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Region’s Covid level to be decided

By Fiona Reid
Region's Covid level to be decided

DUMFRIES and Galloway could find out tomorrow which level it is going to be placed in by the Scottish Government.

The new five-tier system of Covid-19 restrictions was announced by the First Minister last Friday and since then there has been a short period of consultation with local authorities and directors of public health from each region.

And the the proposals for the five-level framework will be debated in the Scottish Parliament tomorrow, Tuesday, and, if agreed, they will be implemented from Monday, November 2.

However, one of the region’s MSPs believes the new system ‘raises more questions than answers’.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has criticised the failure to include what criteria will be used to determine which tier each local area will be in. He also believes the lack of detail in the framework will be particularly problematic for the hospitality sector.

He said: “People understand cases are on the rise across Scotland and restrictions are likely for some time to come but the Government’s confusing five-tier system does raise more questions than answers.

“Given the variation in levels across the country, with lower rates in rural areas, a local approach is appropriate, and I think there is a strong case for Dumfries and Galloway to be in tier 1.

“But we need more openness from the Government, with full transparency over the criteria they will use to decide which tier each area will be in and crucially what needs to be done in an area to ensure they can move to a lower tier.

“If restrictions are to be respected, they must carry credibility – and have public buy in but we know adherence to the rules is worryingly on decline and people are increasingly asking to see the evidence for the Government’s specific choices which has just not been forthcoming.”

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