No change for Midlothian Level 3

Tuesday December 8th 2020

Nicola-Sturgeon

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon addresses the Scottish parliament today.


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Nicola Sturgeon has told the Scottish Parliament that both Midlothian and Edinburgh are to remain at Level 3 due to a slight increase in Covid cases over the last week.

Though the First Minister did say that careful consideration would be made for both council areas to move to level 2 next week.

East Lothian escaped a move back into Level 3 restrictions today, despite an increase in Covid cases in recent days in the county.

Announcing the latest review of restriction levels for local authorities across Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that East Lothian would remain in Level 2.

She said the rise in cases in East Lothian, which has also been seen in Midlothian, had played a part in deciding not to move the City of Edinburgh out of Level 3 ahead of Christmas.

She told the Scottish Parliament: “Cases in Edinburgh have risen slightly in recent days, there seems slightly to have been an increase in East Lothian and Midlothian.

“A move to Level 2 in Edinburgh would mean opening up significantly more services in our second biggest city in the two weeks before Christmas.

“That move would carry significant risk of increased transmission and for that reason we want as much assurance as possible that the situation is as stable as possible before making that move.

“For that reason, we have decided not to move Edinburgh to Level 2 this week but will consider that position again next week for both Edinburgh and Midlothian.”

Current restrictions make it illegal for people in Level 2 to travel into a Level 3 area unless the journey is essential, ruling Christmas shopping in the city out for East Lothian residents.

The number of cases per 100,000 in East Lothian in the week to December 5 was 74.7, compared to Midlothian 79.2 and 71.2 in Edinburgh.

Across the country, 11 local authorities which were in the highest Level 4 were told they would move down to Level 3 on Friday at 6pm, with retailers allowed to open for trade at 6am on Friday.

Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders were the only two local authorities to move down to Level 1.

Ms Grahame, MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, said:

“I’m disappointed for everyone in Midlothian that a move to level 2 hasn’t been possible this week, but unfortunately staying at Level 3 is what scientific advice has deemed necessary for the time being given the rise in cases locally.

“If we loosen the restrictions too quickly we could end up going backwards, resulting in harsher restrictions for longer which is the last thing anyone wants especially now real progress is in touching distance with the vaccine roll out. I remain hopeful that a move to Level 2 will be possible soon if everyone sticks to the current restrictions for just a little longer – I sincerely thank everyone in Midlothian for their efforts on this so far, I know it’s not been easy.

“I’d also ask people to please not travel outwith Midlothian unless it’s essential. It may be tempting now we have neighbouring areas in lower levels but doing so seriously puts at risk other communities and increases the rate of virus transmission.”

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