As Dumfries and Galloway once again remains at the same level of Covid restrictions following the Scottish Government’s weekly review, South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth fears it is unlikely the region will move down a level until near Christmas.

The outcome of the weekly review of Scotland’s Covid-19 restriction was announced in the Scottish Parliament by the First Minister on Tuesday, who confirmed that Dumfries and Galloway will continue in level 2 for another week, despite the number of cases in the region continuing to fall.

Guidance urging people not to travel in or out of council areas in level 3 will also now become law, prompting Colin Smyth to call for “common sense” to ensure that people in the region do not face any barriers to essential travel for work, education and health care.

Colin Smyth said: “Even though cases in Dumfries and Galloway have continued to fall, the First Minister has decided that the region should remain at level 2 restrictions for another week and it’s becoming increasingly likely that won’t change much before Christmas.

“Our region is suffering because the Scottish Government has failed to get the virus under control in the central belt, in particular our proximity to Lanarkshire and Ayrshire which have been moved into level 4 Covid restrictions. There is a growing feeling that had the Government followed the scientific advice in October to introduce tougher restrictions in the central belt in the form of a circuit breaker, the current moves to level 4 may have been avoided, with all the knock on effects that is having on regions like ours.

“My fear is that the inevitable consequence of these rules remaining in place without change, is that people will start to feel frustrated. In particular, it is vital that people in our region do not face any barriers to essential travel for work, education and health care.

“If the First Minister decides that Dumfries and Galloway must stay within level 2 until nearer Christmas, we will need even more support for businesses across the region who are already suffering.”

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