Scottish Government to review Covid restrictions in East Renfrewshire and Midlothian this week

The Scottish Government will review Covid-19 restriction levels in other areas with high case numbers this week, alongside Glasgow and Moray.

A decision is due to be given at the end of the week about whether Glasgow and Moray, which are in level three restrictions, will be allowed to move to level two with the rest of the country.

But the Scottish Government will also consider whether some other areas of high case numbers will need to tighten up local restrictions, deputy first minister John Swinney told MSPs.

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"In the course of the last few days there has been a significant expansion of the testing programme and capacity within the communities most directly affected by the increase in cases,” he said.

Staff from the Scottish Ambulance Service carry boxes of test kits from a van at a Covid Mobile Testing Unit in a car park in the Pollokshields area of Glasgow. Glasgow and Moray remain in Level 3 restrictions despite the rest of mainland Scotland moving to Level 2 on Monday. Picture date: Tuesday May 18, 2021.

"This has also been supported by an expansion of the vaccination programme. The First Minister committed to review the situation again at the end of this week, and this will include a review of any further areas where concerns emerge, and the formulation of an appropriate response to any such developments.”

Alongside Glasgow and Moray, East Renfrewshire and Midlothian are the areas with the highest case rates per 100,000 people.

Tuesday’s figures show cases are continuing to rise in Glasgow as well as East Renfrewshire and Midlothian, but are falling in Moray.

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The case per 100,000 people has risen from 100.3 to 104.6 in Glasgow, from 86.9 to 94.2 in East Renfrewshire and from 55.2 to 57.3 in Midlothian.

In Moray, the case rate has fallen from 59.5 to 48.

Across the country, 268 new coronavirus cases were recorded in the past 24 hours, but no deaths.

Paul O’Kane, Labour MSP for Renfrewshire South, said his constituents were “extremely anxious” about the possibility of further restrictions.

"We are now in a race against time between new variants speeding, and the number of people vaccinated, and that's particularly true in places like East Renfrewshire and Midlothian where numbers are rising,” he said.

"Many local people and businesses I have spoken to are extremely anxious given speculation that East Renfrewshire may move backwards to level three restrictions, just a matter of days after moving to level two.”

Mr O’Kane called on the Scottish Government to take action to ramp up vaccination and testing, and to support local businesses through any changes made.

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