How has Covid -19 changed life on Scilly?
Naturally, when people call to order flowers they are curious about what life on the Isles of Scilly was like during lockdown. We're used to being isolated for short periods of time when the weather makes travel impossible, but not being able to socialise made lockdown a very different type of isolation, even for us. So for the curious here are some questions answered.
Are you sending flowers as usual?
Royal Mail is working really hard but with more post than normal to deliver as people shop from home, there are delays in some areas. We are therefore asking people to please wait a little longer for their flowers to be delivered.
Did Scilly Flowers close?
Yes for about a month from the end of March, as the logistics to and from Scilly weren't working smoothly making it impossible for us to send flowers.
How did supplies getting to you?
Although passenger services until 4/7/20 were very restricted, the freight service continued and our local shop has done a brilliant job of keeping us fed. We never ran out of loo roll, flour or yeast although we have had other random favourites in short supply - Cheerios and crunchy peanut butter! Plenty of people have veg gardens and with time to spare in the spring a lot of planting went on, we're now eating a lot of courgettes!
Have there been any cases of covid-19?
Until cases started to increase in September Scilly had been very lucky to have no recorded cases of the virus, even with all the comings and goings of summer visitors. We truly appreciate how incredibly lucky we were to be in this position.
Are you following all the rules and guidance?
Yes, very much so. Even when we were pretty much in our own bubble over lockdown it was never possible to totally seal the Islands off. Key workers still had to come and go and some people needed to continue with urgent medical treatment so we still had to be cautious. As the islands have now opened to visitors of course we need to even more careful.
Should visitors been allowed to the Isles of Scilly summer?
Not a decision that is ours to make. From July the 4th people have been free to visit and stay overnight. With 85% of the economy reliant on tourism, we need to open up and welcome visitors as safely as we can. There was a great deal of planning done by Scilly businesses and there is some great advice on how to be a responsible visitor on our community website.
What are you doing to keep your team safe?
We are very lucky, all of our team can walk to work on our uncrowded road or on footpaths and we are not short of space in the farm sheds so we can space out. It hasn't been too tricky to put in place the safety measures we need. All our team have been very adaptable and good at coming up with safer ways to work. A few examples of changes are that everyone now has their own box of equipment rather than sharing, all work stations have been spread out and allocated to set households (12 out of 18 of us work with someone we live with) and every vehicle equipped with St Martin's made SCDog hand sanitiser.
Is the farm open to visitors this summer?
Sorry, no it isn't. Like many businesses we weren't sure how things would pan out and we kept our staff levels quite low, we don't have the capacity at present to open up for in-person sales. BUT if you are on St Martin's, do stop at the gate and give us a wave. You can take a picture of our sign and use the treat code written on it to access a special page on this website. Of course you can always order your flowers online or by phone even when you are on Scilly.