Robert Coleman, group organiser for The London Cultureseekers Group, was able to get his group back out on their first day trip since March 2020. He reports back on how he kept his members safe on the day.

The London Cultureseekers Group

Some of the group enjoying a drink on their most recent trip with Robert.

Robert Coleman, organiser for The London Cultureseekers Group

Robert Coleman.

When the Government announced that lockdown would be lifted on 19th July, I knew we could finally go ahead with some day trips again. I rearranged a Thames village trip to Saturday 7th August, something I had planned to originally do well over a year ago, but unfortunately could not happen.

It was a worry as the trip grew closer about being in an enclosed coach for a few hours. I know some coach companies close off seats on board so people are not sitting too close to each other, but for an organiser this would mean the coach would be half full.

Financially, I couldn’t have a coach half full, as it wouldn’t cover the cost of the hire. I know a few people who have to do regular Covid Rapid Lateral Flow tests for their jobs and they are becoming increasing common, so I thought this must be the way forward.

I sent an email round to my group members coming on the trip and told them that everyone will need to do a Covid test either the night before the trip or on the morning before they left home. They then had to email me a photo of the negative test.

Abingdon on Thames

The group had time to explore Abingdon-on-Thames.

I took quite a hard stance, but I think people appreciated this, as they knew I was aiming to keep them safe on the trip. I also asked that masks be worn on board the coach. The day trip itself was amazing; we visited Bray, Henley-on-Thames, Clifton Hampden and Abingdon-on-Thames, all very pretty places along the Thames and we were lucky with the weather, avoiding any rain.

I will continue to insist that people coming on coach trips do the tests beforehand and wear masks on board. This enables the coach trips I do to go ahead in safety.