Lanarkshire lockdown warning was no idle threat

Strongly worded warnings by Scotland’s First Minister and health bosses were no idle threat as Lanarkshire went into lockdown at the weekend.

Having seen new lockdown rules imposed on neighbouring counties, residents within NHS Lanarkshire’s sprawling boundaries heard the news they were dreading on Friday as a midnight deadline was swiftly imposed which has effectively stopped any socialising in the home with visitors.

Announcing the get-tough measure, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “It is clearly regrettable that these restrictions need to be extended to people living in Lanarkshire.

“I understand that this will not be welcome news for people living in these areas, but we must act now to protect people and get more control over the virus in the area.

“Local public health teams have looked at where cases are being identified and, by restricting indoor meetings, we are helping to protect those who are most at risk from COVID-19 as they are more likely to be meeting others in a household setting rather than in a public setting.

“I would ask everyone in the affected areas to be extra vigilant, to follow all guidance and to isolate and book a test if they have any symptoms.

“Above all, I want to emphasise that getting a test – and even getting a negative result – is not a substitute for self-isolating.

“If you have symptoms, or if you are contacted by our Test and Protect team and told to do so, you will need to self-isolate.”

Gabe Docherty, director of public health for NHS Lanarkshire said: “Last week I warned locals that further restrictions were a very real possibility for our area. I would like to thank everyone who listened to this warning and followed the guidance that I gave.

“Although we enter into these restrictions with a heavy heart, I wholeheartedly welcome them. These new restrictions state that people living in the Lanarkshire area should not meet with people from other households in an indoor household setting.

“You can continue to meet outdoors and in hospitality settings. This is due to the protocols in place within hospitality settings to maintain physical distancing.

“You should continue to be extremely vigilant,

“If anyone is identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, their full household group should self-isolate for 14 days. Abiding by these new stricter limits will help to drive down the rate of transmission in Lanarkshire.

“I understand that we have made a lot of asks of local residents over the past few months. However, we really need you to support us by complying with these new restrictions.”