Cairngorms National Park prepares to welcome back visitors as Covid-19 restrictions are eased
3rd July 2020
The Cairngorms National Park is preparing for visitors to return this weekend as restrictions on travel and overnight stays are eased, providing the Park’s economy with a much needed boost. However, the Park Authority is urging people to continue to follow all the Scottish Government’s advice in relation to Covid-19 as well as adhering to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code (SOAC).
Among the changes taking effect from today (Friday 3rd July) include the relaxing of the five mile travel distance, self-catering holiday home businesses can re-open and second homes can be used again.
Grant Moir, chief executive of the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) said: “We are very much looking forward to visitors coming back to the Park but it needs to be done safely and in a way that gives confidence to communities, employees and visitors. The most important message we want to share ahead of this weekend is – you must plan ahead.
“While some businesses and facilities will be opening in the coming days and weeks, we are unlikely to see a return to normal service for some time yet. For example not all car parks or toilets may be open straight away and many of the Park’s visitor attractions may not be ready to fully welcome back visitors while maintaining safety guidelines.
“It is extremely important that visitors familiarise themselves with all the current guidance. They should plan and book ahead, prepare to adapt – if they arrive somewhere and it feels busy, they should go somewhere else – and most of all, be kind.”
The impact on businesses, employees and communities of lockdown has been significant in the Cairngorms National Park and the economic recovery is likely to be slow but with less people travelling abroad, places like the Park could see a rise in the number of people coming, who have never been here before.
Pete Crane, Head of Visitor Services at the CNPA commented: “Many visitors are likely to be coming to the Cairngorms National Park for the first time and so we are working hard to promote how people can enjoy the Park safely and responsibly. How visitors behave can make a huge difference to ensuring the enjoyment of everyone so we ask that people don’t light fires, take their litter home and plan your toilet stops in advance at the facilities that are open.”
“To support this work we have CNPA seasonal rangers, estate-based ranger services and Police Scotland officers out on the ground this weekend ensuring that people have the right information, are staying safe and doing all the right things.”
The CNPA has a COVID information and advice webpage which is updated regularly and includes information on what public toilets are open and what car parks are open and their capacity. There is also information on the Visitcairngorms website where visitors can see at a glance which businesses, attractions, etc are open and what restrictions might be in place to protect communities, employees and visitors.”