Glasgow and Moray will remain in Level 3 from Monday 17 May and travel to and from these areas will be prohibited other than for permitted purposes, due to a high rate of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.
Cases in both Moray and in Glasgow have remained high with the most recent data up to 11 May showing the weekly case rate in Moray was 69 cases per 100,000 people and in Glasgow was 80 per 100,000. This compares to 30 cases per 100,000 across the whole of Scotland.
The Scottish Government will review the position in a week and continue to work closely with Glasgow City and Moray Councils and the local Health Boards to reduce case numbers with measures including enhanced testing and vaccination, and provide targeted support for businesses which have to remain closed or continue to operate under Level 3 restrictions.
Universal testing is now available Scotland-wide. Everyone in Moray and Glasgow is encouraged to get tested to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by finding cases that might be missed, as around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 don’t have symptoms. Testing is free and results are available in around 30 minutes.
All other council areas will move out of Level 3 on Monday as planned, with most of mainland Scotland moving to Level 2 and some island communities moving straight to Level 1, and changes to restrictions around international travel will go ahead as outlined on Tuesday.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“There are now grounds for cautious optimism that the situation in Moray is improving as a result of the public health interventions that have been taken. However, case numbers remain more than double the Scottish average and so the judgment of the local Incident Management Team – which has informed this decision – is that it is prudent for Moray to remain at Level 3 for a further week so that we can be more confident that the situation is firmly under control.
“We are applying similar reasoning to the situation in Glasgow City, which is causing even more concern at this stage as the latest available data shows that both cases and test positivity have increased. Both of these measures suggest an increasing level of infection in the City of Glasgow, and accordingly and very reluctantly, we have decided to err on the side of caution and also keep Glasgow City in Level 3 for a further week.
“An additional and very significant factor in Glasgow is evidence suggesting that the outbreak – which is heavily centered at the moment in the Southside of the city – is being driven by the so-called Indian variant. We do not yet have a full understanding of the impact of this variant, including on the protection afforded by the vaccines, however I do want to stress that nothing at this stage suggests that it is causing severe illness.
“Public health teams are optimistic that enhanced testing and vaccination will be capable of getting this situation under control. However, the advice given to me by the Chief Medical Officer, and which has informed this decision, is that we need a few more days to assess the data and build confidence that the situation can be brought under control.
“To help contain spread and ensure a quick return to a positive track for both areas, we are asking people not to travel to or from Glasgow and Moray for the next week, except for permitted purposes.
“In both Glasgow and Moray, affected businesses will receive additional financial support – Moray and Glasgow Councils will receive an extra £375,000 and £1.05 million per week respectively, to allow businesses in hospitality and leisure to be given up to £750 per week.
“Both situations will be reviewed again at the end of next week, when I hope the news will be more positive.”