NHS Western Isles and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (CnES) are reminding communities across the Western Isles to ‘stay at home’ as the weekend approaches.

The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection.

That is why people are being required to stay at home, except for very limited purposes.

Our local communities continue to respond extremely well to the government restrictions in place, which helps your local Health Board and Comhairle to protect vital heath and social care services. We thank you all for your continued commitment.

NHS Western Isles Chair, Ian Burgess, said: “We appreciate the effort that everyone across the Western Isles has made; this is a very difficult time for us all. These restrictions become ever more challenging over a prolonged period of time and, in particular as we approach the weekend, there is always the temptation to relax your approach. We are urging you to please continue to stay at home in line with guidance. This guidance is in place to protect you, your families, your local communities, and local services – so it is vital you continue to follow the guidance in place.”

CnES Leader, Roddie Mackay, said: “It is important that our communities follow advice. Stay in and when you do have to go out for essential work, essential supplies or exercise observe the guidelines on physical distancing. This is a very challenging time for all of us but it is good to see our community acting responsibly and following the advice which after all, is for our own safety and well-being. Stay safe.”

You should only leave the house for very limited purposes, for example:

  • Once a day (or less frequently if possible) for basic necessities, such as food and medicine
  • daily exercise, up to an hour, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household
  • to ensure basic animal welfare needs are met
  • any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home

These reasons are exceptions - even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household. These measures must be followed by everyone.

And Western Isles Police have tweeted: "You may see more of us out in your local area. We are here to keep you safe & encourage you to stay home and follow @scotgov guidance.   If you see our officers out and about be sure to give them a wave! #StayHomeSaveLives #Coronavirus #COVID19  "