Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News - Thursday 28th May 2020


Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP, Alasdair Allan raised the issue of travel restrictions to and from the Western Isles, in the Scottish Parliament this week.

The islands MSP, attending remotely from his home in Lewis, asked how the travel restrictions to the Western Isles, fit in with the publication of the Scottish Government’s route map, for moving out of lockdown.

Alasdair Allan MSP commented:

“The travel restrictions on Western Isles ferries continues to play, an important part in containing the spread of the virus in the islands.
“As we chart a route out of lockdown, it is important that any changes to the restrictions are handled with extreme care and done with the broad consent of communities.

“I was pleased to receive an assurance that, before any changes are made, there will be engagement with the island authorities, to look at these issues and to ensure that any changes are introduced appropriately. The need for physical distancing on ferries, will reduce capacity, this will have a serious impact on who is able to travel and means that access to the islands, will have to be carefully managed for some time.”



Scottish Learning Disability Week, was marked by Advocacy Western Isles' Speak Out Group, while supported by NHS Western Isles Speech and Language Therapist, Sarah Gerrard.

The theme was 'My Environment, My Place, My Planet. The Speak Out group marked the event by sharing pictures and stories at their online meeting.

The Speak Out Group are a self-advocacy group, for adults with learning disabilities, which was established by Advocacy Western Isles over 10 years ago.

The group continues to consult with NHS Western Isles about service changes, patient/carer leaflets and regularly highlight the importance of good communication, to people with a learning disability.




NHS Western Isles’s Health Visiting team, is continuing community work, across the islands, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The team continues to support families, and play a crucial role, in providing support and advice to children and families.

Home visits have had to be reduced, but Health Visitors remain in the community, doing face to face consultations as needed. Increased telephone consultations and video calls provide high quality care and support.

Health Visitors continue to support new mothers, with practical advice and support for topics relating to nutrition, safety and mental health.



Outer Hebrides Alcohol & Drug Partnership, have issued a reminder of the health risks, from increased drinking during lockdown. Current evidence shows that Scotland's drinking habits, have changed during lockdown, with some Scots reducing their intake or have completely stopped drinking alcohol.

However, evidence also shows over 1 million adults are drinking more at home with off licences and on line sales up by 30%.

The Outer Hebrides Partnership reminds islanders “ To reduce the health risks from drinking alcohol, you should not drink more than 14 units per week and should be spread evenly over 3 or more days.

The Scottish Government website, has more guidelines.



The COVID-19 crisis, has had an impact on all aspects of island life, including crofting activities. Under the current restrictions, crofters are advised to minimise moving and gathering animals, unless it is essential, or it is for welfare related activities, like shearing.

Crofters should adopt good hygiene practices and if people from more than one household are involved in activities then they should plan their activities to ensure that they can practice social distancing.Personal protective equipment (PPE) should be considered in line with any national guidance.



Comhairle nan Eilean Siar communications department, have several social media events for the remainder of this week. Tonight Thursday there will be a Live Facebook Quiz at 7.30pm.

The Covid Ceilidh on Friday, will be hosted by Calum Martin this will begin at 9pm.

And Saturdays Covid Ceilidh from 9pm will be hosted by Norrie Tago MacIver.