Commenting in response to the announcement that Scottish islands, including Orkney, will move to Level 1 from Monday, Orkney’s MSP Liam McArthur commented:
“Today’s announcement will be met with relief. The last year has been incredibly tough, but few sacrifices have been as difficult to bear as losing the ability to hug friends and loved ones. To be able to do that again will be a real moment for many.
“As difficult as the last year has been, Orkney has really shown the best of itself. Confirmed cases have remained extremely low while we have led the way in terms of the local vaccine roll-out. I pay tribute again to all those who have played their part.
“As these restrictions ease, individuals, communities and businesses will be feeling fragile. Many will feel anxious after living with lockdown for such a long time, and businesses will still need to be supported as they move forward into the recovery phase. Detail on what future support will look like can’t come soon enough.
“Of course, it remains important for everyone to continue to act responsibly. This will include making use of the tests that are now more freely available, particularly for those keen to travel to and from the Scottish mainland.”