Further restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19 were announced by the First Minister in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday.

These include the limitation of non-essential click and collect retail services and restrictions on takeaways as well as statutory guidance on employers to allow staff to work from home.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth urged people to abide by the rules and highlighted the importance of ramping up the vaccination programme.

The local MSP also renewed his call for a speeding up in the delivery of support for businesses affected by the extra restrictions announced.

Colin Smyth said: “People will be dismayed and worn down by the news of more restrictions, and these changes will be a further blow to a number of businesses. However, I would urge everyone to continue to abide by the rules and stay at home as much as they can. As we’ve seen in recent weeks, this virus has the ability to spread at alarming rates and we must do all we can to help halt that spread. It is really important that employers allow everyone who can to work from home, and that requirement will now be strengthened in law.

“As most businesses remain closed, the Government needs to get its act together to get support to companies who need it. It’s one thing for the Government to announce schemes and grants but so far many of those haven’t even opened for applications, never mind paid out to businesses. After this latest announcement, that money will be needed across many sectors and it must be paid out soon if businesses are to survive.”

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