Leading Scottish attraction, Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition, has followed in the footsteps of its resident monster and gone into temporary self-isolation.
The venue closed to the public last Friday, 20 March, in order to comply with Government advice on social distancing and protect the health of staff and visitors alike.
“Apart from annually on Christmas Day, this is the first time that we have had to shut our doors since we opened 40 years ago,” said David Bremner, co-owner of Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition.
“It’s a drastic step, but one that must be taken to deal with this unprecedented threat to our global health.
“If Nessie can avoid social contact for 15 centuries, I am sure we can manage a few weeks.”
“We’ve consistently ranked among the top ten privately-owned attractions in Scotland,” explains David.
“To be honest, we didn’t notice a significant downturn in footfall before last week, largely because Scotland didn’t even have its first confirmed coronavirus case until the first week of March.
“Furthermore, some people were mistakenly viewing national parks as safe havens for self-isolation.
“Rural communities need to protect themselves as much as their urban counterparts and we must all follow Government guidelines to reduce our contacts and stay home wherever possible.”
“In time, we will be able to reopen and the wider society will likely appreciate the great outdoors more than ever.
“Yes, there will undoubtedly be a period of time before any kind of ‘normality’ resumes, but Scotland, in particular Loch Ness and the Highlands, will be as beautiful as it always was.
“Going to Scotland and not visiting Loch Ness is like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower and we are looking forward to welcoming guests for many decades to come.
“The legend of Nessie will live on.”
Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition is just one of a slew of Scottish tourist attractions to close in response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).
National Museums Scotland closed all its locations, including the National War Museum at Edinburgh Castle, on Tuesday 17 March, and Historic Environment Scotland, responsible for the likes of Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, and Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness, ordered the closure of all its staffed properties from 18 March.