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As all our readers should know, we are now all on Level 4 of Scotland's Coronavirus restrictions. Only Orkney and Shetland, and a handful of smaller islands, remain in Level 3.

For the last three months, since the launch of Scotland's Five-Level system for Covid-2019 control at start of November 2020, restrictions have got tighter each month. And, overall, they have never been relaxed. 

Businesses on the Islands which can remain open are adjusting to serve customers.

Pictured above is a business in the Main Street in Tarbert. Owner Jamie McGowan said yesterday (Saturday January 31) that the Loomshed Deli "will be serving all our deli customers through the door hatch from today."  

Pharmacists K J Macdonald in Cromwell Street, Stornoway, say that: "For the moment our door is open with our normal opening hours, 9am - 5.30pm Monday to Saturday. 

🦠 If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, or a cough, cold or high temperature, please do not enter the shop.

✋ If you have been asked to self isolate please do no enter the shop.

☎️ All consultations must now take place over the phone. Face to face consultations are suspended. Our pharmacists will not be available for consultation in store. We can help diagnose your problem over the phone, recommend a treatment that can be collected in store, or advise if further steps need to be taken. Our phone number is 70 3131.

😷 Please wear your mask when you are in the shop. We have hand sanitiser at the front door, please use it on entering and leaving.

↔️ Please keep a social distance from other customers and staff when you are in the shop.

🚙 We are still delivering prescriptions Monday to Friday in the Broadbay area.

🛍 If you are having to self isolate and need your prescription delivered, or are in need of any items from the shop, please call us. We can take payment over the phone and deliver what you need to you. Our phone number is 70 3131.

💳 Payment by card would be preferred, but we also still accept cash.

  • Cafés are adapting their practices to provide a takeaway service only, in accordance with Scottish Government guidelines.

The Woodlands café in the castle grounds, Artizan Café and The Tearoom beside the Town Hall in the town centre are both offering service by prior telephone order, to be collected at the door, with contactless payment preferred and masks obligatory. Please maintain social distancing when collecting your order.

  • Taxi services are maintaining their service, while reminding passengers that they should only travel when necessary. In Stornoway, STS Taxis are offering a 24-hour call-out service and STAD taxis are in the process of changing their rota, with 24 hour service later in the week and reduced hours between Monday (1 February) and Wednesday
  • Service providers offering home services are also making varying arrangements to deal with the changes required under tier 4 regulations.

Plumbing and heating engineers AD Macdonald will be staying open for emergency calls only and are asking all customers to stick to the recommended safety guidelines.

DJM ground maintenance and chimney cleaning services have informed customers that they will continue with ‘business as usual’ following Covid guidelines. However, they ask customers not to book a chimney clean if you or anyone in your household has any Covid symptoms or are self-isolating.

Signature Valet and Detailing have closed their premises but will continue to offer their service, with handover of vehicles at safe distances and leaving the keys in the vehicle for collection. Anyone who would like to re-arrange an appointment for their own peace of mind, and anyone who has symptoms or is self-isolating, is asked to call to re-arrange their appointment.

DMK Autos are also closing their office but will continue to offer a service – keys to be dropped through letterbox for vehicles booked in only.

Claire Whyman Optometrists plan to remain open during lockdown and will continue to prioritise emergency appointments, providing routine appointments in person or via phone/video when needed.

  • Shops remaining open include:

            By The Harbour fish shop (ready meals available)

            Delights – order and pay ahead and then knock and wait for your order to be brought to the door

            Decor8 Stornoway and the Home Improvement Centre are among shops to  offer a click and collect service for telephone orders

  • Shops which have confirmed definite closure include:

            Sardar and Sons