There were no further cases of Covid-19 anywhere in the Western Isles yesterday (Sunday October 25) NHS Western Isles reported last night.

This leaves the complete total number of cases on the Islands, according to NHS Western Isles, since the start of the pandemic, at 61 - with 5o in South Uist, Ersikay and Benbecula, one in North Uist, and now 10 in total on Lewis, following the recent three cases reported last week.

And NHS Western Isles Chief Executive Gordon Jamieson added a new warning to his daily broadcast on Twitter.  The new tiered system of Covid-19 alert levels makes everyone responsible for the rules governing all of our lives.  If we can maintain the present status with no recent infections (which needs to continue for a week at least to show the outbreak is over) then the islands could be left on the lowest levels of restrictions.

Announcing the plan, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon broke down the tiers as follows:

Level 0: “Broadly comparable to the position we reached in August when the virus was very suppressed in Scotland but still a threat. At this level we would be able to meet indoors with eight people from three households and most businesses would be open, albeit with safety measures in place.”

Level 1: “Sees slightly more restrictions, household meetings would reduce to six people from two households but there would still be a reasonable degree of normality overall.”

The levels then progress up to Level 4 which is nearly a complete lockdown. The tier system has to be approved by the Scottish parliament before it can come into operation.

It seemed unlikely at the time she spoke last week that any region would be placed under level 0 restrictions. Areas with low incidences of cases, however, such as the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland could be placed under level 1 restrictions, it was believed. 

This puts communities under a heightened pressure to follow the rules, lest the entire community loses a tier status. 

Summary of level 0 and level 1 from BBC News

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • A high temperature (37.8C of greater)
  • And/or a new and continuous cough
  • And/or a loss or change in your sense of smell and/or taste.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, no matter how mild, you and your household should immediately self isolate and book a test. To access testing in the Western Isles, contact the COVID-19 Response Team on 01851 601151 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The phoneline will be staffed from 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday with an answering machine available outwith those hours.

Alternatively you can complete the online COVID-19 Testing Programme Referral Form (NHS Western Isles)