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Coronavirus / People reminded to comply with Covid rules as winter approaches

PUBLIC agencies in Shetland are stepping up their efforts to educate and encourage local people to continue following the Covid-19 rules in place to reduce the risk of transmission, including compliance of wearing face masks where required.

With rates across the country starting to rise again and the UK having some of the highest Covid incidence rates in Europe, Shetland has done well so far in managing the pandemic and keeping infection rates relatively low.

Eighteen new cases were recorded in the isles during the last seven days, including three in today’s (Friday) data published by the Scottish Government.

By law, everyone aged 12 and over must wear a face mask in most indoor public places in Scotland including shops, bars, restaurants, public transport and at work. There are some exceptions to this rule.

A spokesperson for Shetland Islands Council said that like any other employer the council has the responsibility of taking reasonable steps to minimise the risk of transmission of Covid-19 and to promote compliance with the law by asking people to wear masks.

“We do that by displaying posters that indicate to visitors, staff and service users they are entering a space where face coverings are required by law,” the spokesperson said.

“We keep a supply of face coverings to give to anyone who has forgotten or damaged theirs; and politely ask visitors and clients to wear face coverings in our premises.”

Meanwhile NHS Shetland is about to start distributing a new leaflet that focuses on the key Covid messages, including compliance.

A health board spokesperson said the information campaign would also focus on the theme of “getting ready for winter” including the Covid precautions, preventing the spread of flu and noroviruses, as well as being careful with Christmas parties and shopping trips.

“The public health team is planning to tie in messages for staff at the same time, including use of lateral flow tests, but we do periodically remind staff about this in our weekly staff bulletins, at team meetings etc,” they said.

“It is felt NHS staff are good with the infection control precautions in health settings.”