Listed below are changes to Council Services during the Festive Period from December 2023 to January 2024, including closure dates and any planned changes to Services over Christmas and New Year. If you are uncertain about any changes to a specific service, please contact them directly.
NHS Shetland has details of Festive Opening Times for local health and care services, including pharmacies, dentists, opticians and patient travel. If you need urgent care or mental health support, please call NHS24 on 111. If you have a serious illness or injury, please call 999.
Local contact details and opening hours of Third Sector care and support organisations are available on the website of Voluntary Action Shetland
The majority of Council premises, including
- Lerwick Town Hall
- Hayfield House
- 8 North Ness
- Sella Ness
will be closed from 5pm on Friday 22nd December 2023 and will reopen again on the morning of Wednesday 3rd January 2024.
Specific Council services are listed below.
Holiday arrangements for treatment of Ice and Snow
The treatment of ice and snow is a daytime service only, starting at 6am. No routine treatment is provided in the evenings or overnight.
Roads will be treated throughout the festive as per the normal winter service. There will be no scheduled treatment taking place on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
A gritter crew in each area will be on standby in the evenings and on Christmas and New Year’s Days to respond to “blue light” emergencies, Police call-outs and severe weather conditions.
If you must drive in snowy conditions and require a road condition report please contact:
- Roads - 01595 744866 - office hours, extended during bad snow conditions
- Visit our roads winter treatment pages for more information
Opening hours for the Gremista Waste Management Facility in Lerwick can be found on our Rubbish and Recycling page
Please note that the Gremista site will be CLOSED on
- Monday 25th and Tuesday 26th December 2023
- and Monday 1st and Tuesday 2nd January 2024
The site will open as normal on Wednesday 3rd January.
- There will be NO collections on Monday 25th, Tuesday 26th or Wednesday 27th December 2023; or on Monday 1st or Tuesday 2nd January 2024.
- Please place your refuse or recycling bins out for collection at 7.30am on the appropriate day.
- Normal household collections will resume from Monday 8th January 2024
- The Festive Period timetable for the Council's Inter-Island Ferries is available on our Ferries webpage (PDF)
- Current Ferry Status information is also available online and via the telephone Voicebanks
- Bookings for sailings on Monday 25th & Tuesday 26th December 2023 and for Monday 1st & Tuesday 2nd January 2024 must be made no later than 1300hrs on Sunday 24th or Sunday 31st December 2023. Contact the Ferries Booking Office at Ulsta on 01595 745804 or online at ferry.shetland.gov.uk/
- Outside the dates covered by the Festive Period timetable, ferry services will operate to the normal Winter Timetable
- Northlink Ferries have details of sailings between Aberdeen, Kirkwall and Lerwick over the Festive period on their website.
There will be NO public bus services running in Shetland on Monday 25th and Tuesday 26th December 2023; and Monday 1st and Tuesday 2nd January 2024.
Details of changes to Bus Services during the Festive period are available on the ZetTrans website.
In the event of service disruption, updates can be obtained by calling the Bus Service Voicebank on 01595 745744.
An interactive webpage with full details of bus, flight and ferry timetables on routes throughout Shetland is available at: https://travel.shetland.org/
Tingwall Airport will be CLOSED on:
- Monday 25th and Tuesday 26th December 2023
- & Monday 1st and Tuesday 2rd January 2024
Details of inter-island flight timetables can be found on the Airtask website.
Members of the Anchor for Families team will be available from 10-3pm, Wednesday 27th to Friday 29th December 2023. To make contact, phone the Cost of Living number on 0800 0308780. If no one is available, leave a message and this will be picked up, as soon as possible.
The St Ringans Hub will be OPEN on:
Tuesday 19th December 10.30am-1.30pm, then closed until reopening on Saturday 6th January 2024, from 10.30am-1.30pm.
- Day Services and Lunch Clubs – Individual service users will be informed of the arrangements at their day service.
- Supported Living and Outreach and ACT Service – Supported accommodation services will operate as normal. If tenants’ plans change they should contact their keyworker or care co-ordinator to discuss.
- Short Break and Respite Services (Newcraigielea) – Individual families will be informed of the arrangements.
- Supported Vocational Activity (Eric Gray@Seafield) – Individual service users will be informed of the arrangements.
Emergency repairs to schools, offices and public buildings - including public toilets and burial grounds - should be reported to the Out of Office Hours number - 01595 744150.
All other repairs can be reported by calling Buildings Helpdesk on 01595 744183 when the office re-opens on Wednesday 3rd January 2024 or repairs can be reported by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tenants in Council properties with requests for Emergency repairs should look under 'Housing' section
There will be no interment bookings taken for Monday 25th December 2023 and Monday 1st January 2024.
For any urgent enquiries please contact Burial Services by telephone on 07796 276404; 01595 744898, or by email on email@example.com. Emergency repairs to burial grounds outwith normal working hours should be reported to 01595 744150.
Burial Services Gremista staff will return on Thursday 4th January 2024. Please contact us by telephone on 01595 744853 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an appointment in advance.
- Short Breaks for Children - Families will be informed of individual arrangements over the Festive period.
- Residential childcare services will be open as usual.
- See also Schools below
Residential and care at home services will run as usual during the Festive Period. Service users and their families will be informed of any alternative arrangements.
- The Out of Hours service will be available as normal 01595 695611 when the office is closed. This is the general out of hours service which covers Children and Families, Community Care and Criminal Justice - for emergencies only.
The Council's Finance section at 8 North Ness will be closed from 5pm on Friday 22nd December 2023 and will reopen again at 9am on Wednesday 3rd January 2024. Payments for items such as Council tax, invoices, and non-domestic rates can still be paid online during this time.
However, an out of hours emergency service for the Scottish Welfare Fund only will be available by telephoning 01595 695611. For access to Crisis Grants contact the Anchor for Families Team.
The Council's HR Service at 8 North Ness will be closed from 5pm on Friday 22nd December 2023 and will reopen again at 9am on Wednesday 3rd January 2024.
If you have any queries please contact HumanResources@shetland.gov.uk – e-mails will be responded to when staff return to work in January 2024
Please note that if you are having difficulties with your recruitment application form or account there is an FAQ page available on the myjobscotland site.
The Council's Housing Service at 8 North Ness will be closed from 5pm on Friday 22nd December 2023 and will reopen again at 9am on Wednesday 3rd January 2024.
- During this time, any Council tenants needing Emergency repairs to properties should contact the Out of Office Hours number - 01595 693972
- All other repairs can be reported by calling Housing Repairs on 01595 744399 when the office re-opens on Wednesday 3rd January 2024 or you can report your repair by e-mail – email@example.com providing all relevant details.
Anyone with nowhere to stay or is at risk of homelessness between these dates and times can call the Duty Housing Officer on 01595 695611 for assistance and advice on homelessness and temporary accommodation.
- All other housing application enquiries can be made when the office re-opens on Wednesday 3rd January 2024. Housing information and advice can be found on our Housing Service webpage.
Islesburgh Community Centre
- Closes at 10.30pm on Friday 22nd December 2023
- Re-opens at 9am on Thursday 4th January 2024
Islesburgh House Hostel
- Will be closed from Saturday 2nd December 2023, and will reopen on Monday 15th January 2024.
The Living Well Hubs will close for the Festive period. Details below
The last day open for the Living Well Hub in Brae will be Monday 18th December 2023, from 10am – 2pm; and it will re-open on Friday 5th January 2024, from 10am – 4pm.
The last day open for the Living Well Hub in Scalloway will be on Wednesday 20th December 2023, from 9am – 1pm; and it will re-open on Wednesday 10th January 2024, from 9am – 1pm.
The last day open for the Living Well Hub in Bressay will be on Wednesday 20th December 2023, from 2pm – 4pm; and it will re-open on Wednesday 10th January 2024, from 2pm – 4pm.
More details at: www.shetland.gov.uk/health-wellbeing/living-well-hub
The hours for the Community Occupational Therapy service over the Festive period will be:
- Monday 25th December 2023 - CLOSED
- Tuesday 26th December - CLOSED
- Wednesday 27th December - Open
- Thursday 28th December - Open
- Friday 29th December - Open
- Monday 1nd January 2024 - CLOSED
- Tuesday 2rd January - CLOSED
Open as normal from Wednesday 3rd January.
Calls can be made to 01595 744319 and a message left, or by email to OT.Duty@shetland.gov.uk. Messages and emails will be answered on the next working day.
The Registrar's Office will be CLOSED from 2 pm on Friday 22nd December 2023, and will reopen again on the morning of Wednesday 3rd January 2024.
The Registrar Office will be open for telephone enquiries and appointments ONLY on:
- Wednesday 27th December 2023 from 10am to 2pm
- Thursday 28th December 2023 from 10am to 2pm
- and Friday 29th December 2021 from 10am to 2pm
Normal service will resume on Wednesday 3rd January 2024.
Telephone 01595 744562 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
All schools in Shetland will close for the Christmas holidays from the end of the school day on Friday 22nd December 2023 and reopen to pupils on the morning of Tuesday 9th January 2024 Full details of the school calendar can be found on the Term Dates page
Please contact schools directly with any queries.
The last bookings for Council managed games halls at Brae, Sandwick and Scalloway Schools, and the Gilbertson Park Hall, will be on Friday 22nd December 2023. The first bookings in the New Year will be on Thursday 4th January 2024.
- Shetland Recreational Trust have details of their Festive Opening Times for pools and leisure centres on their website - www.srt.org.uk/news/srt-festive-opening-hours-2023-24
Opening Hours can be found on our Shetland Library webpages
Normal opening hours will apply from Wednesday 3rd January 2024, when the libary will reopen from 10am.
Books can be returned anytime at the 24-hour returns point outside the Library door.
Library Van Information
There's also schedules for the Mobile Library Van
Social Work will be closed on Mon 25th & Tues 26th December, and Mon 1st & Tues 2nd January 2024. The Duty Social Worker can be contacted out of hours on 01595 695611. This out of hours service covers Social Work, Adult and Child Protection, Children and Families, Community Care and Criminal Justice.
For winter essentials, childrens' clothes and more, the St Ringan's Hub at Lower Hillhead, Lerwick will be open:
- Mon 19th Dec, 1.30pm – 5pm
- Thur 22nd Dec, 1.30pm – 5pm
- Wed 28th Dec, 10am – 12noon
- Thurs 29th Dec, 1pm – 3pm
- Fri 30th Dec, 10am – 12noon
Normal opening times (Monday and Thursday 1pm-5.30pm) return 5th January 2023.
More details on the Anchor for Families link above