Glasgow will finally move to Level 2 on Friday at midnight First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced today, a day ahead of the expected announcement. Her address to Parliament also revealed that although some areas will move to Level 1, or 0, the majority of the Central Belt will remain in Level 2.
Thirteen central belt areas which include Dundee, East Dunbartonshire, Stirling, Edinburgh and Ayrshire will stay in level two, with Dumfries and Borders, Aberdeen, Falkirk, Angus, West Lothian, Moray and Argyleshire moving to Level 1 and Shetland, the Western Islands and Orkney moving to Zero.
The news came as Glasgow figures established moving from 146 cases per 100,000 last week to 129 per 100,000 this week. Although the R number is thought to be above 1.
Said Nicola Sturgeon, “Our situation is still precarious.” However, she also revealed, that they are increasingly confident that the vaccinations are effective and that serious illness, hospitalization and deaths did appear to be weakening.
Regarding the fact that she is keeping 13 places in Level 2 she said, “This is a pause not a step backwards.” She suggested that the decision to pause was based on the case number and case positivity.
Marc Crothall, Chief Executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance comments, “After a greatly unsettling period for Scotland’s tourism businesses over the last few weeks, especially those in Glasgow and Moray, today’s announcement by the First Minister that 15 local authority areas will move to level 1 from Saturday, an earlier date than provisionally planned, will come as a huge boost for so many.
“This will however be undoubtedly met with a degree of disappointment for those in the 14 local authority areas which will not move to level 1 at the same time, as so many had hoped would be the case in order to be able to trade in a more sustainable way.
“We welcome the Scottish Government’s acknowledgement that many businesses are still not able to operate anywhere near viably, or at all as a result of continuing restrictions, with the announcement of the continuation of the Strategic Framework Fund, to which those businesses can apply; albeit for the majority, the amount of support on offer does not in any way cover the costs being incurred or compensate for the loss of revenues.
“I know that today’s news will be particularly welcomed by businesses within our island communities who will be able to operate in the most ‘normal’ circumstances that they will have experienced since the outbreak of the pandemic and we very much hope that it will not be long before all tourism businesses the length and breadth of Scotland are able to operate similarly.”