Public encouraged to protect themselves and others from Covid

NHS Highland and partners are encouraging members of the public to follow the national guidance on how they can protect those around them from Covid19.

While transmission in Highland is relatively low Covid19 has not gone away and, as lockdown is slowly eased, it is hugely important that everyone follows the guidance to stay safe.

Dr Tim Allison, Director of Public Health with NHS Highland, said: “Everyone in Highland should be congratulated on how well they responded to lockdown and how they continue to act responsibly as lockdown is eased. Without a doubt these actions have helped us in keeping numbers low in the area.

“However, we must not be complacent. To ensure we continue with this progress we all must follow the national guidance which includes NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect strategy.

“Test and Protect is a vital part of how we will prevent the spread of Covid19 in the community. If you have symptoms, we’re asking you to self-isolate, get tested and share details of those you’ve come into close contact with.  If you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive and are asked to self-isolate by the NHS, it’s important to follow that advice.”

“It is important for hospitality businesses such as pubs, restaurants and cafes to record the details of customers who stay on the premises to eat or drink and important for customers to give those details to help potential contact tracing.”

Dr Allison added: “We need everyone’s help in making this work. Taking these steps and following the FACTS guidelines, which highlight the importance of face coverings; avoiding crowded places; cleaning your hands regularly; two metre distance; and self-isolating and booking a test; will help in keeping the virus under control.”

Alan Yates, Highland Council’s Environmental Health Manager, said: “As the Aberdeen outbreak has unfortunately shown, Covid 19 is still out there. The public and businesses must continue to follow the guidance from Scottish Government to prevent spread of Covid 19 in the Highlands. We will continue to work with NHS Highland and Police Scotland on both providing advice and support to businesses and considering enforcement where required.” 

Stay alert to COVID-19 when attending licensed premises

The Highland Council, NHS Highland and Police Scotland are working closely to ensure that we all stay alert to the threat of COVID-19. The public are being asked to be vigilant and observe all guidance especially when attending licensed premises.

Councillor Allan Henderson, Chair of The Highland Council's Communities and Place Committee said:

“We have had good compliance in the Highlands with the coronavirus restrictions and we need everyone to continue this great work.  This includes the public who should enjoy the hospitality but must be responsible when it comes to the Covid precautions and follow any arrangements or rules businesses have in place.”

The Highland Council and Police Scotland are continuing to carry out joint patrols to provide advice to businesses and check Covid precautions. Environmental Health will actively follow up where concerns are raised of premises failing to properly implement effective Covid controls. Depending on the nature of the concerns this may simply require some additional advice being provided regarding the premises existing controls, or an officer undertaking a visit to conduct a review of the arrangements in place and if necessary take any appropriate action to protect public health.

Alan Yates, Highland Council's Environmental Health Manager, added: "It is vitally important that that licensed premises continue to follow the Scottish Governments Covid guidelines for the hospitality and tourism industry including the advice on queue management and collecting customer’s contact details. We are working closely with businesses, Police Scotland and NHS Highland to ensure no complacency is setting in and the Government’s guidance continues to be followed."

For further information, the Environmental Health team has produced a guidance note for pubs and restaurants which supports the Scottish Government’s advice.  It is available on the Highland Council's website at this link.

If the public or businesses have any queries on Covid precautions or wish to raise concerns regarding a particular company, they are advised to email the Council’s Environmental Health team at:

7 Aug 2020