Publication - FOI/EIR release

COVID-19: Islands Survey Results: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
13 May 2021
COVID-19: Islands Survey Results: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100201422
Date received: 13 Apr 2021
Date responded: 13 May 2021
Information requested

The results of the islands consultation that the government undertook late last month.

Response

I enclose an analysis of the engagement exercise undertook between the 2nd and 26th March to gather the views of islander communities in regards to the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Analysis of the targeted exercise in relation to the easing of lockdown restrictions across Scotland’s islands.

Background

Scottish Government undertook an engagement exercise between the 22nd and 26th of March to gather the views of island communities in regards to the easing of lockdown restrictions. This exercise was developed at pace to allow Scottish Government to ensure a wide range of views were taken into consideration as decisions were being made. This exercise was undertaken in parallel to meetings with island local authorities and continued engagement with island community groups, businesses and tourism organisations. 

This targeted engagement directly informed policy decisions around the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions on our islands as part of a rounded approach that considered the 4 harms and clinical advice based on the science and data available.

Summary Analysis
Our engagement approach asked islanders to indicate their preference of the proposed options based on the FM’s statement of 16 March:

  • Island communities move in lockstep alongside the rest of the mainland on 26th April (and therefore are part of the relaxed freedom to travel across LA boundaries). This would mean islands currently in level 3 would remain in this level and those currently in level 4 would move to level 3 at the same time as the rest of the mainland.
  • Island communities move individually to a different lower level of restrictions (and therefore continue to restrict travel to and from islands for essential purposes only).
  • Other.

Please find a breakdown of the responses provided by local authority area below:

Local Authority

Total Number of Responses

Lockstep (%)

Individual Levels

with Travel Restrictions (%)

Other (%)

Argyll & Bute

137

72

18

9

Highland

10

80

0

20

North Ayrshire

54

74

9

17

Orkney

710

24

60

16

Shetland

97

30

62

8

Na h-Eileanan Siar

111

74

19

7

Unknown

88

38

57

6


The inclusion of a qualitative section allowed respondents to detail any concerns or considerations they thought should be taken into account when decisions were being made around the easing of lockdown restrictions on islands. This ensured that a binary approach to the consideration of options available was avoided and allowed a snapshot of the considerations/concerns of islanders around the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Conclusion

We received 1207 responses from across the islands within the timescale of the exercise. Of these responses 38% wanted to move in lockstep with the rest of Scotland, 49% wanted to move to individual levels with travel restrictions and 13% suggested another option. 

The majority of respondents from Argyll and Bute, Highland, North Ayrshire and Na h-Eileanan Siar indicated they wished to move in lockstep with the rest of Scotland.
The majority of respondents from Orkney and Shetland indicated they wished to move to an individual lower level with travel restrictions

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG