Cllr Jonathan McColl urges people to stay safe during lockdown.
By Democrat reporter
In a move to ensure that the local community is in safe hands, West Dunbartonshire Council leader, Councillor Jonathan McColl, today that although the re-imposition of the lockdown may be disruptive, it was necessary and could save lives.
Cllr McColl said: “These measures have been introduced for the protection of our community.
“While I fully understand these restrictions may be disruptive for you and your family, I would ask you to please strictly follow the guidance to ensure we keep all of our residents safe, particularly our most vulnerable who are more susceptible to the worst effects of this virus.
“I have met with both the First Minister [Nicola Sturgeon] and Depute First Minister [John Swinney], and as a Council we are working directly and in partnership with both Public Health Scotland and the Scottish Government. “
He said that he agreed with the restrictions and that he had ensured that West Dunbartonshire will have a testing facility sited in the Council area “and home testing kits will also be available”.
Cllr McColl added: “These restrictions do not affect people’s ability to go to work or school and are designed to be an early intervention to prevent further restrictions having to be put in place.
“We had hoped this situation would not arise but had developed plans to ensure we were fully prepared to respond in this event.
“As a Council, we will be following the advice of both Public Health Scotland and the Scottish Government and will continue to share information with residents via the Council’s website and social media pages.”
The announcement comes following an increase in cases in the area which the Scottish Government attributed to community transmission due to indoor gatherings and parties where guidelines were not followed.
During the restrictions, which will be in place for 14 days initially, people in the area will be unable to meet other households indoors or travel to homes in other local council areas.
Only essential indoor visits in both care homes and hospitals will be permitted, though outdoor visits are still possible at care homes.
In addition, if one household member is a close contact of a confirmed Covid-19 case, the whole household must now self-isolate for 14 days.
People from different households can continue to meet outdoors and in hospitality settings providing all existing guidance is complied with.
Those people who are providing care or essential support can continue to make indoor visits but must take hygiene precautions and those who have formed an extended household can continue to meet indoors with enhanced hygiene measures in place.
Residents who were previously shielding have been advised to strictly follow physical distancing and hygiene measures.
The Scottish Government has confirmed that the reopening of educational establishments is not responsible for increased cases of the virus and so there is no need for schools or early learning centres to close.
There is also no requirement for businesses to close during the restriction period.
Similar restrictions have been put in place in Glasgow City Council and East Renfrewshire Council authority areas.
The current restrictions will be reviewed in seven days by the Scottish Government in discussion with local partners, including the Council, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Police Scotland.
The Scottish Government has not ruled out extending restrictions if necessary to protect public health.
Further information on restrictions can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-local-measures/pages/west-dunbartonshire/