love and good wishes from clients of Heatherlea and indeed friends around the world. We will do everything we can to resume operations with you as soon as it is safe and advised to do so.
We fully understand that these troubling times affect many of our clients, and we wish you good health and safety for you and your loved ones. We will be ready to show you wildlife when you are ready to return to the great outdoors, in Scotland and throughout the world.
With all best wishes from everyone at Heatherlea,
To find out more, here are some useful links:
FCO TRAVEL ADVICE www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND www.gov.uk/guidance/
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