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Visiting Sumburgh Head during Covid-19

Published: 28 May 2020

As the managers of Sumburgh Head Lighthouse, Visitor Centre and Nature Reserve we are urging the public to check the Government guidelines before visiting the site.

Today the Scottish Government announced that we would move into ‘Phase 1’ of their Covid-19 Route map to the gradual easing of lockdown on Friday 29th May. This allows people to undertake more outdoor activity and to travel short distances for outdoor leisure and exercise.  The guidance suggests that this should be travel, ‘within a short distance of your local community (broadly within 5 miles) and travel by walk, wheel or cycle where possible.’ 

Under the Government guidelines, this would mean only people who live within 5 miles of Sumburgh Head should be visiting the site. 

Sandy Middleton, Head of Engagement said, “It is wonderful for many of us to be able to get out and about more and we know people are excited to get back to Sumburgh Head and to see the puffins.  We do urge people to be responsible though, to maintain social distancing, to only visit if you live nearby, and to avoid the site if you arrive and it appears to be busy. 

It is important that people are aware that the toilets and visitor centre itself all remain closed and that there are no staff on site.  As such there are no hand washing facilities available and we ask that people take any litter home with them.  If people do visit for a walk around the outdoor areas of the site then they should avoid touching gates and railings where at all possible and clean their hands afterwards.”

For those people who are unable to visit the site then there are lots of activities and information on the Sumburgh Head website and social media pages.  We continue to monitor the Government guidance and will reopen sites including Sumburgh Head and Shetland Museum and Archives as and when it is safe and appropriate to do so.