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coronavirus

Orkney stays in Level Three from April 26, travel to mainland Scotland opens

Orkney is to remain in Level Three from April 26, and travel to the Scottish mainland will be allowed, the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

It is planned that all Scotland — including Orkney — will drop to Level Two from May 17, to Level One in June, and to Level Zero in “later June.”

In a COVID briefing today, Tuesday, Ms Sturgeon confirmed the news, focussing on island communities like Orkney and Shetland.

This follows uncertainty over whether the islands would either drop to Level Two and have no mainland Scotland travel, or to stay in Level Three and have mainland travel allowed.

An island consultation was also launched by the government, asking islanders to give their opinion on the two options.

Ms Sturgeon said: “I think it’s fair to say there’s no universal opinion here, so I know that neither option will please everybody.

“However, based on the balance of opinion, we have decided on the latter option, aligning islands with the rest of the country for a period, so that travel and therefore parts of the economy — that so many islanders rely on — can operate more normally from April 26.

Ms Sturgeon wanted to reassure those who wished for the islands to drop into Level Two from the end of April, that this drop is planned in around three weeks time, from May 17.

Full story in the upcoming edition of The Orcadian.

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