Islanders and visitors to Orkney alike have been pleaded with to take a Covid test before they travel as the Omicron variant of Covid has seen a surge in cases in the islands and across Scotland.
Chief Inspector Ali Garrow, made the plea at a meeting of OLECG, Orkney’s emergency co ordination group on Tuesday, 11th of January.
Chief Inspector Ali Garrow, who is chair of the committee said:
“Ferry operators have seen instances where passengers have decided to take a lateral flow test on board the vessel – and then have advised the crew that it is positive.
“This really does place crews and fellow passengers – and whole transport services themselves – at risk.
“The consequences of boarding a vessel or flight while infectious could be that vital operational staff are unable to work. With small teams in Orkney this only needs to be a few staff before a service is knocked out, potentially out for several days or even weeks.
“Our plea is simply to make sure you test before you travel, test regularly as advised by the Scottish Government, and have a backup plan for if you test positive on you way ‘up the road’ to Orkney.”
Scottish Government Advice:
You should take regular lateral flow tests if you do not have symptoms of COVID-19. If you get a positive LFD result, changes to testing arrangements mean that you do not need to take a PCR test to confirm this. Get LFD tests
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (a fever, new continuous cough, or loss of sense of taste or smell) it is important to isolate and book a PCR test – that advice has not changed.
Follow the guidance on NHS Inform on self-isolating and booking a test.
- get the vaccine or the vaccine booster
- take regular lateral flow tests – especially before mixing with other people or visiting a hospital or care home – get LFD tests
- follow the guidance on self-isolating and booking a test
- wear a face covering where required
- limit your social contact – gather in groups of no more than 3 households
- wash your hands regularly and cover your nose and mouth if coughing or sneezing
- open windows when meeting indoors
- work from home, if you can
- use the apps: COVID status, Protect Scotland and Check-in Scotland
They don’t want to know, as it might inconvenience them and stop them doing what they want to do.
Like people having sex who know that they have could have a, potentially fatal, STD.
Such inconsiderate behaviour should come with consequences. Testing before travelling to any remote areas with limited capacity of services – in Scotland and beyond – should be (and should have been since the beginning of the pandemic) mandatory. Hoping for common sense or any social responsibility is obviously futile.
People who act against a mandatory legal requirement could be held accountable and liable for costs of disruption, i.e. cover sick pay for staff who have to isolate following such incidents, costs for extra shifts of replacement crews, delay in perishable goods reaching the isles etc.
It was a mistake to only ‘advise’. There are rules which guide our lives and which guarantee the safety of everyone in society: we know that we have to respect a red traffic light, that we cannot park where we wish etc., hence a mandatory test before travel requirement would have been just another (sensible) rule. How come, we reject rules when they are clearly needed?
When I read this article I really wonder what kind of people can be so incredibly stupid. On the other hand… there are people who obviously don’t even recognise a party and sell it as a work meeting (in the Commons today PMQ) despite the booze suggestion. If our government works in ‘high spirits’ (depending on the kind of booze they consume)… that explains a lot.