All Covid-19 tests done yesterday in the Western Isles confirmed that no more positive cases had been detected, NHS Western Isles said last night (Thursday October 29) on Twitter. 

In the latest update from NHSWI Chief Executive, Gordon Jamieson, he explained that a new Western Isles Covid-19 case was reported nationally yesterday - but the individual affected actually lives on the mainland and is simply registered with a GP on the Western Isles.  The place of registration has led to the positive case being allocated to the Islands.

A series of retests had taken place yesterday on Lewis of tests done previously through non-NHS routes, Mr Jamieson explained, and all of them had returned as negative for the virus.

He pointed out that the Highlands and Islands were all placed on Level One from Monday November 2 - and promised guidance soon on what that means.

Household visiting indoors remains banned. 

This total number of positive cases on the Islands, according to NHS Western Isles, since the start of the pandemic, still stands at 61 - with 50 in South Uist, Eriskay and Benbecula, one in North Uist, and 10 on Lewis.

From Monday 2 November, as part of the five-level strategic framework put in place to tackle COVID-19 in Scotland, the Western Isles will be placed in Level 1, but the ban on household meetings indoors will remain in place. This will be reviewed a week on Tuesday and there is a strong possibility this will be lifted in Level 1 areas at the next review. Up to 6 people from a maximum of 2 households can meet in other indoor public places and outdoors in any case.

The hospitality sector in the islands can operate until 22:30. People continue to be urged to avoid car sharing with people outside of their extended household wherever possible. Non-essential travel to and from level 3 or higher areas in Scotland and their equivalents in the rest of UK is prohibited.                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Alasdair Allan MSP said: “While the Western Isles is in a better position than most other parts of the country, the recent outbreak in Uist has shown just how quickly that can change. With case numbers continuing to rise across the UK and the continent, we are still at risk and need to continue to remain vigilant.

“I know that people will be disappointed they will not yet be able to visit family and friends indoors, and I am hopeful this will be lifted soon. This is not an easy time for anyone in the islands, but if we all stick by the rules, this is an encouraging step forward.”

Level 1 restrictions can be found at:

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-protection-levels/pages/protection-level-1/

Meanwhile Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil has welcomed the production of an official face covering exemption card by the Scottish Government to support those who are unable to wear a face mask to feel more confident and safe in public places.

Mr MacNeil was contacted by several constituents who faced a negative response on public transport or accessing public services when they were not wearing a mask.

In response he wrote to the Minister for Public Health Joe Fitzpatrick MSP in support of the call by Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Scotland to create an official card.

Mr MacNeil said: “I am very pleased that action has now been taken on this. No one who cannot wear a face mask due to health conditions, disability or other special circumstances should face any discrimination and the introduction of an official face covering exemption card is a very welcome step.

“I have heard of those who have been asked to provide proof of exemption but did not have this, causing anxiety and upset. The introduction of this card is very welcome step and I would encourage all who cannot wear a mask for various reasons to request a card.”

Physical and digital cards are available to request online www.exempt.scot or via a free helpline on 0800 121 6240.

(Additional information about Covid-related matters has been added from the MSP and MP since this post was first added to the site earlier this morning.)