Eigg’s community response to COVID-19
Update 1 July 2020
We are a remote and geographically isolated community with both elderly and vulnerable residents. We have worked hard to ensure the health and wellbeing of all our residents since the beginning of this pandemic. We are sure you can appreciate and understand that there is a certain level of nervousness about re-opening to visitors. Not only do we want to continue to ensure our own health and wellbeing but also yours if you wish to travel here.
We are following Scottish Government guidelines and advice closely and working with CalMac, and everyone here on Eigg, to make sure both you and we move through the next phase safely and with the minimum of stress.
We will keep you updated with Eigg’s tourism business’ plans for the remainder of this year and into next, so visitors know what will and will not be open and when.
At present all accommodation and Galmisdale Bay Café have taken the decision to STAY CLOSED UNTIL 30 JULY. We will be reviewing our position for August and onwards over the coming weeks and will post updates here.
Ferry – Information on the number of passenger spaces on the ferry(s) will be an important part of this. Due to social distancing, passenger numbers will be very limited; currently around 18% of normal, so please help us by not travelling on the ferry so that island residents can catch up with mainland appointments and their off-Eigg families. You can read the latest CalMac update (at 26 June) here.
Camping – as our public toilet and showers are closed we ask wild and campsite campers not to come to Eigg during July. We’ll let you know how August is looking with an update on this website soon.
Yachts – in line with the current restrictions on the ferry, where only islanders and essential/emergency workers are allowed to step ashore, we strongly request that no yacht crews attempt to land on Eigg. This is echoed in Sail Scotland’s guidance that ‘Anchoring en-route is permitted but crew are not permitted to go ashore’.
We will be adding guidance and information on social distancing and safe practices to this website to ensure that both visitors and residents are safe whilst Covid-19 is prevalent.
Thank you ALL for helping keep Eigg safe.
Information below this point was issued prior to the update, but is still worth reading as it explains why we are working the way we are…slowly and with care.
COVID-19 is a new illness caused by a virus called coronavirus.
The Isle of Eigg has a small but resilient community of 110 people. However, our island location and small population do not provide a haven from infection; we are not immune to the coronavirus COVID-19.
Our community includes elderly and vulnerable people. We are working together as a community to help them stay healthy, at home here on Eigg.
We need you to help us do this.
As of Wednesday 18th March and updated Monday 23rd March 2020
What we are asking you to do
If you’re thinking of visiting Eigg, ask yourself
- Is your trip to our island totally necessary?
- Could it wait?
- Could you come at another time?
- Could you do what you need to do by phone or online?
As of Sunday 22nd March, the Scottish Government has announced that CalMac and other ferry companies will no longer be carrying non-essential travellers to the islands.
If you are planning a trip to Eigg in the next few months, please
- Keep up to date with the latest on travel advice from the UK or your own government. UK government guidance can be found here
- Check the latest advice from CalMac Ferries and contact your accommodation provider before travelling
- Get the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Scotland at the Scottish Government website
- Come back to this page and see if our advice has changed
Public health advice can be found at Coronavirus (COVID-19) on NHS Inform.
What we are doing
Washing our hands, not touching our faces and observing all other health and hygiene recommendations at home, and when visiting Eigg’s shop or other services
Anyone who displays symptoms of coronavirus COVID-19, however mild, will self-isolate at home for 7 days. Anyone living with someone who has a cough or temperature will stay at home for 14 days
We are practicing social distancing by
- Not undertaking unnecessary journeys on or off-island
- Working from home
- Cancelling all public events such as ceilidhs, concerts, exercise classes or social gatherings, until further notice
- Avoiding close physical contact with friends and family
- Being mindful of others when visiting our shop
- Using telephone or online methods for GP and other health consultations
- Talking with close friends and family who live off-Eigg about whether or not to postpone any planned visits
- Asking visitors if their trip is necessary
- The Isle of Eigg Shop is open, but only for islanders. For the moment, please do not enter the shop if you come to the island.
- Galmisdale Bay Cafe, Lageorna Restaurant and the Rest and be Thankful coffee spot are all closed.
- There is no taxi or summer minibus service available
We are closing community buildings such as:
- An Laimhrig waiting room, toilets and showers
- Croft No. 6 Museum
- Swap Shop and Old Shop display
- Community Learning Centre
We are also
- Keeping in touch by phone, email, or online chats
- Keeping at least 2 metres apart if we do have to meet face to face
- Finding ways of delivering food, medicine, fuel or other supplies to those who are elderly, vulnerable or self-isolating
- Getting outside and enjoying our wonderful air, landscape and occasionally good weather (roll on sunny spring!)
- Being good neighbours, supportive friends and staying positive
Visitors to Eigg bring many benefits to Eigg and we’re very grateful for your support.
We want you to enjoy our island. We don’t want your visit to be marred by ill health or worrying you might have “brought” COVID-19 to Eigg unknowingly.
We look forward to welcoming everyone back to Eigg when all this has passed. Until then, follow advice, stay well and look after each other. Just like we’re trying to do.