Covid-19 Position Statement

From Knoydart Foundation, South Knoydart Community Council and Resilient Knoydart

28 April 2020

Over the past six weeks the Knoydart community has faced many challenges brought on by the Covid-19 outbreak. We have established a community resilience group – Resilient Knoydart – whose remit is to manage information distribution, facilitate action planning, and support the creation and management of working groups to help address the challenges put before our community.

All public-facing operators on the peninsula continue to remain closed, and residents are adopting social distancing measures in line with Government guidelines. Knoydart continues to have no medical and limited food purchase facilities; however, we are working closely with our ferry operator to ensure that residents continue to receive essential supplies.

Remote communities such as ours have the opportunity to shield ourselves more effectively, however if the virus arrives, we are at a higher risk of increased infection and death rates, primarily due to an ageing population. Our location puts us in a unique position to try and protect our community as best we can, for as long as possible – so long as everyone follows Scottish Government and local guidance. If there is a significant issue or a serious breach of lockdown travel restrictions which can be confirmed without doubt, reports can be made anonymously to the Police via 101.

Regrettably, the community cannot currently welcome visitors and we will continue to strongly discourage travel to and from Knoydart for anything other than essential reasons, for the foreseeable future. To further protect our community and minimise the risk of Covid-19 spreading, we ask essential travellers to follow the lead of other community members and consider self-isolating for seven days upon return from any essential travel on the mainland. We will be seeking to communicate with everyone in our local community, including tourism businesses, in the near future to see if we can come to a Knoydart-wide agreement on visitor policy as Government restrictions are lifted.

Finally, we must stress the importance of putting aside any blame if Covid-19 reaches us, and manage the situation in a productive, inclusive manner to ensure everyone in our community is cared for.

Thank you all for your cooperation and understanding. If you would like further information or advice on any matters we have raised, please get in touch with a member of the SKCC or Resilient Knoydart teams, and we’ll do our very best to help.