Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News - Monday 10th August 2020


In accordance with the requirements for maintaining and inspecting its bridge assets, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar proposes to undertake precautionary inspection works to Bernera Bridge between the hours of 9.30pm and 5.30am over 5 consecutive nights from today, Monday 10th August till Friday 14th August 2020.
The Bridge will be closed to traffic between these hours with allowance made only for emergency vehicles passing through.
Any persons requiring access across the bridge during the closure period can be escorted through the site on foot by traffic management operatives provided they make themselves known beforehand.
Any person who requires further information on this matter should contact: Bridges Engineer, Angus M Gillies at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar,
Tel 01851 822 726 or Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The need for Covid-19 testing to be extended to returning offshore workers grows says Isles MP Angus MacNeil given the recent outbreak in Aberdeen City which is a key travel point for workers returning home to the islands.
Currently workers are routinely tested on their way out to work but not before their return.
Last month Mr MacNeil asked Secretary of State, Matt Hancock, what the UK Government could do to close the gap of testing workers, given that 80 per cent of Covid-19 cases are asymptomatic. He received a positive response that the UK Government would be willing to work with counterparts in the Scottish Government to test the hypothesis of Covid-19 positives coming off rigs.
Mr MacNeil has written again to Scottish Minister for Health Jeanne Freeman MSP for further clarity on how the Scottish Government will take this further forward asking for specific detail on how this could be done without workers having to travel to testing centres before travelling home.
His suggestion is that test kits are used on rigs prior to workers departing.
He said:
“Going to the North Sea, the best practice seems to be testing before people go on rigs but of course any tests can have people incubating and therefore testing negative for Covid-19.
“Surely the tests that are done going on the rigs should be followed up with tests going off the rig. If tests going off the rig are not needed, why are tests going on the rigs needed? Surely the commercial interest of the rigs isn’t paramount over community health and safety of the various communities the workers go back to?


Last month saw the first relaxation of lockdown rules for High Street Dentists, with Castleview Dental Practice in Stornoway opening its doors again.
At the moment, the Practice is able to provide emergency appointments, but has been limited in the choices it can offer.
Some dental procedures produce an invisible ‘mist’ in the air, typically when using the drill or suction. If this mist of tiny droplets contains Coronavirus, there is a risk of passing the infection to other patients or to staff. Currently the Practice cannot offer these procedures, but is putting in place measures to make them available safely.
The practice owner, Mr Kalvakuntla, said:
‘At Castleview, our aim is to use the highest levels of PPE and decontamination available to us. We are working closely with the Health Board to be sure that come 17 August, we will be able to offer the same treatments, in just as much safety, as the local Health Board clinics.’
Patients of the Practice requiring help or advice should call 01851 704400 for assistance. Please do not attend without an appointment, as social distancing measures mean there is limited waiting room at the practice.



Eden Court and An Lanntair are amongst twenty venues to have received support from the first strand of the Scottish Government’s £12.5m Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund, through Creative Scotland.
Designed to support performing arts venues that cannot yet re-open due to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the fund is helping to:
Remove the threat of insolvency prior to the end of March 2021 to enable the development and delivery of activity as soon as practicable
allow for specialist / core staff to return from furlough or avoid redundancy to work on future sustainable activity plans
Increase commissioning and employment opportunities for freelance artists and creative practitioners (between now and end of March 2021) to support continued public engagement while closed.
Recipients of the second strand of the Performing Arts Venues Fund, an open fund of £5m will be announced in due course.