Businesses encouraged to make early contact with The Highland Council and Partners on their Christmas and New Year event plans

Highland Council Environmental Health, NHS Highland Health Protection Team and Police Scotland are advising any business or organisation who are considering putting on a Christmas or New Year event for the public to attend, to make early contact with them  to discuss their proposals.

With the risk of COVID-19 expected to increase in the winter months, some events which are traditionally held at this time of year will not be able to take place, and others will need to be considerably changed.

The Scottish Government has issued sector guidance for events and for festive activities, and it is important to ensure that any proposed activity complies with  COVID 19 Regulations and meets with current guidelines.

Dr Jenny Wares Consultant in Public Health said: "Whilst we can understand the desire to support celebrations through the organisation of Christmas events, COVID-19 remains a significant risk across Highland. When planning a festive event it is really important to ensure that not only is it permitted to be held under current guidance but that it does not create an opportunity for COVID-19 to spread within our communities. It is vital that we all continue to follow the current Scottish Government guidance and avoid crowded places, maintain a 2m distance from others and self-isolate at home if unwell."

Convener of the Highland Council, Bill Lobban said: “Some events cannot go ahead this year and we realise that this may be another disappointment to our communities, however there is a greater need to keep the public safe from the virus. The vaccination programme is great news, but we must not be complacent at this stage. There are many months ahead where covid remains a huge risk to our communities.”

Anyone planning a public festive activity should contact Environmental health on 01349 886603 or email

11 Dec 2020