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Coronavirus (Covid-19) - Latest news

Coronavirus (Covid-19) - Latest Updates
Low Income Pandemic payment

Orkney Islands Council is in the process of identifying all residents in the county who are eligible for a one-off Low Income Pandemic payment of £130 to help with increased costs and lost income due to coronavirus.

21 June 2021
Community urged to focus on the FACTS

The Orkney public are being urged to continue to focus on the FACTS as the county moves into Level 0 Covid-19 restrictions from 5 June.

02 June 2021
Football season kicks off - players reminded of national guidance still in place

With the continued easing of COVID-19 restrictions Orkney’s 2021 football season has been able to kick off, however, there is still specific guidance relating to sport, sporting events and physical activity that must be adhered to.

02 June 2021
OIC Leader welcomes move to Level 0 from 5 June

The Leader of Orkney Islands Council has welcomed news of a move to Level 0 of Scottish Government Coronavirus restrictions from 5 June - but reminds people a range of restrictions remains in place.

01 June 2021
Business mini-survey launched

Orkney businesses are being invited to take part in a mini survey aimed at exploring how the local business community is feeling about the future following an incredibly challenging last several months.

31 May 2021
Taskforce tackling child poverty in Orkney

Orkney fares better than 22 of the 32 local authority areas across Scotland – when it comes to rising levels of child poverty – but there is no room for complacency.

26 May 2021
Phased re-opening of Bossack continues with electrical waste and wrapped asbestos accepted from 18 May

The Council’s Bossack Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC) will be accepting electrical waste and wrapped asbestos in addition to garden waste from next Tuesday (18 May).

14 May 2021
Key worker accommodation appeal

Accommodation is needed for key workers providing vital support for services dealing with the impact on Orkney of Covid-19.

14 May 2021
Election Day – what to expect

Everyone is encouraged to vote in the Scottish Parliament election on 6 May – and this year folk are reminded that there will be some additional safety measures in place due to COVID-19 for those choosing to cast their vote in person.

26 April 2021
COVID-19 restrictions Sport and Leisure facilities update

With restrictions due to ease during May, Orkney’s Sport and Leisure Team have updated how this will impact on their activities and facilities in the county.

Orkney will continue to be in Level 3 COVID-19 restrictions until 16 May, and from the week commencing 17 May Orkney will enter Level 2.

After a careful review of Scottish Government, sportscotland and Governing Bodies of Sport guidance, as well as current facility usage figures, the following facilities and activities will continue to be affected:

23 April 2021
Coronavirus business support update

Local businesses who have been impacted by coronavirus may still have options open to them for financial support, despite some national schemes coming to an end as restrictions ease.

23 April 2021
Visitor management group meets – joint press release

Organisations involved in visitor management in Orkney have met in preparation for the easing of travel restrictions later this month.

19 April 2021
Bids invited for new community support fund

Organisations in Orkney with innovative ideas for local investment are invited to bid for support from a new fund.

15 April 2021
Orkney schools to return full time after the Easter holidays

Following the First Minister’s recent announcement, all secondary and primary pupils in Orkney will return to full-time, in-person and face-to-face learning following the Easter break on Monday 19 April.

13 April 2021
£300k boost to COVID-19 Recovery Development Grant Scheme agreed

Orkney Islands Council has agreed to top up its COVID-19 Recovery Development Grant Scheme with a boost to the overall funding pot by another £300k.

29 March 2021
Lockdown Reflections – staff stories – Norman Rendall – taking care of the Council!

In a series of lockdown reflections by staff, senior caretaker Norman Rendall tells us how he has been making the most of being able to be out in the garden.

26 March 2021
Lockdown reflections – staff stories – David Bowen – helping keep our children safe

In a series of lockdown reflections by staff, school crossing patrol officer David Bowen is looking forward to sharing his love for music again and is pleased that the children are back at school.

26 March 2021
Lockdown reflections – staff stories – Ryan Jones – keeping the Council fleet going!

In a series of lockdown reflections by staff, mechanic Ryan Jones tells us what he is looking forward to after lockdown. 

26 March 2021
Voter deadlines for Scottish Parliament election

Local voters are being reminded that key deadlines are approaching ahead of the Scottish Parliament election.

26 March 2021
Lockdown reflections - staff stories - Walter Gorman rocking his role at the Hub

In a series of lockdown reflections by staff, Walter Gorman looks back to his time working at the Coronavirus Support Hub and Holiday Hub for young people - and looks forward to a return of the music scene.

25 March 2021
Lockdown reflections - staff stories - Kira Davidson

In a series of lockdown reflections by staff, Kira Davidson from the Council's Customer Services team looks back on the challenges for staff and customers, and the Orkney spirit she witnessed while working at 'the Hub'.

24 March 2021
Easing restrictions - call from Council Leader

The Leader of Orkney Islands Council is asking the Scottish Government to ease Covid-19 restrictions by moving Orkney to a lower level – with freedom to travel to and from the Scottish Mainland.

23 March 2021
Lockdown reflections one year on - staff stories - Katell Roche

In a series of lockdown reflections by staff, Katelle Roche, Senior Duty Officer with the Council's Sports and Leisure team, looks back on how teams adapted to keep the community active and engaged with quality leisure time.

23 March 2021
The Year the World Slowed Doon - poem to mark lockdown anniversary, by OIC Convener

Council Convener Harvey Johnston has eloquently summed up the past year in a reflective piece he has written, marking today's anniversary of the first lockdown, one year on.

23 March 2021
Lockdown reflections one year on – staff stories - Fran Hollinrake, St Magnus Cathedral Custodian

In a series of lockdown reflections by staff, Custodian of St Magnus Cathedral, Fran Hollinrake, looks back on the experience of stepping up to assist at the Coronavirus Support Hub while Cathedral doors were closed.

23 March 2021
Lockdown reflections - a year of challenge and change - OIC interim Chief Executive John Mundell

On the anniversary of the national lockdown, the Council's interim Chief Executive John Mundell reflects on a year of challenge and change for the authority and the community it serves.

23 March 2021
Time to pause and remember - message from Council Leader James Stockan

Orkney Islands Council Leader Councillor James Stockan reflects on the past year and says 'recovery must be our focus' for 2021.

23 March 2021
Onboard catering – update from Orkney Ferries

Orkney Ferries is advising customers that onboard catering will resume on Outer North Isles vessels once an easing of Covid-19 restrictions permits this.

22 March 2021
Grant support for small accommodation providers

Orkney Islands Council is advising small accommodation providers of a new Scottish Government Grant they may be eligible for - and highlighting the closing date of this Monday, 22 March.

18 March 2021
North Ronaldsay pupils enjoy learning links and virtual contact with Burray Primary School!

Orkney’s smallest school reopened recently – and its pupils are enjoying being linked with a Mainland counterpart.

16 March 2021
Hit by spring cleaning bug? Here’s some handy reminders.

Orkney Islands Council is issuing some reminders aimed at helping keep Orkney beautiful, and safe, as spring cleaning fever hits many households across the county – inside and out.

16 March 2021
Orkney’s ‘ASPIRE’ vision for economic recovery seeks programme manager

A dedicated post to coordinate the ‘ASPIRE’ vision for Orkney’s economic recovery is being advertised this week.

16 March 2021
Easter cash boost for some of Orkney’s most vulnerable families

Many of Orkney’s most vulnerable families are to receive a £200 direct payment to those children receiving free school meals - £100 from the Scottish Government COVID Spring Hardship Payment and a further top up payment of £100 thanks to an Orkney Islands Council grant agreed by councillors.

16 March 2021
May Election polling cards will start arriving through Orkney letterboxes next week

Polling cards will be arriving through Orkney letterboxes next week from around Thursday 18 March for all those eligible to vote at the forthcoming Scottish Parliament election on 6 May – and you will see that two of our regular Polling Stations have moved.

12 March 2021
Opening with care – supporting meaningful contact in care homes

The Scottish Government has published new guidance which supports “meaningful contact” to resume between care home residents and their loved ones from this month, March 2021.

11 March 2021
Loved ones will hug once again thanks to latest guidance in care homes

The Council’s care home staff have been working hard to ensure the latest guidance is met to allow loved ones to have an enhanced level of contact from this month.

11 March 2021
Council Tax scam warning

Orkney Islands Council is warning people of the potential for scams linked to Council Tax payment, reduction and refunds.

10 March 2021
***Staycation special offer***

ActiveLife and ActiveIslands members are encouraged to ‘Staycation’ in Orkney next month with a special offer for local campsites and hostels.

10 March 2021
Team Orkney working together to deliver the mass vaccination programme

Orkney Islands Council and partner agencies are delighted to assist and support NHS Orkney in the mass delivery of the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination programme in the county.

09 March 2021
All primary schools in Orkney to open fully from 15 March

All primary schools in Orkney will be fully open to nursery and primary pupils from 15 March in line with the Scottish Government phase two of the return to education.

09 March 2021
First Minister's announcement on Phase 2 of return to school welcomed

Orkney Islands Council has welcomed news from the Scottish Government today, 2 March, that more pupils will be heading back to school from 15 March.

02 March 2021
Nursery registration moves online

This year’s Orkney nursery registration process has moved online for the first time due to the current COVID-19 restrictions.

01 March 2021
Secondary pupils praised for COVID home testing uptake

Head Teachers at Orkney’s secondary schools have praised the uptake rate among pupils and staff voluntarily taking COVID19 tests.

25 February 2021
Extra funding for road and paths agreed

A fund for road and path repairs and improvements across Orkney is being recommended by Councillors.

24 February 2021
XpoNorth provides support for Orkney’s cultural economy

Orkney’s busy festival programme and visitor attractions draw many to the islands every year. With travel currently restricted, XpoNorth recognises the importance of providing support to Orkney’s cultural economy. In partnership with Orkney Islands Council, XpoNorth will host two seminars which will focus on keeping people connected with the islands during these challenging times.

24 February 2021
Budget for year ahead discussed by councillors

Elected Members have recommended Orkney Islands Council’s budget for the next financial year.

23 February 2021
Some delighted peedie ones returning to school

Good luck to all the children who are back into nursery and schools today, 22 February, as part of the Scottish Government’s phased return.

22 February 2021
Would you like to vote by post this May?

Orkney Islands Council’s Elections team is reminding people of the option to vote by post at the upcoming Scottish Parliament election in May.

22 February 2021
National Clinical Director writes to families outlining the reasons behind the phased reopening of schools

Scotland’s National Clinical Director, Professor Jason Leitch, has written to parents and carers of nursery and primary age children explaining the reasons behind the decision for younger children to return to school.

19 February 2021
Free online wellbeing courses designed to help isolated young people

Local artists and musicians are among those hosting a series of free online wellbeing sessions to help tackle the feelings of isolation and loneliness being felt by some young people in Orkney.

19 February 2021
Sport and Leisure facilities update

With level 3 restrictions set to continue in Orkney until at least mid-March, the Sport and Leisure Service are updating customers and staff on the impact this will have on facilities and activities up to 31 March.

18 February 2021
First Minister confirms phased reopening of schools from 22 February

Nurseries and schools in Orkney will join the rest of Scotland in a planned phased reopening from Monday 22 February.

16 February 2021
Vaccination appointments – weather advice

People in South Ronaldsay and Burray with vaccination appointments in Kirkwall over the weekend are being advised to allow plenty of time for their journeys - and to keep an eye on weather and Churchill Barriers updates.

12 February 2021
All schools closed due to treacherous snow and ice conditions

All schools in Orkney are closed to all children and young people today, Tuesday, as much of the county is covered in a thick blanket of snow and ice leaving roads particularly hazardous.

09 February 2021
OIC continues to lobby Governments on the digital divide disrupting daily life in Orkney

Orkney Islands Council is continuing to lobby both the UK and Scottish Governments for improved access to telecommunication networks, as the digital divide continues to disadvantage many in Orkney.

04 February 2021
Lockdown Letters – young people asked to express themselves

Young people in Orkney are being asked to share their thoughts on how lockdown has affected them personally in a new initiative called “Lockdown Letters”.

03 February 2021
Covid-19 – islands fund now open

Funding is now available from a new Scottish Government support scheme for eligible islands-based businesses.

01 February 2021
Passenger walkway update

Engineering and construction work are now complete at the Stromness Terminal Passenger Walkway.

01 February 2021
Ministerial praise for Orkney school meals success

Orkney Islands Council’s achievement in winning a prestigious award for school meals during a pandemic should encourage other local authorities to follow our example, according to the Scottish Government’s Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment, Ben Macpherson MSP.

29 January 2021
Poor broadband is impacting on daily home-schooling

Anna described a typical day of home-schooling with poor broadband.

27 January 2021
Despair as digital divide grows

Parents in Orkney have spoken of the daily challenges of remote learning – and called on the Scottish Government to prioritise areas with the poorest coverage and deliver on their promise of superfast broadband for all.

27 January 2021
Organisations invited to help folk get better connected

There are still a few days left to benefit from a scheme to help get some of Orkney’s elderly or disabled folk online and better connected.

27 January 2021
Lockdown Learning

When Orkney, along with the rest of the UK, was swept into an emergency lockdown last year, the teaching profession was forced into a situation of largely unfamiliar practices – classes of remote, invisible pupils and a reliance on digital learning. In 2021, although in familiar territory, this time they were armed with previous knowledge and experience and teachers have come up with some innovative practices to continue learning with children and young people.

25 January 2021
COVID-19 restrictions – sport and leisure update

As Orkney continues to be in Level Three COVID-19 restrictions until at least mid-February, we want to update our customers and staff on what impacts this will now have on Sport and Leisure activities and facilities up to the 28 February 2021.

25 January 2021
Orkney Museum – new exhibition coming soon

The Orkney Museum is set to close temporarily while a new exhibition is set up.

22 January 2021
Lessons in lockdown

Teachers and support staff in Orkney have joined pupils in a lockdown learning exercise  - using innovative ways to engage in live lessons online.

20 January 2021
Despair as the digital divide grows

Parents in Orkney have spoken of the daily challenges of remote learning – and called on the Scottish Government to prioritise areas with the poorest coverage and deliver on their promise of superfast broadband for all.

20 January 2021
Continuation of COVID-19 restrictions - Sport and Leisure facilities update

With Orkney continuing to be in Level Three of the Scottish Governments COVID-19 restrictions until at least the 18 January, we want to update our customers and staff on what impacts this will have on Sport and Leisure activities and facilities from the 18 January until the 1 February 2021.

15 January 2021
Community Learning and Development

How are our small, but dedicated, CLD Team continuing to manage and develop since entering Level 3?

14 January 2021
OIC Education Service – “Behind the Headlines”

With change comes uncertainty and never more so is this being felt than at present as we all try our best to adjust to a new way of life.  For thousands of years, however, the people of Orkney have shown resilience and determination during times of adversity and have pulled together positively to seek innovative ways to work through challenging times, and this period is no exception.

14 January 2021
Microsoft Teams accessibility issues resolved

In conjunction with the rest of the UK, parents, carers and pupils in Orkney experienced accessibility issues with Microsoft Teams – one of the main platforms being used for remote learning with schools closed meantime due to Scottish Government pandemic restrictions.

12 January 2021
Keyworker childcare update

Schools across Orkney will open tomorrow morning (Thursday 7 January) to provide childcare for the children of key workers and vulnerable children.

06 January 2021
Vigilance urged as over 80’s vaccinations start

Orkney Local Emergency Co-ordination Group (OLECG) met this afternoon (5 January) to discuss yesterday's (4 January) update from the Scottish Government and the current rollout of vaccines to people aged over 80 in Orkney.

05 January 2021
Schools update – January 2021

Following the First Minister’s statement yesterday, Orkney Islands Council will fulfil the Scottish Government’s directive to open schools this week for the children of keyworkers and vulnerable children – largely in line with the timeline set out to local families and carers before Christmas.

05 January 2021
Cheaper ferry fares for Orkney – call for post-Brexit action from Government

The Leader of Orkney Islands Council is calling for the Scottish Government to finally bring in cheaper ferry fares for residents and visitors to the county – more than a decade after they were first rolled out elsewhere in Scotland.

05 January 2021

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS