Clan Gathering in Scotland 2021: Travel and other COVID restrictions affecting Overseas Members

Some significant relaxations of rules and of travel restrictions in particular have been announced during the week of 26th July by the U.K. and devolved governments.

These relaxations have now been discussed by the Society’s leadership, including in particular our International VC Jonn Duncan, and in close consultation with the Chief.

With the very greatest regret, we all agree that the relaxations (e.g., of quarantine requirements for double-vaccinated visitors) have simply come too late.

The caution of our earlier advice to overseas visitors who had been hoping to attend even a restricted Clan Gathering in Scotland has strengthened, to the point where we feel obliged to advise overseas members, perhaps especially those who haven’t ever attended a Gathering, that it is better NOT to come this year.

First and not least, experience with the virus to date suggests that governmental restrictions and regulations could well change again between now and mid-August.

Second and perhaps most important, the inevitable uncertainties which will surround numbers attending have rendered firm commitments to many if not most of the normal range of Gathering events impossible. The Clan Council would absolutely not wish to see visitors to Clan country disappointed and/or feeling neglected.

Third, major external events (e.g., the Edinburgh Tattoo) as well as local ones of interest to overseas visitors to Scotland have long since been cancelled.

Finally, current inquiries indicate that, with many U.K. families from outwith Scotland taking their summer vacations at home rather than abroad, travel and accommodation availability and costs in mid-August may actually raise additional hurdles.

Some further background: the few hardy souls among the overseas membership who had for many months now throughout the pandemic determinedly maintained airline and accommodation reservations, some of them even originally intended for a 2020 Gathering but postponed into 2021, had all in the last month or so cancelled these and taken on other commitments at home.

It hardly needs saying that anyone who does still decide to come will receive a warm welcome at the AGM on August 20 and at Struan Kirk on August 22, and that every effort will be made to put together some sort of social events or outings. However, the uncertainties regarding numbers, probably until the very last minute, have made committing firmly to any arrangements for such events very impracticable.

Given the obvious uncertainties about numbers attending the AGM, it would be appreciated if some of the members reading this would complete a proxy form on the attached page and email it to Clan Secretary Irene Cameron:

The only matters requiring a vote of members will be the standard ones which come up every year as listed in our Articles of Association and as recorded in previous years’ AGM Minutes available on the Clan website.

In any case will any member either U.K. or overseas-based who is definitely planning to come please keep Irene advised.

Gillespie Robertson Chairman Clan Donnachaidh Society

Form of Proxy (Word) Form of Proxy (PDF)