Community / Jarl squads advised against going inside care homes as Covid precaution

Photo: Shetland News

VISITS to local care homes by jarl squads has been severely curtailed for the remaining Up Helly Aas this winter in an attempt to limit the risk of Covid infections spreading to the most vulnerable.

Jarl squads have been asked not to visit indoors and to make alternative arrangements with care homes, after a hike in Covid flu infections across the community, particularly in the wake of the Lerwick Up Helly Aa last month.

Director of community health and social care Brian Chittick said: “At this time, we’d ask squads not to visit indoors, or if they do, perhaps just the jarl, or a very small number, and definitely no one who is symptomatic.

“Masks should also be worn indoors and all the relevant precautions such as handwashing, good ventilation and cleaning etc should be followed.”

Fire festivals are taking place in Cullivoe, Norwick and Bressay this weekend and guizer jarls have confirmed that different ways have been found to visit and entertain care home residents.


The new rules will also apply for the South Mainland Up Helly Aa on 10 March and the fire festival in Delting the following weekend.

Cullivoe jarl Steven Brown said rather than visiting the Isleshavn home in Mid Yell on Thursday, he and his squad will now be forming a short procession and marching past the care home and the nearby sheltered homes.

The jarl squad and care home in Mid Yell are also planning to hold an event during the summer to tie in with other events the squad is due to be attending.

At the Norwick event the squad is expected to sing songs in a porch area instead of going in the care home.

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