The Scottish Government yesterday confirmed that the travel restriction of five miles for leisure and recreation will continue to apply in the DG1, DG2, DG11, DG12, DG13, DG14 and DG16 postcode areas. Visiting to care homes in these postcodes will continue to be suspended, and council leaders have urged people not to travel across the Scotland/England border to Cumbria for any non essential reason.
Dumfries and Galloway Council leader Elaine Murray said: “Dumfries and Galloway has done well so far in controlling coronavirus, however some complacency has crept in recently. We know that a couple of social gatherings which shouldn’t have taken place may be implicated in the spread of this outbreak. It’s vital that we adhere to the guidance this weekend, including that which remains in place in part of our region but has been relaxed elsewhere in Scotland. This outbreak reminds us that the virus is still circulating.
“We know it is in the community in Cumbria so it is essential that none of us travel to Carlisle for the reopening of the pubs this weekend, however tempting that may be.”
Deputy leader Rob Davidson added: “This is certainly not where we wanted to be at this stage of the pandemic, but first and foremost, the safety of our residents is our first priority and our council agrees wholeheartedly with the Scottish Government’s advice.”
A cross-border incident management team has been established which will continue to meet throughout the weekend.
Meanwhile, Annandale South councillor Henry McClelland has also made a plea to revellers from the area to stay away from Carlisle this weekend. He sounded a caution for locals who are considering a night out and said: “A lot of people will see this as an opportunity to hit the pubs but in light of what’s been highlighted in our locality with this cluster outbreak, please take a warning: if it is not controlled early we will end up with a local lockdown. I know the attraction of going to Carlisle for local people and it’s something youngsters may have traditionally enjoyed and they will see this an opportunity, but it could blow these numbers out of the water.”
Mr McClelland added: “It’s incredible what we have done as a region in keeping numbers so low and, with everyone complying, we have got there and now been hit with this cluster. We do not know where it’s going to go yet. Test and protect is being ramped up, it’s in full swing. The implications if we get a number of additional cases are that we could get an incremental spread from that. “The next few days are absolutely critical: these test results will determine what action and future action may need to be taken.”
Cumbria’s Local Resilience Forum is reminding people that Covid-19 has not gone away and chairman, Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Slattery, said: “We must remember that coronavirus is still present in Cumbria. We all need to continue to follow the Government’s guidance to reduce the risk to ourselves and others, including social distancing, increased hygiene measures and following the instructions of staff. “We are also urging people to consider their own personal safety.”