Covid rules have eased in most parts of Scotland with all mainland areas moving from level three to level two apart from Moray and Glasgow. In level two areas, pubs, bars and restaurants can now serve customers alcohol indoors until 22.30 with two-hour pre-booked slots. Most of the islands have moved straight to level one. But latest figures from Public Health Scotland reveal that East Renfrewshire – which has moved down to level two – has overtaken the case rates in Moray after a dramatic rise in infections over the past week.
There’s a lot of anger out there among operators in the areas not moving to level two.
Said Glasgow’s Bloc+ owner John Burns, “I’ve been on the side of science and the government but this has really got under my skin. There’s so much anger out there and I feel for my staff and customers who want to get out the house and have that taken away at final moment. This playing havoc with people’s mental health.
“There’s no chance of Glasgow being kept at level there will be for only a week if you look at the events in George Square at the weekend alone, with no masks etc. If that doesn’t set us back 3 or 4 weeks I’ll eat my hat.”
Deputy First Minister John Swinney told BBC Radio Scotland that there were grounds for optimism but the rising infection rates in Glasgow and Moray showed that any progress is ‘fragile’.
He said, “The East Renfrewshire rise had been very swift in taking its course. We will continue to monitor the situation in every local authority area and look at every single outbreak to determine if there are patterns.
“If there is a requirement for us to take action and apply restrictions once again, we will unfortunately have to do that.”
National clinical director Prof Jason Leitch warned on Sunday that Glasgow might have to stay in love three for longer than a week if the rise shows no sign of abating. He said there was evidence the outbreaks in Glasgow were being driven by the so-called Indian variant but that this was less of a factor in Moray.