The latest lockdown, combined with the closure of all international travel corridors until at least February 15, has travel lovers once more hunkered down at home. Yet while dashed plans can be disappointing, for tour guides – whose livelihoods depend on people travelling and exploring – England’s ‘stay at home’ order is nothing short of a catastrophe. “I feel quite suicidal at times,” a weary Stephen Liddell told The Telegraph in a call from his freezing home in Bushey that he can only afford to heat for a few hours each day. The 47-year old guide and owner of Ye Olde England Tours has seen his bookings “drop by over 99 per cent” since last March. He said: “Normally, I’d get about six bookings a day for the year ahead. As of now, I’ve got one – that’s for July. I’ve watched everything disappear and it hasn’t been my fault. I’ve done nothing wrong.” Liddell estimates that he has earned £500 since the outbreak of coronavirus – “I’ve worked it out and that’s on a par with the lowest per capita income in sub-Saharan Africa” – and is one of the three million self-employed who have fallen through the cracks of Rishi Sunak’s Covid bail-out schemes. He was ineligible for state support because, pre-pandemic, “I worked pretty much every single day, including Christmas, and happily declared every penny of my cash tips to help pay the NHS and teachers as I was on a good salary.” Liddell’s work ethos and honesty meant that he had average earnings of £53,000 in the last three years – much of which he earmarked for vital renovations on the new home he moved into at the start of 2020 – taking him £3,000 above the threshold for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme [SEISS] grant. A married couple, each earning £49,500, would have been entitled to a SEISS grant of up to three separate instalments of £7,500 each.