Due to an increase in prevalence of coronavirus and an increase in infection rates, Na h-Eileanan Siar, the Western Isles, will move to Level 4 from 00.01 Saturday, January 30.
The Scottish Goverment commented that new cases following a previous rise – including a community outbreak on Barra - have placed “a significant strain” on hospital capacity in the Western Isles Health Board area and the hospital on Stornoway is now reaching full capacity within available staffing resources.
The news comes after the Health Secretary Jeane Freeman confirmed at today’s coronavirus briefing that there have been six new positive coronavirus cases in the Western Isles and the government were ‘in talks’ around whether to move the area into level four restrictions.
Clinical advice is that the move to lockdown is necessary to avoid the NHS becoming overwhelmed.
This means that – as is the case in the central belt and the rest of mainland Scotland – nobody who lives in an area under lockdown should leave or remain outside their home except for an essential purpose like caring responsibilities, outdoor exercise and work that cannot be done from home.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “As we said we would, we have kept the island areas under review.
"The advice of our clinical advisers is that due to a rising trend of infections, lockdown is now necessary in the Western Isles.
"Discussions are underway to offer support and ease the pressure on local health services.
“It is essential that we further limit interaction between different households to stem the spread and bring the situation back under control, while we vaccinate more people.
“At the moment, lockdown is the best way of keeping each other safe, as vaccination continues. It is how we can protect ourselves and our loved ones.
“I continue to be very grateful to people across the country for their patience and resilience in the face of this extraordinary challenge and I am sure those in the Western isles will realise the seriousness of the current situation makes this move necessary and respond accordingly.”