Vulnerable folk who have been shielding in Shetland during the Covid-19 crisis can now go outside for exercise, leisure and limited socialising.
The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement about shielding in yesterday’s lunchtime briefing has been welcomed by NHS Shetland chief executive Michael Dickson.
He said the last three months had been difficult for everyone – but particularly those who have been shielding.
“Shielding remains in place until 31st July because the risk of infection still exists.
“This will continue to be reviewed by the Scottish government.
“The good news is that our interim Chief Medical Officer, Gregor Smith, has said that the prevalence of Covid-19 in Scotland is decreasing.
“It is for this reason that some of the shielding restrictions are being eased.”
Mr Dickson said in Shetland this decrease is because of the continued efforts of the population to reduce the spread of the virus but it was imperative that the community remembered that there is still no vaccine and no cure for Covid-19.
“We cannot lose sight of the risks the virus presents,” he added.
“For this reason we all have to keep washing our hands with soap and water, stick to social distancing (2m apart), maintain cough/sneeze hygiene and stay away from big groups.”
Ms Sturgeon said anyone who is shielding, other than those living in care hones, can go outside for exercise with immediate effect.
“From tomorrow, our advice will be that shielding people can also take part in non-contact outdoor activities – such as golf,” she added.
“In addition, the advice from tomorrow will be that people who are shielding can meet outdoors with people from one other household – but in groups of no more than eight.
“However, if you are shielding, you should continue to be extremely cautious.”