Coronavirus (Covid-19) - Latest news

Coronavirus (Covid-19) - Latest Updates
Kerbside recycling update

Here’s an update on recycling collection arrangements for the week ahead – from Monday 30 November.

27 November 2020
Online Community Halls event hailed a success

The first Orkney Community Halls Training Event to be held online due to the ongoing pandemic restrictions has been hailed a success.

26 November 2020
Proposed rent increase consultation begins

Letters are being sent to all Orkney Islands Council’s council house tenants seeking views on a proposed rent increase for 2021-2022.

25 November 2020
Councillors back “visionary” plan for Orkney’s economic recovery

Orkney Islands Councillors have agreed a new funding package to support an ambitious and visionary action plan for Orkney’s economic recovery post COVID-19.

25 November 2020
Kerbside recycling update

Here’s an update on recycling collection arrangements for the week ahead – from Monday 23 November.

20 November 2020
Winter hours for Aikerness public toilet

Fans of Aikerness Beach in Evie are being advised the public toilet there is now operating shorter opening hours, from midday to 4pm daily.

20 November 2020
Maintaining the flow…

Orkney’s Marine Services is enjoying a surge in oil industry activity despite the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

19 November 2020
Time to create – calendar now on sale

Young carers in Orkney have been putting their time during a pandemic to good use – getting creative and producing a calendar, which is now for sale at a number of local outlets.

18 November 2020
‘Hope recycling centre to open again

The recycling centre at St Margaret’s Hope will re-open on Tuesday 24 November.

17 November 2020
Covid-19 – new business support now available

Funding is now available from a new Scottish Government support scheme for businesses that have had to close or significantly change their operations because of Covid-19 restrictions.

16 November 2020
Kerbside recycling update - 16 November

Monday (16 November) marks the start of week two of our new recycling collection arrangements.

13 November 2020
Council Leader calls on Government to allow home visits

The Leader of Orkney Islands Council has called on the Scottish Government for a further relaxation of Covid-19 rules to allow people in the county to visit one another’s homes.

10 November 2020
Remembrance in COVID times

Unable to gather the school for a Remembrance ceremony, Stromness Academy found a different way to remember.

09 November 2020
Kirkwall Travel Centre set to reopen next week

The Kirkwall Travel Centre is due to reopen on Monday (November 9) complete with a CCTV system - in a bid to stamp out the anti-social behaviour which has plagued the public facility.

06 November 2020
Cathedral to be lit red in remembrance

St Magnus Cathedral will be lighting up red on Wednesday 11 November to help raise awareness of the annual Scottish Poppy Appeal.

05 November 2020
Orkney Health and Care – the use of agency staff and the reasons why

Orkney Health and Care is part of the fabric of our community and our teams of skilled carers make a world of difference to the lives of the people who use our service.

04 November 2020
Ever considered working in care?

Orkney Health and Care (OHAC) are on the recruitment hunt for people who may be thinking of a career in care.

03 November 2020
Ferry company appeals for funding lifeline

The Board of Orkney Ferries has renewed an appeal to the Scottish Government for emergency funding to offset the severe impact the Covid-19 pandemic is having on the company.

03 November 2020
Kerbside recycling - 2 November update

Next week our waste team will be collecting paper and card in the kerbside recycling collections.

30 October 2020
New business support measures agreed by Councillors

Orkney Islands Council is to provide two new Covid-19 business support measures.

30 October 2020
“Intolerable” level of vandalism could lead to public toilet closure

Orkney Islands Council is warning that an “intolerable” level of vandalism at the St Magnus Lane Public Toilets will lead to their closure if it does not stop.

27 October 2020
Folk in Orkney encouraged to “Remember at Home”

In common with the rest of the nation, Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day commemorations in public will be minimised this year with people in Orkney encouraged to “Remember at Home” instead.

27 October 2020
Recycling collections set to change

Fortnightly recycling collections will begin again in November – with two types of recyclable materials picked up from the kerbside every two weeks.

27 October 2020
Shapinsay and Westray – recycling collections to resume soon

Kerbside recycling collections are to start again in Westray and Shapinsay next month.

27 October 2020
Covid-19 – new business support now available

Applications can now be made for support from the Scottish Government’s new £48 million fund to help businesses affected by temporary restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus.

23 October 2020
Kerbside recycling - week beginning 26 October

Next week (beginning Monday 26 October) kerbside recycling will be back to tins and cans.

23 October 2020
Special Collections re-introduced for the Isles

Orkney Islands Council is advising that special collections for the non-linked Islands of Orkney will begin again after being suspended due to the pandemic.

21 October 2020
Public toilets – more re-open

Orkney Islands Council is re-opening a further six public toilets.

20 October 2020
Kerbside recycling - week commencing 19 October

For the week beginning 19 October, the waste team will be collecting plastic bottles in the kerbside recycling.

16 October 2020
Visual Artist and Craft Maker Award

Orkney Islands Council are advising that this year’s Visual Artist and Craft Maker Award (VACMA) will be offering a slightly different service.

16 October 2020
Self-isolation support payments

From today (Monday 12 October), anyone in employment, or self-employed, who gets one of the low-income benefits listed below will be able to claim a £500 self-isolation support payment from the Scottish Welfare Fund, if they are asked to self-isolate by the Test and Protect service.

12 October 2020
Community Halls Training Event

The annual Orkney Community Halls Training Event is due to be held online for the first time later this month due to ongoing pandemic restrictions.

12 October 2020
Kerbside Recycling - week beginning 12 October

Starting Monday 12 October, kerbside recycling will revert back to glass collection.

09 October 2020
Generations working together

Young children from St Andrews Nursery and older members of the East Mainland community are joining forces in a new pen pal initiative called “Bridging the Gap”.

08 October 2020
Localised approach to Covid-19 – further talks welcomed

The Leader of Orkney Islands Council has welcomed the opportunity for further engagement with the Scottish Government on the potential for a more localised approach to coronavirus restrictions.

07 October 2020
“Exemplar” Orkney Dementia Strategy adopted

The “groundbreaking” local delivery of the Orkney Dementia Strategy has moved a step forward with the adoption of the “exemplar” document.

06 October 2020
Stromness Library Update

From today,  Monday 5 October Stromness Library, Warehouse Buildings will be taking bookings for Public Access PCs and the George Mackay Brown Room.

05 October 2020
OIC/NHS Orkney Integration Joint Board performance report details the highlights and key challenges moving forward

The fourth Annual Performance Report 2019/2020 for the Orkney Integration Joint Board has outlined significant highlights over the past year, while detailing key challenges and priorities moving forward.

01 October 2020
Help at hand for carers

Orkney’s unpaid carers - described as the county’s “unsung heroes” – are being encouraged to access emotional, practical and financial support services available to them.

29 September 2020
MSPs “better informed” following discussions with Orkney’s young people

Four young people from Orkney have shared their experiences at a national political level on how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted on career and employment opportunities.

25 September 2020
Kerbside Recycling - 28 September

The waste team will be collecting, for the week beginning 28 September, metals and cans in the kerbside recycling.


25 September 2020
Doors Open Days

The chance to take a virtual tour of buildings across Orkney is on offer this weekend.

25 September 2020
Eat Out to Help Out in Schools

The Scottish Government’s scheme Eat Out to Help Out that was introduced into school canteens within Orkney when they opened in August was gratefully received.

23 September 2020
Ba barriers

The Council notes the Ba Committee has cancelled the Ba for this year and therefore we are reminding property owners/managers that the council will not be placing barriers outside properties as it has done in previous years.

21 September 2020
Kerbside recycling - week beginning 21 September

Plastic bottles will be collected during kerbside recycling for the week beginning 21 September 2020.

18 September 2020
Waste update – some of the challenges explained

Much has been very different over the last few months and the Council is proud of how many of its keyworkers have continued to provide a service throughout the pandemic.

17 September 2020
Covid-19 – guidance for tourism and hospitality sector

Updated Covid-19 guidance for tourism and hospitality businesses has been published by the Scottish Government.

15 September 2020
Kerbside recycling update - 11 September 2020

Kerbside recycling will continue in the four week cycle of collections, with next week reverting back to glass collection.

11 September 2020
Reopening of Stromness Warehouse buildings

Orkney Islands Council is delighted to announce that from Monday 14 September the reception at the Warehouse Building in Stromness will open to the public, to deal with customer services enquiries (payments, blue badges etc.) and police counter enquiries.

09 September 2020
Taking forward recovery strategy

Press Release from Orkney’s Economic Recovery Steering Group

A new group has been tasked with building and driving forward a strategy for Orkney’s recovery from the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

09 September 2020
North Isles by-election update

Voters are being encouraged to cast their vote by post in the North Isles by-election.

The by-election on Thursday 1 October is being held to elect a councillor to represent the ward on Orkney Islands Council.

07 September 2020
Bookings open for sport and leisure facilities

From Monday 7 September Orkney Islands Councils Sport and Leisure Service will taking bookings for their sport and leisure facilities ahead of their reopening during the week commencing 14 September.

04 September 2020
OIC thanks families for “swift” childcare response

Orkney Islands Council would like to thank parents and carers for their swift response to the request for information on their childcare needs.

04 September 2020
Incremental return to sport and leisure

Orkney Islands Councils Sport and Leisure Service welcomes the Scottish Governments announcement that sport facilities can begin to re-open from the 31 August.

31 August 2020
Community Learning classes – sign up now!

The Community Learning Guide for Autumn 2020 contains a comprehensive programme of courses drawn together by the Council’s Community Learning and Development service.

26 August 2020
Sport and Leisure Facilities Update

Following the First Ministers announcement last week that indoor sport and leisure facilities can reopen from the 31 August subject to Scottish Government guidance, Orkney Islands Council will continue to plan for re-opening from 14 September in line with previous timescales.

25 August 2020
Getting better connected in Orkney

Over 80 families and individuals in Orkney are now better connected thanks to the first phase of a Scottish Government-funded scheme to get clinically vulnerable people online.

25 August 2020
A temporary change to the opening hours of the OIC’s reception desk is to be put in place on Monday 24 August

Due to operational issues as a result of Covid-19,  the switchboard and reception desk will now require to be closed to the public between 1-2pm, Monday to Friday. To compensate for the closure during the lunchtime period, we will open the reception each day until 4pm rather than 3pm.  Our emergency contact numbers will be available on the recorded message via 01856 873535 and on our website

21 August 2020
Eat Out to Help Out Scheme in Schools

Orkney Islands Council is delighted to announce that school canteens have signed up for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme.

21 August 2020
Commercial Recycling Collections

From Monday 24 August, commercial recycling and cardboard collections will resume.

21 August 2020
Applications invited for business support grants

Three grants from Orkney Islands Council to help local businesses affected by the Covid-19 crisis are now open for applications.

19 August 2020
Recycling centres update – 19 August 2020

The Hatston and Garson Household Waste Recycling Centres can now accept scrap metal and inert waste once again.

19 August 2020
Public toilets – more re-opening soon

Orkney Islands Council is planning to re-open a further 14 public toilets over the days ahead – many of them in the North and South Isles.

17 August 2020
Orkney Library and Archive reopens

Orkney Library and Archive

Orkney Library and Archive, in Kirkwall, will reopen to the public on Monday 17 August, with some restrictions in place.

17 August 2020
Four Week Kerbisde Recycling Continues

Kerbside recycling will continue in the four week cycle of collections, with next week reverting back to glass collection.

14 August 2020
Museum to open again for ‘taster’ exhibition

The Orkney Museum will re-open its doors on Thursday 13 August for a new temporary exhibition.

12 August 2020
Exams update following Government announcement

Orkney Islands Council has welcomed a 'significant u-turn' following today’s announcement by the Scottish Education Secretary John Swinney that all downgraded exam awards will be withdrawn.

11 August 2020
Work ongoing to ensure childcare provision in Orkney

Work is continuing within Orkney Islands Council to ensure families in Orkney have access to childcare, including the provision of increased free childcare hours in most nursery settings from this month (August).

10 August 2020
“Getting it right for every child” hopes as nurseries and pre-schools set to reopen

Pre-school and nursery settings in Orkney will reopen in full on August 17 following the recent Scottish Government announcement.

10 August 2020
Orkney Coronavirus Community Support Hub

Friday 7 August saw the last day of the Orkney Coronavirus Community Support Hub being situated at the Pickaquoy Centre, now that shielding has paused in Scotland

10 August 2020
A look back at the annual Riding of the Marches

The annual Riding of the Marches is one of many events that have had to be cancelled this year because of the Covid-19 crisis.

07 August 2020
Update of reopening timeline for Leisure, Libraries and Culture facilities.

Orkney Islands Council has pushed back the reopening of some leisure facilities following the recent changes in guidance from the Scottish Government.

07 August 2020
Ferry company appeals for funding lifeline

The Board of Orkney Ferries has made a direct appeal to the Scottish Government for emergency funding to offset the damaging impact on the company of the Covid-19 pandemic.

03 August 2020
Orkney schools will reopen fully in August

Schools in Orkney will reopen in full during August following the Scottish Government announcement last week.

Ministers have signed off on a plan which will see pupils back in the classroom by the middle of the month.

03 August 2020
Reopening of Grass Pitches

Orkney Islands Council is delighted to confirm that from Monday 3 August grass pitches will be reopened for bookings.

31 July 2020
HWRC update - electrical equipment

From Tuesday 4 August both Hatston and Garson Household Waste Recycling Centres will again be able to accept waste electrical and electronic equipment.

31 July 2020
More public toilets to re-open

Public toilets at a number of rural and outer isles sites will re-open next week (from Monday, August 3)

31 July 2020
Public toilets - more to re-open

Public toilets at four more sites will re-open on Monday 27 July.

24 July 2020
Bus timetables update

Bus timetables for Orkney Mainland and the linked South Isles return to normal from Monday 27 July.

24 July 2020
Kerbside recycling update

Orkney Islands Council will be collecting glass bottles and jars during next week’s kerbside collections starting on Monday 20 July.

17 July 2020
Recycling centres update and advice

Orkney Islands Council is advising people to be prepared for the possibility of short delays when using the Household Waste Recycling Centres at Hatston and Garson.

16 July 2020
Travelling with Orkney Ferries

Orkney Ferries are reminding customers that all travel on their ferries needs to be booked in advance, whether the booking is for foot passengers only or with a vehicle.

15 July 2020
Public toilets update

Orkney Islands Council is planning to start re-opening public toilets later this week.

15 July 2020
Coronavirus: Registration of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Civil Partnerships

In line with guidance from the Depute Registrar General and the Scottish Government, registration services are provided in Orkney subject to the following restrictions:

15 July 2020
Cathedral update

St Magnus Cathedral will reopen for private prayer and reflection from Tuesday 21 July.

14 July 2020
Update on our Household Waste Recycling Centres

Whilst Scotland slowly eases its way out of lockdown a number of restrictions and requirements, aimed at keeping staff and site users safe, are still in place, impacting on the ways in which we can operate.

10 July 2020
Black bag waste to be accepted again at HWRCs

Our Hatston and Garson household waste recycling centres will be accepting black bag waste from Tuesday 14 July – along with garden waste, cardboard and bulky household waste.

10 July 2020
Preparations begin for 3G pitches to reopen next week

Orkney Islands Council’s Education, Leisure and Housing Service is currently working to reopen their 3G pitches from the 13 July in line with the Scottish Government Route Map.

08 July 2020
Change to Support Hub call centre hours

The Community Support Hub call centre at the Pickaquoy Centre is changing its opening hours from Monday 13 July, to Monday to Friday, 10:00 - 14:00.

07 July 2020
Deadline for two grants approaching

Orkney Islands Council is advising that there are only a few days left to apply for a grant from the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.

The deadline is 5pm on Friday 10 July.

03 July 2020
Hatston and Garson to accept bulky household waste from 7th July

Our recycling centres at Hatston and Garson will be accepting bulky household waste from Tuesday, July 7 – in addition to garden waste and cardboard.

03 July 2020
Housing services update

A number of Orkney Islands Council’s housing services will soon be available again, in line with the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions.

26 June 2020
Orkney Ferries timetables update

Orkney Ferries is set to bring in enhanced timetables from Monday 6 July following consultation with Community Councils in the North and South Isles.

26 June 2020
OIC Agrees Addition to Business Grant Scheme

Businesses in Orkney who have previously received financial assistance through Scottish Government business grant schemes or the Council's Business Hardship Support Fund are to receive an additional payment from the Council's £5m Coronavirus Support Fund.

24 June 2020
Play areas to open again

Play areas in Orkney are set to reopen early next month

24 June 2020
Key worker childcare update

Orkney Islands Council is to provide two support services for the children of Category 1 key workers over the summer holiday period.

24 June 2020
Orkney Islands Council sculpture now online at Art UK

Orkney Islands Council’s collection of sculpture can now be viewed online as part of a nationwide Art UK project.

23 June 2020
Samaritans of Orkney gifted £4,000 thanks to Stromness Academy pupils

Two Stromness Academy pupils have been successful in winning a £4,000 grant for the Samaritans of Orkney.

22 June 2020
Covid-19 – face coverings on public transport

Orkney Islands Council is reminding the community that face coverings will become mandatory on public transport from Monday (22 June) in line with Scottish Government requirements.

19 June 2020
Schools reopening – Council Leader calls for urgent talks with Government

The Leader of Orkney Islands Council is warning that Scottish Government objectives for the reopening of schools will be ‘undeliverable’ in the county.

19 June 2020
Recycling centres update - 17 June

Orkney Islands Council's recycling centres at Hatston and Garson will be accepting heavy corrugated cardboard - as well as garden waste - from Tuesday 23 June.

17 June 2020
Household Waste Recycling Centres update

Over the last two weeks Hatston and Garson Household Waste Recycling Centres have collected a large amount of garden waste and are expecting more to come.

15 June 2020
Kerbside recycling update

Kerbside recycling collections are to continue with the current four-week cycle of single material types for households in Orkney Mainland, Burray and South Ronaldsay.

15 June 2020
Travel Restrictions Reminder

Orkney Islands Council is warning local people that, despite the potential lifting of some national travel restrictions this week by the Scottish Government, opportunities to travel locally by bus, plane and ferry will still be limited due to capacity constraints arising from social distancing.

15 June 2020
Nominate your local “coronavirus hero”

Birthday Honours list delayed to allow for Covid-19 recognition

The Queen’s Birthday Honours List has been delayed until the autumn this year to allow for recognition of people who have made “exceptional contribution” to the national Covid-19 response.

15 June 2020
Stromness Academy pupils create online newspaper – Lockdown Lowdown

S2 pupils at Stromness Academy have created their own virtual newspaper – Lockdown Lowdown – documenting the biggest news story of the century so far.

15 June 2020
Change to Support Hub call centre hours

The Community Support Hub call centre at the Pickaquoy Centre is changing its opening hours from Monday, June 29 to Monday to Friday, 09:00 -17:00.

15 June 2020
OIC contracted suppliers encouraged to seek assistance under Relief Scheme

Orkney Islands Council is encouraging all companies who provide contracted services to the council to apply for assistance under the Supplier Relief Scheme.

10 June 2020
OLECG continues to meet

Orkney Local Emergency Co-ordination Group – OLECG, made up of representatives from a broad range of organisations, including the emergency and public services, transport providers, the utilities and voluntary sector, continue to meet virtually during this pandemic.

03 June 2020

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS