The danger of tourists bringing coronavirus into the isles is “fairly minimal”, SIC convener Malcolm Bell told members of the Lerwick Community Council on Monday.
He was talking as the LCC discussed a consultation from VisitScotland, which asked members how comfortable they would be with tourists coming into the isles again.
Mr Bell said Shetland was “going to have to start opening up” at some point.
“We opened up last year and we didn’t see it cause any great deal of difficulty, and that was without a vaccine.”
The council convener said that, to the best of his knowledge, there had been very few cases of coronavirus linked to tourists in Shetland.
“It tends to be people moving out then coming back in,” he added.
Mr Bell said he thought Shetland should be “ready to welcome tourists as soon as we feel safe to do so”.