South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has commented on the latest Covid-19 update.
Speaking on Tuesday, the First Minister confirmed that the law requiring physical distancing when visiting shops or hospitality venues will be scrapped next week and confirmed “no venues will be legally required to close” as of August 9- but customers will still be “advised” by the Government to socially distance.
That means nightclubs, live music venues and theatres can re-open their doors after being forced to remain closed for 18 months. But customers will still be expected to register their details when visiting entertainment venues as the Test and Protect service will continue to operate to monitor future outbreaks of covid.
Face coverings will continue to be a legal requirement including in schools, while rules on self-isolation and large-scale events will be eased.
Colin Smyth said: “We are at a crucial moment in our exit from lockdown and while there is light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the easing of restrictions, more has to be done to jump start our local economy. Covid-19 has first and foremost been a health crisis, but is also an economic one.
“We need to ensure that people are kept safe but also that local businesses are given more help to restart the economy.
“That means far greater support for our struggling businesses, particularly as many will have to deal with some continued restrictions the First Minister has made clear will be with us for some time to come.
“Perhaps most importantly, we urgently need a plan for our NHS and care systems to ensure that workers feel supported, the backlog of appointments is cleared and more needs to be done to increase vaccinations levels especially for young people. That means having more pop up vaccinations at, for example, local football grounds on match days, in schools for vulnerable children, as well as colleges and universities when students return.
“We know this virus is still here, and the need to ensure people, our NHS and our economy are supported and protected is as important now as it was at the start of the pandemic.”