The First Minister has announced a new lockdown for mainland Scotland with effect from midnight on 4th January 2021.

Key points from the announcement include:

· By law, everyone must stay at home as much as possible.

· You can leave your home only if you have a reasonable excuse to or if it is for an essential purpose.

· There is no limit on how many times you can leave home to exercise.

· Adults can only meet one other person from another household outside.

· Everyone must work from home where possible.

· Those who were previously shielding are being advised not to go in to work.

· More non-essential shops including showrooms must shut.

It is essential that everyone follows the updated guidance to stop the virus spreading further and to protect vital services.

SBC already has plans and support in place for the Level 4 restrictions that came into effect on Boxing Day and is working hard to ensure they are as prepared as possible for this further tightening of restrictions. Any further details will be communicated as soon as possible.

They remain focussed on making sure the most vulnerable people in our communities receive the support they need in these challenging times.

Community Assistance Hubs will continue to operate to support those in critical need in all our communities and co-ordinate support across a range of partners and community groups.

In terms of education, arrangements are already in place for all schools and Early Years settings to be open from today (5 January) for invited children of all ages as well as the children of key workers up to S2. All other young people remain on holiday until 11 January.

From 11 January online and remote learning will be provided for all pupils, with in-school arrangements continuing for invited young people and the children of key workers. These arrangements will be in place until at least the start of February.

For more information on our response and impact on services visit www.scotborders.gov.uk/Level4