Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News - Monday 1st June 2020


The UK Government Testing Scheme, is now available in the Western Isles.
Eligible Western Isles residents, can currently access the national system online, through NHSInform, and by a system of postal self tests.

To ensure full access to the scheme, NHS Western Isles, will be launching an enhancement next week, whereby those with COVID-19 symptoms, can go online or telephone, to book a test locally.

These tests will be carried out by healthcare staff in the Western Isles and will be processed on the mainland. Results will be returned to NHS Western Isles, who will contact patients individually, once results are received.

Different arrangements are required for the Western Isles, due to regional drive through and mobile testing units, not being available to residents.



Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, will reopen the Creed Park Household Waste Recycling Centre, for essential use only, from Monday 1 June 2020. The Rueval Household Waste Recycling Centre will operate from Tuesday 2 June 2020.

Government travel restrictions still apply. A trip to a Household Waste Recycling Centre is permitted only, when it is absolutely essential to dispose of items, which cannot safely be stored at home. A trip to the recycling centre should only happen, once a week.

There will be significant changes to the way the Recycling Centres operates. This is primarily for the safety of the public and staff. Only private cars will be allowed access to the sites, for the first fortnight and then, only one car at a time.

As the sites have been closed for a significant period, demand is likely to be very high initially and traffic management measures will be in place. If customers can wait until later in the week, it is likely they will be able to access the recycling centre with less delay.

Vans, pick-ups and trailers will not be permitted to access the site until Tuesday 16th June, and there will be an on-line pre booking system for such vehicles. Details will be announced shortly.



Following Scottish Government guidance, the construction of major infrastructure projects in the Western Isles are preparing to restart.

There will be a phased and incremental approach, to the re-start process. Commencing with the preparation of construction sites, to put in place, risk mitigation measures, including physical distancing, enhanced hygiene by installing new, or expanded site welfare and toilet facilities, one-way systems and marking 2m distancing, throughout the site.

A Comhairle spokesman confirmed, "The Comhairle, in collaboration with partner organisations including Hebridean Housing Partnership, will continue to adhere to Scottish Government guidance, in all matters associated with the move from the lockdown".

"Projects including the new care home and social housing at Goathill, Stornoway. The improvements to Lochmaddy Pier, North Uist. And the extended Early Years provision at Stornoway Primary, all major investment projects for the Western Isles.

The construction activity arising from these projects, makes a significant contribution to the economy of the islands and we are glad that this will be able to restart in an incremental and safe manner".



Lewis Crofters shop will re-open today Monday, with restricted hours, implementing social distancing and other processes.

The Lewis Crofters shop will initially be open from 9:30 to 12:30, Monday to Friday.

Customers accessing the shop will be asked to park, at the front of the shop on Island Road, before entering the shop. To access the shop, entry will be by the porch on Island Road. Exit is into the yard, to follow a pathway out onto Rigs Road. This one-way system will allow customers to exit safely. There may have to be restrictions on the volume of customers in the shop at one time.

New guidelines in the store, will include hand sanitising, a one-way system around the shop. Customers are recommended to shop, as promptly as possible, to prevent holding others up and facemasks are advisable.

The telephone order line will be open from 12:30 to 3:30 with the yard closing at 4pm.
Guidance for collection of goods will be given at time of ordering.