Covid Measures and Mitigations - April 2022

At the time of agreeing to proceed with organising this year’s Festival, the rules were constantly evolving and we promised to update you on the latest position prior to the event commencing.

As of the 18th April, there are no longer any legal requirements in Scotland in relation to face-coverings, vaccine certification or isolation, with Scotland’s Test and Protect arrangements coming to an end completely on 30th April.

Scotland’s travel rules for people arriving from abroad have also ended. However, it remains likely that both Northlink Ferries and Loganair Airlines may ask passengers to self-declare if they have been presenting any symptoms of Covid19.

All Covid19 mitigation measures have moved now from regulations to guidance, but the Scottish Government still strongly recommend that face coverings continue to be worn on public transport (including Northlink) and in indoor crowded areas.

We expect that many of our audience goers and personnel will continue to wear face coverings voluntarily and the Festival absolutely welcomes this.

Thanks to vaccination and treatments, the Scottish Government is now relying on people and organisations taking basic, sensible steps to reduce the risk and harm from Covid19. It is for this reason that we are scaling back our Festival Club offering this year and focusing our 40th concert programming in larger venues.

We will also be optimising ventilation at all concert venues and our sound operators, technicians, volunteers and venue staff will be following good practise measures to continue to reduce transmission. Everyone else should continue to maintain good respiratory hygiene, wash hands regularly and use the hand sanitiser that will be available at all venues.

We really need all our audience goers, performers and volunteers to work with us, be responsible and be respectful.

Ultimately it is up to individuals to choose which measures they follow, and we hope that respect is shown to all with regards to the choices they make in terms of face coverings etc. As our seating is unallocated, we suggest that all audience-goers consider attending our events with a face-covering as they may find themselves in circumstances where they feel that it is courteous to wear one.

We also ask all Festival attendees to respect anyone who chooses to take part in the Distance Aware Scheme

MOST IMPORTANTLY THOUGH - if any of our performers, volunteers or audience goers are feeling unwell and presenting symptoms of Covid19 (or any other nasty virus for that matter!) we are asking everyone to PLEASE be responsible and stay at home until they get better.

For suspected Covid19, PCR tests will be available up until 30th April and Lateral flow/rapid response antigen test are widely available for purchase at local supermarkets and pharmacies. For more information on Test and Protect, click here OR to book at test in Shetland before the 30th April, click Shetland PCR request form or phone 01595 532030 if you are unable to access the internet

We know that this continues to be an anxious time for many and whilst we are so excited to be back with a Festival offering once more, we are fully aware that we have not returned to pre-pandemic conditions, and everyone should be continuing to follow Public Health guidance to minimise the risk of transmission of Covid19.

The safety and wellbeing of all our performers, volunteers and members of the community is extremely important to us. We are mindful that for many people in Shetland, the guidance they are following for work or health reasons still involves regular testing, imposing controls and taking multiple precautions. We are also mindful that many of our visiting artistes and technical staff have important livelihood supporting commitments after the Shetland Folk Festival, so PLEASE (pretty please) let us all work together to deliver a safe event.

Many thanks for your co-operation,

Da Committee x