COVID-19 Localised Restrictions statement

Scottish Government has today announced that following an outbreak of COVID-19 in the east of Dumfries and Galloway this area will have localised restrictions put in place immediately and will be reviewed on Monday 6th July. 

The areas affected are postcodes: DG1, DG2, DG11, DG12, DG13, DG14 and DG16. 

This decision made today by Scottish Government includes:

  • Continuing with the enforced travel restrictions of 5 miles from home for leisure and recreation in these postcode areas
  • The ongoing suspension of visiting to care homes in these postcode areas
  • Particular focus on encouraging people not to travel across the Scotland/England border to Cumbria 

Elaine Murray, Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council 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 essential that none of us travel to Carlisle for the reopening of the pubs this weekend, however tempting that may be” 

Rob Davidson, Depute Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council said: “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. Please continue to follow that advice, this weekend in particular, to help keep everyone safe.

 It is unfortunate that we were just starting to see the first signs of a return to normality, but we always knew this was a precarious journey with no certainty of the road ahead.

 Our Council will work with our partners in Public Health, the NHS and Police Scotland to ensure that we take all steps possible to provide all the help we can to our residents in these areas for as long as is needed, as we have done previously. We hope for everyone’s sake that this time it will be for as short a period as possible.”

 Jeff Ace, Chief Executive of NHS Dumfries and Galloway said: “I would like to commend the multi-agency response we have seen to date to this cluster of COVID-19 cases in the Annan and Gretna areas of Dumfries and Galloway. Some excellent multi-agency working has taken place, and this continues as we seek to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Restrictions announced by the Scottish Government will affect certain postcode areas of our region, and we would ask everyone to recognise these and to act accordingly in support of this work.

 The people of Dumfries and Galloway have supported the work to reduce the impact of COVID-19 over recent months and we thank them for their continued vigilance.

 I would urge anyone experiencing symptoms of coronavirus to immediately self-isolate and arrange testing via the mobile testing unit.”

 Nick Morris, Chairman of NHS Dumfries and Galloway said: “A great deal of activity has been taking place to address the cluster of COVID-19 cases in the Annan and Gretna areas, and this is continuing today through our Test and Protect system. This action is necessary to limit the risk of further transmission.

 We would also highlight the decision made today by the Scottish Government not to ease restrictions on travel within certain of our postcode areas for leisure and recreation, and the ongoing suspension of visiting to care homes in these areas.

 We acknowledge the effects that the response will have on those individuals directly affected and wider communities, but it is vitally important that everyone follows the national guidance. Doing this will help to contain the virus and will continue to help save lives.”

 

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has described the decision by the Scottish Government to retain the advice on limiting travel for leisure to five miles over the weekend for residents who live in parts of Dumfries and Galloway as a “sensible measure”.

The announcement was made by the First Minister during her press conference today where she outlined that the advisory restriction on travel distance will be lifted for the rest of Scotland.

The areas covered by the retention of the restriction are those covered by postcodes DG1, DG2, DG11, DG12, DG13, DG14, DG16 namely the Dumfries, Annan, Gretna, Langholm and Lockerbie areas. The guidance continues to allow residents from these areas to travel for non-leisure activities such as work and essential shopping.

The decision is likely to be reviewed on Monday.

The measure comes as the number of confirmed new cases of COVID-19 in Dumfries and Galloway since Monday rose to ten. These are linked to contact with cases in three workplaces, Youngs Seafood Ltd,  Alpha Solway Ltd both in Annan and the Cumberland Hospital in Carlisle.

 

ColinSmythMSP

Colin Smyth said, “This news will be disappointing for many people in Dumfries and Galloway who were looking forward to travelling a little bit further from this weekend. But it seems a sensible measure given the number of cases in our area and the fact that pubs and restaurants in Carlisle are re-opening on Saturday”.

“Until we know that the test and trace process has contained this outbreak, then a precautionary approach is needed and hopefully it will be lifted from Monday.”

“The big challenge will be enforcement because the travel limit is only advisory and has never been the law. The Government can only appeal to people to follow the guidance and remain vigilant. This virus has not gone away. Not only should we continue to follow the travel restrictions but socially distance by keeping two metres away from others where possible, maintain high levels of hand hygiene and wear face coverings on public transport and in shops. If anyone starts showing symptoms of Covid-19, they should self-isolate immediately and book a test as soon as possible. “

“This cluster of cases in our region won’t be the last and both our Governments need to focus on sensible measures to minimise and control those outbreaks rather than bickering over so-called border controls”. 

 

 

David Mundell 2018

Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP David Mundell and Dumfriesshire constituency MSP Oliver Mundell have issued the following joint-statement on the latest developments on the Annan and Gretna area coronavirus outbreak.

It reads: “We were grateful for a briefing we received from Scotland’s Medical Director Jason Leitch and Deputy First Minster John Swinney on the current situation in Dumfries and Galloway. 

 

"We believe the measures taken in the Annan and Gretna areas and surrounding postcodes are proportionate and appropriate in light of the local outbreak. 

"Hopefully, the 'Test and Protect' arrangements will be able to identify all those that could be affected and the outbreak can be contained quickly. 

"We urge all those contacted to give as full information as possible as that is the best way to minimise the risk to others. These arrangements will be temporary if the necessary progress can be made and will be reviewed on Monday if not earlier.”

 

joan Mcalpine

Commenting on the cross border outbreak of Covid-19, South Scotland SNP MSP Joan McAlpine said:

“While this is unfortunate news for the people of Dumfries and Galloway, everyone should be reassured that everything that can be done is being done by the Scottish Government and local public health officials to contain this outbreak.

“But our health protection staff also need everyone in the affected areas to do the right thing and strictly adhere to the necessary measures to prevent any further spread.

“It is particularly unfortunate that this outbreak has happened while the rest of the country takes some further small steps out of lockdown.

“But we trust the people of Dumfries and Galloway to stick to the rules so we too can get back to a more normal way of life as soon as possible.

“If that means cancelling your planned trip across the border to visit a beer garden this weekend it’s a small sacrifice to help protect each other.”