Decision to be taken on UHA public holiday

Councillors will discuss the outcome of the traditional Up-Helly-A’ public holiday later this year, following the event’s postponement.

The public holiday is traditionally given to all council employees on the day after the festival.

But with the 2021 event postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic this week, talk has now turned to whether council employees will still be given the last Wednesday in January as a public holiday.

A council spokesperson said that public holidays are fixed through a council decision, so the matter will have to be brought before the SIC’s policy and resources committee at a later stage.

The public holiday also sees schools shut in the aftermath of the festival, with Lerwick primary schools Bell’s Brae and Sound acting as halls for guizers the night before.

The Up-Helly-A’ committee took the “extremely hard” decision to push the 2021 festival back this week, marking the first time in almost five decades that the January event has been postponed.

There is no date set for the next meeting of the policy and resources committee yet.


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