Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News - Wednesday 26th August 2020


Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar care homes have re-introduced indoor visiting. The Director of Public Health has confirmed that the Western Isles has had very low levels of COVID-19 infection throughout the pandemic. That there have been no COVID cases in care home residents or staff, and no evidence of circulating virus as of 23rd August.

As per Scottish Government guidelines, the care homes have meet certain requirements, prior to indoor visits commencing. They include risk assessments, the preparation of a physical space to allow indoor visiting and to ensure there is adequate PPE to support safe visiting;

Duty rotas must be sufficient to ensure that adequate staff are in place to manage indoor and outdoor visiting simultaneously, as well as all the required cleaning regimes.

A Comhairle spokesperson said: “Through the continued hard work of care home staff, in preparation for indoor visiting and through the evident partnership working between Health and Social Care managers, care homes are well placed to manage this next stage of the recovery plan.

Understandably, there are strict conditions attached to any visits taking place, and all nominated visitors will be provided with written guidance prior to visits.


An Lanntair’s new outdoor catering Pod is opening today. An Lanntair in partnership with Elior UK will offer sandwiches, salad boxes and drinks in the outdoor space

Elior Uk the new catering provider has a strong local focus, working across the islands from their local hub in Benbecula. The company will be providing a service from the new pod before moving to take over the Café Bar on the second floor of the arts centre in October, as An Lanntair’s phased reopening progresses.



Since the First Minister’s announcement regarding some indoor sports activities recommencing. Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Sport and Health staff have been planning the safe reopening of facilities

During lockdown, swimming pools across the Outer Hebrides have been looked after by staff on site, to ensure that once the appropriate stage of the Scottish Government roadmap was reached, that facilities could be returned to public use as as quickly as possible.

It is vitally important that Lifeguard’s undertake re-induction training which includes pool based competency assessments. This can only be undertaken when the pools are up to temperature and appropriate microbiological results are in place. These processes rely on external contractors to provide this specialist service.

Pools at Lionel and Shawbost will not be available until Phase 4 of the Scottish Government roadmap because of operational reasons relating to their position within school sites.

Each of CNES facilities will be operating on limited capacity in line with Scottish Government and national guidance. Sports centre customers will be updated as soon as more information on specific opening dates and booking arrangements are available.



Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has announced the winners of the World Photo Day photography competition. The competition proved to be very popular with a high number of entries showcasing all that makes the Western Isles so special.

Photo entries captured the people, wildlife and beautiful scenery of the islands and all entries can now be viewed on the Comhairle Facebook and Instagram pages.
All winners will be contacted, and arrangements will be made to display their photographs with in Comhairle buildings.

Winners are :
Derek Mackinnon with Dail Mòr star trails and Aurora
Jane Taylor with Great Granny with great grandson
Bernhard Anderson with Noctilucent Cloud
Gordon Macdonald with Cirrus Trails at Sunset
John Dyer with St Kilda..once seen..never forgotten
Gary Ford with Culla Bay, Benbecula
Gordon Ross with Harris Sunset
Scott Davidson with Callanish & the Cosmos
Roddy Maclean with the Braighe, Storm Brendan
Banarby Ashton with Shaint’s Puffins



Theatre gu Leor has announced a development and commissioning opportunity for writers interested in writing drama for radio. The project aims to amplify seldom heard voices Gaelic voices and those of disabled people. Writers at any stage in their career have the opportunity to participate in this development programme with BBc radio nan gaidheal and Birds of paradaise Theatre. Applications need to be submitted this week to Theatre Gu Leor.