Coronavirus (Covid-19) - Latest news

Coronavirus (Covid-19) - Latest Updates
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
Garson and Hatston recycling centres – phased re-opening begins on Tuesday

The Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) at Hatston and Garson are set to reopen on Tuesday (June 2) - and will initially accept only garden waste.

01 June 2020
Recycling collections – week two

Kerbside recycling collections will be for plastic bottles next week.

29 May 2020
Covid-19 – public transport advice

Orkney Islands Council is advising that this week’s announcements on the move to Phase One of the Scottish Government’s Route Map out of Lockdown will result in no immediate change to current public transport arrangements.

29 May 2020
Caring for People Group

The Caring for People group, continue to meet virtually to work together to discuss how services can support individuals and communities in both responding to and recovering from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

25 May 2020
Business Loan Scheme launched

A loan scheme to assist local businesses experiencing cashflow difficulties as a result of the Covid-19 crisis is launched today by Orkney Islands Council.

25 May 2020
Recycling centres – phased re-opening announced

The phased re-opening of Orkney’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) is set to begin early next month.

25 May 2020
Concessionary Travel Update

Transport Scotland has announced that local authorities can now begin accepting and processing applications for the replacement and renewal of National Entitlement Cards, however, applications for new cards are still not being accepted at present.


25 May 2020
Orkney embraces a new way of learning

Childcare Hubs ensure frontline workers can continue to play their part in the fight against the coronavirus — while home learning largely replaces traditional schooling in the county.

22 May 2020
OLECG meeting update

Orkney Local Emergency Co-ordination Group (OLECG) are continuing to meet virtually to monitor the response to Covid-19 across Orkney.

20 May 2020
Isles shopping support to continue

Orkney Islands Council is to extend a food funding scheme that supports residents in the isles. 

20 May 2020
Phased restart soon for recycling collections

Recycling collections are set to begin again on a phased basis for households in Orkney Mainland, Burray and South Ronaldsay – and will take place weekly over the next four weeks.

19 May 2020
Information on Mental Health Support

Orkney Health and Care, in partnership with public and voluntary-sector agencies from throughout Orkney, have produced a leaflet that provides details of where you can find help and support with your mental health and wellbeing, along with some tips on how to stay well.

19 May 2020
“Business as usual” for many OIC staff

The Council’s doors may remain closed as part of the nation’s ongoing coronavirus lockdown, but it’s very much “business as usual” for many of our own frontline workers.

Here, we take a closer look at the “front face” of the Local Authority – those customer service teams in Kirkwall and Stromness who have adapted to a new way of working in these challenging times.

15 May 2020
Resilience Groups address local issues

Orkney Islands Council relies on its partnership working with Community Councils and this has never been so important as during the current challenging times.

The Council would like to thank all the volunteers for their commitment in ensuring the work of Community Councils continues – at a safe, social distance.

15 May 2020
OLECG update

Key agencies working to support the Orkney community during the coronavirus pandemic met virtually again today.

12 May 2020
Supplier Relief Scheme for Contracted Suppliers to the Council

Orkney Islands Council is keen to support all contracted suppliers through this difficult time to ensure that they are able either to continue to work with us through the crisis or, where that is not possible, to be in a position to resume normal service delivery when the outbreak is over.

12 May 2020
Household waste update

We would firstly like to thank the Orkney public for their understanding and co-operation with the changes in how waste collections and Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) operate as a result of COVID-19, and for all the drawings and comments in support of Orkney’s refuse collection teams. Your thanks and support are truly appreciated, as they keep this essential service running every day.

08 May 2020
Orkney Islands Council encourages self-employed to apply for scheme

Orkney Islands Council is encouraging those who are self-employed to go online and check to see if they are eligible for the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)  - which opens next week.

06 May 2020
OLECG supports Scotland Fire and Rescue Service

The Orkney Local Emergency Co-ordinating Group is supporting Scotland’s Fire and Rescue Service in urging Orkney communities to stay safe in their homes during the continuing covid-19 pandemic.

05 May 2020
Council launches first phase of business hardship support

A support initiative for businesses experiencing hardship is launched today by Orkney Islands Council (Friday 1 May).

01 May 2020
OIC staff answer the call to help Orkney’s most vulnerable

They come from all walks of life but have one thing in common – a willingness to help in whatever way necessary to support Orkney’s most vulnerable people as the nation continues to wage war on the coronavirus.

01 May 2020
OLECG support for NHS Orkney and local support hub

Orkney Local Emergency Co-ordination Group (OLECG) is supporting efforts to encourage people with non-coronavirus health concerns to seek help as they would have done before the outbreak.

01 May 2020
Dog waste – collection points for bags during the pandemic

Orkney Islands Council has taken steps to make sure supplies of free dog poo bags are still available for people to use.

28 April 2020
Flag at half mast at School Place

The flag at the Council offices in Kirkwall is flying at half mast as part of the nationwide tribute to key workers who have lost their lives during the Covid-19 pandemic.

28 April 2020
Coronavirus – looking ahead

Orkney Islands Council is engaged in discussions on whether an islands-based approach should be considered for tackling the spread of Covid-19 – and for the eventual lifting of coronavirus restrictions.

28 April 2020
Public toilets reopen for key workers

Following feedback, Orkney Islands Council has reopened some of its public toilets for key workers to use while making essential journeys as part of their work.

23 April 2020
Support for groups helping vulnerable people

A fund to assist vulnerable people during the coronavirus pandemic has been set up by Orkney Islands Council.

20 April 2020
Orkney Foodbank sees "phenomenal" response

Orkney Foodbank has seen a “phenomenal” response from local folk through increased financial and food donations since Coronavirus started impacting – and last week received a further contribution of goods from a Grampian-based charity involved in fighting hunger and tackling food waste.

20 April 2020
North Isles airfields – no recreational visits during Covid-19

Orkney Islands Council is reminding pilots that recreational flights should not be made to North Isles airfields during the coronavirus crisis.

20 April 2020
Online Fitness Classes

In these uncertain times keeping fit and healthy is vital for a lot of people in Orkney. Therefore, it’s great that so many of Orkney’s fitness class instructors are hosting virtual classes.

20 April 2020
Grounds maintenance during the pandemic

Orkney Islands Council has asked contractors to provide a limited grounds maintenance service during the coronavirus outbreak.

17 April 2020
How to Apply for a Council Tax Reduction and Other Financial Support Contacts.

You can now apply for a council tax reduction online through our new customer services platform, MyOrkney.

17 April 2020
Fund established for isles shopping

A funding mechanism has been established by Orkney Islands Council to support isles residents in buying goods from the isles shops.

With internal ferry travel restrictions currently in place due to Covid-19, isles residents are mainly reliant on island-based shops for their shopping rather than mainland supermarkets - where prices may be cheaper.

16 April 2020
£5m business support fund established by Orkney Islands Council

Orkney Islands Council has established an initial £5m fund to support local businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

The fund will be set up to provide grants and loans and comes primarily from the Strategic Reserve Fund and supplemented by a mix of Crown Estate funding and the Council's Renewable, Redevelopment and Regeneration Fund.

16 April 2020
Covid-19 - further groups identified to receive additional support

A second wave of people identified as most at risk from Covid-19 are to receive essential assistance thanks to a new national helpline, which will work in partnership with the Orkney Coronavirus Community Support Hub.

15 April 2020
Covid-19 – OLECG offers thanks

Orkney Local Emergency Co-ordination Group (OLECG) has thanked people across the county for their response to the coronavirus pandemic and urged that measures to slow the spread of infection continue to be followed.

15 April 2020
Covid-19 – business grant help reaches nearly £3 million

Nearly £3 million has been awarded by Orkney Islands Council in Government grants to businesses to help during the coronavirus pandemic.

09 April 2020
Illegal dumping appeal

Orkney Islands Council is appealing for people to avoid leaving domestic waste outside Household Recycling Centres, which are now closed because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

08 April 2020
Keyworker childcare over Easter

Childcare for the children of keyworkers continues to be on offer over the Easter holiday period - to help parents and carers play their part in Orkney’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

08 April 2020
Covid-19 – OLECG meets 7 April 2020

Key agencies working to support the Orkney community during the coronavirus pandemic met today in response to the latest developments in the outbreak.

07 April 2020
Covid-19 – Welfare grants for those in need

Orkney Islands Council is accepting applications for welfare benefits via two funding streams – Crisis Grants and Community Care Grants.

A reduction in Council Tax can also be applied for.

07 April 2020
Covid-19 - “Tremendous” Hub effort praised

The “tremendous effort” by staff and volunteers in bringing the new Orkney Coronavirus Community Support Hub to fruition has been praised.

06 April 2020
Covid-19 - OLECG appeal update

An appeal for people with available accommodation to get in touch with the Orkney Local Emergency Co-ordination Group (OLECG) has met with a strong response.

03 April 2020
Covid-19 - Waste collections during the pandemic – your questions answered

Orkney Islands Council has published an online guide to the household waste collection arrangements that will operate during the coronavirus outbreak.

03 April 2020

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS