Today, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that Dumfries and Galloway has been placed at Level 2 within the new, national five-level protection system aimed at controlling the spread of the coronavirus.
The new scale runs from 0 to 4, with 0 having the least restrictions and 4 the most significant.
Dumfries and Galloway Council and NHS Dumfries and Galloway have acknowledged this decision, and are working together as part of the wider Local Resilience Partnership to promote action aimed at suppressing the spread of COVID-19.
It is hoped that by everyone playing their part, and following national guidance, Dumfries and Galloway can reduce the rate of COVID within the region and place it in a good position to move into a lower level in the new national system.
Dumfries and Galloway Council Leader, Elaine Murray said: “We now know that Dumfries and Galloway has been placed in protection level 2 in the new five-level national system aimed at managing the spread of COVID-19. Our recent increases in numbers of cases and positivity rate could easily have seen us level 3.
“Being in level 2 means that significant restrictions on our businesses and services will persist. We must aim to reduce the spread of the virus sufficiently to meet the criteria for level 1. We must all take on the responsibility of achieving this by observing the World Health Organisation recommendations – wearing face coverings, avoiding crowded places, cleaning our hands and surfaces, observing a two metre distance and self-isolating if we have symptoms. We’re all fed up having to do this, but for the sake of our NHS, our vulnerable residents and our businesses we need to make that extra effort.”
Nick Morris, Chairman of NHS Dumfries and Galloway said: “More cases means pressure on our health and social care, and our other frontline services as we’re heading into winter, impacting not just on those suffering with COVID.
“It is within the ability of each and every one of us to make things better – by following the directions around wearing of face coverings, good hand hygiene, and maintaining physical distancing.
“Crucially, if you feel even the slightest symptoms of COVID it’s important to immediately self-isolate and arrange a COVID test – and continue self-isolating until you receive a result.
“We suppressed the virus before, and we know we can do it again.”
The Depute Leader of the Council is Rob Davidson. He said: “COVID cases have increased substantially within Dumfries and Galloway in recent weeks, right across the region.
“We have the ability to test anyone who has the slightest doubt that they may have COVID, and a Test and Protect team ready to work with anyone who receives a positive diagnosis, identify the risk of exposure and help to limit any further spread.
“We’re heading into winter, and it could be a tough one. People are thinking towards the festive period, and hoping for some sense of normality.”
“If we want to have as normal a Christmas as possible, the power to achieve that lies with us. In large part, what happens next is in the hands of each and every one of us.
“Please follow the guidance. Stick to the rules. We can do this, together.”
Full details on Level 2 can be found on the Scottish Government website at this address at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-protection-levels/pages/protection-level-2/