International

Barra outbreak ‘serious’ as cases rise to 39

The serious outbreak of coronavirus on the Scottish island of Barra in the Outer Hebrides is “escalating”, the NHS says.

Covid-19 cases have increased to 39, according to NHS Western Isles.

On Sunday the health board said there had been 12 new positive tests related to the Barra outbreak, which first emerged more than a week ago.

On Barra, those who have tested positive along with more than 100 close contacts are self isolating. The number in isolation represents about a 10th of the island’s total population.

Separately, two new cases were also identified in a smaller outbreak on the island of Benbecula.

The total of four Benbecula cases include a member of the US defence services who had arrived on the island for a naval exercise at the Hebrides Range, a military rocket firing facility.

The US Missile Defence Agency said all US and UK Covid protocols were followed.