Smuha and Delting festivals should be postponed, NHS Shetland says

NHS Shetland has said that the two remaining Shetland fire festivals should be postponed because of coronavirus fears.

In a statement released on Wednesday evening, shortly after the World Health Organization (WHO) upgraded the illness to a pandemic, NHS Shetland said the gatherings “pose unnecessary risk” to the public.

NHS Shetland has said that there is “no requirement” from the Scottish government for the festivals to be cancelled, but that the events may “dilute the actions that are required to halt the virus progression, e.g. hand hygiene and prolonged close contact”.

“In light of the community’s concerns and the rapidly changing picture our view is now that the forthcoming Up-Helly-A’s in the South Mainland and Delting should be postponed,” NHS Shetland has said.

The South Mainland Up-Helly-A’ is set to be held on Friday 13th March, while Delting Up-Helly-A’ is scheduled for the following week on Friday 20th March.

No new cases of coronavirus were announced in Shetland today (Wednesday 11th March).


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