The Scottish government have released the restrictions which local authorities will face in order to combat the spread of the Coronavirus.
Perth and Kinross will be set to a tier two restriction, this means that shops will remain open, alcohol can be served with a ‘main meal’ and bans non-essential travel into tier three areas.
Reacting to the news that Perth & Kinross will be facing tier-three restrictions Council Chief Executive, Karen Reid, said, “I welcome the announcement today that the Perth & Kinross Council area is currently Level 2 in the Strategic Framework.
“This decision will no doubt come as a relief for our 152,000 residents and the many businesses which are located in Perth and Kinross. We cannot however be complacent and must support each other and the thousands of other residents across Tayside, many of whom face increased restrictions.”
The council explained level two restrictions include:
These new restrictions mean that Perth and Kinross residents may not socialize indoors, but can meet with six other people from two other households in a hospitality setting.
The hospitality sector continues to be allowed to serve food and alcohol can be served outdoors.
NHS Tayside are reminding people to remember ‘FACTS’ which advises people wear face coverings in shops and public transport, avoiding crowded spaces, clean your hands frequently, two-meters apart meets social distancing guidelines and self-isolate when experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
Karen Reid added: “Citizens, businesses and communities have done so much already to help each other, and I know they will continue to rise to the challenge. To suppress the virus, each and every one of us needs to play our part in keeping to the guidance.
“We all want as little restriction on our daily lives as possible, but as an area at a critical stage it is particularly important that we comply now, so that we can move to lower Levels in the future.
“Equally, if some people choose not to follow the guidance, they are putting us all at risk of both contracting the virus and of tighter restrictions being imposed.”
Offering his view in reaction to the news of lighter restrictions than anticipated, Conservative Highland Ward Councillor, John Duff, said: “I’m immensely relieved that the persistence of Conservative council leader, Murray Lyle, has paid off.
He said that the government, who had planned to enact greater restrictions, levying restrictions on par with those in Dundee ‘would have been so unfair for the residents and businesses in Perth and Kinross.’
Mr Duff added: “I am very glad that Councillor Lyle was able to make a strong case for Perth and Kinross.”
However, SNP, MSP for Perthshire North and deputy first minister, John Swinney, refuted this claim by suggesting the conservatives have been ‘scaremongering and alienating Dundee’ during the discussion leading up to the agreement that Perth and Kinross would be under tier two restrictions.
He was joined by SNP MP for Perth and North Perthshire, Pete Wishart, who claimed the council leader was ‘picking fights’ with Dundee during the process.
Commenting on the announcement, regional Conservative MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, Murdo Fraser, said: “I am very relieved to hear from Nicola Sturgeon that Perth and Kinross will be in Tier 2 and not linked with Dundee in Tier 3 of the new Covid restrictions. This move will be welcomed by many residents and businesses concerned about the impact of tighter restrictions.
“It’s important to stress how a large part of this decision to place Perth and Kinross in Tier 2 and not Tier 3 was down to the lobbying of Murray Lyle – a fact that Nicola Sturgeon essentially acknowledged today at Holyrood.”
Announcing in parallel to the news, NHS Tayside are reminding people that even though there are restrictions on traveling into tier three areas, they are continuing to provide their service to people in Perth and Kinross.
This is because essential travel for work or health appointments is exempt from the restrictions.
NHS Tayside Medical Director, Professor Peter Stonebridge said, “I would like to reassure people that health services are open for business despite the new restrictions in place in Dundee.
“Essential travel for health is permitted under the new regulations and our staff are ready to care for the people of Tayside. Please attend hospital and other health appointments as usual.
“However if you have an appointment at one of our clinics or departments, please attend alone. The exception to this is for children and vulnerable adults, who can be accompanied by one person.”