Views

“There is no reason for us to continue in Level 3 until April 26th.”

Coilla Drake, The Labour candidate for the Orkney Constituency in the Scottish Parliament elections has put forward options for easing covid restrictions in the islands.

Coilla Drake said:

“We all want our lives to return back to a greater degree of normality, but we also want that return to be as safe as is practically possible. Family and community is very important for Orcadians, so is our way of life and economy. All of these have been severely disrupted by the pandemic.

“Recently we have seen some light at the end of the tunnel but this has come with the need to make choices. The Scottish Government asked us to take part in a consultation about this, we were offered only two choices. On April 26th move to Level 2 with eased restrictions locally but only essential travel with Scottish mainland, or remain in level 3 with travel opened up.

“There are of course other options. Orkney has now had no locally based Covid infections for a number of weeks. Our vaccination programme has progressed very well. There is no reason for us to continue in Level 3 until April 26th. Testing at the point of departure has been mentioned but not implemented, this could and should be put in place as soon as possible.

“Therefore another option would be to open up locally now. Moving to Level 2 immediately, and whilst remaining vigilant, progressing down through the levels over the coming weeks if our situation remains stable. Testing at the point of departure should be put in place straight away for those making essential journeys to Orkney. This will protect us, as far as is possible, from incoming infection. It will also bed in the system ready to scale up, to deal with greater numbers when we do open up for travel.

“Meantime we should observe the progress made against Covid in mainland Scotland. This way we can choose a time to open up for travel and tourism when we know the effect of decreasing restrictions there. Support for Orkney businesses affected by this gradual easing must, of course, remain in place.

“This more nuanced and gradual approach seems to have support among many Orcadians. It allows our families, local communities and businesses to return to some normality, and reduces the risk of Covid coming into our Islands.”

There are 4 candidates standing for the Orkney Constituency in the Scottish Parliament elections to be held on Thursday 6th of May.

  • Samuel Bown – Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party.
  • Coilla Drake – Scottish Labour Party.
  • Robert Fraser Leslie – Scottish National Party (SNP).
  • Liam Scott McArthur – Scottish Liberal Democrats.

2 replies »

  1. Two days ago we received an email from our friends in New Zealand, part of which said….

    “All good here, we are so fortunate in that we can live normal lives without restrictions. Last weekend we were at a wedding, a few pics attached. No masks or distancing, lots of hugs and close dancing. We don’t take it for granted, we had a couple of mini lockdowns in Feb, it can be taken away at very short notice so we tend to grab any opportunity to do stuff while we can.”

    No need to compare the relative situations.

    England tells Scotland what to do far too much.

    That Man In Number 10, is now wanting to ease up – open hairdressers and gyms again and allow outside hospitality etc.
    And – his weird ‘Traffic lights’ idea for foreign travel’ – Eh?

    I have a strong feeling of Deja Vu.

    Yes, the difference could be said to be the vaccinations – but ……that programme is not yet complete, and won’t be of a lot of use if folk travel to places with variants which laugh at our vaccinations.

    Scotland needs to be able to decide what happens in, and in relation to, Scotland. And island communities need to learn from other island communities which are successfully combating Covid.

    Enough – what’s the point in my saying this? – it’s bleedin’ obvious!

    Ignore people like Johnson and Stockan, work for the good of the people of Scotland – PLEASE.

    **********************************************************************
    PS – “On April 26th move to Level 2 with eased restrictions locally but only essential travel with Scottish mainland, or remain in level 3 with travel opened up.”

    First one, please!

    • Amen to that. What’s the point of travelling when you might find yourself landed with more draconian restrictions. While vaccinations are going well, we haven’t reached the youngsters yet and they are able TO TRANSMIT THE VIRUS, even 10 year olds!!!!

      I know businesses have had it tough but what’s the point of following Bojo and end up with some new IMPORTED strain and another wave and Christmas ruined again not to forget bairns education. Also in case our potential politicians are unaware, like all virus’s this one is perfectly capable of mutating without any outside help – BE AWARE and take note.

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