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Lockdown lift starts

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By Fiona Reid
Front
Lockdown lift starts

A HANDFUL of lockdown restrictions will start to lift from today — but local politicians have urged the public to continue to act responsibly.

Yesterday First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that Scotland is moving to phase one of the route map out of lockdown, which will ease some restrictions and bring in an enhanced system of test, trace and isolate, now known as Test and Protect.

  • Households will now be able to meet with another household in an outdoor setting, although government advice suggests only meeting one household per day and that groups should be kept to fewer than eight people where possible.
  • Most outdoor work will be able to resume, and the construction industry will be able to restart site preparation.
  • Garden centres and outdoor nurseries can reopen, as can restaurants will drive-thru facilities.
  • There is no limit on travelling for recreation, although the advice is to stay within five miles of home where possible.
  • Some sports, such as golf and fishing, will be able to resume, and people are now able to sit or sunbathe in parks.
  • And some public services like respite care and health programmes will be able to restart, while Dumfries and Galloway Council has confirmed that household waste recycling centres will reopen on Monday.

Social distancing of two metres should be maintained at all times.

Commenting on yesterday’s announcement, South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said: “The slight easing of the lockdown will be welcomed by many people but it is fraught with dangers. Lots of people have been in touch with me about issues such as recycling centres, garden centres and golf courses so they will be relieved.

“But if everyone now rushes to take advantage of the changes then that will cause huge problems and we will soon find ourselves back in lockdown. People need to act responsibly, use common sense and remember that this pandemic has killed many people in our region and ultimately saving lives is the most important consideration in everything we do.”

Fellow South Scotland MSP Emma Harper also encouraged the public to stick to guidelines and said: “The hard work of the people of Dumfries and Galloway, and of Scotland, in following the lockdown restrictions to stop the spread of Covid-19 is now starting to work. This means families can start to see one another and people can start to see the beginning of what’s described as the new normal.” Discussing Test and Protect, she added: “Contact tracers are now in place to help identify anyone who may be at risk of Covid-19 – these individuals will be supported to take the necessary steps to protect themselves and to protect the wider public.”

  • Anyone experiencing Covid-19 symptoms should isolate for 14 days and seek advice from NHS Inform by calling 0800 224 488 if they have any questions.
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