Coronavirus restrictions in Dundee are to be ramped up next week following a spike in the infection rate.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday afternoon that the city will be placed under tier three restrictions from Monday.
Angus, Fife and Perth & Kinross will be under level two restrictions.
She added that the R-number in Scotland is now believed to be at 1.3.
Confirming the news, Ms Sturgeon said: “I indicated earlier this week that we had cause for concern in relation to Dundee and that we expected it to move into level three.
“Dundee is currently seeing per week around 185 new cases per 100,000 of the population. That is higher than for several of the areas already in the equivalent of level three.
“We have therefore decided that a level three assessment for Dundee is the correct one and so from Monday at 6am Dundee will move into level three.”
It comes after a further 37 Covid-19 deaths were recorded in Scotland.
The First Minister also urged people to adhere to new travel restrictions from Monday.
Under the new five-tier system of restrictions, local authority areas in Level 3 or 4 are asked not to travel outside their local authority area.
Those in lower level areas have also been asked not to travel into councils in the higher restrictions.
The First Minister said: “I know travel restrictions are unwelcome and can be controversial, but they are an absolutely essential part of any regional approach to tackling Covid.
“They are – unfortunately – a price we must pay for more targeted restrictions.
“If people don’t abide by the travel advice, the virus will spread from high to lower prevalence areas, and a differentiated approach will become unsustainable.
“In these circumstances, we would have to return to national restrictions.”
The new rules around pubs, restaurants and socialising
Under the existing rules in Dundee presently no alcohol can be served indoors, with pubs and restaurants ordered to close at 6pm, though alcohol can be served to customers outdoors until 10pm.
Moving to level three on Monday, the second highest tier, means alcohol can no longer be sold indoors or outdoors, with businesses closing at 6pm. Takeaways for both alcohol and food would be allowed to continue under the existing arrangements.
With non-essential travel into or out of level three areas banned, hotels and B&Bs could be restricted to accommodating locals and those travelling for essential work purposes.
When it comes to socialising, the current measures would remain in place – so no indoor mixing in homes beyond those already living in a household, and only up to six people from two households are permitted to meet outside.
Level two status (the third highest of the five tiers) will be similar to the current arrangements with time restrictions on hospitality still applying – but, crucially, alcohol will be permitted to be sold indoors with a main meal until 8pm. Outdoors the curfew will be extended to 10.30pm.
On the Scottish Government’s Strategic Framework document setting out its approach, it offers the following explanation around “Level 2 and 3” restrictions.
“Within Levels 2 and 3, we would expect to see increased incidence of the virus, with multiple clusters and increased community transmission. There would be a graduated series of protective measures to tackle the virus, focusing on key areas of risk – broadly, indoor settings where household mixing takes place with less, or less well-observed, physical distancing and mitigations. The measures would be intended to be in place for relatively short periods (2-4 weeks), and only for as long as required to get the virus down to a low, sustainable level.”
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