Commenting on the update on the easing of restrictions by the First Minister in the Scottish Parliament today (24 June 2020) South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said:

“Any further lifting of lockdown measures is welcome but we must not forget that this terrible virus is still out there, and we must take precautions to keep ourselves and our communities safe.

“People need to continue to act responsibly, use common sense and remember that this pandemic has killed many people in our region and ultimately saving lives is the most important consideration in everything we do.

“The decision to maintain the two-metre rule Scotland, while it is being eased in England, will heap pressure on local businesses in the south of Scotland, who have really suffered during the months of lockdown.

“More retail just a few miles away in England have re-opened, and pubs and hotels will soon open south of the border. In England they will follow the ‘one metre plus’ rule for social distancing, while those in Scotland remain closed and when they do open they will have to follow two metre social distancing.

“As a result, many local businesses in the south of Scotland will be concerned at the impact of a loss of trade to the North of England. I hope that when further advice is published on social distancing on 2 July that we will safely be able to move to a lower level, which would really help local shops and other businesses in our area.”

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