In an effort to keep as many people up to date with the latest information relating to the COVID-19 virus measures, including how these measures are impacting on the Westray community, WDT have pledged to keep this webpage updated with the latest news and advice. Representatives from many different corners of the island have come together in an effort to keep everybody as well informed as possible and this webpage is being put together with their invaluable assistance. It has been a heart-warming experience to see so many people come together to help those of our community in need, but this shouldn’t really be a surprise, the kindness and generosity of Westray residents is always without question.

Current Government advice is:

Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading

Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

You should only leave the house for 1 of 4 reasons:

  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  • one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
  • any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home

When new information becomes available we will do our best to update as soon as possible, but please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions or concerns you may have.

Please note that from Monday 23rd March 2020 the Trust office will close. Staff will be working from home and we do not expect this to hinder our ability to coordinate the community assistance efforts. This page will still be updated regularly when new information becomes available. 

Update From Westray Surgery

At Westray Surgery, we want to thank everyone for their support and encouragement during this challenging time. You will be aware that we have made a number of changes to the service we provide to limit face to face contact and therefore limit the risk of spreading the corona virus:

  • We are using telephone triage. If you contact the surgery for an appointment, the nurse or GP will phone you back to discuss the problem and give advice. If medication is required, this can often be prescribed over the phone. For those with internet access or a smart phone, we can now offer video consultations. This is a new service which we have introduced as a result of the corona virus pandemic. In some circumstances, it still may be necessary to see
    you at the surgery or at home
  • We have reduced the number people seen for blood tests (some folk may be relieved by this!). If you do attend for a blood test, please wait in your car outside the surgery until the nurse or GP calls you in, to reduce the risk of contact with others
  • All prescriptions are now delivered to your home – we are very grateful to the Posties for providing this service to the community

Thank you for giving us the time to make these changes and to organise ourselves for the likelihood of increasing numbers of people with Covid 19 infection. We want to reassure you that if you have any other health issues or concerns, we are still here, the service is still functioning well and we will do our best to help.

Golden Rules for using the Westray Shops

Covid-19 pandemic – Golden Rules for using the Westray Shops
Here are some recommendations, based on best advice from the Scottish Government and NHS about how stay we keep ourselves and our community healthy
 It is very simple to arrange a delivery of shopping to your home by either contacting the shops directly or contacting the Westray Development Trust (01857 677858 or 677561 or email
 If you are not at high risk, and choose to go to the shops, please, only one family member to enter the shop – no group shopping trips.
 No children to join parents on shopping trips.
 Maintain the 2 meter rule – always remain at least 2 meters (6 feet) away from other customers and shop staff.
Wash your hands thoroughly before and after visiting the shop.

Emergency Services 


Westray’s Retained Unit of Scottish Fire & Rescue Service remains working as normal. Whilst practical training has stopped for the time being, all crew members continue with online training. Additionally, all equipment is being maintained and tested regularly and remains ready for use. We currently have one crew member self-isolating but can still put out a full response to any incident.Home Fire Safety Visits and other community activities are all suspended but if
you need local advice on something please contact Wullie (677222), Denis
(677509) or Iain (677357). For an emergency response always call 999.


Westray’s Coastguard Service will also continue to respond to emergency calls as normal. Although practical training has stopped for the time being all equipment is still being maintained and inspected to ensure it all remains ready for use. If you have an emergency please call 999 as always. 

Self Isolating

If you are self isolating and would like some more information on what this actually entails please click here for the lastest advice from the NHS.

This page from the BBC news website also gives a comprehensive overview of what socal distancing and self-isolation actually mean: BBC Coronavirus: What are social distancing and self-isolation? 

If you are self isolating and need support, please contact WDT by:

phoning: 01857 677858 or 677561 or email

Please do not come into the office, the office is now closed with staff working from home. Our email is the best way to contact us, however, messages on the answer machine will be checked daily. If you know of someone who needs this support but who cannot access this information themselves, please let them know that help is available. 

Due to the current restrictions we will no longer be asking for volunteers to help with childcare and relief care. As any informal childcare or care for the elderly is no longer allowed. Arrangements for childcare for key workers can be arranged through the School. Any social care needs can be passed on to the Surgery and/or the council.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday, direct social contact is to be limited to household members and a very limited number of essential activities only.

However our community volunteers can still play an important role in helping with deliveries and making needed phone-calls. The latter we strongly encourage you to do. The movements of all of us, not just our most vulnerable, are now heavily restricted. Therefore pick up the phone and call, facetime, or message a friend or family member. Keep connected so we can get through this together.

We already have a large, diverse pool of volunteers who are willing to help with a variety of tasks so if you think you may need assistance, please getting in touch.

We can help with:

  • Deliveries (shopping, prescriptions etc.)
  • Daily befriending phone calls to isolated individuals
  • Relief workers in hospitality/retail if required to maintain essential services

Orkney Foodbank is able to help those on low income and financial difficulty with short-term food supplies. This is a confidential service. You can contact the Foodbank on 07719293378 or contact the local agent (Iain MacDonald) on 677357 or 

Pierowall Hotel and Cleaton House are both offering a meal service for delivery if needed by isolating households. 


Community Closures

Westray Playpark – As of 24th March 2020 the playpark and playing field will be closed until further notice. 

Westray Junior High School – From Friday 20th March 2020 the school will close until further notice. Provision is being put in place to allow those children who currently get free school meals to continue to get some support and we will add more information on this when we have it.

The Hofn  – Is closed to both Youth sessions and all other bookings until further notice. Any bookings already made are cancelled for at least the next month, possibly longer.

Kirks – services have been suspended until further notice. The Church of Scotland and Baptist kirks both remain open as places of prayer or quiet spaces – please follow guidelines at the door.

Pierowall Hotel and Cleaton House – Following government announcements bars and restaurants are now closed until further notice. However, takeaway services are still available along with meal delivery for those in self isolation. Please contact the hotel or Cleaton house directly for more information on the services available. 

Jacks Chippy – The Chippy is closed until further notice.

Healthy Living Centre – The gym and swimming pool will be closed from 4.30pm on Friday 20th March 2020 until further notice. 

Learning Centre and Community rooms – the learning centre, consultation room, community classrooms, and other community facilities within the school are closed until further notice. Any sessions already booked have been cancelled and no new bookings are being taken at this time. 

Kalisgarth – All visits to the care home are suspend for the time being. Please click here for more detail on what the current restrictions are around visiting. Folk are encouraged to keep in touch by phone, e-mail, letters, and Kalisgarth are willing to explore contact by social media/skype (or alternatives). To use the phone/skype route, please contact Kalisgarth Office Mon-Fri, 9-1230 to arrange a slot. If you send a message via text, phone or letter/e-mail, they will ensure it is passed on to clients, and read out to them if they need this assistance. Keeping in touch emails can be sent to:- or – please phone to advise if you have sent an urgent email/attachment. All community events/gatherings at Kalisgarth including Kirk, citizens advice, knitting and spinning group are now cancelled until further notice.

RBS – the bank will not open in Westray until further notice. The Kirkwall branch of RBS is still open. The Westray Post Offices at Tullochs & Peter Miller’s (Skello Shop) can perform the majority of banking services. 

Bargain Box – the bargain box will be closed until further notice. If any groups have a specific project that they are fundraising towards we would like to remind them that the WDT community grant scheme welcomes applications to fund community projects. 

Westray Playgroup – the playgroup is cancelled until after the Easter holidays, however, this will be subject to a review of the current guildlines.