COVID-19 - Comhairle Update

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s COVID-19 Planning Group met today, Monday 16th March 2020, to continue discussions on safeguarding and protecting clients, services, members and employees throughout the Western Isles.


There are currently no known cases of the virus in the Western Isles. However, the planning phase has been, and continues, to be developed through a series of precautionary measures.

Public Health are the lead agency and the public are advised to keep a close eye on the NHS Website (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) and the Scottish Government Website (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) for the latest up-to-date information.

In addition, the Comhairle has set up a special section of the Comhairle Website for all local authority led services and this section will be updated as and when appropriate.

The advice from the NHS, in order to help prevent the spread of the virus, continues to be: 

  • avoiding direct hand contact with your eyes, nose and mouth
  • maintaining good hand hygiene - washing hands with soap and water or alcohol hand sanitiser before eating and drinking, and after coughing, sneezing and going to the toilet. Wash hands for at least 20 seconds
  • avoiding direct contact with people that have a respiratory illness and avoiding using their personal items such as their mobile phone
  • covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with disposable tissues and disposing of them in the nearest waste bin after use

Comhairle Services

Should you have any of the symptoms detailed on the Public Health Website (Opens in a new window or downloads a file), the Comhairle’s advice is not to attend schools, Sports Centres or Comhairle buildings.

The Comhairle advises the public to pay any bills e.g. Council Tax bills via Online Payments  or by phone 01851 600 502, where possible, to avoid unnecessary face to face contact.

All schools in the Western Isles remain open. However, contingency plans have been made in the event that schools will require to close, particularly to support those preparing to sit SQA examinations.

All sport and leisure facilities and Comhairle offices remain open. However, from tomorrow (Tuesday 17th March) all activities run by ISL/Sports Development will be suspended, including swimming lessons. Aquafit classes and ‘Move More’ group activities held during the day will also be suspended. All other adult Fitness classes will continue at this stage.

All bus services are continuing to operate as normal.

There are specific Restrictions in place in relation to visits to Care Homes. 

All services are subject to change and any changes will be communicated at the earliest possible opportunity through the Comhairle website and social media pages.


The Scottish Government (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) has put in place specific support for businesses. Alternatively, you can contact Business Gateway on 01851 668 088.


More information about coronavirus infection, Covid-19, can be found on NHS Inform (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)

Scottish Government Website  (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)