East Renfrewshire will remain in level two “for now”
MORAY will move to level two of coronavirus restrictions from midnight tonight (21st May), while Glasgow remains in level three.
Speaking at the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 media briefing today, first minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that Moray will move down to level two – where the sale of alcohol indoors can resume – after the COVID-19 case numbers in the area “improved significantly”.
Most of mainland Scotland moved to level two of restrictions on Monday 17th May, with the majority of the islands moving to level one. Moray and Glasgow were held in level three due to outbreaks in those council areas.
The first minister said Glasgow will remain in level three for at least another week.
Sturgeon said there had been “extensive public health measures deployed across the city”, including enhanced testing and vaccinations and “enhanced contact tracing”. However, she said the judgement of the Scottish Government is that “we don’t think that we have turned the corner in Glasgow yet”.
“Let me stress though that we are confident that major public health interventions underway will be effective and that they will bring rates of the virus back under control, but our judgement is that they need a bit more time to do that,” said Sturgeon.
“We also think we need a bit more time to be more confident than we are just now that vaccination will stop the rising case numbers today becoming sharply rising hospitality and severe illness numbers a couple of weeks from now.
“For all these reasons I can confirm today, regrettably, that Glasgow will remain in level three for a further week at this stage.”
Meanwhile East Renfrewshire, which has recorded increasing numbers of cases in recent days, is to remain in level two of restrictions.
“Levels in East Renfrewshire as a proportion of population are actually very slightly higher than in Glasgow,” said Sturgeon.
“I’m acutely aware, therefore, that people will say that if Glasgow is in level three then East Renfrewshire should be there too.
“The situation underneath the raw data is often more complex, and it’s the detailed analysis that we must try to base decisions on.
“For example, while the case rates for Glasgow and East Renfrewshire are similar, the total number of cases in East Renfrewshire, because it’s a smaller area, is significantly smaller than Glasgow.
“To illustrate that, yesterday there were just 17 new cases in East Renfrewshire, compared to 166 in Glasgow.
“More importantly, many more of the cases that have been reported in the last week in East Renfrewshire can be traced to specific household clusters than is the case in Glasgow, where transmission appears to be much more widespread.
“That means that we thing strong and targeted public health measures have more of a chance at this stage of stemming the rise without the need to use wider restrictions.
“So taking all of that into account, our judgement at the moment is that East Renfrewshire should stay at level two for now, although this will be kept under close review.”