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breaking news

Kirkwall Ba’ cancelled amid rising restrictions

Kirkwall’s festive Ba’ games will not go ahead this season, the game’s committee has confirmed this Sunday evening.

This announcement comes amid changes to self-isolation rules and guidance around Christmas parties and other large gatherings.

In a statement, the Ba’ Committee said: “The Kirkwall Ba’ Committee have decided not to continue with preparations for this season’s games.

“The committee and players had hoped that the games would go ahead under COVID guidelines previously in place involving self-testing and vaccination for outdoor activities.

“The Scottish Government guidance effective from December 11 2021 introduced a change in household self-isolation and close contacts. This change means that in the event of a single household member testing positive all household members should isolate for ten days irrespective of their vaccination status or negative PCR test result. This could create potentially difficult consequences for individuals, families, businesses and members of emergency services. The implications for our community under these circumstances have to be taken into consideration when deciding whether to continue with this years’ games.

“The Ba’ remains an integral part of Kirkwall’s traditions and heritage and its long term future must be protected and ensured. We thank all the members of the community who have demonstrated support throughout the last two years and we will continue to work to ensure next year’s games can be played.

“The decision has not been an easy one to reach but has been made with the best interests of the community and the game in mind and we ask that it be respected accordingly.”