Islanders adjust to tougher coronavirus restrictions

People living in the Western Isles were placed in lockdown as part of efforts to stem the spread of Covid-19.

People living in the Western Isles have spent the weekend adjusting to tough new restrictions in line with mainland Scotland.

Barra and Vatersay were already in level four but the rest of the islands moved into the top tier from level three on Saturday.

The move comes after Western Isles Hospital on Lewis reached full capacity as the islands reported a growing number of cases.

The Scottish Government said the measures are necessary to prevent the NHS from becoming overwhelmed.

The new restrictions are set to have a major impact on businesses, although many will now be entitled to extra financial assistance.

Taxi drivers said the streets are now empty with only a handful of customers in the course of a day.

Naomi Welch, who runs a barbershop in Stornoway, told STV News she was in tears after closing her doors on Friday.

Sarah Mackay, who runs a paint and wallpaper business, said customers were still getting used to the restrictions with many expecting to be able to browse in her shop.

However, Catriona Macleod, who runs Delights cafe, said: “We’ve been fortunate that we’ve been in level three for so long.

“It is necessary at the moment and you’ve got to look at the end line where we want everyone to be safe and that’s important.”

The Scottish Government has appealed to all islanders to stay at home and only go on journeys for essential reasons.