Do not go to island communities unless essential, says First Minister

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has emphasised that people should still only travel to islands for “essential reasons” as Scotland moves into phase one of lockdown.

The message on travel to Shetland and other islands remains the same despite lockdown rules being eased across the country.

Ms Sturgeon announced an easing of restrictions at a Scottish government coronavirus briefing on Thursday afternoon, which changes set to come in on Friday.

“It is still the case that you should not go to our island communities except for essential reasons,” she said.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at Thursday’s Scottish government briefing.

This statement regarding islands followed the announcement that Scots could travel a short distance for outdoor leisure and exercise.

However, that should be within your local area, Ms Sturgeon said.

No fixed distance has been set in law but Ms Sturgeon advised people not travel further than five miles for recreation.

People can also meet with another household outside with social distancing from Friday but should not meet with more than one household at a time and keep it to less than eight people. 

Ms Sturgeon gave a park or private garden as an example of somewhere that different households could meet.

“While this will not be the law, we also strongly recommend you don’t meet with more than one other household per day,” she added.

Outdoor leisure activities where physical distancing measures can be adhered to will also be allowed, including outdoor swimming, golf, hiking, canoeing and angling.

Most outdoor work put on hold can also resume from Friday, said Ms Sturgeon.

Remote working remains the default position for those who can, according to the government’s framework.

Ms Sturgeon encouraged people to “stay at home as much as possible” despite the easing of lockdown.


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