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Level two anger

By Fiona Reid
Level two anger

ANGER has been expressed at the decision to keep Dumfries and Galloway in level two covid restrictions for another week.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was due to ‘significantly higher levels of infection’ in neighbouring areas, including Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire which are level four.

But critics say the decision makes a mockery of the level system.

And they point to the government’s own statistics which acknowledge low case numbers in the region, as well as ‘consistent improvements’, and which forecast low rates of infection in this area going forward.

There are currently just five people in hospital in Dumfries and Galloway due to covid and case numbers increased by 32 in the last week, while there were five deaths also recorded in the last week.

Ms Sturgeon told parliament on Tuesday: “In Dumfries and Galloway, the data there is indicative of a move to level one soon, however the concern right now is that Dumfries and Galloway is bordered by areas with quite significantly higher levels of infection.

“So that’s why the strong public health advice, which the Cabinet have agreed, is for it to remain in level two for now.”

However, she indicated there could be a change next week.

Reacting to the decision, South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said: “Based on its own criteria, the Scottish Government should be moving Dumfries and Galloway into level one this week, failing to do so makes a mockery of the whole tier system.

“People in our region have worked hard to follow tough restrictions and now they will be left wondering what more they can possibly do to see a move down to level one.

“My constituents are losing faith in the Scottish Government, which says one thing and then does another.

“Keeping our region in a higher level than it should will have a devastating impact on local businesses at a time our high streets and hospitality sector are on its knees.”

Many Annandale Herald readers agreed and added their comments to our social media.

Cammy Lauder, from Lockerbie, said: “So people’s efforts in Dumfries and Galloway were needless then? There are folk losing their businesses and income all over the area.

“Delays here due to the inability of other areas to follow rules are ridiculous.”

Ian Graham from Ecclefechan said: “I thought each area was treated on what it did, not what other areas are doing? They have no intention of putting us down.”

And Ali Cronie from Dumfries added: “It’s nothing but a shambles.”

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