Responding to the First Minister’s announcement that people living in Orkney will be allowed to meet with one other household up to a maximum of six people inside their own homes from Friday, Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur commented:
“Having raised this issue with the First Minister on two separate occasions last week, I’m pleased that she has now agreed to ease restrictions in this small but important way. It will come as a relief to many in Orkney and the other islands affected that small, indoor gatherings can now take place again.
“As we enter winter, meeting outdoors is simply not a realistic or practical option. Continuing with such a restriction risked isolating many individuals, some of whom may already be extremely vulnerable, and thus impacting on people’s mental health and wellbeing.
“In light of the fact that cases are still relatively low in the islands, this more proportionate approach was both necessary and justified. It also belatedly applies the Scottish Government’s own framework for dealing with Covid in level one areas to Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles.
“That is not to say that the risk from Covid is not still very real. The public must continue to take great care and adhere to the advice. However, I hope this slight easing of restrictions will help make a difference, particularly for those who have been struggling to cope.”