Orkney Prepares To Welcome Visitors

Starting on Monday 26th of April people from mainland Scotland will be able to travel to Orkney.

St Margaret’s Hope

In preparing to welcoming visitors back to our islands a Visitor Management Group met together to provide a coordinated approach. The group included: representatives from the local tourism industry, transport providers, Police Scotland, VisitScotland, Orkney Islands Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Dianne Riley Moore, chair of Destination Orkney Ltd,said:

“The group covers all aspects of visitor management in Orkney. This will allow us to put in place any extra facilities that may be needed – and to ensure guidance to visitors is readily available so they can enjoy a responsible holiday in Orkney.

“In addition, we want our residents to feel that they can welcome visitors with confidence as we move down the Covid restriction levels over the months ahead.”

As well as Orkney’s world famous visitor attractions and wonderful wildlife to see , the public toilets will also be open, which will be a great relief to many.

image credit Bell

It is hoped that the whole of Scotland will move to Level 2 on 17th May, Level 1 on 7th of June and Level 0 by late June. This all depends on limiting transmission of the virus which moves with people.

Specifically for travelling to the islands of Scotland, FM Nicola Sturgeon said:

“If you are planning to travel to an island  we do encourage you to take two lateral flow tests before you depart. 

“The second test should be on the day that you are planning to travel, and the first should be three days before you travel.

“That means that if you test positive, you have a chance to take a PCR test – which is more sensitive – to confirm the result before making a final decision on cancelling your visit.

“This is potentially an important way in which we can minimise the risk, of bringing Covid into island communities while nevertheless allowing our island communities the benefit of opening up again to visitors. So if you are planning on travelling to an island over the course of next week, it is possible to get tests from today, and I would encourage you to do that.”

Lateral Flow Tests will be available to anyone in Scotland from Monday 26th April. These can be ordered online for delivery to your home.

LFD tests – also known as rapid tests

LFD tests detect proteins in coronavirus. They are simple and quick to use, so are sometimes called rapid tests. LFD tests are not as accurate as PCR tests and are mainly used in people who do not have symptoms.

If you have a positive LFD test, you should have a PCR test to confirm the result within 48 hours and isolate while waiting for the result. NHS Inform

Click on this link to find out more about getting a Lateral Flow Test

It was also announced that people on the Shielding List will be able to return to the workplace if they cannot work from home. But working from home is still the preferred option for those shielding.

Alcohol can be served outdoors from Monday, and people will be able to meet in groups of up to 6, from up to 6 different households.

Up to 6 people will be allowed to meet indoors – however they must come from a maximum of two households.

Up to 50 people will be able to attend funerals and weddings from Monday 26th April.

The stats for Scotland on 20th April were as follows:

  • 178 new cases of COVID-19 reported
  • 14,868 new tests for COVID-19 that reported results
    • 1.4% of these were positive
  • 2 new reported death(s) of people who have tested positive
  • 13 people were in intensive care yesterday with recently confirmed COVID-19
  • 106 people were in hospital yesterday with recently confirmed COVID-19
  • 2,750,052 people have received the first dose of the Covid vaccination and 797,267 have received their second dose

And the advice remains as follows:

  • wear a face covering
  • avoid crowded places
  • clean hands and surfaces regularly
  • stay 2m away from other people
  • self-isolate and get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms
  • download the Protect Scotland app

To watch the whole of the Update for Scotland click on this Link:

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