Following a cluster of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the Annan and Gretna areas of Dumfries and Galloway, restrictions to the distance people living in those areas can travel for leisure purposes are to remain in place even though for the rest of Scotland from today, Friday the 3rd of July , the five mile travel distance limit for leisure will be lifted.
People in Scotland living in the postcode areas of DG16 (Gretna), DG12 (Annan), DG1 and DG2 (Dumfries), DG11 (Lockerbie), DG13 (Langholm) and DG14 (Canonbie) are being asked to travel no more than 5 miles while efforts to manage the outbreak continue. This advice does not apply to essential travel.
Holidaymakers from other areas who have booked self-catering accommodation in these postcodes are still able to take up their reservations but must adhere to these travel restrictions once they arrive.
Visits to care homes in these postcode areas will not be permitted over the weekend because of the risk to staff and residents.
The advice will stay in place this weekend with a further update on local restrictions provided on Monday.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:
“Where clusters of cases develop we must find them and act quickly to prevent further spread and I would like to thank local partners for their swift action in response to this outbreak in Dumfries and Galloway.
“This morning, representatives from the NHS, the local health board and local authorities joined me for a meeting of SGORR, the Scottish Government’s Resilience Committee, to agree the next steps.
“We have always been clear that our route map out of lockdown has been designed to allow different measures to progress at different speeds and, if necessary, to reverse measures if public health advice recommends.
“So far, 10 positive cases have been identified and a number of contacts are being traced and tested. As a precaution, staff at three workplaces with connections to those cases are also being tested today and mobile testing units are being deployed.
“While this process is underway we are asking people in these specific parts of Dumfries and Galloway to continue to follow the 5 mile limit.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and support partners in containing this cluster of cases. Our success relies on the continued cooperation of the public in following public health guidelines to allow us to do this quickly and effectively.”
National Clinical Director Jason Leitch said:
“We understand that the extension of some restrictions in part of Dumfries and Galloway will be frustrating for many but it is vital we act swiftly to contain any outbreaks at a local level so they do not affect the wider population.
“Many families will have been looking forward to visiting their loved ones in care homes but the extension to the current restrictions reflect the fact that this is a highly infectious disease and these measures are crucial to protect residents and staff.
“I should also make it clear that it is not an individual’s fault if they contract this illness and I take this opportunity to once again stress how important it is we all continue to follow the guidelines around physical distancing and hand hygiene. If you do develop any symptoms you should stay at home and request a test as soon as possible.”
Dumfries and Galloway Council Leader Elaine Murray said:
“Dumfries and Galloway has done well so far in controlling coronavirus however some complacency has crept in recently.
“We know that a couple of social gatherings which shouldn’t have taken place may be implicated in the spread of this outbreak.
“It’s vital that we adhere to the guidance this weekend, including that which remains in place in part of our region but has been relaxed elsewhere in Scotland.
“This outbreak reminds us that the virus is still circulating. We know it is in the community in Cumbria so it essential that none of us travel to Carlisle for the reopening of the pubs this weekend, however tempting that may be.”