General health advice

Covid-19 is the illness caused by the Coronavirus. In Scotland, the public health response to cases of Covid-19 is led by the NHS. To find out about the current situation in Scotland and the UK visit the NHS Inform website, which is updated regularly. The site is the best source of information about steps we can all take to avoid viral infections and advice on what to do if you are returning from – or planning to visit – areas of the world where there have been cases of Covid-19.

NHS Inform:

Health Protection Scotland:


Given the ongoing developments of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Orkney Harbour Authority is in contact communication with cruise operators. The Scottish Government, Public Health Scotland and the Port Health Authority are taking proactive measures to mitigate against the impact of COVID-19 and are providing instructions for all Ports to follow. As the COVID-19 developments remain fluid, the Cruise calls that were scheduled prior to the season for April, May and June have either been cancelled or are under review.

The Port will follow the instructions, advice and guidance from the governing authorities and experts as it becomes available.

Port Health

In advance of any vessel (including cruise liners) arriving at Orkney, they must complete a statutory Maritime Declaration of Health form, which has been specifically amended to address COVID-19. This must state if any passenger(s) or crewmember(s) is suffering from any of the symptoms of COVID-19 or if they have travelled from, visited or transited via known areas infected by the virus.

The form will also indicate the origin of the ship, when it left the origin port, and all ports where the vessel has docked during the 14 days prior to arrival. As the governing body and regulator, the responsibility for managing COVID-19 rests Orkney Islands Council’s Port Health Authority, who will examine the form and only if they are satisfied will the go-ahead be given for the ship to enter the Port.

If a ship declares there are symptoms of COVID-19 on board, it will be held outside Port limits to allow the Port Health Authority to make their assessment of the situation and quarantine the ship if necessary. Our pilots will only board an incoming vessel when it has been deemed that it is safe to do so, and authorisation has been given for them to proceed.

All quarantined ships will be the responsibility of the Council’s Port Health Authority, NHS Orkney, Health Protection Scotland and Scottish Government.


Travel information related to Covid-19 is available here.

Visit Scotland:

Association of Port Harbour Authorities:

Subscribe to Alerts
To receive a notification when we add a new Notice, please enter your email below and click Subscribe.