Coronavirus in Fife: Tighter restrictions for Kingdom as virus levels rise

Fife is to be put under tighter lockdown restrictions to help stop the spread of coronavirus, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

Fife will now be held under Level 3 restrictions, meaning a tougher time for local residents and businesses

On October 29, Fife been branded Level 2 by the Scottish Government as each area was assigned new tiers, with Level 0 being the most relaxed in restrictions, and Level 4 being described as the closest to the lockdown imposed in March.

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That meant that Fife escaped the harsher measures given to Edinburgh, Glasgow, and the Central Belt.

Nicola Sturgeon made the announcement today.

But with the latest announcement, hospitality businesses in Fife will be prohibited from selling alcohol and will close at 6pm with last entry at 5pm.

As with Level 2, socialising is prohibited, barring some exceptions including caring for a vulnerable person.

Outdoor groups in public places is limited to six people from two households.

Drive-in events will no longer be permitted and cinemas, arcades and bingo halls will also be shuttered.

Indoor exercise will be limited to individual workouts, with outdoor exercise only allowed for those under the age of 18, except professional sports.

Speaking today, Ms Sturgeon said: “I can confirm that we have taken the difficult, but in our view necessary and precautionary decision to move Fife, Perth & Kinross and Angus to level 3 from Friday.

"While on the raw indicators alone, Angus and Perth & Kinross are not yet meeting the level 3 thresholds and Fife is meeting only one of them, all three areas are on a sharply rising trajectory.

“The most recent data shows that, in the space of a week, the 7 day number of cases per 100,000 of the population has increased in Perth & Kinross by 32%, in Fife by 40%, and in Angus by 47%.

"The advice of the Chief Medical Officer and National Clinical Director is that level 2 restrictions may not be sufficient to slow down and reverse increases of this magnitude and, as a result, an early move to level 3 was strongly recommended.

"I know this will be disappointing to residents and businesses in these areas.

“However, by acting now, we can hopefully prevent an even more serious deterioration in the situation.

"I would ask people living in these areas to check the Scottish government website to understand the restrictions in place at level 3.

"Businesses will also find details there of the financial support available from the Scottish Government - which is in addition to the UK government’s furlough scheme.”

NHS Fife’s Chair, Tricia Marwick said: “Our Public Health team have been closely monitoring the data for Fife and we have seen a sustained increase in the number of positive cases of Coronavirus across the Kingdom. It is therefore vital that we now act quickly and decisively to suppress the transmission rate of the virus across Fife, to save lives and protect frontline services.

“Following advice from Fife’s Director of Public Health and discussions with Fife council leaders, the National Scottish Incident Management Team (IMT) made a recommendation to the Scottish government to move Fife to level 3.

“This move from level 2 to 3 is a stark warning to us all. I am therefore asking all Fifers to adhere to the level 3 measures to help drive down the transmission rate and avoid any further restrictions being placed on our communities.

“NHS Fife is jointly working with its partners to support the combined effort to tackle the Coronavirus pandemic.

“The level 3 measures that were put in place across the Central Belt last month are starting to show some impact and we hope the same will follow for Fife. We will continue to monitor the situation with the Scottish Government and review the decision again regularly.”

Ms Marwick added: “I would like to remind the public that, at present, Covid-19 is causing severe pressure on our health and social care resources across Fife.

“To protect our loved ones, our staff, and our hospitals, it is vitally important that everyone takes responsibility to follow Scottish Government guidance. We must all reflect on our individual actions and consider the consequences of these on our communities and the most vulnerable in society.

“I would like to remind everyone about F.A.C.T.S. everyone should take care to wear a face covering when indoors, on public transport or when physical distancing is difficult. We should avoid crowded places and clean our hands regularly. We should also keep a two-metre distance from others and self-isolate and book a test if we show symptoms, however mild they may be.”