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Schools Return & #Covid Restrictions Update

Primary Schools are set to return on Monday 15th of March but Orkney will continue in level 3 until 26th of April.

For secondary pupils their return will be phased until after Easter with 2M distancing and mask wearing to be observed.

You can find out more here: Orkney Islands Council

The deadly and tragic consequences of the Covid19 pandemic have been with us now for over a year. For those grieving the loss of family and friends it is planned to have a national silence on 23rd of March. Nicola Sturgeon, FM of Scotland, announced yesterday, 9 th March, that she will be meeting with UK Covid Families for Justice on how to commemorate those who have lost their lives to the virus in Scotland.

There are already ways of this being remembered by non-governmental organisations . Covid19 Memorial Gardens at Crematoria Planned

artists impression Westerleigh COVID-19 Memorial Garden

Orkney is doing amazing work getting through the mass vaccination programme and islanders have come forward in huge numbers to get the vaccine. You can find out more about Orkney’s mass vaccination programme here: NHS Orkney Facebook page

Although Orkney continues to have the fewest number of reported cases of Covid19 in Scotland and none recorded for some time, it would be foolish to drop our guard now. We really need to get businesses back to opening fully and some kind of ‘normal’ returning. It is vital that people continue to observe FACTS and use the Protect Scotland contact tracing app which is free to use and easy to install on a mobile phone.

  • wear a face covering
  • avoid crowded places
  • clean hands and surfaces regularly
  • stay 2m away from other people
  • self-isolate and book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms (new continuous cough, fever or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste)
  • download the Protect Scotland contact tracing app

There are variants of the virus about and it will be some time before everyone is fully vaccinated.

In mainland Scotland , level 4 still applies with some relaxation this Friday, 12th of March to allow people to meet up outdoors but still with significant limitations in place – 4 people from 2 households. There will also be a resumption of communal worship from 26th of March (up to 50 people) – unless the virus numbers increase again.

The limitations are still there to Stay At Home

For Orkney the limitations in Level 3 which all still apply click on this link: COVID protection level 3

The maximum number of people you can meet indoors and outdoors in a restaurant, café, pub or bar is 6 which can be from up to 2 separate households.

There should be no travel into or out of Orkney except for essential purposes.

Orkney Islands Council has launched a *Staycation* offer at its campsites and hostels in April.

Local people can book holiday accommodation for themselves from island providers but it should be remembered that the national guidance still applies:

Those living in a Level 3 area can still use holiday accommodation in their area but should not stay in the same self-catered accommodation with another household.

Whilst this is all good news yesterday ‘s stats for Scotland, 9th of March 2021 show that we need to keep on doing what we’ve been doing.

  • 466 new cases of COVID-19 reported
  • 16,342 new tests for COVID-19 that reported results – 3.3% of these were positive
  • 19 new reported death(s) of people who have tested positive
  • 50 people were in intensive care yesterday with recently confirmed COVID-19
  • 614 people were in hospital yesterday with recently confirmed COVID-19
  • 1,789,377 people have received the first dose of the Covid vaccination and 123,686 have received their second dose
Credit Mike Bell

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