Urgent appeal to visitors: The Scottish Government is calling for a stop to all non-essential travel to Shetland to reduce the impact of COVID-19. Read more

Coronavirus: Urgent information for all visitors

by Promote Shetland -

Updated: 22 March 2020

The Scottish Government and Visit Scotland have called for visitors not to travel to or around rural and remote parts of Scotland, including Shetland.

We're sorry if this means cancelling your forthcoming trip to Shetland but, as with rest of the UK, all our tourist attractions, pubs and restaurants are now closed for business.

As an island community, our health and social services, shops and supermarkets are facing a serious challenge at the moment and we must do all we can to minimise the impact of COVID-19 in Shetland. We ask you to please stay at home and respect the health and wellbeing of the people in our community.

We look forward to welcoming you once this crisis has passed. In the meantime, we'll share all that is wonderful about Shetland on our website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Travel to and from Shetland

As of 22nd March 2020, Northlink Ferries will no longer take non-essential travellers.

From now on, these ferries will be for those who live on our islands, who have an essential need to travel to or from the mainland and for essential supplies or business.

All existing bookings are suspended – anyone seeking to travel and complying with the criteria for travel will be asked to comply with these requirements and book at the port of departure. For more information, visit the NorthLink website.

Those who do not normally live on the islands and have travelled there in the last few days will be able to leave to reduce pressure.

Sumburgh Airport is also closed to all scheduled flights but will remain open for lifeline services, including traffic relating to Royal Mail, the NHS and the oil and gas industry.

Island buses and inter-island ferry services are also running to reduced timetables. For the latest information, see the ZetTrans website.

Event and attraction information

This year's Shetland Folk Festival, due to take place in early May, has now been cancelled, as has the Classic Motor Show in June.

The Shetland Museum and Archives and the Shetland Amenity Trust’s head offices in Lerwick have closed to the public until further notice. The upcoming seasonal opening of the Trust’s other sites at Sumburgh Head, the Crofthouse Museum, and Old Scatness Broch and Iron Age Village are also closed.

Shetland Arts have closed their venues, with Mareel, Bonhoga Gallery, Garrison Theatre and the ShetlandMade retail outlet closed until further notice. All Shetland Arts events are now cancelled until the end of June 2020. August's Folk Frenzy has also been cancelled. Shetland Recreational Trust have also closed all leisure centres and Shetland Library is closed until further notice.

Medical advice

COVID-19 can cause respiratory illness of varying severity. Currently, there is no vaccine and no specific treatment for infection with the virus, so it’s important that the public be vigilant and follow NHS guidelines.

To keep up to date with the latest news on the virus and what to do if you think you may be a carrier, visit the NHS Inform website.

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