WE MUST PREPARE FOR “NEW NORMAL” AS PLAN TO EASE LOCKDOWN PUBLISHED
Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has said that the public must prepare for restrictions on normal life to continue for some time.
The comments come as the Scottish Government published a new document outlining how decisions will be taken to control coronavirus (COVID-19) while restoring a degree of normality to everyday life. The paper - COVID-19: A Framework for Decision-Making - sets out the position during this ongoing period of lockdown and outlines the factors that must be considered as we move gradually to ease restrictions.
It also recognises that new ways of living – effectively a “new normal” – may have to be in place for some time to come.
Travel to and from the Western Isles is currently restricted to islanders and essential workers only, with CalMac now taking less than 1% of the passengers they were taking at this time last year. The islands MSP has written to the Scottish Government to ask that decisions on lifting travel restrictions to and from the islands should potentially be taken separately to when lockdown ends nationally, to make sure that any changes come at a time that is informed by local factors.
Read more: Isles FM News: Monday 27th April 2020
PROFESSOR BACKS MACNEILS ISLES TEST PLAN
Angus MacNeil MP, campaigning for Covid-19 testing, in the islands, has welcomed comments by Professor Devi Sridhar, Chair of Global Public Health, at the University of Edinburgh. Professor Sridhar is backing the idea for a Western Isles, test and trace, pilot plan.
Professor Sridhar, believes It’s is important to increase testing, to move from a situation of quarantining everyone, to quarantining those who are carrying Covid-19, or those who have been exposed to the virus.
The Professor believes testing is essential for large numbers of health workers and front-line essential workers, to identify asymptomatic carriers of the virus.
Commenting Angus MacNeil MP said “We know if we leave lockdown and don’t know where the virus is, it will get the chance to spread causing further lockdown. Testing islanders will enable leaving lockdown, in an informed way, with minimum economic damage. Our first responsibility is to health, but this will help safeguard the island economy at the same time.
Let’s not relax our vigilance urges MSP
Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron, has called on people in the Western Isles, not to relax their vigilance and to maintain social distancing during this weekend.
The MP expressed concerned about members of the public, gathering at some locations and the virus being spread as a result.
Mr Cameron commented “Police Scotland cannot police all locations and they rely on us all playing our part, by strictly observing the social distancing guidelines. We must remember that vulnerable members of our community are relying on us to maintain strict discipline. Their welfare is priority number one.
Read more: Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News: Friday 24th April