As lockdown eases across the UK, the Fingerprint office reopened earlier this month.
Not only have we worked to ensure social distancing rules can be adhered to and that the space is Covid-secure, but we’ve also been looking at ways to ensure the Fingerprint team hasn’t been disadvantaged by the crisis.
We’ve allowed one week’s holiday entitlement to be rolled over to next year and cancelled pre-existing days where plans subsequently fell through.
The empty holiday chart led us to reflect on cancelled plans for the first half of the year, and on our hopes as we move into the second half.
“We were due to go on a short family holiday in mid-March. Our second baby was born around New Year 2019 and my wife’s mother was due over from Brazil to help with the babies. It was no surprise when the holiday was cancelled.
“We knew our focus was needed here, monitoring the situation, managing and liaising with our portfolio managers and investment committee, while communicating with clients that had been affected.
“It took four months to get a holiday refund – annoying, but a good reminder of why using a credit card for purchases over £100 is always a good idea. It gives you additional protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
“Quality family time is vitally important, so while it was deflating, we kept morale up by spending time in the garden (picture a 6’1 man on a toddler slide to get a giggle from a princess!) and with online ‘ballet dancing starter lessons’ for mum and toddler Isabella.”
“My partner Katia has an apartment in the South of France, a 20-minute drive from Saint-Tropez and 15-minute walk from the nearest beach at Cavalaire. We went there three times last year and were looking forward to doing the same this year.
“We would have gone during the Easter Break had the UK and France not been on total lockdown at that time.
“Katia was more disappointed than I was. She is French and has family over there. Her sister lives in Cannes and her Mum and Dad usually drive down to spend time with us too.
“As soon as travel became an option again, we booked a new trip (on June 28th). Katia is now working from home (out there, as her office will not reopen until October at the earliest).
“I joined her for a week in July and will return late-August. I’ve managed to get away and have another trip booked in, so I’m feeling very lucky.”
“Cancelling our holidays was the socially responsible thing to do, but it doesn’t make me feel any less disappointed.
“I had two trips booked this year. One – an adult-only, all-inclusive week in Turkey this month – was sprung on me by surprise! It was cancelled just two weeks before our planned departure, a sensible decision in light of the situation.
“My other trip, a two-week family holiday in August to Egypt has also been cancelled.
“Holidays have always been a chance to relax, experiencing new cultures while spending quality time with friends, family and loved ones. Plus, it’s completely acceptable to order a large gin on arriving at the airport, whatever the time! (Or is that just me?)
“Once the rules started to relax, we began looking again and we are now travelling as a family to Turkey in September. My friend and I are also travelling to Turkey (also in September), with some excursions already booked in to keep us busy.”
“I consider myself lucky in terms of holiday plans for 2020. We didn’t have anything booked in although I expect we’d have taken a few trips to our villa in Southern Spain.
“I had the pleasure of spending ten days in Antigua for my honeymoon in mid-December 2019 and looking back, realise how fortunate I was to get away before the onset of the virus.
“On the way back there was continual coughing from passengers on the plane and my partner had a terrible virus for two weeks, with a temperature and cough. In hindsight, this was probably the virus, but we may never know!
“Our first villa trip was pencilled in for June, once our Labrador puppies had settled into their new homes (including our gorgeous chocolate girl who survived her own pneumonia battle!).
“It soon became clear that this was not going to be possible.
“Although disappointed, the news showed how bad Spain had been hit. Our elderly neighbour there also gave us regular updates. The disappointment was replaced by sympathy and concern for our Spanish friends.”
“One consequence of the lockdown was that I was unable to see my teenage daughter, Annabel, who lives in the United States with her mum.
“We had planned for her to come over at Easter, just as news of Covid-19 was breaking. As the time grew nearer, it became clear that she would be unable to travel.
“The UK was still open to travellers, but the US had introduced a ban on those coming from other countries, including the UK. We cancelled her trip, which turned out to be a good move – by the time she was due to arrive, the UK was in full lockdown with most of us unable to leave the house.
“Since then, with the rules easing up a little, we felt it would be good for Annabel to visit for the Summer.
“She arrived last weekend, only three months delayed, and after travelling for 12 hours wearing a face mask for the whole flight.
“We are enjoying spending time together during this strange time, although she is still in her 14-day quarantine at the moment. Fortunately, as a teenager, she’s used to spending large amounts of time in her room glued to her iPhone anyway.
“The silver lining is that she can spend a longer time with us than would have been possible earlier in the year.
“There is no European holiday on the horizon for us this year – we’re planning a few days on the Yorkshire Coast and in the Peak District instead.”
“We were due to go to Turkey in June – the first time I had managed to talk my extremely over-excited man-child into a relaxing beach holiday.
“We were both excited for some R&R, exploring somewhere new, and celebrating his birthday while we were out there. As the departure date approached, we both knew deep down that it would be cancelled. We continued to feel excited and hopeful up until 13 days before we were due to depart when confirmation arrived.
“We still took a week off to explore areas of Kent and Southampton and even had a socially distanced garden gathering to celebrate his birthday. We have opted to get a refund for the holiday and will make the most of the UK this year – We are going on a road trip to Edinburgh.
“I’m just grateful for our health and feel devastated for families and individuals that have been affected by this awful pandemic.”
“We’ve arranged a trip to Australia later in the year – a family first.
“My wife’s parents emigrated there about 14 years ago and although we have been out to see them numerous times, we now have two children. The ridiculously long flight time will add another dimension to our parenting skills – especially with a one- and four-year-old!
“(As soon as we booked the flight, I started feeling sorry for the other travellers on the plane!).
“Having had a year to prepare ourselves for this tough test of endurance, improving our parenting and reasoning skills as well as our ‘hushing’ techniques, we now have no idea if the trip will go ahead.
“The pandemic has meant disappointment and uncertainty and we’ve had to explain to our children that they can’t see their grandparents because of ‘germs’. Frustrating, but we are mainly just grateful that, so far, we have remained safe and avoided this relentless virus.”
“My husband Andy and I were booked to go away to Turkey for two whole weeks!
“We waited two years for this holiday as we moved to a new house at the beginning of 2019 and wanted to settle in.
“We were super excited at the thought of escaping to beautiful Turkey in the warm sunshine, the beach and the sea, with a cocktail in hand. Just what we needed after a very busy time for us both.
“Then disaster struck – the outbreak of Covid-19!
“Watching the virus spread and hearing of its impact on families and individuals losing their lives and loved ones daily was upsetting and scary. As the world went into lockdown and the UK followed suit, it felt like waking up to a new world.
“As the days and weeks went by, we knew the holiday wouldn’t go ahead. Holidays will come and go but we have our health and our family and friends and nothing else really matters.
“2020 has been challenging for so many different reasons but we have to think positively. We will make it to Turkey but until then it’s business as usual!”