East Dunbartonshire to be placed in Tier 3 of lockdown restrictions

East Dunbartonshire will be placed in Tier 3 of Scotland’s lockdown protection system next week, a development described by a senior councillor as “a kick in the teeth” for local businesses.

Scotland’s new five-level - which adds two levels to the three tiers used in England - will come into force from Monday, November 2.

Tier 3, classed as “Very High” is similar to the tougher rules currently in place in East Dunbartonshire.

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Following a meeting of local authority leaders, joint council leader Andrew Polson expressed his disappointment at the move. 

He said: “Businesses were told the 16-day reset was temporary. It is now likely to last for weeks if not months,” he said, adding: “There is also confusion over allowable non-essential travel.”

Many of the current restrictions are on par with what has previously been seen in the area and across the Central Belt, but it was previously understood that these would be in place for just 16 days.

This latest decision could potentially extend that period significantly.

Under Level 3 measures, in-home socialising is not permitted and outdoor gatherings are limited to six people from two households. Pubs must remain closed although limited food sales will be permitted at other hospitality businesses.

Restrictions also affect group sports or exercise classes and non-professional contact sports will not be permitted. Indoor bowling clubs, pool halls and bingo halls must also remain closed.

Travel restrictions into or out of East Dunbartonshire will apply, which also means public transport should be avoided if not absolutely necessary.

Coronavirus infections in East Dunbartonshire have increased significantly in recent weeks, with 246 cases per 100,000 reported between October 14 and 20 while the average for local authority areas in Scotland was 86.