Highlanders urged to play part protecting region's Tier 1 Covid-19 status as health and council chiefs warn again complacency
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HIGHLAND residents are being asked to guard against complacency and work together to ensure the region continues to enjoy fewer Covid-19 restrictions than elsewhere in the country.
The Scottish Government this week confirmed that the Highland Council area will again be placed into Protection Level One in The Scottish Government’s five-tier framework.
That means our communities will for now continue to able to operate with fewer restrictions for its hospitality, retail and leisure sectors than other parts of the country.
While island authorities are now permitted to have some social interaction in homes, this is still not yet permitted in Highland.
The generally good levels of compliance in Highland and good partnership working between Highland organisations to provide support, deliver advice, and maintain Covid-19 safety controls in public spaces and businesses has led to comparatively low numbers of positive Covid-19 cases and outbreaks across the region, Highland Council said.
But it wanrs "Covid-19 still remains in our communities and we must work together to prevent further spread of the virus". It said that any increase of cases in Highland communities "not only risks the lives of our residents but also risks us all facing stricter controls if we were to move into higher tiers of the Scottish Government’s framework".
"It must be our cherished goal to enter 2021 with greater hopes for our health and local economy.” - Highland Council leader, Margaret Davidson
Highland Council leader, Councillor Margaret Davidson, said: “I want to begin by thanking the vast majority of our residents in Highland who have been following the restrictions in place. Your ongoing perseverance during this pandemic will help us to protect our most vulnerable family members, friends, colleagues, and neighbours.”
“Being placed in a lower tier and facing fewer restrictions, it can be very easy to find ourselves becoming complacent. We understand that lower numbers of cases in our community can allow you to feel safer in your day to day activities and that is good progress.
"But, we must also continue to do our part by following the guidance and keeping the infection rates low by physical distancing, practicing good hand and respiratory hygiene and wear face coverings (unless medically exempt).
“I am hopeful that if we continue to be careful and patient now, then we can look forward to enjoying more freedoms over the festive period and seeing our loved ones again. It must be our cherished goal to enter 2021 with greater hopes for our health and local economy.”
Dr Tim Allison, NHS Highland's director of public health, said: "We are optimistic about prospects for a vaccine but we all need to keep following precautions to give us the best chance of tackling Covid effectively."