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How does Arran emerge from the COVID-19 crisis is the question on everyone’s lips.
The coronavirus pandemic has effectively closed travel and tourism world-wide. It is unlikely that all restrictions will be lifted before a vaccine is available. Best estimates for this remain at 12 to 18 months.
But some restrictions are being lifted, and a level of trade and travel will return but it is reasonable to assume that people will want a safe environment and open space.
Arran is potentially well placed to take advantage of this but providing and projecting this safe environment will be a very large box to tick for communities and the visitors they may want to attract. Putting it very starkly, communities and visitors need to feel sure that their interaction, will not inadvertently kill them.
Arran’s strength in community, environment, business infrastructure adds up to Arran as a special place, which in turn is the basis of tourism. Each area above, needs a co-ordinated plan to address the basic safety concern as well as determine the new normal. This will allow Arran to manage and finally exit the current crisis in a stronger position than when we entered it
Any recovery plan must balance the three main strands of island life, community, environment and economy through each stage of recovery, underpinned by national and local heath guidance and support.
Any plan must show how the community can be both safe and sustainable with managed risk.