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Source: Scotland – Highland Council

Highland Council Leader, Cllr Margaret Davidson and Depute Leader of the Council and Recovery Board Chair Cllr Alasdair Christie

The Leader and Depute Leader of The Highland Council have welcomed the targeted approach being taken by the Scottish Government to the COVID-19 response over the next 2 weeks/3 weekends – from 6pm on Friday 9 October to Sunday 25 October.

Highland Council Leader, Cllr Margaret Davidson said: “We share the concerns of the rising number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country and although they are fewer in The Highland Council area we are not complacent as they are increasing in most Health Board Areas including NHS Highland.

“We welcome that the Scottish Government has not introduced blanket measures across the country and that the hospitality sector – which is a major employer in Highland – will have the opportunity to continue to function – albeit in reduced measures. This will, however, be difficult for the hospitality industry and we have yet to see the detail of support to be provided to businesses in the Highlands.”

Depute Leader of the Council and Recovery Board Chair Cllr Alasdair Christie added: “We recognise the extremely difficult task of balancing the ongoing COVID-19 response to protect lives while also protecting the country’s economy and well-being. As we approach the school October holidays – we welcome the efforts being made to try to ensure that schools, colleges and universities and places or learning can remain open after the holidays. Their continued functioning is vital to enabling parents and carers to be able to work while delivering our young peoples’ education.

“We urge everyone to follows the new rules and to continue to take the other basic steps that will protect you and each other.

  • Do not visit other people’s homes.
  • Work from home if you can.
  • Download the Protect Scotland app, if you can and haven’t already done so.
  • And remember FACTS (Face coverings; avoid crowded places; clean hands and hard surfaces; 2 metre distancing; and self-isolate, and get tested if you have symptoms).”

The First Minister announced that the following new measures will take place nationwide: “…with the exception of the five health board areas (Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire & Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley) – pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes will be able to operate indoors on the following very restricted basis only:

  • During the day, from 6am to 6pm, for the service of food and non-alcoholic drinks only.
  • Hotel restaurants will be able to operate beyond 6pm, but only for residents and without alcohol.
  • And all the current regulations and the limits on meeting a maximum of 6 people from 2 households in indoor public places will still apply.
  • …bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes can continue to serve alcohol outdoors up to the existing curfew time of 10pm, and subject to the 6/2 rule on group size.

Exempt to these rules – in all parts of Scotland – will be weddings that are already booked and funerals. The current rules for those will continue to apply.

From this weekend and across Scotland, shops are being asked to return to 2 metre physical distancing and to reintroduce the mitigations they put in place earlier in the pandemic – for example, one-way systems in supermarkets.

Full details of the First Minister’s announcement are on the Scottish Government website.

MIL OSI United Kingdom