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Coronavirus / Isles MSP and MP welcome reminder that travel to islands remains for essential purposes only

SHETLAND’s political representatives have welcomed a reminder from first minister Nicola Sturgeon that Scotland’s islands remain off limits for visitors.

Sturgeon said on Thursday while announcing the first steps to easing lockdown that “it is still the case that you should not go to our island communities, except for essential reasons”.

Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart said not travelling to island communities except for essential reasons is the “right message”.

“Compliance with lockdown measures, thanks to the sacrifices of islanders, has made a real difference to controlling the spread of the virus,” she added.

“We need to make sure that new cases are not brought into Shetland by sticking to the current guidance and that remaining cases are caught through the successful rollout of the Test and Trace strategy.

“We will then be in a strong position to welcome visitors to the Isles again when the time is right.”

Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael added: “As we move towards relaxing some of the lockdown restrictions in Scotland, we must ensure that common sense is used to ensure we do not reintroduce COVID-19 into island communities.

“Local people and businesses will be happy to welcome people back to the isles in the future, but for the time being we must protect the vulnerable and only make essential travel.

“Now is the time for the Scottish and UK governments to commit to a long-term support plan for areas reliant on tourism, so that we can lock down safely, and recover quickly.”

Full guidance on how social distancing restrictions have changed from today (Friday) can be found here.