For the latest COVID-19 travel information and to find out what's open, click here.
  • St Magnus Cathedral, Orkney

Latest update

Read the latest COVID-19 information from Orkney - last updated on 7/10/20

You'll always get a warm welcome in Orkney.

If you are thinking of visiting us in the coming weeks and months, we’d respectfully ask you to read all of the latest official Scottish Government and NHS Scotland guidelines relating to COVID-19 before deciding to travel.

Our travel operators are working hard to safely maintain links to and from the islands, for local people and visitors alike, so you can undertake your journey with confidence. Find out more via these links:

Equally, our accommodation providers and local businesses are committed to ensuring visitors and customers can enjoy the Orkney experience as much as possible during this challenging time.

However, we would ask that you check with travel operators on their requirements before making a journey to Orkney, and please ensure you have local accommodation booked in advance.

Our community has worked hard to protect its most vulnerable members from COVID-19 and ensure our limited health services have not been overwhelmed during the pandemic.

It’s vital we continue to ensure the safety of our community and we’d kindly ask you to follow this advice while in Orkney. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t travel to Orkney if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, and if you develop them whilst here, you should book a test immediately.

NHS Orkney has a direct phone line to book a COVID-19 test. If you have a new continuous cough OR fever OR loss of / change in sense of smell or taste which started within the last five days you should self isolate immediately and call to book a test on 01856 888 211 between 09:30-17:30 Monday-Friday and 08:30 - 11.30 Saturday and Sunday.

  • Please respect any changes or systems a tourism business has had to implement to protect staff, themselves, visitors and the local community.
  • Wash your hands regularly and use hand sanitiser wherever it is provided.
  • Observe cough etiquette, physical distancing and mask wearing rules at all times (particularly on public transport).
  • Avoid direct hand contact with your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • If you’re staying in self-catering accommodation and are buying supplies, check availability with local shops. Some are offering a delivery service to avoid too many people being in their premises at once.
  • If eating out, book your table in advance where needed or consider ordering takeaways rather than sitting in.
  • Check notices on the doors and windows of shops, visitor attractions, cafés, bars, restaurants, etc., as they may be limiting the number of people they allow in. If they’re busy, go back later, or alternatively, give them a call.
  • Use contactless payment in local shops as much as possible, or arrange for pre-payment.
  • Advise the tourism business you’re staying with immediately if anyone in your party shows symptoms of COVID-19 (high temperature, a new and continuous cough or a change in sense of smell or taste) during or 14 days after your visit and follow the current Scottish Government advice about returning home and self-isolating.
  • Enjoy our outdoors spaces and please remember to take your litter away with you.

When you're here, you might find that some of our visitor attractions aren’t yet open – it’s best to check directly with attractions you’re keen to see - but what we do have in abundance is outdoors space.

When you come to Orkney, you become part of our community – however brief your visit. We know you’ll treat our beaches, seas and countryside with respect, but we’d also like to ask you to be patient as our local businesses and facilities return to some kind of normality.

If you are travelling to our smaller islands, travel restrictions apply and we would ask you to take particular care as there are limited health services in these communities.

We’ll update visitor information when necessary and we have tried to answer some of your main questions too.

By helping us at this unusual time, you’ll be playing your part in our community’s efforts to rebuild Orkney’s tourism industry and we greatly appreciate your co-operation.

Event/attraction information

Many events and activities planned for 2020 have been postponed or cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A number of attractions are also closed. We've tried to highlight as many as possible below. If you have any questions surrounding a specific event or activity, it's recommended you contact the organisers directly. You can also view our What's Open listings for things to see and do, food, drink & crafts and eating out.

Highland Park Distillery's visitor experience is closed until further notice.

Maeshowe is currently closed. Skara Brae reopened on 28th August. Tickets for the site can be booked online. Unstaffed sites, such as the Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness, remain open and free to access.

The Orkney Fossil & Heritage Centre will remain closed for 2020.

Tomb of the Eagles will remain closed for 2020.

A number of Orkney Island Council-run leisure, cultural and library facilities, including the Pickaquoy Centre, Corrigall Farm Museum and the Scapa Flow exhibition at Lyness, (including guided walks around the Lyness Wartime Trail), are closed until further notice.

Orkney Brewery's visitor centre and shop are closed, but beer can still be ordered online.

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