Covid-19 Advice and Information

Scotland, as of 9 August 2021, moved beyond the protection levels as part of Scotland's route-map out of Covid-19 restrictions. The legal requirement for physical distancing and limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings has been removed.

Some Covid-19 protective measures remain in place in Scotland:

😷 Wear face coverings must continue to be worn indoors in public places and on public transport.

😷 Pupils and teachers must continue wearing masks indoors for up to six weeks after schools return.

1️⃣ School staff must keep at least 1m distance from each other and from children and young people while on the school estate.

2️⃣ 2m distancing should still be observed in healthcare settings.

👩🏻‍💻 Office workers should still work from home, where possible.

📲 Details still need to be given at hospitality venues for test and protect.

For the latest guidance from the Scottish Government, please visit here.



How to contact Liam McArthur MSP and Alistair Carmichael MP

This is an anxious and uncertain time, but we are here to help if you have questions or concerns. 

You can email us at:
[email protected]
[email protected]

Or phone the Kirkwall Parliamentary Office on 01856 876541.

Following any important Covid-19 announcements from the Scottish Government, Liam has sent out a newsletter summary with the latest information and advice.  If you would like to sign up to Liam's mailing list, please email [email protected].



Anyone aged 16 or over in Scotland can now get their COVID-19 vaccination. Remember to get both vaccinations for the best protection against COVID-19.

Advice and information about the COVID-19 vaccine can be found here.

Patients requiring their first vaccination will be welcome to drop in without an appointment. Booking an appointment in Orkney can still be made by contacting the Vaccination Centre at 0300 303 5313. Regular updates of NHS Orkney's evening drop-in sessions can be found here.

A proof of vaccination status letter can be downloaded from the NHS Inform patient portal here. For those not online it can be requested in the post via the Freephone Covid Status Helpline at 0808 196 8565.

For those who are unable to attend their assigned vaccination appointment, they can reschedule online here.



If you have any of the following symptoms, self-isolate and book a test here.

  • high temperature or fever

  • new continuous cough

  • loss of, or change in sense of smell or taste

Results are sent by text and should be with you within 48 hours. Results are issued to whoever booked the test.  

If you test positive, you and your household need to self-isolate 10 days from when symptoms first onset. 

If you test negative, you can stop self-isolating as long as you feel well and have not had a high temperature for 48 hours (without taking any medicines to treat a high temperature). Your household can stop isolating too.  

If you need to self-isolate your employer should help you, and you may be able to get statutory sick pay.

If you are on a low income and are asked to self-isolate by Test & Protect you may be able to get a Self-Isolation Support Grant of £500. Even if you have no access to public funds you may still be accepted. For more information call the National Helpline on 0800 111 4000.

You are encouraged to take a lateral flow test twice a week. These free kits can be ordered and delivered through the post by calling 119 or ordering online here. Lateral flow testing kits are also available at a local pharmacy.

Remember to record your results, positive or negative. You can record your lateral flow test results here.



If you don't have anyone that can help you get food or medicine when self- isolating, call the National Assistance Helpline on 0800 111 4000 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm).

If you’re worried about your mental health, visit

If you’re worried about your child’s mental health, visit

If you’re being affected by domestic abuse, call 0800 027 123 or visit

You can also contact your local community group, who will be able to help you or suggest others who can help.



A traffic-lighted system of quarantine rules remains in place for those entering Scotland and the UK from abroad.

Green: You must take a Covid-19 test before departure and have proof of a negative result, book a PCR test for day two after your return and complete a passenger locator form.

Amber: As above. Adults who have been fully vaccinated in the UK, EU and US do not have to self-isolate upon return from an amber-list country. Those who are not fully vaccinated must self-isolate for 10 days and take a PCR test on day eight.

From 2 August, you no longer have to self-isolate if you are travelling to Scotland from amber list countries in EU member states, European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries, microstates of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City, and the USA and have been fully vaccinated in the UK.

Red: You must take a Covid-19 test before departure and have proof of a negative result and complete a passenger locator form. You must also isolate for 10 days but this must be in a government-approved quarantine hotel, which you must book and pay for in advance. You also have to take a PCR test on day two and day eight after your return.

If you have been to a red list country within 10 days, you can only return to Scotland if you are a British or Irish national, have the right to remain in the UK or if you're travelling to the UK because you have a certain type of job or need essential medical treatment.

The latest list of Green, Amber and Red countries and how to order necessary COVID-19 tests for travel can be found here



A helpful search tool for what business support may be available to your business can be found here.

Business Gateway Orkney is available to support businesses based in the Orkney and more information can be found here.

You can get £94.25 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you’re too ill to work. It’s paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks. If you are staying at home because of COVID-19 you can now claim SSP. This includes individuals who are caring for people in the same household and therefore have been advised to do a household quarantine. To check your sick pay entitlement, you should talk to your employer, and visit the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) page for more information.

If you have COVID-19 or are advised to stay at home, you can get an ‘isolation note’ by visiting NHS online. Isolation notes will also be accepted by Jobcentre Plus as evidence of your inability to attend.

If you have recently become unemployed, you can find information on how to claim support here:

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by coronavirus. The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

HMRC has now contacted customers believed to be eligible for SEISS, based on their existing information. If you have not been contacted by HMRC and believe you may be eligible for SEISS, you can check here if you can make a claim.

You can also apply for Universal Credit.

If you need advice on your personal finances you can contact:

Orkney Citizen’s Advice Bureau: on 01856 875266 or email [email protected] and a local adviser will get back to you as soon as possible.

The Money Advice Service: or 0800 138 7777.


Last updated: 11 August 2021

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