Urgent Update Regarding New Mutant Strain of Covid-19 and Our Business
On Saturday, 19 December, 2020, the British Prime Minister, in a live television address to the nation, placed parts of the UK into a high new level of lockdown – Tier 4. This is because a new and highly-infectious strain of the Covid-19 virus mutated in Kent, England, this autumn, and has now become dominant in parts of mainland Britain. Scientists think it may almost double the ‘R rate’ of infection. This means that, in the race against time to vaccinate, there is now half the time – or put another way, twice as many people could become infected and die in the next few weeks. The current projections are for UK hospitals to be overwhelmed by New Year’s Day, with 4,000 deaths a week. Effectively, ‘Christmas is cancelled’ in large parts of the UK, in the sense that gathering with families and loved ones, and convivial singing, eating, drinking, and gift-giving is outlawed.
More significantly for any business located in London, all bookshops are closed as ‘non-essential’ for the all-important week before Christmas, where as much s 25% of annual sales are usually found. Further, current EU and now global restrictions on air, tunnel and ferry travel out of the UK, for humans and human-touched freight, means that we may soon be facing shortages of various items, not least medicines and food. But, again, for business, the main concern is, we can no longer, TEMPORARILY, deliver any of our items to customers outside of the UK. Royal Mail is now showing delays of up to 4 weeks, on top of that.
The UK government is to review this by 30 December, and there may well be a relaxing of strict global cordon sanitaire rules on logistics, freight and shipping, in the days and weeks ahead.
We hope and pray this new mutation does not escape widely, and redouble the world’s challenges. Our company is now closed until January 11th, and we cannot reply by phone or email until then. Please be safe, careful, and stay strong. Merry Christmas!