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The Western Isles remain top of the charts for Covid-19 infections across Scotland as the entire testing regime starts to wind down. 

And the Zoe App sees the islands as moving into a new wave of infections. 

This contrasts with the earliest months of the pandemic when the islands were consistently at the base of the charts!

But the lifting of restrictions – and the ending of mandatory testing and self-isolation - mean that these may be the last occasions when the data is reliable. 

All testing for the general public ends today (Saturday April 30).

From Sunday 1 May, most people will no longer be asked to take a PCR test if they have coronavirus symptoms. "Instead, you should stay at home if you feel unwell.  If you feel unwell with coronavirus symptoms or have a high temperature, avoid contact with others until you feel better. If you need medical advice, contact your GP or NHS24 on 111 out of hours."

Testing will remain in place for certain groups in order to protect highest risk settings and support clinical care. Test centres will also be closed from 1 May.

Find out more at

NHS Western Isles, after more than two years of reports, had already ceased to detail local results. 

They said on Monday April 25: "as we move through a period of change in relation to the circumstances in which COVID testing is required, we are seeing a significant reduction in the number of tests carried out. Therefore we are no longer in a position to gather and present reliable data with regard to positive cases of COVID-19 in our communities. The numbers we have presented on a daily basis over the past two years have been reliable as testing was available population-wide. However it would be wrong to communicate incomplete numbers in terms of cases locally."

The last report stated there had been been 21 cases of COVID-19 - 10 PCR 11 LFD.  Lewis - 12; Harris - 1; North Uist - 1; Benbecula - 2; South Uist -3; Barra - 2 – and 3 of the day’s positive cases were children.

The previous day there were 28 cases  - 9 PCR and 19 LFDs.  Lewis - 18; Harris - 4; Benbecula - 2; South Uist - 3; Barra - 1 ;and 5 of the day’s positive cases were children.

There was praise on Facebook for NHS Western Isles policy of daily reports. "A huge thanks to Gordon Jamieson and his team at NHS Western Isles Who for the last two years have kept us up to date with his nightly reports on number of Covid cases in the Western Isles . I totally agree that he should be recognised for his reassurance to the population in the Western Isles by keeping us aware of the amount of Covid cases each night . Well done and thank you for allaying many fears each night with updates," said one reader. 

As the outbreaks continue locally, events continue to be called off in reaction. On Point, for instance, the Ui Church group had planned a Fund Raising Ceilidh for Tuesday 3 May in Ionad Stoodie, Garrabost. This has now been postponed to later in the year.   And the Young at heart Club stated : "Regrettably due to Covid outbreak amongst Club members and in the community as a whole, the Committee decided to postpone the Club's AGM on Thursday 28 and reschedule for May 12. (If things improve)."