Keep the islands quarantined

Keep the ferries and planes on an essential travel and freight service only even after lockdown changes. There's a higher percentage of elderly in the islands' population and they need to be protected. There are still people lying at ports in order to travel across to stay in their second homes. If they become ill, the additional burden placed on the meagre health provisions the islands have could be catastrophic. If travel restrictions are lifted, the islands will be inundated with tourists and all the benefits of lockdown will be negated. As the islands have been the least badly affected, don't allow that to change.

Why the contribution is important

My idea is important because it will save lives. There's an elderly population in the islands that we must protect, and while tourism may be economically important, their lives are priceless.

by crofterbecca on May 06, 2020 at 09:46AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 3.2
Based on: 27 votes


  • Posted by TonyFinn May 06, 2020 at 10:21

    Seriously! freedom to travel for all!
  • Posted by Jockpollok May 06, 2020 at 10:56

    What about right to roam. Access all areas, for all.
  • Posted by jennyw May 06, 2020 at 11:12

    I understand your valid reason regarding elderly population and limited health services, however I feel there has to be a distinction between casual tourism day trippers and those who own second homes or mobile homes. Owners need to maintain their properties and still pay council tax. When doing so their stay is extended and adding to the economy of the area. I do not include holiday let's in this as this casts the net too wide.
  • Posted by camerj May 06, 2020 at 11:17

    The NHS network on islands is based on the population who reside there so any kind of lifting of the restriction is dangerous to an already very fragile community, where a lot of the residents are elderly. Only very selfish individuals would quote "right to roam" "freedom" etc. These islands rely on tourism for their jobs, etc but nothing is more valuable than the health and safety of islanders. Please please do not lift the restriction on this. There are already enough people lying to get onto ferries, planes etc to come to the islands which are, for the most part, safer than the cities. UNTIL an outbreak then it would be horrendous. No Nightingale hospitals for us so best everyone just stays where they are for the time being.
  • Posted by noeldarlow May 06, 2020 at 11:21

    Although I'm in favour of allowing greater access to the outdoors (provided we can do so safely) Scottish islands are a special case. Medical facilities on many islands may have real problems dealing with a Covid-19 outbreak. There will be several waves of infection before a vaccine might be available. Ferry access (and the Skye bridge) makes it possible to implement quarantine measures which would not be possible elsewhere. If this could potentially save lives we have a moral duty to do so.
  • Posted by aloneinthehills May 06, 2020 at 11:21

    Totally disagree with the idea that parts of our country should be treated differently. Lift the lockdown and allow access to the highlands and islands.
  • Posted by Ginakeenan May 06, 2020 at 11:27

    Please keep restrictions on ferry service to the islands for a bit longer!
  • Posted by HighlandLassie May 06, 2020 at 11:45

    I have elderly family on the islands and whilst I want to protect them all is there not a way we (family members) could test all people coming onto them? That way those living on the mainland can go over. We could be tested prior to going on the ferry, self isolate until results are in and then continue to follow all restriction advice.
  • Posted by Gunsite May 06, 2020 at 11:51

    Totally agree with this. As a resident of orkney, we are inundated by cruise liners and tourists over the summer months. We only have 7 positive tests here so far largely due to the fact that all non essential travel to and from the islands was stopped early on. We cannot have our small island hospital overwhelmed
  • Posted by April1886 May 06, 2020 at 12:29

    I would agree with still not allowing visitors and tourists. However some families and couples have been separated since lockdown began. Leaving some people completely on their own or staying with friends. Now would it be possible to allow couples to live together again. There should be testing before travel and an agreement on self imposed two weeks of self isolation once a move has been made.
  • Posted by sbecker May 06, 2020 at 13:18

    I am just not convinced by the argument that people traveling to remote areas necessarily puts a greater strain on rural healthcare systems. I have traveled to the highlands for recreation hundreds of times over the last ten years. Never once have I had to make use of local medical services in a rural community. It is both practical and very easy to follow social distancing guidelines when visiting the countryside, so restricting freedom of movement here is simply not justified. In the unlikely event that I became infected while away from home in the countryside, I would simply drive home and self-isolate in accordance with government guidelines, having no interaction with any rural health services. It’s easy sit at home, from a position of great privilege and tell other people to stay away when you are in a beautiful place with abundant access to outdoor space. But perhaps you could spare a minute to think about those less fortunate people, who have been stuck in small apartments in cities desperate to enjoy the freedom of the outdoors you clearly take for granted. Finally I feel it’s necessary to point out the blatant hypocrisy of arguing that people in cities should stay away from rural areas in case they need to use the healthcare system. Where do people who live on remote islands go when they need serious medical treatment? Cities!! As with many services in rural areas, healthcare for people in remote less densely places is more expensive to provide and ultimately subsidised by people in more densely populated areas. This is a not a bad thing, but it is a reminder that we are all in this together and thus deserve to be treated equally no matter where we live. Just because you live on an island does not give you exclusive access rights to public land. At the end of the day we are all citizens of the same country with equal rights to access outdoor spaces.
  • Posted by Paul694 May 06, 2020 at 20:36

    There is a discriminatory / anti second home owner policy in the governments current strategy. As a second home owner I have spent significant amount of money on renovating and maintaining a second home. This money has all been spent locally thus providing employment for local people. I pay full council tax . To stop me using my second home is discriminatory . If the government wish to continue with this policy they should refund all council tax since March and allow owners to claim for any damages due to not being able to visit the home.
  • Posted by Ideas81 May 08, 2020 at 08:06

    Don’t restrict people from the islands. Test, track and isolate and wipe out the virus everywhere
  • Posted by carterkjef May 09, 2020 at 12:56

    It is possible to visit a second home without having any contact with any islander whatsoever. Our local ferry has confirmed that our prebought tickets can be scanned through the window. We have many supplies in our home and can bring more. We are self-isolating ourselves and have no wish to socialise or visit local shops. There are no more precautions that islanders can take than other people are taking elsewhere. A good dose of commonsense and less paranoia would be very valuable in these troubled times.
  • Posted by LesFraser53 May 09, 2020 at 14:11

    Worrying number of posts from people who seem to think that owning a second home means a right to travel to it putting at risk everyone that they meet on the journey. My brothers and I own a family croft in the highlands and won't even think about going there till this is over. Let's all just be a bit more patient.
  • Posted by Sandsmill May 09, 2020 at 16:19

    Small islands need to be protected as their health care is very limited, the danger of allowing people to travel to island communities places a huge risk on people who are currently reasonably safe. People who have second homes, claim it is their right to visit second home but at the moment people in island and remote communities have a right to safety. The excuse “checking” on a second home is rubbish, get someone already in the location to check for you!
  • Posted by HT2020 May 10, 2020 at 08:26

    I am an island resident and do not believe that we should be treated any differently to the rest of Scotland. We must adhere to Government guidelines.
  • Posted by AlJones May 10, 2020 at 23:56

    A healthy economy saves lives, and tourism keeps many islands economies healthy. Yes, it may be the case that you don’t notice that the island has been saved by a healthy economy, but it has been.
  • Posted by SU7seat May 11, 2020 at 14:24

    I find the concerns around 2nd homes confusing - if you have a second home, you should be able to visit, avoid any unnecessary social interaction and stay for the 2 weeks in quarantine in the house until you and the surrounding community can be sure that you are safe to come out...even on the islands.. The quarantine requirements haven’t changed just because they are relaxing lockdown rules.
  • Posted by JoeReade May 11, 2020 at 20:48

    Island isolationism is dangerous (our guard goes down, and the virus WILL eventually get here). Impractical (some degree of travel is essential); sets us up for failure and recrimination (if the goal is to 'keep it out' we WILL fail, and could lead to local recrimination against whoever 'let it in' Selfish - should we just sit this out on our islands, be sent food parcels and economic aid from the rest of the nation, and wait for someone else to come up with a vaccine? Lockdown needs to be relaxed slowly and carefully, sector by sector, setting by setting. Not area by area. Finally we are all in this together, and that means all of us as a nation. What can we do for the national effort? How about allowing a gentle return to tourists who have been incarcerated at home for months? If carefully controlled, its the least we can do.
  • Posted by ib15 May 11, 2020 at 21:59

    I am very concerned that if lockdown is lifted a high number of people - island exiles, second home owners and holiday makers will flood into the islands. I myself am an island exile and very much wish to return home when I can. However, I am very concerned about the island population and its fragility. A large influx of people carrying the virus could overwhelm the health services here who are doing their very best to prepare in a remote community. Social distancing and great care have so far paid off for the majority and it would be a disaster if anything went wrong at this stage. I urge the government to ensure that there are significantly less ferries and flights in and out, and if it is safe to move beyond essential travel this must be accompanied with test, trace and isolate to ensure people's safety in these fragile communities.
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