Coronavirus / Restrictions on hospital visiting re-imposed

Gilbert Bain Hospital. Photo: Shetland News

ACCESS to the Gilbert Bain Hospital will be restricted to “essential visits only” in line with the latest Covid-19 restriction which come into force on Saturday (Boxing Day).

Strict new measures to combat the new and highly contagious strain of the Covid-19 virus mean that from Saturday Shetland along with the rest of the Scottish islands will be in tier three of restrictions while mainland Scotland will be put into level four.


The new rules mean that only one designated visitor for each patient admitted to hospital will be allowed by prior arrangement.

The following visits are deemed essential:

  • A birth partner during childbirth;
  • A person receiving end of life care;
  • To support someone with a mental health issue, dementia, a learning disability or autism where having a carer not present would cause the patient to be distressed;
  • To accompany a child to hospital for an appointment or admission.

Director of nursing and acute services Kathleen Carolan said: “Unless it is essential that you visit a relative in hospital we would ask that you do not visit the ward and instead phone or video chat.

“One designated visitor will be allowed for each patient and this must be agreed with the nurse/midwife in charge of the ward before arriving at hospital for the visit.


“You will not be permitted to visit if you have been out with Shetland in the last 10 days or a member of your household has been out with Shetland in the last 10 days, unless there are exceptional circumstances.”

Carolan added that these measures would be relaxed again once it is safe to do so.

The health board advised that hand washing facilities are available at the reception main entrance and at stations outside all clinical areas. All visitors must wear a face mask provided by the hospital.


NHS added that the following general restrictions apply for all visitors:                   

  • Do not visit anyone in hospital if you have a fever/respiratory/cough or cold symptoms and loss of taste/smell
  • Do not visit if you have had any sickness or diarrhoea within the last 48 hours
  • All visitors must hand sanitise when entering and leaving clinical areas.

Meanwhile the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Shetland remained unchanged at 77 during the last 24 hours.

A summary of the Level three measures can be found below: