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Coronavirus / Coronavirus latest – 27 March 2020

In this regularly updated blog Shetland News will bring you all the latest local updates plus the major national developments on the Covid-19 crisis



Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael says he is in self-isolation at home in Orkney as a precaution after working at Westminster.

He said he has no symptoms but is isolating away from his wife, who is a key worker and asthmatic.

Following confirmation that prime minister Boris Johnson has coronavirus, it was announced that health secretary Matt Hancock also tested positive.

A ‘helicopter hub’ has been set up at the Kinloss Barracks in Moray to provide extra support to the emergency services in the Highlands and Islands.

A Puma helicopter from RAF Benson, seen here readying to fly to Kinloss Barracks in Moray today. MOD Crown Copyright.

From today (27 March) three RAF Puma helicopters will be stationed at the barracks to help out as part of the country’s coronavirus response.

A second helicopter facility will cover the Midlands and Southern England from Aviation Task Force Headquarters at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire.

Defence secretary Ben Wallace said: “The creation of these helicopter hubs is the next step in our Armed Forces’ contribution to tackling the coronavirus outbreak whenever it appears throughout the United Kingdom.

“Our aircraft are ready to support emergency services and local communities wherever needed across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, the armed forces have always got your back.

“In addition, our superb military planners and logisticians are engaging with the governments and health services of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to support their efforts in responding to the virus.”

On Sunday an Airbus RAF plane was sent to Shetland to transfer a coronavirus patient to intensive care in Aberdeen.



These signs are now going up around Shetland’s playparks.

They are one of the many public places shut off as part of measures to slow the spread of coronavirus.

There’s been a fair bit of confusion locally on social media recently whether people can drive somewhere then go for a walk for your daily exercise during the ‘lockdown’.

The Scottish Government, which is providing guidance to Police Scotland, told Shetland News that it encourages people to exercise “locally”.

Read more here.

The Clickimin Leisure Complex has reminded people not to use the athletics track and the pitch inside the track.

“We’ve been receiving reports from members of the public about people using the athletics track and the pitch inside the track,” the complex said on Facebook.

“Can we politely remind everyone that our facilities are closed due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation and government guidance. This includes our outdoor facilities.

“We appreciate your assistance with this and the quicker we all adhere to the guidance the quicker we’ll all be back to normal hopefully.”

Local supermarkets are taking further measures to control the number of people in-store, with a queuing system said to be in place.

Shoppers have come across a ‘one in, one out’ system at Tesco – with a queue of people stretching outside.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that Scotland’s coronavirus death toll has risen to 33.

There are now 1,059 cases of coronavirus in Scotland – an increase of 165 since Thursday.

Chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood, though, has estimated that 65,00 people will have the virus in Scotland.

Shetland’s number of confirmed cases still sits at 24.

Here is the link to our growing list of businesses that are open or delivering.

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Coronavirus – What’s Open

Prime minister Boris Johnson is now among those who have tested positive for coronavirus.

He said he is self-isolating with mild symptoms.

Johnson is one of 11,658 confirmed cases in the UK. The death toll, meanwhile, has risen from 475 to 578.

Businesses and the public in Scotland are now required by law to follow social distancing measures to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The Scottish Government is using powers from the newly passed UK Coronavirus Bill to make it a criminal offence to flout the strict public health guidance.

To enforce social distancing, people in Scotland are being asked to only go outside if they have a ‘reasonable excuse’. These include: shopping for necessary food, household and medical supplies, travelling to and from work where working from home is not an option, and daily exercise that adheres to social distancing guidance.

The full roll-out of personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline police officers across Scotland is expected to get under way next week.

More than 630 officers have already received the kit, including FFP3 masks, gloves, boot covers, coveralls and goggles.

Deputy chief constable Malcolm Graham said: “Our officers are playing a vital role in keeping people safe at this extraordinary time and we want them to have the right protective equipment to enable them to do their jobs with confidence.”

Tesco has now capped online orders at 80 items in an effort to increase the number of customers it can deliver to.

The supermarket has already limited all products to a maximum of three per customer, including in store as well as online.

The Lerwick store’s delivery and click and collect services have been kept busy in recent weeks, with the chain advising people across the UK to shop in-store if they can to keep slots free for folk who need them most.

Clapping was heard last night in various parts of Shetland as people across the country showed their appreciation for NHS and care staff.

The Clap for Carers initiative saw people across the UK step outside their homes at 8pm for a round of applause.

Clapping for our brilliant NHS 👏👏👏 Scalloway 8pm 26 Mar 2020.#nhs #clapforourcarers #Scalloway #shetland #iloveshetland #islandlife #finedayfurt #promotescotland #promoteshetland #scottishislands

Posted by Steven Christie on Thursday, 26 March 2020