Nightclubs will be allowed to re-open, pubs and restaurants will no longer require table service and limits on indoor events will be removed from Monday,…
The Shetland Times Live
Most Covid restrictions to be removed from Monday
Nightclubs will be allowed to re-open, pubs and restaurants will no longer require table service and limits on indoor events will be removed from Monday, the Scottish government has announced.
Indoor contact sports will also be allowed to resume, while adults will no longer be advised to only meet in groups of three households.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Tuesday afternoon that Scotland had now “turned the corner” on the Omicron wave.
She said that ministers had also deciding against extending the vaccine passport scheme at the moment.
It comes amid a major fall in the number of Covid cases being reported. Shetland confirmed another four PCR positive cases on Tuesday.
SIC should not be ‘hangers-on’ in climate change debate
An isles councillor has said the SIC should be “leaders” and not just “hangers-on” in the transition to net-zero by 2050.
Stephen Leask made the remarks at Tuesday morning’s environment and transport committee, which looked at the progress of the SIC’s net-zero route map.
Leader Steven Coutts had said it was “important” that the council retained as much control as possible in the debate, citing councillors bid for more autonomy in 2020.
He said only two members had not supported that ambition – of which Mr Leask was a vocal opponent.
Mr Leask said his “ribs were still sore from laughing” after Mr Coutts’ comments.
In the debate, councillor Davie Sandison urged council officials not to “jargonise” their reports in future, and to make the climate change conversation easy to understand for everyone.
He urged officials to communicate in “plain language”, adding people would “switch off and fail to understand what is being said”.
Early morning medivac for coastguard
The Rescue 900 helicopter was called out in the early hours to an offshore facility to carry out a medical evacuation.
The call came in at around 12.30am this morning from a facility 77 miles east of Sumburgh.
Lerwick coastguard met Rescue 900 to assist with the transportation of the single patient to hospital.
The operation was completed at around 3.30am.
Travel writer visits ‘wildest corner of Britain’ for new video
The Telegraph has shared a new video of travel writer Simon Parker visiting Shetland – described as the “wildest corner of Britain”.
The newspaper said Parker had braved the rain and wind to see “Shetland’s wonderful wildlife and stunning landscapes minus the summer crowds”.
Parker described seeing otters in the wild as one of the trip’s most incredible moments.
The full video is available to watch below:
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Virtual presentation to determine Shetland’s future
An all-encompassing virtual consultation on the future of Shetland will begin later this month, asking residents’ views on everything from housing and connectivity to climate change and land use.
The local development plan, which will shape the isle’s future for the next five years, will be launched later this month.
Development officer Jonny Wiseman took members of the development committee through the virtual community hall that will feature interactive posters, maps and live chat.
Mr Wiseman told the members that the use of a virtual community hall can “reach far more of the community more efficiently”.
He added that the online interaction allows for better analytics, is Covid safe and will be manned during weekday office hours and weekends to allow questions to be asked via a live chat option.
Housing piqued the interest of committee members, with Robbie McGregor asking if the six week long consultation could ask the public “if they have any innovative ideas for housing and rental needs”.
He added: “Housing is a major blocker to getting suitable people here to work for the council and our schools.”
However suggested sites for development concerned some members with Allison Duncan stating that he “had serious considerations when we have to construct buildings and homes on arable ground”, which he described as “very restricted”.
A televised match between Partick Thistle and Kilmarnock became the subject of discussion during a town hall meeting this week.READ FULL STORY
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Only one new Covid case over weekend
Shetland has recorded just one new Covid case over the last three days.
That positive PCR case was recorded today (Monday), with no cases reported on either Saturday or Sunday.
A rural school has been praised for how it handled the challenges of lockdown during the Covid-19 crisis.READ FULL STORY
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Consultation will ask how Viking funds should be spent
The Shetland Community Benefit Fund (SCBF) has signed up to a consultation which will ask folk how its money should be spent.
The fund will distribute around £2.2 million every year once the Viking Energy windfarm is up and running.
IBP Strategy and Research, based in Lanarkshire, has been appointed contractors for a consultation which will take two years to design and complete.
When completed, it will ask folk what they would like to see the funds go towards.
Local focus groups, online and telephone surveys will be used by IBP to gauge what the public believes the fund’s priorities should be.
SCBF chairman Chris Bunyan said the signing of the contract with IBP was a major step forward.
“Everyone in the community, whether an individual, business, social enterprise, charity, statutory body or voluntary group will be able to play their part in helping to decide how the community benefit money is spent.”
The Viking Energy Wind Farm is expected to be up and running from summer 2024.
Update: NorthLink crew member dies after illness
Ambulance crews and the Lerwick Coastguard team met this morning’s NorthLink ferry arrival from Aberdeen after a crew member fell ill.
The coastguard was called for medical assistance at around 5am this morning when the ferry was sailing past Sumburgh.
Sumburgh-based Rescue 900 helicopter and Lerwick coastguard team were alerted but the decision was made to wait until the vessel had docked to assist with the person.
The person was transported to Gilbert Bain Hospital by a Scottish Ambulance crew at around 7am.
NorthLink have confirmed the crew member died and next of kin have been informed.
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That’s a wrap for drama Shetland
Filming for the seventh series of the BBC crime drama, Shetland, wrapped up over the weekend.
Star of the show, Douglas Henshall who plays DI Jimmy Perez, announced the finale of filming via a tweet.
Spotted throughout the isle over the past year, filming scenes for the seventh series took the crew all over Shetland from Quendale to Nesting, Lerwick library and the sheriff court.
Responding to the tweet American Scottie Rich said: “I am so thrilled Shetland is back for a seventh season! If I didn’t have Shetland and Unforgotten, to name a few, I would lose my mind.
Coastguard marks milestone 200th birthday
From its beginnings with coastal lookouts to today’s hi-tech national network of co-ordination centres, from small localised beginnings to international players – one thing has stayed the same for two centuries, HM Coastguard seeks to search, to rescue and to save.
Two hundred years of saving lives along the UK coast and at sea, as well as co-ordinating rescues for those in distress in international waters, is being marked this year as HM Coastguard celebrates its milestone anniversary.
It was on 15th January, 1822, that HM Coastguard was formally brought into existence and has been working to keep people safe at the coast and sea ever since.
In honour of that actual birthday, coastguards across all four home nations cast throwlines as a symbol of the service’s dedication – past and present.
Throwlines, which form part of the lifesaving kit used by coastguard teams, were cast into the seas on Saturday at 11am.
In 2022, coastguard operations centres co-ordinate responses to emergency situations at the coast calling on 310 rescue teams – made up of 3,500 dedicated volunteers – and using 10 search and rescue helicopter bases, including Sumburgh.
Last month HM Coastguard began to implement its new updated search and rescue radio network which uses fibre technology.
More than £175million has been invested to upgrade the Coastguard’s national radio network across all 165 sites over the next two years.
This will improve and future proof its communication infrastructure and ensure that it remains able to communicate and exchange data quickly and reliably in order to co-ordinate rescues and save lives.
Divisional Commander for Scotland, Susan Todd, said: “As an emergency service HM Coastguard is always busy and it’s rare that we get the chance to reflect on how far we have come. 200 years of saving lives at sea and at the coast is truly something to be proud of. The symbolic casting of throwlines across the UK is a reflection of our unwavering commitment to keeping people safe at sea.”
Maritime minister Robert Courts said: “HM Coastguard is the backbone of our maritime sector and the nation is indebted to its incredible workforce which continues to deliver an exceptional service.”
South Mainland Up-Helly-A’ called off again
The 2022 South Mainland Up-Helly-A’ (Smuha) festival has been called off.
It is the third year in a row that the event has had to be postponed due to Covid.
In a statement, the festival’s committee said it was with “regret” that they had decided to cancel the event.
“The well-being and enjoyment of the festival for all those participating, supporting and attending the event is our top priority and this cannot be guaranteed with the ongoing concerns and uncertainty regarding coronavirus restrictions,” it added.
The festival, which traditionally takes place on the second Friday in March, is the last of the major fire festivals to be cancelled this year.
Normal ferry service to resume after crew’s Covid isolation
The Bressay ferry service will return to a normal timetable from tomorrow (Saturday).
The ferry had been operating on a restricted schedule since last Friday due to Covid isolations among the crew.
From tomorrow, the normal winter timetable resumes.
Visit the SIC’s website to view the timetable.
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Scalloway bill pokes fun at cancelled festival and village highlights
There might not be a Scalloway Fire Festival again this year, but the traditional bill has still made its appearance at the galley shed.
The bill as always makes light of events and stories that have happened in and around Scalloway over the last year, as well as mentioning the ongoing wait for the festival’s return.
WATCH: Merry Christmas!
We wish all our readers, advertisers and contributors a very Merry Christmas.
Here is a selection of photos from The Shetland Times.
Taste of Shetland shares how to make festive favourite reestit mutton
Craving reestit mutton and tattie soup this winter?
If you’ve ever wondered how the festive favourite is made, Taste of Shetland has shared an insight into the process in a new online video.
Viewers are shown the curing and salting of the lamb before it is hung up to dry.
A recipe for tattie soup, with the reestit mutton added at the end, is also showcased.
The full video can be watched below:
Santa flies over Quarff
Santa Claus waves from Coastguard Rescue 900 as he heads over Quarff earlier this morning (Friday).
Thanks to Neil Henderson for sending in this picture.
Santa’s flight is cut short as the coastguard responds to emergency
All eyes were on the sky today (Christmas Eve) as Santa Claus took off to visit folk before Christmas Day.
Coastguard Rescue 900 shared the first picture of Santa setting off this morning, and said a special guest had arrived at Sumburgh for a “reindeer refuel”.
They told folk to get their “eyes to the skies” for Santa’s flyover.
A waving Santa was spotted in the skies above South Mainland and Lerwick but the morning’s flight was cut short following an emergency callout.
In a Facebook post, Coastguard Rescue 900 said: “Afternoon – not the usual post from us, but lots of folk are asking about Santa.
“Rescue 900, is currently on an emergency rescue mission, so this mornings Santa flight was cut short and this will also impact any thoughts of an afternoon flight.”
Participants step out on a festive parkrun
A total of 34 participants took part in the festive Bressay parkrun on Saturday.
Most people turned out in Chistmasy attire with outfits ranging from full Santa suits to an old Christmas jumper.
The fastest finisher on the 5K course was Euan Duernberger in a time of 19 minutes 24 seconds.
Hot on his heels was Charlotte Black (19:41) who ran alongside her dog Thor.
A collection was made in aid of Shetland Foodbank.
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