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Coronavirus / Isles move to level zero – but folk encouraged to remain cautious

SHETLAND has today (Saturday) moved into level zero of Scotland’s coronavirus levels system.

It means that up to eight people from four households can meet in a home.

Hospitality venues will be able to open to their normal hours – but general restrictions such as distancing and face coverings still apply.

Up to 10 people from four households can meet in an indoor public place, and up to 15 people from 15 households can socialise outdoors.

While Shetland is now in level ‘zero’, general guidance around social distancing and face coverings still applies. Full details of what is allowed in the tier can be found here.

However, it comes as NHS Shetland deals with a cluster of cases connected to Whalsay.

Mass testing took place on the island on Friday.

Three confirmed cases have been recorded in recent days but more are expected.

NHS Shetland chief executive Michael Dickson encouraged people to remain “cautious” as Shetland goes to level zero.

Health officials have also reminded locals that although Shetland is now in level zero, the FACTS guidance has not changed.

“Wearing a mask where required and distancing is effective, along with washing your hands with soap and water. When you go out and come home, wash your hands immediately and don’t touch your face,” interim public health director Dr Susan Laidlaw said.

“And, if you are visiting a shop or restaurant and it is crowded, avoid it and go back at a quieter time.

“Whilst we are allowed meet with small groups of family and friends at home, that does not mean that you should be meeting with lots of different households and different people without any precautions: that is a sure fire way of spreading the virus around if any one individual is infected and infectious.

“And at the current time there may well be other people who are infectious who don’t know it.”

The current cluster is linked to travel and other cases on mainland Scotland, but the local spread stems from a social gathering held in Whalsay.