Sumburgh visitors urged to follow government guidelines

Potential visitors to Shetland Amenity Trust’s sites at Sumburgh are being urged to check the guidelines before heading to the area.

The new advice issued by the Scottish government yesterday (Thursday) suggests that people should travel no more than five miles.

The trust manages the Sumburgh Head Lighthouse, Visitor Centre and Nature Reserve, all of which normally prove popular with islanders and tourists alike.

The Scottish government announced that it would move into “phase one” of its Covid-19 route map to the gradual easing of lockdown today (Friday 29th May).

This allows people to undertake more outdoor activity and to travel short distances for outdoor leisure and exercise. The guidance suggests that people should travel “within a short distance of your local community (broadly within five miles) and travel by walk, wheel or cycle where possible”.

The amenity trust said under the government guidelines, that would mean only people who live within five miles of Sumburgh Head should be visiting the site.

Head of engagement Sandy Middleton said: “It is wonderful for many of us to be able to get out and about more and we know people are excited to get back to Sumburgh Head and to see the puffins.

“We do urge people to be responsible though, to maintain social distancing, to only visit if you live nearby, and to avoid the site if you arrive and it appears to be busy.

“It is important that people are aware that the toilets and visitor centre itself all remain closed and that there are no staff on site. As such there are no hand-washing facilities available and we ask that people take any
litter home with them.

“If people do visit for a walk around the outdoor areas of the site then they should avoid touching gates and railings where at all possible and clean their hands afterwards.”

Ms Middleton said for those people who were unable to visit the site there are lots of activities and information on the Sumburgh Head website and social media pages.

The trust continued to monitor the government guidance and would reopen sites including Sumburgh Head and Shetland Museum and Archives as and when it was safe and appropriate to do so, she added.


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