The Scottish Government is introducing further measures from Saturday to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and limit non-essential contact. Nobody in the Scottish Borders, as with all Level 4 areas, should leave or remain outside their home except for essential purposes.
Working from home arrangements will be strengthened through updated statutory guidance. Working from home should now be the default position for all businesses and services, and only those who cannot do their job from home should be asked to go to the workplace.
From Saturday click and collect retail services will be prohibited with the exception of:
· clothing and footwear stores
· homeware stores
· garden centres/plant nurseries
· baby equipment shops
· electrical goods (including repairs)
· key cutting and shoe repair shops
Further changes will be put in place to how services open for essential purposes operate. Timeslots will be required for collection and people should not enter a store to collect an item. Businesses providing takeaway food will also operate on a ‘non-entry’ basis only, meaning customers cannot enter the premises when placing or collecting orders.
Restrictions banning the consumption of alcohol in public places will also be introduced.
Councillor Shona Haslam, Leader of SBC, said: “These new restrictions are designed to make sure we all stay at home and reduce our contact with other people as much as possible, which is exactly what we need to do just now. In terms of the changes to takeaways and click and collect services, the Council will work with local businesses to ensure they are aware of the new measures and that they follow this guidance. I thank all businesses for their co-operation and understand any frustration they may have just now, but I believe we can get through this difficult time together.”
Dr Tim Patterson, Director of Public Health, said: “Co-operation with these additional measures is really important. If you do not mix with people you cannot come into contact with the virus – it is as simple as that. If you leave your house for exercise you should remain outside only for the period of exercise; no longer. And you can only meet up with one other person from one other household who must remain two metres away from you whilst you are together. If the place you go to is busy then please leave and go somewhere else.”
Meanwhile, all Live Borders facilities remain closed to the public due to current lockdown restrictions.
A range of digital services continue to be offered and access to various resources is available to support home learning for young people. Live Borders’ focus during this lockdown is on providing support to NHS Borders and SBC’s COVID response efforts, including through available staff and facilities. Ewan Jackson, Chief Executive of Live Borders, said: “Live Borders’ resources are at the disposal of our partners to support their COVID-19 response efforts, and we are delighted to have been able to support the Government in establishing the walk-in testing facility in Langlee.
“Although our physical services are closed, we continue to offer a range of digital services, including extensive online elibrary resources, free live online fitness classes, creative writing for wellbeing programmes and we will continue to keep our members updated.”