Skip to content

OIC Leader welcomes move to level one from 17 May

OIC Leader welcomes move to level one from 17 May
11 May 2021

The Leader of Orkney Islands Council has welcomed news of a move to level one restrictions from 17 May – meaning folk will, once again, be able to socialise indoors.

The accelerated easing of restrictions for a number of areas in Scotland, including Orkney, are as a result of the successful vaccination coverage and low case numbers. Only Moray could remain in level three due to high numbers, with most other areas being moved to level two.

OIC Leader Councillor James Stockan said: “While I welcome the Scottish Government announcement that Orkney will be moving to level one from 17 May some restrictions will still be in place – I would encourage everyone to know what those are.

“There are a number of key and very welcome allowances within level one according to the Scottish Government official guidance which will allow groups of up to six people from three households to meet in each other’s homes – and stay overnight. Groups of up to eight people from three households will be able to meet in a pub or restaurant and you can meet in groups of up to 12 people from 12 households outdoors in a garden or public setting. Under-12s do not count towards the outdoor social limits but do count towards the number of households indoors.”

As to travel, people will be able to travel within any area of Scotland in levels zero, one or two – but cannot enter a level three or four area except for certain reasons. Residents will also be able to travel anywhere in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands. All holiday accomodation, including self-catered settings and hotels, can open – but bedrooms should be occupied by only one household.

Councillor Stockan stressed the need for everyone to “play their part” in keeping all areas safe and encourage travellers to carry out free lateral flow tests before heading to the islands.

“I would appeal for everyone visiting Orkney and islanders returning from trips away to carry out one these freely available lateral flow tests – this will provide an extra layer of security for everyone.”

The testing kits can be accessed free of charge through the lateral flow test home delivery system. You can register your details at www.gov.scot/communitytesting  and follow the instructions under ‘Order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests’. Once registered a pack of seven lateral flow tests will be delivered to your home within 1-2 days.

With regard to hospitality, restaurants, pubs, cafes and other hospitality businesses can open indoors until 11pm, serving food and alcoholic drinks. Table service must remain in place, and face coverings must be worn by customers unless they are seated.

Councillor Stockan said these are welcome measures, however, this does not mean it’s business as usual.

“This summer we will still not see a full recovery; events such as the shows continue to be cancelled and we will not have the footfall of tourists or cruise ships that we would usually see. Our communities are going to be hit harder than many of the other visitor hot spots in Scotland, so we still face a large drag on our economy. We need to be aware of this.

“At the same time, we are delighted we are moving faster than many others areas in Scotland. Our communities deserve so much praise for the way they have behaved and handled this pandemic.

“Council staff have been working under extreme pressure processing the many support mechanisms for businesses and individuals throughout the pandemic, whilst operating within the restrictions, responding to community need and meeting the demands of the government.”

Ends

What are the Covid rules in level 1?

According to the official guidance of the Scottish Government, the key rules of level one restrictions are as follows.

Socialising

  • You can meet in groups of up to six people from three households in each other’s homes – and stay overnight.
  • You can meet in groups of up to eight people from three households in a public setting like a pub or restaurant.
  • You can meet in groups of up to 12 people from 12 households outdoors in a garden or public setting.
  • Under-12s do not count towards the outdoor social limits, but do count indoors.

Travel

  • You can travel within any area of Scotland in levels zero, one or two – but cannot enter a level three or four area except for certain reasons.
  • You can also travel anywhere in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.
  • All holiday accomodation, including self-catered settings and hotels, can open – but bedrooms should be occupied by only one household.
  • International travel can resume in line with Scotland’s wider traffic light system, abiding by restrictions for the “green list” and “amber list”.

Hospitality

  • Restaurants, pubs, cafes and other hospitality businesses can open indoors until 11pm, serving food and alcoholic drinks.
  • Table service must remain in place, and face coverings must be worn by customers unless they are seated.

What else can open?

  • All shops, gyms, swimming pools, hairdressers, beauty salons, public buildings and community centres can open.
  • Nightclubs and adult entertainment venues must remained closed.

Events

  • Outdoor seated stadiums and events can open with a maximum capacity of 1,000 people, and outdoor standing events with a maximum of 5,000 people. Small seated indoor events can open to a maximum of 200 people.
  • Up to 100 people can attend weddings and funerals, as well as wakes and receptions – alcohol may be served

Work

  • Trades people can carry out work and repairs in your home such as painting and decorating.
  • People are urged to continue working from home wherever that is practicable.
  • You can provide informal childcare, such as looking after a grandchild.

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

Translate this website

Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS