Supporting the Most Vulnerable at Level 0 #Covid Update

The whole of Scotland will follow Orkney and the islands and move to level 0 from Monday 19th of July.

From that date:

  • physical distancing will reduce to 1 metre in all indoor public settings and outdoors
  • informal social gatherings of up to 15 people from 15 households will be permitted outdoors without physical distancing
  • gatherings of up to 10 people from four households will be permitted in all indoor public settings with 1 metre physical distancing.

This means that up to 200 people will be able to attend weddings and hospitality can stay open till midnight.

The announcement by the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon on Tuesday 13th of July, also advised on caution. As we know in Orkney, level 0 does bring with it a rise in Covid positive cases.

It is essential to continue to protect ourselves and others, particularly the most vulnerable by wearing face coverings/masks.

Nicola Sturgeon said:

“We are easing restrictions next week – but we are not abandoning them. We will also keep in place for now certain other measures – such as the requirement to wear face coverings, co-operate with test and protect teams, and comply with advice on good hygiene and ventilation.

“If we do all of this, frustrating though it all continues increasingly to be, we will help protect ourselves and our loved ones. As we continue to complete the vaccination programme, which does offer us still the route back to greater normality, we will make it easier for more restrictions to be gradually and sensibly lifted in the weeks ahead.”

Highlands and Islands MSP, Emma Roddick SNP, raised with the FM  how the most vulnerable to COVID in our society will be supported following the move to level 0, highlighting specifically those with blood cancers whose treatment may affect the vaccine’s effectiveness.

Emma Roddick asked:

“Given that Blood Cancer UK has instructed that the vaccine may have lower efficacy in people with blood cancers – who were instructed to shield last year – what extra support and guidance will the Scottish Government provide for those in this high risk group as we move to Level 0 while the vaccination programme continues and case numbers remain high?”

The First Minister acknowledged the importance of this issue and went on to cover the protocols in place to protect these individuals. Knowing that some blood cancer treatment can affect the Covid vaccine, these individuals are having their second doses brought forward until 2 or 3 weeks after their first dose to increase the level of protection.

Nicola Sturgeon said:

“While it is the case that immunosuppressive therapies might reduce the effectiveness of COVID vaccines, it is recommended that patients with blood cancer should still look at receiving one.

“As we unlock society, we will inevitably see a rise in cases, so guidance for those on the shielding list will be provided and we will continue to update that guidance as needed.”  

Vaccination in Orkney

Anyone in Orkney, aged over 18 who has not yet had the Covid vaccination is being invited to attend an evening drop-in session at KIRKWALL VACCINATION CENTRE – NO APPOINTMENT REQUIRED on Wednesday 21st of July – 5PM to 7PM

The session will be held in the Kirkwall Vaccination Centre (on the old Balfour site) and patients requiring their first vaccination will be welcome to drop in without the need to book an appointment.

If you prefer to book an appointment outside of the above clinic then you can still do this by contacting the Vaccination Centre on 0300 303 5313.

Getting the vaccine is our best way to get back to the things we’ve missed. Find out more about the Covid vaccination at

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