Covid in Scotland: Dumfries and Galloway and Borders move to level 1

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Image source, Billy McCrorie
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Dumfries and Galloway is set to move down a level in the restrictions

Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders are being moved to level one coronavirus restrictions.

The change will allow pubs, cafes and restaurants to serve food and alcohol in line with normal licensing rules, although they must close by 22:30.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said there had been "consistently low" levels in both areas for several weeks.

The two areas will move out of the level two restrictions at 18:00 on Friday.

It follows persistent calls in both areas in recent weeks to make the move after consistently low case numbers.

Image source, Leslie Barrie
Image caption,
Levels have been "consistently low" in the Borders for some time

However, the Scottish government had previously resisted the change preferring to "err on the side of caution".

It pointed out that while case indicators were important, health officials also had to "apply judgement" and look at the context that surrounded different areas.

Full details of the restrictions applied in each level are available on the Scottish government's website.

The change to the levels was welcomed by Scottish Borders Council leader Shona Haslam as the "right decision".

"All of our indicators are now firmly within the level one category and I am really proud of the work that the public and local businesses have done to get us to this point," she said.

"This will make such a massive difference to our businesses in the run up to Christmas and I hope that the public enjoy this responsibly and stay as safe as possible."

The leader of neighbouring Dumfries and Galloway Council, Elaine Murray, also welcomed the news.

"The council has already started working with our hospitality businesses to ensure that they can open safely on Friday," she said.

"It is very important that we realise that although the restrictions have been relaxed a little here the virus is still in our communities."

Ms Murray also urged people living in level three areas to observe travel restriction and not to visit the region until "we are over the worst of the virus".

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