Herm is expected to lose about £2million this year, with the all important tourist industry having to be put on hold while travel restrictions remain in place across the world.
The island is offering postponements and credit notes for those who had booked to stay there, rather than full refunds, and is asking visitors to be understanding of its financial situation.
"Securing your holidays for future years will come at a very heavy cost to Herm this year," a spokesperson for Herm said. "Nobody knows when restrictions will be lifted, but we estimate Herm’s loss may be around £2 million. Refunding deposits would add to the pain so we hope those guests who have not received a refund from your insurers will support us in transferring your deposit to a later time period when restrictions are lifted."
However, despite recent suggestions that travel within the Bailiwick could be allowed before wider restrictions are lifted, it is not yet clear whether Herm will be able to open to visitors this year.
"Our aim is to keep Herm’s core team of 36 permanent staff in place throughout and beyond the lockdown period, so that we can provide you with the holidays you all enjoy so much at the earliest possible time," the spokesperson continued. "It will not be easy to re-open the island’s facilities in full once lockdown is over, as we are without our usual extra 100+ seasonal staff, but we will do our very best to offer what we can."
Its staff are being supported by the States of Guernsey in an attempt to decrease the inevitable impact on the island's economy.
"Management has explored any assistance which may be available from insurers and the States of Guernsey," the spokesperson explained. "Herm’s insurers have stated that our policies cover flood, fire etc. but not restrictions imposed due to a global pandemic.
Pictured: The States of Guernsey are offering financial support for Herm employees.
"On the other hand, the States has helpfully provided support with salaries to minimum wage levels for an initial period which will amount to some 50% of salaries and will hopefully be extended throughout the lockdown. This assistance has been at a slightly lower level than in the UK, but payment has been implemented more speedily and we are extremely grateful for this support.
"However, the States has also confirmed they do not envisage providing any assistance with refunds of deposits or ongoing loss of revenue due to the island being closed."
To date, no cases of corona virus have been confirmed in Herm.
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