COVID-19 WESTERN ISLES PUBLIC TRANSPORT PHASE 3
From Monday 3rd August, daytime bus services in Lewis and Harris and South Uist and Benbecula will revert to normal timetables with no requirement to book seats, with the exception of the bookable services on the regular timetable. Please note that fares will also be reintroduced from Monday.
Timetables are available on the Comhairle website.
The service contracts for North Uist and Berneray and Barra and Vatersay have yet to be concluded and this has delayed the reintroduction of services in these areas. Further details of bus services timetables for these areas will be made available as soon as possible.
Please remember that face coverings remain compulsory on any form of public transport and this includes all public bus services. Passengers will only be permitted to travel on public transport if they are wearing appropriate face covering. Exceptions will apply, such as children under five or for those with health conditions for whom a face covering would be inappropriate. Passengers will be expected to provide their own face coverings.
Where a screen has been provided, the driver will not be required to wear a mask or face covering. Medical exemptions will also apply to some drivers.
Face-coverings protect against inadvertent transmission of the disease and wearing a face covering will help to protect other travellers which will in turn help everyone. It is vital that passengers do not see face coverings as an alternative, but as an addition to other measures such as social distancing, hand washing and disinfection of surfaces frequently touched by other people.
All passengers should ensure that they wash their hands as soon as possible before and after travelling on public transport.
Read more: Isles FM in association with Hebrides News - Friday 31st July 2020
NHS SCOTLAND “PHARMACY FIRST” LAUNCHED.
Healthcare advice to treat minor illnesses -- and other common, non-urgent ailments – is now available in local communities following the launch of a new service.
Called -- NHS Pharmacy First Scotland -- it allows community pharmacies to give people expert help for conditions such as sore throats, ear-ache, and cold sores -- along with other clinical problems, such as Urinary Tract Infections.
If more is required, pharmacies will offer referrals to other healthcare teams. “Pharmacy First” should help people access treatment for non-urgent conditions -- without having to go to their GP or local Emergency Department .
Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:
“The launch of NHS Pharmacy First Scotland will make sure that people have
access to the right care in the right place, getting medical support that is closer to home -- and often with no waiting time or appointments needed.”
Chair of Community Pharmacy Scotland, Martin Green, said:
“This is an exciting service development for everyone. Pharmacists, supported by their pharmacy teams, will be able to offer consultations for anyone with minor illnesses and provide the appropriate advice and support.”
More information on Pharmacy First is available online and on NHS Inform.
Read more: Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News - Thursday 30th July 2020
AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL JOBS
Isles SNP MP Angus MacNeil is backing calls by the Union Prospect, for air traffic control jobs, to be retained in the islands.
Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd, seeks to use a video feed and computer technology at Inverness Airport, to replace skilled air traffic controllers, at Stornoway and Benbecula and other island airports.
The Union Prospect, said this week that the loss of Air Traffic Control in island locations, was the loss of jobs worth £1.5million.
Mr MacNeil said “No other autonomous island groups in the world, would consider this option and I suggest if HIAL do want to centralise air traffic control, not to centralise it around HIAL headquarters in Inverness, but to centralise in Benbecula or Stornoway or some other island. We need the jobs to be in the islands”.
Read more: Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News - Wednesday 29th July 2020