Welcome for tier 1 ranking for Moray
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MORAY has been placed in tier 1 of the new coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed the new tiered warning system.
Moray's relatively low rate of coronavirus infections has seen it placed in one of the lowest tiers, meaning individuals and businesses can operate with less restrictions.
The Highlands, Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland are also in tier 1. The hospitality sector, subject to a 6pm closure in the last three weeks, can reopen more fully, while maintaining social distancing and other mitigations. The new curfew will be 10.30pm.
People must still not visit other people's houses until a further review by the government on November 10.
Sarah Medcraf, chief executive of Moray Chamber of Commerce, said the move to tier 1 would be very welcome by local businesses.
"After a tough nearly three weeks for hospitality closing after 6pm it will be welcomed for them to open in the evening and serve alcohol.
"We have great community spirit and people want to support their favourite places but between school and working commitments and closing early, it left very little time for many to be able to do this.
"It is disappointing that working from home is now the default even in Tier 0 and the whole rates system is at risk of collapse if we don’t get people back in to the offices that they are paying for."
"Many places are still paying rates but not allowed to be in their premises. The High Streets and other retailers will have noticed the knock that the lack of people in offices would have had on them, particularly after Eat Out to Help Out ended.
While welcoming the move, Moray MSP Richard Lochhead said: “I was pleased that the First Minister confirmed that Moray will move into level one restrictions from Monday and have no doubt that this will be welcomed by local residents and businesses.
“It’s important to remember that the restriction on household visits remains in place for the moment, but given the challenges this rule poses for families in rural areas like Moray, the Government will keep this under review and will provide a further update on this by November 10.
“The lower level of restrictions in Moray compared to other parts of the country are only possible due to low number of cases we’ve seen in our local communities. But we must not be complacent and we cannot forget that families in Moray have lost loved ones, and we can see in other parts of the country just how quickly this virus can spread and get out of control.
“We’ve all made huge sacrifices this year in our efforts to limit the spread of covid and those efforts have helped keep the number of cases in Moray down. It is essential that we continue to follow the guidance that applies to Moray so we can continue to make progress locally.”
Moray Council Leader, Cllr Graham Leadbitter said: “We have been very fortunate in Moray to have some of the lowest levels of Covid cases in the whole of the UK, which is the result of the hard work of everyone in Moray, following the restrictions and keeping it at bay. As a result of that hard work by everyone we will have the lowest levels of restrictions being applied in Scotland, which is very good news for our region.
“It is vital that we continue to stick with it to ensure we stay at that low level and with a fair wind we could be among the first regions in Scotland to get home visiting restrictions lifted as well in the coming weeks.
“The Covid Levels in Scotland are going to be reviewed weekly and with continued progress we should be able to have a greater level of interaction with our families and friends very soon.”
The five-tiered system comes into effect from Monday.
Level 0 will act as a baseline, and is as close to normal as can be expected without a vaccine or effective treatment.
Levels 1,2 and 3 are broadly the same as the UK Government system.
If any area is moved into tier 4 this is due to the virus rapidly increasing and represents close to a return to a full lockdown.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “I know that when people hear the daily figures it’s easy to feel as though the hard sacrifices we are all living with are not making a difference. But by taking these difficult steps we will help suppress the virus, and that is why I am asking everyone to stick with it.”
People in a tier 1 area should not travel into a tier 3 or 4 area, except for essential reasons such as work, education, provding care and essential shopping.
The First Minister said she could not rule out a return to national restrictions if cases keep rising, including level four.
She said everyone has to play their part in curbing the transmission of the virus.
There have been a further 37 deaths in the last 24 hours of people who have tested positive for Covid in the last 28 days, taking the total number of deaths under that measure to 2791.
There have been a further 1128 positive cases, taking the total in Scotland to 61,531.
Added the First Minister: "We must be under no illusions that Europe is still firmly in the grip of a second wave of Covid."
Tier 4 - no authorities
City of Edinburgh
Argyll & Bute
Dumfries & Galloway
Perth & Kinross
Tier 0 - No areas
- Football fans are allowed back in in some capacity at tier 0 and 1, which might see Elgin City, Inverness Caley Thistle, Ross County and Moray Highland League sides allowed some fans back inside grounds in due course.