Colin Smyth MSP
Colin Smyth MSP

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has commented on the latest Covid-19 update.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, the First Minister set out detailed dates about Scotland’s move out of full lockdown, all subject to the continued suppression of the virus.

Colin Smyth said: “We are now approaching 12 months of living in the shadow of Covid-19, so it is really important that people know where they stand in terms of moving out of this latest lockdown.

“However, we must not forget that until we are all vaccinated, Covid-19 is still out there and we must take precautions to keep ourselves and our communities safe. It is vital that this is the last lockdown.

“A lot of businesses look set to remain closed until the end of April and the UK and Scottish Government need to ensure support is in place to get local firms through the next few months, in particular those that have not been eligible for support through other schemes.

“I have also previously called for a consistent approach regarding the lifting of travel restrictions, so border communities are not adversely affected.

“However, it appears that while travel across Scotland looks set to be allowed from 26 April, the First Minister has been unable to confirm travel between Scotland and England will be allowed from that date.

“It will be frustrating to people in South Scotland communities that they may well be able to travel hundreds of miles to any other part of Scotland, but not make the short journey over the border to visit loved ones in the north of England even if the prevalence level of the virus is equally low there.

“Travel restrictions should be based on what minimises the spread of the virus from high to low prevalence areas, not based simply on a line in the map.

“It would be a disgrace if people could travel to our region from other areas in Scotland with a higher prevalence of the virus yet people living in our region couldn’t travel to England even if the virus prevalence was low.

“The First Minister should make it clear what criteria she will use to decide when to ease cross border travel or she will understandably be accused yet again of having one rule for one part of Scotland and a different one for those on the border.

“Looking further ahead, I will be pushing for better post-Covid recovery plans, our country has been turned upside down and we must do all we can to ensure we can get back on our feet as soon as possible.”

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