Covid restriction levels
Covid restriction levels

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has said the extension of lockdown until the middle of February, which also includes schools continuing to be shut until then, will be ‘very difficult’ for people to hear but ‘no surprise’ and he is urging people to stick with the restrictions.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made the announcement in the Scottish Parliament during her Covid-19 update on Tuesday. Restrictions will be reviewed again on 2 February.

Colin Smyth said: “People will not be surprised that this latest lockdown is set to continue until at least the middle of February. It’s clear this virus will not be under control until vaccines are rolled out more widely.

“I know how difficult that will be to hear and that many will understandably feel worn down by living continually under more and more restrictions.

“Parents in particular will be feeling the strain trying to juggle work and home schooling, and children and young people will be missing their school friends. Online learning is no substitute for being in school but while schools remain closed to most pupils, it is vital that parents are given adequate support.

“I would ask any parents who are required to home school but don’t have access to a computer to get in touch, as support for this is available. I would also urge employers to look carefully at whether they can furlough staff with childcare pressures.

“However, no matter how difficult it might seem, everyone should 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.

“As most businesses remain closed, the Government also 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.”

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