Angus Moves to Tier 3 Coronavirus RestrictionsNeil Hardie
Angus, Perth and Fife have all had their Coronavirus restrictions tightened to Level 3 curbs.
Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the changes for the three council areas at Holyrood this afternoon (10 November).
No other regions were moved up a level in the five-tier system but the First Minister did say there were “concerns” over some areas.
The change means that bars and restaurants in the Angus, Perth & Kinross and Fife will be banned from selling alcohol and will have to close earlier.
The new restrictions come into force on Friday (13 November).
The close proximity of Dundee, which is in Level 3, to Angus and Perth was factored into the thinking of moving these areas up.
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 seven-day number of cases per 100,000 of the population has increased in Perth & Kinross by 32 per cent, in Fife by 40 per cent, and in Angus by 47 per cent.
“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.
“A factor relevant to both Angus and Perth & Kinross is proximity to and interaction with the city of Dundee.
“Dundee entered Level 3 on November 2, and I can confirm that it will remain at Level 3 for now.”
Ms Sturgeon confirmed that, like Dundee, the remaining council areas would remain at their current tier.
There were fears Glasgow and North and South Lanarkshire could be moved to Level 4, with the FM saying today that “a number [of regions] are giving us some cause for concern”
ANGUS COUNCIL REACTION
The decision to impose tougher restrictions in Angus was met with fierce criticism from the area’s council leader.
David Fairweather said he did not believe the local authority was given a fair chance to argue its case against Tier 3.
He said: “Frustrated is not the word. I’m just so disappointed.
“I feel it is wholly unjustified to give businesses a lifeline for a week then take it away.
“At around 6.30pm last night we were invited to a conference with the Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell.
“She told us Angus was likely heading into Tier 3 and said sorry.
“She claimed no final decision had been made at that stage, but I think it had.
“Cases here are still very low and the Chief Executive of the council (Margo Williamson) made this point.
“The consequences in Angus are looking monumental.”