Delay restart of tourism in islands and areas with poor G4 access where the TTI app would be less effective

When in time some restrictions start to be lifted, as well as rules on travel abroad and quarantine requirements I think it is important that travel within the UK remains restricted for quite a while after people are allowed more freedom to move around close to home. On islands such as Mull, there would be particular risks as lockdown measures are eased if this includes some return of tourism, where the main risk of infection would be from visitors. Of particular concern, the success of the Test Trace and Isolate app in quickly tracking the virus and arresting outbreaks would be likely to be limited, due to poor download speeds and G4 access. TTI using traditional methods would work for local communities where everyone knows everyone else, but would be difficult and less effective with visitors present, leading to the potential for COVID outbreaks taking hold and escalating. Small island hospitals have made preparations for COVID patients, but could be overwhelmed if this happened.

Why the contribution is important

There will always be a way forward from economic impacts, however difficult, but for those in our communities who lose their lives there is no way back. Also, our NHS workers in particular are under tremendous pressure and stress – we should not risk prolonging or worsening this. Strong lockdown measures should be in place for as long as it takes.

by SueClare on May 10, 2020 at 09:42PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 1.9
Based on: 12 votes


  • Posted by AlJones May 10, 2020 at 23:31

    No two islands are the same, particularly not in terms of their COVID journey. If Scottish islands are to be treated differently from the mainland it should be on an island by island basis.
  • Posted by jeankemp May 10, 2020 at 23:38

    There should be no restart of tourism, until the number of infections has been much reduced and a massive increase in community testing (approx 194,000 tests per day) and tracing has been fully implemented.
  • Posted by JoeReade May 11, 2020 at 20:32

    The problems you list are not unique to islands. Islands are not exceptional so far as a virus is concerned. Tourism is a concern, and will need to be carefully managed - but on an even, nation-wide basis.
    Also test and trace aps do not rely on mobile phone connectivity - they use bluetooth and gps, so track and trace aps will work fine regardless of mobile signal.
  • Posted by DotStewart May 11, 2020 at 22:01

    I live on an island and work in tourism and I do think/fear it will be a long time before the industry can return to anything like normal. However, I think that the focus should be on working out what could be done safely across the country as a whole. It is not reasonable or realistic to expect an island to isolate or quarantine indefinitely. I do agree that there is a danger in more people visiting the islands, but I worry that the greater danger will be if we start to relax our own behaviour because we feel somehow cut off or insulated from the virus.
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